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1This morning I would like to speak on a subject that I feel is very misunderstood among both the Christian world and the people who claim to believe this Message. To be able to understand what this Message is all about not only takes a revelation, but it takes a specific revelation concerning the end time events and how they all fit together to make up the Shout, Voice and Trumpet of God which are the three main events associated with the end time revelation of Jesus Christ.
4So the apostle Paul did not wish for us to be ignorant or remain ignorant concerning the resurrection, and more specifically the time of the resurrection because he is talking about those who have slept.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with himself.
5Now, notice that the Apostle Paul is speaking here of the death and resurrection of Jesus and then he speaks of the resurrection of those who sleep in Jesus, (Christians filled with the Holy Ghost), and he says they are those that God will bring with him. So he is talking about something that God does.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
6Now, this word "coming" is a mistranslation by the men who wrote the King James version. They had no understanding of the end time events so they chose a word to use that fit their own theology but was in error concerning the end time events as given to us by a vindicated prophet.
7The Greek word was "Parousia" and the English equivalent is simply "Presence." So to get a better understanding of this thing that God does lets insert the English Word Presence and the read is entirely understandable in terms of end time events.
9Now, the word coming implies an act or arrival only, but as we read the events that are accompany this Presence show that a considerable time is involved here, and not a mere act of arrival. As we continue to read we will see three things that God does and then the resurrection takes place and we are caught up to meet the Son of God in the air.
16 For The Lord Himself (now, remember there is only one Lord and One Faith of that One Lord. Moses taught that, Jesus taught that, and Paul Taught that. So we see thisOne Lord which is God Himself) shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
12Notice this Parousia presence is a time set apart by God for the end time people of God who have not gone into the grave during the seven church ages. It says, that we which are alive and remain unto the Parousia (Presence) of the Lord, ... and then Paul adds, we shall not prevent them which are asleep. Now, this word prevent was translated from a Greek word, and it does not mean to prevent them, but actually means we will not go before them. So what paul is telling us here is that during the time of this Parousia Presence something will take place that will bring up the sleeping saints to come together with the saints that are living. And the Apostle Paul explains that in the very next verse when he says, ...
1317 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them (the sleeping saints that God brings with Himself) in the clouds, to meet The Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with The Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
14Most people who call themselves Christians today have no clue that this scripture speaks of an end time presence of God among the people with a ministry to the saints which are alive at this time, and then brings together the saints that have already gone to be with Jesus which will be the resurrected saints.
17I will never forget words brother Vayle spoke in 1982 at the Columbus Meetings, when he said, "no prophet no God, no God no prophet". And what he meant by that is when God sends a prophet, it is never the case where the prophet is sent alone, but rather God always accompanies that prophet.
18The sign of a prophet among the people is always accompanied by "The Personal Presence of God" among the people as well. And without understanding this principle it is impossible to understand what has taken place in this hour when God sent us His prophet.
19Therefore, I wish to go way back to 1982 and present a study that I made back then because many of you were not even born yet in 1982, and since many still to this day do not understand the ministry of the Holy Spirit in this last hour, I would like to show from Scripture and quotations just exactly what has taken place according to the Apostle Paul, Peter, and William Branham Himself who all taught the doctrine of the Parousia.
20First let me establish that the doctrine of the Parousia of Christ is a doctrine that was taught by the Apostle Paul. We have already read of it in 1 Thesslonians 4: 13-18.
In those verse of Scripture the apostle Paul lays out for us the end time ministry of God' Personal Presence on earth and tells us what God will do during this time frame of His Presence.
22Secondly the apostles Peter, the Apostle John and the Apostle James also taught this doctrine of Parousia making it not only Paul's teaching but the doctrine of the Apostles for it is mentioned by every writer of the books of the new testament.
23Furthermore, the Apostle Paul warned us in Galatians 1:8-9 the following. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
25The Wuest Translation puts it this way, "In Fact, even if we or a messenger from heaven should preach a Gospel to you which goes beyond that which we preached to you as good news, let him be accursed."
