Some have confused the matter concerning the parousia, and have evidently misread the arguments of many of the Bible Students so as to conclude that the word “Parousia” is being interpreted as having the definition of “invisible presence.” In other words, some have made the claim that Bible Students who believe that Christ’s parousia is invisible are presenting the word “parousia” itself as carrying the meaning “invisible.” Without judging the motives of those who would present this kind of argument, in reality the argument diverts attention from the invisible aspect of Christ’s return to the word “parousia” itself, and ends up being a strawman argument.
Some have cited some works of the Greeks and Romans concerning this, as alleged proof that the the word “parousia” does not mean “invisible.” Of course, the Romans and Greeks of the first century, not knowing or understanding spiritual matters, would not think of the word Parousia as expressing a spiritual presence that could not be seen. — 2 Corinthians 4:18; 5:7.
Nevertheless, the word parousia, of itself, does not prove either a visible or invisible presence, and we don’t believe most, if any, Bible Students have intended to leave that impression.
Jesus, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, and having once for all time offered up his flesh, will never be seen in that flesh again. (Hebrews 7:27; 9:28; 10:10; 1 Peter 3:18) However, this does not rule out the possibility that Jesus may manifest himself as did the angels of Yahweh in the Bible, who appeared as “men,” ate as men, and looked like men, manifesting themselves with a body of flesh. — Genesis 18:2,8,22; 19:1,5; Judges 13:2,6,8,9; Luke 24:4.
See the study:
Jesus Died a Human Being – Raised a Spirit Being
However, Jesus does indeed return bodily, with a body, that is, with the spiritual, celestial body, and with its glory. He no longer has the body of a man, a glory a little lower than the angels. (Hebrews 2:9) Having offered (to his God in heaven) his terrestrial, earthly, fleshly body for sin, once for all time (John 6:51; Hebrews 7:27; 9:11,12,24;10:10), he will never again be seen with that body. (1 Corinthians 15:40,44) Now being a life-giving spirit, he comes again from heaven (1 Corinthians 15:40,45-48), during the blowing of the last trumpet, the seventh trumpet (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 8:2,6), with a celestial, spiritual body, resulting in (not necessarily in the order given):
(1) The end of the age, during which a harvest of the people of God begins. This harvest begins while the nations are still blinded by Satan, but it ends after Satan is abyssed, when the saints, the sons of God of this age, will be manifested and “will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their father.” (Matthew 13:3-43; Romans 8:19} Unlike many Bible Students, however, we do not believe that this harvest reveals who is of what class by any visible manifestation, except until after Satan is abyssed. Jesus said that the tares, not the wheat, are first gathered and bundled. (Matthew 13:39,40) Although the human servants of God labor in the harvest work, the harvest work itself is not entrusted to men, who would surely misjudge and treat much of wheat as tares, but it is entrusted to angels.
(2) The nations become angry, resulting in a great “time of trouble”, during which time the people in general do not take notice of the parousia. — Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-30; Revelation 11:15,18; Daniel 12:1,2.
(3) God’s wrath upon the children of wrath of this age comes to its conclusion — Ephesians 2:2,3; 5:6; Revelation 8:1.
(4) The dead are raised and the unjustified in this age are judged individually during the “last day” — Isaiah 2:2-4; Daniel 7:9,10; Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:28,29; 6:39,40,44,54; 12:47,48; Romans 2:16; 3:6; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 6:2; 2 Timothy 4:1,8; Revelation 11:18; 20:11-15.
(5) God’s servants, prophets, saints are rewarded in the first resurrection. — Isaiah 40:10; Daniel 7:9,10; 12:1,2; Romans 2:16; 1 Corinthians 3:8,14; Colossians 3:24; 2 Timothy 4:8; Revelation 15:18; 20:4; 22:12.
(6) Those who would destroy the earth are themselves destroyed after the judgment day. — Psalm 37:10; Revelation 15:18; 20:8,12; 21:8.
