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1 THESSALONIANS CHAPTERS 1 & 2

KJV    NAS

 

1The 1-1 -- No Entries

 

1The 1,2-8

(149h) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Authority of the rhema given to evangelism >> Preaching the gospel by the power of God – God’s purpose for us is to carry an anointing to show Jesus Christ to the world. Instead, though, a Roman king named Constantine in the third century (312 AD) carried a cross into battle and overcame all his enemies. Everything about that story is the exact opposite of God’s purpose for the Church: governmental powers controlling Christianity, killing people in the name of Christ and the birth of Catholicism. We should be carrying the anointing into all the world like Constantine carried the cross, but instead of Killing people in the name of Christ, we should be saving them. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the Church today doesn’t know the first thing about the anointing. Most people have heard the term anointing used in context of old covenant temple worship, as the high priest was anointed with oil before entering the Most Holy Place, but that was a symbol of things to come, and now that the new covenant is here, no one wants the Holy Spirit to anoint them, because though it is the most effective evangelism tool, it also invites persecution. Christians don’t understand that resisting the anointing emasculates the gospel (Gal 5-12). Paul in Galatians wrote about those who tried to get the saints to follow Jesus in the flesh, like His disciples did prior to Pentecost, instead of following Him in the spirit after Pentecost. Paul pounded grace into the Church and the law from it, yet the Church still hasn’t availed itself to the anointing. To renounce the anointing is tantamount to renouncing the grace of God, and what did Paul say in Gal 5-25? “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” See also: Catholicism (Disobedience of the Church); 1Tim 2,1-3; 10e

1The 1-2,3

(81j) Thy kingdom come >> Pray without ceasing >> For the Church – Paul began all his letters saying how much he prayed for the church. It didn’t just give the saints a good feeling knowing Paul was praying for them; they knew God was paying special attention to them because of Paul’s prayers. This is the power of prayer; we can direct God's attention! Whether He can do anything to help us in our circumstances is another thing, since He cannot violate man’s will. This is why praying for Christians is usually more fruitful than praying for unbelievers. In fact, this is the reason the Bible tells us to pray for the saints rather than the world, because God’s people are generally more open to the Lord’s prodding than unbelievers. Paul prayed for doors to open for him in avenues of ministry, but there is no indication that anyone in the Bible prayed for unbelievers. That doesn't mean we shouldn't, but it does mean our prayers are generally more fruitful when focused on the Church. Paul prayed for their “…work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope....” This is what Paul wanted for the Church, and it was also what the early church wanted. God was more easily able to answer prayer back then because the saints were all on the same page, working for the same cause and hoping God would be glorified in all things.

(100e) Thy kingdom come >> Diligence >> Diligence in the sight of God

(104f) Thy kingdom come >> Pure in heart shall see God >> Shall see the Father >> Being in the presence of God

(115k) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Through obedience of faith >> Through diligence

1The 1-3

(88f) Thy kingdom come >> Faith produces works >> The purpose of our works done in faith -- This verse goes with verse 8

(98d) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Rooted deeply >> Be steadfast in the work of the Lord

(101h) Thy kingdom come >> Ambition >> Be an ambitious businessman for God >> Managing God’s business – We have all heard the phrase “Labor of love”; it’s a biblical term. The Bible has deeply influenced society in America, being the book that was once used to teach children how to read. How we have fallen from grace! Paul wrote about faith apart from works, using Abraham who believed God before he was circumcised, proving that circumcision (works) is not how we find favor with God (see Romans chapter 4). He taught this because he didn’t want people to become legalistic in their approach to God, who does not save us based on our works but based on Jesus' work of faith on the cross that God the Father ordained for Him to do. He prepared a trail of good works that he calls us to walk after we are saved, yet walking on this trail does not save us. According to the epistle of James, Abraham believed God, and therefore he picked up his belongings and sojourned to a foreign land that he did not know. God saves us by faith of the same sort as Abraham, apart from works; nevertheless, Abraham obeyed the Lord, and His calling fundamentally changed his life in ways he would not have experienced apart from doing God’s will. Through Abraham's work of faith, God produced Isaac from His loins, who had Jacob, and whose offspring became the sons of Israel, which is not a nation in the Middle East but a people, whom God hath wrought by His own sovereign will. Had Abraham not obeyed the Lord, Israel would not have existed, and so there is such a thing as the work of faith that Paul iterated in this verse, and a labor of love is exemplar of this website. I started Jean's Bible Study in 1990 and expect to finish it by December, 2021, but God conceived it in my heart in 1981. Jeanie is my sister who died when she was nine; I was ten. Our calling is our burden, and our burden is a labor of love. Sometimes it gets in the way of life, and we must change our priorities to accommodate it. We get up in the morning, knowing that every day is another day closer to receiving the promise, the hope of rejoicing in paradise with the lover of our soul, who gave us eternal life that we might bring glory to the Father and make His heart glad. See also: Believing in Jesus is like the faith of Abraham; Heb 4-11; 6e

(121i) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Hope Based On Faithfulness >> Hope based on perseverance

(125ba) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Faith and love in equal measure

1The 1-4

(33m) Gift of God >> Believers are special to God >> We are beloved of God

(219c) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> The elect >> Man is a spectator of his own salvation >> God has chosen us – The concept of predestination comes up periodically in the Bible. Although Paul did say that God chose the specific people in the Thessalonian Church, yet the Thessalonians also had to make a choice before they could be Christians, and their choice completed God's choice of them. A distorted perspective on predestination is called Calvinism. Calvin was a man years ago who invented the idea that we are passive spectators of God’s will, and this is simply not true. Rather, God chooses us as we choose ourselves.

