(first draft, from ST book)
After ending his gospel, showing Jesus’ command for power, Luke shows in Acts the end time or eschatological power of Jesus on His throne, in the most direct and positive description. It literally shows Stephen looking up to heaven with Jesus in His position of authority “sitting at the right hand of Power.” Stephen sees Jesus reclining on the throne, with all power and authority. It shows how He uses this power and authority, by giving it to His chosen ones to advance the Kingdom of God on the earth. Luke shows chapter by chapter, example after example what this looks like with God’s elect. Luke shows what happens when the saints are Jesus-on-the-throne-centered. He shows them with power, truth, boldness and love that advances the Kingdom.
Passages like Matthew 24 and John’s book of Revelation show the same thing. These passages are not the main or overview teaching on the eschatology power and authority of Jesus; however, they do teach an important point or application about it. They highlight a moment in time where Jesus exercises some of His throne power and authority in a specific application. It shows Jesus on the throne. It shows how this Jesus in all His power and authority uses this power and authority to judge and permanently destroy the Jewish system and tradition. The Jews were the one trying to stop the empowered followers of Jesus from advancing His Kingdom; the kingdom that Jesus is in authority and in control of. Jesus uses His power, to destroy the Jews in horrific punishment, so that they will not continue their opposition to His empowered elect. Jesus uses His throne authority, to permeably replace the old wine with the new; the old harlot bride, with the new faithful bride that is guaranteed to not depart from Him, under His New Covenant promises. He advances His Kingdom in Power. He made the hearts of the Jews obstante, and moved the Roman’s hearts to make the stars fall from the heavens. Jesus used His authority and power, sitting at God’s right hand, to advance the Kingdom by removing the ones fighting it the most, in destruction not seen on earth before or after. This is what Jesus looks like and acts like while sitting on His throne of Power.
Did the Christians take up swords to get Peter out of prison? No. The Christians focused on Jesus on the throne and prayed. Jesus used power and opened it. Jesus, in not only preaching through His elect, but in power advances His kingdom. When the church was oppressed by the government (Acts 4:23-31) did they take of swords or use the government to seek help? No. They put their faith with Jesus on His throne. Jesus in His power poured our miracles, healings and boldness on them to confront the government. Jesus in power advances His kingdom. When the Apostles and other many churches and disciples healed, healed and healed, did they do the healing themselves, or use science or governments to do it? No. They focused their faith on Jesus on His throne. Jesus healed those people. In act of miracle healing, many demons of the kingdom of darkness are expelled out (Acts 10:38). Jesus in power advances the Kingdom. When demons were cast out, did the Christian do it with power of the governments or swords? No. They focused their faith on Jesus on His throne. Jesus used His power and cast demons out when faith was used by His elect. Jesus in power advances His kingdom. When Paul laid hands on the gentiles to receive the baptism of the Spirit, did he sell this? Did he do it “by the name of Paul”? Did Paul do this in the name of “the age of the apostles”? Did Paul do this by the power of governments? No. Paul’s faith was with Jesus on the throne. Jesus in power, gives power to His elect and advances the Kingdom.
The importance of the book of Acts, is that is shows how to advance the Kingdom of Christ as a universal application. With the understanding that Jesus and the apostles, spoke so much of the destruction of the temple (and Jewish system) the question can arise, “were they to act in one way before its destruction, and we to act in another way after?” No, there is no essential deference, because this age is defined by Jesus sitting at God’s right hand. Jesus was there before (waiting for death to be under His feet), and He is there after the destruction of the temple(waiting for death to be under His feet). Nothing essential has changed. The only thing that did change, was Jesus triumphing over one of His enemies like a man stepping in a wine press. Thus, metaphysics and commands are the same. The Lion advances.
We will look at a few examples.
“Now when they heard these things, they were infuriated in their hearts and gnashed their teeth at him.
But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God,”
(Acts 7:54–56 (LEB).
Stephen is preaching. Stephen is being persecuted by the Jews. Being filled with the POWER of the Holy Spirit, Stephen literally sees Jesus sitting on His throne at God’s right hand.
