Taking Vengeance on Them – Part 2

2Thessalonians 1:8-9 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

Thirty-four purposes of the Second Coming (continues): To restore all things (Acts 3:19-21). To bind satan and his angels (Rev. 20:1-10; Isa. 24:21-23). To punish the inhabitants of the earth for sins (Isa. 26:21; 27:1; Rev. 11:18). To give man one more probationary trial (Rev. 20:1-10; Isa. 11:1-16; 65:20-25). To fight the battle of Armageddon and restore man’s dominion (Rev. 19:11-21; Matt. 5:5; 25:31-46; Ps. 8:1-9). To establish a theocratic government (Ps. 2:1-12; Isa. 2:1-4; 4:1-3; Dan. 2:44-45; 7:13-14; Zech. 14:9; Rev. 20:1-15). To gather together in one all things in heaven and on earth (Eph. 1:10). To heal everyone (Isa. 32:1-5; 33:24; 35:5). To fulfil the Abrahamic, Davidic, and other covenants with man (Gen. 12:1-3; 2Sam. 7:1-29; etc.). To be glorified in the saints (1:10, 12; Matt. 25:31-46). To be admired by believers (1:10). To prepare the earth for the eternal habitation of God (Isa. 35:1-10; Zech. 14:1-21; Rev. 20-22; 1Cor. 15:24-28). To purge man of all possibility of future rebellion, so that the original program with man can be finally and eternally realized (Gen. 1:26-31; 8:22; 9:12; Ps. 8:1-9; 1Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 20-22).

‘Flaming fire’ [Greek: phlox] flame of fire (Luke 16:24; Acts 7:30; Heb. 1:7; Rev. 1:14; 2:18; 19:12).

‘On them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel.’ Two classes of people to be judged: They that know not God – that put forth no effort to know or understand Him (2Cor. 4:4; Matt. 13:19). They that obey not the gospel – that put forth no effort to obey it (John 3:17-20, 36; Acts 7:51; Rom. 1:21-32).

‘Punished with everlasting destruction.’ Eternal punishment [Greek: dike] penalty awarded by a judge; suffer punishment. Translated as punishment (1:9); judgment (Acts 25:15); and vengeance (Acts 28:4; Jude 1:7). The penalty here is eternal destruction. The Greek for destruction is olethros, ruin; undoing; that which causes destruction, a plague, pest. Translated as destruction (1:9; 2Cor. 5:5; 1Thess. 5:3; 1Tim. 6:9). Whatever it is that causes the destruction or ruin is eternal. It is not annihilation, for the destruction is eternal and the ones being so punished eternally are as eternal as the destruction itself. There will be no possibility of their ever being reconciled to God beyond this life, for they are eternally banished from the presence of God and the glory of His power (1:10; Heb. 9:27). This in itself would be dreadful punishment, but besides this, there will be the punishment in eternal hell (Matt. 8:12; 13:49-51; 25:41, 25:46; Mark 9:43-49; Rev. 14:9-11; 20:11-15; Isa. 66:22-24).

Faithful is He – Part 1

1Thessalonians 5:24-28 Faithful is he that called you, who also will do it. Brethren, pray for us. Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss. I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. The first epistle to the Thessalonians was written from Athens. 

‘Faithful is he’ – Twelve times God and Christ are called faithful (Deut. 7:9; Isa. 49:7; 1Cor. 1:9; 10:13; 2Thess. 3:3; Heb. 10:23; 11:11; 1Pet. 4:19; 1Jn. 1:9; Rev. 1:5; 3:14; 19:11).

God is faithful and will not let one endure more temptations than he can bear (1Cor. 10:13-14), nor will He allow one to be lost without doing all in His power to save him (John 3:16; 1Tim. 2:4; 2Pet. 3:9; Rev. 22:17). If a man falls into sin or is lost it is his own responsibility. He has not taken God’s way, as the psalmist did (Ps. 119:30, 173). As a last resort, God may allow trouble and even permit satan to afflict with disease to bring a man back to righteousness (Job 33:14-29).

‘Brethren, pray for us.’ Constantly Paul asked for the prayers of the saints. He recognized their prayers as more valuable than all their wealth and help otherwise.

‘Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.’ This was an Eastern custom and was used amongst believers.

‘I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.’ A reason for this is not clear unless there may have been some danger of it not being read to all the believers of the Christian congregations, or perhaps local groups in and around Thessalonica.

