Jesus' Presence – will it really be like "Lightning"?

//Jesus' Presence – will it really be like "Lightning"?
Jesus' Presence – will it really be like "Lightning"? 2017-04-11T10:09:40+00:00

Jehovah’s Witnesses watchman Forums Watchman Forum Jesus' Presence – will it really be like "Lightning"?

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  • SongofHannah
    Keymaster
    Post count: 67
    #38962 |

    Was trying a figure out Jesus’ rather obscure words about his future presence. What did he mean, that it will be like lightning?

    “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look! Here is the Christ,’ or, ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will perform great signs and wonders so as to mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones. Look! I have forewarned you. Therefore, if people say to you, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; ‘Look! He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For just as the lightning comes out of the east and shines over to the west, so the presence of the Son of man will be.” – Matt 24:23-27

    Also in Luke:
    “For just as lightning flashes from one part of heaven to another part of heaven, so the Son of man will be in his day. ” -Luke 17:24

    This always made little sense to me. For when is lightning ever spoken of, in this manner? Also, lightning bolts out of the sky and lands pretty close to where it originated. It rarely crosses over from one horizon all the way to the other, and when it does, then poof! It’s gone!

    No matter how far across the sky it travels, after the flash, it disappears, almost quicker than it came! I wondered, did Jesus really intend us to think of his presence in these terms? So I decided to look up the original word translated from the Greek, to see if there might be something I might be missing.

    Here is the word translated “lightning” from the Strong’s Concordance:

    astrapé: lightning, brightness
    Original Word: ἀστραπή, ῆς, ἡ
    Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
    Transliteration: astrapé
    Phonetic Spelling: (as-trap-ay’)
    Short Definition: a flash of lightning, brightness, luster
    Definition: a flash of lightning, brightness, luster.
    Root: Astér

    I then compared this with other scriptures that also use the word astrapé:

    Matt 28:3
    “His appearance was like astrapé, and his clothing was as white as snow.”

    Luke 10:18
    At that he said to them: “I see Satan already fallen like astrapé from heaven.”

    Rev 4:5
    “From the throne were coming astrapé and voices and thunders”

    Rev 8:5
    But right away the angel took the incense vessel, and he filled it with some of the fire of the altar and hurled it to the earth. And there were thunders and voices and astrapé and an earthquake.

    Rev 11:19
    And the temple sanctuary of God in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen in his temple sanctuary. And there were astrapé and voices and thunders and an earthquake and a great hail.

    Rev 16:18
    And there were astrapé and voices and thunders, and there was a great earthquake unlike any that had occurred since men came to be on the earth, so extensive and so great was the earthquake.

    But the most interesting use of astrapé was found in this scripture:

    Luke 11:36
    Therefore, if your whole body is bright with no part of it dark, it will all be as bright as when a lamp gives you astrapé.”

    How could an oil-fed portable lamp (Greek: λύχνος lýxnos) as Strong’s identifies it, emit “lightning”? This led me to believe that astrapé isn’t translated quite as accurately as it could be. Because, by the context of some scriptures, it may very well mean “lightning” – but from this scripture, we see that it’s base meaning has a much more broader definition.

    To further investigate, I followed the root word for astrapé, which Strong’s identified as “astér”:

    792. astér: a star
    Original Word: ἀστήρ, έρος, ὁ
    Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine
    Transliteration: astér
    Phonetic Spelling: (as-tare’)
    Short Definition: a star
    Definition: a star.

    Now, putting this together with Luke 11:36, how does a lamp shine like a star? Well, an oil lamp does have a “star” of light, in the very center of it’s flame.

    This helps us to further understand that the very literal meaning of astrapé is a star-like “brilliance of light”. This definition well fits in with all the above scriptures cited, that use the word astrapé.

    So with this meaning in mind, let’s look at Jesus’ words again, replacing the word lightning, with the literal translation of astrapé:

    “For just as brilliance of light comes out of the east and shines over to the west, so the presence of the Son of man will be.”

    Is it not in fact the sun, a star-like brilliance of light, that rises, or comes out of the east and shines over to the west?

    But interestingly Jesus did not use the Greek word for sun or sunlight. But when we put it together with the scriptures teaching us about the day star or morning star, the meaning of this scripture all starts to come into clearer focus.

    “So we have the prophetic word made more sure, and you are doing well in paying attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place until day dawns and a daystar rises in your hearts.” – 2 Pe 1:19

    “‘I, Jesus, sent my angel to bear witness to you about these things for the congregations. I am the root and the offspring of David and the bright morning star.’” – Rev 22:16

    So what I take Jesus’ words about his presence to mean is, that the Kingdom Of God is not coming with striking observableness among those who serve God in falseness – but for Christ’s true followers, there will be no doubt about it. As it will be as obvious to them, as a brilliant morning Day Star is, that rises in the east and shines into the west.

    What do you guys make of it?