What is the main thing here? Stephen, the Jews or Jesus with all His power? Jesus. Peter and the apostles kept making the point that the resurrection of Jesus is not a doctrine in a vacuum. Jesus’ resurrection is to the right hand of God. The Jesus who was born under the law, as a man, is a Jesus we do not know anymore. “… At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now!” (2 Corin. 5:16 NLT). We know Jesus very differently now. This Jesus is the one in all authority and power. Stephen looking at heaven with Jesus on His throne, was pointing out the central theme in this moment. Stephen was drawing attention to the main actor. He brought everyone’s attention, to the ruling King of the kingdom of God. He showed that the King was watching. The King with all the power, was watching. The King with all the power to order angels, to empower His elect, to rearrange nature itself, to dispel demons and lies, and the King whose responsibility was to help His citizens, and advance His Kingdom, was watching and making decisions. What decision did Jesus make? Steven was martyred for directly preaching the truth, and performing miracles in power. However, in the larger picture, it was a strategic lose for the kingdom of darkness and a win for God’s kingdom. Jesus let the Jews know He saw what they were doing, just as Jesus warned them while one earth. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down,” (Matt. 24:2 NIV). “And as for these enemies of mine who didn’t want me to be their king—bring them in and execute them right here in front of me,’” (Luke 19:27 NLT). King Jesus was looking down from God’s right hand, saying, “I see you, and because you do not want me as King, and I am much more powerful than you, I will have you slaughtered in front of me. I will let you persecute some of my citizens, and even kill some of them, but I will both destroy you for this, and through them advance My Kingdom. In the next chapter Paul begins to target the church and then table bearers, filled with the Power of Jesus’ Kingdom, go forth and advance the kingdom. “And the crowds with one mind were paying attention to what was being said by Philip, as they heard him and saw the signs that he was performing. For many of those who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them, crying out with a loud voice, and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city,” Acts 8:6–8 (LEB). The Kingdom advances.
A few decades later Jesus did in fact have those Jewish enemies slaughtered in front of Him. The stars fell from heaven, and Jesus treaded the winepress of His wrath against them. Indeed, not one stone was left on top of another. “And pray that your flight will not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again,” (Matt. 24:20-21 NLT). “Truly I say to you that this generation will never pass away until all these things take place! Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away,” (Matt. 24:34-35 LEB). The Lion advances.
“While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see,” (Acts 3:11–16 (NIV).
Right after being filled with baptism of the Spirit and power, we read in this next chapter how Peter healed a cripple. But, wait? Peter says it was faith in Jesus’ name, which Jesus worked in the man, that made the man healthy. Peter retells how the kingdom of Satan working through the Jews, tried to destroy Jesus. But instead, their attack help to orchestrate Jesus being put into all authority at God’s right hand. The Lion advances. Yet, these same Jews are still in the kingdom of darkness with their unbelief in God’s son. However, this poor cripple, believed in the King’s name, and now he is running around. The Kingdom advances, and the kingdom of darkness screeches as it shrinks back. This healing opens the door for Peter to preach the truth and expel the lies. The Lion advances, because the Lion is on His throne.
Again, in Acts 4 when Peter was released from prison, he and the disciples prayed for Psalm 2 to be applied in the form of healings, miracles and preaching to strike back at the kingdom of darkness. God feels the place with the power of His Spirit and approves of their eschatological application to destroy the both government oppression and Satan’s kingdom that is fueling them. Jesus makes it so easy for us. He tells us how He likes His power to be applied to advance His kingdom on earth, even against oppressive governments. Think about it. They ask that “healing” be used as a way to fire back at oppressive governments? Why? “Jesus of Nazareth—how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, because God was with him,” (Acts 10:38 LEB). First, Peter points out the in “POWER of the Holy Spirit,” He healed. Next, the healing was at the same time casting out demons. Peter presupposes that most of the healings (if not all) were under demonic oppressions of possession and harassment. Think about that? Satan was victimizing people by oppressing their bodies with sickness and disease by demonic power. Jesus said the woman bent over for 18 years was being victimized by the devil. By healing her, Jesus at the same time, released her from being under the power of the kingdom of darkness. Jesus advanced the Kingdom of God by healing her. Healing in this context is a positive help (to the one receiving it) and a negative blast against darkness at the same time. And it is immediate. Healing in this context of warfare, is like saying, “bring out the big guns, send down the artillery.” Thus, when the disciples were asking for healing to be used as a weapon against their oppressors, they are presupposing the aspect of healing that is casting out demons as it heals. They saw Jesus do this over, and over and over and over. After being filled with the “same Holy Spirit of Power,” are commanded by Jesus to do the same. Think about all the people being healed, even if some of them did not truly become Christians? Multitudes of people who are co-workers, bosses, and government workers, who were under the power of demons, are now suddenly free. It should not take much imagination to understand a boss who is sick and under the influence of a demon, would be a worse boss to have, than a boss who is healed and freed from demonic victimization. And if they truly are born again, then 10,000 times better. In healing, the Kingdom steamrolls over darkness like a locomotive rolling over a rat. The Lion advances.
