The article you are reading encompasses a belief known as Fulfilled Eschatology; this belief puts forth the notion that the Last Days/End Times in the Bible have already happened. If you’d like to know more about this view, please click HERE and order my latest Book; The Last Days of The End Times. You can order a copy of the (Non-professionally edited) Soft Cover, or the downloadable PDF version.   

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The Parousia of Christ

     It is important to note that this article is merely addressing a single issue in the overall scheme of Eschatology; the study of the End Times/Last Days. A common argument/rebuttal against articles such as this typically decries that such does not refute/disprove the traditional view; I hold no delusions that one such article is intended as such.

     This article examines what is commonly referred to as the 2nd coming, or return of Christ. This article is not intended to be exhaustive of such a topic, but is simply designed to correct the false notion of such.  

Matthew 24:3 “and as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world

     Many wish to argue for 2 or 3 questions being asked here; in relation to the timing of each event/item listed, but this is simply a 3 part question.

     How many of us are not familiar with this passage from the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24? On this one passage from scripture rests the entire expectation of a future visible and/or physical, coming and/or return of Jesus the Christ, but is this what was really expressed by the 1st century disciples when they asked Christ this question?

     Later in this same chapter, we find Christ mention this coming another 3 times:

Matthew 24:27 for as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Matthew 24:39 and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

     I’m sure many are wondering why I left out Matthew 24:30, as it also mentions the coming of Christ; this was done on purpose as the point of this study is to focus on the particular Greek word Parousia that is in 24 New Testament verses, and is primarily translated as “coming” depending upon which version of the Bible you’re using.

Matt. 24:3,27,37,39; 1st Cor. 15:23; 16:17; 2nd Cor. 7:6,7; 10:10; Phil. 1:26; 2:12; 1st Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2nd Thess. 2:1,8,9; James 5:7,8; 2nd Pet. 1:16; 3:4, 12, and 1st John 2:28.

     While believing no version to be infallible, and also realizing that no version is without its critics; I thought it best to perform this little exercise with several versions of the Bible. This accomplishes 2 goals: #1) it frees the reader from accusing me of having a particular version bias. #2) it allows a wider audience something to complain about, and find fault with.

      I will now take you through every New Testament verse that contains the word Parousia and I will be providing these verses from the (NIV) (NASB) (AKJV) (ASV) (YLT) versions of the Bible and in this order. Watch for the differences in wording and see if you notice a change in meaning or perception.

Matthew 24:3

(NIV) As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. Tell us, they said, when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?

(NASB) As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?

(AKJV) And as he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying; tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world?

(ASV) And as he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying; tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

(YLT) And when he is sitting on the Mount of the Olives, the disciples came near to him by himself, saying, 'Tell us, when shall these be? And what is the sign of thy presence, and of the full end of the age?

     Did you notice that four versions ask about his “coming” and one asks about his “presence”? Which is it, his coming or his presence? Did you also notice that two versions ask about the “end of the age” while another two ask about the “end of the world” and one asks about the “full end of the age”? Were the disciples asking about the end of the age, or the end of the world? Isn’t there a big difference?   

Matthew 24:27

(NIV) For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

(NASB) For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.

(AKJV) For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

(ASV) For as the lightning cometh forth from the east, and is seen even unto the west; so shall be the coming of the Son of man.

(YLT) For as the lightning doth come forth from the east, and doth appear unto the west, so shall be also the presence of the Son of Man.

     There seems to be almost perfect harmony here; except for the YLT where Jesus is only speaking on a sign of his presence; not his coming.

Matthew 24:37

(NIV) As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

(NASB) For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.

(AKJV) But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

(ASV) And as were the days of Noah, so shall be the coming of the Son of man.

(YLT) And as the days of Noah -- so shall be also the presence of the Son of Man.

     Here we find the same distinction and separation with the YLT being the lone holdout; proclaiming the presence of the son of man, rather than a coming or return.

Matthew 24:39

(NIV) And they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

(NASB) And they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.

(AKJV) And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

(ASV) And they knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall be the coming of the Son of man.

(YLT) And they did not know till the flood came and took all away; so shall be also the presence of the Son of Man.

     Were these people ignorant of or oblivious to the flood? Four versions say they didn’t know, and another says they didn’t understand; which is it? Hadn’t Noah been preaching about this flood for 100 years? We also see the distinction between coming and presence.

