When the Lord returns is it certain He’ll appear within the religious world? Can staying in a church mean being able to welcome the second coming of Lord Jesus?
Relevant Bible Verses
“Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but you have made it a den of thieves” (Mark 11:17).
“This people draws near to me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. ... Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:8-9, 14).
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. Woe to you, you blind guides” (Matthew 23:15-16).
Relevant Words of God
For several thousand years, man has longed to be able to witness the arrival of the Savior. Man has longed to behold Jesus the Savior on a white cloud as He descends, in person, among those who have pined and yearned for Him for thousands of years. Man has longed for the Savior to return and be reunited with the people, that is, for Jesus the Savior to come back to the people from whom He has been apart for thousands of years. … Man does not know this: Although the holy Savior Jesus is full of affection and love toward man, how could He work in “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, wear the clothes of the unrighteous, who believe in Him but do not know Him, and who constantly extort Him?
from “The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The work being carried out here now is strictly closed in order to keep them from knowing. Should they become aware of this work, then all they would do is condemn it and subject it to persecution. They would not believe in it. To work in the nation of the great red dragon, this most backward of places, is no easy task. If this work were to be put out into the open, it would be impossible to continue. This stage of work simply cannot be carried out in this place. If this work were to be carried out in the open, how could they allow it to go forward? Would this not put the work under even greater risk? If this work were not concealed, but rather carried out as in the time of Jesus, when He spectacularly healed the sick and cast out demons, then would it not have long ago been “taken prisoner” by the devils? Would they be able to tolerate the existence of God? If I were to now enter into the halls to preach and lecture man, then would I not have long ago been dashed to pieces? And if this had happened, how could My work have continued to be carried out? The reason that no signs and wonders are openly manifested at all is for the sake of concealment. So, to unbelievers, My work cannot be seen, known, or discovered. If this stage of work were to be done in the same manner as that of Jesus in the Age of Grace, it could not be so steady as it now is. So, to work secretly in this way is of benefit to you and to the work as a whole. When God’s work on earth comes to an end, that is, when this secret work concludes, then this stage of work will explode into the open. All will know that there are a group of overcomers in China; all will know that God become flesh is in China and that His work has come to an end. Only then will it dawn on man: Why is it that China has yet to show decline or collapse? It turns out that God is personally carrying out His work in China and has perfected a group of people into overcomers.
from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Man believes that the Israelites were wrong to “only believe in Jehovah and not believe in Jesus,” yet the majority of people act out a role in which they “only believe in Jehovah and reject Jesus” and “long for the return of the Messiah, but oppose the Messiah who is called Jesus.” No wonder, then, that people still live under the domain of Satan after accepting one stage of the work of the Holy Spirit, and still do not receive God’s blessings. Is this not the result of man’s rebelliousness? Christians across the world who have not kept up with the new work of today all hold onto the belief that they are the lucky ones, that God will fulfill each of their wishes. Yet they cannot say for sure why God will take them up to the third heaven, nor are they certain about how Jesus will come to collect them riding upon a white cloud, much less can they say with absolute certainty whether Jesus will truly arrive upon a white cloud on the day that they imagine. They are all anxious, and at a loss; they themselves don’t even know whether God will take up each of them, the varied small handfuls of people, who hail from every denomination. The work that God does now, the present age, God’s will—they have no grasp of any of these, and can do nothing but count down the days on their fingers. Only those who follow the footsteps of the Lamb to the very end can gain the final blessing, whereas those “clever people,” who are unable to follow to the very end yet believe they have gained all, are incapable of witnessing the appearance of God. They all believe they are the smartest person on earth, and they cut short the continued development of God’s work for no reason at all, and seem to believe with absolute certainty that God will take them up to heaven, they who “have the utmost loyalty to God, follow God, and abide by the words of God.” Even though they have the “utmost loyalty” toward the words spoken by God, their words and actions still feel so disgusting because they oppose the work of the Holy Spirit, and commit deceit and evil. Those who do not follow to the very end, who do not keep up with the work of the Holy Spirit, and who only cleave to the old work have not only failed to achieve loyalty to God, but on the contrary, have become those who oppose God, have become those who are rejected by the new age, and who will be punished. Are there any more pitiable than them? Many even believe that all those who reject the old law and accept the new work are without conscience. These people, who only talk of “conscience,” and do not know the work of the Holy Spirit, will ultimately have their prospects cut short by their own consciences. God’s work does not abide by doctrine, and even though it is His own work, still God does not cling to it. That which should be denied is denied, that which should be eliminated is eliminated. Yet man places himself in enmity of God by holding onto but one small part of the work of God’s management. Is this not the absurdity of man? Is this not the ignorance of man? The more that people are timid and overcautious because they are afraid of not gaining God’s blessings, the more that they are incapable of gaining greater blessings, and of receiving the final blessing. Those people who slavishly abide by the law all display the utmost loyalty toward the law, and the more they display such loyalty toward the law, the more they are rebels who oppose God. For now is the Age of Kingdom and not the Age of Law, and the work of today cannot be held up against the work of the past, and the work of the past cannot be compared to the work of today. The work of God has changed, and the practice of man has also changed; it is not to hold onto the law or bear the cross. So, people’s loyalty toward the law and the cross will not gain God’s approval.
from “God’s Work and Man’s Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The work of the Holy Spirit changes from day to day, rising higher with each step; the revelation of tomorrow is even higher than today’s, step by step climbing ever higher. Such is the work by which God perfects man. If man cannot keep pace, then he may be left behind at any time. If man does not have an obedient heart, then he cannot follow to the end. The former age has passed; this is a new age. And in a new age, new work must be done. Particularly in the final age in which man will be perfected, God will perform new work ever more quickly. Therefore, without obedience in his heart, man will find it difficult to follow the footsteps of God. God does not abide by any rules, nor does He treat any stage of His work as unchanging. Rather, the work He does is ever newer and ever higher. His work becomes more and more practical with each step, more and more in line with the actual needs of man. Only after man experiences this kind of work can he attain the final transformation of his disposition. Man’s knowledge of life reaches ever higher levels, and so likewise the work of God reaches ever higher levels. Only in this way can man be made perfect and become fit for God’s use. God works in this way on the one hand to counter and reverse the notions of man, and on the other to lead man into a higher and more realistic state, into the highest realm of belief in God, so that in the end, the will of God can be done. All those of a disobedient nature who willfully oppose shall be left behind by this stage of God’s swift and furiously advancing work; only those who willingly obey and who gladly humble themselves can progress to the end of the road. In this kind of work, all of you should learn how to submit and how to put aside your notions. You should be cautious in every step you take. If you are careless, you will surely become one who is spurned by the Holy Spirit, one who disrupts God in His work.
from “Those Who Obey God With a True Heart Shall Surely Be Gained by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The work of God is rapidly developing, casting the religionists of various factions and the celebrities who observe the church service far, far away, and also scattering to the four winds those experts among you who especially love to abide by rules. God’s work does not wait, it does not rely on anything and it does not drag its heels. It does not pull or drag anyone along; if you can’t keep up then you will be abandoned, no matter how many years you have followed.
from “Regarding a Normal Spiritual Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh