2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 (NKJV), 7 “. . . when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power”.
Our Lord stated, as a positive fact, that his kingdom would be established without outward show. Luke 17:20 (NKJV), “Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, ‘The kingdom of God does not come with observation’”. Jesus’s coming, his presence, would be as a thief (1 Thessalonians 5:2). It would require close, attentive watching to apprehend and discern it. The texts of 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 cited as proof of an outward, visible manifestation are in highly figurative language?.
In Christ's day (the Millennial age), our Lord’s presence will be revealed to the world from his position of spiritual control (“heaven”), in the wrath and punishment upon evil and evildoers. It will be a consuming wrath, as indicated by the symbol, fire. The destruction will leave neither root nor branch of evil systems, error, oppression, or willful sinners. In its beginning – in this “harvest” period – this fire will burn very fiercely, consuming pride and evil. However, the process will not be accomplished in a moment, but will require a period of time. All the proud, and all evildoers who shall not conform to the laws of the new order, shall be burned up as stubble in that Millennial day. (These will die the second death. They will cease to exist.)
The prophet Zephaniah explains it is the symbolic fire of God’s jealousy. Zephaniah 3:8-9 (NKJV) 8 “‘Therefore wait for Me,’ says the LORD, ‘Until the day I rise up for plunder; My determination is to gather the nations. . . to pour on them My indignation, all My fierce anger; All the earth shall be devoured with the fire of My jealousy. 9 For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, That they all may call on the name of the LORD, to serve Him with one accord.’” After the fire of Armageddon, God will pour out His love so all may serve Him. Joel 2:28, “And it shall come to pass afterward (after Armageddon), that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh…” during the resurrection (John 5:28,29).
The “mighty angels,” messengers, or agents of his power, are various, and apply to agencies both animate and inanimate. The Lord shall use many different means to overthrow of the evil systems and to punish of evildoers.
“In power and great glory” means the world will mentally apprehend that the present evil order is dissolving. “…then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds (of consuming trouble) of heaven with power and great glory.” Matthew 24:30. Already, we see the clouds of trouble gathering and darkening. Great glory will be revealed as righteousness is finally established. Habakkuk 2:14 (RSV), “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”
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