Thus, the seventh trumpet begins to sound while the nations are still ignorant and are angry, and continues to sound until after the millennial age, up to the age of the ages, the eternal age.
Of Moses, it is said that, “he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” (Hebrews 11:27) In context, “him” could be referring to the prehuman Jesus, who, before coming the earth, had the glory of the invisible, the celestial — the glory that he did not have while on earth. (John 17:5; 1 Corinthians 15:40) Or, more than likely, “him” probably refers to the God and Father of Jesus, who is the “invisible God.” (Colossians 1:15) Either way, Moses saw him who is invisible by the eye of faith, not by literal sight, for he did not see that which is invisible by means of the physical eye. The point is that “seeing” does not necessarily mean seeing with the physical eye.
On the other hand, the Jews in general saw Jesus at his first appearing in the flesh, but did not see who he was — the Messiah — which could only have been seen with the eye of faith. They did not recognize him. (John 1:10) Nor could they “see” the God and Father in Jesus. (John 14:9) Having seen Jesus in the flesh, however, Jesus said of the world that had seen him in the flesh, that they would see him no more. (John 14:19) Since they had only seen him in the flesh, and had not seen him with the eye of faith as the Messiah, the son of God, then this can only mean that they will never see him in the flesh again. They will see the Son of Man coming [Erchomai] on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.
Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, including those who pierced him. All the tribes of the earth will mourn over him. Even so, Amen. — Revelation 1:7.
The word “coming” in Revelation 1:7 is not “parousia,” but a form of the verb “Erchomai,” — to come. However, we have no doubt that it is reference to “coming” in the days of the son of man, the parousia. (Matthew 24:37; Luke 17:26) The statement here is not that he comes on a cloud, a singular cloud, but rather “clouds.”
Another scripture describes this event in the Old Testament:
I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. — Daniel 7:13.
Again, the reference is to clouds, plural, not a cloud, singular. Prophetically, the plural can used to represent two, as “times,” representing two times. (Daniel 7:25; 12:7; Revelation 12:14) Regardless, there is the possibility of at least two clouds being spoken of, indicating the possibility of two symbolic meanings. A cloud or clouds can represent: glory (Exodus 16:10; Ezekiel 1:28); guidance (Exodus 13:12); covering of sin (Isaiah 44:24); darkness (2 Samuel 22:12; Job 38:9; Psalm 18:11; Isaiah 5:30; Joel 2:2; Zephaniah 1:15); a covenant, a promise of God (Genesis 9:13,16); God’s anger (Lamentations 2:1); alienation from God (Lamentations 3:44); storms (Ezekiel 1:4; 38:9; Luke 12:54; Jeremiah 4:13; Nahum 1:4); a hiding of the sun (Ezekiel 32:7); majesty (Isaiah 14:14); a communication from God (Exodus 24:16; Psalm 99:7; Matthew 17:5; Luke 9:35); trouble, distress (Ezekiel 30:3; Zephaniah 1:15).
In Daniel 7, the one like a son of man, in coming with the clouds, comes before the Ancient of Days, that is, Yahweh, and is presented to him. As a result, there was given to him an everlasting dominion, and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. (Daniel 7:14) This brings us into the age of the ages, the everlasting age after the millennial age, the age that will never end.
In Revelation 10:1, we find a reference to an angel coming in a cloud (singular).
Revelation 10:1 I saw another mighty angel coming down out of the sky [heaven], clothed with a cloud. A rainbow was on his head. His face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire.
Here is depicted an angel clothed as with a cloud. Of course, the language is symbolic. The “angel” is either Jesus or a messenger (angel) representing Jesus. Jesus, of course, will come as the “sun of righteousness.” — Malachi 4:2.
The “rainbow” probably represents the new covenant, which will be the means by which the seed of Abraham will bring blessings to all the families of the earth.
