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Jesus Returns Invisibly – Day of the Lord Comes as a Thief


“. . . the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night . . .  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” 1 Thess. 5:2-4.

To many Christians, the second coming of Christ is an earth shattering event. If so, how do we explain the above text describing his return  “as a thief in the night?”  We suggest that the second presence of Christ is not a cataclysmic event, but a period of time during which he accomplishes the preparation of the world for his Messianic Kingdom.

The text above indicates that the true  Christian would be alert and searching for evidence of Christ’s return. When his disciples asked Jesus, “…what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world,” he did not  leave them clueless, but proceeded to list many evidences which would be indications of this time. Matt. 24:3



The word “coming” in Matthew 24:3 is a misleading translation of the Greek word “parousia” — para, meaning beside or along side of, and ousia, a form of the verb “to be.” The  thought is to be beside another or in their presence.  When the roll is called in the schools of Greece, the proper response to one’s name being called is to reply “Parousia,” that is,
“Present.” Thus, the Scripture would be more properly translated: “. . . what shall be the sign of thy presence . . .”

The second part of the disciples’ question was, “What shall be the sign . . . of the end of the world.”  The Greek word for world is “aion” and means age. Therefore, Jesus’ answer would indicate the conclusion of the time period in which he would return.

Proper translations are critical, because mistranslations lead to false expectations. For example, many Christians have the impression that the literal end of the world is coming at Christ’s return. This contradicts the thought that “the earth abideth forever.” (Eccl. 1:4)  How comforting to know that Jesus was not referring to the end of the world, but the end of the Gospel age.

Read more by clicking here:

To find out more about have Jesus return is invisible and unseen by the world click here:  Manner of Return

Find more about Christ’s Second Presence here:

9 comments to Jesus Returns Invisibly – Day of the Lord Comes as a Thief

    • Jacqueline

      We miss you too. Can you come on tonight and say hello on the Wednesday night study? If not I Understand. But I will pray for you as you make decisions in your life.

  • peter shepherd

    THE DAY OF THE LORD. any comments?

    Rev 6:12-17 “The 6th seal was opened and there was a GREAT earthquake; the sun is blacked out, the moon obscured by red [smoke, as cities burn]; the stars [appear to] fall to the earth [very rapidly], as a fig tree drops its late figs when shaken by a MIGHTY wind. [This happens on the night side of the planet, while on the day side of the planet.] The sky [or clouds in it] receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.” The earth is realigning and not the heavens above it. “Everyone from kings to the poor, hid in caves and amongst the rocks. They say, ‘Hide us from He who sits on the throne and from the Lamb. For the great day of his wrath has come.’ They know it is God because they have been told. Before I say what this is, we’ll look somewhere else. The Koran directs Muslims to read the Bible. What it says about ‘The Day of the Lord’ is “The sun rises in the west.” Planets and moons rotate both ways in our solar system, so the precedent has been set. Humans have never experienced the different types of gravity field swaps; 1. where the magna core swaps north to south inside the earth and nothing catastrophic happens much. [This has happened numerous times in our pre-history.] compared to; 2 where the earth flips and the northern hemisphere travels down to become the southern hemisphere taking 1 hour where previously a 180 degree travel takes 12 hours. This is very violent and gives NO WARNING. Isa 30:26 “ the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days.” This explains what starts it all is a massive solar flare, increasing the light and interacting with our magnetic field, flips the earth. It involves the biggest earthquake in history and plate movement with the Levant fault splitting wide open. [Zec 14:4-6] a day of gloom and no light, at night there shall be light. Nahum 1:8, “with an overflowing flood He will make an utter end of its place and darkness will pursue His enemies.” Isa 30:25 “There shall be upon every high mountain and upon every high hill, rivers and streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter when the towers fall.” Isa 28:17-19 “……. the waters shall overflow the hiding place…… when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it……… for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report. So after the earth flips the oceans slosh back and forward for days or weeks before settling, killing and cleaning as they go.
    Zeph 1:15 says “That day is a day of wrath; of trouble and distress; of devastation and desolation; darkness and gloominess; of clouds and thick darkness; of sirens and alarm……..”

    Rev 6:15-17 “ the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

    Rev 16:19 the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.” So it seems the worldly system we call Babylon is brought to an end on the day of the Lord.

