- Matthew 24:3
- " . . . what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?"
- J.W.'s argue that the Greek word "parousia" means "presence", hence
the return of Christ will only be noticed by those who see him with the eyes of
discernment. This is said to have taken place in 1914. Literally, it is argued, Jesus will
never set foot on the earth.
- "Parousia" according to Greek authorities can mean presence, 1 but this does not necessarily imply an invisible
presence. For example, the coming of Titus (2 Cor. 7:6,7); the coming of Stephanas (I Cor.
16:17); and the coming of Paul (Phil. 1:26) requires the personal presence of these
persons. Similarly, the "bodily presence" (Greek: parousia) of Paul in 2 Cor.
10:10 is obviously what the record implies - a literal visible presence.
- Jesus warned against false prophets who would teach an "invisible return".
Jesus said: "Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in . . . the secret
chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even
unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." (Matt. 24:26,27). This
verse is directly opposed to a view which states Christ returned to rule invisibly in 1914
(i.e., he's in the secret chambers). Nor does one ordinarily associate lightning, which
can be seen across the sky, with an event which is unseen.
- Jesus will return literally and visibly to the earth. This is proven by the following
- "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is
before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst . . .
" 2 (Zech. 14:4). This passage in
itself is conclusive. Christ will be the name-bearer of Yahweh (vs. 3, LORD=Heb. Yahweh)
as was the angel of the LORD. (Exod. 23:20,21 ). Christ will
literally return to the mountain from which he left. (Acts 1:10,11). This event will
fulfill the promise of the two men which said, "this same Jesus, which is taken up
from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into
heaven." 3 (Acts 1:11). He
ascended literally and visibly until a cloud received him out of sight from the disciples.
This is the "like manner" in which he will return.
- The inhabitants of Jerusalem and the house of David will look upon "me whom they
have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be
in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn." (Zech. 12:10;
cf. 13:6). How is this to take place unless Christ returns personally to the earth? (cf.
Rev. 1:7 - "and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all
kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.")
- "Parousia" is not the only Greek word used to describe the return of Christ.
Consider the following:
- Phaneroo4 - "And when
the chief Shepherd shall appear", (1 Pet. 5:4). This word not only means
appearing but also carries the further idea that the person appearing will be seen in his
true character. It is the same word used for the appearance of believers before the
judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10), and for the first coming of Christ. (Heb. 9:26).
- Prosopon5 - "From the presence
of the Lord", (2 Thess. 1:9). This word indicates the actual presence of the one
coming and that all are congregated before his face. The same word is used to describe
Christ's appearance in heaven before his Father. (Heb. 9:24).
- Heko6 - "Hold fast till
I come", (Rev. 2:25). This word means not only coming, but stresses arrival as
well. The same word is used for the arrival of Jesus in Galilee from Judea (Jn. 4:47), and
for the arrival of the prodigal son back home. (Lk. 15:27).
- It can be seen, therefore, that the return of Christ must be a personal visible
- The Greek word "parousia" means: "A being alongside, presence".
Robert Young, Analytical Concordance to the Holy Bible, London: Lutterworth Press,
- J.W.'s attempt to spiritualize the mountain. It only requires one to ask the spiritual
intent of the mountain cleaving in two and the formation of the plain from Geba to Rimmon
(Zech. 14:10) to indicate that this passage is not figurative. Return
- J.W.'s sometimes reply by stating that the "like manner" refers to the fact
that only a few saw him ascend, hence only few would witness his return. It needs to be
stressed that the manner of the ascension is indicated in the passage - a cloud received
him out of their sight. Return
- "To make manifest", Robert Young, Analytical Concordance to the Holy Bible,
(London: Lutterworth Press, 1965). Return
- "Face, countenance", Ibid. Return
- "To have come, be here", Ibid. Return