One reason why we know that Jesus’ resurrection occurred is the zeal that his disciples showed in proclaiming it. Zealously bearing witness to the resurrection of the Christ exposed them to persecution, suffering, and death. If Jesus had not been raised up—if it was all a hoax—why would Peter risk his life to proclaim Christ’s resurrection to the religious leaders, who hated Jesus and had plotted his death? It was because Peter and the other disciples were certain that Jesus was alive and was directing the work that God wanted done. Moreover, Jesus’ resurrection assured his followers that they too would be resurrected. For instance, Stephen died with the conviction that there would be a resurrection of the dead. We would probably never have heard of Jesus had he not been resurrected. But we have solid reasons to believe that Jesus is alive and is now guiding and directing us as we proclaim the good news far and wide.
It is true, the sure knowledge that Jesus had been resurrected from the tomb had a profound, transformative effect upon the apostles and other disciples.
But their acceptance of Jesus’ rising from the dead didn’t come easy for some. In fact, the apostles initially refused to believe the witness given by Mary that Jesus had risen. It was only after Jesus appeared to them personally and rebuked them for their senselessness and slowness of heart to believe the things written in the prophets, and blew upon them in token of their receiving the spirit, that they finally believed and ultimately were infused with courage and conviction.
From then on any who became believers would have to trust the testimony of the apostles and disciples, as Jesus did not appear to anyone after his ascension — Saul/Paul being the exception.
The parousia of Christ will take place similarly. Jesus will appear to the insignificant ones first, as Jesus indicated “many first will be last and the last first.” No doubt the testimony of those who see Christ first will be disbelieved by others still under the invisible parousia delusion. Ultimately, though, Christ will reveal himself to all of the chosen ones.
THE TRANSFIGURATION: A TYPE OF THE PAROUSIA OF CHRIST
That is, after all, the true meaning of the Transfiguration. As Peter explained it, the transplendent transfiguring of Christ that he was an eyewitness to was a demonstration of the power and parousia of Jesus. In other words, the Transfiguration was a type. The parousia is the antitype. Obviously, Peter, James and John were not eyewitnesses to a fore gleam of an invisible parousia. And if you want to believe it, Daniel’s experience with a glorious superhuman manifestation of an angel is a prophetic drama of what is to occur when Christ manifests himself.
Seeing the manifestation of Christ will have a transformative impact on the chosen ones as well, more profound than what the apostles experienced in connection with Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances to them. As a result of their close encounter they will shine as brightly as the sun, having been granted admittance into the Kingdom of their Father even while in the flesh.
Then, like the first century disciples after their seeing Jesus, the chosen ones will give the world a final witness. This is what is symbolized in the 10th chapter of Revelation. That is where the overawed John was given a little scroll and told to eat it. Then he was given the command: “You must prophesy again about peoples and nations and tongues and many kings.”
Of special note, the command to “prophesy again” comes after the angel who claims the earth, who can be none other than Christ himself, raises his hand to heaven and swears: “There will be no delay any longer. But in the days when the seventh angel is about to blow his trumpet, the sacred secret that God declared as good news to his own slaves the prophets is indeed brought to a finish.”
The sacred secret of God encompasses Jehovah’s purpose to create a kingdom of 144,000 associates of Christ and collect a great multitude of righteously-inclined persons to whom are given the earth. The good news being brought to a finish means the end of the Christian era. It means no more teaching and disciple making will take place. It means no more persons will be anointed. No more baptized. It means no more Watchtower.
What is the significance of the utterances of the seven thunders being sealed up, as the angel commanded John? “Seal up the things the seven thunders spoke, and do not write them down.”
The seven thunders are the judgments of God that will be delivered by those who are under command to “prophecy again.” The end result will be that the world under Satan’s control will kill the messengers, which will be the trigger event for the war of Armageddon.