Tag Archives: Jesus

Obedience Proves you Understand the Scripture

All who follow his precepts have good understanding,”
(Psalm 111:10 NIV).

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this: that you bear much fruit, and prove to be my disciples,
(John 15:7-8 LEB).

 Ethics are the conclusion of one’s worldview. Without knowledge, there is no knowledge of ethics. Without a reality, then there is no reality for ethics to exist in. Without man, there is no man to command. Thus, on the major premises of epistemology and metaphysics, ethics conclude from this.

We read something interesting Psalm 111:10b. We are told that by obeying God’s precepts (i.e. Ethics) it “proves” that a person has good understanding or intelligence. Since obeying God is Christian ethics, it means obeying God concludes from “understanding” Christian epistemology and metaphysics. This is why the greatest test for exposing if a so-called Christian pastor, or historically famous theology is truly intelligent and understanding can be seen in their obedience of God. In obedience they prove they have understanding of Christian epistemology and metaphysics. However, like the religious hypocrites in Jesus’ day, some Christian ethics can be outwardly mimicked, at least to a degree. However, some ethics cannot be mimicked by hypocrites. For example, one such ethics is mentioned by Jesus in John 15. Jesus’ presupposes that bearing fruit for the Father is a command or precept. It is a Christian ethic. Jesus says by doing this ethic you “prove you are His disciples.” The ethic mentioned here is having faith to ask God for anything and then God give you this anything.

Even Jesus said it was more difficult to speak healing to the sick than speaking forgiveness of sins, because if you say, “get up and walk,” there is an immediate point of verification. False Christian converts do not have faith, thus, they cannot ask for God for anything and then get it. They cannot do the miracles that Jesus did, because they do not have faith or understanding.

The more difficult ethics that cannot be mimicked by false converts (such as healing, miracles and answered prayers), are ethics that give greater proof of greater understanding of God’s truth and greater Christian intelligence. It means you need to understand more of God’s sovereignty and Christian epistemology, and to believe them, in order to do such ethics. These ethics prove, you truly believe what the bible claims about God.

Thus, the real proof for a persons claim to ministry is not a degree, which is mere human approval, but doing the more difficult ethics. These prove such a Christian has great understanding of Christian epistemology and metaphysics. It does not mean they are perfect in their understanding, but as the Scripture says, it does prove they understand God. If your pastors and favorites theologians do not have such ethics in their life, they do not give Scriptural proof they understand God’s sovereignty, or biblical epistemology as well as they claim.

Do not let such disobedient weaklings be your instructors, in particular, if they directly teach against such ethics, or merely hold them back. 

Prayer of Petition VS Dedication: When prayer becomes Non-prayer

Below, is a quick contrast between a prayer of “dedication,” that Jesus prayed in the garden, and a prayer of “petition” (John 15:7, Luke 18:1).

These are two different categories. They do have some overlap, depending if you are looking at the only real level of causality, or from the human relative level, and ethics. There is also some overlap between the direct meaning and indirect or presupposition behind it; however, we will keep it at this relative and direct perspective for simplicity, because it is this level that Jesus mostly spoke about.

When Jesus prayed in the garden, it was a dedication prayer, like Hannah dedicating her son, or when we dedicate our tithes and offerings to God. We will focus on the two necessary qualifications from these types of prayers, which is important for our present topic.

 

Dedication:

One, the person dedicating knows specifically what the plan or will of God they are dedicating to. The point is about a “specific” plan, “revealed from God,” not revealed from human speculation. Second, the person is directly giving up something of theirs to aid God’s specific plans and goals.

As for the first qualification Hannah knew God’s plan about having an ongoing ministry to God with ministers.  There was no mystery about what God might or might not do about having a church and ministry. God instituted it and commanded it. It was His goal and plan. There are no vague notions about it. Hannah dedicating her son to the service of God, was Hannah dedicating to a clear and specific plan of God she understood. The same with tithing.  You know exactly what God’s plan is when it comes to tithing. There is no mystery here. God’s plan is to support His ministry and ministers. You are dedicating your money to His plan, a plan you know about in precision and clarity. The same with Jesus in the Garden. Jesus knew the specific plan of God about His death for the salvation of the elect. There was no mystery here. There were no nebulous notions of what God might or might not do. Jesus says in effect, “I am not here for Myself, to ask for something, I am here to dedicate Myself to Your plan Father, however, in Me giving Myself to aid Your plan, if there is a way for Me not to suffer so horrifically, then grant this to Me, however, I am here to aid Your specific goal Father, so I will do it no matter the cost.

In all these examples the plan of God is known from infallible divine revelation, and not personal superstitions from observations. Thus, one important point about a prayer of dedication is knowing about a specific plan of God as revealed truth (as infallible divine revelation), and giving something you have to aid this plan.

