Tag Archives: End times

Expansionism: Applied Eschatology

 

This doctrine is reserved the Section on “Ethics,” however, I will briefly define it here for context.

I am using the term as Vincent Cheung as defined it, since his term properly encompass what I also believe the Scripture teaches on this subject. He was the first to use it, and it is a clear definition, thus I will use his.
I will let him define it here:

Expansionism is the Bible’s explicit doctrine on the subject of spiritual gifts, powers, and miracles. This is the only biblical perspective. I am unaware of any official recognition of the doctrine, so I have selected the term for it. The word is sometimes used in a political sense, but I mean it in a spiritual sense. It is applied to every aspect of the advance of the gospel, but in this context we will focus on the supernatural powers and miracles that God works in association with his people. This is the biblical doctrine that supernatural powers and miracles are to increase in God’s people beyond what Jesus Christ himself exercised. They are to multiply exponentially in quantity and frequency, in intensity and magnitude, in the diversity of representation, and in the scope of jurisdiction. There should be an accumulated momentum, so that compared to Jesus and the apostles, and compared to each previous generation, the church should demonstrate more miracles, greater miracles, miracles performed by more kinds of people, and miracles performed in more areas of the world…

Jesus would perform a miracle, and then he would say that the one who has faith can perform the same miracle, and even a greater miracle — a greater miracle than the one he did. It was as if he wanted to erase every doubt and condemn every excuse. He emphasized this doctrine again and again, and he formulated it in explicit terms. He referred to his miracles (John 14:11), and then he said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” (14:12). This leaves no room for cessationism, but it is much more than continuationism. It is expansionism.

The Bible contains statements that promise us the ability to perform specific kinds of miracles by faith. For example, James 5:15 is a promise for miracles of healing. In fact, it is a command to perform miracles of healing as much as it is a promise. However, even before we learn about these promises, or even without them, John 14:12 guarantees the continuation and expansion of the miracles that Jesus performed. Even without Matthew 17:20, Matthew 21:21, Mark 11:23, and every other passage like these, the one who has faith possesses an irrefutable and permanent basis to perform the same kinds of miracles, such as to command a sickness to leave someone, or to command the restoration of a damaged or missing organ. John 14:12 encompasses all the miracles of Christ, so that miracles of prophecy, miracles of nature, and all other miracles, are also included and promised to those who have faith. That said, we indeed have Matthew 17:20, Matthew 21:21, Mark 11:23, and many other passages that dictate the doctrine of expansionism. It is inescapable….

… Before Christ ascended to the throne of God, he declared that the Holy Spirit would come upon the disciples, and they would receive the same power that he exercised in his ministry (Acts 1:8). Keep in mind that he had already promised that anyone could perform the same and even greater miracles by faith, and the disciples had already been performing miracles by faith, healing the sick and casting out demons in his name. Jesus did not want this to merely continue. He wanted more, much more. This would add still another dimension of spiritual power to their lives — faith upon faith, power upon power. Jesus was not satisfied until his followers had attained an excessive and ridiculous level of charismatic endowments. He refused to accept a mere continuation of his ministry, but he demanded an expansion, an escalation. He wanted the power they demonstrate to be outright absurd. He told them not to leave the city until the Spirit arrived. Then they were to expand, and carry this power “to the ends of the earth.”

When we come to the events after the ascension of Christ, we need to move quickly, because too many things happened for us to consider them in detail. The disciples were no longer just talking about it, but they were doing it. Expansion in every aspect was happening — the quantity of the miracles, the quality of the miracles, the diversity of believers, and the immensity of territories. There was an explosion of supernatural power, and miracles splattered all over the place.

On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit arrived in a spectacular fashion upon the group of believers. Only ten percent of them were apostles (Acts 1:15), but all of them were directly infused with the same power to receive revelations and to perform miracles that infused Jesus Christ (Luke 4:14, 24:49, Acts 1:8, 2:4). Since the first day, the overwhelming majority of those who had prophetic gifts and miraculous powers were not apostles. Peter explained that it was exactly what was supposed to happen. He referred to the prophet Joel: “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy” (Acts 2:17-18). The anointing of the Spirit had spread beyond a few kings and prophets, to Christ and his disciples, and now it would expand in power and scope to all kinds of people, penetrate all levels of society, invade all areas of the world, for all times in the future….[1]

Let me give a quick summary of this.

