The Berean Expositor
Volume 43 - Page 185 of 243
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Lord's Coming during the period covered by the Acts (Acts 3: 19-26), and this epistle
was one of the Apostle's earliest writings. We will say more of this later on.
The word `coming' translates the Greek parousia, which means `presence' (R.V.
margin) or `arrival' rather than the motion of coming. This parousia had been fully
explained by the Lord in Matt. 24: in response to the disciples' question as to what
should be its sign and when it should take place. There the Lord Jesus had said:
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days . . . . . then shall appear the sign of the
Son of Man in heaven, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven
with power and great glory" (24: 29, 30).
Here we are on sure ground. From this statement we know that the parousia must
take place after the Great Tribulation and not before it. We know that some, in order to
get out the difficulty of the believer going through this awful time of trouble, invent
another parousia, a secret one. But where is the passage of Scripture that clearly teaches
this? Such are not helped either by the usage of the word apokalupsis, revelation. Where
in the N.T. do we get a secret apokalupsis of the Lord for believers? Apokalupsis and
parousia are used inter-changeably during the period covered by the Acts of the Apostles
and must refer to the same event. These words are not used in the Prison Epistles for the
hope of the Body of Christ, which is distinct from the Coming of the Lord to the earth to
destroy the man of sin and the antichristian kingdom of the end-time and to end the
Great Tribulation, which is a time of Jacob's (Israel's) trouble, although it involves the
whole earth in a measure.
It may be helpful here if we observe the united testimony of the early epistles on the
imminent Coming of the Lord.
". . . . . so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the Coming of our Lord Jesus
Christ" (I Cor. 1: 6, 7).
". . . . . the time is short; it remaineth that both they that have wives be as thought they
had none" (7: 29).
"Now these things happened unto them by way of example; and they are written for
our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come" (10: 11 R.V.).
"Maranatha: the Lord cometh" (16: 22 margin).
"The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly" (Rom. 16: 20).
"The night is far spent, the day is at hand" (13: 12).
"For a yet little while and He that shall come will come and will not tarry" (Heb. 10: 37).
"Ye turned to God . . . . . to wait for His son from heaven" (I Thess. 1: 9, 10).
"We which are alive and remain to the Coming of the Lord" (4: 15).
"I pray God your whole spirit, and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the
Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (5: 23).
"To you who are troubled rest with us at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven
with the angels of His power in flaming fire" (II Thess. 1: 7 R.V.).
"Now we beseech you, brethren . . . . . by our gathering together unto Him" (2: 1).
"The end of all things is at hand" (I Pet. 4: 7).
"The Coming of the Lord draweth nigh" (James 5: 8).
"The Judge standeth before the door" (5: 9).
"It is the last time (hour) . . . . . even now are there many antichrists whereby we know
that it is the last time (or hour)" (I John 2: 18).