The second point is about who is giving to who. God owns all things, however, even Jesus when talking about the relative level said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar,” and not “Give Caesar’s things to God, because God ultimately owns it.” The bible does not teach pantheism. God is not what He creates, although He directly and absolutely controls every aspect of it, so that He is even the author of sin and evil. Thus, when God gives “you” something, because God is separate from the things He creates, God gave it to “you,” and “not Himself.” It is yours, not God’s, in this sense.  God gave money to Caesar, not to Himself, and thus, it is Caesar’s. The same with our money. When we tithe and give extra offerings, we are giving to God in this sense. God has said what His plan is about the ministry and ministers, and we obey Him by giving a portion of our money to aid God’s plan.

 

Petition:

A prayer of petition has the two same foundational points from above, but the object has changed. First, it is our specific plan, not God’s. Second, God is giving to us, and not us to God.

For the first point, the direct focus is our plan. We have a specific plan, and we are asking God to help, give it and establish it. Think about healing. When King Hezekiah was praying to be healed, was he praying for the idea of healing for all people, all animals and all theoretically possible aliens in the broadest sense possible? No. He was praying for healing for himself. (I know this sounds obvious, but people still miss these sort of things). As with the prayer for dedication, the plan is a specific one, and not a mystery, not might this or might not that.

I recall one time I was praying for help against a temptation to God, however, I was not clear in how I wanted God to help me. I suddenly felt the Spirit of God rebuke and say to me, “What do you want?” I then said, “I want my friend (Chris) to call me in the next 5 minutes, and read a Psalm to me and pray for me.” Exactly 5 minutes later my friend Chris called, and said he called because he suddenly felt the holy Spirit move him to call me, and read me a Psalm; and so he did.

God is often kind to us in our lazy prayers; however, this kindness of God does not remove the accountability from us that we are to specifically make our request known to God and receive them in faith.

As for the second part is obvious. God is the one giving to us. We are not referring to mysterious hidden providences of God; rather, we are referring to what Jesus said in the sermon on the mount.  Jesus said God is a good Father, in that what we ask for, God gives us this exact thing and not something different. God gives to us, and gives what we ask for. God hears our plan and our will, “Lord, heal me of this sickness,” and God aids our plan, by giving us a healing. Just like we see Jesus doing over, and over, and over, and over again in the Gospels. These people were stocking him, overcrowding Him, even interrupting Him (the person lowered through the roof), and He would stop what He was doing, and blessed their plan by giving them the healing they were asking for.

By staying on this level, we learn an important lesson: one type of prayer will negate the other. You are doing one or the other. You are in the direct sense, either giving to God, or God is giving to you. You are either knowing God’s exact plan (as divine revelation) and aiding it, or God is hearing your exact plan and aiding it.

Many when they pray, are in fact not praying, because they act like they are praying a petition, but then they refer to, “Lord, your will be done,” which is a dedication type prayer. When praying about the same these prayers cancel each other, therefore it is as if they prayed nothing. If this is the majority of your prayers, then you are not praying. If you are not praying, you are not a Christian. If you are not a Christian you will endure eternal suffering.

Since this is exactly the WOF doctrine, the WOF is right, and the others are wrong. Unless you are making a prayer of dedication, it is often wrong to pray “if it is your will,” as if you do not already know his will. In a prayer of petition, it can be an indication of unbelief and rebellion.

When you came to Christ, how come you did not pray, “God, I am a sinner. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and he came to this earth to die for sinners. If it is your will, save me, but if not, let me burn in hell”? Now when you sin, how come you do not pray, “God, I have sinned. If it is your will, forgive me, but if it is not, then revoke my salvation and damn me to hell.” How come? Because you know Jesus already suffered for your sins and paid for your forgiveness. God tells you this in his word. You knew God’s will before you asked, and you received by faith. Well, Jesus paid for a whole lot of other things, and God also tells you about them in his word.[1] 

This point we have been highlighting is a point that is different from the category error of mixing up ontology and ethics. If you do not know a specific divinely revealed truth, then an appeal in prayer to “ if the will of God,” is almost always nonsense. One could refer to the will of God in the broadest sense possible, such as “all things for God’s glory,” but the person who says this, could by the “will of God,” blaspheme the Spirit in the next breath and be sent to hell for the “glory of God.” Thus, a dedication prayer, is not meant to be said in this broadest sense possible, unless you are fine with giving your life to God, for God to cause you to blaspheme the Spirit, so that your burning body in hell is for His glory. No, you need something more specific.

Both types of prayer have in mind a specific plan, and is seeking to aid that plan. Because both are specific, to pray one type is not to pray the other type. To pray, “Lord heal me,” is seeking your specific plan, not God’s plan, in this direct sense. In this sense, you are indeed asking for “your will to be done” not God’s will. You are asking for God to give to you, and not you giving to God. Just like those who lowered the paralyzed man through the roof, and interrupted Jesus, they were asking for their will to be done[2]; they were not looking for God’s will to be done, in the direct sense by giving to a specific revealed plan of God.

I apologize for having to say such obvious things, but some have so abused the “will of God,” and so abused God’s sovereignty that I must go over this.

If you are NOT thinking about a specific decree and plan of God from Scripture (like tithing for support of the ministry), or a specific prophecy God has given you about your own ministry, then there is little context and little to no intelligibility to pray a dedication prayer. You are just mumbling at this point. You are praying like a mumbling pagan.