Expansionism is thus, the combination of the (1) discipleship “faith” Jesus mentions in “…whoever believes in Me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these,” John 14:12 (NIV).[2] This basic discipleship faith is meant for all disciples of Christ. First it says, “whoever believes in Me,” and the context is paralleled with loving each other—or is loving our Christian brothers only for the 12 original apostles?  (2) The combination of “baptism of the Spirit” that Jesus commanded, and Peter through the Joel prophecy, says it for all whom God calls to Himself in salvation.  (3) The combination of the “gifts of the Spirit” as mentioned briefly in Corinthians 12-14.

There is even more, such as what some call the mode of the “anointing presence of God,”(etc.) but we will just keep it to 3 for simplicity.

These 3 combinations are not meant as static; rather, they are meant as an ever increasing[3] expansion in and through the Church to bring the Kingdom of God on earth. That is, the millennium started when Jesus sat on His throne, at the right hand of the Power. He commands the ever increasing expansion of His kingdom on earth by commanding all to repent (baptism of faith), to be empowered (baptism of the Spirit). By these two baptisms, the chosen elect are to be filled with intellectual, ethical and missional power to expand His kingdom on earth, like the Israelites expanded into the Promise Land. This expansion will continue until the fullness of the gentiles are complete and the Jews experience an accelerated repentance in Jesus Christ.

This is what postmillennialism is missing; it has the structure without the content. It has the building but no people. It has a body but no soul. Since for about 1500 years the church has labeled expansionism as a heresy, then no classical doctrine of eschatology is able to be salvaged by combining it with expansionism and still calling it by its classical name, since the classical name contradicts expansionism.

Because expansionism is the correct application of eschatology, then one can simply term expansionism, as Biblical Eschatology and it would be sufficient.  However, for this book I will term the whole meaning of eschatology as “Right-Hand-of-the-Power-ology.” Or for short, Throneism, or Powerism. I would rather use these words, because the doctrine of expansionism, is a consequent of the antecedent, of Jesus as He sits at the right hand of the Power, and from this position, commanding and giving us His power to expand. Depending on, if one defines Jesus sitting at God’s right hand as much as a definition as what the church does, by expanding in power, faith, and miracles, then expansionism can be used as a complete term for biblical Eschatology. 

Also, from this doctrine of expansionism, we can throw the entire various definitions of cessationism into the garbage as blasphemy and rebellions against God. When all definitions fall horrifically short, it does not matter the version of it. Thus, when I rebuke cessationism, I am lumping all of them together, (ranging from those who say “all miracles and gifts have stopped,” to those who say “the gifts have mostly stopped, some miracles still might happen when we ask”), as heretics and deserving of judgment.  It does not matter if one arrow was 50 miles from the bullseye and the other 56 miles, and another was 59 miles. All are completely and ridiculous failures. At least with modern day Pentecostals and Charismatics their arrow was only 30 feet from the bullseye. Still, to miss the target that far off is embarrassing, yet, there is a significant difference of 30 feet compared to 50 miles. The cessationist were not even trying to aim for the Scripture.

Endnotes———————

[1] Vincent Cheung. “Expansionism: A Gospel Manifesto.”

From the ebook, Fulcrum. 2017. Ch. 1. Pg.5-11.
I quoted this at large, because I wanted to make sure there was plenty of context for Vincent to define this doctrine in his own words, thus, if I were to teach something different or disagree there is ample context to demonstrate.

[2] Compare this to John 3:16.

“…whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16 (NIV)

“…whoever believes in Me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these.”
John 14:12 (NIV)

[3] Some might recognize the Smith Wigglesworth book title, Ever Increasing Faith.  Thus, it is not as if Vincent was 100% original in this, but that his definition is a fuller definition, in addition to being concise and clear

The Book of Acts: Applied Eschatology.

Acts:
(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.

Baptism.

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.

Tongues.

“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.

Suffering.

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.[1]

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.”[2] 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
(1) faith,
(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.

———–END NOTE————-

[1] 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.

[2] Vincent Cheung. Faith Override. From Sermonettes Vol 9.

