Are You Looking For ‘His Coming’ or ‘His Appearing’?

By Arthur J Licursi (Updated 3.29.24)

(Paul's Pre-Acts 28:28 Epistles and Post-Acts 28:28 Epistles are listed at the end of this article.)

We as Bible believers believe “ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2Tim. 3:16). So, we must be careful to distinguish between two different words God used when speaking of the differing “hope” of God’s two different Biblical people groups.

  1. After Christ’s ascension back to into the “far above” heaven, the believers of the Nation Israel with their Gentile proselytes were looking for Christ’s 2nd coming,’ to be ‘present’ on earth.

“What shall be the sign of Thy COMING [Gk. parousia, presence], and of the end of the world [age]?” (Matt. 24:3).

  1. By contrast, The believing “saints” and the faithful” members of the Gentile “body of Christ” are to be “looking” to “appear with [Grk. in union with] Him in [heaven’s] glory,” when He appears [phaneroo, is manifested].

When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with [Grk. in union with] him in [heaven’s] glory.” Colossians 3:4 (KJV)

These represent two “hopes” that are quite different for God’s two people groups.

1) Israel’s ‘Hope’ is Christ’s 2ndCOMING DOWN’ to earth with the ‘earth dwellers.’

2) ‘His body’s’ ‘Hope’ is to GO UP’ to Heaven, to “appear with Him in [heaven’s] glory.” (Col. 3:4)

We need to recognize the scope of the substantial difference seen by these different Greek words, 1) ‘parousia,’ (coming), and 2) phaneroo’ (manifestation) or, His ‘epiphaneia’ (appearing).

Note that the Greek word ‘parousia’ is usually translated ‘coming,’ most often speaking of Christ’s 2nd coming’ to be present in the kingdom ‘on earth.’ We see mention of His “coming” mentioned in these Acts Period epistles of Paul and in the epistles of Peter, James, and John as Apostles of Israel.

“The COMING [Gk. parousia], of the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:15).

“The COMING [Gk. parousia], of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thess. 2:1).

“They that are Christ’s, at His COMING [Gk. parousia], (1 Cor. 15:23).

“The COMING [Gk. parousia], of the Lord draweth nigh (Jas. 5:8).

“The promise of His COMING [Gk. parousia], (2 Pet. 3:4).

“Not be ashamed before Him at His COMING [Gk. parousia], (1 John 2:28).

1. ‘Parousia - The instances listed above all concern Israel’s ‘hope,’ looking for His “coming” to literally be present on earth. The prophesied 2nd ‘Coming’ of Christ to earth speaks of His ‘parousia;’ His visible, literal presence of the Lord Jesus Christ COMING to earth to save Israel’s believers from annihilation, set up and reign in His Millennial kingdom on the earth.


2. Phaneroo’ - The Lord’s phaneroo,’ (Grk) is His Manifestation(Col. 3:4) and referred to as His ‘epiphaneia’ (Grk) translated appearingin Titus 3:4 and other verses. This will be in theFAR ABOVE” HEAVEN. The Lord is to jointly “appear” withthe faithful” members of “the body of Christ” in the heaven of heavens.” The “faithful” Gentile members ofHis body will simply and silently be transported In Their New Glorious Incorruptible Spirit-Bodies to APPEAR WITH HIM IN [heaven’s] GLORY(Col. 3:4), “FAR ABOVE”

When Christ, who is our life, shall APPEAR [Grk. phaneroo], then shall ye also APPEAR with him in [heaven’s] glory.” Colossians 3:4 (KJV)

“Which he [God] wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in The Heavenly Places, 21FAR ABOVE all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come(Eph.1:20-21)

The “principality, and power, and might, and dominion,” refers to the rank and authority of the heavenly government that was created by Christ. “For by him [Christ] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible [on earth] and invisible [in heaven], whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” Colossians 1:16 (KJV)  Today, since the fall of Lucifer, (Isa 14:12-15), these seats of rank and authority in heaven and on earth were usurped by fallen Lucifer and his angels who now rule as “the god of this world.”