‘Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.’ Paul begins and ends the epistle with a statement about the grace of Christ.

To be continued…

Sanctify You Wholly – Part 2

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

All souls are fully conscious between death and the resurrection, the righteous souls being conscious in paradise and heaven (2Cor. 5:8; Php. 1:21-24; Heb. 12:22-23; Rev. 6:9-11), and the wicked souls in hell (Isa. 14:9; Luke 16:19; Rev. 20:11-15). For example, compare Acts 2:27 with Psalm 16:10; 1Corinthians 15:45 with Genesis 2:7; etc.

Psuche (G5590) is used for: Lower animals (Rev. 8:9; 16:3); Man as an individual (Acts 2:41, 43; 3:23; 7:14; 27:37; Rom. 2:9; 13:1; 1Cor. 15:45; Jas. 5:20; 1Pet. 3:20; 2Pet. 2:14; Rev. 6:9; 18:13; 20:4). The life of man, which can be lost, destroyed, saved, etc. and translated life (Matt. 2:20; 6:25; 10:39; 16:25; 20:28; Mark 3:4; 8:35; 10:45; Luke 6:9; 9:24, 56; 12:22-23; 14:26; 17:33; John 10:11-17; 12:25; 13:37-38; 15:13; Acts 15:26; 20:10, 24; 27:10, 22; Rom. 11:3; 16:4; Php. 2:30; 1Jn. 3:16; Rev. 12:11). The life of a man, which can be lost, destroyed, saved, etc. and translated soul (Matt. 10:28; 16:26; Mark 8:36-37; Luke 12:20; 21:19; 1Thess. 2:8; 5:23; Heb. 4:12; 6:19; 10:39; 13:17; Jas. 1:21; 1Pet. 1:9; 2:11, 25; 4:19). Man, to emphasize self, such as my soul, or myself (Matt. 11:29; 12:18; 26:38; Mark 14:34; Luke 1:46; 12:19; John 12:27; Heb. 10:38; 1Pet. 1:22). The powers of one’s being (Matt. 22:37; Luke 2:35; 10:27; Acts 4:32; 3Jn. 1:2; Eph. 6:6; Php. 1:27).

‘Body’ – The body is the house of the soul and spirit and goes back to dust again at death (Gen. 3:19) and becomes immortal in the resurrection (1Cor. 15:54-58).

‘Unto’ [Greek: en] Translated as “at,” 1Thessalonians 2:19; 3:13. It is at the rapture that saints will be set apart wholly unto God and His eternal will and made whole in body, soul, and spirit (1Cor. 15:51-58; Php. 3:21; Rom 8:18-25; 1Pet. 1:5, 9, 13).

‘Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ In each chapter of this epistle, the coming of the Lord is presented in a different aspect: 1Thessalonians 1:10; 2:19; 3:13; 4:13-18; 5:23.

The Image of the Invisible God – Part 4

Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature

With these facts it is clear in what sense Jesus is “the firstborn of every creature” or of all creation (1:15), and “the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29). All creation came into existence by creative acts, not by a begetting as in the case of Jesus. Even the “many brethren” are not begotten in the sense Jesus was by the Holy Spirit. They were begotten by people, not by God, and were thus brought into the human family, not the family of God. The only way one gets into God’s family is by adoption (Rom. 8:14-16; Gal. 4:5-6; Eph. 1:5). Jesus is the only begotten Son … the first of all creatures to be begotten of God, the only one of all beings begotten of God, the first and only one of the family of adopted and “created” brethren begotten of God (Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10), the first begotten of or from the dead, and the firstfruit of the resurrection of all men (1:18; 1Cor. 15:23-33; Rev. 1:5). The body of Christ (consisting of all Christian congregations) is the called-out people of the one who is the firstborn (Heb. 12:23). Adam and angels were by creation, not by begetting (Luke 3:38; Gen. 6:1-4; Job 1:6; 38:4-7).

This refers to the incarnation when the second person of the Divine Trinity took a human body to redeem (Php. 2:5-11; Isa. 7:14; 9:6). It was when God had a Son through Mary (Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; John 1:14). This happened on a certain day: “This day have I begotten thee” (Heb. 1:5-7). Therefore, we cannot say that God had a Son before this time. This proves that sonship in connection with God had to refer to humanity and not to deity.