This angel is clothed with a cloud, a symbol of majesty, and yet we believe that it is also includes a symbolism of mystique, as a cloud hiding the sun, producing darkness. The angel has a face like the sun of righteousness, as a great ruler, but he also has feet like pillars of fire, representing a distressful situation and/or destruction. “Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them in the day of Yahweh’s wrath, but the whole land will be devoured by the fire of his jealousy.” (Zephaniah 1:18) “My determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour on them my indignation, even all my fierce anger, for all the earth will be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.” (Zephaniah 3:8) In this is pictured the wrath of Yahweh (Revelation 11:18), which wrath is brought to a finish during the blowing of the seventh trumpet, by means of seven symbolic bowls that are poured out. — Revelation 11:15,18; 15:1,7.
Revelation 10:2 He had in his hand a little book open. He set his right foot on the sea, and his left on the land.
Revelation 10:3 He cried with a loud voice, as a lion roars. When he cried, the seven thunders uttered their voices.
Revelation 10:4 When the seven thunders sounded, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from the sky saying, “Seal up the things which the seven thunders said, and don’t write them.”
Revelation 10:5 The angel who I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted up his right hand to the sky,
Revelation 10:6 and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there will no longer be delay,
Revelation 10:7 but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as he declared to his servants, the prophets.
Thus, we believe this cloud appears either shortly before or at the beginning of the sounding of the seventh trumpet, the last trumpet. The prophetical statement is that when the angel is about to sound his trumpet, the last trumpet, then the mystery of God is finished. The Greek word rendered “about” — transliterated as “Mello,” does not necessarily mean “about,” as though it was something yet to happen. We believe that it can also refer to the actual “being about” of something, that is, the actual doing of what is being spoken of, and we believe, in accordance with the context, “in days of the voice of the seventh angel,” that this is meaning of Mello in Revelation 10:7. When the seventh angel, having the seventh trumpet, is about the business of blowing his trumpet, then the mystery of God is finished. Many believe that this mystery refers to completing the mystery members of the bride of Christ, but we believe it refers to the completing of the mystery pertaining to the ages; in other words, it pertains to bringing to completion God’s purpose of the ages (Ephesians 3:9,11,Young’s Literal), which would bring us to up to the foretold “world without end,” or the age of the ages, the final age that never ends. — Isaiah 45:17; Ephesians 3:21, See Young’s Literal for Ephesians 3:21.
I looked, and behold, a white cloud; and on the cloud one sitting like a son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. — Revelation 14:14
Another angel came out from the temple, crying with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Send forth your sickle, and reap; for the hour to reap has come; for the harvest of the earth is ripe!” — Revelation 14:15
He who sat on the cloud thrust his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped. — Revelation 14:16.
Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the harvest time I will tell the reapers, “First, gather up the darnel, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn.” — Matthew 13:30.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. — Matthew 13:39.
The “age” being referred to this present evil age, the age in which Satan is god. — Galatians 1:4; 2 Corinthians 4:4.
By saying that the “harvest time” is the end of this age, and then describing events that take place during that “end,” Jesus shows that the “end” is not something that happens suddenly, but that the “end” itself — being “the time of the harvest” — is a period of “time.”
Revelation 14:14 depicts one like a son of man coming on a white cloud, a cloud of glory, and he has a sharp sickle in his hand.Revelation 14:16-20 shows that the sickle is used to harvest the earth.
When Jesus comes, one of the things he accomplishes is the harvest of the earth by means of his angels. This takes place during the “end” of the present evil age, while Satan is still the “god of this age.” As long as Satan is still blinding the minds of people, we know that this “harvest” has not ended. Nevertheless, the harvest does take place as a result of Jesus’ coming on the clouds.
Thus we conclude that the harvest has been going on, especially since about 1874, with an influx of worldly knowledge that is separating the tares from the true wheat. Jesus said that the tares were to be first separated from the wheat (Matthew 13:30), again indicating a time involved; the tares are thrown into the fiery furnace (symbolic of the the severe part of the time of trouble), and the wheat is gathered into the barn (representing a condition of spiritual safety; the spiritual ark, true faith in Jesus’ sacrificed body with its blood by which we are sanctified, set apart — Hebrews 9:12,14; 10:10,29). Then, after this, the wheat — the righteous — will shine forth as the sun, depicting the age to come, when Satan is abyssed so that he cannot deceive the heathen. — Daniel 12:3; Matthew 13:43; Revelation 20:3.
