Reasoning with Jehovah's Witnesses
23. The Return of Christ
The Last Days
23. The Return of Christ
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that:
a. The return of Christ occurred invisibly in the fall of 1914 C.E.1
b. Christ will not leave heaven and come to earth.2
c. Christ will not have a visible return to earth.3
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Q1. Do the 24 occurrences of the Greek word "parousia" in the New Testament substantiate the Watchtower Society's teaching of an "invisible presence?"
Matt 24:3-what will be the sign of your parousia?
Matt 24:27-For AS THE LIGHTNING comes from the east and SHINES even to the west, so will be the parousia of the Son of Man
Matt 24:37-As were the days of Noah, so will be the parousia of the Son of Man
Matt 24:39-they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the parousia of the Son of Man
1 Cor 15:23-resurrection...Christ the first fruits, then at his parousia those who belong to Christ
1 Cor 16:17-I rejoice at the parousia of Stephanas and Fortunatus...because they have made up for your absence
2 Cor 7:6-God...comforted us by the parousia of Titus
2 Cor 7:7-and not only by his parousia but also by...
2 Cor 10:10-His letters are weighty...but his bodily parousia is weak
Phil 1:26-I shall remain and continue with you all...because of my parousia to you again
Phil 2:12-obeyed...not only in my parousia but much more in my absence
1 Thess 2:19-our hope or joy...before our Lord Jesus at his parousia
1 Thess 3:13-that he may establish your hearts unblamable...at the parousia of our Lord Jesus WITH ALL HIS SAINTS
1 Thess 4:15-we who are alive, who are left until the parousia of the Lord, shall not precede...
1 Thess 5:23-may your...be kept sound and blameless at the parousia of our Lord Jesus Christ
2 Thess 2:1-concerning the parousia of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to meet him...THAT DAY
2 Thess 2:8-Lord Jesus will...DESTROY HIM BY HIS APPEARING AND HIS parousia
2 Thess 2:9-the parousia of the lawless one by the activity of Satan
Jas 5:7-be patient...until the parousia of the Lord
Jas 5:8-Establish your hearts, for the parousia of the Lord is at hand
2 Pet 1:16-we made known to you the power and parousia of our Lord Jesus Christ
2 Pet 3:4-and saying, "Where is the promise of his parousia?" For ever since the fathers fell asleep...
2 Pet 3:12-the parousia of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be kindled...fire
1 John 2:28-And now, little children, abide in him, so that WHEN HE APPEARS we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame AT HIS parousia.
Q2. Is Christ invisibly present today?
Matt 18:20-"For where two or three have gathered in My name, there I am in their midst."
Matt 28:20-"I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Q3. Will Christ leave heaven and come to the earth?
Acts 1:9,11-12-He was taken up..."This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven"...from the mount of Olives
Zech 14:4-His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives
Acts 3:21-whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things.
Phil 3:20-heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ
1 Thess 4:16-the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout
2 Thess 1:7-when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire
Q4. Will Christ have a visible return?
Matt 24:26-27-"If therefore they say to you, 'Behold, He is in the wilderness,' do not go forth, or, 'Behold, He is in the inner rooms,' do not believe them. For just as the lightning comes from the east, and flashes even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be."
Matt 24:30-"and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory."
Mark 13:26-"And then they shall see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory."
Luke 17:24-"For just as the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day."
Luke 21:27-"then will they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory"
1 Ti 6:14-until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ
2 Ti 4:8-the crown of righteousness, which the Lord...will award on that day...to all who have loved His appearing
Titus 2:13-Looking for...the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ
Heb 9:28-Christ...shall appear a second time for salvation without [reference to] sin, to those who eagerly await Him.
1 John 2:28-And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.
1 John 3:2-when He appears, we shall be like Him
Rev 1:7-He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced him
Zech 12:10-they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced
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a. The return of Christ did not occur invisibly in the fall of 1914 C.E.
b. Christ will leave heaven and come to earth.
c. Christ will have a visible return to earth.
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Scriptures commonly used by Jehovah's Witnesses:
John 14:19-"After a little while the world will behold Me no more; but you will behold Me..."
John 16:16-"A little while, and YOU WILL SEE ME NO MORE; again a little while, and YOU WILL SEE ME."
1. Reasoning from the Scriptures, p. 95
2. Aid to Bible Understanding, pp. 551, 1336
3. Reasoning from the Scriptures, pp. 314, 343; Make Sure of All Things, p. 451