Pastor David B. Curtis


Media #1104 MP3 Audio File Video File

Waiting for the Second Coming Pt. 3

(1 Thess. 1:10)

Delivered 02/20/22

Good morning, Bereans. We are continuing our study of 1 Thessalonians this morning. I thought we finished chapter 1 last week, but I think we need to spend one more week on the end of verse 10. We are going to focus on the final phrase of verse 10: "Yeshua who delivers us from the wrath to come."

and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Yeshua who delivers us from the wrath to come. 1 Thessalonians 1:10 ESV

What "wrath" is it that Yeshua was delivering these Thessalonians from? I think we see the answer in chapter 5.

For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Yeshua the Christ, 1 Thessalonians 5:9 ESV

Here we have much more context on wrath here than in chapter 1. If we back up in this chapter, we see that the context is the day of the Lord.

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 ESV

It is this wrath, the sudden destruction of the "day of the Lord," that is in context of the wrath to which the Thessalonians are not appointed. The Day of the Lord is the return of Christ to judge apostate Jerusalem and consummate the New Covenant. It is this wrath that is in view both in 1 Thessalonians 1:10 and 5:9.

How did the destruction of the Temple and the city of Jerusalem at the Day of the Lord affect the Thessalonians? Jerusalem was over 900 miles from Thessalonica.

A pretribulational premillennialist may use 1 Thessalonians 1:10 as a proof of the pretribulational rapture. To them this is how the Thessalonians are delivered from wrath.

Because we hold to a preterist view of eschatology and believe that the Lord returned in judgment in A.D. 70, how do we see their being delivered from wrath? To answer that, look with me at 2 Thessalonians 1.

This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Yeshua is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Yeshua. 2 Thessalonians 1:5-8 ESV

Here we see that at the second coming Yeshua would inflict vengeance on those who did not know God and on those who did not obey the gospel of our Lord Yeshua. These are the unbelievers who were persecuting the believers. The believing Thessalonians were to be delivered from the wrath of God and from the wrath of their opponents.

Not only would the Thessalonians not experience God's wrath, that very wrath would free them from affliction brought about from the wrath of their opponents. How did this happen? How did Yeshua's judgment coming on Jerusalem in A.D. 70 affect the Thessalonians who lived over 900 miles from Jerusalem?

Good question. I'm glad you asked. The Jews were strong opponents of Christianity. They hated Christianity and tried to stop it's spread and even sought to wipe it out. We saw that Paul's visit to Thessalonica caused a riot.

But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. Acts 17:5 ESV

 Because of this, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away at night to Berea. Notice what happens at Berea.

But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was proclaimed by Paul at Berea also, they came there too, agitating and stirring up the crowds. Acts 17:13 ESV

The Jews hated Christianity and anyone who preached it. When Jerusalem was destroyed, this persecution ended. God's destruction of Jerusalem showed the world the identity of the true sons of God.

For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. Romans 8:19 ESV

That Christians were the true "sons of God" was clearly revealed when the Lord returned and destroyed Jerusalem.

With their city and Temple destroyed, the Jews were no longer able to attack the Christians, and for the most part, the persecution ended. But wait there's more!

I think that the biggest reason that the wrath against Christianity ended at the second coming was because the spiritual battle then ended. Paul taught the transition saints that they were in a spiritual battle with spirit beings.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 ESV

First of all, notice that Paul says that this struggle is "NOT against flesh and blood." In the Greek this is literally, "blood and flesh." Paul was saying that their struggle was not with humanity, not with mere human power. With what, then, was the struggle? Paul wrote that it was, "against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." We know what he is saying here. The question is what does he mean? The word "rulers" is from the Greek arche which has a wide range of meanings such as "chief (in various applications of order, time, place or rank): —beginning." The word "authorities" is from exousia which means "power, ability, privilege." These titles are used of human and spiritual powers, but notice the rest of the verse—"against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." "Cosmic powers" comes from the Greek word, kosmokrator, which, according to Strong's Concordance means "a world ruler, an epithet of Satan." Thayer's says it means "lord of the world, prince of this age, the devil and his demons." This is its only use in the New Testament.

Paul goes on to say "against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." These forces are "spiritual" and not human. They are in "heavenly places" or the spiritual realm, that is, the place where Yahweh dwells.

The first-century saints were in a spiritual battle with spirit beings. These spirit beings were fighting against Christ and the gospel. These spirit beings would empower and provoke people to attack the Christians. They were in a war and that war ended in A.D. 70 with the coming of Christ.

Let me show you this by looking at Matthew 24 and Matthew's account of the Olivet Discourse. In this discourse, the Lord is answering the disciple's questions about the destruction of the Jewish temple, the sign of His presence, and the end of the age. Yeshua is speaking to his disciples in the first century and that context must be kept in mind.

I just want us to look at one verse in this discourse.

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Matthew 24:29 ESV

Modern commentators generally understand this and what follows as the end of the world, but the words "immediately after the tribulation of those days," show that he is not speaking of any distant event but of something that would immediately follow the tribulation. He was referring to the destruction of Jerusalem.

John Gill (1809) writes, "Verse 29. Immediately after the tribulation of those days, that is, immediately after the distress the Jews would be in through the siege of Jerusalem, and the calamities attending it; just upon the destruction of that city, and the temple in it, with the whole nation of the Jews, shall the following things come to pass."

If you are not familiar with the apocalyptic language of the Tanakh, you will not understand what Christ is saying here. It sounds to us like the end of the world. But if we are familiar with the first three quarters of our Bible, we will know that this language is common among the prophets.

I want to focus on the last half of verse 29: "The stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken." We see this same language in Revelation 6.

When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. Revelation 6:12-13 ESV

Is this to be taken literally? Are the literal stars going to fall out of heaven? There are many who think so and who see this as the end of the world, a cosmic collapse if you will. But I don't think this is talking about literal stars.

The word "stars" is found 51 times in the ESV, and most of its uses refer to a large number:

The LORD your God has multiplied you, and behold, you are today as numerous as the stars of heaven. Deuteronomy 1:10 ESV

"Stars" is used of literal stars, bright lights in the sky, and it is used of divine beings.

And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven. Deuteronomy 4:19 ESV

Here "stars" and the ""host of heaven" refer to sentient created spiritual beings which reside in the heavens. If you are not familiar with the Divine Council Viewpoint, you may be wondering who the sentient, created beings are. Let me try to briefly explain.

Yahweh existed from all eternity in the three persons of the divine Trinity; the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Then at a point in time Yahweh created other gods, lesser gods and angels, to be part of His family, His divine council. Notice here that these "stars" have been "allotted to the peoples." The word "allotted" in Hebrew is chalaq which means "apportioned" or "assigned." Here we are told that Yahweh has assigned "stars, the host of heaven," to the peoples of the earth (i.e., "all non-Israelites").

Israel is not to worship these gods. Speaking of judgment that was to come upon disobedient Israel, Moses says:

all the nations will say, "Why has the LORD done thus to this land? What caused the heat of this great anger?" Then people will say, It is because they abandoned the covenant of the LORD, the God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt, and went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods whom they had not known and whom he had not allotted to them. Therefore, the anger of the LORD was kindled against this land, bringing upon it all the curses written in this book, Deuteronomy 29:24-27 ESV

These gods that Israel worshiped were "not allotted to them."  They were allotted to the nations. Throughout the Scriptures these gods are called stars.

From heaven the stars fought, from their courses they fought against Sisera. Judges 5:20 ESV

Here the stars are fighting for Israel against Sisera.

when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Job 38:7 ESV

Here "stars" and "sons of God" are synonymous referring to gods, divine council members.

You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; Isaiah 14:13 ESV
It grew great, even to the host of heaven. And some of the host and some of the stars it threw down to the ground and trampled on them. Daniel 8:10 ESV
wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever. Jude 1:13 ESV

Jude is using an allusion from Enoch.

