Stephen Whitsett BA
“He never said he would return physically or bodily. The misinterpretation of Acts 1:11 promotes that idea.”
“Jesus never promised to return physically. That is another false presupposition that finds no scriptural support. Your argument on "in like manner" does violence to the grammar of the text in Acts 1, where the emphasis in the grammar is not on his physical appearance, but on the disappearance into the cloud. So, your argument is falsified because it is based on false presuppositions, bad linguistics, and bad grammar.” Don Preston
“The “second” coming of Christ is also a fiction according to Scripture, which has no substance. It is born and bred from the doctrines of man, not from the Holy Scripture. Additionally, you will not find the “idea” of a physical “second coming” of Christ, or the literal “return of Christ,” taught anywhere in scripture. When searching out the truth given to us in Scripture, we must use Scripture to interpret Scripture.”
Some Full/Hyper Preterist argues Christ is NOT coming again as taught by Paul, and some Full Preterists believe He did come again in 70 AD, and some even argue he never left.. As all Full Preterists know Christ DID not return physically or bodily in 70 AD, yet scriptures use words to describe a physical bodily return. You cannot claim he came and no one saw him if you believe it was to be a "visible" appearing. Therefore, to insist on an invisible return because they claim he came and yet no one saw him, words that are used to describe "his appearing" must be redefined to mean it’s not him personally but just his "felt presence", what is seen is the clouds above Jerusalem in 70 AD.
It is claimed by many Full Preterist the Bible never uses the words "second coming", which is true, but what it does say is "He will appear a second time" and "I will come". There are then three points that speak and teach about His return from scripture that help us to understand the promise. He himself will come; He exists in bodily form; and it is promised "HE" will come. It will be a visible return, and it will be Jesus himself who returns;
"Parousia", "Epiphaneia" describe the nature of the return.
In Acts 1.11 after he ascended the angel spoke,
"This Jesus, ...will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”, again it is specific to say "this Jesus" is who comes. I Thess 4.16 "states "the Lord Himself" will come. There is no place in scripture or any type of understanding that changes "The Lord himself" to ever mean that something else comes in his place. If it is Jesus Himself who comes then we cannot claim the "roman army came in his place". We are led to believe and trust when Christ returns it will be "him" who comes, as Revelation 19 also tells us The rider on the white horse comes from heaven and is seen, with the armies of heaven following after.
Hebrews 9.28 tells us, "so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, ..... to save those who are eagerly waiting for him." Two things are implied from the scripture and can be stated as truth and not a presupposition; He appeared the first time to die, he will appear a second time to save. If He himself appeared the first time, there is no reason or justification for us to believe that when he comes again it will be invisible. The word "appear" can have no other meaning but "to be seen with the eyes".
What is interesting Preterist claim the man of lawless man, the beast was Nero or some ruler, "And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. 2 Thess 2.8 This man can be seen but Christ is not?
"to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15which he will display at the proper time— I Tim 6.14
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 Tim 4.1
Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. 2 Tim 4.8
13waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, Titus 2.13
The word “Epiphaneia” from which we get the English word “epiphany”, is used 6 times and in 5 cases it is used for Christ second coming and the other for his first coming. The word is not used in any other case. If he appeared the first time we have no reason to believe he will not appear the second time.
The word “appears” (verb) when used sometimes of Christ is another word all together. It is used in Mathew 24.27 when the lighting “shines” or appears in regards to being visible as in something real that can be seen, made visible. The word “his” a pronoun refers to Christ who is appearing at HIS coming again the specific inference is stating that it is Jesus who does come, at his coming and no one else as we know 2 Thess 2.9 tells us of the “Parousia” of the lawless one who also appears, unless they believe the appearing of the lawless one is also invisible.
The other word used for appeared comes from Paul in I Cor 15.4-6 in which Paul states Christ also appeared to him just as he appeared to the disciples after his resurrection.
We know this appearance to the disciples was real and in a bodily form of “flesh and bones” Luke 24.39.
Christ was not raised a "Spirit".
The Greek word "Parousia" is also a technical term for the arrival of a King to deal with a situation that he alone can deal with. The word is used twenty-four times in scriptures. Sixteen times it refers to Christ coming again as a noun, or event. It is then used to speak of a person who arrives at a city personally and physically. Parousia is used once to describe Paul "Personal presence" when he comes. Parousia is also used to describe the coming of the lawless one.
In 2 Thessalonians 2.8 "the Parousia" of the lawless one and his rule ends with the "Epiphaneia" of the "Parousia" of Christ.
"The Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the APPEARANCE OF HIS COMING. "
Colossian 2.9 tells us Christ exist in "bodily" form. and Romans 6.29 says he "cannot die again". Jesus told the disciples in Luke 24 after his resurrection that he was raised in a "body" of flesh and bone". We are even promised to receive a glorious Body like His. So when he returns he will be in bodily form that can be touched and seen as no verse states Christ body was changed after he ascended. We have no reason to believe Christ was not raised into a glorified body. We have no reason to even suggest Christ "body died again" after His ascension as we are specifically told "HIS" Body cannot die again. Christ glorified body of "flesh and bone" can walk through locked doors, appear and disappear at will, it has become a "spiritual body" one of ability to exist in the heavenly realm as well as an earthly realm.
So the question remains; When scriptures say he has a glorified body of flesh and bone, that he will appear when he personally comes the second time to save, how can we infer it is an invisible return? Or he lost his body somehow when he ascended.
Our argument for His visible coming is not based ALL in Acts 1 but in the six verses that tell us he will "appear" when he comes. The grand display of his coming will be a spectacular display of God's glory and power and in this coming he exposes the "beast" as the liar who claims to be God. With his coming he forever changes the course of
human history as He comes "to rule the nations with a rod of iron" from Jerusalem.
More of the Second Coming
Giving an orthodox apologetic answer for Eschatology