The Days of Noah Draw Near in the End Times: How Should We Seek the Appearance of God?
The Days of Noah Have Emerged: What Does This Presage?
When we talk about mankind in the time of Noah, everyone knows that murder and arson, robbing and stealing, and promiscuity had become second nature to the people of that time. They shunned God and did not heed God’s words, and in the end God destroyed them with a great flood. Then we look at the people of today’s world: They revere evil, and one can see such places as karaoke bars, foot massage parlors, taverns and dance clubs on streets and alleys in every city; people eat, drink and make merry, indulging in the pleasures of the flesh; most people vie with each other for fame, gain, and status, fighting each other, scheming against each other, and cheating one another, friends and relatives being no exception. People are all sick of the truth, they are in love with injustice, and live in sin; no one takes the initiative to seek the truth or seek the true way, and they even openly deny and resist God. All of mankind lives under the domain of Satan, and even those who believe in the Lord debase themselves to follow worldly trends. They covet sinful pleasures, always living in a cycle of sinning and then confessing, and they do not put the Lord’s teachings into practice though they know them well. Such scenes cannot help but bring to mind the prophecy made by the Lord Jesus two thousand years ago: “And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. … Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Luke 17:26–30). We can see from this prophecy that when the people of the last days become as corrupt and wicked as the people of the time of Noah, the Lord will come again. But in what way will the Lord appear? And how should we greet Him?
How Will the Lord Come in the Last Days?
Many people speak of this verse in the Bible: “[T]hey shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). They believe that when the Lord returns, He will do so riding openly upon a cloud, and that He will raise us directly up into the kingdom of heaven and everyone will see Him, and so they wait passively for the Lord to come on a cloud. The truth is, however, that we have disregarded the biblical prophecies that state there is one more way that the Lord will return, such as “Behold, I come as a thief” (Revelation 16:15), “If therefore you shall not watch, I will come on you as a thief….” (Revelation 3:3), “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), “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), and “Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes” (Matthew 24:44). These prophecies mention the Lord returning “as a thief,” and that He will “stand at the door, and knock.” This proves that the Lord will come quietly and in secret, and that this will occur without anyone’s knowledge. These verses also mention “the coming of the Son of man” and “the Son of man comes,” and any reference to “the Son of man” means God incarnate. Only the One born of man and who possesses normal humanity can be called “the Son of man”; if the Lord came in the form of His spiritual body after His resurrection, then He could not be called “the Son of man.” So, this shows that in the last days, the Lord returns in the flesh to work amongst man in secret.
At this point, some may feel confused and may think, “The Bible prophesies both that the Lord will come with clouds and that all eyes will see Him, but also that the Lord will come in the flesh in secret. Is this not a contradiction?” In fact, there is no contradiction in God’s words. The coming of the Lord happens in two ways: One way is that He comes openly with clouds, while the other is that He comes secretly like a thief. Everything God prophesied will be fulfilled and accomplished, but God works in stages, and there is a plan to His work. God first incarnates and comes in secret to perform His work to save man, and then He appears openly to all, riding on a cloud, to reward the good and punish the wicked.
What Work Does the Lord Come to Do in the Last Days?
Why does God come first in secret? This concerns the work God does when He appears in the last days. Let’s read these verses from the Bible: “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). “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). “Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (Revelation 14:7). “Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out” (Revelation 3:12). “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come” (John 16: 12–13). And God’s words say, “Though Jesus did much work among man, He only completed the redemption of all mankind and became man’s sin offering; He did not rid man of all his corrupt disposition. Fully saving man from the influence of Satan not only required Jesus to become the sin offering and bear the sins of man, but it also required God to do even greater work to rid man completely of his satanically corrupted disposition. And so, now that man has been forgiven of his sins, God has returned to the flesh to lead man into the new age, and begun the work of chastisement and judgment. This work has brought man into a higher realm” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh).