Jesus indicated that the foretold time of trouble is pictured by what happened in Noah’s day, thus, it is possible that the last part of the foretold time of trouble is depicted by the 40 days’ flood of Noah’s day. (Genesis 7:4; Matthew 24:37,38) We are now certainly experiencing a flood of knowledge now available through the internet and other means of fast communication. More and more professed Christians are falling into infidelity as a result of this influx of knowledge, thus proving themselves to be tares, rather than wheat. This increase of knowledge, however, brings discontent among the masses, and greed, and thus is also a source of trouble, and ends up being like a fiery furnace, as “fiery feet” stomping upon the people, with the trouble becoming so bad, that unless the days should be cut short, no flesh will be saved. — Matthew 24:21,22.
One asks if we believe that Jesus returned in 1874 and “inspected the temple”.
While we probably not put it that way, we do believe that Jesus began the harvest work related to the separating of the tares from the wheat; this is indeed an inspection of all who profess to be Christian, and since those who are being called to follow Jesus are spoken of as the temple of God, one could say that this is a inspection of the temple. Many claim that the harvest is carried out along physical lines, but we believe the harvest is along spiritual lines, and that is carried out, not by the servants of Jesus in the flesh, but by the angels.
The questioner further asks: “Did jesus make a decision during that time period and make a chosing of a particular group?”
The questioner is evidently asking if we have a belief similar the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who claim that Jesus, in 1918, inspected the temple, and approved of Rutherford’s religion, to which our answer is no. We need to remember that that the choosing of the faith seed of Abraham has been going on ever since the first century. In 1874, we believe that a special period began which is called the “harvest”. However, we also believe that the choosing of the wheat class at the end of the age is done by means of the angels, and therefore, we conclude that the wheat class cannot be represented by any physical group, such as the Bible Students. The revealing of the wheat, however, cannot be until after Satan is abyssed.
The questioner further asks: “Did jesus really return and examine babylon the great, and then appoint a certain group? Was that the great tribulation? “
By “group”, I assume this refers to physical outward group, such the Jehovah’s Witnesses, or the Bible Students movement. We have no reason to believe that Jesus has appointed a certain sectarian group, nor a certain individual, etc., to be “the true religion”, or “the true church.” Babylon the Great represents sectarianism, denominationalism, organizations (and associated false doctrines created by humans) that separate the sheep. To come out of Babylon the Great would signify rejection of denominational sectarianism and, and to the extent possible, the doctrines of men associated with such demoninationalism. The destruction of Babylon the Great signifies the destruction of all kinds of sectarianism and denominationalism. God is not going to allow such sectarian divisions to continue in His kingdom.
On the other hand, the tares are now being revealed as false Christians, often denying the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, accepting the idea that man got here by evolution, etc. Many of these tares openly deny Christ, and openly declare themselves as deists, agnostics, atheists, etc., while others retain the name of Christ, but in some way deny the power of blood of Jesus. Indeed, one can often hear of some claiming to be a Christian atheist, Christian agnostic, Christian deist, Christian Wiccan, Christian Buddhist, Christian Spiritualist, etc. We do believe, however, most of the Christians who profess Christ today will be found to be of the tare class. Nor does joining in association with the Bible Students movement make one of the wheat class. This does not mean that those who are found to be tares will be eternally destroyed, as the JWs teach; it simply means that their outward standing as a servant of Christ will eventually be burned up in the furnace of the time of trouble. No one amongst mankind, however, has been given any authority to point to this or that professed Christian and say “You are a tare,” although many are claiming they have authority to do so. Likewise, we have no authority to claim that one is of the wheat class because they belong to the Bible Students movement. Nor can we believe we have any authority to designate who among the “wheat” class will be found to arrived at the goal, the mark, of the prize of our high calling, so we should say to this person: “You are one of 144,000”, and to another, “You are not one of the 144,000.” We believe that all three major classes of Revelation 7 will be revealed after Satan is abyssed.
