The Lord spoke in symbolic phrase, and speaking concerning the manner of his appearing he said: “Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.” (Matthew 24:25,26) Here he is warning and safeguarding against the error of believing that he will appear in the desert or that he will appear in some secret chamber; as spiritists claim they have come in contact with him. Then he says: “For as the lightning cometh out of the east; and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the presence of the Son of man be”. (Matthew 24:27) The word lightning here is translated from the Greek word astrapee and means bright shining, or bright shiner. We know that lightning does not come out of the east and shine even unto the west, because flashes of lightning come from all directions, and more often from the west than from the east. The bright shining or bright shiner here really means the sun. The sun begins to shed forth its light in the east before it is fully up; and when it comes over the eastern horizon it shines everywhere from the east to the west. Just so the presence of the Lord. He quietly appears and his presence begins to shed light in all parts of the earth.
The Prophet of the Lord also used the sun to illustrate the Lord Jesus, saying: “The Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings”. (Malachi 4:2) Again Jesus likened his faithful followers unto the sun when he said: “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father".—Matthew 13:43.
In examining the evidence, then, with reference to the Lord’s second appearing, if we will keep always in mind that his appearance is not and will not be visible to human eyes, but that it will be gradually discernible in the physical facts which will occur in fulfillment of prophecy, we shall be better enabled to understand the various Scriptural texts bearing upon the subject.