    Rev 3:3 “I will come upon you as a thief and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.” 1 Thes 5:3 “For when they say peace and safety, then suddenly destruction comes upon them.”
    Beginning with, “in the latter days”, Isaiah 2 is more graphic. Vs 12 everything proud, lofty, lifted up shall be brought down. Vs 16-17 “EVERY high tower, ALL the ships and sloops.” All high rise buildings, waterfront mansions [indeed most houses], pleasure boats are rubble. Isa 6:11-13 “the cities are laid waste without inhabitant.” So it begins with the largest earthquake the world has ever seen; the tectonic plates writhing and squirming; the earth flips, flattening most buildings worldwide which then begin to burn; the ensuing waves demolish everything at sea or near it. The darkness and gloom in the daytime is from 2 million cities burning, and the light at night is the reflection of these fires from the smoke and clouds above.
    Jer 30:7 “[modern day] Jacob shall be saved out of it.”
    Jer 25:33 “On that day the slain of the earth shall be from one end of the earth to the other end.”
    Rev 18:17-18. “For in one hour such great riches came to nothing and they cried seeing the smoke of her burning.” I hope you are feeling ill, because we can stop this.
    It would seem the earth is going to get smashed and most of those living with it. In Amos 7, God makes a precedent and changes his mind which does give us a little hope. The most direct, hope giving prophecy for a less dramatic end era is in Mal 4:6 “Behold! I am sending you Elijah, BEFORE THE COMING OF THE GREAT AND DREADFUL DAY OF THE LORD; he will turn the hearts of the children to the fathers and the hearts of the fathers to the children, LEST I COME AND STRIKE THE EARTH WITH A DEVOTING TO ITS DESTRUCTION.” Elijah simply means ‘God/Jehovah/Yahweh is my God,’ so there’s 2 billion or so possibilities on earth who feel this way. One will stand up. The Bible says God has sent Elijah many times, but we’ve killed him every time. The message is that we MUST become a holy and righteous world and become doers of the WORD, not just hearers. WE MUST START TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS AS OURSELVES.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      peter shepherd – Thanks for sharing so many scriptures. You are referring scriptures in Revelation and Old Testament prophecy with symbolic meaning. The seven churches, seals and trumpets, cover three different perspectives of seven consecutive historical periods of the Gospel Age, from the Early Church to the present time and near future. Revelation 6 discusses the 7 seals which covers largely relates to the development and activities of the antichrist system and it’s impact on the Lord’s faithful followers. The sixth seal in particular, which you focus on, covers the time of the French Revolution, which is a miniature picture of Armageddon, which will be on a grander scale. Life the Reformation, the French Revolution played a critical role in the destruction of the the Papal Anti-Christ (counterfeit Christ) system. We see Europe today with it’s churches empty or converted to Islamic mosques. You can find more on the seven seals by clicking here: For more detail, check out our “electronic books” (in right panel) on the topic of Revelation.

  • What is there to explain about 1 Thess 5:2-4. Jesus [the] Christ, the one Jehovah sent and said we are to listen to (Luke 9:35) has already told us at Matthew 24:36, Matthew 24:42 and Acts 1:7 that this day is not knowable by any human, angel or even himself.

    When a thief breaks into your house, he does not announce it. It happens at a time unexpected by you.

    Likewise, Jesus’ day – his installment as king – will not be announced to the world.

    At Matthew 24:30, Jesus – in answer to his disciples question at Matthew 24:3 – gives “the sign” of his day or presence. Notice that it is not seen on earth. It is an event that is seen in heaven; in other words by those who reside in heaven. (The Angels – and yes, Satan too).

    It is in heaven where Jesus’ coronation as king by Jehovah will take place – not on earth. That coronation is “the sign.”

    Jesus at Matthew 24:30 does not say any human will “see” or will “know” when his day will be.

    The earth will ONLY “see” (perceive) him coming AFTER the coronation (unseen by us) has already occurred.

    While no human will see the sign, all the earth will know that Christ has been made king because they will hear his voice when he calls them out of their graves. (John 5:28-29)

    Something else that is being taught that is in error; and it concerns Matthew 24:3. Look at that Scripture very closely. WHAT is it that Jesus’ disciples are REALLY asking him?

    Are they asking him what will be the sign of his presence and the end of THIS world?

    OR, are they asking him something of much greater import?

    At Matthew 24:3, they are asking Jesus what will be the START of something and the END of that very same thing.

    They are asking him what will be the sign of the START of his kingdom. And, they are not asking when will THIS world end, they are asking him when will “his” age or kingdom end. And, there is good reason for them to ask this.

    We know that Christs future 1000 kingdom is a “definite” kingdom. It will have a beginning and it will end. (Rev 20:6)

    His disciples would be very interested in knowing when his “age” or kingdom over the earth will end because they will be a part of his 1000 year kingdom as kings. They know that something MUST happen AFTER his kingdom of 1000 years ends? What? Satan MUST and WILL be released. (Rev 20:7-8)

    Rev 1:1 says: “A revelation by Jesus Christ, which God gave him, to show his slaves the things that must shortly take place.”

    Shortly take place WHEN? After his 1000 year kingdom ends.

    The entire book of revelation is a “revelation by Jesus Christ which God gave him” to show his slaves (all who will be in his 1000 year kingdom) the things that MUST SHORTLY TAKE PLACE AFTER HIS KINGDOM OF 1000 YEARS ENDS.

    That is what his disciples is asking him at Matthew 24:3.