Baptism Of Power: Applied Eschatology

[This is a first draft canalized section, from the Eschatology section, from my systematic theology book. ]

When Jesus on His throne becomes central when thinking about eschatology, rather than man-centeredness, the application is power; this power comes from baptism in the Spirit. It also comes from an indominable faith that moves mountains, and approaches the throne of grace to receive the very thing one asks for. One becomes focused expanding the Kingdom of God, in power, truth and love.

The New Testament teaches in more than on place saying something to the effect, “by believing God’s love and forgiveness for you, you are empowered to love and forgive one another,” (i.e. Colossians 3:9-13). Thus, who would contend with us saying, “if you want to be mature in loving others, you need to be focused on God’s love for you,”? You need to be radically Jesus-centered focus, if you want to be mature in your own love and mercy given to your fellow brethren. The same is in eschatology. If you want Power to advance the Kingdom, if you want Power to help those who are suffering, then you must be radically focused on where Power comes from, Jesus on His throne. If you want Heaven’s power, then being focused on men and government is a contradiction.  The reason why so many focus on man and governments in eschatology, is because the LOVE being focused on man. Man-centeredness is their idol and god. They have their reward. Human power is all they will have.

As for us, we keep our minds where our life and power is at, the right of God with Jesus.

Jesus began to do and to teach, 2 until the day he was taken up, after he had given orders through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen…

4 He commanded them, “Do not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for what was promised by the Father, which you heard about from me. 5 For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now”…

they began asking him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 But he said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest part of the earth.”
(Acts 1:1-8 LEB)

“And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was on them all,”
(Acts 4:33 LEB)

2:1 And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in the same place. 2 And suddenly a sound like a violent rushing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues like fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit gave them ability to speak out.

14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them, “Judean men, and all those who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and pay attention to my words! 15 For these men are not drunk, as you assume, because it is the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel..

30 Therefore, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31 by having foreseen this, he spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he abandoned in Hades nor did his flesh experience decay. 32 This Jesus God raised up, of which we all are witnesses. 33 Therefore, having been exalted to the right hand of God and having received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, he has poured out this that you see and hear.

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children, and for all those who are far away, as many as the Lord our God calls to himself.”

9:17 So Ananias departed and entered into the house, and placing his hands on him, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight and got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking food, he regained his strength. And he was with the disciples in Damascus several days.

10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those who were listening to the message. 45 And those believers from the circumcision who had accompanied Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, 46 for they heard them speaking in tongues and glorifying God. Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can withhold the water for these people to be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit as we also did!” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay for several days…

11:16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 Therefore if God gave them the same gift as also to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God?” 18 And when they heard these things, they became silent and praised God, saying, “Then God has granted the repentance leading to life to the Gentiles also!”

19:1 And it happened that while Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the inland regions and came to Ephesus and found some disciples. 2 And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “But we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit!” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into the baptism of John.” 4 And Paul said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people that they should believe in the one who was to come after him—that is, in Jesus.” 5 And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them and they began to speak in tongues and to prophesy.

____

If Jesus sitting on the throne is the foundation and focus for eschatology, and His commands for power still stand, then applied eschatology for Christians is baptism in the Spirit, faith and miracles.

As has been discussed in the previous section on salvation and the gospel, baptism of the Spirit is a (logical speaking) necessary consequence of the gospel. We will briefly go over this.

“Always remember that Jesus Christ,
a descendant of King David, was raised from the dead.
This is the Good News (GOSPEL) I preach,”
2 Timothy 2:8 (NLT).

As has been stated before, some traditions and heretical teachings have a tendency to limit what the term “gospel” means, as taught by the Scripture.  Imputed righteousness and being declared righteous by the Father is a super awesome doctrine, but there is more that the bible defines that belongs to “good news,” than a few narrow doctrines. As usually men are habitually and systematically man-centered, so that instead of yielding to a purely biblical definition of that the gospel means, they yield to tradition and men.  We know who they serve.

Paul teaches in this passage that the gospel includes that Jesus was raised from the dead “as a descendant of King David.” This refers to the promise God made to “King” David about a descendant that will come from him. There are two aspects of this promised person. One, he will be the saving Messiah. The second, is that He will be a “King” on a throne, ruling in power and authority.