Thus, we do not believe that Jesus came in 1874 to inspect and approve any outward “group” as being approved as the JWs teach in doctrine concerning 1918. The inspection is of individuals, not of an outward “group.” Nor do we teach, as to the JWs, that one has belong to and/or recognize the Bible Students, Charles Taze Russell, or any other outward group, etc., in order to be saved, as as to live into the new age.
As Charles Taze Russell pointed out many times, the true church is not about an outward organization, but it pertains to individuals.
The questioner asks if we “are saying that jesus inspected the temple in 1874, and found that the sect called ‘russelites’, or ‘bible students’ were thus in an approved condition?”
We do not know of any place that Russell taught expressly that Jesus “inspected the temple” in 1874, but Russell’s view of the temple had nothing to do with any external sect, group, denomination, etc. His view of the temple was that the temple is the church that belongs to Christ. Russell was non-sectarian.
Russell stated:“the Lord in Heaven records as members of His true Church all the saintly — whether Roman Catholics, Anglican Catholics, Greek Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc.— and none others…. Do we not see that a part of our mistake was in calling the outward organization the Church of Christ, instead of remembering that the Lord alone writes the names of the Church, that He alone reads the hearts, that He alone is the Judge, and that He alone has the right to blot out the names of those who become reprobates?… We must see that the Church is a comparatively small company of saintly footstep followers of Jesus, irrespective of sectarian lines.”
And Russell stated: “all who are worshiping any church organization should be warned. See thou do it not.’ These are thy fellow servants.‘Worship God.’`Rev. 22:9`.”
He further stated:“so far as the true Church is concerned, the only authority in it is the Lord, the Head of the Church, and his Word, and the words of those whom he specially chose to be his mouth-pieces, the apostles.”
And,“we believe that in every nation and denomination there are some true saints of God, members therefore of the true Church of God.”
Thus, Russell viewed the temple of God to be any true Christian, regardless of what external group or denomination he might be associated with. His view of the temple of God was not restricted to a “group”, such as the Bible Students, nor a denomination, nor a religious organization, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Indeed, Russell preached against the kind of authoritarianism and sectarianism that is found in the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ organization.
Jeremiah 31:1 At that time, says Yahweh, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.
This scripture refers back to the “time” mentioned in Jeremiah 30:24, which reads: “The fierce anger of Yahweh shall not return, until he has executed, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days you shall understand it.”
At that time — refers to the “latter days” just spoken of in Jeremiah 30:24, specifically the time when Israel will understand. Before Israel understands, however, Yahweh’s anger will have passed. That time of understanding is in the age to come, in the days of regeneration, that Jesus spoke of. (Matthew 19:28) Today, it is still true that ‘Yahweh has poured out on Israel the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed Israel’s eyes.’ (Isaiah 6:9; 29:10; Matthew 13:14,15; John 12:39,40; Acts 20:25-27; Romans 11:7-11) However, Isaiah prophecies: “In that day [the age to come] shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.” (Isaiah 29:18) And while those of Israel who murmur in this age are kept in darkness, in that age to come, we read: “They also who err in spirit shall come to understanding, and those who murmur shall receive instruction.” — Isaiah 29:24.
“I will be the God of all the families of Israel” — Yahweh will, in that age to come, be God of all the tribes, not just the two tribes of Judah. Indeed, he will be God of all Israel who have died, since they will be raised in that day of regneration due to the application of the blood of New Covenant on their behalf. It will in that age to come that “all Israel will be saved. Even as it is written, ‘There will come out of Zion the Deliverer, And he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” — Romans 11:26.
Jeremiah 31:2 Thus says Yahweh, The people who were left of the sword found favor in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest.