To ask for healing, and then say, “but your will be done,” is nonsense. In essence it is saying, this prayer is about “me knowing” my specific plan for healing and knowing “You giving” me that healing: however, it is also about “me giving” to You my circumstance and my “my not knowing” your specific plan to heal or not heal me?” LOL!

Again, this type of prayer has now become non-prayer. You are not saying anything. You are praying things that cancel each other out. If you pray like this, you are not praying, and if you do not pray you are not a Christian.

What is odd is that many cessationist and traditionalist (and sadly even Pentecostals) often refer to the “will of God,” as if they are praying a dedication prayer, when they are asking for something in a petition prayer. Thus, they are not praying. Getting past this point, we see another problem. If they are not receiving divinely given prophecies/visions/dreams concerning specifics for their ministries, then what “specific” plan from Scripture are they using to dedicate themselves to, by giving something to “God’s revealed plan”?  Take healing for example. What Scripture says God will not give healing when asked in true faith? Where? Remember a rebuttal only works if you can show a scripture that only means no healing with faith, and not a mere possibility.

These persons now have a real problem. They need a specific plan of God to dedicate themselves to, so as to feel really humble about themselves.

Sadly, the only thing left for such persons to acquire a “specific” plan of God, is to humanly divine it from the movements of circumstance, similar to how Satanists humanly divine the future with movements of a Ouija board. Their circumstances move this way, their bodies and hands move this way, thus, it is God’s specifically revealed plan not to heal me. Starting with an epistemology of human empiricism/observation (not scripture) they superstitiously conjure up a specific plan of God to their liking, such as, “its not God’s plan to heal me of this sickness.” Thus, many so-called Christians have more in common with demonic cults than with Christianity.  They are one step away from entering into the fellowship of demons, if they are not already there.

Be true Christians. Pray dedication prayers when applicable, and pray petition prayers when applicable and do not blur them into the same thing. Be Children of the light.

 

Dedication: Lord I give this to you.
Petition: Lord give this to me.

 

Dedication: Lord your will be done.
Petition: My will be done.

Dedication: I know Your plan, so I want to give this to You, to aid Your plan.
Petition: I know my plan, here is something I need You to give me, to help my plan.

 

———-END NOTES———-

[1] Vincent Cheung. Prayer and the Word of Faith.  From the ebook, Sermonettes Vol.8, 2015, pg.45.

[2] See Vincent Cheung. Healing: the Will of Man.

  Jesus Does the Marvelous “Works,” that the Father Does.  

[This section is from the “Works of God” section,
from my Systematic Theology book]

…This mighty work of God is mirrored in Jesus Christ and His saving of the Elect. Indeed there are even two baptisms in the New Contract with Jesus. One for the removal of slavery and sins, and one for the power of God’s Spirit.

  Jesus Does the Marvelous “Works,” that the Father Does.

John 5:16–30 (NET)
16 Now because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began persecuting him.
17 So he told them, “My Father is working until now, and I too am working.”
19 So Jesus answered them, “I tell you the solemn truth, the Son can do nothing on his own initiative, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise.
20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he does, and will show him greater deeds than these, so that you will be amazed.
21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever he wishes.
22 Furthermore, the Father does not judge anyone, but has assigned all judgment to the Son,
…27 and he has granted the Son authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.
…30 I can do nothing on my own initiative. Just as I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will, but the will of the one who sent me.

 Luke 4:16-20 NET
4:16 Now Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 4:17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and the regaining of sight to the blind,
to set free those who are oppressed,
4:19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

4:20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on him. 4:21 Then he began to tell them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled even as you heard it being read.”

  A few quick things about the works Jesus is doing.

The Father “works on the Sabbath.” Back the Exodus and wilderness story, on the Sabbath God first worked by giving them “food” to eat.[1] God then worked on the Sabbath to provide “sanctification”[2] for them. Thus, according to first mentions hermeneutics “God working on the Sabbath” on the behalf of man, is 1st a material-miracle blessing and then 2nd a spiritual blessing.  Most have this flipped upside down, or do not even consider the first because their parents are the same ones who complained in the wilderness. They do not like how God “works” on the behalf of man. The have the same attitude toward Jesus and His followers.

Also, in context of Exodus 16, we have in chapter 15 God healing them, and declares that He is “Yahweh who heals you.” Jesus does these same works the Father did.

Jesus Christ mirrors this in His working on the Sabbath. Our text starts with a common experience in the gospels. Jesus is healing on the Sabbath. Jesus is working material-miracle blessings on the Sabbath, just like His Father did.  Just like the Israelites in the wilderness who hated God for helping them, these in John 5 also hated God’s Son for helping them. Those who follow after the Father, and the Son by doing these same “works” to help man, are often persecuted by those who claim to follow God.

I know this sounds strange, but you need to let that sink in. The Father was providing one miracle supply after another for the Israelites; the responded with complaints and hating the Father.  God was richly helping them and they turned around and hated Him for it.  Jesus on the Sabbath was doing exactly what the Father did. He was richly supplying both material miracles and spiritual ones, and the Jews hated Him for helping them. They did the same thing to the disciples in the book of Acts. The same happens today.

