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The Parousia

A Careful Look at the
New Testament Doctrine
of our Lord's Second Coming

 

By James Stuart Russell

Written in 1878

     "This is the most popular introduction to and defense of the preterist view of Bible Prophecy in print today. Most theologians in Europe a century ago took a preterist approach, so it is not surprising to hear some of Russell's well-known contemporaries say nice things about his book: F. W. Farrar said the book was "full of suggestiveness." Milton Terry, who wrote Biblical Hermeneutics, quoted extensively from Russell's book and fully endorsed Russell's preterist approach. Charles H. Spurgeon, who did not hold the preterist view, nevertheless stated that the book "throws so much new light upon obscure portions of the Scriptures, and is accompanied with so much critical research and close reasoning, that it can be injurious to none and may be profitable to all." (For the full text of this review, please read C.H. Spurgeon on "The Parousia")

     Well-known conservative writers and theologians in our day are saying similar things about Russell and the preterist view. Listen to these statements by Gary DeMar, Dr. R. C. Sproul, Dr. Kenneth Gentry and Walt Hibbard." (Edward E. Stevens)

     "How many times have you struggled with the interpretation of certain Biblical texts related to the time of Jesus' return because they did not fit with a preconceived system of eschatology? Russell's Parousia takes the Bible seriously when it tells us of the nearness of Christ's return. Those who claim to interpret the Bible literally, trip over the obvious meaning of these time texts by making Scripture mean the opposite of what it unequivocally declares. Reading Russell is a breath of fresh air in a room filled with smoke and mirror hermeneutics." - (Gary DeMar - Author of Last Days Madness)

     "I believe that Russell's work is one of the most important treatments on Biblical eschatology that is available to the church today. The issues raised in this volume with respect to the time-frame references of the New Testament to the Parousia are vitally important not only for eschatology but for the future debate over the credibility of Sacred Scripture." - (Dr. R. C. Sproul - Chairman, Ligonier Ministries)

     "Although I do not agree with all the conclusions of J. Stuart Russell's The Parousia, I highly recommend this well-organized, carefully argued, and compellingly written defense of Preterism to serious and mature students of the Bible. It is one of the most persuasive and challenging books I have read on the subject of eschatology and has had a great impact on my own thinking. Russell's biblico-theological study of New Testament eschatology sets a standard of excellence." - (Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. - Author of Before Jerusalem Fell)

     "In view of Dr. Russell's marvelous and insightful observations, no serious student of Biblical eschatology should attempt to construct a systematic scheme of apocalyptic events without first consulting this 19th century work, The Parousia." - (Walt Hibbard - Chairman, Great Christian Books)

Contents__________________________________

PREFACE TO THE BOOK

INTRODUCTORY.

THE LAST WORDS OF OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECY.

THE BOOK OF MALACHI
The Interval between Malachi and John the Baptist

PART I.

THE PAROUSIA IN THE GOSPELS.

THE PAROUSIA PREDICTED BY JOHN THE BAPTIST

The Teaching of our Lord Concerning the Parousia in the Synoptical Gospels:-

Prediction of Coming Wrath upon that Generation
Further allusions to the Coming Wrath
Impending fate of the Jewish nation (Parable of the Barren Fig-tree)
The End of the Age, or close of the Jewish dispensation (Parables of Tares and Drag-net)
The Coming of the Son of Man (the Parousia) in the Lifetime of the Apostles
The Parousia to take place within the Lifetime of some of the Disciples
The Coming of the Son of man certain and speedy (Parable of the Importunate Widow)
The Reward of the Disciples in the Coming AEon, i.e. at the Parousia

Prophetic Intimations of the approaching Consummation of the Kingdom of God:-

i. Parable of the Pounds
ii. Lamentation of Jesus over Jerusalem
iii. Parable of the Wicked Husbandman
iv. Parable of the Marriage of the King's Son
v. Woes denounced on the Scribes and Pharisees
vi. Lamentation (second) of Jesus over Jerusalem
vii. The Prophecy on the Mount of Olives

