TWELVE DISTINCT WORDS
...in the Greek New Testament Relating to
Christ's Return at the End of This Age.
(This is to be used with your Bible. The words in parentheses following each reference show how the word is translated in the King James Version. The longer passages in parentheses with most of the references give the context necessary for a more complete understanding.)
1. Parousía--This is a Greek New Testament word meaning being alongside of or being present. The King James Version of the Scriptures always translates it coming when making reference to the Lord Jesus. In common Greek usage, its reference was to the coming of a dignitary into an area of his domain, with his presence claiming the attention of all. In its seventeen references respecting Jesus, it always occurs in singular form, and always with the Greek Definite Article, making it THE Parousía. The idea that He will have more than one Parousía will not hold out in the light of these passages. They each have reference to the one and same Event at the end of this age.
• In Matthew 24, Jesus's great prophetic teaching to His disciples, there are four references to His Parousía All of these are best read and understood in the context of the entire chapter. We discuss each reference in The Parousía of the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. Matthew 24:3 (thy coming) (24:1-4)
2. Matthew 24:27 (the coming of the son of man) (24:23-27)
3. Matthew 24:37 (the coming of the son of man) (24:36-39)
4. Matthew 24:39 (same)
• Paul, the great teaching Apostle to the church, made clear reference to Christ's Parousía that will come at the end of the age.
5. I Corinthians 15:23 (his coming) (15:19-26)
6. I Thessalonians 2:19 (his coming) (2:19,20)
8. I Thessalonians 4:15 (the coming of the Lord) (4:15-17)
9. I Thessalonians 5:23 (the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ)
10. II Thessalonians 2:1 (the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ) (2:1-10)
11. II Thessalonians 2:8 (his coming)
• James, Pastor of the first church in Jerusalem, spoke of Christ's Parousía.
12. James 5:7 (the coming of the Lord)
13. James 5:8 (the coming of the Lord)
• By no means was Peter, the great Apostle of Pentecost, silent with regard to the Parousía. What he said requires insight and help from the Holy Spirit in understanding.
14. II Peter 1:16 (the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ) (1:16-21)
15. 11 Peter 3:4 (his coming) (3:3-14)
16. II Peter 3:12 (the coming of the day of God)
• The final word from John, the Apostle who leaned on Jesus's breast, is gentle and loving, yet firm and clear.
17. I John 2:28 (his coming)
2. érchomai--This Greek New Testament word basically means to set out on a journey, to go forward, to come to some place. It carries with it the sense of appearing, of coming forward publicly, of coming on the scene suddenly. It is the word the Lord Jesus used most frequently when speaking of His return.
It is important we note the distinct forms this word takes in the Greek. Frequently it occurs in its Present Tense form. The context of each reference, however, gives it a future meaning each time. This helps us see that what Jesus said about two thousand years ago has an unbroken and sure connection with what is yet to come. His word is reaching over all the years with the promise, "I am coming!" Herein lies the end time hope of the church.
1--Matthew 16:27 (the Son of man shall come) (6:21-28) This is the first time Jesus spoke of a coming that was yet future. This came after He had told the disciples of the death He would suffer in Jerusalem. His statement in the Greek is powerful and unusual. It carries this meaning: "The Son of Man is destined to come. I say this with a finality that cannot be contested..." This one time, the word come is from the Aorist Infinitive form of érchomai. This makes it precise and decided, with no room for contest. It is preceded by the Present Tense form of méllo, a word used to express a present certainty about something that shall come to pass in the future.
2--Matthew 24:42 (your Lord doth come), 44 (the Son of man cometh) and 46 (he cometh) (24:36-47) The season of His appearing will be just like the days of Noah. His coming will be in such an hour as ye think not.
3--Matthew 25:6 (the bridegroom cometh) and 13 (the Son of man cometh) (25:1-13) His coming will be as a bridegroom coming for His bride. He will come at the midnight hour while many sleep.
4--Matthew 25:19 (the lord of those servants cometh) (25:14-30) He is coming in judgment to discover the works of His servants.
5--Mark 13:35 (13:32-37) This is similar to the above passage with emphasis on watching lest His coming find you sleeping.
