Revised on September 2, 2009
In answer to your question about the significance of the word “parousia” in the Scriptures……
The Greek word “parousia” occurs 24 times in the New Testament. It is uniformly translated by the English word “coming” 22 times. It is also translated as “presence” 2 times. The actual literal meaning of this Greek word is “presence; bodily presence; the presence of one coming, hence the coming, arrival, advent; of a return. In the New Testament especially of the advent, i.e. the future, visible, return from heaven of Jesus, the Messiah, to raise the dead, hold the last judgment, and set up formally and gloriously the Kingdom of God.” See Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, page 490, Strong’s No. 3952.
1 Matthew 24:3 coming
2 24:27 coming
3 24:37 coming
4 24:39 coming
5 1 Corinthians 15:23 coming
6 16:17 coming
7 2 Corinthians 7:6 coming
8 7:7 coming
9 10:10 presence
10 Philippians 1:26 coming
11 2:12 presence
12 1 Thessalonians 2:19 coming
13 3:13 coming
14 4:15 coming
15 5:23 coming
16 2 Thessalonians 2:1 coming
17 2:8 coming
18 2:9 coming
19 James 5:7 coming
20 5:8 coming
21 2 Peter 1:16 coming
22 3:4 coming
23 3:12 coming
1 John 2:28 coming
Now let’s see how the word “parousia” is used in the inspired Word.
MATTHEW 24:3…….The 1st time the word “parousia” occurs in the New Testament is in Matthew 24:3. In this context the four Jewish disciples asked the Lord three questions. (1) They first asked about the timing of the destruction of the Jewish Temple as predicted by the Lord in 24:2. Their next two questions were linked together, yet were speaking of separate events. (2) “and what shall be the sign of Thy coming [parousia], and (3) of the end of the world [aion…age]?” A careful study of the Olivet Discourse will reveal that the Lord answered all three of their questions. But for the purposes of this study I am going to deal with only the last two questions.
The wording used in asking these questions makes it obvious that those disciples were not as Scripturally ignorant as some believers today try to make them out to be. Those disciples obviously knew there is a distinct difference between the “parousia” and “the end of the world [age].” This is a truth that many “professing” Christians still haven’t figured out today. The disciples obviously knew that the Lord is first coming “in the air” for His people, and then seven years later to the earth with His people. Why shouldn’t they have known these truths? The disciples had been taught by the Lord Himself for three years. They didn’t have to depend on the ideas, opinions, theories, so-called “interpretations,” and outright fantasies of “religionists,” as people often do today.
What this inspired verse makes quite clear is that the first time the word “parousia” is used in the Scriptures, it is referring to the Lord’s “coming” to resurrect and rapture His people to glory. All of the ravings and rantings of assorted religionists will not change this truth one bit. Glory to God!
Notice on the chart that the word “parousia” occurs three more times in Matthew 24. This is especially interesting in view of the fact that the English words “come, came, cometh, and coming” occur 28 more times in Matthew 24-25, but they are all translated from Greek words other than the word “parousia.” Why?
The careful Bible student is driven to the conclusion that the Lord was making a definite “play on words” only in those passages where He wanted to make it clear that He was speaking about His “bodily presence” at the time of the rapture. If God’s people would pay attention to the Lord’s selective use of the word “parousia” in Matthew 24, it would give them a better understanding of the whole chapter.
MATTHEW 24:27…….The 2nd time the word “parousia” occurs is found in this verse. In Matthew 24:27-28 the Lord is speaking about His “parousia” as He returns bodily at Armageddon. See my study entitled “Those Troublesome Eagles” for a fuller exposition of this passage.
MATTHEW 24:37…24:39…….The word “parousia” occurs the 3rd and 4th times in these two verses. The entire passage, Matthew 24:37-41, is speaking about “the days of Noah” which include the rapture of God’s people preceding the Tribulation. Compare Luke 17:24-37 and Isaiah 40:31. Read the passage carefully and ask yourself if the world conditions described in these verses are in existence today, and if the shadows cast by the coming Tribulation are not staring humanity in the face right now? Well…??
1 CORINTHIANS 15:23…….This is the 5th place the word “parousia” occurs in the New Testament. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the entire chapter is primarily speaking about the resurrection and rapture of God’s people.
1 CORINTHIANS 16:17, 2 CORINTHIANS 7:6, 7:7, 10:10, PHILIPPIANS 1:26, 2:12…….The next six times the word “parousia” occurs, the word is referring to the “coming” or “presence” of various individuals, making it quite clear that the literal meaning of the word is indeed “bodily presence.”
1 THESSALONIANS 2:19…….The 12th place the word “parousia” occurs is in this passage, which emphasizes the rejoicing that will occur at the “bodily presence” of the
Lord at the time of the rapture of God’s people. Glory!
1 THESSALONIANS 3:13…….This is the 13th place the word “parousia” occurs in God’s Word. This verse is expressing Paul’s desire for the Thessalonians to be “established” in the faith, so that their hearts would be “unblamable in holiness…..at the coming [parousia] of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” This is speaking of the time of the rapture when the Lord shall come and bring with Him “them also which sleep in Jesus,” 1 Thessalonians 4:14. A similar passages occurs in Zechariah 14:5, but it is obvious from the context that the passage in Zechariah is speaking about the Lord’s return at the end of the Tribulation.
1 THESSALONIANS 4:15…….This 14th time the word “parousia” occurs is obviously in the context of the resurrection and rapture of God’s people. The statement made in the verse makes it obvious that those of God’s people who are physically alive at the “coming” [parousia] of the Lord will not be raptured before “the dead in Christ.” Rather, “the dead in Christ” will rise from their graves first, and the “living in Christ” will be changed, and then we living believers “shall be caught up together with them…to meet the Lord in the air.” Glory! Praise the Lord!
