When the Lord Jesus Shall Be Revealed – Part 1

2Thessalonians 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels

‘And to you who are troubled rest with us …’ This is the first New Testament prophecy in 2 Thessalonians and it is unfulfilled.

‘When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels.’ The time of the Second Coming: Immediately after the tribulation (Matt. 24:29; 25:31; Rev. 11:1 – 19:21). At the beginning of the Millennium (Rev. 19:11-21; 20:1-10). After the Antichrist reigned 3½ years (Rev. 13:5; 19:11-21; 2Thess. 2:7-8). At the end of this age (Matt. 13:38-43, 47-50; 24:3, 29-31; 25:31-46). After ten kingdoms are formed inside the old Roman empire (Dan. 2:44-45; 7:23-24; Rev. 13:1-18; 19:11-21). In the days of terrible moral conditions as in the days of Lot and Noah (Matt. 24:37-51; Luke 17:22-27; 2Tim. 3:1-13; 4:1-4; 2Pet. 2:1-22; Jude 1:14-15). After the Congregational age (2:7-8; Acts 15:13-18; Jude 1:14; Zech. 14:5). When Jerusalem is surrounded by armies and half the city is taken (Zech. 14:1-5, 14-21; Joel 3:1-21). After the resurrection of the righteous dead and 1,000 years before the resurrection of the wicked (Rev. 20:1-15; Zech. 14:5; Jude 1:14). After all of Revelation 4-19 is fulfilled (Rev. 19:11-21; 20:1-10). At the time satan is bound before the Millennium (Rev. 20:1-7). When Israel is restored and converted and Christ takes the throne of David to begin His reign over Israel forever (Isa. 9:6-7; Hos. 3:4-5; Luke 1:32-33; Ezek. 36:23-28; 37:16-28).

‘Shall be revealed’ – The fact of the Second Coming: Eight things it is not: It is not the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. This was another Comforter, not Jesus (John 14:16-26; 15:26; 16:7-15). Not conversion (Matt. 18:3; John 3:1-8; Acts 3:19; 26:18; Jas. 5:19-20). Not death which takes place among men every minute (Jas. 2:26; 1Cor. 15:26). Not the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (Luke 21:20-24). Christ restores Jerusalem when He comes (Zech. 14:1-21). Not the preaching of the gospel. His coming is sudden and only once (Matt. 24:27-51; 25:31-46; 2Thess. 1:1-12; Rev. 19:1-21). Not a spiritual coming (Zech. 14:1-21; Matt. 24:29-31; 2Thess. 1:1-12; Rev. 19:1-21). Not the founding of the body of Christ which took place while Christ was here (Matt. 16:18; 2Cor. 3:11; Eph. 2:19-22; Acts 15:13-16). Not the rapture.

To be continued…

The Righteous Judgment of God

2Thessalonians 1:5-6 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer: Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you

‘Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God.’ Two effects of tribulation: A guarantee of the righteous judgment of God in punishing persecutors for their rebellion against Him and His people (1:5-6) and a guarantee of the rewards of those who endure persecution.

‘Righteous judgment of God.’ All God’s judgments are righteous and based upon the law of sowing and reaping (1:5-6; Gal. 6:7-8; Deut. 32:4). God demands justice of man in judgment (Lev. 19:15, 35; Deut. 1:17; 16:18-19; 24:17).

‘Counted worthy of the kingdom of God.’ From Luke 21:36; Acts 5:41 and Hebrews 3:3 we see that we must be worthy, that is to have or show the qualities that deserve the specified regard.

‘Righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you.’ Righteous for God to trouble troublemakers and give rest to the troubled when the Messiah comes (1:6-7). At this time all persecutors will be dealt with; all who are persecuted will be given rest and be allowed to enter the eternal kingdom (Matt. 16:27; 25:31-46; Zech. 14:1-21; Rev. 19:1-21).