To be continued…

Pray for You

Colossians 1:9-13 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that you might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That you might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son

‘Pray for you, and to desire that you might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.’ Twelve things prayed for the Colossians: To be filled with the knowledge of His will (1:9). To be filled with all wisdom. To have spiritual understanding. To walk worthy of the Lord (1:10). To walk pleasing to the Lord. To be fruitful in all good works. To increase in the knowledge of God. To be strengthened with all might (1:11). To have His glorious power. To have all patience. To have all longsuffering. To have joy.

Ten conditions of answered prayer: Have the faith of God (Rom. 4:17; Heb. 11:3; Gal. 5:22-23). Pray: say in no uncertain terms what you want (Mark 11:23-24; Matt. 17:20; 21:21-22; John 15:7). Have unlimited faith without qualifying and limiting God’s will or what you want (Mark 11:23-24; Matt. 17:20; 21:21-22; Mark 9:23; John 15:7, 16). Refuse to doubt in the heart (Mark 11:23; Matt. 17:20; Jas. 1:5-8). Believe that whatever is asked will be given (Mark 11:23-24; Matt. 7:7-11; 17:20; 21:21-22; Heb. 11:6). Believe that whatever is asked is already granted (Mark 11:24; Matt. 17:20; 1Jn. 5:14-15). Be authoritative and command to come to pass what is asked (Mark 9:23; 11:23-24; Matt. 17:20). Believe that what you want is God’s will (Mark 11:24; John 15:7; Matt. 17:20; 21:21-22; Heb. 11:6; Jas. 1:5-8). Never say “if it be Thy will” concerning anything you ask that is definitely promised of God in His word (Mark 11:23; Ps. 84:11; 2Cor. 1:20; 2Pet. 1:3-4). Have a clean heart and life with God and man (Mark 11:25; John 15:7; 1Jn. 3:22-23).

‘Made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.’ Qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints. This refers to every promise and provision of the gospel for believers who are delivered from the power of satan and are translated into the kingdom of God (1:12-13; Acts 26:18; 2Cor. 1:20; John 14:12-15).

‘Translated’ [Greek: methistemi] to transfer, exchange, remove. Here it means to deliver from satan and his power and kingdom of sin, sickness, and depravity to be placed under the government of the Son of God’s love. This transfer is made possible by redemption through the blood of Christ (1:14).

Sweet Smell

Philippians 4:18-23 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you. All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. 

‘But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you.’ You have sent me so much by Epaphroditus that I have all I need. Your gift is a sweet aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, and well-pleasing to God. Paul claimed to have all that he needed and more, he was thankful in everything and his life was a great savour for Christ’s testimony!

‘Sweet smell’ [Greek: Euodia] sweet perfume. An aroma of a sweet smell to God. That is, God was well pleased with the offering and sacrifice of Christ because it made possible the redemption of His fallen creation (Rom. 8:18-24).

‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ A promise that is still true to those who are in Christ and who are faithful to God as the Philippians were (4:14-18).

‘Caesar’s household’ – Nero was emperor of Rome at this time. A more cruel and worthless man never ruled the empire, yet among his household, there were several true Christians. Who they were is not known. Josephus says that the empress Poppaea was a worshiper of the true God (Antiquities, 20:8:11).

‘The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.’ No greater greeting and blessing can be found in life! By God’s grace we are saved (Acts 14:22; Eph. 2:5, 8), healed (Ps. 30:2-7; 103:3, 8; Acts 4:12; 14:3; 1Pet. 2:24) and are we conquerors (Rom. 8:31-39).

Prayer and Supplication Part 3

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 

Scriptures are full of ‘secrets for answered prayers’ which does not mean that it is hidden or hard to understand. A study on any topic must be done by prayerfully reading and meditating on God’s Word while using all Scripture on the specific subject to explain the Scripture (Deut. 19:15; Matt. 18:16; 2Cor. 13:1), not coming up with one’s own interpretation (2Pet. 1:20-21).

Hebrews 11:6 explain that when we come to God we must believe that He is [in all things God as described in Scripture: true, holy, righteous, etc.) and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him – 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 with the right motives (Matt. 6:5-15; 7:7-11; Php. 4:5-6). To believe that He is (John 16:23). To believe that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek 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).