1st Corinthians 15:23

(NIV) But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.

(NASB) But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming,

(AKJV) But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

(ASV) But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; then they that are Christ's, at his coming.

(YLT) and each in his proper order, a first-fruit Christ, afterwards those who are the Christ's, in his presence,

     It’s beginning to look like the YLT is in a world all on its own: here again, we see a distinction being made between a coming and a presence.

1st Corinthians 16:17

(NIV) I was glad when Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus arrived, because they have supplied what was lacking from you.

(NASB) I rejoice over the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have supplied what was lacking on your part.

(AKJV) I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied.

(ASV) And I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they supplied.

(YLT) and I rejoice over the presence of Stephanas, and Fortunatus, and Achaicus, because the lack of you did these fill up;

     Here, a slight divergence begins to take shape with the NIV using arrival instead of coming or presence.

2nd Corinthians 7:6

(NIV) But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus,

(NASB) But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus;

(AKJV) Nevertheless God, that comforts those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus;

(ASV) Nevertheless he that comforteth the lowly, even God, comforted us by the coming of Titus;

(YLT) but He who is comforting the cast-down -- God -- He did comfort us in the presence of Titus;

     Was this comforting brought into existence by/through the coming/presence of Titus; or was it simply done in the presence of him?

2nd Corinthians 7:7

(NIV) and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.

(NASB) and not only by his coming, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, as he reported to us your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me; so that I rejoiced even more.

(AKJV) And not by his coming only, but by the consolation with which he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more.

(ASV) and not by his coming only, but also by the comfort wherewith he was comforted in you, while he told us your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me; so that I rejoiced yet more.

(YLT) and not only in his presence, but also in the comfort with which he was comforted over you, declaring to us your longing desire, your lamentation, your zeal for me, so that the more I did rejoice,

     Not only do we see the usual distinction between coming and presence; but notice all the differences in word translations by comparing all 5 to each other.

2nd Corinthians 10:10

(NIV) For some say, His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.

(NASB) For they say, His letters are weighty and strong, but his personal presence is unimpressive and his speech contemptible.

(AKJV) For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.

(ASV) For, His letters, they say, are weighty and strong; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.

(YLT) Because the letters indeed -- saith one -- are weighty and strong, and the bodily presence weak, and the speech despicable.

     Something drastic has changed all of a sudden; not one translation uses coming in this verse. They all simply refer to the presence of Paul.

Philippians 1:26

(NIV) So that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.

(NASB) So that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.

(AKJV) That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.

(ASV) That your glorying may abound in Christ Jesus in me through my presence with you again.

(YLT) That your boasting may abound in Christ Jesus in me through my presence again to you.

     That’s two for coming, two for presence, one for “being with you” and look at all the other word and wording translation differences between translations.

Philippians 2:12

(NIV) Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,

(NASB) So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;

(AKJV) Why, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

(ASV) So then, my beloved, even as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;

(YLT) So that, my beloved, as ye always obey, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, with fear and trembling your own salvation work out,

     Not one instance of translating Parousia as coming in all 5 versions? This consistency holds true in other versions such as the NLT, ESV, ISV, GWT, KJV, ASV, BBE, DRB, DBT, ERV, WBT, WNT and the WEB. I believe this verse shows the truest sense of the word, as it also gives its contrast/opposite; that being “absent/absence”.

1st Thessalonians 2:19

(NIV) For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?

(NASB) For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?

(AKJV) For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

(ASV) For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of glorying? Are not even ye, before our Lord Jesus at his coming?

(YLT) for what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye before our Lord Jesus Christ in his presence?

     It should be noted here that the word presence in the first three versions is not translated from Parousia but from emprosthen, that is translated as “before” in the last two. Parousia is again translated as “comes” or “coming” in all but the YLT; which again translates it as presence.

1st Thessalonians 3:13

(NIV) May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.

(NASB) So that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.

(AKJV) To the end he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

(ASV) to the end he may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

(YLT) to the establishing your hearts blameless in sanctification before our God and Father, in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

     Here is a good example of the word emprosthen better translated as before in most examples; with Parousia once again only being translated as presence once.

1st Thessalonians 4:15

(NIV) According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.

(NASB) For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.

(AKJV) For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

(ASV) For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we that are alive, that are left unto the coming of the Lord, shall in no wise precede them that are fallen asleep.