That Your Faith Grows – Part 2

2Thessalonians 1:3-4 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith grows exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other abounds; So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches [congregations] of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure

Faith means (continues): Absolute dependence upon and reliance on the Word of God and Christ (Matt. 8:8-10; 15:28; Rom. 10:17; Heb. 11:1 – 12:3). Full surrender, yieldedness, and obedience to all known truth (Rom. 1:5; 6:11-23; 16:26; Jas. 2:14-26; 2Cor. 10:4-7; Heb. 11:6). Trust wholly and unreservedly in the faithfulness of God (Matt. 6:25-34; 12:21; Luke 12:28-31; Eph. 1:13; 1Tim. 4:11; 6:17; 1Cor. 10:13). Give one’s self over to a new way of life (Rom. 1:17; 6:11-23; 8:1-16; 2Cor. 10:4-7; Gal. 5:16-26; Col. 3:5-10; Heb. 12:1-15; Tit. 2:11-14; 1Jn. 1:7; 2:6; 3:8-10; 4:17; 5:1-5, 18). The attribute of God and restored faculty of man whereby both can bring into unseen existence things (Rom. 4:17; Gal. 5:22; Matt. 17:20; 21:22; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24; Luke 17:6; Heb. 11:1-40). The whole body of revealed truth (Luke 18:8; Jude 1:3; Rom. 10:17; 1Tim. 4:1, 6; 6:10; 2Tim. 3:16-17). Joyful faith in, and acceptance of Christ as the substitute for sin and our Savior whereby one receives salvation (Mark 16:16; Acts 4:12; 10:43; Rom. 1:16; 3:24-31; Eph. 2:8-9); access into grace (Rom. 5:2); fulfilment of the promises (Heb. 6:12); the Holy Spirit (Gal. 3:14); righteousness (Rom. 4:1-25; 9:30, 32; 10:6; Php. 3:9); sonship (Gal. 3:26); healing (Jas. 5:14-16; 1Pet. 2:24); eternal life (John 3:15-18, 36; 5:24; 6:47); and answers to every prayer (Matt. 7:7-11; 21:21; Mark 11:22-24; Luke 18:1-8; John 14:12-15; 15:7, 16).

‘So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God.’ We hold you up as an example to other congregations to show what grace can do in honest and open hearts.

‘Glory’ [Greek: kauchaomai] to boast or vaunt oneself. Translated “glory” (1:4; Rom. 5:3; 1Cor. 1:29, 31; 3:21; 4:7; 2Cor. 5:12; 10:17; 11:12, 18, 30; 12:1, 5, 6, 9; Gal. 6:13-14); “glorying” (2Cor. 12:11); “rejoice” (Rom. 5:2; Php. 3:3; Jas. 1:9; 4:16); “joy” (Rom. 5:11); and “boast” (Rom. 2:17, 23; 2Cor. 7:14; 9:2; 10:8, 10:13-16; 11:16; Eph. 2:9).

‘Patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations.’ From Acts 17:5, 13 and 1Thessalonians 2:14 we learn that the Thessalonians had suffered much persecution from the Jews and their own countrymen, but being fully persuaded of the gospel, and having the actual power of it working in their lives, they would not turn aside from it. Persecution has never hurt true believers and never will.

That Your Faith Grows – Part 1

2Thessalonians 1:3-4 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith grows exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other abounds; So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches [congregations] of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure

‘Bound to thank God always for you.’ – Christian obligation: [Greek: opheilo] be under an obligation to do a thing. Translated “bound” (1:3; 2:13); “be guilty” (Matt. 23:18); “behoved” (Heb. 2:17); “must needs” (1Cor. 5:10); “need so require” (1Cor. 7:36); “duty” (Luke 17:10; Rom. 15:27); “should” (1Cor. 9:10); “ought” (John 13:14; 19:7; Acts 17:29; Rom. 15:1; 1Cor. 11:7, 10; 2Cor. 12:11, 14; Eph. 5:28; Heb. 5:3, 12; 1Jn. 2:6; 3:16; 4:11; 2Jn. 1:8); “owe” (Matt. 18:28; Luke 7:41; 16:5, 7; Rom. 13:8; Phm. 1:18); “due” (Matt. 18:34; 1Cor. 7:3); “be indebted” (Luke 11:4); “debt” (Matt. 18:30); and “be a debtor” (Matt. 23:16). Most all these ideas could be understood here in 2Thessalonians 1:3.

‘Because that your faith grows exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other abounds.’ Fourfold praise for the Thessalonians: for growing in faith (1:3); abounding love; patience in troubles (1:4), steadfastness and faith in trouble.

‘Grows exceedingly’ [Greek: huperauxano] to abound beyond measure; to grow exceedingly healthy and fruitful, as a good tree planted in good soil. Faith is one of the seeds of grace that should grow normally in everyone until he has a genuine work of faith with power (1:11; Matt. 17:20; 21:22; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24).

‘Charity’ [Greek: agape] Not only a few of them had abounding love, but everyone had it (1:3; 1Thess. 3:12).