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1The 1,5-8

(122i) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Boldness in adverse circumstances >> Speak the truth in the face of adversity

1The 1-5,6

(132g) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Holy Spirit is in God’s people >> Filled with the Spirit >> Filled with the power of God

1The 1-5

(8e) Responsibility >> Prepare to Interact with God >> Prepare to meet Jesus by living a holy life 

(90a) Thy kingdom come >> God convicts us >> Conviction leads us in the way of righteousness – Being an evangelist is not a hobby; it is a way of life. In many respects being an evangelist was the highest position in the Church, but the pastor has the highest position in the Church today. The missionary who goes into the world and tries to reach lost souls for Christ returns with a report, and we pat him on the back and send him back into the field and basically forget about him until the next time he returns. We throw money at him to help finance his efforts, but all our concerns are at home. If the pastor conducted his ministry the way Paul did and was happy to expend himself for the sake of the elect, that would be fine, but most pastors make a pretty good living, and how can we really know their motives? Money does strange things to people; it tends to have a negative influence on their faith, corrupting the most faithful among us. Money has a way of distracting people’s attention from the gospel and drawing their attention to itself. People are more important than money, but that is not how most people act.

(102l) Thy kingdom come >> Faithfulness (Loyalty) >> Tried and true >> Faithfulness

(111b) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit and evangelism – The gospel needs to come not in word only but also in power and in the Holy Spirit with full conviction. Paul didn’t mention anything about signs, wonders and miracles. “Power… and full conviction” refers to the word of God making a thud in our heart when we hear it. Paul spoke by the Spirit of God; he didn’t lead his audience through the four steps of salvation; rather, the word of God was deeply rooted in his heart, so when he conveyed the gospel, he spoke from his innermost being, where God lives. The Holy Spirit was actually speaking through Paul, so when people heard the gospel, they were stricken by it, so that great numbers of people turned to the Lord. The Holy Spirit is the persuader of truth; we can preach the gospel, but if the Holy Spirit does not persuade them, how can they believe?

(143a) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Having a reputation for knowing God >> known for walking close to God -- This verse goes with verse 9

(235k) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> All things are for your sake >> We are fighting for you >> Our effort is for your sake – Paul said that the word of God spoken in the power of the Holy Spirit with full conviction is directly related to the character of those who speak it. The reputations of Paul and his friends were nearly flawless; their hearts were trained on God, and their dedication to fulfill their ministry was complete. There were very few things in Paul that were not a direct consequence of his faith. He had no interests outside of the gospel. Nothing made him happier than to see the saints walking in Jesus. He lived for the sake of those who would inherit eternal salvation. Keeping his reputation perfect both among the heathen and among the believers was paramount to him, so nobody could discredit his ministry. The importance he placed on the gospel far exceeded any importance he place on himself. He was happy to spend himself on the brethren.

(246f) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Demonstration of God’s kingdom >> God demonstrates His glory >> Demonstration of the Spirit – This verse goes along with another statement Paul made, “And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God” (1Cor 2,1-5). When Paul came to the Thessalonians with the gospel, it was not in word only but also in power with full conviction. It is one thing to know the truth, but it is another to be taught the truth by God Himself, as was the case with Paul, who imparted the truth into others through his ministry of evangelism. Obedience is called believing, but confidence comes from the Spirit by revelation, called faith. The demonstration of the Spirit goes far beyond words, though words are always involved; but if they are just words, we need to remember what Jesus said, “Be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near” (Lk 10-11). Without the Spirit it is mere flesh simulating the Kingdom of God. In short, we need both the revelation and the demonstration of His kingdom to effectively convey the gospel to the world.

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1The 1,6-8

(5f) Responsibility >> Discipleship tested >> God tests your faith through hardship

(44ka) Judgment >> Transformation process >> Fulfill your ministry in evangelism >> Fulfill your ministry through opposition – According to Paul, the Thessalonians were good evangelists, being pleased with their efforts in spreading the word. It was the only time Paul said to any church that they were faithful in sharing their faith with those around them in the world. Virtually everyone in the surrounding area knew the Church in Thessalonica loved and served the Lord.

(95i) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Having an obedient attitude >> Attitude of a servant

1The 1-6,7

(11o) Servant >> Example of God’s people >> The Church – It is one thing to do the will of God at our leisure in good times, but it is another to believe in Him amidst heated opposition. We think we are persecuted today, but when they received the word of God it was a costly decision they made with their lives. It is a life decision for us too, but for them it was a declaration that could have ended their lives. The lines were drawn before they committed themselves to the grace of God, suggesting they were highly devoted to their faith.

(44l) Judgment >> Transformation process >> Fulfill your ministry >> Make sacrifices

(71b) Authority >> Believer’s authority >> We have authority in the wisdom of God

(99a) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Enduring the will of God >> Enduring the word of God >> Endure obeying the word of God

(209d) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Righteous saved with difficulty >> Righteous saved with hardship >> Righteous saved with adversity

1The 1-6

(125c) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Joy >> The result of investing in the kingdom >> Investing in a life of adversity – With tribulation and persecution come the joy of the Holy Spirit; they seem to go hand-in-hand. In fact, Jesus said that if we are persecuted it is cause for joy that we have been counted worthy to suffer for His namesake.