6--Luke 19:13 (19:12-27) This passage is similar to the above two, but also includes the statement, Occupy till I come. The word occupy is from the Aorist Imperative from of prásso, giving it this meaning: "Let it be settled with you that you will be busy with My orders--even in My absence." Prásso is similar in meaning to the Hebrew word translated "do exploits" in Daniel 11:32 (MV).
7--John 14:3 (I will come again) (14:1.4) Although the KJV translates this as though it were Future, the Greek form is Present. However, its use with the Greek palin (again) gives it a Future meaning--but with strong connection to the time when it was first spoken. The emphasis is that, from the day Jesus spoke those words, He has never turned from His determination to come again and receive those who trust Him.
8--John 14:18 (I will come to you) (14:15-20) That this statement is in the Greek Present Tense, but with a future meaning, confirms to us that, in all the years since Jesus spoke it, it remains effective. It is in this Chapter that Jesus told of the coming of the Holy Spirit Who would abide with us, make real His presence and that of the Father, and enable us to stand in this world.
9--John 14:28 (1 go away and come again) (14:27-29) Lest they be distraught, Jesus gave the promise of peace to His disciples while He is away--with the added revelation that He is going to be with the Father and then come again.
• From the time He spoke, it is has been the determination and continuing purpose of the Lord Jesus to return. Through the years, every generation has been able to hear, "I am coming again unto you." Yet, it is necessary that heaven hold Him until the time when all things are restored, which God spoke through the mouth of His holy Prophets--Acts 3:21.
• From Hebrews 10:12,13 we learn that, after offering one sacrifice for sins for ever, He sat down on the right hand of God. From that time He has been expecting till His enemies be made His footstool.
• It becomes apparent from II Thessalonians 2:1-12 that iniquity must come to its full, with all restraint against it removed. It is then the man of sin will make his most blatant move toward the eternal Throne, demanding the open return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
10--Acts 1:11 (He shall so come) This time the Verb does occur in its pure Future Tense form. While Jesus has been the One speaking in the passages we've seen thus far, two men in white apparel, apparently messengers from heaven, made this statement. They told it to the disciples who were watching Jesus ascend into heaven. The men said, He shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go...
11--Revelation 1:7 (Behold, He cometh with clouds) We compare this with Daniel 7:13,14, from which the wording is taken. Jesus will come with a radiant display of glory to receive His inheritance among the nations. The word of Psalm 2:6-9 reaches here.
12--Revelation 2:5, 2:16 and 3:11 (I will come unto thee quickly) Because the Greek Verb come is in the Present Tense in each verse here, as well as in those that follow, we can see this is a coming from which Jesus never turns. Throughout the ages, He is moving toward it. However, the word quickly (from the Greek táchu) shows us that when He does appear upon the scene, it will be with a suddenness. There will be no more time for change for those who have refused to obey His words.
13--Revelation 22:7, 22:12 and 22:20. Three more times Jesus says, I come quickly. This is His last word in Scripture. It is both a promise and a warning.
• In these passages, the word érchomai takes its form as a Present Participle so it can be used as an Adjective to describe Jesus as the Son of Man coming. Take note how often Jesus spoke of His coming in the clouds. Again, take note how Daniel 7:13 and 14 prophetically describes this event. The radiant splendor of the event demands that there be clouds to shield the beholders.
14--Matthew 16:28 (the Son of man coming in his kingdom) (16:24-28) Jesus said some who were with Him at that time would not die till they beheld Him coming in His Kingdom. Very clearly, He had reference to His resurrection that came three days after His death. On the basis of that, His Kingdom was secured--and remains secure. He conquered the final enemy, death.
15--Matthew 24:30 (the Son of man coming in the clouds) (24:29-31) Immediately after the tribulation of the last days, all tribes of the earth shall mourn when they see the Son of Man coming. While the disciples could behold His coming in His Kingdom early, it is left to the time of the end for all to behold this. Then it will be too late for repentance. Great sorrow will come over all who have refused Him.
16--Matthew 26:64 (the Son of man... coming in the clouds) (26:61-66) To His tormentors, Jesus said they would later see Him coming in the clouds of heaven--again associated with Daniel 7:13,14.
17--Mark 13:26 (the Son of man coming in the clouds) (23:24-27) This is a passage similar to Matthew 24:29-31.
18--Mark 14:62 (the Son of man... coming in the clouds) (14:60-64) For the high priest trying Jesus, the statement that He, as the Son of Man, would come again was enough to convict Jesus to die.