1 Enoch 80:6-8: And many chiefs of the stars shall transgress the order (prescribed). And these shall alter their orbits and tasks, And not appear at the seasons prescribed to them. 7 And the whole order of the stars shall be concealed from the sinners, And the thoughts of those on the earth shall err concerning them, [And they shall be altered from all their ways], Yea, they shall err and take them to be gods. 8 And evil shall be multiplied upon them, And punishment shall come upon them So as to destroy all.'

The "wandering stars" that Jude speaks of is a common ancient Jewish idiom in both the Tanakh and the Pseudepigrapha for divine celestial beings. In the ancient world, the stars were called the "host of heaven" and were equated with deities. In the Tanakh, the stars of heaven are also called "heavenly host."

In the text in Matthew 24:29 "the powers of heaven" are the "host of heaven." This phrase "host of Heaven" is found 19 times in the ESV, and 18 of those uses refer to divine beings. A good text to help understand the Divine Council Viewpoint is found in 1 Kings.

And Micaiah said, Therefore, hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his right hand and on his left; 1 Kings 22:19 ESV

This is a throne room occupied by Yahweh and His divine council. Micaiah is in Yahweh's throne room seeing the interaction between Yahweh and the gods. Here we see mention of the "host of heaven" (Heb. tzeva' hashamayim) which stands before Yahweh. "The host of heaven" is a reference to divine beings. These "host of heaven" are not just the stars in the night sky.

You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you. Nehemiah 9:6 ESV

Only living creatures can worship Yahweh. Clearly, the "host of heaven" here refers to created divine beings who reside in the heavens.

A Psalm of David. Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness. Psalms 29:1-2 ESV

Here the "heavenly beings", "ben el," are called upon to worship Yahweh. Psalm 97 tells us that Yahweh is exalted above all gods.

For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods. Psalms 97:9 ESV

If there are no other gods, than this is saying that "Yahweh is far above things that don't exist."

For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. Psalms 135:5-6 ESV

Yahweh is the supreme ruler over all Elohim. We see this demonstrated in Exodus 12.

For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. Exodus 12:12 ESV

In recounting the Exodus, Numbers 33 says the following:

while the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn, whom the LORD had struck down among them. On their gods also the LORD executed judgments. Numbers 33:4 ESV

Here we see it wasn't just against the Egyptians that Yahweh brought judgment; he was also judging their gods.

Back to 1 Kings.

And Micaiah said, "Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his right hand and on his left; and the LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?' And one said one thing, and another said another. 1 Kings 22:19-20 ESV

Yahweh is talking to the heavenly host (sons of God, watchers, divine beings) who are part of His council.

Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, saying, ‘I will entice him.' And the LORD said to him, ‘By what means?' And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.' And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.' 1 Kings 22:21-22 ESV

This vision seen by Micaiah shows that Yahweh is in complete control of events. He only approves the course of action that suits His purpose, which in this case was to bring about the death of evil King Ahab.

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Matthew 24:29 ESV

This text in Matthew 24 is about the judgment of the gods with whom the first-century Christians were a spiritual battle. Psalm 82 also talks about their judgment.

A Psalm of Asaph. God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: Psalms 82:1 ESV
I said, "You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince." Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations! Psalms 82:6-8 ESV

Yahweh is saying here that He will judge the disobedient gods and He will take away their immortality. The prophet Isaiah tells of their coming punishment in a couple of passages.

All the host of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll. All their host shall fall, as leaves fall from the vine, like leaves falling from the fig tree. For my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens; behold, it descends for judgment upon Edom, upon the people I have devoted to destruction. Isaiah 34:4-5 ESV

Just as the "host" of the nations that come against the Messiah will be slain, the "host of heaven" who rules these earthly nations will also be defeated. The sword wielded by the Messiah will "drink its fill in the heavens" as well as on the earth.