This descendant of King David, according to Paul, is connected to the fact that Jesus was raised. This point of this is simple, for there are only two aspects to it. When you and I are resurrected, it is not necessarily connected to us sitting at God’s right hand as King and Judge over all things; however, this is precisely what it means for Jesus. Jesus is raised as the promised King, from King David, who sits on a throne of power. That is, Jesus’ resurrection by the Father from the grave, cannot be disconnected from the fact that His rising is a rising to sit on a throne. The doctrine of Jesus rising form the grave is the same thing as His rising to sit on the throne as King. One cannot separate Jesus’ resurrection from His sitting on the throne as a King. The doctrine cannot be separated like that. Jesus raised from the grave is not to some nebulous place in the clouds. We are told and know where He was raised to. He was raised to the right hand of the Power. This doctrine for Paul, is “the gospel he preached.”

Also note, this is Paul to Timothy. Furthermore, this is the gospel Paul preached to the gentiles; thus, is not a specific doctrine for Jews or something like that.

Peter, in the first recorded apostolic gospel sermon, harps on this aspect of Jesus being King David’s descendants, who was raised to the position of throne power and authority. It took up much of Peter’s gospel sermon.  Again, one cannot say, “this was for the Jewish audience,” when Paul as the apostle to the gentiles, to Timothy, says this is the gospel he also preached.

Peter sums up Jesus’ rising as the seated King from David as,

“both messiah and King.”

Thus, this promised descendant from David, according to Peter includes both the “saving Messiah” and “King” aspect to it. The resurrection is part of the gospel, most would admit, but the resurrection cannot be separated from that fact that it is a resurrection as a King to a throne. This power the Father “worked in Christ, raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 above all rule and authority and power and lordship and every name named, not only in this age but also in the coming one, 22 and he subjected all things under his feet,” Ephesians 1:20-22. Again, Peter does not separate the saving and Throne aspect of Jesus Christ as the risen descendant of David. It was the gospel Paul preached and it was also the gospel Peter preached. The promise included both, and thus cannot be separated by theologians without blaspheme.

Peter then makes connection to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. His argument is this. Jesus as the descendant King from King David, was raised to the right hand of God, and in His position of power, has poured power out His power to us, through the baptism of the Spirit. That is, what has this newly seated King done with His position of Power? What will He decree? What will this seated descendant King of David do with all this authority and power? Peter’s answer is this: He gives us His power and authority so that we can overcome the world and spread His kingdom to every corner.

“So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 6 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”  So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith,” Galatians 3:5-8 NIV

The promise to bless, from God to the man Abraham, thus includes the Spirit and miracles. Since even the Old Testament speaks of the saints having God’s Spirit to empower them to have faith and follow God, “the Spirit,” spoken by Paul to the Galatians is most likely referring to the baptism of the Spirit.  Paul further says, this blessing promised is “the gospel.” Thus, the gospel according to what the Scripture preaches, included the Spirit and miraculous power. Why is this “gospel” not systematically taught in pulpits today. Because many are preachers for Satan rather than obedient servants of God.

But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus,”” Acts 17:6-7 NIV

Paul preached on throne aspect of Jesus enough, that the opponents had no issue summarizing, even if they slandered by taking the meaning in the wrong way, Paul’s gospel as a King on a throne who rules over all people.

Jesus in His last words in the Scripture says, “I, Jesus. …I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” This whole apologetic revelation to John is predicated by Jesus on the metaphysics that He is the King promised from the line of David, who is even now on His throne.

In the gospel, it teaches and proclaims a metaphysics of Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Power. This teaching on metaphysics—from Jesus’ point of view or from the view of God as the only real cause in reality—includes how Jesus is using this power to not only give an inner ethical power, but also a missional kingdom advancing power, by the baptism of the Spirit. If the resurrection cannot be separated from metaphysics of Jesus sitting on the throne (Eph 1:19-23), and the throne doctrine cannot be separated from Jesus having all power and authority (Acts 2), and this power of Jesus cannot be separated from Jesus pouring out the baptism of Spirit according to the promise of the Father (Acts 2), and the doctrine of resurrection is part of the definition of the gospel (1 Corin.15), then the gospel includes Jesus on His throne ruling in power and pouring out the baptism of the Spirit.

Ethics, which is an application of this reality, is Jesus’ command for His followers to get answers to their prayers and be filled with His power. Our application of this is to obey it. Our responsibility and accountability is to obey our Master. Thus, our seeking to have answered prayers and filled with power is an application of the gospel, when considered in the category of ethics.  Thus, to make this clear, from a doctrine of epistemology and metaphysics Jesus’ resurrection to the throne and pouring out His power in the Spirit and causing His elect to have the faith to receive it, is the gospel, and not merely an effect.  However, viewed from ethics, which is God’s command and our response to this in obedience, can be view as an effect of the gospel.