(165h) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Hardship >> The hardship of persecution – There was persecution in the early church and lots of it; however, that didn’t stop the gospel but helped it. The persecutor refuses to believe the message it is persecuting, and he refuses to let others believe it without suffering, raising questions rather than stifling the gospel. It makes observers ask, ‘Why do they hate the gospel so much?’ Persecutors of the truth believe the gospel like those who preach it, or they wouldn’t persecute it, hence the subtlety between believing God and believing in Him. We could preach that someday all our pet cats will come together and take over the world, and we would probably not be persecuted, because it is unbelievable. The world doesn’t persecute the Church today for the same reason, because of its phony doctrines. The world considers the Church unbelievable like cats taking over the world, but if the Church united, we would then be a threat.

(227c) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of heaven >> God rewards us for obeying Him >> Fruit of the Spirit is its own reward

1The 1-7,8

(44k) Judgment >> Transformation process >> Fulfill your ministry in evangelism >> Complete your mission – The Thessalonians were evangelists, for wherever they went they preached the gospel. Back then the gospel spread like wildfire, and for that reason there were large persecutions. People were noticing that the Church was changing their world. The world itself wanted to change the world, and the Church was taking over this role. Now people could believe in God for everlasting life, which brought salvation to those who were courageous enough to believe it, along with persecution from the fact that the gospel was advancing faster than they could stop it and changing the world in ways that glorified God. This is Satan’s world, and unbelievers are his servants. Unbelievers were not about to stand by and let this happen without a fight, and so the world persecuted the Church in effort to take back their position as change agent of the world. See also: Church is like governments; Eph 2,19-22; 137m

1The 1-8

(86d) Thy kingdom come >> Belief demands a response

(88f) Thy kingdom come >> Faith produces works >> The purpose of our works done in faith -- This verse goes with verse 3

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1The 1-9,10

(126ka) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Patience >> Have patience for the return of Christ >> The spiritual return of Christ

(149b) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Three key messages in evangelism >> Repentance

(193d) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Repent >> Turn from your evil ways >> Turn from sin to God – Paul made a distinction between serving gods through idols and serving the living and true God through the Holy Spirit. Indirectly attempting to worship the true God of heaven is idolatry; that is, "indirectly" defines idolatry. He wants us directly worshipping Him, and the only way we can do that is to have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, who teaches us about God’s word, giving us wisdom, understanding and revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Idolatry is easy to commit; all it takes is an attempt to worship God "through" something that is not God, meaning the only legitimate worship of God is through the Holy Spirit, so that if we attempt to worship Him apart from the faith that He has given us, then we are committing idolatry. In other words, we worship God through a revelation of Jesus Christ. We do not worship our knowledge but the Spirit of our Father who dwells in us, who reveals the person of God in the image of Christ, who is the exact representation of the Father (Heb 1-3). Someone could whittle on a block of wood until a face emerged that he recognized, set the wood on a mantle and bow his knee to it, asking it for a good harvest, believing that somehow this would please God. Idolatry is based on paganism, superstition and pride, and it expects god to accept them. The Old Testament called it Baal worship. God hates idolatry for two reasons: (1) He did not ordain it, hence it is not based on obedience, and (2) behind every idol there is a demon, indicating that all forms of idolatry are the worship of demons, God’s nemeses. Idolatry therefore worships the opposite of God. See also: Idolatry; 1The 1-9; 195h / Mat 19,16-21; 205ka

1The 1-9

(107f) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing From God >> Truth of the trinity >> Father is truth

(143a) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Having a reputation for knowing God >> known for walking close to God -- This verse goes with verse 5

(195h) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Idolatry >> Worshipping other gods >> Worshipping other gods as a servant – Thessalonica was the idol capital of the world, the home of the great goddess Artemis. People came from all parts of the world to worship her and other gods and the spirit of the city. The two most common forms of idol worship in today’s world are religion and materialism. Some would say these are opposites, but it only appears that way. We worship the institutions of religion, building giant shrines that we call churches, and we try to worship God in them and through them, using our liturgy and ceremonies without any requirement of knowing God. Case in point, Catholicism is based on superstition and paganism, being that Rome was paganistic at the time it was envisaged; they integrated Christianity into their paganism, and it has remained to this day. They perform certain ceremonies claiming they are stirring the spiritual realm, such as the Holy Eucharist, where at the blessing of the priest the bread and wine miraculously transform into the body and blood of Christ. They conduct their ceremonies assuming they are affecting the spiritual realm, when in fact they are merely evoking demons. This shows the importance of directly worshipping God. It is imperative to every true believer in Jesus that to successfully worship God we must know Him. Pagans, though, even sincere in their reverence, cannot rise above praying to pieces of wood, stone and metal. This is the offense of idolatry: God made man in His image, and for this reason He expects man to worship Him directly, and if we don’t, then God does not accept our worship. Instead, the idolater takes on the image of his idol, becoming less than human, less even than an animal; the idolater has aligned himself with the inanimate material of his idol and with the demon hiding behind it. See also: Idolatry; 1The 1-9,10; 193d

1The 1-10

(29d) Gift of God >> God is our advocate >> Delivered from adversity – First and Second Thessalonians are two of the most important epistles of the New Testament regarding endtime prophecy. This happens to be one of the verses that people often quote to defend their pre-tribulation Rapture theories, teaching that God comes for His church prior to the tribulation, the Rapture being a form of deliverance. Paul was talking about the wrath of God.