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

The Greek word ‘parousia’ [His presence] is used to describe the Hope of the Messianic “little flock(Luke 12:32) believers of the Church of ISRAEL that was hoped for DURING THE PERIOD OF THE ACTS when Israel’s Kingdom ‘Hope’ was in view. We find ‘parousia’ used most often in the Gospel of Matthew, and by Peter, James, and John, as ministers of the circumcision [Israel], and don’t miss this; also, the ‘parousia’ [His presence] is found in Paul’s Acts-Period epistles written before the dispensational change of Acts 28:28, when then Israel was set aside. (Rom. 11:10-12, 15, 25) and God then turned to the Gentiles.

After Acts 28:28 Paul’s focus and his epistles cease to be centered upon Israel, now turning then to the Gentiles; with Paul being “the Apostle to the Gentiles(Rom. 11:13).

Thus, we never find Paul seeking Christ’s 2nd “coming” in his Post-Acts epistles. Rather, Paul is then ‘looking’ for his appearing in heaven with Christ,’ which he says is our “Blessed Hope.”

Looking for that BLESSED HOPE, and the glorious APPEARING [epiphaneia] of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13 (KJV)

“When Christ, who is our life, shall APPEAR [phaneroo], then shall ye also APPEAR [phaneroo] with him in [heaven’s] glory.” Colossians 3:4

As right dividers of Scripture, we know “His COMING [parousia]” to Israel has been DELAYED while the present POST-Acts “fellowship [dispensation] of the Mystery” of the Gentile “body of Christ” is ongoing today. This age of “the body of Christ” was “kept secret from ages and generations to later be inserted into God’s timeline … yet, it was always in God’s plan and “kept hid in God.”  Paul’s POST-Acts ministry was;

“… to make all men [all races] see what is the fellowship [dispensation] of the mystery [God’s secret plan],” which from the beginning of the world Hath Been HID In God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:” (Eph. 3:9).

“Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of [heaven’s] glory:” Colossians 1:26-27

Christ’s personal arrival on earth to save Israel’s believing remnant with her Gentile proselytes and set up His long-promised earthly kingdom is YET FUTURE. This is because today’s dispensational age of “the Mystery [secret]” of the Gentile “body of Christ,” though planned “from before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4), was inserted into God’s timeline after ‘Israel fell,’ was “blinded,” and “cast away” temporarily (cf. Rom. 11:10-12, 15, 25, Acts 28:28).

“For I [Paul] would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery [Gk. musterion, secret], lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, UNTIL the fulness of the Gentiles [the ‘body of Christ’] be come in.” Romans 11:25 (KJV)

With their fall (Rom. 11:12), Israel’s ‘hopeof His soon coming was SET ASIDE, Temporarily, UNTIL after the Gentile “body of Christ” is FILLED FULL and then Removed From Planet Earth to Appear With Him In [Heaven’s] Glory(Col. 3:4).

In contrast to ‘parousia’ [His Coming] to earth, we have the Greek word,epiphaneia,’ which is almost exclusively used by Paul’s in his POST-Acts Epistles concerning “the blessed Hope” of the “faithful” members of the Gentile “the body of Christ” who will nextAPPEAR with Him in [heaven’s] Glory.’

Now let us draw a comparison between these PRE-Acts 28 and POST-Acts 28 verses;

  • PRE-Acts 28:28:  In Paul’s Acts period epistles we have 1Thess. 4:17-18 where the “the Lord DESCENDS from heaven as seen in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 saying, “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed [coming down] from heaven with His mighty angels. 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance …”
  • POST-Acts 28: This verse is very different from Paul’s Pre-Acts 28:28 period epistles. In Paul’s POST-Acts epistle to the Colossians we see The Lord is prophesied to appear with [Grk. syn, in union with, simultaneously in union]him in glory,” where Christ now sits “on the right hand of God(cf. Eph. 1:21).