28Ten virgins 60-1211M P:112 And I seen those millions standing there; I said, "Are they all Branhams?" Said, "No." Said, "They're your converts."And I said... I said, "I want to see Jesus."He said, "Not yet. It'll be a time before He comes yet. But He'll come to you first, and you'll be judged by the Word that you preached, and they are resting upon That." I said, "Will all have to be done that? Will Paul have to stand?"He said, "Yes, Paul stands too with his group that he preached to."I said, "I've preached the same message he did."And them millions raised their hands and said, "We are resting on that." There you are (See?), right there.
29Manifested sons of God 60-0518 P:126 Now, if that was true then on that day, he said (them, the people said to me), said, "Jesus will come to you, and you will present us to Him, a chaste virgin." Judged by the Word that you preached to them. And, look, if I preach to you just what Paul preached to his church, if his group gets in ours will too, 'cause we got the same thing. Amen.
30Why are we not a denomination? 58-0927 P:107 You know, Paul was the apostle, and to the Gentile church. Look here. Did you know Paul... How many believes that's what Paul preached? Is that what he said here? And Paul said...You say, "Well, wait a minute now, Brother Branham. Just a minute. Now, our bishop says that's all right. The general overseer, the assembly says it's all right. The oneness bishop says it's all right."I don't care what they say, it's false! And I told you we was going to stick this hard. And false prophets would say so. For the Bible said, "If any man thinks himself to be a spiritual, or a prophet, let him acknowledge that what I say is the commandments of the Lord." And if his spirit don't bear record with that Word, he's a false prophet to begin with. I'd rather be a woman hater than a woman lover to go such stuff as that, to put up with such stuff as that in the Church of God contrary to the ordinances of God. And Paul said, get Galatians 1:8; Paul said, "If an angel from heaven would preach any other Gospel than that what I preached unto you, let him be accursed." Now, what are you going to do about that?
32And this morning we are establishing that the apostle Paul taught us the doctrine of the Parousia of Christ. And if any men call it false they had better be careful for they are not saying what the Apostle Paul said.
35Author, Israel P. Warren of Portland Maine, wrote in His book The Parousia in 1879 pp. 12-15 "We often speak of the second advent, the second coming, etc., but the Scriptures never speak of a second Parousia.. Whatever was to be its nature, it was something peculiar, having never occurred before and being never to occur again. It was to be a Presence differing from and superior to all other manifestations of Himself to men, so that It's designation should properly stand by Itself, without any qualifying Epithet other than the article, "The Presence".
"From this view of the word it is evident, that neither the English word coming, nor the Latin Advent, is the best representative of the word. They do not conform to It's etymology; they do not correspond to the idea of the verb from which It is derived; nor could they appropriately be substituted for the more exact word, "Presence". In the cases where the translators used the latter, nor is the radical
"Coming" and "Advent" give most prominently the conception of an approach to us, motion toward us; "Parousia" That of being with us, without reference as to how it began. The force of coming or advent ends with arrival; that of Presence begins with the arrival. Coming and advent are words of motion whereas Presence shows rest. The space of time covered by the action of coming or advent is limited, it may be momentary; that of Presence is unlimited. Had our translators done with this technical word "Parousia" as they did with "Baptisma" transferring it unchanged, or if translated using It's exact etymological equivalent, "Presence" and had It been well understood, as It then would have been, that there is no such thing as a second "Presence,"' I believe that the entire doctrine would have been different from what it now is. The phrases, "second advent," and "Second coming," would never have been heard. The church would have been taught to speak of the "Presence" of the Lord, as that from which It's hopes were to be realized, whether in the future or at the remotest period, that under which the world was to be made new, A resurrection both Spiritual and corporeal should be attained, and justice and everlasting awards administered,"
As we examine the scriptural usage of this word "Parousia", we shall take all 23 scriptures where this word appears and show the relevancy to the word "Presence" and how the scripture applies to this hour.
36After all, brother Branham said in [Shalom] pp. 223, "All the New Testament speaks of this hour."
In the book of Matthew 24:3 We see the first occurrence of this word when the disciples are asking Jesus about His Presence concerning the end of the world. "And as He sat in 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 "Parousia" (Presence) and of the end of the world?"
37The question asked was what shall be the sign of thy presence. These disciples did not know of a first coming much less a second coming. They were asking when shall your presence be made openly known? When will you come forth and manifest your presence to men? This is the very same question that Jesus' own brothers asked of Him in John 7:1-13 but Jesus refused to answer them for they didn't believe Him any way. He told them to go to the feast by themselves, He then later went secretly, not wanting to show Himself openly.