The Prophecy on the Mount examined:-

I. Interrogatory of the Disciples
II. Our Lord's Answer to the Disciples:-

(a) Events which more remotely were to precede the Consummation
(b) Further indications of the approaching doom of Jerusalem
(c) The Disciples warned against False Prophets
(d) Arrival of the 'End,' or the catastrophe of Jerusalem
(e) The Parousia to take place before the passing away of the Existing Generation
(f) Certainty of the Consummation, yet uncertainty of its precise date
(g) Suddenness of the Parousia, and calls to watchfulness
(h) The Disciples warned of the suddenness of the Parousia

 

(Parable of the Master of the House)
(i) The Parousia a time of Judgment alike to the friends and the enemies of Christ (Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins)
(k) The Parousia a time of Judgment (Parable of the Talents)
(l) The Parousia a time of Judgment (Parable of the Sheep and Goats)

Our Lord's declaration before the High Priest
Prediction of the Woes coming on Jerusalem
Prayer of the Penitent Thief
Apostolic Commission, the

THE PAROUSIA IN THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN.

The Parousia and the Resurrection of the Dead
The Resurrection, the Judgment, and the Last Day
The Judgment of this World, and of the Prince of this World
Christ's Return (the Parousia) speedy
St. John to live till the Parousia
Summary of the Teaching of the Gospels respecting the Parousia

APPENDIX TO PART I.

Note A.-On the Double-sense Theory of Interpretation
Note B.-On the Prophetic Element in the Gospels

PART II.

THE PAROUSIA IN THE ACTS AND THE EPISTLES.

IN THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.

The 'going away' and the 'coming again
The Last Days come
The Coming Doom of that Generation
The Parousia and the Restitution of all things
Christ soon to judge the World

THE PAROUSIA IN THE APOSTOLIC EPISTLES.

Introduction

IN THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS:-

Expectation of the Speedy Coming of Christ
The Wrath coming upon the Jewish people
Bearing of the parousia upon the disciples of Christ
Christ to come with all His holy ones
Events accompanying the Parousia
Exhortations to watchfulness in prospect of the Parousia
Prayer that the Thessalonians might survive until the coming of Christ

IN THE SECOND EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS:-

The Parousia a time of judgment to enemies of Christ and of Deliverance to His people
Events which must precede the Parousia

The Apostasy
The Man of Sin

IN THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS:-

Attitude of the Christians of Corinth in relation to the Parousia
Judicial character of the 'Day of the Lord' (I Cor. iii. 13)
Judicial character of the 'Day of the Lord' (I Cor. iv. 5)
Nearness of the approaching Consummation
The End of the Ages already arrived
Events accompanying the Parousia
The Living (saints) changed at the Parousia
The Parousia and the 'Last Trump'
The Apostolic Watchword, 'Maran-atha'

IN THE SECOND EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS:-

Anticipations of 'the End' and 'the Day of the Lord'
The Dead in Christ to be presented along with the living at the Parousia
Expectation of Future Blessedness at the Parousia

IN THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS:-

'The present Evil Age, or AEon'
The two Jerusalems-the Old and the New

IN THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS:-

The Day of Wrath
Eschatology of St. Paul
Nearness of the Coming Salvation
Prospect of Speedy Deliverance

IN THE EPISTLE TO THE COLOSSIANS:-

Approaching Manifestation of Christ
The Coming Wrath

IN THE EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIANS:-

The Economy of the Fulness of the Times
The Day of Redemption
The present Aeon and that which is coming
The 'Ages [Aeons] to come

IN THE EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS:-

The Day of Christ
Expectation of the Parousia
Nearness of the Parousia

IN THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY:-

Apostasy of the Last Days
Eschatological Table, or Conspectus of Passages relating to the Last Times
Equivalent Phrases referring to the Last Times
Table of Passages relating to the Apostasy of the Last Times
Conclusion- respecting the Apostasy
Timothy and the Parousia
The Apostasy already manifesting itself

IN THE SECOND EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY: -

'That Day'-viz. the parousia-anticipated
The Apostasy of the 'Last Days' imminent