We can see from these words that when the Lord returns in the last days, He will express more truths and perform the work of judgment. He will use “the word that [He has] spoken” to judge and expose our corruption, so that we may reflect on ourselves, achieve true repentance and change, ultimately being cleansed by God and becoming the overcomers, who are led into His kingdom. This is because, although we have been redeemed by the Lord Jesus and our sins have been forgiven, the root of our sin, that is, our sinful nature remains deep within us and, controlled by it, we cannot help but frequently commit sins. Here are just a couple examples: When other people do things which go against our interests, we may hate them and even become angry; ordinarily, we say we will be loyal to God and obey Him, but when something happens we do not like, we misunderstand and blame God and, in severe cases, we even abandon God. This shows that we have not rid ourselves of the shackles and constraints of sin, that we are still living in a state of sinning and then confessing, and that we need God incarnate to perform the work of judgment to cleanse away our corruption once and for all. When we hear the voice of God, are raised up before God, and experience the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, when our corrupt dispositions are purified, and we can submit to God, worship God and love God under any circumstances, that is when we are made into overcomers by God. These are the 14,4000 overcomers as prophesied in the Book of Revelation, and it perfectly fulfills Chapter 14, Verse 4 in Revelation: “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits to God and to the Lamb.” If the Lord returned first on a cloud with great glory, then all people would prostrate themselves to worship Him. It would not then be possible to expose the rebelliousness and resistance to God within man’s nature, and it would be baseless for God to express truths aimed at our expressions of corruption in order to judge us. Even if God did reveal our corrupt essence, we would not accept it, and we could not be purified and changed. If that were the case, God would be unable to perform His work of making the overcomers.
Furthermore, in the last days, God will also reveal every type of person, separate each according to their kind, and reward the good and punish the wicked. If the Lord returned on a cloud with great glory, then all would see Him and prostrate themselves on the ground to receive and submit to Him. No one, whether they believed in God or belonged to Satan, whether they loved the truth or not, whether they obeyed God or resisted Him, could be exposed by God. Then, the reaping and winnowing as foretold in the Bible and the work of separating each according to their kind, separating the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the tares, and so on, could not come to be. Although God knows who is good and who is wicked, if people are not revealed, then they will not acknowledge it, much less be convinced of it. It is therefore clear that God does the work of judgment in the last days to save man once and for all, to make a group of overcomers, and to separate each according to their kind. To do this, He must first become flesh and come in secret. Once a group of overcomers are made, the period of God’s secret work will come to a close, and only then will God come openly with clouds, appearing to all nations and peoples to begin rewarding the good and punishing the wicked. All those who have accepted God’s work of judgment and are purified will ultimately be led into the kingdom of God, while those who have not accepted the work of the incarnate God, and who resist, slander, and blaspheme God, will all be revealed as the wicked servants and tares. Such people will all be swept up in the disasters with much weeping and gnashing of teeth. Only then will this prophecy from the Book of Revelation will be fulfilled: “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).
How Should We Greet the Appearance and Work of the Lord?
While God incarnate is working in secret, what can we do to be able to greet the Lord? Revelation 3:20 says: “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.” Matthew 25:6 says: “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him.” We can see from these verses that in the last days, God will use His utterances to knock upon our doors, and He will use people to cry out to us the news that the bridegroom has returned. When someone preaches the gospel to us, therefore, we should seek with an open heart and focus on listening to the voice of God. As long as we recognize it to be God’s voice, we must then hurry to accept and submit, and keep pace with God’s work in the last days. This is what it means to greet the return of the Lord.
Nowadays, only The Church of Almighty God is testifying openly that the Lord has come secretly in the flesh and that He is Almighty God, Christ of the last days. Almighty God has expressed millions of words and He performs the work of judgment beginning with the house of God, purifying and saving all who come before Him. Almighty God appeared and has been performing His work for nearly 30 years, and He has already made a group of overcomers—God’s work of judgment is now nearing its end. Disasters are occurring one after another all over the world; the days of Noah draw near. We must be the wise virgins and hurry to investigate Almighty God’s work of the last days, for by doing so we will have the chance to greet the Lord and be caught up before the disasters arrive. If we cling to the idea of the Lord coming with clouds, refusing to seek and investigate the work of God incarnate, then we will be abandoned and eliminated by the Lord, and we will be swept up in the disasters and punished. It is just as 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. That will be the time of the end of God’s management plan and it 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” (“By the Time You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus, God Will Have Made Heaven and Earth Anew” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).