Thus, the doctrine of eschatology is a narrowed doctrine of the last aspect the gospel. The gospel includes all the foundational doctrines such as the promises of God to Abraham (Gal.3.), about the sovereign deity of Jesus (John 1:1-4), His humbling, His obedience under the law, His substitutionary atonement for us, and His resurrection to the right hand of God, pouring out faith and baptism of the Spirit. Eschatology is merely a focus on the last metaphysics of the gospel. Remember, the doctrine of salvation is merely a subcategory of God’s absolute control over reality. God has controlled reality in all aspects of creation, the fall, the promises, the sending of His Son, His atonement, and now the Son’s enthronement with all authority and power given to Him. Eschatology is a focus on God’s control over reality in the present reality of His Son at His right hand.

When dealing with what man ought to do, we are asking about ethics. Christian ethics is about God’s commandments.

Luke records Jesus last command to the disciples as waiting in Jerusalem until they are baptized in the power of the Holy Spirit. They are already clean, and born again because Jesus says so. They are clean or born again because they believe in Him.

In the very beginning of John chapter 1 with the doctrine of the “LOGOS” John records, “In him was life, and the life was the light of humanity. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it,” (John 1:4-5 LEB). We are talking about an intellectual light, for the world did not “know” or that is intellectually perceive who He was. Their minds were dark in spiritual stupidity. Paul records it this way,

“This therefore I say and testify in the Lord, that you no longer walk as the Gentiles walk: in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in understanding, alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart, 19 who, becoming callous, gave themselves over to licentiousness, for the pursuit of all uncleanness in greediness,”
(Ephesians 4:17-19 LEB).

Although light can refer to ethical good, here John and Paul is using it for an intellectual understanding and belief. In fact Paul says in 1 Corinthians, that the Spirit alone knows God, and by us having the Spirit, we know God, and know Him in the same way God does, by His Spirit. Then He says, “We have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, in order that we may know the things freely given to us by God, things which we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. But the natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to understand them, because they are spiritually discerned,” (1 Corin. 2:12-14 LEB).

The “things of the Spirit” is intellectually understanding and accepting knowledge about our standing in God and all the goodies given to us. The “things of the Spirit,” which the natural man cannot understand is about an intellectual understanding and assenting to the truth revealed in the gospel. In fact the famous dialog with Jesus and Nicodemus Jesus says only by being born again can you see/perceive the kingdom of God. “Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless someone is born from above, he is not able to see the kingdom of God.”… Jesus answered, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless someone is born of water and spirit, he is not able to enter into the kingdom of God.  What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘It is necessary for you to be born from above,” (John 3:3-6 LEB). The word for “see” here can mean to perceive and understand, and in context of chapter 1, where John makes the context of Jesus being the intellectual light, then John means for us to take it this way. Jesus says it is “necessary.” In context of light, being intellectual perception, then it is obvious why it is  “necessary” to be born from above, because how can one believe in the gospel if they do not understand it? Spiritual life, is intellectual life. Being born again, must therefore, happen before repentance, because you cannot repent without understanding and accepting the truth. This is only done after being born from above. In fact, Jesus makes this connection to intellectual assenting to the truth as part of the Spirit’s work. “The Spirit is the one who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.  But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “Because of this I said to you that no one can come to me unless it has been granted to him by the Father,” (John 6:63-65 LEB). Jesus appeals to the overall sovereignty of God to work the work of a person being born again and having the intellectual light to understand and believe what Jesus is preaching; however, the immediate focus is on the Spirit that causes a person to see and believe what is being said.

Near the end Jesus says to the disciples, “the Spirit of truth, whom the world is not able to receive, because it does not see him or know him. You know him, because he resides with you and will be in you, (John 14:17 LEB). Jesus affirms the Spirit is already in them. The Spirit that gives intellectual light to understand and believe the truth. They are born from above. John in 1 John restates this saying, “You are from God … They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world and the world listens to them.  We are from God. The one who knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit, (1 John 4:4-6 LEB). John says we are of God (i.e. born from above) and the proof is the intellectual ability to listen what God says, understand it, and believe it. Reprobates do the opposite.