“When Christ, who is our life, shall appear,’ then shall ye [the members of His body] also appear with [Grk. syn, ‘simultaneously in union with’] him In Glory.” Col. 3:4 (KJV)


So, there is a ‘hope’ both companies of the redeemed believers, 1) Israel on earth and, 2) “His body” in heaven. These two ‘hopes’ demonstrate such a great contrast for us today.

  • Israel’sHope of the Acts Period Epistles for the Messianic Jn. 3:16 ‘whosoever believers’ (Jews & Gentiles) concerns the Lord’s COMING” DOWN To Earth to set up His Kingdomon earth.”
  • But theHopeof the members of the Mystery [secret]” body of Christ is that ‘we are GOING UP to Heaven to “appear with [in union with] Him in glory,” “far above” all heavens (Eph. 4:10).

Paul’s epistle to Titus is a POST-Acts but not a ‘Prison Epistle,’ yet belonging to the same Post-Acts epistle group. There we read that we of His Gentile “Body” should today Live In Anticipation of Heaven. We are not waiting for ‘His Coming Down,’ but rather Looking For “His Appearing” and Our ‘Appearing with Him in heaven’s glory.’

“looking for that BLESSED HOPE, and the GLORIOUS APPEARING of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, NOT on things on the earth. Colossians 3:1-2

Thus, we of “His body(“the body of Christ”) will GO UP to dwell with and serve Christ as the “Head” of “the body” … “in the heavenly places” forever.

Having established the difference between His ‘Parousia’ (presence on earth with Israel) and that of … His Phaneroo’ ‘manifestation’ to appear’ (epiphaneia) in heaven, let’s now ask this sincere and personal question every reader.

Are you, as a believer today, looking for Christ’s Parousia - His “Coming” and “presence” On Earth or, … are you “looking for” His Epiphaneia, His “Appearing” in heaven and us “with Him?

This is an important question since most believers today mistakenly expect to be ‘raptured’ to heaven, but they hold to 1Thes. 4:17 and 1Cor. 15:51-52 … which is addressing HIS 2ND “COMING” to Earth, not the promised “appearing” of “the faithful” “with Him in [heaven’s] glory” (Col. 3:4).

The hope of His 2nd “Coming” was spoken of;

1) by Jesus Himself in the Gospels,

2) and ‘the Twelveduring Acts,

3) and Paul also wrote during the Acts period concerning “His coming” as seen in 1 & 2 Thes. and 1Cor. 15 while he was going “to the Jew first.” This means most Christians today mistakenly believe for His manifested presence’ on earth at Christ’s 2nd Coming; ignoring Paul’s Post-Acts epistle’s ‘hope’ of Heaven for “His body.”

The four Gospels use the word “coming” 43 times to speak of the Lord Jesus’ 2ndcoming” to earth. Jesus in fact told the high priest (Matt. 26:62) saying He will come in “the clouds” of the atmosphere of the 1st heaven - ‘the sky.

Jesus saith unto him, … Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming[in vengeance] in the clouds of heaven [the sky, air, 1Thes 4:17].” Matthew 26:64

The same “parousia” (coming), as seen in the verses below, are all from Paul’s Acts Period Epistles while he went to “the Jew first.” Note that the 2nd coming of Christ at the so-called Rapture as seen in 1Thes 4 and 1Cor 15 is the very same 2nd “coming that Jesus speaks of as seen… in Matt 25 and Luke 21. Read and compare these Pauline Acts Period verses with Jesus’ words in Matt 25 and Luke 21.

1 Thessalonians 2:19 (KJV) 19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his Coming?

1 Thessalonians 3:13 (KJV) 13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, AT the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ With All His Saints.

1 Thessalonians 4:15 (KJV) 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the Coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 (KJV) 23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 2:1 (KJV) 1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

2 Thessalonians 2:8 (KJV) 8 And then shall that Wicked [Antichrist] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy [Gk. kartargeo, neutralized] with the brightness of his Coming:

1 Corinthians 1:7 (KJV) So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

The fact is that ‘Heaven’ is never spoken of in Scripture as the ultimate destination of the Acts Period believers (Jews or Gentiles). The fact is that the resurrected (raptured) Acts period believers and many John 3:16 “whosoever,” Gentile believers of today will “MEET Him in the air [Grk. aer, atmosphere, sky] at His 2nd “coming” … AS HE COMES ON HIS WAY TO THE EARTH … to save Israel’s believing remnant and set up His Millennial kingdom On The Earth.

