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Jehovah's Witnesses - Second Coming of Christ

Jesus is certainly coming again. When He returns, it will be the second coming. But are you aware of the numerous errors that are taught about His return? There is no group of professed followers of the Lord more confused and misled than those who call themselves Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Jehovah’s Witness theologians have written literally thousands of pages about the second coming of Christ. Ninety percent of what they have put in print and preached is designed to prove their false assumption that Jesus has already come back. They teach that Jesus returned to earth secretly and invisibly in 1914. We may well wonder: if he returned invisibly and quietly, how would one then know that he actually returned? Jehovah’s Witnesses answer that Jesus came and was recognized through the “spiritual eyes” of the Jehovah’s Witness organization. “So A.D. 1914 marks the time of Christ’s invisible return in spirit.” (This Means Everlasting Life, page 221).

Again, “The manner of his going was quiet, without this world’s perceiving it, and with his becoming invisible when a cloud caught him up from their vision. Moreover, it was as a spirit that he ascended to his Father’s presence. All this requires him to come again quietly, without great display to awe the world, but in an invisible manner represented by clouds. Only his watching faithful followers now discern his presence in spirit with their eyes of understanding.” (Ibid., page 216).

If you are not one of those who happen to have been watching for his return in 1914, you are not a faithful follower and have no “eyes of understanding,” according to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. But who can really believe such a preposterous fantasy? Jesus did not return in 1914 invisibly and quietly. Your own Bible describes his return. As He was ascending, angels spoke to the apostles. “Why stand you looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was received up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you beheld Him going into Heaven” (Acts 1:11). We stress the words “as you beheld Him going.” They beheld or actually saw Him ascend -- they saw no apparition or spirit -- they saw the Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. You cannot behold that which is invisible. His ascension was beheld; so shall his return be seen.

Jesus’ coming again will be far from quiet or invisible. Listen again to your own Bible. “Behold, He comes with the clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they that pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn over Him” (Rev. 1:7). Again, we stress the words, “every eye shall see Him.” When someone says only a select few could see Jesus’ return and the Bible says “every eye” will see Him, either the Bible is wrong, or those who make such an assertion are wrong. It should easy to see who is wrong.

The Jehovah’s Witness position is clearly set out in stark contrast with two plain and basic passages of Scripture. Jehovah’s Witness doctrine contends that our Lord did not actually ascend to enter His authority and become the ruler over the Kingdom of God until October 1, 1914. “When he (Christ) ascended to heaven he sat down at God’s right hand to wait for that time of entering into his authority and ruling like Melchizedek over his enemies as his footstool.” (Ibid., page 220). Now couple that with a statement from another of their official statements. “Jehovah the heavenly Father brought forth his kingdom by bringing forth his anointed King-Priest Jesus Christ and elevating him to the active kingship in the throne at God’s right hand.” (You May Survive Armageddon, page 100).

When you combine these statements it is obvious that Jesus was not king until October 1, 1914. He was sitting at the Father’s right hand all this time but was powerless. The “return” of Christ, or what Jehovah’s Witnesses call His “second presence.” They tell us Jesus was sitting at God’s right hand, then exchanged his seat at the right hand of God for the throne over the Kingdom of God. The Watchtower doctrine erroneously affirms that Jesus did not return visibly, and that He did not exercise any kingly power before 1914. They affirm this with no Bible basis at all. Three words are used in the Bible to describe the second coming of Christ. The word parousia is used in 1 Cor. 15:23. “But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.”

W.E. Vine defines the word as “an arrival and a consequent present with.” Apocalupsis is another word that describes the grand event. It is used in 1 Corinthians 1:7. “So that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The term “revelation” means the revealing of Christ when He returns. The last word is epiphaneia. It is used five times to describe the coming of Christ.

The root meaning is “appearance, open manifestation or literally a shining forth.” Paul used it in 2 Thessalonians 2:8. “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.” The brightness of His coming is the same as His being revealed from heaven. All three terms are used to describe the second coming of Christ. Everyone alive at the end of this present dispensation will see Jesus when He returns. Revelation 1:7: “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, and they {also} who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.” It will not be a private showing. When the trumpet of God announces the return of our Savior every eye will see him. Jehovah’s Witnesses would have us believe that the Bible is wrong for they contend that it will be quiet, invisible, and only for those with spiritual eyes. The Bible to the contrary shows that it is for everyone. If we accept the Bible as the only standard of what is right and wrong, we must judge the Jehovah’s Witness doctrine to be rank error. Three things will happen when He returns. The teaching of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is contrary to each of them.

Notice:

1. When Jesus returns all the dead will be raised back to life, both the righteous and the wicked. Jesus said, “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth - those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28-29). There is no time in Christ’s schedule for a thousand years separating the two resurrections. When Jesus comes back He will summons all those in the grave back to life.

2. The final judgment will take place at His coming. “Because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). Hebrews 9:27: “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” The next verse connects this final event with the second coming of Christ. “So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Verse 28).

3. When Jesus comes again it will mark the end of this world. Psalm 102:26 prophesies the end of the world. “They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed.” This world has a terminus. God never intended for this planet to continue being renewed but rather to “wax” or become old, like a worn out garment. The prophet Isaiah foretold the earth’s gradual decay. “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished” (Isa. 51:6).

Jesus declared “heaven and earth will pass away ...” (Matt. 24:35). After the resurrection and the judgment the world will be utterly destroyed. Again, read the graphic description from Peter as to how this will happen.

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Pet. 3:10-13).

These scriptures refute a fundamental Jehovah’s Witness doctrine. First, Jehovah’s Witnesses deny there will be a bodily resurrection when Jesus comes back. They contend the Day of Judgment began in 1918. They argue planet earth will not be destroyed with fire but will be renovated to become the “new heaven and new earth.” In each of these points they contradict your Bible. Those of you who may be or have been recruited to join their organization need to carefully study your own Bible. It is right. The Jehovah’s Witness teachers and their theories are what Peter called “false prophets.” He wrote, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (2 Pet. 2:1-2).

 I urge you to reject anything you cannot find in plain language in your own Bible and accept only the truth.