The second coming of Christ has been of vast interest to all of mankind, but especially to followers of Jesus Christ known as Jehovah's Witnesses. Being a student of prophecy and one of Jehovah's Witnesses, I am just so thrilled to share this article with you. It's my hope that whosoever reads this article can hear the ring of truth to carry on in faith as prophecy reveals God's Reigning King, Jesus Christ.
Coming to know Jehovah, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is such a wonderful and awesome privilege. One that should be cherished throughout eternity. Stay loyal and faithful to the end and your life will be without end.
Over 100 years ago, Charles T Russell, written about the End of the Gentile Times. The worldly nations would no longer rule over mankind unfettered but would be marked for destruction. "Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing that he has a short period of time." (Rev 12:12)
In reference to the event that would mark the End of the Gentile Times, 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.
Since Christ will not return to Earth as a Man, Brother Russell wrote: "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."
Notice he didn't write Second Coming, but rather 'Second Presence'? Brother Russell was speaking of Christ's PAROUSIA--PRESENCE. 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."
Brother Russell also mentions that this time of trouble could last a certain amount of time as in the time of Noah. Then he mentions, "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.
Are there other scripture that support the Epiphania? Yes, the wicked will be brought to nothing. "Then, indeed, the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will do away with by the spirit of his mouth and bring to nothing by the manifestation of his presence." (2 Thessalonians 2:8)
"Before God, who preserves all things alive, and Christ Jesus, who as a witness made the fine public declaration before Pontius Pilate, I give you orders to observe the commandment in a spotless and irreprehensible way until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Timothy 6:13-14)
"I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his manifestation and his Kingdom:" (2 Timothy 4:1)
A closer look at one of the verses Brother Russell was quoting in making his point about the conclusion of the time of trouble (aka) Last Days. "But you who suffer tribulation will be given relief along with us at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels" (2 Thessalonians 1:7)
Supporting scriptures: "So brace up your minds for activity; keep your senses completely; set your hope on the undeserved kindness that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1:13) Manifestation: Watch Tower Publications Index 1930-1985