It is disobedience to your commanding officer to be not be filled with Power of the Holy Spirit, by baptism of the Spirit, and attack the kingdom Satan by healing the sick. Christians want more victory and power, but they are their own worse enemies. God as given them huge weapons to advance the kingdom of God, but they too busy debating what cracker to use in communion to notice. They are too busy looking at suffering people, and to busy looking at governments to notice. Many spiritual perverts, as slaves of Satan, make it their living to get educated and convince God’s people not to be baptized in the Spirit and not heal the sick as a weapon to advance the Kingdom. They are Satan’s littler helpers who spread his doctrine of non-faith. They tell people you can have faith for healing, and God still might not do what He promised by always giving you the healing that King Jesus died to provide. May God rain down more healing and miracles of judgement against them. May God pour the harm they have done in their false doctrines 10,000 times upon their heads.
The bible never opposes going to medicine, but never endorses medicine either, not even one time in the entire Bible. Christians have exchanged mighty lightning bolt weapons, given to them from Heaven, for water guns. It is as if Zeus gave you his lightning bolt, and you traded it for a bat, thinking it was better. Satan has deceived and damned many by making such a trade. We are recently in a virus pandemic, and Christians have handed healing off to the world. Where there could be healings that bring people’s attention to God, do not happen. Where there could be countless demons cast out of common people, bosses, and government workers, does not happen. Where healing could bring about opportunity to preach the gospel, does not happen. And the Christian without shame ask, why they are failing?
They prophesied a famine.
27 Now in those days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 And one of them named Agabus stood up and indicated by the Spirit that a great famine was about to come over the whole inhabited earth (which took place in the time of Claudius). 29 So from the disciples, according to their ability to give, each one of them determined to send financial aid[aa] for support to the brothers who lived in Judea, 30 which they also did, sending the aid to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul. LEB
Some prophets from Jerusalem, through the power of the Spirit, told of a coming famine. The famine came just as it was told. This gave the believers a head start and time to prepare. Eventually, this led to other churches giving money to support the ones struggling the most. This money was handed to Paul and Barnabas, who delivered the aid. We know from Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, the Macedonian Christians were one of the churches that gave money to help. Paul used this as motivation to encourage the Corinthians to fulfill their own desire to give to the Jerusalem church.
Monetary wealth is given.
“And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. 6 So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich,”
(2 Corin. 8-1-9 NIV)
The kingdom of God is Jesus on the Throne with all power and authority. His kingdom is applied to a person in intellectual and ethical power when they are born from above by the Spirit, and as has been discussed more at length in this section, is the kingdom of God applied in power by the baptism of the Spirit. In money giving, the intellectual and ethical power is the focus. The Spirit surges in the souls of His chosen ones with intelligence to understand how great of a giver God is; how unmeasurable of a giver He is to them in the gospel. God is truly a generous giver without end. For those who have received the supply of God’s generous giving, understand this by applying (deduction) themselves, intellectually to these truths. The Spirit, from this intellectual foundation moves the saints to be a giver like their heavenly Father. The saints also understand to give tithes and offerings is a command. They favor God by obeying His command. Paul says, it important that you give with a grateful heart, and not by force. This ethical power comes from the Spirit. The church in Jerusalem and surrounding areas, were not only suffering from famine, but also from authentic persecution for the gospel sake. Some were in need, and so the Spirit surged in the souls of those who had material abundance and moved them with ethical power to give and help. The Kingdom advances.