Our verse in Luke shows that Jesus quotes Isaiah’s prophecy as being fulfilled by Him. The is about God healing, setting people free, preaching truth to them. This is God richly supplying every sort of material and spiritual blessing. The Father has been doing this works through the Scripture, and now Jesus is doing them as the Son of Man. In fact, when question by John’s disciples if Jesu was truly the one they were looking for He responded by saying,

“Luke 7:22–23 (NET) So he answered them, “Go tell John what you have seen and heard: The blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news proclaimed to them. Blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”

Think about what Jesus is saying about being offended. He is not preaching on hell, and saying do not be offended by this; rather, just like in Exodus and the Sabbath provisions, Jesus is preaching and providing great miracle supplies, and then says do not be offended. That is, do not hate God for richly providing material and spiritual blessings, as the Israelites did in the wilderness. Do not be offended at God richly pouring out goodies, if you do, then you burn in hell. Your body will be left in the wilderness just like the rest.

Jesus started His ministry, as the Godman, after He was empowered by the Holy Spirit. He did His ministry, not by the mere power of the Son of God, but as a “man,” born under the law, “empower by the Spirit.” After Jesus’ baptism and the Holy Spirit coming down to rest on Him, He became an explosive ministry of miracles, healings, truth and power. This was an antitype for how God’s chosen ones would follow in Jesus’ footsteps. Jesus commanded the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they are baptized in the Holy Spirit for missional/miracle power. Jesus was baptized and empowered by the Spirit, as a man, and commands His followers to do the same.

I could go on and on about this, but this will have to suffice for now. We will transition to the “works that man will do” by quoting Jesus speaking of this very thing.

John 14:10–14 (NIV)
Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.


[1] Exodus 16:22-30.

 He said to them, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Tomorrow is a time of cessation from work, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. … See, because the Lord has given you the Sabbath, that is why he is giving you food for two days on the sixth day, (v. 23,29 Net). 

The first mention of the “Holy Sabbath,” is here. The first mention of Sabbath being a “holy” day is the day God provided so much miracle material provision, they stayed home and ceased from working. God worked so hard to provide for them miracle food, they were able to cease from their work.  This ceasing from material work, due to God’s abundant miracle provision, “sets them apart to Yahweh, (i.e. Holy)” and makes them a “cut-above” all peoples of the earth.

It is true that in Jesus’ atonement, He becomes the spiritual provision of forgiveness, sanctification, adoption and redemption; however, this does not negate the first mention of this is about material provision. Thus, the teaching about the first mention of God providing on the Holy Sabbath, is more than, but not less than, God providing abundant material miracle provision.

Fools often use one Scripture to cancel out another. But as we see here, as it often is, the Scripture for the sake of God’s love to man, keeps adding not subtracting blessings. Let us be true children of God, and in faith, obtain all the provisions of God, and by this become “Holy people of God.”

 [2] The next big mention about the Sabbath and God’s supply is in Exodus 31. God just gave Moses instructions about the Tabernacle, and all the symbolic parts that represent God’s mercy, salvation and nearness to them. In verse 12 it says, “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, speak also to the Children of Israel, saying: “Surely, My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you (NKJV).”

At first God is the abundant material supply through miracles; next, is the abundant spiritual supply of mercy, salvation and nearness.

Thus, we can conclude the Sabbath was designed by God to be a day where “God works” by supplying so much material and spiritual blessings, that man rests from their works. Their “receiving” and “trusting” in God’s abundance miracle supplies, makes them “holy,” set-a-part to God as His chosen people.

Therefore, in Gospel of Jesus Christ, not only imputed righteousness is provided(spiritual) but also healing (material) (Exodus 15:26, Isaiah 5:4-5, James 5:15), and finances (Exodus 36:5, 2 Corinthians 8:9)

First Principles of a Worldview or First Spirits?

“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”

LSB Colossians 2:8

Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon: (elementary principles),

4747 στοιχεῖον [stoicheion /stoy·khi·on/] n n. From a presumed derivative of the base of 4748; TDNT 7:670; TDNTA 1087; GK 5122; Seven occurrences; AV translates as “element” four times, “rudiment” twice, and “principle” once.

1 any first thing, from which the others belonging to some series or composite whole take their rise, an element, first principal. 1a the letters of the alphabet as the elements of speech, not however the written characters, but the spoken sounds. 1b the elements from which all things have come, the material causes of the universe. 1c the heavenly bodies, either as parts of the heavens or (as others think) because in them the elements of man, life and destiny were supposed to reside.
1d the elements, rudiments, primary and fundamental principles of any art, science, or discipline. 1d1 i.e. of mathematics, Euclid’s geometry.[1]

In the verse, the word “philosophy” is actually used, not “spirits or angels.” In addition to philosophy being used by Paul, which is about philosophy, the context is about “traditions of men,” that are conclusions from “elementary principles.” In Philosophy 101 you learn that ethics (or in this case religious ethics as “traditions”) are a conclusion from the rudimentary principles of metaphysics(reality) and epistemology(knowledge). To talk about ethics, as Paul does here, coming from elementary foundational principles of a human system, is as philosophy as it gets.  In fact you can start any Intro to Philosophy book or college class with this statement, “Philosophy is the study of the fundamental principles, or ultimate questions about life.” The first two biggest questions are almost always about “starting point for knowledge,” and then the “starting point for reality.” With these two big fundamental principles laid down, then one can easily proceed to ultimate question about ethics.