(39a) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death >> Resurrection of Jesus Christ

(83i) Thy kingdom come >> Jesus intercedes for us >> He prepares us to meet the Father

(84b) Thy kingdom come >> Be on the alert >> Remain on duty >> Keep watch – Paul told the Thessalonians to wait for His Son from heaven, and John said that He was coming quickly. "Soon” is a relative term (Rev 1,1-3). With God, soon apparently meant 2000 years, but with man it represented many generations after Paul died. Satan will score many martyrs during the Tribulation, and God will rescue His Church from total annihilation, and He will not involve His people in the coming wrath that He will intend for the world for martyring His people. Paul encouraged the Thessalonians to stay on the alert because Jesus might come at any time; this was Jesus' message. Did He mislead us, saying He could return at any time, when in fact He wouldn’t return for thousands of years? No, in fact He admitted that not even He knew when He would return. Jesus was very adamant about not discussing times or epochs. Divulging times of future events was strictly off-limits for good reason. Had God told us there would be a 2000-year lag between His first and second coming, we would have annihilated ourselves before the time with the help of Satan. Giving us knowledge about time, we would have used it as an opportunity for the flesh. Therefore, it is important that the Church remain on the alert, for we do not know the day or the hour.

(237d) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The Church is transferred to the kingdom >> The rapture >> Receiving the kingdom in God’s time

 

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1 THESSALONIANS CHAPTER 2

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1The 2,1-13

(148j) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Obligation to preach the gospel >> Preach even if it hurts -- These verses go with verse 16. Paul begins talking about the environment in which He preaches the gospel of Christ, that of intense hostility. Both Jew and gentile have their separate motives for hating the gospel; it makes demands of change on them, which is offensive to most people. God doesn’t want to merely tweak our behavior, but wants to completely renovate our way of life and worldview, leaving nothing unturned and untouched. The early apostles were not about to be taught by unbelievers how they should conduct themselves in the world.

(152c) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Apostles >> Investment of their lives proves apostleship

1The 2,1-12

(14a) Servant >> Servants of God’s word – Paul was sent by God to preach the gospel to the Thessalonians. He didn’t read anywhere in the Bible what to do or where to go, yet without the Scriptures he wouldn't have known any part of God’s will, which "spills over" as we study the Scriptures, with the Holy Spirit gaining greater control and freedom in our lives to reveal God's specific will to us. The more we do what we know, the more we know what to do. The more of God’s heart we imitate, the more of God’s mind we understand. It works like a snowball effect: mass builds momentum which in turn builds mass.

(44ka) Judgment >> Transformation process >> Fulfill your ministry in evangelism >> Fulfill your ministry through opposition – Paul did not tailor his manner of speaking to fit people’s hunger for entertainment, nor was he looking for the approval of men. Instead, he preached the gospel in a way that he got all these things from God. If they did not receive his gospel, he would move to the next town, but he would not change his style of preaching. He would not have abandoned the will of God or resorted to a means other than the one God showed him. In contrast, we today pick a strategy that works best for us in disregard of God's will. We try to entertain people into the kingdom with our dramatizations, plays and pageants, etc. After we have rejected the Holy Spirit from ruling over us, what other choices do we have? God had Paul on a course that was highly productive; he established many churches that totaled thousands of saints without entertaining a soul, because he listened to the Holy Spirit.

1The 2,1-6

(7d) Responsibility >> Protecting the gospel >> Defend the word by preaching it – As a rule, the more it cost the apostles to preach the gospel, the more it bore fruit. It piques the curiosity when people believes in something strongly as Paul and his friends did. They had been mistreated in Philippi, and instead of giving up and quitting they went right on preaching in Thessalonica. They didn’t cower under their enemies, but their mistreatment emboldened them to preach all the more. It showed their enemies they were ineffective in silencing the message. Those persecuting them were doing as much to spread the message as the preachers. To witness a man risk everything just to tell others about the love of God immeasurably empowered the gospel as perhaps the greatest act of love the Thessalonians had ever seen, so naturally many people took notice, believed and were saved. The Thessalonians were by no means ignorant of Paul’s suffering in Philippi; Paul had the boldness in his God to come to Thessalonica, and it demoralized his opponents who were persecuting him. It made them realize there was virtually nothing they could do to stop the gospel, only to advance it. That is, to stop persecuting Paul and his companions would have negatively impacted the gospel perhaps more than anything else they could have done to it, yet not persecuting it would have let it flourish without constraint, so either way the gospel was unstoppable. We would think the people persecuting Paul from town to town would at some point stopped and wondered why he so strongly believed his message, but their hearts were hardened beyond repair.

(233k) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the glory of God >> Seek His glory without wavering >> Seek His glory through hardship

1The 2-1,2

(100b) Thy kingdom come >> Perseverance >> Persevere in preaching the gospel

(122i) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Boldness in adverse circumstances >> Speak the truth in the face of adversity

(188c) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Suffering >> Growing pains >> Growing outwardly -- These verses go with verses 14-16

(209h) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Righteous saved with difficulty >> Fulfill your calling with difficulty -- These verses go with verses 14-16

(239b) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Teachers >> Teachers "remind" their students >> Recalling the circumstances -- These verses go with verses 9-11

(242c) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Persecuting God >> Persecuting the word of God -- These verses go with verses 14-16. 

