How Does the Lord Come “as a Thief”?

Recently, we asked some brothers and sisters what confusion they have about the issue of welcoming the Lord’s return. Brother John Gomez Gonzales said, “Some people bear witness online to the Lord’s return ‘as a thief.’ I want to seek: How does the Lord come ‘as a thief’?”

Answer: Hello, brother John Gomez Gonzales. Concerning the question you raised, let us take a look at a prophecy first. It is prophesied in Revelation, “Behold, I come as a thief” (Revelation 16:15) “As a thief,” on the one hand, means the Lord’s coming quietly and in secret; on the other hand, it implies the Lord’s coming as the incarnate Son of man, just as the Lord prophesied, “Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes.” (Matthew 24:44).

God’s words say, “When God came from heaven above to the earth, no one in heaven or on earth was aware of this, for this is the true meaning of God returning under concealment. He has been working and living in the flesh for a long time, and yet no one has been aware. Even to this day, no one recognizes it. Perhaps this will remain an eternal riddle. God’s coming into the flesh this time is something that no human can possibly become aware of. No matter how large-scale and powerful the impact of the Spirit’s work, God always remains impassive, never giving anything away. One can say that this stage of His work is the same as if it were taking place in the heavenly realm. Even though it is apparent to all who have eyes to see, no one recognizes it. When God finishes this stage of His work, all humanity will break with their usual attitude, and awaken from their long dream. … At the break of dawn, unbeknownst to the multitudes of humanity, God came to earth and began His life in the flesh. People were unaware of the coming of this moment. Maybe they were all fast asleep; maybe many who were watchfully awake were waiting, and maybe many were praying silently to God in heaven. Yet among all these many people, not a single one knew that God had already arrived on earth.”

From this, it is evident that the Lord’s return involves descending secretly in the flesh as the Son of man. This flesh possesses complete divinity and can express the truth. But from the outside, He is the same as us, ordinary and normal, so we cannot recognize Him and do not know God has come back. Only when we hear God’s words can we recognize God’s voice and confirm that the Lord has returned. Clearly, God’s appearance and work in the flesh is hidden to people. Therefore, it’s perfectly appropriate to use the parable “come as a thief.”

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