19--Luke 21:27 (the Son of man coming in a cloud) (21:25-28) Compare this with Matthew 24:29-31. Jesus said His coming would be after the heavens and earth are shaken. For those of us who know Him, this will be the time of our final redemption. (See Paul's statement in Romans 8:20-23.)
• The word érchomai also occurs as a Present Participle preceded by a Definite Article. This takes the force of the word as a Verb and turns it into a Noun. Thus, Christ Jesus is The Coming One.
20--Revelation 1:4 (which is to come) and 8 (which is to come) Christ Jesus is now, was then and is The Coming One.
TAKE NOTE: There may have come, and yet will come, foreshadowing fulfillments of the above prophetic statements, but they all move toward a great and final coming in the Day of the Lord.
3. Apokalúpto--This is a Verb meaning to reveal, to disclose, to distinctly declare. Its kindred Noun, apokalúpsis, means a disclosure, a revelation, an unveiling, a manifestation, an appearance. This particular word is in the name of the last Book in the Bible which is the revelation (apokalúpsis) of Jesus Christ. In some other passages, these words can take on the meaning of a spiritual revelation or disclosure of truth. Each of these following, however, speaks distinctly of the revelation, or unveiling, of Jesus Christ.
• It's use as Verb:
1. Luke 17:30 (when the Son of man is revealed) (17:26-30) Destruction like that in the days of Noah and of Lot will precede the Day when the son of man is openly disclosed.
2. I Peter 4:13 (His glory shall be revealed) (4:12-14) Peter adds his word regarding the full disclosure of Christ's glory. He emphasizes that this revelation will come after a time of stress. The unveiling of Christ out of tribulation is a principle working through the ages. His great, and final, revelation will come in the Day of the Lord.
• It's use as Noun:
3. I Corinthians 1:7 (the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ) It is to our advantage to recognize the true meaning of this word the King James Version here translates coming. It was Paul's admonition that the church come behind in no spiritual gift while awaiting the revelation--the full disclosure--of the Lord Jesus Christ, whether it be to the church in some dark hour through history or at the end of the age.
4. II Thessalonians 1:7 (the Lord Jesus shall be revealed; lit. "in the revelation of the Lord Jesus") (1:4-10) His apokalúpsis from heaven with the angels of His power will mean the relaxing of all pressure on those who have been trusting Him throughout their time of tribulation. This is Paul's pronouncement of blessing: "And to you who are under pressure, tranquillity--with us, in the unveiling of the Lord Jesus from heaven..."
5. I Peter 1:7 (the appearing of Jesus Christ) and 13 (the revelation of Jesus Christ) Again we learn from Peter that the appearing (apokalúpsis) of Jesus Christ will come out of a time of stress, during which hope need never die.
6. Revelation 1:1 (The Revelation of Jesus Christ) Distinctly, note that the final Book of the Bible is, indeed, an unveiling of Jesus Christ.
NOTE--There is reference to the apokalúpsis of the man of sin in II Thessalonians 2:3, 6 and 8. He, too, will have his time of unveiling.
4. Epiphanía--Only Paul used this word in the New Testament. It is a beautiful and powerful word, from which we get our word "epiphany." It means a sudden appearance, a manifestation, a glorious display, brightness.
1. II Thessalonians 2:8 (the brightness of his coming) This verse links the Epiphanía with the Parousía. The outburst of power and glory, the Epiphanía, attending Christ's Parousía will consume that wicked one who has opposed to the hilt God's Kingdom in the earth.
2. I Timothy 6:14 (appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ) This is Paul's admonition that we remain faithful until His Epiphanía.
3. II Timothy 1:10 (appearing of our Savior) (1:8-11) This one time Paul used the word with reference to Christ's first coming, during which the power of the Gospel was made sure by His death and resurrection.
4. II Timothy 4:1 (his appearing) (4:1-5) Paul's admonition to those of us who minister the Gospel is that we prepare a people who can stand in the judgment that will be released at the Epiphanía of the Lord.
5. II Timothy 4:8 (his appearing) Those who have given themselves to loving the Lord and His righteous judgments will receive a crown of righteousness at His Epiphanía.
6. Titus 2:13 (the glorious appearing) (2:11-15) Paul's exhortation is that we remain faithful in righteousness as we anticipate the Epiphanía of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.
