Apostolic Preterist

Apantesis & Parousa

Paul uses a word that, when taken in its normal, technical sense and used and understood in the first century world, negates the idea of a removal of Christians from the earth. If we are to understand 1 Thessalonians we need to understand what the word Parousa and Apantesis mean and how they are being used in 1 Thessalonians. The terms Parousa and Apantesis as technical terms, were used in the ancient world to speak of a king or royal dignitary that was making a visit to a given city. As he got closer to the city for his coming (his Parousa) the citizens of that city, being watchful for him, would, when his entourage was sighted, leave their city and go out to “Meet” (Apantesis) him. They would then escort him back to their city. The city was the destination of the dignitary. It was the location of his Parousa. He was not coming to remove the city. He was coming to visit them. Parousa and Apantesis are often companion words in the koine (common) Greek langage of Pauls world.

If Parousa and Apantesis are being used in Thess in their technical sense, the call was not predicting the coming of Christ to take the church off the earth. He was coming to be with his saints to indwell them. This would mean that Thessalonians was predictive of the reestablishment of fellowship between heaven and earth(Gods people believing Jew and Gentile under the new covenant). Ephesians 1:10 “Eden” would be restored. It would mean, “the tabernacle of God is with men.” (Rev 21:3) Below I have this scripture and what it is talking about in parenthesis marks. Please read before continuing. I recommend you reading the articles I have on heaven and earth and the article on the New Jerusalem after.

Rev 21:1-3 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, (covenant, people,city)”a for the first heaven (covenant) and the first earth (people,city) had passed away, (unbelieving Jews, old covenant, literal city of Jerusalem passed) and there was no longer any sea.(The sea represents people in the bible and this sea is referring to the Jews who died in 70 A.D) 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God (The new Jerusalem city represents the church they came out of the old covenant heaven ), prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband (The New Jerusalem city which was the church was the bride who was marrying her husband Jesus Christ). 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.”

Read the sentence in bold above. Gods dwelling place is called the abode in the scripture- “John 14:2-4 In my Father's house are many mansions (This word mansion means abode in the Greek. The same as dwelling place): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.” The bible says about marriage- "And these two shall become one flesh." When Jesus (Who we know was the tabernacle of God because he said of himself "I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands",) married his bride on the day of Pentecost he tabernacled, indwelled and made his abode within men.

Jesus came on the day of Pentecost and made his abode within each person that was filled with his spirit. This was not established though until the law was completely done away with and grace established until 70 A.D when he came back. You see, Jesus could not be married to his first bride which was the Jews under the old covenant. ( he married them under the law) and his new bride at the same time. Once they were killed, he could marry his new wife officially.

What I would like to do is find out what Paul meant when he said “ We shall meet him in the air.” Did he envision the rising of human bodies into the atmosphere to literally, bodily meet Christ in the clouds? Or was Paul using typical, well understood terms in its historical context met no such things. Did Paul intend for his readers to understand Apantesis (meet) in Thessalonians? In its formal or technical definition. I believe it was technical. I believe that when the Christians saw Jerusalem surrounded by armies they remembered what Luke said which was when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies know that the desolation thereof was nigh and fled the city. There I believe the Lords presence met them in the air (which in the Greek is atmosphere.) From that point I believe Jesus dwelt within the new Jerusalem city (which was symbolic for the church.)

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