(YLT) for this to you we say in the word of the Lord, that we who are living -- who do remain over to the presence of the Lord -- may not precede those asleep,

     While we have the usual contrast between coming and presence in this verse; I’ve often wondered how one confuses prevent with precede. Preceding them which are asleep would only mean going before them; preventing them would mean something altogether different.

1st Thessalonians 5:23  

(NIV) May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(NASB) Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(AKJV) And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(ASV) And the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved entire, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(YLT) And the God of the peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved unblameably in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ;

     Just the usual distinction with coming being predominant.

2nd Thessalonians 2:1

(NIV) Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers

(NASB) Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,

(AKJV) Now we beseech you, brothers, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together to him,

(ASV) Now we beseech you, brethren, touching the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto him;

(YLT) And we ask you, brethren, in regard to the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of our gathering together unto him,

     Again; the usual distinction with coming being predominant.

2nd Thessalonians 2:8

(NIV) And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.

(NASB) Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;

(AKJV) And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

(ASV) And then shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of his coming;

(YLT) and then shall be revealed the Lawless One, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the manifestation of his presence,

     Other than the usual distinction with coming being predominant, did you notice a word being translated as breath in three versions, while being translated as spirit in the other two?

2nd Thessalonians 2:9

(NIV) The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders,

(NASB) that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders,

(AKJV) Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

(ASV) even he, whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

(YLT) him, whose presence is according to the working of the Adversary, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders,

     Slight differences in wording; but pretty much the same with the usual translation issues on Parousia.

James 5:7  

(NIV) Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.

(NASB) Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.

(AKJV) Be patient therefore, brothers, to the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

(ASV) Be patient therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it, until it receive the early and latter rain.

(YLT) Be patient, then, brethren, till the presence of the Lord; lo, the husbandman doth expect the precious fruit of the earth, being patient for it, till he may receive rain -- early and latter;

     Pretty much the expected results; but does the “precious fruit of the earth” suddenly appear, or was it always present within the seed?

James 5:8

(NIV) You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near.

(NASB) You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.

(AKJV) Be you also patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draws near.

(ASV) Be ye also patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

(YLT) be patient, ye also; establish your hearts, because the presence of the Lord hath drawn nigh;

     Again, we see the usual differences between coming and presence for the word Parousia; but my question here becomes this: Why is James telling his readers that this coming/presence of Christ is or has drawn close, near, nigh or is at hand; yet we’re supposed to believe it’s not happened or isn’t real yet?

2nd Peter 1:16

(NIV) We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

(NASB) For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.

(AKJV) For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

(ASV) For we did not follow cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

(YLT) For, skillfully devised fables not having followed out, we did make known to you the power and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, but eye-witnesses having become of his majesty –

     This verse obviously has nothing to do with an event yet to occur: Peter refers to the past tense presence of Christ, and even reminds his readers that he had told them these things before.

2nd Peter 3:4

(NIV) They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.

(NASB) And saying, where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.

(AKJV) And saying, where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

(ASV) And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

(YLT) And saying, 'Where is the promise of his presence? For since the fathers did fall asleep, all things so remain from the beginning of the creation;

     Again; no big changes or surprises here: I do however have a question for those who deny his presence today, and argue against those of us who say it is present: who is it that is using this same reasoning to suggest his current absence from the earth? Isn’t this the reasoning suggested (For since the fathers did fall asleep, all things so remain from the beginning of the creation) as proof that Christ can’t possibly be present?

 2nd Peter 3:12

(NIV) As you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.

(NASB) Looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!

(AKJV) Looking for and hastening to the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

(ASV) Looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, by reason of which the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

(YLT) Waiting for and hasting to the presence of the day of God, by which the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements with burning heat shall melt;

     No big changes in how Parousia is translated here; but I wonder why Peter told people in the 1st century to earnestly expect and wait for something that still hasn’t happened.

1st John 2:28

(NIV) And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.

(NASB) Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.

(AKJV) 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.

(ASV) And now, my little children, abide in him; that, if he shall be manifested, we may have boldness, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

(YLT) And now, little children, remain in him, that when he may be manifested, we may have boldness, and may not be ashamed before him, in his presence;

     Again, the YLT appeals to “presence” while the remaining versions again call for a “coming

     Of these 24 verses, we find Parousia of Christ specifically mentioned in 17 of these verses: Matt. 24:3, 27, 37, 39; 1st Cor. 15:23; 1st Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:15, 5:23; 2nd Thess. 2:1, 8; James 5:7, 8; 2nd Pet. 1:16; 3:4, 12, and 1st John 2:28.