5. Emphanízo--This is a verb translated manifest in the KJV. It means to appear clearly, to make a positive and straightforward declaration.
John 14:21 (1 will manifest) (14:21-23) To those keeping His commandments, Jesus makes the promise that He will appear to them. There is no limit on this as to when it can happen. This is an appearance that could come at any time through the age, but will surely reach its apex in the time of the end.
6. Oráo--This is a Verb used in the Passive Voice this one time with reference to the return of Christ. It means to be seen with the eye.
Hebrews 9:28 (he shall appear) Christ came once as an offering for sin. To those who anticipate Him, He will be seen the second time having nothing to do with a sacrifice for sin, but to release the fullness of the salvation He once obtained.
7. Eko--This is a Verb meaning to arrive, with an emphasis on the finality of it. Note how often in these passages Christ's arrival is associated with immediate judgment, especially on those who should have remained faithful through trial.
1. Matthew 24:50 (the lord of that servant shall come) (24:42-51) For those who are unfaithful in their duty toward Him, the Lord will arrive unexpectedly with the release of His judgment.
2. Luke 12:46 (the lord of that servant will come) (12:41-48) He will arrive and render judgment on those who knew His will but did it not.
3. Hebrews 10:37 (he that shall come will come) (10:36-39) This is taken from the ancient Greek version of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, Habakkuk 2:3,4--Ho Erchómenos éxei.. "The Coming One will come..." This is an awesome passage calling for patience--steadfast endurance--on the part of those who have placed their confidence in Christ. One day, what has seemed His delay will suddenly be over.
4. Revelation 2:25 (till I come) This is Christ's admonition to the church to maintain a hold on all ground gained till His final and awesome arrival.
5. Revelation 3:3 (I will come, I will come) This is Christ's warning that, to those who abide unfaithful and watch not, He will arrive as unexpectedly as a thief.
8. Katabaíno--This is a Verb meaning to descend; to come down. It is used once with reference to the glorious descent of the Lord in the final day as He comes to engage in war with the forces of evil in the earth.
I Thessalonians 4:16 (the Lord himself shall descend) The Lord's descent to the earth will come with a warfare cry calling His hosts to battle.
NOTE: This word also finds use in Ephesians 4:9,10, a powerful passage about Christ's descent into the lower parts of the earth to win the contest for those positions, named in Ephesians 4:11, He would appoint in the Church. See also Revelation 21:10, another glorious descent.
9. élthon--We generally associate this Verb with érchomai as its Aorist form. It has similar meaning except there is a decided completeness about it. It means to come--finally and completely.
1. Matthew 25:31 (When the Son of man shall come) (25:31-46) This means, 'When the Son of Man does finally come in His glory He shall sit upon the throne of His glory." His government will become complete, manifest and settled in all the earth.
2. II Thessalonians 1:10 (When He shall come) (1:7-10) This is Paul's statement in line with the one above from Jesus. It is a promise to those who believe and a warning to those who obey not the Gospel.
3. Jude 14 (the Lord cometh) (with 15) This is Jude's statement in line with the above two. All three make awesome use of this word élthon, associating His final coming with both glory and judgment.
10. Phaneróo--This is a Verb meaning to be set in a clear light; to appear. Each of these passages carries a wonderful promise as to what will become ours when Christ shall appear. The promise of each leaves much room for appearances of Christ through out the age, but point, as do most of the other passages in this study, to the time of the end.
1. Colossians 3:4 (When Christ.. .shall appear) (3:1-4)
2. I Peter 5:4 (the chief Shepherd shall appear) (5:1-4)
3. I John 2:28 (when He shall appear)
4. I John 3:2 (when He shall appear) (3:1-3)
11. Phaíno--This is a Verb meaning to shine forth so as to be seen clearly. It occurs this once.
Matthew 24:30 (then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven) (24:29-31) After the great tribulation, the sign of the Son of Man will shine forth as a radiant light in heaven. It will bring terror to the nations and signal the gathering together of His elect.
12. Hupostrépho--This is a Verb meaning to turn around and come back. Luke 19:12 (and to return) (19:11-27) This is a parable of a certain nobleman who went away to receive for himself a kingdom--and to return. He entrusted the authority of his wealth and present dominion to his servants. On returning, he found only some of them had been faithful. Others had done wickedly.
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