The whole structure of this premise and those immediately around, is strong philosophy, or ultimate question language. Thus, “stoicheion,” due to context should mean what it normally means and not some other meaning, like “elementary spirits.” It means ultimate or rudimentary/first principles of a worldview. Think about the philosophy word, “epistemology.” It means, “first or starting principle of knowledge.”

Thus, the last part of the Strong’s Lexicon (1D) is best definition of this word, that fits the context of Paul’s premise. Paul is therefore, referring to the first and foundational principles of a humanly made worldview, and then the “traditions” men conclude from the first principles of their humanly devised worldview.

Paul is contrasting “human” versus “Christian” first principles, and then human conclusions from their humans first principles versus Christian ethics from its first principles.

Men have their own speculative statements of first principles of knowledge and reality, and from this they superstitiously conclude human traditions as their ethics. Their traditions are false, because their first principles of their worldview about reality and knowledge are false; and therefore, their traditions/conclusions are false.

Christians on the other hand, have Christ, who is hidden all the treasures of knowledge. The Scripture reveals the starting principles about knowledge(epistemology) and reality(metaphysics) to us, and from foundation, God reveals His commands(ethics) to us. Christians ethics are founded on reality and truth, whereas, non-christians ethics are founded on a delusion of reality and skepticism as knowledge.

[1] Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.

Look Jesus! there are Crumbs: YOU SAID IT, NOT ME

“But she came and bowed down before him and said, “Lord, help me!”

“It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs,” he said.

“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”

Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, your faith is great! Let what you want be done for you.” And her daughter was healed from that hour.”
(Matthew 15-25-28 NET)

.
Jesus, the greatest teacher who ever lived, Jesus the greatest prophet who ever lived, Jesus the greatest man who knew God’s Will perfectly and set His face like a flint to accomplish it at all cost,–said to this outsider woman, “woman, not God’s Will be done (His plan to only minister to the Jews before the atonement), but your Will Be Done.”

JESUS: “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.

WOMAN: “Jesus, these are Your words not mine. You said with Your words, there are dogs in the house beneath the table. Even if you did not intend it, you have me under your table. Even if you did not intend it, there are always crumbs that fall down from the table. You SAID IT, not me! If You are to be faithful to Your word, then you ought to let me have the crumbs, because I am there under that table with those crumbs, and I want them. YOU SAID IT, not me!!”

This woman, even if she is commandeering Jesus’ analogy to go farther than Jesus intended it, she does something that most people lack, which is engaging God’s word with importance. In FAITH she treats the Lord’s word with SERIOUSNESS! God just spoke. God cannot lie. She is banking on the fact that Jesus must be faithful to His words, even if Jesus did not intend them to the length she is asking for. Most would have been too offended at being called a “dog,” to treat Jesus’ word with reverence and importance.

Despite the errors the health and wealth guys have, they are not mistaken on taking the divine promises, from God’s word, and treat them with importance. Those who often criticize these faith teachers, are often to offended at Jesus’ words calling them dogs and unbelieving perverts (Matt.17:17), to take His promises on health and wealth seriously. You cannot please God without faith, says the preacher in Hebrews 11. These despite their faults, have faith in God’s promises. To have faith in God’s promise, even for health and wealth, is at the same time to treat God with reverence and seriousness. Those, who do not, dishonor Him and treat His word as a little and light thing.

Jesus, after seeing this woman use His analogy against Him, rather than rebuking her, praises her. Think about that. How often did Jesus do that? Jesus gets out maneuvered and out argued by a woman taking His analogy farther than He intended, and He praises her “FAITH” for doing so. Unlike many around Him, at least she was engaging His word with great importance and seriousness.

Jesus says to her, “Woman, God’s will/pan is to only minister to the Jews first, but not His Will be done; rather, your will be done on earth.”

Your theology must include this Jesus, or you are not a Christian. Your faith must treat God’s every promise with this level of importance, or you are not a Christian. However, when Jesus comes, will he find faith, will He find people treating His word with this level of importance with healing and casting out demons as this women did?

‐——————–

Endnote.

Vincent Cheung points out in the essay, Faith Override (sermonettes vol. 9), that faith is the first doctrine. Similar to how the Mosaic Covenant cannot override God’s promise to Abraham, the same is with faith. God made a Covenant or contract with man about faith. It is the first primordial doctrine.

In fact, this is Satan’s first temptation to Adam, “did God say?” Thus, every other doctrine and Covenant that comes later will not override it; rather the opposite, God’s first doctrine of faith, if a man engages it, will override doctrines that come later, because they only add to this first doctrine, and not replace it.