     The whole idea of a 2nd coming or return of Jesus is fundamentally flawed when one understands such a concept never appears in the Greek texts which most New Testament modern bible versions come from. This idea likewise violates a simple statement made by Christ to his disciples just before his ascension in Acts 1, and other scriptures as well.

Matthew 28:20 “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age. Amen

     Would these same disciples have taught others to look for some future visible and/or physical 2nd coming/return of Messiah after he told them that he would always be with them? The average Futurist response to this question is to subvert the text and suggest Christ meant the Holy Spirit/Comforter, but Christ said “I” speaking of himself.Κα νν, τεκνία, μένετε ν ατ, να ἐὰν φανερωθ σχμεν παρρησίαν κα μ ασχυνθμεν π’ ατο ν τ παρουσί ατο.

Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them

     Does this not also refer to his (Parousia) presence?

Matthew 24:26 “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

     Since Jesus is supposed to be making a 2nd coming and/or return; and considering this is supposed to be visible, why would he tell his disciples not to believe anyone who proclaimed he was here or there? Did you also take notice that this verse is just before one of our subject verses (Matthew 24:27) which speaks directly to his Parousia?

Colossians 1:27 “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory

As long as you’re looking for Jesus and answers outside of yourself, you’ll never recognize the Christ and truth you have within.


Conclusion:

     In addition to these 17 scriptures that speak of this Parousia of Christ, which most Christians use to refer to some future coming/return of a physical and visible Jesus; and even given that many other scriptures are used to suggest such a notion, these Parousia scriptures clearly indicate that all that is being referenced here, is his presence.

     As we consider part of the question asked in Matthew 24:3 “What will be the sign of your presence” and given what Christ states about his Parousia in Matthew 24:27 “For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even unto the west; so shall also the presence of the Son of man be” it becomes clear that they obviously had some future hope of witnessing some manifestation of his presence.

     Matthew 24:34 is the most singular verse that should clarify when this sign/manifestation would occur; “Verily I say unto you, this generation will not pass, till all these things are fulfilled” and we find this repeated in the accounts of Mark (13:30) and even in Luke’s account (21:32) yet the standard End Times/Last Days view being promoted in Christianity says this has not occurred?

     What need be pointed out in this verse is the phrase “all these things” and for a clear understanding of this, we must review what “all these things” refers to; and it must clearly be seen that this leaves no room for partiality.

As we peruse Matthew 24:1-33, we notice a litany/plethora of items referred to:

·       Temple buildings being leveled (verse 2)

·       False teachers (verse 5)

·       Wars (verse 6)

·       Famine, pestilence, earthquakes (verse 7)

·       Death of some of the disciples with him on the Mount of Olives that day (verse 9)

·       False prophets, deceiving people (verse 11)

·       Increase of iniquity, decrease of love (verse 12)

·       Gospel preached in all the world (verse 14)

·       Abomination of desolation (verse 15)

·       Great tribulation (verse 21)

·       Sun darkened, moon not giving light, stars falling from heaven, powers of the heavens shaken (verse 29)

·       The sign of the son of man in heaven and coming in clouds (verse 30)   

·       Gathering of elect (verse 31)

 

     Multiple arguments can be made that some or many of these things haven’t occurred yet, but these arguments come from a lack of understanding many historical events of the 1st century, and also from not understanding the meaning and significance of the idioms included in this list of items/events.

     As noted in the beginning of this article, this is not meant to be an exhaustive look at all things inclusive of the End Times/Last Days, and this singular article is not intended to completely demolish the long held beliefs of the institutional Christian church’ teachings of them.

     Traditions die hard, sacred cows are not easily released, and paradigm shifts can take a lifetime to occur, but we must make these transitions to fully understand, appreciate, experience, and benefit from his Parousia - presence.

     Matthew 24:3 asks about the “sign of his presence” and verse 30 mentions the “sign of the son of man in heaven” but for some reason, we’re supposed to believe that these do not speak of one in the same.

     This “sign of the son of man in heaven” is idiomatic/emblematic of Christ being in his kingdom, and seated at the right hand of God; this phrase “right hand” is yet another idiom that speaks of a position of authority, but most Christians don't understand this.