    For too long, the established and “popular” teaching about this has been in error. As a result, people are “stuck” in the present.

    If what I say is true, then all of the writing and talk about the Wild Beast, it’s image, Babylon the Great, 1914, the remnant of the 144000, the 144000, etc are all untrue as these things have not presented themselves yet.

    That JWs have established a date – 1914 – for the parousia shows the error and off-course misleading. Why? Because Jesus says we “do not know when” he returns.

    The Watch Tower and others say that Jesus’ parousia was NOT like a thief in the night. It is expected in 1914.

    In other words, they claim they knew then the thief was coming.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Jerome – I am trying to understand where you are coming from. My question is sincere. Do you consider yourself a special and unique prophet of Jehovah? Do you feel he has given you special enlightenment above anyone else and that it is your job to teach the sheep, the rest of us?

      The point of “shortly come to pass” is that Revelation would begin to be fulfilled from the time of the early Church, then span the following centuries into the 1,000 year kingdom. Jerome, how can you dismiss a partially historical perspective on Revelation if you have never investigated the evidence to see if there is historical fulfillment? You can’t draw a conclusion until you have investigated all the facts, can you?

    • Dupin

      As I see it, Jerome, there is a really big flaw in your argument, one big enough to drive a tractor trailer through. He question to ask which reveals that flaw is; if Jesus meant his words at Matt. 24:36 to apply in the broad way you expound, then why did he bother to give us a set of signs which would indicate to us that we were in the time of his “parousia” (παρουσια)? It really serves no purpose to answer the second part of their question giving signs if his followers were not meant to discern they were in it.
      Let’s take a closer look at the text in Matthew if you please. It reads “”But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” (Mat 24:36) There we are informed that nobody would know the day nor hour, but of what? Your argument assumes that he was speaking about the presence of our Lord and its beginning. But if we back up a few verses we find he is talking about something else. Back at verse 23 Jesus switches gears without really telling us up front that he is talking about Jesus’ “coming” (ερχομαι) instead of his presence (See verse 30 in the Greek.). And as if that were not enough to confuse most, he shifts back to his presence in verse 37. He uses a transitional word at the beginning of that sentence (ωσπερ, G5618) to signal that switch. He returns to his “presence” to explain that the majority of those in the world would not realize what was going on and would be doing their best to enjoy life. Our Bibles should reflect that by starting a new paragraph there, sadly, they don’t.

      Before you bring up his statement in Acts on the matter, please let me do it for you. It reads “So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for YOU to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.” (Act 1:6-7) I capitalized one word in there for a reason. His disciples asked him if he was restoring the Kingdom at that time. But note that his answer was addressed specifically to THEM instead of more broadly in the case of his “coming.” It wasn’t for THEM to know the times or seasons, however it is for the Church to know them, though the day and hour is still obviously withheld from us. Jesus gave his composite sign specifically for the Church in the Last Days to unravel and understand. There is no logical reason for it otherwise.

      Where Russell differed from the Witnesses in the matter was that while he believed the biblical evidence was sound for believing the Presence of our Lord began sometime in 1873/74, he wasn’t dogmatic about it, as he stated in the Watch Tower article “We Believe the Bible” of January the 15th, 1912 Reprint page 4955 (R4955) in the reprint volumes. For Jehovah’s Witnesses 1914 is dogma, as to the start of the Presence and is the basis around which they build their eschatological and ecclesiastical systems. If no 1914, then there is no inspection in 1918 and the authority given to “the Governing Body” in 1919.It is a sad corner they’ve painted themselves into and one has to wonder how much longer they can sustain their system on that basis.

      • Daz

        Hi Dupin, I really enjoyed your answers & reason on this & you made alot of sense. I too disagree with the Watchtower 1914 doctrine. May I ask when do you think the judgement with house of Jehovah happened or will occur?(1peter 4:17). This is a scripture that the Watchtower doesn’t seem to talk about very much especially regarding the fact the God allows his people to be decieved to fulfill his plan.

        Warm & loving regards,

        • Dupin

          Okay, Daz:

          Take the time scheme the Witnesses use and shift it back to 1874 as the beginning of Jesus’ parousia and you get your answer. The major difference was that God wasn’t looking for a sect or religious institution, as the Witnesses like to frame it. He deals with the Church and looked through the nominal system for those who were his. He found Br. Russell, who was humbly seeking answers along with the bible study class he was part of and gave blessed his efforts with the insight into God’s word which led to Russell’s work.

          Since the nominal Church makes the claim to be the true Church the judgement necessarily started there. God rejected them and had the call to “get out of her” sounded (Rev. 18: 4-8). 1879, just one year after the “inspection,” saw Russell start up the Watch Tower magazine after separating himself from Barbour and his efforts. Russell didn’t take over an existing effort, he started one up. That is really when the truth movement began when one thinks about it. Doesn’t that fit the narrative better than what the Witnesses teach?

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