Brother Branham said in his message entitled: [Revelation of Jesus Christ] pp. 106 12-04-60 "Oh, how the last age and the coming of the Lord was covered up to the apostles! They asked the question, but only one lived to have the revelation; and still he didn't understand it, because the history was not yet made."
39But having the Revelation of Christ's Presence in this hour is essential to understanding the events that God is here to perform. And without that revelation you will not only struggle trying to sort out the various events which have already taken place, but you will also have no clue as to what is yet to come during the reaming time of the Shout, and then the Voice and finally the Trump of God during this end time period called the Parousia of Christ.
40As you can see, it is essential to see the Word manifested in order to receive the correct interpretation of it. Author J. B. Rotherham of Cincinnati, Ohio, wrote a Bible translation called The Emphasized Bible. In his translation he noted the following, "In this edition the word Parousia is uniformly rendered “Presence” "Coming," as a representative of this word being set aside.”
He continued "The Parousia,... is still in the future, and may therefore be enshrouded in a measure of obscurity which only fulfillment can clear away: It may in fine be both a period, more or less extended, during which certain things shall happen, an event, coming on and passing away as one of a series of Divine interposition's."
42Church Age Book Chapter 1 - Introduction - The Revelation of Jesus Christ P:2 INTRODUCTION Though this volume will concern itself with various major doctrines (such as the Godhead, Water Baptism, etc.) found in Revelation, chapters One through Three, its main theme is the setting forth of a detailed study of the Seven Church Ages. This is necessary in order to study and understand the rest of the Revelation, for out of the Ages come the Seals, and out of the Seals come the Trumpets, and out of the Trumpets come the Vials. Like the first burst of a Roman candle, the Church Ages come forth with a mighty initial illumination, without which there could be no further light. But once the brilliance of the Seven Church Ages is given by Divine revelation, light upon light follows, until the whole of the Revelation opens wide before our wondering eyes; and we, edified and purified by its Spirit, are made ready for His glorious appearing, even our Lord and Saviour, the One True God, Jesus Christ.
43Brother Branham also said, "God is His own interpreter and He interprets His Word by bringing it to pass." This is exactly what Rotherham wrote concerning "The Parousia,... is still in the future, and may therefore be enshrouded in a measure of obscurity which only fulfillment can clear away:
44And since we have had a prophet come in this Hour with "Thus Saith the Lord" and has declared the presence of Christ among us, we can rest in knowing we have the correct interpretation of the Word.
Matthew 24:27 "For as the Lightning cometh out of the east and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the Parousia of the son of man be."
45We see here "Presence" and not coming. Lightning that cometh is but a flash, but in this example he says it will lighten the entire earth. Not just a quick flash off in the horizon somewhere but this lighting up is from east to west which representing total enlightenment. The lightning that comes from east to west encompasses space and time, as Presence shows not only arrival but a space of time that deals with His presence.
47And brother Branham said, "My ministry is to declare Him, that He is here." So we are looking at 2 things; a declaration of Christ and a notification of His Presence, that He is here.
This scripture also tells us that Christ's Great Presence will bring forth great light that will lighten the whole earth.
49I believe that is why so many cannot seem to understand what this Parousia is all about, because they cannot comprehend the things of God, for according to 1 Corinthians 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God knows. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
50So it takes the Holy Ghost to understand the things of God. which brings us to another point. Balaam was a genuine prophet of God, but it was his decision to chase money that made him to enter into error.
52Now, that is a warning of the Holy Ghost to any who are listening to these words this morning. God made Luicifer to lead and God made Balaam a genuine prophet of God, but it was their decisions to go for the money and popularity that brought about their downfall. Let that be a warning to all who claim to serve God in this hour.
53So we see here that the Presence of Christ at His first coming brought forth an illumination, and if, "He is the same Yesterday, Today and forever", then the sign of His glorious Presence here among us again in this hour, will have to be truly vindicated by an illumination that will be received by those whom it was meant for and rejected by those who are in darkness.