1 THESSALONIANS 5:23…….In this 15th occurrence of the word “parousia,” the Apostle Paul is again expressing his desire that the Thessalonians might “be preserved blameless unto the coming [parousia] of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The passage is obviously referring to the rapture of God’s people.
2 THESSALONIANS 2:1…….This 16th occurrence of the word “parousia” plainly speaks about “our gathering together unto Him.” It is then obviously talking about the rapture of God’s people.
2 THESSALONIANS 2:8…….In this passage the word “parousia” is used the 17th time in relation to the Lord’s VICTORY over the Antichrist at “His coming” at the end of the Tribulation. This verse assures God’s people that the “man of sin” will be destroyed by “the brightness” of our Lord’s “coming” [parousia], just as surely as light dispels darkness. Glory! Praise the Lord!
2 THESSALONIANS 2:9…….This 18th time the word “parousia” is used, it is speaking of the “coming” [parousia….bodily presence] into the world of the Antichrist himself. The exact numerical occurrence of the word in this particular verse is interesting in itself, for “18” is a component of three sixes…..666, the number of the beast [Revelation 13:18] and this verse is specifically speaking about the Antichrist.
JAMES 5:7-8…….In these two verses the word “parousia” occurs for the 19th and 20th times. In these two verses the Lord’s people are admonished to “Be patient…..unto the coming [parousia] of the Lord,” and to “establish your hearts.” The reference in verse 7 to the “early and latter rain” is clearly referring to the rapture of God’s people, for the “latter rain” is poured out upon Israel right at the beginning of the Tribulation immediately following the rapture. For proof of this statement see my study entitled “The Early and Latter Rain.” Sent upon request!
2 PETER 1:16…….Here is found the 21st occurrence of the word “parousia” in God’s Word. In the context the Apostle Peter is assuring God’s people that the prophecies of the “coming” [parousia] of the Lord are not “cunningly devised fables.” The pre-tribulation rapture of God’s people will indeed occur, and the literal Millennial Kingdom of our Lord will be established upon the earth. Praise the Lord!
2 PETER 3:4…….In this verse is the 22nd occurrence of the word “parousia.” Here Peter warns God’s people about “last days scoffers” who would arise scoffing, mocking, and ridiculing the very idea that the Lord Jesus Christ is literally and bodily “coming” [parousia] back in the heavens to resurrect and rapture His people to glory. We true believers who are living today are seeing the fulfillment of this warning taking place before our very eyes and in our ears. God have mercy on such “willing ignorance.”
2 PETER 3:12…….This is the 23rd time the word “parousia” occurs in the New Testament. In this passage God’s people are admonished to be “Looking for and hasting unto the coming [parousia] of the day of God….” It is obvious from the context that the inspired writer had in mind the rapture of God’s people just preceding “the day of the Lord” [Tribulation].
1 JOHN 2:28…….The 24th and final time the word “parousia” is used in God’s Word is in this verse. This verse is another admonition to God’s people to remain faithful to the Lord and the truth of His Word. “And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming [parousia].”
Today many who “profess” to be “Christians” are doing their own thing, living their life as they please, and are actually in rebellion against the authority of God’s Word over their life. Such people are deceiving themselves. If they are truly saved, then they will be ashamed when the Lord appears at the rapture. Every true believer would do well to read John 15:1-11 again, and allow those inspired verses to permeate their very soul and direct their whole life. It is only when we are truly “abiding” in Christ, that we have assurance of meeting the Lord with joy and rejoicing rather than with shame.
In this study we have briefly noticed every passage in the New Testament where the word “parousia” occurs. It is now obvious that this word is used…..
One time in reference to the “bodily presence” of the “man of sin;” the Antichrist.
One time in reference to the “bodily presence” of the Lord when He destroys the “man of sin” at the end of the Tribulation period.
One time in reference to the “bodily presence” of the Lord in His Millennial Kingdom.
Six times in reference to the “bodily presence” of Stephanas, Titus, and Paul during their lifetime and ministry.
Fifteen times in reference to the “bodily presence” of the Lord at the time He comes to resurrect and rapture His people to glory.
My purpose in this study has been to demonstrate how the word “parousia” repeatedly refers to and verifies the resurrection and rapture of God’s people to glory. There are some “religionists” today who literally hate the word “parousia” because it undermines their silly “theological theories” attacking the reality of the pre-tribulation rapture of God’s people. If their “theology” wasn’t a lie, then they wouldn’t have any reason to hate this word. Read 2 Peter 2:1-2 and be warned.
Dear brother, the pre-tribulation resurrection and rapture of God’s people is a sound, Scriptural truth that is soon to burst into glorious reality. It will involve the actual, literal, “bodily presence” of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, as He returns “in the air” to receive His people to Himself, John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 John 3:1-3.
As I write we are now 17 days from Rosh HaShanah, Tishri 1, September 19, 2009. I do anticipate the coming of our Lord to occur on or before that date. My reasons for believing this are clearly set forth in three recent studies entitled, Four Proofs and Nine Days, It Will Not be a Lie!, and This is the Time!. I will be glad to email these studies to any reader requesting them. But hurry! Our time of suffering and sorrow in this present evil wicked world system is swiftly coming to an end for God’s people [true believers].
As the old hymn says, “Only a few more weary days and then, my new life will begin.” Glory to God! Hallelujah! Thank you Lord Jesus! Praise the Lord!
-By an unnamed pastor from Missouri