Jehovah`s Witness/The second coming of Jesus
Why does the bible talk so much about Jesus's return in visual terms while the watchtower says He returned invisibly in 1914? Does that mean Jesus isnt coming back to earth to end Armageddon?
Thank you. Kevin.
The simple answer to your question is this:
As mortals we can understand that which is physical / corporeal, but that which is heavenly / incorporeal it needs to be understood from a corporeal point of view. Otherwise, how can you get the meaning of heavenly things?
Impossible! It's like explaining the color of the sky to a person born blind. So unless you have a way of explaining it in his terms, then there's no way for him to understand what a blue sky looks like or even what it means. That knowledge is practically "hidden" from him.
In like manner, when the Lord Jesus Christ was talking to his disciples about heavenly / spiritual things, he explained it to them in "visual terms". This way they can grasp the meaning of what he's telling them. Remember, he originally came from the spiritual realm,thus his life experience with his Father in heaven is spiritual. No doubt he was very eager to share all of these things to his listeners. But how can they understand heavenly things if they have no concept of the spirit realm? Very hard if not impossible. So the scripture says of him:
"All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds by illustrations. Indeed, without an illustration he would not speak to them, 35 in order to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet who said: "I will open my mouth with illustrations; I will proclaim things hidden since the founding."" (Matthew 13:34, 35)
"With many illustrations of that sort he spoke the word to them, to the extent that they were able to listen. 34 Indeed, without an illustration he would not speak to them, but he would explain all things privately to his disciples." (Mark 4:33, 34)
He gave "visual terms" or effects to understand him.
But once they understood what he was telling them, then and only then they were able to grasps the meaning of heavenly things.
Same principle applies to the Watchtower. We understand Jesus' return as invisible because what he told us are pertaining to heavenly events - invisible to human eyes but accompanied by earthly signs.
Hence his return along with his mighty angelic forces during Armageddon will be invisible because they are supernatural events. But although invisible to the human eyes, we will see and feel its effects on earth.
In addition, just like a cloud hides anything that's in it, on it, behind it, so...
"...the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in grief, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." (Matthew 24:30)
Notice: "the sign
of the Son of man will appear in heaven" - not Jesus will appear in heaven, hence invisible.
"Look! He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, and those who pierced him; and all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in grief because of him. Yes, Amen." (Revelation 1:7)
Notice again: "coming with the clouds"
i.e. hidden with the clouds, hence invisible.
Notice also what he told his apostles:
"In a little while the world will see me no more, but you will see me, because I live and you will live." (John 14:19)
Thus the world - meaning mankind will no longer see Jesus in physical form since he is in spirit form. But his brothers will behold him for they will become spirit creatures like him when they receive their heavenly reward.
As the scripture says:
"Beloved ones, we are now children of God, but it has not yet been made manifest what we will be. We do know that when he is made manifest we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is." (1 John 3:2)
"And just as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we will bear also the image of the heavenly one." (1 Corinthians 15:49)
"But our citizenship exists in the heavens, and we are eagerly waiting for a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our humble body to be like his glorious body by his great power that enables him to subject all things to himself." (Philippians 3:20, 21)
"So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living person." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit." (1 Corinthians 15:45)
"..."Look! I am coming as a thief..." (Revelation 16:15)
"On this account, you too prove yourselves ready, because the Son of man is coming at an hour that you do not think to be it." (Matthew 24:44)
Why? Because his coming is invisible, hidden from us like a "thief" in the night.