In the book of Matthew we see the second time this word Parousia is spoken and it is spoken this time by Jesus Christ Himself. Therefore, Jesus Himself is the author of the Parousia Doctrine as we see in Matthew 24:37 "But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the Parousia of the Son of Man be.
55Therefore the word Parousia speaks not of the instant of arrival. For what took place in the days of Noah? That same thing is to repeat again? And we know that A message of salvation and judgment went forth. For Peter told us that Noah was a preacher of righteousness. And it was Salvation for those who entered in, and judgment to those who refused to enter in.
Listen to what Jesus again says the third time we see this word Parousia seen in Scripture.
57Again we see by this example of the floods coming upon the people and the washing away, and yet the people would not be aware of a message of Grace and Mercy and so they would refuse to enter into this Parousia Presence of the Son of man.
59In fact that is what brother Branham wrote down in his notes for his sermon on the rapture, that the time of the rapture which we know is the time spoken of in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 as the Apostle Paul spoke of, and in his notes concerning this Scripture brother Branham said that the doctrine will be scoffed at as we see here ========>
60This flood coming on and taking them all away was the result of a forty day period of rain which washing away did not happen at the first sign of rain or the first rain drop. It is interesting to note that the resurrection period was about 40 days, and so will the Omega resurrection period which the tent will be with us about 6 weeks or 40 days according to brother Branham's description of how he wanted it set up.
61This also tells us that they knew it not until it was too late. We know that God had a prophet on the scene preaching a message of Warning then Judgment for nearly 120 years, but which was rejected by all except a handful of people, leaving nothing but judgment for those who refused the Message of that hour.
The next time we see this word Parousia spoken o it is by the apostle Paul himself in...
63Here the Apostle Paul is speaking of the order of the resurrection, where the first will be last and the last first. A coming forth by an order. Therefore, this order is not an instantaneous thing but rather it is brought about through a process of time whether concentrated or extended. And the use of the word Order also signifies authority and headship which are certainly indicated here by this scripture.
Again we see the resurrection spoken of at the time of the Parousia of Christ. This was spoken of by both Rotherham and Earl P Warren, as part of the events of the Parousia.
67From the Seven Church Ages 5/11/54 he said, "He that was first will be last. ..That's the order of the resurrection. I won't know nobody in the generation before me or the generation after me. I'll know those in the generation with me. Every generation will come successively as it went down."
The next time we see this word Parousia spoken of is in I Thessalonians 2:19 by the Apostle Paul. "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the sight of our Lord Jesus Christ at His Parousia." Notice then the Parousia of Christ according to the apostle Paul should be not only our hope, but also our crown of rejoicing. And this is true as anyone who understands the doctrine of the Parousia Presence of Christ can attest to. Yet there are ministers who call the Parousia of Christ a false doctrine. all I can say is Shame on you my brother, for you know not what you are speaking against.
70"For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the sight of our Lord Jesus Christ at His Parousia." If this scripture means only that we come into His sight, then we must ask ourselves, "At what point do we enter into His sight?" Does not "sight indicate presence?"
Now, Presence is not determined in inches or feet, but in "view of." I do not have to be touching to be in the Presence of, but merely in reach of, whether by viewing or hearing. As we come closer together, our sight becomes clearer and clearer and our understanding of what we see becomes more defined.
71Then from what point does the act of arrival become Presence? Any way you look at it, Parousia or presence deals with space and time.
The next Scripture that we see the word Parousia spoken of is again the apostle Paul in...
I Thessalonians 3:13 "To the end He may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the Parousia of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints."
72Now, as some think the Word Parousia speaks of the second coming, I would like to ask one question of them, "Does the establishing of our hearts have to wait for his 2nd coming, when we meet Him bodily in the air?" Or is there to be a ministry that is ordained to establish the hearts and make them ready as a prepared people for the Lord. Do we wait for the 2nd coming to become a holy people or does the process begin with the prophet of Malachi 4 which is ordained to turn the hearts of the children to the doctrine of the Pentecostal Fathers?
