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SUNTELIA, THERISMOS, PAROUSIA
Though Greek, like English words, have different meanings; the Bible student frequently finds it extremely interesting to learn that many Greek words were used by Christ and the Apostles with a certain and fixed signification. The literal rendering of the three words above, is end, harvest, and presence respectively; and we would briefly call attention to them,
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as they are intensely interesting terms to us, who believe that they all are used with reference to the period of time, in which we are living.
Suntelia, end occurs six times; once in `Heb. 9:26`. "But now once in the Suntelia (end) of the aionon (ages) hath he (Jesus) appeared to put away sin, by the sacrifice of himself."
The harvest is the end of the age, and `Matt. 13:30`, gives us to understand that it is a space of time, in which a work is to be done.
It will be noticed that it refers to the gospel harvest four times; `Rev. 14` speaking of the two facts, that for the little flock and afterward for the great multitude. The Heb. qatsir is the equivalent of Therismos; and `Joel 3:18`, and onward, refers to the same harvest mentioned in `Rev. 14`, though perhaps first to the Jewish harvest.
Parousia, signifies presence, invariably. Liddell and Scott, standard authority, give it that signification; and Young's Analytical Concordance renders it the same. Whedon's Commentary, page 277 says: "The word Parousia, never in the whole New Testament, signifies anything else." It never means the act of coming, but presence. It is twenty times improperly translated coming, in the common version; in fourteen cases, at least, when referring to the presence of Christ at the end of the age. We give the passages in which it occurs. `Matt. 24:3,27,37,39`; `1 Cor. 15:23`; `1 Thes. 2:19`; `3:13`; `4:15`; `5:23`; `2 Thes. 2:1,8,9`; `Jas. 5:7,8`; `2 Pet. 1:16`; `3:4`; `1 John 1:28`. The question, `Matt. 24:3`, is: What will be the sign of thy Parousia (presence) and the Suntelia (end) of the aion (age)? And we must believe that the answer had direct reference to the question. He not only gave a series of events which would precede his presence; but also events or signs which would be due, during the presence, as will be noticed by those who will read carefully the passages indicated above; and it would seem that all might see that not alone the passages involved in the answer to the question; but all the others, where parousia occurs, appeal, like everything else in the gospel, to the "eyes of the understanding," (`Eph. 1:18`,) rather than to the natural eyes, as has been so many times shown. The Therismos (harvest) is the Suntelia (end) of the age; and the Parousia (presence) is in the Suntelia (end) of the age; and the evidence seems conclusive that it is the same Suntelia in both cases; not one preceding the other; the evidence is so abundant and clear, that we must believe it until compelled by facts, not by any amount of scoffing, to discard the position. The same evidence which caused us to believe in the one, made us believe in the other; and any one who doubts that we are living in the time of the Parousia, ought to be consistent, to question the Therismos (harvest) also. The work of separation due to be done in the first part of the harvest, has evidently been going on, and is about complete. What was the special prophetic argument which proved the harvest and presence to begin in the autumn of 1874? The Jubilee, we answer. The writer has been studying the time question since 1867, and has been associated with the movement in connection with the fulfillment of all the prophetic measurements since the above date; and still accepts all the legitimate conclusions to be drawn from them, as he understands them.
Those who would study the Jubilee argument, will find it in the "Day Dawn." It is not the design to give it in this connection; but we reiterate that it was the main argument used to prove that we had come to the "harvest" or end of the age. The 1335 days of `Dan. 12` were prolonged to their utmost, to harmonize with this. We would recommend all who are interested, to carefully study all the arguments; and caution all not to be ready to give up old "land marks" too easily; and to be careful lest haply you may be found among those referred to in `2 Pet. 3:4`.
We would suggest that those who have never had the "eyes of the understanding enlightened" on the subject, as well as those who once understood, but have gone out into darkness in regard to it, do not comprehend the presence. Whatever others have thought, or may now think, the writer has never believed nor taught, that Christ was walking the earth during the period of his presence; it is called presence, because he has assumed a new character, to do a new work, superintending the harvest. The Son of Man sowed the seed (`Matt. 13:37`), and he sends forth the reapers. `ver. 41`. He employs agents in both sowing and reaping; yet it can be said that he does both, and during this period of reaping, he has appeared especially near to those who have understood it, and they have enjoyed the time of his Parousia. Some who once expressed the same enjoyment of it, are now asking: Where is the evidence promise: if not fulfilling the other part of Peter's prediction? Those who understand the teaching of the Law in regard to "the day of atonement," (`Lev. 16`) we think, will not expect to see Christ in the flesh, nor while they are in the flesh. If our understanding of the prophetic arguments be correct, we are nearing the close of that part of the harvest which pertains to the little flock. If there shall be found any mistake about what may be expected here, we know that the conditions, upon which we may attain to the Brideship are not affected: We must count ourselves dead indeed unto sin, Satan, self and the world, and alive unto God.
B. W. K.
— May, 1881 —