Jesus also says in John 6:27-29 that the work and command of God is to believe in the One who He sent, which is of course is Jesus. Thus, there is some overlap of an ethical light. The Spirit births in a man, the light to understand reality, by causing him to believe in the truth of God. The Spirit gives a man the courage to accept the wonderful reality of all the good things God as freely given him in Christ. However, the act of believing in Jesus’ salvation is the “work” and “commandment” of God (Acts 17:30). Thus, believing is both an intellectual light and ethical light. Thus, being born from above is both a birth of intelligence and ethics in man. Before they were intellectually and ethically dark. They are a new reality of intellectual and moral power.

Despite Jesus in chapter 14 saying the Spirit already resides in them, says the Father will send the Spirit, in Jesus’ Name. “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name—that one will teach you all things, and will remind you of everything that I said to you,” (John 14:26 LEB). John, also gives commentary about this other giving of the Spirit. “Now he said this concerning the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were about to receive. For the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus had not yet been glorified,” (John 7:39 LEB).

What is this? The Holy Spirit already birthed the disciples in intellectual and ethical power? Jesus says in John17, in His high priest prayer, that the disciples already believe He was sent by the Father, except Judas. Thus, they already possess the power to believe Jesus. What else is needed? Missional power is what is also needed.

And he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything that is written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and would rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and the forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending out what was promised by my Father upon you, but you stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high,” (Luke 24:44–49 LEB).

Jesus already opened their mind to understand the Scriptures, they are already born from above with intellectual and believing light. They were baptized for repentance of sins. What more is there? Jesus says to wait until you are clothed with power. Many people are lazy and do not see the big picture or do not care about what God loves and cares about. Jesus is zealous to advance His Kingdom and then hand it to His Father. His command about missional power is a command to accomplish this zeal and love. Christians expose their true or false professions, by jumping on board with Jesus’ command and zeal or disobeying it.

Luke, who is the same author of the book of Acts, writes a few verses later in Acts chapter 1, gives more defining to the term “clothed with power.”

He commanded them, “Do not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for what was promised by the Father, which you heard about from me. 5 For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now”…

they began asking him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 But he said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest part of the earth,”
(Acts 1:1-8 LEB)

Luke teaches that clothed with power and “receiving the power of the Spirit,” is being baptized in the Spirit. Jesus in John 14 says, “the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name.” Jesus further defines this at the end of Luke, “I am sending out what was promised by my Father upon you.” Peter teaches us in the Pentecost sermon, that this refers to the baptism of the Spirit. Peter says, when the Father seated Him at His right hand and faithfully gave Jesus the promise of the Spirit, then Jesus from the position of the Thone authority sees to it that He gives it to His disciples.  “Therefore, having been exalted to the right hand of God and having received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, he has poured out this that you see and hear.”

The important part here is how Jesus defines the baptism of the Spirit. Jesus refers to the baptism of the Spirit as missional power to advance the Kingdom. “ You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest part of the earth.” Baptism of repentance and baptism for missional power are different categories. They are two baptisms. It is possible to receive both at the same time, but there is no direct teaching from Scripture that says it only or even mostly happens this way; nor do individual examples logically deduce such a doctrine.

Peter, under the Holy Spirit says this refers to baptism of the Spirit as a fulfillment of the Promise of Joel, which puts salvation for sin and them empowerment as part of the same promise. Peter says, “Repent and be baptized, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (baptize in the Spirit for missional power). For the promise is for you and for your children, and for all those who are far away, as many as the Lord our God calls to himself.”[1]

The two big takeaways here is that the Scripture interpreting itself, says Joe’s prophecy is for salvation and baptism of the Spirit for empowerment, and that they belong together for this age. How long is this age? Peter defines it by Jesus on the throne, and this is the other big takeaway, to “as many as God calls to Himself.” Thus, the age for Joel’s prophecy is in play as long as Jesus sits on the throne at God’s right hand, and God is still “calling people to Himself.” As long as Jesus is still at God’s right hand, and God is calling people to Himself, then Peter’s command to repent, and then be Baptist with power, still stands. It was not some crazy on TBN, this was the Holy Spirit speaking through Peter. Peter puts baptism of repentance and baptism of the Spirit together with “as many as God calls to Himself.” There is no logical law of logic or principle that can divide this. A person can do this, but since there is no logical way to do it, they can only do it by delusion and blaspheme.

