[While you may read this page, please note it is in a state of development]
When the greek word “PAROUSIA” is used in context of the the new testament it brings with it themore specific connations that suggest ideas like “an arrival to a place, a present presence, being present.” More specifically for the disciples of our Lord–to Chrisitians–it specifically means, Second Coming, also termed Second Advent or in greek/latin the Parousia, in Christianity–A future coming of JESUS in glory, where it is assumed that he will set up his kingdom, and judge his enemies while rewarding the faithful, both living and dead.
With the birth of Classical dispensational and the work of John Darby and Cyrus Scofield it even had a more specific meaning. These introduced into the Christian market place of ideas, to the best of this bloggers research a never before propogated before of a pre-millenial “SECRET RAPTURE” in which the Church would be raptured “in secret” and rise in the Clouds to be with our Lord, and that would make space for the last of Darby and Scofield’s JEWISH MILLENIAL KINGDOM dispensations to be realized [Revelations 20:1-7]. However Darby and Scofield perceived for the first time a “two-part, two-stage duality to the second coming. The “secret part” would merely be our Lord coming in the clouds to receive “the church,” and not quite make it to the ground. The second part to Darby and Scofield’s conception of the Parousia would be when Jesus would land on the Mount of Olives fulfill “the Unconditional Promises” to the Hebrews of the Old Testament, encapsulated in the Abrahamic, Palestanian, and Davidic Covenants, and reign for a 1000 years — these would be the times of the promised glory days of the State of Israel. Jesus would reign from mount Zion, Ezekiel’s temple “would be built and given to “true worship,” in which the animal sacrifices of atonement would be conducted,” as a retroactive memorial of our Lord’s atonement work on Calvary. Per Darby and Scofield “the Church” would have no specific part in this–with the SECRET RAPTURE the times of the gentiles would be most perfectly complete. Darby and Scofield conceived that it is now, and only now, that Jeremiah 31:31-34 [please read] — an unconditional, as unconditional as can be [read Jeremiah 31:35-37] will be fulfilled, and then the Times of the Jews will experience a state of being in which the Mosaic dispensation Law would be practicsed in Spirit and truth, the Father having written the Law on the heart of every Jew who “looked on the one they had piereced” repented and received Him asTtriumphant Savior King. The Kingdom now restored. The State of Israel now would be a state in which gentiles for all intent and purposes would reside “outside” the millenial Kingdom of Israel, and yet be under the “iron rod” of King JESUS reigning from the Jewish State of Israel who had FINALLY recognized their long anticipated Messiah. For DIarby and Scofield the ubiquitous 7th, i.e. 7th Dispensation would be “ALL THINGS JEWISH. Indeed the Messianic Movement, The Hebrew Roots Movement, Christian Zionism, buy this understanding, but in order to do this to one degree or other are compelled to buy in to “SECRET RAPTURE,” theory to one degree or ther other as proposed by Darby and Scofield. The Church, with its focus on the Gentiles in Christ must be taken out of the way, for the Old Covenant to become “New again” rendering the New Covenant of which you and I are a part of “Old” at least in earthly terms.
Notions proposed by Darby and Scofield are not exactly biblical. For sure, there are lots of new testament pointing to our LORD’s PAROUSIA, i.e. our LORD’s Second Coming. And it does talk about “Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left [behind]” [Matthew 24:40]. But I repeat no where in scripture is the notion of SECRET RAPTURE talked about. Not even the book of Revelations. On the contrary our Lord’s second coming is talked about in all encompassing terms.
For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. [Matthew 24:27, 1 Corinthians 50:54, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18].
It appears to this blogger, that Darby and Scofield needed to consruct “SECRET RAPTURE,” into their thinking for the 7th dispensation to work in the manner in which they conceived it — All things Jewish.
With “SECRET RAPTURE” theory in place the general notion of “Parousia” as understood by Christians prior to the arrival of Classic Dispensational had to be revised. The old definition of Parousia was:
A future coming of JESUS in glory, where it is assumed that he will set up his kingdom, and judge his enemies while rewarding the faithful, both living and dead.
With the coming of Darby in the late 19th century, and Scofield popularizing his work via the Scofield Reference Bible, which was embraced by Fundamentalists Christians, and later the Evangelicals that followed, the above definition of Parousia was redefined to be somewhat as follows:
A future coming of JESUS in glory to primarily set up the 7th classic Scofield like dispensational kingdom– the redeemed State of Israel– along with the restored Jews, and rule the nations from Zion, to which all surrounding nations will bring their gifts, where it is assumed that he will set up his Jewish kingdom on Mosiac Law tempered by Sermon On Mount Legal lines , and judge his enemies with and iron rod while rewarding the faithful, both living and dead.
Spurgeon, regarded Classic Dispensationalism “a heresy. David Lutzweiler called it a “heterodozy.” A.W. Tozer said of the Scofield Reference Bible a bedrock of dispensational theory:
“One of the greatest disasters ever to have hit the Christian church in the twentieth century w[as the publication of the Scofield Reference Bible.”
[ To be continued, add, Millenerianism, Evelyn White, JWs, and Harold Camping]