Jesus became our poverty so that we become His riches, here and now in this life, not just the next. In Chapter 9:8 Paul even says that God blesses us with abundance of monetary wealth so that in abundance (not poverty) we can give for every good work of God and the gospel. Some who resist this doctrine that Paul taught, do they also resist what he taught a few verses earlier? Paul, also wrote this verse to the Corinthians, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God,” (2 Corin. 5:21 NIV). Paul has already made clear the substitutionary death of Jesus’ atonement, in context of this epistle. He then says, in context of the Corinthians being asked to give money to the churches in need of money, says that Jesus became our poverty so that we become His riches. “Riches” is defined by the context of “poverty,” and the context of giving money. There is no way to logically or exegesis this away to mean spiritual things. It is about financial wealth. Jesus did indeed become our poverty by just coming to earth; however, there was so much money in the money bag that Judas was able to steal from it, without hindering the rest. Jesus and the disciples were not “poor.” Jesus’ total poverty was only fulfilled on the cross. Here he was truly penny-less and so poor that He hung naked on the cross. No money and naked. This was Jesus, the most wealthy being in all reality. He became our poverty so that become is wealth.
When Paul says this, it is not used to refer to heaven, although it would definitely include that; rather, Paul uses this wealth substitution that happened in the atonement to apply today, and now, and not over there and later. Paul uses this substitutionary wealth part of the atonement to imply that by this the Corinthians have monetary wealth today, therefore, because they have this wealth provided by Jesus’ substitution in the gospel, they have the ability give abundantly to the Kingdom of God. The Lion Advances.
Jesus needed money to enter the temple to minister. Obviously, Judas with the money bag wasn’t there. Jesus tells Peter to go to the nearby sea and go fishing. Peter did. He found a coin in the mouth of the first fish. A first cast and catch. Is that work or entertainment? The big idea is simple. Jesus used a miracle to receive money so that He would advance the kingdom by His ministry. Free money in a fish, to pay for taxes. The Kingdom advances.
Consider the Old Testament. But keep in mind all this has its foundation in a few great truths. God is generous by His own nature. Two, God cannot lie. Third, and this is the important one for our focus, is the promise in the Contract that “God will be our God, and we His people,” and this foundation is in the promise to Abraham, that He is Abraham’s exceedingly great reward. This promise is restated in the New Contract. We are both grafted into Abraham’s blessing and in the New Contract promise. God being our God is God causing our fields to produce so much, we need to clear out the old grain in the barns to make room for the new. It includes being blessed with many children, and having the predatory animals leave our territory. This what it means for God to be or God, and we His people.
This is seen when Abraham defeats 5 armies and is crowned in wealth and prosperity. He then tithes to Mckeszedck, to show the lesser gives tithes to the greater, who is Abraham’s great reward. This is seen when Isaac planted and received a 100 fold in time of drought.
What about the Israelites when they needed great wealth to build the tabernacle to worship Yahweh? God literally had their pockets and packs filled with the treasures of Egypt. God transferred the wealth of the pagans to His children. God made the pagans do this willingly. Out of this great wealth they gave to the ministry. By this the kingdom of God advanced upon the earth in their day.
Paul and others kept looking for Christians who repented but did not receive the baptism of the Spirit. By this continued seeking for born again believers to be baptized in the Spirit, even the most average Christian wielded Zeus’ thunderbolt. As Solomon made silver a common thing in Jerusalem, the baptism of the Spirit makes power among the Elect a common thing. The kingdom advanced.
“One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself.” (14:4)
“I thank God that I speak in tongues more than you all.” (1 Corin. 14:18 LSB)
Is Paul boasting or is he setting an example for us to follow? Paul was constantly dealing with hardship. How did he fight back discouragement and depression? Paul says the one who speaks in tongues edifies himself. Paul said he prayed more in tongues than out of control Corinthians! Putting these two together we see one practice Paul did that constantly edified himself and kept back discouragement. Praying in tongues. As saints and warriors for God’s kingdom we fight back discouragement by praying in tongues. No wonder when one is baptized speaking in tongues is a regular manifestation. Now wonder Paul wanted us all to speak in tongues. Paul was constantly self-edified by tongues and he wanted all to experience the same spiritual self-edification for their souls. God wants to encourage us. He wants us to pray in tongues. The kingdom advances when its soldiers are encouraged and made strong. Pray in tongues, and let the Lion roar, and in doing so we advance the Kingdom of God.