1The 2-1

(170k) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance >> Vanity >> Vain effort >> Effort frustrated by failure

1The 2,2-6

(11l) Servant >> Paul’s example of ministry – There are many good pastors and evangelists out there doing a fine work for Christ, yet it seems the bigger the preacher the less integrity they have and pure motives. It is a strange bird who can become popular and it not go straight to his head. Paul was well known in his day (to say he was popular might be stretching it), yet it never went to his head, simply because he never appealed to the people as a celebrity, and they accordingly never considered him one. That is, celebrities are just that because they appeal to the public as such. They want to be popular and hold worship status with the people to bolster their egos, but they always have an option to simply be well-known. It is okay to be a well-known pastor or evangelist, but it is not okay to be a Christian celebrity. See also: Pastors; 1The 2,3-12; 75b

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1The 2,3-13

(3m) Responsibility >> Parents for their children >> Paul feels responsible for those he brings to the faith

(78f) Thy kingdom come >> Sincerity >> Embracing your first love >> Single devotion – Paul worked night and day to establish the Church in the faith. He wasn’t a man to go on vacation, but was completely devoted to his cause. His number one goal was to be an example to the brethren, that they should know how they should live as Christians. Also he knew that after him, savage wolves would “come in among them not sparing the flock and draw away the disciple after them” (Act 20-29).

(102k) Thy kingdom come >> Loyalty (Faithfulness) >> Tried and true >> Loyal – Paul had no hidden agendas or double life; he had no collection of masks, though he tailored his preaching after his audience (1Cor 9-22). He simply wanted to please God, and he listened to the Holy Spirit and did whatever He said, knowing it would get him further ahead in his spiritual walk with God than anything he might conceptualize in the flesh. All he wanted was the opportunity to tell people about Jesus. He needed money and resources to conduct his ministry but did not focus on that. God made sure those things were always provided, so he never had to beg anyone for anything. He simply made people aware of his needs, and the Church reached into their pockets and gave whatever was needed, because they believed in God and in the direction of Paul's ministry being on course with God.

(142h) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Reputation exposed to slander >> Protect your reputation

1The 2,3-12

(75b) Thy kingdom come >> Motives of the heart >> Good motives for doing the will of God – When we compare Paul’s statements with churches these days, some of the motives that people have for being a pastor often have to do with money and a career choice. Obviously there are many godly pastors who have genuine hearts and a sincere faith, who want nothing more than to advance the Kingdom of God in their communities and mature the saints under them. They do this by sharing their faith and shepherding God's people, protecting them from wolves, and modeling the Christian life. They can’t help but effect positive change and promote godly principles, but when pastors enter the ministry for monetary reasons, they are incapable of effecting positive spiritual change in anybody, because their motives are wrong. They will never take the time in their personal lives to develop a relationship with Jesus, and will therefore be unable to lead anybody in that direction, because for them Christianity is about money and prestige. Paul is saying that he did not choose to be a minister of the gospel but that God chose him, and we know about his manner of conversion in the book of Acts when he encountered Christ on the road to Damascus. At that moment Christ made Paul His minister of the gospel. If a person decides on his own to be a pastor, most likely he will not accomplish much of anything, but if God has called him to the ministry, he can’t help but effect change in his community and among the people allotted to his care. See also: Pastors; 1The 2-4; 212g

(240c) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Pastor (Shepherd) >> Paul had a shepherd’s heart

1The 2,3-6

(21i) Sin >> Premeditated sin >> Intending to abuse the grace of God

(22a) Sin >> Greed tries to satisfy man’s need for security >> The deception of greed

(77e) Thy kingdom come >> Humility >> Refusing the glory of man >> Refusing to be exalted by men

(85d) Thy kingdom come >> Words that are spoken in faith >> Powerful when spoken by the Spirit >> The spoken word of God -- These verses go with verse 13. Paul and the early apostles did not bother with some of the deceptive practices that some people in our generation employ to communicate the gospel, such as street mimes and Christian pageants in effort to attract an audience. They did not use any ploys or props, and they did not trick anyone into believing in Jesus, not even for their own good, but they simply preached the gospel in a straight forward manner, and they left the bells and whistles to those whose faith is substandard to the calling and purpose of God.

(92j) Thy kingdom come >> The narrow way connects you to God >> It demonstrates your faith in Him

1The 2-3,4

(110d) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit speaks through His ministry in us -- These verses go with verse 13

(138j) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Exhortation >> Exhorting the people to remain true to the Lord -- These verses go with verses 11&12

(182j) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Being deceptive with people >> Telling the truth with an evil motive

1The 2-3

(134i) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Sins of the body >> Immorality >> Adultery >> Spiritual adultery

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1The 2,4-13

(81a) Thy kingdom come >> Prayer >> The priesthood >> We are a type of Jesus’ priesthood

1The 2-4,5

(71h) Authority >> Ordained by God >> Ordained by His sovereign will >> God chooses to work in you – This is a short list of traits that cult leaders like to employ in their ministries: flattering speech, a pretext for greed and seeking the glory of men. They do this in effort to captivate the people, holding them in bondage and plundering them of their wealth. When we see these things in people behind the pulpit, we know to run, for they have ulterior motives for everything they do. In contrast, Paul wasn’t in it for himself but was a watchdog of the Church, protecting the saints from this kind of people. Paul only cared about serving Christ, seeing the Church grow numerically and spiritually, and seeing the people mature in the faith. People trusted him with their lives. It takes someone who has proven motives not just to do the will of God but also to endure His will. There are consequences in the world for doing God's will, and if they are willing to endure those consequences, these become the brand marks of Jesus (Gal 6-17). For Paul his brand marks were scars left by whippings he received for preaching Jesus in a world that hates God. This became his certification as a genuine apostle, both the number of churches he established and the number of stripes on his back. This is what it takes to build a church: a level of commitment that transcends any human interest or desire, a God-given dedication to the grace of God, driven by the Holy Spirit with a compulsion to do His will, and seeing it to the end. This is also what it takes to be a genuine Christian, to love God, living in a world that hates Him and serving Him in spite of what people say and to spite them.