This refers back to the time when Israel left Egypt, in the aftermath of the time when Israel’s sons were being killed and Pharaoh endeavored to kill the Israelites as they left Egypt (Exodus 1:16,22; 2:23; 5:21; 12:37; 14:8-12; 15:9,10; 17:8-13; Acts 13:17), and Yahweh brought Israel out of Egypt, after which they were in the wilderness for forty years. — Numbers 10:33; Deuteronomy 1:30,33; 2:7; 8:2,3,16; 12:9; Nehemiah 9:12-15; Psalms 78:14-16,23-29,52; Psalms 95:11; Psalms 105:37-43; 136:16-24; Isaiah 63:7-14; Jeremiah 2:2; Ezekiel 20:14-17; John 6:31.
Jeremiah 3:3 Yahweh appeared of old to me, [saying], Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn you.
This begins with a declaration attributed to Israel, carrying forth the same thought of verse 2. Israel says: “Yahweh appeared of old to me.” — Deuteronomy 7:7-9; 10:15; 33:3,26; Hosea 11:1,4; Malachi 1:2; Romans 3:1,2; 9:13; 1 John 4:19.
In Jeremiah 31:3 we have a beautiful statement of Yahweh’s everlasting love for his people, Israel. How is Yahweh’s love for Israel “everlasting?” We should note that the “everlasting love” is between Yahweh and the covenant people of Yahweh, the children of Israel. Although Israel, as a whole, went into apostasy time and time again, and remains in apostasy to this day, Paul tells that “the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29) Thus, Paul tells that the present blindness of Israel is only temporary:
Romans 11:25 – that a hardening in part has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in,
Romans 11:26 and so all Israel will be saved. Even as it is written, “There will come out of Zion the Deliverer, And he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
Romans 11:27 This is my covenant to them, When I will take away their sins.”
Romans 11:28 Concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But concerning the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sake.”
Yes, even though God has “given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear, to this very day” (Romans 11:8), Israel is still beloved in the eyes of Yahweh “for the fathers’ sake.” Yahweh has not stopped his “everlasting love” for Israel, but Paul relates that their blindness will continue until fullness [full amount, number, plentitude, enough] of the Gentiles are come in (Romans 11:25) Then, the apostle tells us, “All Israel will be saved,” and that this will fulfill the prophecy: “There will come out of Zion the Deliverer, And he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob. This is my covenant to them, When I will take away their sins.” (Romans 11:26-28) Thus, Yahweh’s love has not ceased toward Israel, for there is still that future time when Israel will receive her Savior, Jesus, and will say, “Blessed in he who comes in the name of Yahweh.” — Matthew 23:39.
Jeremiah 31:4 Again will I build you, and you shall be built, O virgin of Israel: again shall you be adorned with your tambourines, and shall go forth in the dances of those who make merry.
Again will I build you, and you shall be built – Some have claimed that this refers to the rebuilding of Jerusalem after the Israelites returned from their captivity in Babylon. However, that restoration was only temporary, whereas this prophecy goes on to say in Jeremiah 31:40, that this building “shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more forever. ” We know that in 70 AD Jerusalem was destroyed.
Some claim that this applies to the church, the ones called out of the world as “God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:9) made up of “living stones.” (1 Peter 2:5) We believe that Jeremiah’s prophecy concerning the building again of Israel may possibly have a partial application antitypically, but unless one realizes this, the full application of Jeremiah’s prophecy may be lost. By saying “again,” however, this prophecy is shown to apply directly to Israel, for such an expression cannot directly apply to the building of church, for it would imply that the church itself was in need of being rebuilt after some kind of destruction. 1 Corinthians 3:9 and 1 Peter 2:5 do not refer to a rebuilding “again” of the church, but they speak of the first building of the church, which in reality is the only building of the church. The only exception that we can think of is that could possibly apply to the resurrection of the church, but we do not know of any scripture that speaks of the resurrection of the church as a building “again “of the church.