Thus, behind Jesus saying not God’s will be done, in regard to His plan to only minister to the Jews before the atonement, is God’s standing doctrine of faith. God’s will is to honor the will of man, when man engages God’s doctrine of faith in His word. When the woman engaged Jesus’ word with absolute importance, it triggered this first doctrine of faith.

Thus, behind Jesus saying, “woman your will be done,” is God’s will being done by His faithfulness to always honor faith, His first doctrine established with man.

God Owns it All, the Saints Receive it All

God Owns it All, the Saints Receive it All.

Recall an earlier quote from Vincent, from “On Good and Evil,”

The Bible says that, “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). It also says that, “God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone” (James 1:13), but that, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17). This means that God’s nature is inherently good, and it is the objective standard of goodness on which all judgment on these issues must be based.[0]

I would like to point out from this an inference about how God’s children image Him.

There are a few reasons why God cannot be tempted. I will skip the issue that sin is not applicable to God. One reason why God cannot be tempted by evil, is because God already owns it all. How can God be tempted to steal something when He already owns it? The temptation of stealing happens because you perceive a lack in something, and you are tempted you to gain this lack in a manner that breaks God’s law, to lie and/or harms someone to get it. How can God be tempted to lie to get something, when He already owns it, and has no lack in anything? God has infinite power and value. If He does not already have it, if that is possible, then He can just create it. That is, by God’s nature itself, temptation for more than one reason, cannot be applied to God.

Remember Paul’s comments in Corinthians 1-3. He says there is a “wisdom” for the “mature” believer. He defines this maturity as the power, by the Holy Spirit, to know and receive all the goodies God has freely given us in Jesus Christ. This includes all of them, both spiritual and material goodies and favor. Paul goes on to say that, “all things are yours.” Then in context of this mature wisdom in knowing and receiving all God’s goodies, we are told we “think spiritually” and even have the “Mind of Christ.”

Jesus also, talked about degrees of faith. When commenting on the Roman soldier, Jesus said He had not seen such great faith in all of Israel. There is such things as weak and strong faith. With both examples, strong wisdom and strong faith was not related to suffering for Jesus, but the opposite. It was a “knowing and believing” that causes you to receive God’s freely given benefits.

Another example. “

Against hope Abraham believed in hope with the result that he became the father of many nations according to the pronouncement, “so will your descendants be.” Without being weak in faith, he considered his own body as dead (because he was about 100 years old) and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver in unbelief about the promise of God but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,” (Romans 4:18-20 NET)

When Christians are strong in wisdom and maturity like this, they truly become Godlike, relative to our example above. God is not tempted because He already owns it all. Likewise, mature Christians, strong in faith and wisdom, receive all they ask from God. Thus, God owns it all, and Christians receive it all.

How can a Christian be tempted to steal, cheat their neighbors, and lie when whatever they are being tempted with they have the faith and maturity to receive it? Whether spiritual things like a hopeful mind, a joyous mind and a sound mind, the Christian can grow and receive this in faith. What about healing, finances, a spouse and help from everyday troubles? How can these tempt them in fear and lack to do something evil and sinful, when they can just easily receive it in faith?

There is more to having strength to resist temptation, but this is one aspect many foolishly overlook to their own damnation.

This is something that mature Christians do that truly makes them Godlike, and true image bearers of Christ. When they live this type of mature wisdom and faith, they think God’s thoughts after Him, and walk in His pathways. Leave the milk and elementary things like forgiveness of sins and move on to maturity.[1] Receive not only the doorway (forgiveness) but march to into house of God and sit at His table prepared for you. Receive the bread and wine, where God promises to “be your God, and you His people,” and promises to “never stop from doing good to you.” He defines Himself as a Good Father, in that whatever you ask for, you receive it, and not something different.


[0] Vincent Cheung. On Good and Evil. 2002. Pg. 6-7 (www.vincentcheung.com)

[1] (Not moving on in the sense of casting it aside, but having truly believed it as a foundation, you build on it.)

Sola Scriptura: The Soiled Diaper of the Reformation

Until the Reformed renounce the WCF, they are no less Catholic, with their triple epistemology. Because “SOLA SCRIPTURA” is no less a triple epistemology than the Catholics, it is not redeemable. It cannot be saved. It is to be trashed. God might have temporarily used sola scriptura, like a dipper, in the early days, but He has long ago thrown this soiled diaper in the trash. The Reformation took the idea of only standing on Scripture for knowledge and soiled it with empiricism and tradition. Sola scriptura is now God’s target practice. We ought to do the same.