Peter says to repent and be baptized for forgiveness. Thus, they must be born from above to do this, since only in spiritual intellectual life can one see and believe in the Kingdom. Next Peter says, and then you will be given the gift of the Spirit, which Jesus terms as “baptized in the Spirit,” for missional power. There is the baptism for intellectual and ethical life, and then Peter says, Jesus will give the baptism of the Spirit. These are two distinct and separate categories. To mix them up is both stupid and wicked. Jesus commands that we obey Him and receive both baptisms. Peter in the first apostolic sermon, commands all to be baptized for forgiveness, and then God will further baptize for power. The context is the audience asking about the baptism of the Spirit, which they are watching unfold in front of their eyes. Peter command is for there to be intellectual and ethical birth and baptism, and then the baptism of power will come.

Peter argues that this is promised in Joel, and his for all who call on God for salvation. Thus, it is not about apostles, or the age of the apostles, since both Joel and Peter put this baptism of power with the call for salvation together. Thus, after quoting Joel putting them together, and making Jesus on the throne as the foundation, Peter says, “promise is for you and for your children, and for all those who are far away, as many as the Lord our God calls to himself.” Remember Jesus commanding the disciples to be baptized in the Spirit to have missional power to be witness to Jerusalem and surrounding area and to the ends of the earth? Peter, under the power of the Spirit, says this promise (of missional power) is for all those far way, as many as the Lord God calls to Himself.” “Calling to Himself,” is salvation. Thus, this is not intended for the apostles, but for all who God will call to Himself. All who God will call to Himself, God gives them the promise of Joel, through Jesus Christ in authority dispensing it from His throne. Thus, this is an order and command to only believe in Jesus for salvation, but to believe in Jesus to give missional power (and out of love to Him) advance our Savior’s kingdom.

Thus, Jesus is the main actor here, not Peter, nor “any age of man.” Jesus is still on the throne. The Father has not taken back His gift of the Spirit to the Son. Jesus is still faithful to give repentance and the Spirit for all those who call out in faith, which was promised in Joel. The promise of Joel for salvation and missional power, is in play as long as the absolute sovereign God “calls people to Himself.” This is radically God focused, not apostle focused. The reigning Jesus defines this age, not man.

Jesus gives intellectual and ethical power for faith and salvation, and then gives the baptism of the Spirit for missional power to advance the kingdom.

10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those who were listening to the message. 45 And those believers from the circumcision who had accompanied Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, 46 for they heard them speaking in tongues and glorifying God. Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can withhold the water for these people to be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit as we also did!” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay for several days…

11:16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 Therefore if God gave them the same gift as also to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God?” 18 And when they heard these things, they became silent and praised God, saying, “Then God has granted the  repentance leading to life to the Gentiles also!”

Verse 10:48 says that Peter ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus. That is, they did water baptism, confessing they believed in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins and of a new life. However, in 11:17 refers to the “gift” of receive the Spirit as “baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Thus, before we get into specifics, the simple plain reading shows two distinct baptisms: one of repentance and the sign of water baptism, and then baptism of the Spirit for missional power. I say mission power, because Luke in chapter, through Jesus Christ defines this second baptism in this way, and thus, we will do the same.

This bears repeating. You cannot have biblical interpretation principles and only apply them to your opponent, and not apply them to yourself. Jesus and Luke’s first mention of the gift of the Spirit is defined as a second “baptism of the Spirit” specifically focused on “missional power,” not forgiveness or something else.

Peter says God gave them the “gift of the Holy Spirit.”  However, Peter affirms God already “baptized” them. They have already been baptized. But Peter still orders them to be baptized with water later. Thus, Peter affirms two baptisms. Why? Because the first baptism is the category of intellectual and ethical life. The second baptism is for missional power. Because the first baptism of new life is an intellectual and ethical power, it thus gives the ethical power to obey Jesus command to receive power for missions. Being born again, gives ethical life to respond to Peter’s order to not only repent but receive the baptism of the Spirit for power. The reason many do not receive the baptism of the Spirit is because the are still born from below. They do not have the intelligence and power of character to accept and receive the gift of missional power. God did not sovereignly “call them to Himself.”