Empowered to preach the word.
A common spiritual empowerment from the baptism of the Spirit is boldness to preach the word. Acts 4:31 (LEB), “And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.” How can they believe without hearing the message? How can the message be proclaimed without a preacher? However, how much will they hear when the preacher is made bold by the baptism of the Spirit? They will hear to the degree the Spirit has power to empower. The limitation is measured by the Spirit’s ability to baptize and empower, not man. And so, there is not limitation. In the baptism of the Spirit the word is boldly preached, and the Lion advances.
Snakes bite, and are shaken off.
Jesus said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you,” (Luke 10:18-19 LEB)
“As Paul gathered an armful of sticks and was laying them on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, bit him on the hand… But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed,” (Acts 28:3,5 NLT).
What if Paul died from the deadly bite of the viper? It is obvious, Paul couldn’t heal and preach the gospel to these people. The Kingdom of God, would have a defeat, and Paul being accountable/responsible to fulfill his ministry would have taken a defeat. Yet, in the power of faith and the Spirit, snakes are shaken off like a blade of grass, and the Lion advances.
It is important to mention the suffering of the saints. I do this with some hesitation because many so-called Christians in my day seem to embrace suffering like masochists, and shake off healing like a viper. However, the Scripture teach that all who are truly born again, with faith surging in their souls, will face persecution. Some much less, and other much more. “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” (2 Timothy 3:12 NIV)
I will not harp on this, but only say it and those who are intelligent will understand. There is suffering that comes from unbelievers to oneself in “direct relation” to being a Christian, or that one is preaching and advancing the kingdom. There is another type of suffering. This suffering comes from the everyday troubles of life that come from living in a fallen world. Then lastly, there is a type of suffering that come from self-inflicted stupidity and self-inflicted unbelief.
The persecution the bible refers to only refers to the first type.
“A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria.
…But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went. Philip, for example, went to the city of Samaria and told the people there about the Messiah. Crowds listened intently to Philip because they were eager to hear his message and see the miraculous signs he did. Many evil spirits were cast out, screaming as they left their victims.”
(Act 8:1,4-7 NLT)
When persecuted the Christians left their current homes and went to other places. When they did, they preached the gospel, healed the sick and cast out demons, as they screamed. That is, in persecution, rather than snuffing out the church, the church grew and expanded. Some were indeed martyred; however, the Scripture indicates that most stayed in the land of the living and by boldness of word, healing and casting out demons, they were the ones snuffing out the kingdom of darkness. They did not let suffering roll over them; rather, they rolled over the suffering for the advancement of their king. The Kingdom advances.
Others were sent to prison had more the one type of kingdom advancement. As reported in Hebrews 10, some of them visited brothers in chains. In this the ethical power was expanding. “For you both sympathized with the prisoners and put up with the seizure of your belongings with joy because you knew that you yourselves had a better and permanent possession,” (Hebrews 10:34 LEB). The preacher then transitions into Hebrews 11-12, where he encourages faith in his audience. There is some suffering mentioned in the end of Hebrews 11, however, the majority is about faith to acquire blessings, help and victories. The preacher’s overall theme is to endure with faith (for victory) and remember this world is not your true reward. Entering God’s rest with Him is.
Peter and Paul were both in prisons, and both had supernatural miracles by God to get them out. Remember the apostles prayer in Acts 4? They prayed for miracles as a judgment against the oppressive Jewish government. Look. God is doing just that. When God make earthquakes open the prison doors, it damages the prison. Think about that. The prisons are government property. For sake of his elect praying in faith, God damages government property in supernatural power to help them. God hurts His enemies, and blesses His chosen. Rather than looking to man made way to save one’s country, the church needs to pray Psalm 2 over themselves in faith, and see God supernaturally attack their enemies. In suffering, the church does not roll over; rather, by an indomitable faith they cause Psalm 2 to rain down judgment on their advisories. The church uses the opportunity of suffering to rain down judgment miracles upon their enemies. The Lion advances.