     Certain "right hand" scriptures: Matthew 26:64, Mark 14:62, 16:19, Luke 22:69, Acts 2:33, 5:31, 7:55, 56, Romans 8:34, Ephesians 1:20, Colossians 3:1, Hebrews 8:1, 10:12, 12:12, and 1st Peter 3:22  are introduced to us in the Old Testament; Psalms 110:1  The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit you at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool” which is referenced specifically in Matthew 22:44, Mark 12:36, Luke 20:42, Acts 2:34, and Hebrews 1:3.

     Many Christians treat this phrase as if Jesus is sitting on the right side of God, but a simple study of this phrase through Old testament scriptures; in addition to those listed above: Genesis 48:14, 17, 18, Exodus 15:6, 12, Leviticus 8:23, 14:14, 17, 25, 28, Deuteronomy 33:2, 1st Kings 2:19, Psalms 20:6, 21:8, 44:3, 48:10, 60:5, 63:8, 78:54, 80:15, 89:13, 98:1, 118:16, 138:7, Ecclesiastes 10:2, Isaiah 41:10, 13, 48:13, 62:8, Lamentations 2:4, Ezekiel 21:22, Habakkuk 2:16,  and others, clearly shows that “right hand” is symbolic of power and authority.

     This same verse (Matthew 24:30) likewise relates another idiom/symbol of this same power/rule/reign/authority; “coming in the clouds” as we see mentioned in numerous New Testament verses: Matthew 26:64, Mark 13:26, and Mark 14:62 and a quick study of some Old Testament verses: Exodus 13:21, 14:24, 16:10, 19:9-11, 24:16-17, 34:5, 40:35, Leviticus 16:2, Numbers 11:25, 12:5, 14:14, Deuteronomy 5:22, 31:15, Job 22:14, Psalms 18:6-14, 97:2, Isaiah 19:1, Jeremiah 4:13, Ezekiel 30:18, 32:7, Joel 2:1-10, and even Zephaniah 1:14-17 shows this to be idiomatic/symbolic of judgment through the right hand, or power/rule/reign/authority of God and/or Deity, and has nothing to do with a visible/physical/bodily coming.

     Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, and Luke 21 are commonly referred to as the Olivet Discourse, as Christ, is instructing Peter, James, John, and Andrew, in a private meeting upon the Mount of Olives. These chapters combined are a fuller look at, and understanding of, this Parousia of Christ; while we do not have an account of this event in the gospel attributed to John, his account of the events/items discussed; as well as additional information surrounding such events, is seen in the Book of Revelation.

     From (roughly) 63 to 70 AD, civil war and unrest had erupted throughout the Roman Empire; specifically within those cities where a majority of the Israelites lived, and from 66 to 70 AD, the city of Jerusalem and her beloved Temple witnessed the long prophesied and awaited judgment of God. This judgment was indeed brought about by, through, with, and in many things, but I would say the greatest would be the crucifixion of Jesus the Christ.

     Another simple place in scripture where this overall story is told can be found in Matthew 22:33-45

Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and dug a wine-press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, they will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, this is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. When the lord therefore of the vineyard comes, what will he do unto those husbandmen? They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. Jesus said unto them, did you never read in the scriptures, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they understood that he spoke of them

We find this again referenced as a parable in Matthew 22:2-9

   The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, who made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were invited to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are invited, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, and another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and killed them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then said he to his servants, the wedding is ready, but they which were invited were not worthy. Go you therefore into the highways, and as many as you shall find, bid to the marriage

And we again find this referenced in Matthew 23:29-36

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees; hypocrites! Because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, and say, if we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore you are witnesses unto yourselves, that you are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill you up then the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall you scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom you killed between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, all these things shall come upon this generation

And please take notice how we again see a specific reference “all these things shall come upon this generation” that is nearly identical to Matthew 24:34 “Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled

     As long as one understands that the Olivet Discourse is simply Christ reiterating, emphasizing, and expanding upon what he had just previously taught while in the Temple; Matthew 21:23-Matthew 23:39, they should better understand the focus of the Olivet Discourse.

A disclaimer:

     As this article ends with references to the crucifixion of Christ and the ensuing judgment that did come upon Jerusalem; for those that wish to accuse me of Anti-Semitism, I’d merely wish to point out that I do not fault one Israelite beyond the referenced time frame for this crucifixion.

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