NOTE: You can read my detailed 4-Part Study: Comparing Israel’s Hope of ‘Resurrection’ with the Gentiles ‘Appearing’ in Glory, There, you will see a more detailed comparison between Jesus’ words in Matt. 25 and Luke 21 … with the words of Paul in 1Thes 4 and 1Cor. 15. You will then see that they are Talking About The Very Same 2nd Coming’ of Jesus to be present On The Earth. There is no mention of anyone Going Up to ‘dwell in heaven.” Paul writes only in his Post-Acts epistles of another body of believers who have a “Heavenly” Hope and Calling, they are the members of the “faithful” Gentile “body of Christ.”

Note also how Paul in 2 Thes. 2:8 says Antichrist will be neutralized at His Coming.”

“And then shall that Wicked [one] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy [Gk. kartargeo, neutralize] with the Brightness Of HIS COMING:

Consider that nowhere in Paul’s 7 POST-ACTS epistles do we find Paul referring to the Lord’s 2nd coming’ to earth regarding the Gentile “church” of “the body of Christ.” Rather, Paul makes clear that the members of today’s invisible, spiritual, “church, which is His body already have “HIS SPIRIT of life(Rom. 8:2) present within THEIR SPIRIT (1Cor 6:17), bearing “All Spiritual Blessings In HEAVENLY PLACES” … even NOW before we laterappear with Him in [heaven’s] glory.

We of His body willAppear WITH Him SIMULTANEOUSLY because we are forever “IN Him.”

“For ye are dead, and Your Life Is HID WITH CHRIST In God.” Colossians 3:3 (KJV)

“And ye are Complete IN HIM…” Col. 2:10a (KJV)

So, the distinction between His parousia (His presence) and that of His epiphaneia (His ‘appearing’ in heaven’s glory), reinforces the truth that we of “His body” should be looking UP for the manifestation of our HEAVENLY destiny with Christ.

But Israel’s HOPE of the Kingdom On Earth is referred to repeatedly in Paul’s ACTS period epistles. Even as late as Acts 28:20 (below) we see how Paul then still held “the hope of Israel” for which he was ‘in chains’ … just 8 verses before the final fall of Israel was sealed in Acts 28:28.

“For this cause therefore have I [Paul] called for you [Jews], to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the HOPE of Israel I [Paul] am bound with this chain.” Acts 28:20 (KJV)

Those who today cling to the words of Jesus in the Gospels and the words of Paul written DURING THE ACTS PERIOD epistles such as 1Thes. 4:17 and 1 Cor. 15:51-52 can expect to be resurrected (raptured) … to then DWELL WITH ISRAEL IN THE KINGDOM ON EARTH at ‘His 2nd Coming’ to save Israel and her Gentile proselytes, and establish His Millennial reign.

We today as “the faithful” of “His body” “look for His and Our ‘appearing TOGETHER (co-jointly), “with Him” “Far Above,” in “The Heavenly Places In Christ.

“For our conversation [Old English for ‘citizenship’] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious [resurrection] body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. Philippians 3:20-21 (KJV)

looking for that BLESSED HOPE, and the GLORIOUS APPEARING of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).

When Christ, who is our life, shall APPEAR, then shall ye [the members of His body] also APPEAR With Him In [heaven’s] Glory.” Colossians 3:4 (KJV)

Being “in Him” and “with Him” we then will be ‘above’ the government of heaven; Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:” Ephesians 1:21 (KJV)


Paul’s Acts Period Epistles

(Listed In Chronological Order of Writing)

Paul’s Post-Acts Epistles

(Listed In Chronological Order of Writing)

1 Thessalonians


2 Thessalonians


1 Corinthians




2 Corinthians

1 Timothy




2 Timothy