However, as seen in Acts 19, Paul found “some who believed” that had not yet received the baptism of missional power. Therefore, it is possible to have the first baptism without the other. However, Luke records that Paul is quick to give them not only better explained baptism of repentance but also baptism of the Spirit. In fact, it is because they are already born from above, that they proved it by so quickly receiving the further teaching Paul gave them. They had the intellectual and ethical power to perceive and accept the further teaching Paul gave. They still did not have the missional power, thus, Paul fixed this with laying hands on them. Because they were truly born again, they not only obeyed by receiving the further teaching on repentance from Jesus, but also had the power to obey Jesus and receive His gift of the Spirit.

Some morons complain, “well if you make baptism of the Spirit a separate baptism like Peter and Jesus and Paul did, then you will make those who have not experienced the baptism of the Spirit to be second class citizens.” Well, of course the Scripture would make them second class, but not for the specific reason you might think. They would be second class in the same since the man in Corinthians made himself a second-class Christian by sleeping with his step-mother. The man was willfully disobedient, and unrepentant. Paul, handed him over to Satan, so that in the destruction of the flesh, he will be saved. In his excommunication, he really was a second-class Christian, even in the literal sense. However, we know the story. The man repented. He was then brought back as a true bother in Christ.

This is the same issue with baptism of the Spirit. When Paul found the believers who were not baptized in the Spirit, he did not excommunicate them or say anything harsh. He loved them by preaching a fuller gospel message to them. They did not hesitate to obey and receive what Jesus commanded. What would happened if they said, “we do not believe Jesus has ordered us to receive the baptism of the Spirit for missional power; the command is only for you apostles”? What if they kept refusing and started to teach there is no baptism of the Spirit for missional power after one has confessed repentance in baptism of water? Would Paul still have called them believers after that, or called them false teachers? I will not answer that for you. No, being ignorant of the baptism of the Spirit, or being hindered to receive it because false teachers, does not make one a second-class Christian (it would leave you less powerful to advance Jesus’ Kingdom); however, unbelief and refusal to even try to obey Jesus would make you one, if not much worse. Excommunication should be given to all who disobey this order and hinder others in their false doctrine; all believing Christians ought to hand these over to Satan, and perhaps God might sovereignly grant them repentance while their flesh is destroyed.

19:1 And it happened that while Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the inland regions and came to Ephesus and found some disciples. 2 And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “But we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit!” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into the baptism of John.” 4 And Paul said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people that they should believe in the one who was to come after him—that is, in Jesus.” 5 And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them and they began to speak in tongues and to prophesy.

Luke records that these people, although limited in their understanding of the gospel, are “disciples.” Paul in fact presupposed they are believers saying, “when you believed?” Thus, they are referred to as disciples and believers by Paul and Luke, despite only having known John’s teaching and baptism of repentance. After teaching, Paul led them to be water baptized again in the name of “Jesus.” After this Luke records, “the Holy Spirit came upon them,” which Luke first mentions in chapter 1 as “baptized with the Spirit.” They are already saved. They are already born from above with the intellectual and ethical power to be “believers” and followers. With faith in Jesus’ gospel and being baptized in water to show their faith in Him, they then received the baptism of the Spirit, for missional power. The Kingdom advances. This is exactly what Peter preached in Acts 2. Repent and be baptized in water, and then you will receive the baptism of the Spirit for power. Thus, Paul shows there are two baptisms along with Peter.

Also, it is worth noting that “speaking in tongues” is mentioned regularly, when people are “baptized in the Spirit.” At the very least, the doctrine from this alone, without bringing in others, is that speaking in tongues is a regular power that the Spirit works in those He is baptizing with His power.[2]

From this alone we realize that Jesus advances the Kingdom not only by intellectual and ethical power, but also miraculous power. Speaking in other tongues is a regular sign when receiving Zeus’ thunder bolt. When there is speaking in tongues, the Kingdom advances. In fact, the speaking in tongues is what brought all the questions, that lead Peter to preach the sermon in which three thousand souls were conveyed form darkness to light. The Lion advances.

[1] () added by author.

[2] I believe the argument can be strongly made that it is almost always manifested when there is baptism of the Spirit (if no always), but this is only a basic systematic theology book. Consider the principle of first mentions. Speaking tongues is mentioned in the first teaching on the subject, and then regularly mentioned after to continue to reinforce this.