IN THE EPISTLE TO TITUS :-

Anticipation of the Parousia

IN THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS:-

The Last Days already come
The Aeons, Ages, or World-periods
The World to come, or the new order
The End, i.e., of the Age, or AEon
The Promise of the Rest of God
The End of the Ages
Expectation of the Parousia
The Parousia approaching
The Parousia imminent
The Parousia and the Old Testament saints
The great Consummation near
Nearness and finality of the Consummation
Expectation of the Parousia

IN THE EPISTLE OF ST. JAMES:-

The Last Days come
Nearness of the Parousia

IN THE FIRST EPISTLE OF ST. PETER:-

Salvation ready to be revealed in the last time
The approaching Revelation of Jesus Christ
Relation of the Redemption of Christ to the Antediluvian World
Nearness of Judgment and of the End of all things
The good tidings announced to the Dead
The Fiery Trial and the coming Glory
The Time of Judgment arrived
The Glory about to be revealed

IN THE SECOND EPISTLE OF ST. PETER:-

Scoffers in the 'Last Days'
Eschatology of St. Peter
Certainty of the approaching Consummation
Suddenness of the Parousia
Attitude of the Primitive Christians in relation to the Parousia
The New Heavens and New Earth
Nearness of the Parousia a motive to diligence
Believers not to be discouraged on account of the seeming delay of the Parousia
Allusion of St. Peter to St. Paul's teaching concerning the Parousia

IN THE FIRST EPISTLE OF ST. JOHN:-

The World passing away: the last hour come
The Antichrist come, a proof of its being the last hour
Antichrist not a person, but a principle
Marks of the Antichrist
Anticipation of the Parousia

IN THE EPISTLE OF ST. JUDE

APPENDIX TO PART II.

Note A.-The Kingdom of Heaven, or of God
Note B.-On the ' Babylon' of 1 Peter v. 13
Note C.-On the Symbolism of Prophecy, with special reference to the Predictions of the Parousia
Note D.-Dr. Owen on 'the Heavens and the Earth' (2 Pet. iii. 7)
Note E.-Rev. F. D. Maurice on 'the Last Time' (I John ii. 18)

PART III.

THE PAROUSIA IN THE APOCALYPSE.

Interpretation of the Apocalypse
Limitation of Time in the Apocalypse
Date of the Apocalypse
True significance of the Apocalypse
Structure and plan of the Apocalypse
The number Seven in the Apocalypse
The Theme of the Apocalypse
The Prologue

THE FIRST VISION.

THE MESSAGES TO THE SEVEN CHURCHES

THE SECOND VISION.

THE SEVEN SEALS

Opening of the First Seal
Opening of the Second Seal
Opening of the Third Seal
Opening of the Fourth Seal
Opening of the Fifth Seal
Opening of the Sixth Seal
Episode of the Sealing of the Servants of God

THE THIRD VISION.

THE SEVEN TRUMPETS

Opening of the Seventh Seal
The First Four Trumpets
The Fifth Trumpet
The Sixth Trumpet

Episode of the Angel and the Book
Measurement of the Temple
Episode of the Two Witnesses

The Seventh Trumpet

 

THE FOURTH VISION.

THE SEVEN MYSTIC FIGURES

1. The Woman clothed with the Sun
2. The Great Red Dragon
3. The Man Child
4. The First Wild Beast
The Number of the Beast
5. The Second Wild Beast
6. The Lamb on Mount Sion
7. The Son of Man on the Cloud

THE FIFTH VISION.

THE SEVEN VIALS

THE SIXTH VISION.

THE HARLOT CITY

Mystery of the Scarlet Beast
The Seven Kings
The Ten Horns of the Beast
(NOTE ON REVELATION XVII.)
The Fall of Babylon
Judgment of the Beast and his confederate Powers
Judgment of the Dragon
Reign of the Saints and Martyrs
Loosing of Satan after the Thousand Years
Catastrophe of the Sixth Vision

THE SEVENTH VISION.

THE HOLY CITY, OR THE BRIDE

Prologue to the Vision
The Holy City described

THE EPILOGUE

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

APPENDIX TO PART III.

Note A.-Reuss on the Number of the Beast
Note B.-Dr. J. M. Macdonald's 'Life and Writings of St. John'
-Bishop Warburton on 'our Lord's Prophecy on the Mount of Olives,' and on 'the Kingdom of Heaven'

 

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