(105d) Thy kingdom come >> Pure in heart >> Secrets of His heart are disclosed

1The 2-4

(45h) Judgment >> Judgment of believer’s sin >> God will judge us if we don’t heed His word – God ordained Paul to become a minister of the gospel, and He sent Paul on a straight and narrow path, and commanded him to do the good works that He had prepared for him, and so Paul preached the gospel of the kingdom throughout the known world. In the process of fulfilling God’s plan and purpose for his life, Paul received God’s approval, not as pleasing men but God who examined his heart. When Paul administered the gospel, he preached as it were to God Himself, because He was the one who judged him; he did not preach to men in hope of receiving their approval.

(69i) Authority >> Righteous judgment (Outcome of Discernment) >> Judging the flesh by the Spirit

(212g) Sovereignty >> God is infinite >> God is all knowing >> Nothing hidden >> God knows your heart – Believing in Jesus’ blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin is not the same as fulfilling His calling; these are two separate things. Some people want to become preachers, and so they go to seminary school and come home with a degree that earns them a pulpit in a church, and everyone assumes that God approves of him, but Paul became a minister of the gospel in just the opposite fashion; instead of seeking to become a minister of the gospel, God sought him and pushed him into service, according to God’s predetermined plan. God appointed him, not as those who appoint themselves (Mat 23-2), who often wrestle in a small or a large way whether God is appointing them or whether they are merely appointing themselves. Some people get saved and get very excited about their faith; they love God with all their heart, and it draws them to the conclusion that they should become pastors. What does that say about the Church? If someone loves God, the only existing ministry is the pastoral position. Again, what does that say about the people sitting in the pews; don't they love God? Pastors are required to be ordained by men; they receive diplomas and are patted on the back and sent on their way. God knows the pastor’s heart, but does the pastor know his own heart? Most people don’t do a lot of soul searching; some do a lot of it and get lost in it until they don’t know how they really feel anymore. They lose touch with their real thoughts and can no longer discriminate between what they are imagining and what God is calling them to do, and so it is always better to seek God than to search our own heart, and we do that by becoming a student of God's word and a disciple of prayer. He promises that if we seek Him, we will find Him and His purpose. There are many people who want to know their calling from God, and they never find it and eventually give up. For them, whether they inadvertently fulfill their calling is immaterial; it is the fact that they don’t know His calling that is at issue. It is just as important to know our calling as it is to fulfill it, because without knowing it we cannot be confident in what we are doing. In our confidence we become proficient, for we cannot very well serve the Lord if we don’t know what He wants us to do. This is a struggle with so many Christians. They study the Bible and pray, but they have set the standard of study and prayer, fifteen minutes here, fifteen minutes there, and they received a calling of the same standard and attribute doing their own will to Him. See also: Pastors; 1The 2,7-12; 33g / Calling (knowing His will); Mk 6-37; 4f

1The 2,5-13

(72l) Authority >> Hierarchy of authority >> Authority makes you accountable >> Parents are responsible for their children – Paul was a man of compassion, which is a word that describes a mother with her children. This was the metaphor that he used to describe his true feelings about the brethren in Thessalonica. He felt they were his own, born of God through his ministry; therefore, he felt both privileged and responsible for them. He had a fond affection for them and built strong bonds with them, much more than with a church of another man’s ministry. His affection compelled him to impart not only the gospel, but also his own heart, and he was willing to sacrifice his life for their spiritual health and well-being. He used all his strength and energy and time and resources to edify them, because they had become very dear to him, his deep love attempting to communicate God’s love, though His love is far greater than anyone could communicate.

(123c) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Compassion >> Compassion is the emotion of the Spirit

1The 2-5

(155h) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Witness of the believer >> The Father bears witness of the believer -- This verse goes with verse 10

1The 2,7-14

(7h) Responsibility >> Defend God’s cause >> Protecting the Church – See Ephesians 4,11-16 for commentary.

(92m) Thy kingdom come >> The narrow way >> Walk it for the sake of your brother

1The 2,7-13

(30f) Gift of God >> God is our Father >> Favor with God through His word

(123l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Being in love with the body of Christ >> Affection of Christ

(234d) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the glory of God >> Seeking the glory of the body of Christ

(234h) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Sold out >> Placing no boundaries on your commitment to God >> Going to any extreme to fulfill the will of God

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1The 2,7-12

(11m) Servant >> Paul’s example of love for the Church – The trait that made Paul’s ministry so effective was his deep sincerity. He honestly cared about people. He only wanted what was best for them and was literally willing to go to the ends of the earth to tell them about Jesus. This is another side of Paul that God used to weed out the wolves who wanted to lead the Church astray. A false apostle (or pastor) would have to fake loving the people with an emotional kind of motherly affection, which would be very difficult for a heartless pathological liar to imitate, whose motives are based on selfish gain.

(33g) Gift of God >> God is our Father >> Children need a Father to care for them – Paul greatly suffered to bring the gospel to the world, but when it came to actually delivering the message, it always helped to be nice to him. He would have delivered the gospel message anyway, but he was more effective when the people treated him well, and this is always the case of every pastor with his congregation. God has called every pastor to minister with a shepherd’s heart, and so he will preach the gospel regardless how he is treated, but if the congregation treats him well, he can perform his job that much better. He will open his mouth and the word of God will float from his lips. Not every church is good to their pastor, usually because of doctrinal issues, but if they want the word to flow from him, people would benefit if they determined to be a blessing to him. See also: Pastors; 96c

(36m) Gift of God >> Adopted >> We are adopted in the flesh

(41l) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Be like Jesus >> Blameless before God >> Prepare to enter His presence – Paul is both a father and a mother to the believers at Thessalonica, according to verse 11. He was a mother of compassion and a father who taught his children the principles of faith and love with a sincere heart. He had the end goal of matching God’s expectations as to how they should walk, in a manner worthy of the one who calls them into His own kingdom and glory. The parents’ goal is to prepare their children for the world, so Paul’s goal was to prepare the Thessalonians for the Kingdom of Heaven and the day they would meet God for the first time, for to fall short of His expectations would be devastating. Paul was shooting for his children to hear the words from their heavenly Father, ‘Well done good and faithful slaves, enter into your master’s glory’ (Mat 25-23). These are the words we all want to hear. We want His favor and are willing to sacrifice our entire lives just to hear those words, not just to be saved but also to be pleasing to Him.

