01

The warning of Thomas' failure in faith to those who would welcome the Lord’s return in the last days

The Bible records that Thomas did not have faith until he saw the Lord, and he was thus reprimanded by the Lord Jesus: "Because you have seen Me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed" (John 20:29). What is the warning in these words from the Lord Jesus to those who would welcome the Lord in the last days? Many people cling to the prophecy that the Lord will come upon a cloud, while ignoring the prophecies of the Lord coming in secret. They refuse to believe any testimonies that the Lord has already returned in the flesh, and insist on only believing He has returned when they see Him come upon a cloud. Does this not make them prone to repeating the mistake of Thomas?

Bible Verses for Reference

Relevant Words of God

Generally, spiritual bodies cannot be seen or touched, and after the resurrection the work that the Lord Jesus had taken on had already been completed. So in theory, He had absolutely no need to return amongst the people in His original image to meet with them, but the appearance of the Lord Jesus' spiritual body to people like Thomas made the significance of His appearance more concrete, so that it penetrated more deeply into the people's hearts. When He came to Thomas, He let Thomas the doubter touch His hand, and told him: "[R]each here your hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing." These words and actions were not things that the Lord Jesus wanted to say and do only after He had been resurrected; in fact, they were things that He wanted to do before He had been nailed to the cross. It is evident that, before He had been nailed to the cross, the Lord Jesus already had an understanding of people such as Thomas. So what can we see from this? He was still the same Lord Jesus after His resurrection. His essence had not changed. Thomas' doubts had not started only then but had been with him the entire time he had been following the Lord Jesus. However, here was the Lord Jesus who had been resurrected from the dead and returned from the spiritual world with His original image, with His original disposition, and with His understanding of mankind from His time in the flesh, so He went to Thomas first and let Thomas touch His rib, to not only let Thomas see His spiritual body after resurrection, but to let Thomas touch and feel the existence of His spiritual body, and completely let go of his doubts. Before the Lord Jesus was nailed to the cross, Thomas always doubted that He was Christ, and was incapable of belief. His faith in God was established only on the basis of what he could see with his own eyes, what he could touch with his own hands. The Lord Jesus had a good understanding of the faith of this type of person. They only believed in God in heaven, and did not believe at all in the One sent by God, or the Christ in the flesh, and nor would they accept Him. In order for Thomas to acknowledge and believe in the existence of the Lord Jesus and that He truly was God incarnate, He allowed Thomas to reach out his hand and touch His rib. Was Thomas' doubting any different before and after the Lord Jesus' resurrection? He was always doubting, and except by the Lord Jesus' spiritual body personally appearing to him and allowing him to touch the nail marks on His body, there was no way that anyone could resolve his doubts and make him let go of them. So, from the time the Lord Jesus allowed Thomas to touch His rib and let him really feel the existence of the nail marks, Thomas' doubt disappeared, and he truly knew that the Lord Jesus had been resurrected, and he acknowledged and believed that the Lord Jesus was the true Christ and God incarnate. Although at this time Thomas no longer doubted, he had lost forever the chance to meet with Christ. He had lost forever the chance to be together with Him, to follow Him, to know Him. He had lost the chance for Christ to perfect him. The Lord Jesus' appearance and His words provided a conclusion and a verdict on the faith of those who were full of doubts. He used His actual words and actions to tell the doubters, to tell those who only believed in God in heaven but did not believe in Christ: God did not commend their belief, nor did He commend them for following Him while doubting Him. The day when they fully believed in God and Christ could only be the day that God completed His great work. Of course, that day was also the day that a verdict was made upon their doubt. Their attitude toward Christ determined their fate, and their stubborn doubt meant that their faith bore them no fruit, and their hardness meant that their hopes were in vain. Because their belief in God in heaven was fed on illusions, and their doubt toward Christ was actually their true attitude toward God, even though they touched the nail marks on the Lord Jesus' body, their faith was still useless and their outcome could only be described as drawing water with a bamboo basket—all in vain.

Gospel Q&A

Gospel Q&A
You bear witness that God has become flesh as the Son of man to do the work of judgment in the last days, and yet the majority of religious pastors and elders maintain that the Lord will return coming with clouds. They base this primarily on the Bible verses: "This same Jesus … shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven" (Act 1:11). "Behold, He comes with clouds; and every eye shall see Him" (Rev 1:7). And furthermore, the religious pastors and elders also teach us that any Lord Jesus who does not come with clouds is false and must be rejected. So, we’re not sure whether or not this view is in line with the Bible; is this kind of understanding correct or not?
Gospel Q&A
You bear witness that Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus. This is impossible! "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 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" (Mat 24:29-30). If the Lord really had returned, He should have done so with great glory while descending upon a cloud. Moreover, heaven and earth would have quaked, and the sun and moon would have stopped shining. So far such sights have not manifested, so how can they say the Lord has already returned? Just what exactly is all this about?

02

The right path to welcoming the Lord

When it comes to the matter of welcoming the Lord, we should learn the lesson of Thomas' failure. We cannot just wait to see Him riding upon a cloud before we believe. So then, how can we welcome the Lord? The Lord Jesus told us very clearly: "And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him" (Matthew 25:6). The Book of Revelation predicts, "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). We can see here that the key to welcoming the Lord is listening for God's voice—this is the only way to welcome Him. When we hear someone bear witness that the Lord has returned, we have to seek and investigate, and the moment we recognize God's voice we must accept and submit. Is that not welcoming the Lord?

Bible Verses for Reference

"Because you have seen Me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed" (John 20:29).

"Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes" (Matthew 24:44).

"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).

"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" (John 16:12–13).

"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).

"And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut" (Matthew 25:10).

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me" (John 10:27).

"He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (Revelation 2:7).

Relevant Words of God

The Word Appears in the Flesh
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 Jesus Christ during 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.

Gospel Q&A

Gospel Q&A
You say that the Lord Jesus has returned, so why haven’t we seen Him? Seeing is believing and hearsay is undependable. If we haven’t seen Him, that must mean He hasn’t returned yet; I will believe it when I see Him. You say that the Lord Jesus has returned, so where is He now? What work is He doing? What words has the Lord spoken? I will believe it after you are able to clarify these things through testimony.

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