We are told in Isaiah 34:4 that "the host of heaven shall rot away" (Hebrew: maqaq, literally: "waste away," "decay"). In Zechariah 14:12, the same Hebrew root word maqaq is used to describe the fate of those who come against Jerusalem at the end of the age. There is a similarity between Isaiah 34:4 and 2 Peter 3:10-12 that deserves some attention. Peter speaks of an end-time fire in the heavens which will melt and dissolve the elements.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 2 Peter 3:10-12 ESV

If you are a Preterist, you are probably familiar with the Greek word for "heavenly bodies" or "elements" here ("stoicheia," plural of stoicheion). It is most often translated by Preterists as "elements of religious training, or the ceremonial precepts that are common to the worship of Jews." Obviously, this "stoicheia" is not about atoms or destruction of the universe.

The Greek word stoicheia, translated "elements" in 2 Peter 3, is understood by many scholars to refer to "heavenly spirits." This understanding can be seen in several passages written by the Apostle Paul. But let's look first at a text that doesn't use it this way.

In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. Galatians 4:3 ESV

Galatians is focused on the problem of Jewish converts wanting to require Gentile believers to obey the Law. In Galatians 4, Paul speaks to both Jews and Gentiles, so he could be using the term in different ways with each audience. Galatians 4:1-7 likely addresses Jewish converts ("those who were under the Law" v5). Stoicheia in verse 3, therefore, most likely refers to the elements of the Law. The use of "stoicheia" in Hebrews 5:12 seems to also refer to principles of the Jewish Law. But the Gentiles were not under The Law and did not know the true God. Therefore, Galatians 4:8-11 could be seen as addressing Gentile converts.

But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? Galatians 4:9 ESV

The Gentiles weren't enslaved to The Law, so to what were they enslaved? In the context of Galatians 4:9-11, stoicheia could be interpreted as "heavenly spirits," or "astral deities."

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. Colossians 2:8 ESV

Here it is "stoicheia of the kosmos." Elements of religious training doesn't seem to fit here.

Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—Colossians 2:18-20 ESV

Here in context "stoicheia of the kosmos" would best fit with heavenly spirits.

The Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible states,

"Given the predeliction [sic] of many people in the Greco-Roman world for astral religious beliefs and practices, it could also be argued that the elements are planetary or other celestial bodies; or that the elements refer to spiritual beings: such as angels or demons who control earthly affairs and determine human destiny." (Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible; [2nd extensively rev p. 817]. Leiden; Boston; Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: Brill; Eerdmans.)

A number of interpreters, perhaps even a majority, have concluded that "ta stoicheia tou kosmou" refers to spiritual powers of some sort. The Testament of Solomon, a Jewish-Christian work, testifies to a belief in star spirits called stoicheia. Seven bound spirits appear before Solomon and reveal their identity: "We are the stoicheia, rulers of this world of darkness [kosmokratores tou skotous] …our stars in heaven look small, but we are named like gods" (T. Sol. 8:2-4).

Does the word kosmokrator ring a bell? We talked about it earlier.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 ESV

"Cosmic powers"—comes from the Greek kosmokrator, which, according to Strong's Concordance means "a world ruler, an epithet of Satan." If we understand the usage of stoicheion by Peter to be the same as Paul's usage in the Scriptures cited above, we can see that Peter was simply reemphasizing what the prophet Isaiah had said about the fate of the spiritual powers aligned against Yahweh. Isaiah stated the "host of heaven" would be dissolved; Peter said that these same "elemental spirits" would be dissolved by fire.

We also have an example in early Judaism where people used Psalm 82 to talk about the judgment of the gods. When they dug up Qumran, they found this text, 11Q. Melchizedek. It uses Psalm 82 to talk about the judgment of the gods. "It is the time of the year of Melchizedek and of his armies, the nation of the holy ones of God of the rule of judgment as it is written about him in the songs of David who said 'God will stand in the assembly of the gods; in the midst of the gods; he judges.'"

This is talking about Christ who is the judge. The 11 Q. Melchizedek text goes on immediately in the next line and says: "To his aid shall come all the gods of justice." And so there are these good gods coming to aid Melchizedek in the destruction of the Belail and other spirits to redeem the people.

Yahweh is saying here that He will judge the disobedient gods and He will take away their immortality. Jeremiah says something similar in Jeremiah 10.