73When their eyes were opened 64-0212 P:60 Now, it hasn't been in any years since the apostles until this time, as far as we know. But He promised at this time the Son of man would be revealed like it was at Sodom. Now, you read that in Luke 17, about 20 to 30, and see if that isn't right. He promised it. Read Malachi 4. Don't mix it with Malachi 3 now; Malachi 3 was John the Baptist. See? But Malachi 4, as soon as this is over, the righteous walk out over the wicked and the world was burnt with fire. See? It never happened in the days of John's life. We're expecting that great anointing upon the church that will turn the hearts back to the original doctrine of the fathers, back to the real, genuine Pentecost.
75Jehovah Jireh 1 64-0402 P:69 And He's well told us, and promised us these things according to the Bible in many places. Even the Old Testament promised it in Malachi 4, that how it would be in the last days, would turn the hearts of the children back to the faith of the fathers: the Pentecostal fathers, the original doctrine of the Bible, the original Word, that what it would do. And there'd be a sign, and this sign would confirm--be confirmed by the voice that would follow it, that You're here, and we believe You.
76Therefore the process of the hearts being turned back to the doctrine of the Pentecostal fathers is in operation right now and has been through William Branham's ministry as the prophet of Malachi 4. If we must wait until the meeting in the air, then we will already have a glorified body before this condition of holy and blameless can occur? If the scripture speaks of our hearts being established, then how can we wait until the meeting in the air.
77Brother Branham taught us that we take the condition of our hearts here into that other dimension. So our hearts have got to be changed on this side of the resurrection. After all, if this scripture places the establishing of the hearts at the time we meet Christ in the air, then we must also place Malachi 4 where the hearts of the children are established, at the same time.
Does one become established in a moment in the twinkling of an eye? Or is it a process? Then being a process it involves a space of time.
78The Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 1:4-5 that "we were chosen in Him to be holy and without blame in His presence." Then it tells us that in order for this to happen He predestinated us to it. In other words, He selected us and ordained us to it and then prepared the way for it to happen.
Therefore the whole process of our predestination deals with space of time which we do not know the length or span. We see Him as He is, and we begin to see ourselves for who we really are.
Now we come to the Scriptures which we used as our text for this sermon, I Thessalonians 4:15 "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the Parousia of the Lord shall not hinder them which are asleep."
79Now if we take this verse by itself, we leave a big question. How can we hinder those which are asleep. But verse 16 answers our question when it says, "For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Arch Angel, and with the trump of God." Then the dead shall be raised...
Therefore, the dead are not brought with Him but are raised as a result of the "voice" he brings as brother Branham said in the Rapture message. There are three things that happen with His descent. 1: The Shout which is the Message. 2: the Voice which is the resurrection. 3: The Trump which is the catching away.
So we see these events of the Shout, which is the message going forth to catch a bride, and then the voice of the resurrection and finally the trump of God which assembles the bride together for the catching away.
80Rapture the 65-1204 P:75 Three things happen, a shout, a voice, a trumpet, has to happen before Jesus appears. Now, a shout. Jesus does all three of them when He's descending. A "shout," what is a "shout"? It's the Message going forth first, the living Bread of Life bringing forth the Bride. Now, God has a way of doing things, and He never changes His policy. He never changes His... He's the unchanging God. In Amos 3:7 He said He would do nothing on the earth until first He revealed it to His servants the prophets. And just as certain as He promised it, He'll do it.
81Rapture the 65-1204 P:89 The next is what? was a trumpet. a shout, a voice, a trumpet. Now, the third thing is a trumpet, which always at the Feast of Trumpets is calling the people to the feast; and that'll be the Bride's supper, the Lamb's supper with the Bride in the sky. See, the first things comes forth is His Message calling the Bride together. The next thing is a resurrection of the sleeping Bride, the one that's died back in the other ages. They're caught together, and the trumpet, the feast in the heavens--in the sky. Why, it's--that's the thing that takes place, friends.We're right there ready now. The only thing, the church coming out has got to lay before the sun to ripen. The great combine will come by after while. The wheat will be burned, the stalks, but the grain will be gathered into it's garner. See?
82Rapture the 65-1204 P:82 He ordained these things to be, and He must send this. The first thing come when He starts descending from the heaven, there's a shout. What is it? It's a Message to get the people together. A Message comes forth first. Now, "Lamp trimming time. Rise and trim your lamps." What watch was that? The seventh, not the sixth, the seventh. "Behold the Bridegroom cometh. Rise and trim your lamps." And they did. Some of them found they didn't even have any oil in their lamp. See? But it's lamp trimming time. It's Malachi 4 time when you come... It's Luke 17. It's Isaiah... All those prophecies that it can, perfectly set in order for this day in the Scriptures, we see it living right there.