Faith – The word “believe” denotes the act and process of faith. It comes from the Greek verb pisteuo which occurs 248 times in the New Testament. This use of the present tense indicates that faith must be continued in to receive its benefits (Acts 14:22; Eph. 6:16; Col. 1:23; 2:5-7; 1Thess. 5:8; 1Tim. 2:15; 3:9; 6:12; 2Tim. 3:8; 4:7; Tit. 1:13; Heb. 10:23-38; 2Pet. 1:5-10). It can be lost (Luke 8:13; 1Tim. 1:19; 4:1; 5:8, 12; 6:10, 21; 2Tim. 2:18; 3:8; Jude 1:3; Rev. 2:13).

Faith means: To be persuaded of (Rom. 4:17-22; 8:38-39; 2Tim. 1:12). Place confidence in (Eph. 3:12; Php. 1:6; Heb. 3:6, 12-14; 10:35; 1Jn. 3:21; 5:14). The substance or conviction of things hoped for, the assurance of things not seen (Heb. 10:19-38; 11:1, 6; Rom. 4:17; 8:24).

To be continued…

God Our Father

2Thessalonians 1:1-2 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church [congregations] of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

‘Paul’ – In all his epistles except 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians, Philippians and Philemon, Paul calls himself an apostle. It may be that he was held in such affection by these congregations that he did not need to assert his apostolic authority.

‘Silvanus’ – The same as Silas, Paul’s companion on his second missionary journey. He took part in the founding of the Macedonian congregations (Acts 15:40-18:18).

‘Timotheus’ – was called Timothy (2Cor. 1:1; 1Tim. 1:2, 18; 6:20; 2Tim. 1:2; Phm. 1; Heb. 13:23). Converted by Paul on his first trip (Acts 14:6-7 with 1Tim. 1:2). Part Jew and Greek, uncircumcised, but a true Christian (Acts 16:1-3). A miracle worker like Paul (1Cor. 16:10). Paul’s companion from here on (Acts 16:1-3; 17:14-15; 18:5; 19:22; 20:4; Rom. 16:21; 1Cor. 4:17; Php. 2:19). It is believed by some that he was Paul’s scribe in writing Hebrews and Galatians.

‘Unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.’ This and the second epistle are the only ones so addressed. Compare this with the other salutations in other epistles.

‘In God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.’ One in unity (John 10:30; 17:11, 21-23), not one in person or individuality (Dan. 7:9-14; 1Jn. 5:7; Acts 7:55; Rom. 8:34; 1Cor. 8:6; 11:3; Eph. 1:20-23; 4:1-6; 1Tim. 2:5; Heb. 1:3; 8:1; 12:2; 1Pet. 3:22; Rev. 5:1-7).

‘God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.’ Twice here it is made clear that the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are two separate and distinct persons. Believers are in both and the salutation is from both through Paul.

Faithfulness Part 3

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen…

Twelve things’ Christians hoped for (continues): [12] Being like Christ – the hope of the rapture is an incentive to purify one’s self even as Christ is pure (1Jn. 1:7, 9; 2:6; 3:3, 5-10; 5:1-4, 5:18).

From 1John 3:1-3 we can see that we have to live a life of purity and there are twenty proofs that purity is now possible: He shall save … from … sins (Matt. 1:21). For the remission of sins (Matt. 26:28). Dead to sin (Rom. 6:2). Body of sin might be destroyed, that we should not serve sin (Rom. 6:6). Reckon oneself dead to sin (Rom. 6:11). Let sin not reign in your body (Rom. 6:1-23). Sin shall not have dominion over you (Rom. 6:14-23). Being made free from sin (Rom. 6:18). Made me free from sin (Rom. 8:1-4). They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (Gal. 5:16, 24). That we should be holy and without blame before Him in love (Eph. 1:4). Live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world (Tit. 2:12). Purged our sins (Heb. 1:3; 9:14). Be holy; for He is holy (1Pet. 1:16). The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin (1Jn. 1:7, 9). Ought to walk even as He walked (1Jn. 2:6). Whosoever abides in Him sins not . . . is righteous, even as He is (1Jn. 3:6-7). He that sins are of the devil (1Jn. 3:8-10; John 8:44). Whoever is born of God sins not (1Jn. 4:17; 5:4-5, 18). Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord (Heb. 12:1-29).