Their cessationism alone soiled the Scripture as the only starting point for knowledge. But their boast about leaving Catholicism is also naive and delusional. They could not leave it alone. Man (WCF) and empiricism managed to be equal starting points for knowledge. They were abused under Catholicism and when they tried to leave, they became the abusers and abused Scripture with addition starting points, despite their honest intention to solely use scripture. Its tragic, but it is also demonic. They blasphemed. Also, the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, which Martin Luther largely got correct, (except faith and miracles) the Reformed soiled that diaper too with the WCF.  They served their purpose that God ordained for them, and afterwards God discarded them. The proof is that in application God did not predestine them for faith, healings and casting out demons, when Jesus said you give proof you are a disciple and that He “chose you” by you asking getting what you want (John 15). Jesus said the ones he predestined will bear fruit. Jesus says, you will know them by their fruit.

“…If anti-faith and anti-miracle ministers and groups were ever useful, they are not useful anymore. God has exploited them for his own purpose. The salt now has no flavor, and it is ready to be thrown out and stepped on by men. They are holding people back, and they should be discarded and forgotten. The church has recovered to a point that we no longer need teachers who refuse to teach the word of God as it is written. It has reformed indeed, and then reformed again. There are those who refuse to continue after the first small step, who after they have rejected Satan, refuse to continue with Christ and welcome him in all his fullness. But there is only one Christ. If you do not receive him — all of him, since he is one — then you reject him. For the church to move forward, it must cast aside these useless people like wet dog poo, and leave them behind to die….”
Vincent Cheung. “The Primacy of Healing Ministry.”
From ebook. Contract, 2020.

[The below, is slightly out of context from the source, but should be followable. It is a person, Johnny, who was offended by uncle Vincent Cheung’s teaching on God’s sovereignty and saying God is by logical necessary the metaphysical author of sin and evil.]

1.  I agree with Johnny’s analysis of Gordon Clark. The traditional definition of “sola scriptura,” does not mean what we mean by saying, “the Scripture is our sole epistemology.” They mean the scripture plus, what God sovereignly caused the Reformers to say and doctrinally formulate at the time. (In this, the Reformed are nothing more than a rehashed version of Catholicism, with their dual and even triple epistemologies.) The main sovereign work of these men forming doctrine is the WCF. And it is clear the WCF, (in addition to other heresies, such as cessationism) affirms secondary causes relative to God. Clark, because he was a Presbyterian must affirm the WCF. Thus, his only recourse was to irrationally make the WCF affirm the type of sovereignty that Martin Luther and himself taught. What Clark and Luther taught contradicts the WCF: thus, somebody is teaching the truth and the other a blasphemy. But the WCF is almost Arminian level weak on God’s sovereignty. It is blasphemy. There is no rescuing it. Clark was grasping at straws in order to make himself look like a good Presbyterian. The author is correct that Clark’s remarks to make the WCF be as sovereign as the Bible teaches was a failure.

2. Johnny’s remarks on Luther, however, are incorrect. Luther clearly teaches God both creates and causes/moves evil and sin in people and demons, and not merely “lightly nudges some evil that ontologically was put there in the man, apart from Himself.” To Luther, the same directness God uses to cause “faith” is the same sovereign directness God uses to cause unbelief (i.e. sin) in a person or demon. Luther, who was writing in non-stop syllogisms and the necessary connections of arguments clearly states that God is not what He creates and causes, by logical deduction. According to Luther if God creates or cause evil, it has no logical necessary connection that God is that Himself. The author does not know what Luther taught.

“……But what do they effect by this playing upon words” This is no more than saying, the act is not God Himself. This remains certain, that if the action of God is necessary, or if there is a necessity of the consequence, everything takes place of necessity, [then] how much [more] the act be not God Himself. But what need was there to tell us this? As though there was any fear of our asserting the things done were God Himself….” [2]
[i.e. God is not what He causes. If God creates a river and directly causes it to move north, then God Himself is not a north flowing river. The same with men and their good and evil choices that God directly causes. Or if God causes a man to choose evil, then God is not that.]

“…Paul teaches that faith and unbelief comes to us by no work of our own, but through the love and hatred of God (228).”
[God the author of all good and evil, of all things by direct causation]

“…What I assert and maintain is this: that where God works apart from the grace of His Spirit, He works all things in all men, even in the ungodly; for He alone moves, makes to act, and impels by the motion of His omnipotence, all those things which He alone created; they can neither avoid nor alter this movement, but necessarily follow and obey it, each thing according to the measure of its God-given power. Thus all things, even the ungodly, cooperate with God(267).”
[God the author of all good and evil, of all things by direct causation]……..”

3. Johnny says Vincent’s argument infers God made Adam defective and this infers something further, saying,

If the defect of man is something caused by God, then God must have this defect in itself…”

This connection in this hypothetical syllogism is not a “necessary connection.” At best it might be said to be a sufficient one, but a syllogism only works if the connection is necessary. The only way for this connection to be necessary is if God is “NOT” separate from His creation as taught by pantheism (etc.). That is, unless the author proves the Bible teaches pantheism, he has no necessary connection in his argument. But if what he says is true, then by implication if God creates a north flowing river then God Himself is a north flowing river.