In Paul letter to the Thessalonians he speaks this way in 2 Thessalonians 1. They are suffering under the Jews, and Paul reminds them God will destroy them.
Vincent Cheung commenting on this passage in his commentary says,
Some have offered reasons to believe that Paul is referring to the first event (AD 70) in our passage. First, the text focuses on the punishment that would come upon those who are persecuting the Thessalonians at the time of the writing of this letter. These persecutors mainly consist of Jews, and the punishment in view here seems to correspond to what Paul means in the first letter when he writes concerning them, “The wrath of God has come upon them at last” (1 Thessalonians 2:16). Second, the language in our passage parallels that of Daniel 7:9-12 and Joel 2-3, which include prophecies that are now understood to have occurred in the first century. Third, the language in our passage parallels that of Matthew 16:27-28, where Jesus says that “some who are standing here will not taste death” before they witness the event. Thus it is more than possible that the punishment in our passage refers to God’s coming in judgment to slaughter the Jews and destroy their temple in AD 70.
The apostle stresses punishment in our passage, saying, “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power” (v. 8-9). The words denote retribution and recompense. Our God is a God who punishes. We must become accustomed to this, but more than that, we must come to like it. To dislike the idea that God punishes is to dislike God himself, since he acts out of his nature of justice. That God would punish them with “everlasting destruction” does not mean that they would cease to exist, since then they could not also be “shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power.” Paul means that God would kill them and then send them to hell. They will have no share in the joy and glory that the faithful Thessalonian Christians are destined to receive.
Although it is likely that the passage refers to God’s coming in judgment in AD 70, the principles that determine the persecutors’ punishment and the believers’ inheritance remain applicable, since they are stated as universal principles.
Paul does not say, “God will punish these very Jews who persecute you and no one else.” But he writes, “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (v. 8). Those who “do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” make up a very large but well-defined group, namely, all non-Christians. God is coming to punish all non-Christians, if not in AD 70, then at some other time, and if not by a temporal punishment followed by hellfire, then immediately by hellfire at their death or at the second coming of Christ. There will be no escape.
As for the Thessalonians, Paul says that they are numbered among Christ’s own people, not because they are Thessalonian Christians, but “because you believed our testimony to you” (v. 10). We have believed on the same apostolic testimony, and therefore we are also numbered among Christ’s own people, and will share in the same glorious inheritance.
The big idea is that Paul’s encouragement is to not let the persecution roll over them, and “just except it.” Rather Paul’s edification is that God will soon, punish those persecuting you. That is, fight back with faith in God to apply Psalm 2 with healings, judgment miracles, preaching bolding, and loving your brothers, and if some of you are martyred face it with boldness in God.
Peter has the same encouragement. In Peter’s letter, his has context remarks that indicate his audience, at least some, are under persecution. Yet, in this context, Peter does not edify the with “God is in control so just except whatever happens.” Peter quotes Psalm 34 (1 Peter 3:9-12). Peter’s instruction is to put your faith in what is said in Psalm 34 so that you can receive a “blessing” from God! This is said to the Jerusalem church, the most persecuted church. And Peter says this to them. Think about that. What does Psalm 34 say? (4-5,10, 12-18 NIV)
I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
10.Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
This is filled with God hearing His people, who are in troubles. This Psalm teaches and commands us to seek God in our troubles and God will deliver us from ALL of them. This was not some guy on TBN. This was Peter quoting King David, saying this is applicable to the must persecuted saints in the world, at that time. Let the sink deep into your soul.
Thus, even in suffering the scripture takes Psalm 2 and Psalm 34 and moralizes for the most persecuted saints so that God will deliver them from all their troubles and receive blessings raining down from the Father of lights. The Kingdom Advances.
Demons are tossed out of the way screaming.
Many evil spirits were cast out, screaming as they left their victims.
And many who had been paralyzed or lame were healed.
There was great joy in that city.
(Acts 8:7-8 NLT)
When the Kingdom Advances: Demons scream, & Saints shout for joy.