James 1:5 states that if we lack wisdom we must ask it of God who will give it to us liberally, without reprimand and it shall be given to us.  Here we have six secrets of answered prayer: Lack of consciousness of needs (Jas. 1:5). Let him ask of God (4:6; Jas. 1:5). That gives to all men liberally (Jas. 1:5; Matt. 7:7-11; 21:22; Mark 11:22-24). It shall be given him (Jas. 1:5; Matt. 7:7-11; 17:20; 21:22; John 14:12-15; 15:7, 16; 16:23-26; 1Jn. 3:21-22; 5:13-14). But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (Jas. 1:6; Heb. 11:6).

To be continued…

Stand Fast in the Lord – Part 1

Philippians 4:1-3 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow-labourers, whose names are in the book of life. 

‘My joy and crown’ – we see the same reference of love and gratitude made to the congregations of Thessalonica in 1Thessalonians 2:19-20.

‘Stand fast’ – from 1Thessalonians 3:8 Paul reminds the Christians to stand fast in the Lord, for we live only if we stand fast in Him (Heb. 3:6, 12-14).

‘Euodias … Syntyche’ – Two women, who were the leaders of the congregation at Philippi, differed on some unknown point (4:3).

‘Yokefellow’ [Greek: suzugos] comrade; friend. Refers perhaps to Epaphroditus, the apostle to Philippi (2:25).

‘Women which laboured with me in the gospel’ – perhaps Euodia and Syntyche of Philippians 4:2.

‘Laboured’ [Greek: sunathleo] wrestling together, not in contention with, or against one another to build up human establishments which oppose each other in the gospel, but in union against the enemies of the gospel.

‘Clement’ was taught to be the same one who was afterwards a bishop in Rome and who wrote an epistle to the Corinthians, which still exists.

To be continued…

The Lord Jesus Christ – Part 1

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

‘Conversation’ [Greek: politeuma] citizenship; city; civil rights; state; society; or government.

‘We look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.’ What to look for [Greek: apekdechomai] It is scriptural to look for the rapture or coming of the Lord in the air for the saints, to take place any time (3:20; Tit. 2:13), but not the second coming. The rapture and second coming are two events separated by at least seven years. They are not two phases or two stages of one coming, but two distinct comings – one a coming in the air (not to the earth) before the tribulation, and the other a coming to the earth immediately after the tribulation (1Thess. 4:16 with Matt. 24:29). One is the coming for the saints (3:21; John 14:1-3; Luke 21:36; 1Cor. 15:23, 51-54; 1Thess. 4:13-17; 2Thess. 2:1, 7; Col. 3:4) and the other is the coming to earth with the saints to set up the kingdom (Zech. 14:5; Jude 1:14; Rev. 19:11-21).

‘Who shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.’ This is the 4th and last New Testament prophecy in Philippians (3:21). The Greek word metaschematizo means to transform; change the fashion; refashion. Translated “transform” (2Cor. 11:13-15); “transfer in a figure” (1Cor. 4:6); and “change” (3:21).

To be continued…

The Exceeding Greatness of His Power

Ephesians 1:19-20 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places

‘To us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.’ Again, and again the apostle emphasizes the doctrine of power for believers, not unbelievers (3:16-21; 6:10-18; 1Cor. 1:7; 4:18-20; 12:1-11).

‘Wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.’ Six things that God did for Christ: He raised Him from the dead (1:20; John 21:14; 1Cor. 15:1-23). He exalted Him at His own right hand (1:20; Ps. 110:1, 5; Matt. 26:64; Mark 16:19; Acts 2:33-34; 7:55-56; Rom. 8:34; Php. 2:9-11; Col. 3:1; Heb. 1:3, 13; 10:12; 12:2; 1Pet. 3:22). He gave Him authority over all powers, good and evil, under Himself (1:21; 3:10; 6:12; Rom. 8:38; Php. 2:9-11; Col. 1:15-18; 2:10-17; 1Pet. 3:22; Rev. 1:1, 7, 18; 11:15; 19:11 – 20:10). He gave Him a name above every name except God the Father (1:21; 1Cor. 11:3; Php. 2:9-11; Heb. 1:4). He put all things under His feet (1:22; Col. 1:16-18; 2:10-17; Heb. 2:5-18; 1Cor. 15:24-28). He gave Him headship of the Christian congregations (1:22; Col. 1:18, 24; 2Cor. 11:3).