(3.a) John Calvin clearly taught that God could have created Adam in a type of perfection that would have given Adam the “strength” to not commit the original sin. Calvin says it is the height of injustice to suggest God had to create Adam with the strength to not fall to sin. So not only does Calvin contradict the author, he but provides a counter argument. If God did not create Adam with the strength to withstand a nuclear bomb, is that a “defect”? No, it is not a defect. It is a matter of strength and weakness. That fool has no idea what he is talking about. And as Romans 9 shows, God loved and hated in order to show His previous goal of showing His power and mercy. This original goal for the elect is truly perfect, compete and God-level valuable. Since the order of the decrees are in logical order, then if we were to talk about defect or perfection, it is the original decree for the elect that is to be evaluated, and not the last decree, which is last, in a long list of decrees to get to this perfect original goal.

(3.b) Also, as Luther shows, it does not logically follow that what God creates and causes, proves that God Himself is what He creates and causes. Luther even points out that His opponents understood this logical inference, and is asking why they need to state something so painfully obvious. Since, Johnny contradicts this obvious thing, when even Luther’s opponents agree with him, then he must be dumber than a litter child.

He also slanders and bears false witness to what Luther actually taught. He commits the same mistake he accuses Gordon Clark of. Luther is still considered part of the Reformed, and so to a degree, Luther is nebulously part of the “sola scripture’s” triple epistemology Catholic copycat. He slandered Luther to make him say what the WCF says. This is the result for having people, like the Pope, and empiricism, part of your “sola scriptura.” When there are contradictions between two divine fathers, you have to pick a side and bear false witness of the other to make them say the same thing. These are lovers of men, and the approval of men. They have their reward.

However, whether Luther this or Calvin that, I do not care. I do not bear the label of Reformed or Presbyterian. I do not adhere to “sola scriptura,” because no one has proved the Bible teaches that men and empiricism are a triple epistemology with itself.

4. The person, despite his rhetoric, keeps meta-morphing God’s commands, epistemology and ontology together like a child, the very thing Luther accuses Erasmus of. This person is a delusional and not some biblical hero.

5. “…Cheung, recognizes that the reformed doctrine denies that God is the author of sin….”

I agree with the author. When the Reformed chose the WCF (over Luther’s Bondage of the Will) as its creed, it publicly and formally denied God is the metaphysical author of sin, along with faith and expansionism. There is no rescuing this. The Reformed willfully chose this, they bear it. As long as the WCF stands the Reformed are no less Catholic than the Catholics.

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

Sola Scripture or Sola Circumstances?

The word of God portrays Christians as wielders of miracle healing power. They can heal the sick in the name of Jesus when no one else can. If they even sneeze “JESUS!” a cripple nearby gets up. This is the one thing that even unbelievers knew about Christians before they learned about our doctrines. But now…not so much. There are indeed churches that teach the word of God on healing, but they have been so diluted by false churches, the anti-healing cults, that Christians are no longer known for healing the sick. In fact, they are known for being sick, and for surrendering to being sick, because it is “the will of God.” They talk about a “God,” but instead of interpreting circumstances by some divine verbal revelation, they regard whatever circumstances they face as the will of this “God”; therefore, their “God” is Circumstances. That is what they worship. It is paganism…
Vincent Cheung.
“A Matter of Public Health.” From the ebook, Contract. 2020. pg 77
———————————————-
This is a good example when the phrase “will of God” is turned in to pagan worship and into a satanic doctrine.
Let us test this out with sickness. If the phrase, “will of God,” makes you think more about your circumstances, and then from this you decide what you ought to do, rather than directing your mind to God’s verbal public revelation and to an actual command/promise for you to put your faith in,
(such as “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven” James 5:15),
then you are, pragmatically no different than a pagan going to demons on a Ouija board looking for “directions” in your “circumstances.”
This is the essential difference for a Christian with the category of knowledge. God’s revealed truth is the only knowledge of the world, for the Christian. It is the only starting place for knowledge, nothing else. Not human circumstances, not human observations, not science, not you divining human circumstances with a demonic doctrine of “god’s will,” and not David Hume’s empiricism. All of these use a human starting point for knowledge, rather than God’s Word. All of these live by sight rather than by faith.
At the end of the day, the Christian will chose the Scripture alone as their epistemology rather than circumstances, by this we know who belongs to God and those who belong to the world.  By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of the anti-Christ. Those who shout loudest, “sola Scriptura,” are often the ones who out do the Catholics for having more epistemologies than Hindu gods.
With the category of “what I ought to do in this circumstance,” the knowledge given to Christians is found in God’s “commandments and promises”(which are essentially commandments). As with sickness there are clear commands and promises in what to do. There is no amount of creeds, degrees, tradition and human approval that can save you from the accountability and responsibility to obey God’s command to be healed. There is no excuse you can give to evade obeying God. Appealing to a nebulous “will of God,” in your circumstance does not remove your accountability and responsibility from obeying God’s commands. Nothing does.
When God gives precepts in the form of promises, they demonstrate a God who is rich in kindness and love. To be commanded to repent and be saved by our faith in Jesus is such a loving and wonderful kindness from God. The same with healing and with all the wonderful promises of God to help us.
Yet, the great kindness and love of God in giving promises for help does not negate our accountability and responsibility in obeying them.

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.