Faithfulness – Part 2

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen…

Twelve things’ Christians hoped for [1] Salvation – we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what we see (Rom. 8:24-25); salvation is a hope and not actually an unforfeitable possession until the next life (Rom. 8:20-25; 1Thess. 5:8; 2Thess. 2:16; 1Pet. 1:5, 9, 13). [2] Righteousness – through the Spirit we wait for the hope of righteousness by faith (Gal. 5:5). [3] Calling – the hope of His calling (Eph. 1:18). [4] Christ in them –the unity with Christ, the hope of glory; Jesus Christ is the basis of our hope of all things (Col. 1:27; 1Tim. 1:1). [5] Greater New Testament glory – the ministration of righteousness exceeds in glory (2Cor. 3:7-12). [6] Future life – we cannot just hope in Christ for the things of this life, because then we will be seen as most miserable; the righteous, however, have hope of reaping life eternal (1Cor. 15:19; Pro. 14:32; Gal. 6:7-8). [7] Resurrection – the whole Christian religion is built around Christ and His physical resurrection and without faith in both men are lost (Acts 23:6; 24:15; 26:6-7; Rom. 10:9-10; 1Cor. 15:1-23). [8] Final rewards – our hope, joy and crown of rejoicing in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming (1Thess. 2:19). [9] Final grace – hope to the end for the grace and salvation that are to be brought at the coming of Christ (1Pet. 1:13; Rom. 8:24-25). [10] Coming of the Lord – the first and last prophecy in Titus (Tit. 2:13; Php. 3:20). [11] Eternal life – unforfeitable eternal life is now hope. Hope that is seen is not hope (Rom. 8:24-25). How can it be a hope and a present possession, as stated in John 3:16, 36; 5:24; 10:28-29? Why do we yet hope for it if we have it, as stated in Titus 1:2; 3:7; 1Timothy 1:1? The simple truth is that it is now given to everyone who is in Christ on condition of remaining in Him (1Jn. 5:11-12; John 15:1-8; Gal. 1:6-8; 4:19; 5:4; etc.).

To be continued…

Faithfulness – Part 1

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen…

From Hebrews 11:1 we have eighteen definitions of faith: Substance of things hoped for (Heb. 11:1). Evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11:1, 7). Invisible backing of elders (Heb. 11:2). Creative power of divine works (Heb. 11:3). Divine testimony of right doing (Heb. 11:4). Cancellation of natural laws (Heb. 11:5). Basis of pleasing God (Heb. 11:6). Dependence upon God’s word (Heb. 11:7). Trust in an unknown future (Heb. 11:8-10). Counting things that be not as though they were (Heb. 11:11-12; Rom. 4:17). Seeing invisible things (Heb. 11:13-16). Assurance of God’s faithfulness (Heb. 11:17-19; 10:23). Confidence in things to come (Heb. 11:20-31; 3:6, 14; 10:35; Eph. 3:12; 1Jn. 3:21). Stimulus of the Christian faith (Heb. 11:32 – 12:2). The life-blood of the just (Heb. 10:38). Shield of Christian armour (Eph. 6:16). Down payment of things desired (Heb. 3:6, 12-14; 6:11-12; 10:22-23, 35-39). Guarantee of answered prayer (Matt. 21:22; Mark 11:22-24; Heb. 11:6; Jas. 1:1-27).

Hebrews 11:6 warns that without faith it is impossible to please Him: for when we come to God we must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him and here we have four secrets of answered prayer: To please God (1Jn. 3:21-22; 5:14-15). To come to God with the right attitude and motives (Matt. 6:5-15; 7:7-11; Php. 4:5-6). To believe that He is (John 16:23). To believe He is a rewarder of them diligently seeking Him. If one can believe this as much as he believes in the existence of God, prayer will be granted. If one believes firmly in His existence and doubts His word, he makes Him a liar and God is under no obligation to answer prayer (Jas. 1:4-8). The Greek for diligently is ekzeteo, translated diligently seek (Heb. 11:6); seek after (Acts 15:17; Rom. 3:11); seek carefully (Heb. 12:17); require (Luke 11:50-51), and enquire (1Pet. 1:10).

To be continued…

Faithful is He – Part 3

1Thessalonians 5:24-28 Faithful is he that called you…

Just as God is faithful, we are called to faithfulness and are equipped by the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23): But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

‘Faith’ [Greek: pistis] is confidence, faithfulness, trust, and a pledge of good faith. Used 244 times. Translated belief (2Thess. 2:13); fidelity (Tit. 2:10); assurance (Acts 17:31); and faith 239 times (Heb. 11:1-39; 12:2; etc.). Here it means fidelity or faithfulness in contrast to the Lord who is faithful (2Thess. 3:2-3).