85I Thessalonians 5:23 "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; And I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the Parousia of our Lord Jesus Christ." Now, was the Apostle Paul speaking of our hearts being blameless just until His act of arrival? Or unto His presence?
86The word unto here is used the same as into and it signifies a preservation that last's right up to and including the time of the very Presence of Jesus Christ. "Until" would signify that it takes you up to the point of and you go no further, whereas "unto" involves not only up to, but "in to". So we shall always remain holy and blameless in His presence.
The next time we see this doctrine of Parousia in scripture is once again by the apostle Paul in II Thessalonians 2:1 "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the Parousia of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him." Now, watch the warning the Apostle pays out for us. 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
87So we see that there must be a falling away that designates the time is at hand that the Day of Christ is at hand. This is part of the events that occur at the time of the Parousia of Christ as the Apostle Paul makes clear hear in these three verses of Scripture.
88Therefore, Christ must arrive and be present in order for this scripture to make sense. How do we gather unto Him if He is not here. This does not say that we gather together and then He comes. He must first be here and then we gather to Him, otherwise we would be gathering together unto someone or something else and not unto Him.
It is not dealing with His act of arrival but his subsequent Presence and one of the characteristics of His presence. and it is not us that do the gathering together, but this is an action of Him that gathers us at the time of His Presence where he gathers us unto His presence. Therefore, we do not do the gathering, but he is here to gather us.
89Now, let's read first MALACHI 3:16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. 17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, (Now, notice here, he is coming to claim them as His own, His presence will declare those that are his) in that day when I make up my jewels; (Now, the Lamsa translation says, "In that day when I come to assemble my People", and the NIV says, "when I come to gather my possession", and the RSV says, "they shall be my special possession in that day when I begin to act". But they all continue with these words, "and I will spare them as a man who spares his son who serves him". That's adoption words right there. And this ought to tell us that God comes down as the Father of Glory to gather His Children which are more precious to Him than Jewels, because He is here to save us from the destruction which is ordained to come. ) and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. again that is the right kind of son, and one ready for adoption. 18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.
90We also see in Matthew 3:12 tells us that He will do the gathering. Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. There is to be a gathering unto Him.
92So one of the identifiable characteristics of His Parousia is this gathering. Then where will this gathering together be? Into His presence. And He is the Vindicated Word.
Questions and answers COD 64-0830E P:115 430. When and where will the people of God gather for the last Word? In Christ. Yep. For the last day, they'll gather in Christ, Don't forget that now. We got a gathering place; we got it just exactly.
93II Thessalonians 2: 8-9 "And then shall that wicked one be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His Parousia. Even him, whose Parousia is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,"
94It is not just the act of arrival that destroys the workings of Satan, but it is the Word of God that defeats him always. Jesus showed this in the wilderness experience where he was tempted by Satan but defeated Satan by the Word. So it is not just the arrival or second coming that does this but The Word of God which renders Satan impotent. As in nature, most life forms that are parasitic in nature cannot take direct light.
Direct sunlight will destroy fungi, bacteria and all sorts of parasitic life forms. Even amongst cancer patients the use of light or radiation treatment is used to kill whole areas of infection. Satan is the greatest parasite of all. He does not create but has only perverted down through the ages.
95And notice that at the Parousia of Christ we see the Parousia of Satan as well. Then think it not strange that when the sons of God are coming into the image of the first born son at the Parousia of Christ, that the rest of the world, the sons of the wicked one are also coming into the image of their father Satan.
The next time in Scripture that we hear of the Parousia of Christ it is in II Peter 3:4 "And saying, where is the promise of His Parousia for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."
96The very fact that this speaks that "all things continue" shows it is dealing with a period of time. Another point to consider is that this speaks of a promise that is associated or brought about by the Parousia. Not specifically that the Parousia is "the" promise, though we know that it is. But just as Paul say's in Galatians 2:20 that we "live by the faith of the Son of God." So, too, we see here that the scrip¬ture says that the scoffers will say, "where is the promise of His Parousia." There are definitely promises associated with and are brought about by the Parousia of our Lord Jesus Christ.