Thus shall you say to them: "The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens." Jeremiah 10:11 ESV

We see in Psalm 82, then, that Yahweh reviewed their performance as "gods" and judges of the Gentiles and condemned them for failing to rule justly.

Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations! Psalms 82:8 ESV

Who is the God here? Who is to judge these disobedient gods and the earth? In the LXX, the word "arise" here is the Greek word anistemi. This is the term used in the New Testament for resurrection. Peter uses this word, anistemi, in Acts 2.

This Yeshua God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Acts 2:32 ESV

"Arise, O God"—is a reference to Yeshua, the resurrected One. He is the God who arises and judges the earth. When Christ was on earth, it was clear to the demons that their end was near.

"What have you to do with us, Yeshua of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God." Mark 1:24 ESV

This demon understood that Yeshua had come to destroy them.

Can you tell me what a demon is and where it comes from? Many theologians and Bible teachers have traditionally taught that demons are simply fallen angels. The Bible never offers a point-blank explanation for where demons come from. But the Dead Sea Scrolls say that they are "bastard spirits." The biblical text read in its ancient context tells us that demons are the disembodied spirits of dead Nephilim. And the Nephilim are the product of the Watchers mating with women. Therefore, demons are second-generation divine beings. First Enoch says:

And now, the giants, who are produced from the spirits and flesh, shall be called evil spirits upon the earth, and on the earth shall be their dwelling. Evil spirits have proceeded from their bodies; because they are born from men and from the holy Watchers is their beginning and primal origin; they shall be evil spirits on earth, and evil spirits shall they be called. (Enoch 15:8-10)

This second-Temple literature is the context for the New Testament. This is what the Jews of the second-Temple period believed.

Nothing is said in the Bible about the origin of demons, but there is quite a bit of information on their destruction.

And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. And behold, they cried out, "What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?" Matthew 8:28-29 ESV

The demons understood that the mission of Yeshua was to destroy them. Notice the final words in this verse: "the time." It is presumably the time of judgment at the consummation of the ages. When does this judgment of the gods take place? The Psalmist and Paul connect it to the resurrection and ascension of Christ.

who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him. 1 Peter 3:22 ESV

Yeshua arose from the grave and ascended into heaven. He judged these gods. The Nations that Yahweh had given over to the gods are now being reclaimed by Yeshua, starting at Pentecost. Pentecost is the undoing of the scattering of the nations at Babel. Yeshua is victorious over the gods.

Now, you may be thinking that if the gods were judged by Yeshua in his resurrection and ascension, why does Paul tell the Ephesians thirty years after the resurrection and ascension that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood?

The victory of Christ over the gods was won at Calvary, but it was not consummated until the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Notice what Matthew writes.

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Matthew 24:29 ESV

"The stars" and "the powers of the heavens" are the same spiritual "cosmic powers" and "spiritual forces of evil" that Paul speaks of in Ephesians 6:12. We know that this is speaking of A.D. 70 and the destruction of Jerusalem. What began at Pentecost was completed in the holocaust of the A.D. 70 judgment on Jerusalem. Babel is reversed, and the nations are gathered and ruled by Yahweh.

In Hebrews 2:5, the author indirectly establishes the rulership of their (prior to A.D. 70) world by powerful angelic beings.

For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. Hebrews 2:5 ESV

By saying that God will not subject the "world to come" to the rule of angels, the author implies that their current world was being ruled by spirit entities. But that world ended in A.D. 70, and we now live in the "age to come." Satan and his demons have been defeated. The spiritual battle is over. Christ is victorious. Those gods who rebelled against Yahweh have been judged. And when the spiritual war ended so did much of the persecution that was coming against believers.

and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Yeshua who delivers us from the wrath to come. 1 Thessalonians 1:10 ESV

Not only did the Thessalonians not experience God's wrath against the Christ rejectors, but that very same wrath freed them from affliction. In other words, it freed them from the wrath of their opponents and ended the spiritual war. Believers, Yeshua has delivered us all from the wrath of God and the attacks of the gods.

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