(96c) Thy kingdom come >> Positive attitude toward God >> Good attitude about the word of God – The relationship that Paul developed with the Thessalonians grew very strong and intimate, because they were willing to receive from him without complaint, and the arguments that did arise were manageable and easily resolved. Thus, the gospel grew in their hearts for the love of God and respect of Paul and their willingness to respond in the proper way as saints toward their pastor. The Thessalonians were some of the most mature Christians of all the epistles that Paul wrote; he had very little negative to say about them. Had they lacked maturity, Paul would have addressed it, as he did in all his letters to other churches. See also: Pastors; 1The 2-7,8; 128f

1The 2-7,8

(128f) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Gentleness >> Be gentle in all your ways >> Be gentle toward one another – It is a medical fact that when a mother nurses her infant, if the child will lay in her bosom and suckle affectionately, she will give more milk than if the baby is irritable and fussy. This causes stress to the mother and shuts off her mammary glands. The same is true with the congregation and their pastor; if they will settle down and open their hearts, he will deliver to them more than if they become irritable and fussy. Moreover, just as the child lies in her mother’s breast and quietly suckles, they will build a relationship, but the fussy baby is neither fed nor happy. The relationship does not grow under those conditions, nor does the relationship form between pastor and congregation if the people unduly criticize him. See also: Pastors; 1The 2,2-6; 11l

1The 2-7

(123i) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Being in love with the body of Christ >> Emotional situations -- This verse goes with verse 18. Paul had a deep compassion for the Church, not only in Thessalonica, but also for all the Churches he helped establish. He mirrored how God feels about His own people. The Bible says that God loves the world, even in its depravity and earnestly wishes to pull them from their sin and establish them in Christ.

1The 2,8-12

(100d) Thy kingdom come >> Diligence >> Diligence in your service to others

(101h) Thy kingdom come >> Ambition >> Be an ambitious businessman for God >> Managing God’s business

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1The 2,8-10

(165k) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Hardship >> Struggles of this life

1The 2-8

(187b) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man>> Die to the flesh >> The ministry of dying to self >> Die to self to minister to people >> Die to self to encourage the strong

1The 2,9-12

(62f) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Being clever >> Lure in your prey

(63d) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Righteous deception >> Church deceive each other

(89f) Thy kingdom come >> Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom >> Deeds of wisdom

(235k) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> All things are for your sake >> We are fighting for you >> Our effort is for your sake

1The 2,9-11

(239b) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Teachers >> Teachers "remind" their students >> Recalling the circumstances -- These verses go with verses 1&2

1The 2-9,10

(2j) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God >> get out of His way >> Do not touch the apple of His eye >> Take advantage of no one

1The 2-10

(42b) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Be like Jesus >> Blameless before men

(104f) Thy kingdom come >> Pure in heart shall see God >> Shall see the Father >> Being in the presence of God

(155h) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Witness of the believer >> The Father bears witness of the believer -- This verse goes with verse 5

1The 2-11,12

(71e) Authority >> Ordained by God >> Worthiness of man >> Perfecting the worthiness He has given us

(91g) Thy kingdom come >> The called >> Walking along the narrow way >> Responding to the call of God

(138j) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Exhortation >> Exhorting the people to remain true to the Lord -- These verses go with verses 3&4

(139c) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Encouragement >> Urging the disciples to continue in the faith

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1The 2-13

(79i) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word >> Practice listening to God’s word >> The word you heard perfects God’s work in you Paul wanted his letter to the Colossians to be read to a handful of churches (Col 4-16); so does that mean he was unaware that he was writing the word of God and that it would survive these two millennia? He knew it was the word of God, but he could not have known just how long it needed to survive, since he expected Jesus to return in His own lifetime. Paul wrote more than just words or merely his opinion but life-changing truth. The Holy Spirit followed Paul as Paul followed the Holy Spirit, confirming His word through signs, wonders and miracles and through strong conviction, so that many who heard became Christians and followed the Lord Jesus through Paul’s ministry. Without the Holy Spirit Paul would have been ineffective. What God reveals to us is something more than our own opinion. The revelation of Jesus Christ stands alone in our heart as the one influence that has affected us to the point of changing our identity, even as it changed Saul into Paul.