97The next time in scripture we see the doctrine of the Parousia spoken of is by the Apostle James in James 5:7-8 "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the Parousia of our Lord. Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until He receive the early and latter rain. Be ye patient; stablish your hearts: for the Parousia of the Lord draws nigh."
Here the scripture is dealing with a harvest condition and speaks of the Lord's Personal Presence as that of a husbandman waiting for the fruit to mature. Now the question is this, if the husbandman is waiting for the fruit to get ripe, why does it yet speak of His presence as something that must take place in the future. The answer is very simple, as husbandman you tend the fruit, but as husbandman you also harvest the fruit. He's here to harvest his crop of children, His wheat, and with patience which in itself indicates a period of time more or less extended he waits for them to come to maturity thus adoption or the placing of sons.
I John 2:28 "And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He shall Appear, we shall have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His Parousia."
98The Appearing has to do with His Presence. This Appearing is a Word which means a great shining forth or a revealing of that which has not been revealed. Hence a Presence bringing forth a disclosure, not merely an act of arrival. You will also notice that this great disclosure brings us into a condition of confi¬dence without shame. Now confidence is something that must build up, it does not come by some magical hocus pocus, but by trial and victory, trial and victory. brother Branham said in the Church Age book that "Character is not gift, character is a victory." So too confidence must be learned which again signifies enlightenment and time.
In Philippians 2:12 The Apostle Paul uses the word Parousia not in connection with the end time Parousia of Christ but concerning his own personal presence. "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my Parousia only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
99Notice the application here. Paul is contrasting his presence with his absence. This scripture shows examples of Parousia as presence so plainly that one would really have to grasp at straws to make the word Parousia anything other than presence.
II Peter 3:12 "Looking for and hasting unto the Parousia of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, And the elements shall melt with fervent heat?"
100Again this is dealing with a series of events which constitute more than a mere act of arrival, but a presence bringing forth a series of events. And remember, when the people spurn mercy, there is nothing left but judgment. so the last of the pasrousia of Christ brings on total destruction of this world. That is when God's Presence leaves the earth and there will ne nothing left to hold it together.
101From Will the Church go Through the Tribulation 1-9-58 he said, "He has come now in mercy, revealing Himself to the church. It's being laughed at and scoffed at. The next time He reveals Himself, It'll be in judgment on the world and the nations that forgot God and sinned their day of grace away."
II Peter 1:16 "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and Parousia of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty."
Simply put; Peter, James and John when brought up to the mount with Jesus where Jesus was transfigured before their very eyes, were not witnesses of a coming but of a presence. And this also shows that power to vindicate and presence, go hand in hand when concerning the Lord Himself.
I Corinthians 16:17 "I am glad of the Parousia of Stephanas and Fortuna¬tus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied."
102Now if he is speaking of their arrival only, what did their arrival supply the people? It was the efforts made while they were there that was able to supply or help the people and minister to their needs. The Parousia or presence of the Lord on it's own will not do one thing for you. It is the manifestation or unveiling of Himself that "Supplies all our needs." Over 5 Billion people are on earth today, and what is Gods' presence doing for them? It is no different than at His first coming where He was in the world and the world was made by Him and the world knew him not. They grow more ungodly as each day passes.
II Corinthians 7:6-7 "Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the Parousia of Titus. And not by his Parousia only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your morning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more."
103Again we see here that it was not Titus arrival but his presence to the people and His ministry to them while there. In fact Paul said, It is not his presence that brought this comfort but what he did while being present.
II Corinthians 10:10 "For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; But his bodily Parousia is weak, and his speech contemptible."
104Paul is saying that His bodily presence may be weak, but if language means anything, how could his bodily coming be weak? That would not make any sense.
Philippians 1:26 "That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my Parousia to you again."
105Again, is Paul speaking about his act of arrival only? Or is He speaking of his presence with the people and what takes place while he is there. Therefore as you can see the Scripture is replete with many scriptures from all the writers of the New testament that speak of the end time Parousia Presence of Christ and the period of time that many events will take place constituting the end time presence of Christ.