The word “believe” denotes the act and process of faith. It comes from the Greek verb pisteuo which occurs 248 times in the New Testament. This use of the present tense indicates that faith must be continued in to receive its benefits (Acts 14:22; Eph. 6:16; Col. 1:23; 2:5-7; 1Thess. 5:8; 1Tim. 2:15; 3:9; 6:12; 2Tim. 3:8; 4:7; Tit. 1:13; Heb. 10:23-38; 2Pet. 1:5-10). It can be lost (Luke 8:13; 1Tim. 1:19; 4:1; 5:8, 12; 6:10, 21; 2Tim. 2:18; 3:8; Jude 1:3; Rev. 2:13). Faith means: To be persuaded of (Rom. 4:17-22; 8:38-39; 2Tim. 1:12). Place confidence in (Eph. 3:12; Php. 1:6; Heb. 3:6, 12-14; 10:35; 1Jn. 3:21; 5:14). The substance or conviction of things hoped for, the assurance of things not seen (Heb. 10:19-38; 11:1, 6; Rom. 4:17; 8:24). Absolute dependence upon and reliance in the Word of God and of Christ (Matt. 8:8-10; 15:28; Rom. 10:17; Heb. 11:1 – 12:3). Full surrender, yieldedness, and obedience to all known truth (Rom. 1:5; 6:11-23; 16:26; Jas. 2:14-26; 2Cor. 10:4-7; Heb. 11:6). Trust wholly and unreservedly in the faithfulness of God (Matt. 6:25-34; 12:21; Luke 12:28-31; Eph. 1:13; 1Tim. 4:11; 6:17; 1Cor. 10:13). Give one’s self over to a new way of life (Rom. 1:17; 6:11-23; 8:1-16; 2Cor. 10:4-7; Gal. 5:16-26; Col. 3:5-10; Heb. 12:1-15; Tit. 2:11-14; 1Jn. 1:7; 2:6; 3:8-10; 4:17; 5:1-5, 18). The attribute of God and restored faculty of man whereby both can bring into unseen existence things (Rom. 4:17; Gal. 5:22; Matt. 17:20; 21:22; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24; Luke 17:6; Heb. 11:1-40). The whole body of revealed truth (Luke 18:8; Jude 1:3; Rom. 10:17; 1Tim. 4:1, 6; 6:10; 2Tim. 3:16-17). Joyful faith in, and acceptance of Christ as the substitute for sin and our Saviour whereby one receives salvation (Mark 16:16; Acts 4:12; 10:43; Rom. 1:16; 3:24-31; Eph. 2:8-9); access into grace (Rom. 5:2); fulfilment of the promises (Heb. 6:12); the Holy Spirit (Gal. 3:14); righteousness (Rom. 4:1-25; 9:30, 32; 10:6; Php. 3:9); sonship (Gal. 3:26); healing (Jas. 5:14-16; 1Pet. 2:24); eternal life (John 3:15-18, 36; 5:24; 6:47); and answers to every prayer (Matt. 7:7-11; 21:21; Mark 11:22-24; Luke 18:1-8; John 14:12-15; 15:7, 16).

Faithful is He – Part 2

1Thessalonians 5:24-28 Faithful is he that called you

We note ten attributes of God from Psalm 36:4-9: Mercy – high as the heavens (Ps. 36:5). Faithfulness – far-reaching as the clouds. Righteousness – high as mountains (Ps. 36:6). Justice – deep as the abyss. Preservation – universal as existence. Kindness – excellent (Ps. 36:7). Providence – complete (Ps. 36:8). Satisfaction – rivers of pleasure (Ps. 36:9). Life – the fountain of life. Light – the source of truth.

Psalm 40:10 reads as follows: “I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation…” His faithfulness here refers to the fulfilment of the covenants and promises through Jesus Christ and His great salvation (John 1:16-17; Rom. 3:2; 9:4-5; 2Cor. 1:20).

The faithfulness of God is eternal – unto all generations. This is another scripture stating eternal generations of natural people (Gen. 8:22; 9:12; Isa. 9:6-7; 59:21; Dan. 2:44-45; 7:13-14, 18, 27; Luke 1:32-33; Rev. 11:15; 21:3-7; 22:4-5).

Two great qualities of the Messiah (Isa. 11:5 – His righteousness (Heb. 1:9) and faithfulness (Heb. 2:17; Rev. 1:5).

To be continued…