If you haven't gained understanding of Matthew 24:3, you are not alone. Jesus Christ response to the question of 'when' was, "Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father." (Matthew24:36) This Greek Word parousia literally means 'being alongside' and alludes to Christ's Presence covering a period of time as to “the Days of Noah Before the Flood would occur.” Jesus compared this specific time period to “the Presence of the Son of man” at (Matthew 24:37).
The Question the four disciples put to Jesus was in two parts. One, to His Presence which he did not know personally. And second, to the conclusion of the system of things of which he answered, "Look out that nobody misleads you.. You are going to hear of wars and reports of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for these things must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another. All these things are a beginning of pangs of distress." (Matthew 24:4-8)
WTS quote - (Bible Examiner) - In the year 1876 the twenty-four-year-old Russell made a contribution on the subject to this magazine. It was published in Volume XXI, Number 1, which was the issue of October, 1876. On pages 27, 28 of that issue Russell’s article was published under the title “Gentile Times: When Do They End?” In that article (page 27) Russell said: “The seven times will end in A.D. 1914.”- End of WTS Quote.
Brother Russell wrote: "'The Earth Abideth Forever' Christ will not return to Earth as a Man - Present Year Believed to Mark Great Change of Dispensation, but World May not discern Immediate Difference." The Bible Students Monthly, January, 1914.
"Our Lord, in describing His Second Presence, clearly indicated that it would be unnoticed by the world until the cataclysm of trouble should come. Thus He likened the earlier days of His presence to that period before the Flood, when the world, unconscious of the impending catastrophe, continued to build, eat and drink as usual, and knew not. So, says the Master, it will be in the end of this Age. Eating, drinking, building, planting and marrying will proceed as usual; and the world will not know that they are in the PRESENCE of the Son of Man."
He continues, "The Bible nowhere tells that Jesus took the human nature to keep it forever, and to return with it to Heaven, where it would be completely out of order and out of place. The Bible teaches, on the contrary, that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God" (1 Cor 15:50); and that Jesus was made flesh merely 'that He, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man' (Heb 2:9) and that after doing this work He would "ascend up where He was before." (John 6:62) The great Day of Trouble, noted throughout the Scriptures as the Time of Trouble such as never was since there was a nation, will come upon them suddenly." (Matthew 24:21)
"Then, later on, will come the Epiphania; that is to say, the revelation, or manifestation, of the present One. This will not be a manifestation in the flesh, but in a great Time of Trouble, symbolically represented as fire, as when we read, "He shall be revealed in flaming fire, taking vengeance." -- 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10.
International Bible Students Association: "Nevertheless, when viewed from God’s standpoint, we are still “shortly after” 1914. Although Russell himself did not think the time of trouble would be this long, he did allow that it could be. It is possible that the time allotted for this period is 120 years (1914+120=2034), but that these days will be “cut short” some time before they are allowed to reach their end. We do not put this forth as a “prophecy”, nor would we feel anything was wrong if 2034 came and went and nothing had happened as far the full binding of Satan and the destruction of his empire is concerned. All things are in God’s hands."
We are now fast approaching the second part of the Question Of Matthew 24:3 "... and of the conclusion of the system of things?"
The great day of Jehovah is near! It is near and it is approaching very quickly! The sound of the day of Jehovah is bitter. There a warrior cries out. (Zephaniah 1:14)
In that day Jehovah will turn his attention to the army of the heights above And to the kings of the earth upon the earth. (Isaiah 24:21)
And they must be ready for the third day, because on the third day Jehovah will come down upon Mount Sinai before the eyes of all the people. (Exodus 19:11)
Therefore, watch yourselves closely—since you did not see any form on the day Jehovah spoke to you in Horeb out of the middle of the fire— (Deuteronomy 4:15)
The pangs of distress upon the earth that began in 1914 do have an ending to them as in the Days of Noah. When the Last Days of Distress end, then the earthly kings will declare “Peace and security!” But which side will YOU be on in that day?
Whenever it is that they are saying, “Peace and security!” then sudden destruction is to be instantly on them, just like birth pains on a pregnant woman, and they will by no means escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:3)