Peter records in Acts 10:38 that as Jesus was healing He was casting out demons. Jesus also cast out demons directly. Jesus said He was the stronger man who went into Satan’s house, bound him and then plundered his house. Jesus by commanding us to be filled with faith and the baptism of the Spirit, is commanding us to carry on this noble cause. We are to expel the kingdom of darkness in intellectual power by the preaching of the word. We are to expel the kingdom of God by ethical power of the word and Spirit surging in our souls. However, we are also to expel the Kingdom of darkness by literally casting demonic forces. Jesus did it and wants us to do it. Like the children of Israel taking the promise land, Jesus has put this demon slaying sword in our hands for us to finish the work.
Faith in Jesus name.
This is dealt with in more detail in the section on Ethics; however, it does deserve a few passing comments here. There are separate modes of power. The first and most foundational is simply normal discipleship faith. This faith saves you, as Jesus often said. You are justified from your sin by faith in Jesus’ finished work. This same faith heals you. James in chapter 5 says your faith will cause you to be healed and forgiven. He also God will give you faith on the demand of your faith. This same faith casts out demons. This same faith allows you to march into the throne room of God, and directly ask God for help as angels and other heavenly beings watch God tread you as a son. This faith is, what John says in both his gospel and letter, obeying God. This faith moves mountains. And as Jesus kept pointing out in John 14-16, faith allow you to ask for anything from God and get it.
This faith even allows you to bypass things like being in the wrong time for the wrong administration such as the gentile woman seeking Jesus to heal her daughter. Jesus was theologically correct. It was wrong for Him to give what belonged to someone else to then give it to her. It was not her time. Her faith bypassed Jesus’ theology and she got what she wanted anyway. As Vincent Cheung says, (as I paraphrase) “because faith is the first doctrine, no other doctrine or theology that comes later will contradict faith.” Jesus in fact replies back to her, “Women, your will be done.” The big idea to see here in our context is this: the baptism of the Spirit, the gifts, and the anointing presence did not do this, normal discipleship faith did. The gifts and anointing is by the sovereign work of God to move when and how He wants. Faith is different. With or without the gifts and the anointing presence (although we seek them zealously) faith can bypass pre-appointed administrations of God to get what you want from God. This is something that almost exclusively belongs to faith.
This is way many in the Pentecostals and charismatics have harmed themselves and stunted their growth and stunted their ability to advance the kingdom. I have recently been listening to Benny Hinn. His instruction for how to cultivate the anointing presence of the Spirit is mostly correct (not all of it). We should all be praying in tongues and doing spiritual things the help spark the gifts and the presence of God upon us. The issue is that many “depend” on this in a way that is not taught in scripture. What if the Spirit decides to not sovereignly move on a day you are in great need? What if you do not feel the anointing presence of the Spirit when you need a mountain moved? FAITH is the answer. If you have matured your faith (as Jesus taught in John 14-16), then you are always ready, in and out of season, to move mountains and get help both for yourself and those around you.
Faith is separate from the baptism of the Spirit. It is separate from the gifts of the Spirit. It is separate from the mode of the Spirit that many refer to as the “anointing or manifestation of the presence of the Spirit.”
Because our faith can imperfect, all the above modes is able to help and strengthen and even work alongside our normal discipleship faith, but they are separate things.
“And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which is through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all,” (Acts 3:16 LSB)
Think about the context? This is right after Peter’s Pentecostal sermon when he says to repent, be baptizes and then you will be baptized in the Spirit for power. Yet, this healing is not attributed to gift or baptism of the Spirit, but just normal faith in Jesus. There other examples like this in the book of Acts.
All need to be zealously sought and acquired.
Therefore, applied Eschatology is POWER that comes from
(2) baptism of the Spirit,
(3) gifts of the Spirit &
(4) the anointing presence of the Spirit.
And there are many, many more examples, but time would fail me. So we move on.
 If our passage in fact refers to the second coming of Christ and the final judgment on the wicked, then the application is even more straightforward, although Paul would then be saying that God will avenge the Thessalonians at a much later time.
 Vincent Cheung. Faith Override. From Sermonettes Vol 9.