    5+
    Robert King
    Keymaster
    Post count: 33

    Not all lightning is sky to ground. In fact, most lightning is cloud to cloud and can be seen from a great distance. I take Jesus’ comparison to mean that the chosen ones will not have to travel to any location on earth to find him. He will not be in the wilderness or inner rooms as the false prophets will declare. His presence will be un-containable, like the lightning that streaks across the whole sky, so that those to whom he wishes to reveal himself will see his presence.

    2+
    SongofHannah
    Keymaster
    Post count: 67

    Not all lightning is sky to ground. In fact, most lightning is cloud to cloud and can be seen from a great distance.

    Thanks for correcting me on that, Robert. But that’s not the thing that really bothers me about it. Oddly, of this light, Jesus states specifically that it “comes out of the east and shines over to the west”. Yet as a rule, lightning is completely random (not to mention being fleeting and transitory). But a shining “day star”, why it would fit this statement perfectly. And that along with the use of astrapé for a lamp in Luke 11:36 has me pretty convinced.

    I take Jesus’ comparison to mean that the chosen ones will not have to travel to any location on earth to find him. He will not be in the wilderness or inner rooms as the false prophets will declare. His presence will be un-containable, like the lightning that streaks across the whole sky, so that those to whom he wishes to reveal himself will see his presence.

    I like your explanation too. 🙂

    1+
    Robert King
    Keymaster
    Post count: 33
    Dustman
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    I think that Jesus was just making a comparison.
    He said first that there would be “false” signs. Signs that could be misinterpreted as being true. Then he referred to a sign that no one could misinterpret. A flash of lightning. Probably he had in mind sheet lightning rather than a lightning bolt. So the “presence of the son of man” would be so blindingly obvious that there could be no mistake. No question that it could be one of the false signs mentioned before. Something that everyone would have to acknowledge rather than open to debate or argument.

    5+
    StudyPartner
    Participant
    Post count: 8

    I find your research enlightening 😉 and it gave me some…deeper?…perspective on these 3 scriptures…

    Prov. 4:18
    Ps. 53:2
    Dan. 12:3

    Fun stuff! Thank you for sharing your research!

    2+
    SongofHannah
    Keymaster
    Post count: 67

    Thanks ‘Partner! Really like your scripture of Prov 4:18, hadn’t thought of that one! Ties it together even more for me. 🙂

    1+
    John 3:16
    Participant
    Post count: 13

    🙂 Keep up the good work Song of Hannah. I think you’re on the right track. Keep praying to Jehovah for insight and don’t let anybody discourage your thought process. I think people are starting to wake up…

    2+
    John 3:16
    Participant
    Post count: 13
    HuldahtoHilkiah
    Participant
    Post count: 30

    That was some real mental gymnastics Song of Hannah. Good for you!
    Really fascinating. When you mentioned about it rising over the east moving into the west, I also thought of the sun (it’s a star anyway) and it’s light is totally pervasive even though it itself can only be seen in whatever place it resides at that moment.

    I also immediately thought of Peter’s words 2Peter 2:19. “Pay attention to it as as lamp shining in a dark place until day dawns and a daystar rises”.

    Didn’t Robert use this scripture to apply to Jesus’ parousia? Correct me, if I’m wrong, Robert, I’m going from memory here.

    It’s interesting that he likens his presence to both (if we use the star translation of astrape) a star that rises over the east to the west and a daystar, which I think of as the sun. The only star we see in the daytime.

    I’m not sure how Luke 17:20 applies if this is the case because it says “the kingdom is not coming with striking observableness”.

    I’m starting to think that this section of scripture has been misinterpreted for a long time. I just wrote a comment on vs 37 about what I found on the “eagle and carcass” reference.

    And…as I was looking at that, I was reminded that I had found some information on the one taken and the other abandoned reference which seems to actually indicate that the one who is “taken” is destroyed while the one “left behind” is saved. Bible Hub presents some good translation and commentary on this one too. All this popular talk about the rapture has us thinking being left behind is a bad thing. I always shared Prov. 2:21 with rapture people about righteous being left over in the earth. There is a lot of precedence for the wicked being the ones taken away.

    I know there’s something big here, just not clear on it. But your research adds to the intrigue.

    2+
    Bklyn Kevin
    Participant
    Post count: 18

    Roberts quote > Not all lightning is sky to ground. In fact, most lightning is cloud to cloud and can be seen from a great distance.
    I take Jesus’ comparison to mean that the chosen ones will not have to travel to any location on earth to find him. He will not be in the wilderness or inner rooms as the false prophets will declare. His presence will be un-containable, like the lightning that streaks across the whole sky, so that those to whom he wishes to reveal himself will see his presence.
    Job 38:35 Can you send out lightning bolts? Will they come and say to you, ‘Here we are!’

    3+
    Frank Conger
    Participant
    Post count: 74
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