O virgin of Israel – Some have thought the “virgin” here refers to Jesus; however, Jeremiah 18:13 tells us that the “virgin of Israel has done a horrible thing.” Did Jesus ever do a horrible thing?
Actually, Jeremiah 18:13 lets us know that “virgin of Israel” is speaking figuratively of Israel as a virgin. Israel had forgotten Yahweh by burning incense to false gods, walking in the byways of the nations. –Jeremiah 18:15,16.
******More to follow, Yahweh willing.
5 Again shall you plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria; the planters shall plant, and shall enjoy [the fruit of it]. 6 For there shall be a day, that the watchmen on the hills of Ephraim shall cry, Arise you, and let us go up to Zion to Yahweh our God. 7 For thus says Yahweh, Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout for the chief of the nations: publish you, praise you, and say, Yahweh, save your people, the remnant of Israel. 8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the uttermost parts of the earth, [and] with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her who travails with child together: a great company shall they return here. 9 They shall come with weeping; and with petitions will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by rivers of waters, in a straight way in which they shall not stumble; for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.
10 Hear the word of Yahweh, you nations, and declare it in the isles afar off; and say, He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as shepherd does his flock. 11 For Yahweh has ransomed Jacob, and redeemed him from the hand of him who was stronger than he. 12 They shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow to the goodness of Yahweh, to the grain, and to the new wine, and to the oil, and to the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all. 13 Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old together; for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow. 14 I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, says Yahweh. 15 Thus says Yahweh: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more. 16 Thus says Yahweh: Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded, says Yahweh; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. 17 There is hope for your latter end, says Yahweh; and [your] children shall come again to their own border.
18 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself [thus], You have chastised me, and I was chastised, as a calf unaccustomed [to the yoke]: turn you me, and I shall be turned; for you are Yahweh my God. 19 Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I struck on my thigh: I was ashamed, yes, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth. 20 Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a darling child? for as often as I speak against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him, says Yahweh. 21 Set up road signs, make guideposts; set your heart toward the highway, even the way by which you went: turn again, virgin of Israel, turn again to these your cities. 22 How long will you go here and there, you backsliding daughter? for Yahweh has created a new thing in the earth: a woman shall encompass a man. 23 Thus says Yahweh of Hosts, the God of Israel, Yet again shall they use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities of it, when I shall bring again their captivity: Yahweh bless you, habitation of righteousness, mountain of holiness. 24 Judah and all the cities of it shall dwell therein together, the farmers, and those who go about with flocks. 25 For I have satiated the weary soul, and every sorrowful soul have I replenished. 26 On this I awakened, and saw; and my sleep was sweet to me.
27 Behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of animal. 28 It shall happen that, like as I have watched over them to pluck up and to break down and to overthrow and to destroy and to afflict, so will I watch over them to build and to plant, says Yahweh. 29 In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge. 30 But everyone shall die for his own iniquity: every man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge. 31 Behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband to them, says Yahweh. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says Yahweh: I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people: 34 and they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know Yahweh; for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says Yahweh: for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more.
35 Thus says Yahweh, who gives the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, who stirs up the sea, so that the waves of it roar; Yahweh of hosts is his name: 36 If these ordinances depart from before me, says Yahweh, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever. 37 Thus says Yahweh: If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, then will I also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says Yahweh. 38 Behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that the city shall be built to Yahweh from the tower of Hananel to the gate of the corner. 39 The measuring line shall go out further straight onward to the hill Gareb, and shall turn about to Goah. 40 The whole valley of the dead bodies and of the ashes, and all the fields to the brook Kidron, to the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy to Yahweh; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more forever
This page has links to articles that appeared in “The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom,” May/June 2009 issue; we do not necessarily agree with all conclusions given by the authors:
Theme: Works of the Second Advent
Forgiveness of Sins
Some Helpful Books:
The keys of Revelation: Jesus testimony — (By Frank Shallieu) We do not necessarily agree with all of the author’s conclusions, but we have found this work to be helpful in our studies of the book of Revelation.