(81g) Thy kingdom come >> Pray without ceasing >> Study the word through continuous prayer

(85d) Thy kingdom come >> Words that are spoken in faith >> Powerful when spoken by the Spirit >> The spoken word of God -- This verse goes with verses 3-6

(86j) Thy kingdom come >> Obedience >> Be doers of the word >> Clothe yourself with the word of God >> Walk the truth

(106j) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> Means of hearing from God >> Through the Bible

(107c) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> Word of God creates faith

(109e) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Revelation of the word of God >> Revelation of the meaning of God’s word

(109i) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit the teacher >> Spirit trains us to be like Jesus

(110d) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit speaks through His ministry in us -- This verse goes with verses 3&4

(111k) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Living and active word of God

(229a) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Kingdom grows by itself >> Growing In Numbers Corresponds With Spiritual Growth >> Kingdom slowly spreads and overtakes darkness – When the early apostles heard the word of God coming from Paul, a former blasphemer of the Church, they could not afford to throw him away or dismiss him, but he became a true treasure to the Church, who needed Paul to grow and further establish the faith. The early apostles were working for God, not for themselves; they weren’t protecting their place in the ministry from those who wanted to replace them. Paul became lead apostle and replaced no one; instead, the ministry grew to accommodate him. The world needed Jesus and still does, and the early church was determined to bring the gospel to the people of their day, so when they saw that God had chosen Paul to help carry the torch of God’s word they immediately recognized him as a valuable asset to the Church and gave him apostleship status, and sent him as a missionary to the nations where he took the gospel and helped enlightened the world with the truth of Jesus Christ.

(230e) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Partaking of the power of God >> Partaking of the word of God

(239d) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Teachers >> Teachable students >> The teachable submit to the word

1The 2,14-18

(146f) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Deliverance from demon possession >> Casting out violent demons

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1The 2,14-16

(17a) Sin >> Continuing in sin to avoid the light >> Man hates God

(18b) Sin >> Unrighteous judgment >> Condemning God’s people

(21k) Sin >> Premeditated murder – Paul is virtually equating his experience of Christianity with persecution, saying that in a world like this if we are not persecuted for our faith, then maybe we don't believe, since the Bible promises that those who believe in Jesus Christ will be persecuted (2Tim 3-12). There are various levels of persecution. On one end of the spectrum we have silent persecution, which is perhaps the most effective form of hindering Christianity. On the other end of the spectrum we have martyrdom, which is ironically least effective in silencing Christianity in that it does more to propagate the faith. Satanic activity is always involved in martyrdom by evidence that it rests on the principle of death and destruction, which are a couple of Satan's names, and they produce the opposite effect of their intent. See also: Persecution (It causes the Church to flourish); Act 28-22; 242h

(24i) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Jews are envious of the gospel – The word “Jew” is somewhat misunderstood. Anybody who was Hebrew was a son of Abraham, so they sought a word to denote this and settled on the word “Jew.” If a person originated from any one of the twelve tribes of Israel, then he was a Jew, referring to the largest province of Israel, Judah. The Jews were not about to let Paul preach the gospel in their world, though there are many things wrong with this idea. First, this is not their world. Second, the gospel was primarily meant for the Jews, but they rejected it. Finally, they did not have a right to decide for others not to hear the gospel and be saved. Paul was not about to give into them, no matter how often they beat him for their unwarranted hatred, based on jealousy, having roots in satanic deception, being the cause of resisting the gospel in the first place. They were steeped in demonic deception and oppression and were unwilling to seek freedom from it, having incentive to defect from the faith delivered to them by their own Messiah being leaders of a religious sect, called Judaism. So they had incentive for believing contrary to the gospel; the Jews tried to silence the gospel so it didn’t conflict with their business of religion. The Jews actually believed in what they taught, which put the capstone on their deceptions, being self-deceived and thus unreachable. See also: Disobedience of the Jews; 49e / Israel judged for rejecting the gospel, not for crucifying their Messiah; Act 13-46; 179j

(25g) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Killing Jesus – Everything Satan does blows up in his face, like the schemes of Wile E. Coyote that he concocted against his nemesis in the cartoon, Roadrunner. For example, Satan crucified our Lord and inadvertently released upon himself the judgment of God, and opened up for us God's mercy and grace through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. The devil's actions had the opposite effect of his intent. Anyone who serves him is ultimately doomed to the same failure.

(40m) Judgment >> God is glorified >> God defends His righteous ones through judgment

(48g) Judgment >> Levels of judgment >> Judged according to your standard of measure

(49e) Judgment >> Enemies of God’s church are destroyed – Israel's religious leaders considered themselves keepers of the truth, though they showed no regard for the truth, being why it deformed over the centuries. The chief priests, who were the leaders of Israel, and the Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees only cared about money, prestige and power. All Israel depended on them for an accurate interpretation of Scripture, yet they always contradicted their prophets, murdering most of them throughout their bloody history. For example, Jesus could not show his face in public in fear of the Jews (the Pharisees) who sought to have Him killed, because He was disrupting their business of religion, persuading the people to follow Him instead of those in charge of Israel's belief system, which was completely and utterly flawed. For the same reason the Jews also hindered Paul from speaking to the gentiles that they might be saved, but the Jews did not get away with trading the truth for personal gain, “they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost.” Their actions resulted in losing their place and their nation. How valuable is the truth? Without it we have nowhere to live! God created a world that will crumble if we despise His truth. See also: Disobedience of the Jews; 186i

(64d) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Limits of God >> God cannot help but judge sin

(64k) Paradox >> Anomalies >> God helps Satan >> God’s judgments accomplish the devil’s will

(81i) Thy kingdom come >> Pray without ceasing >> Sinning from a lack of prayer

(98m) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Endurance invites the Holy Spirit into your life >> Endurance invites the judgment of God

(186i) Works of the devil >> The result of lawlessness >> The reprobate >> Man’s role in becoming a reprobate >> Having a perverted sense of justice – Throughout the centuries the Jews changed their understanding of God to a concept of their own making, degrading the intent of the Scriptures to it serving them instead of them serving God. What they believed didn’t even resemble the word of God, not even in Jesus day. If we can hold the Old Testament in our hands, then it was available to them too, erasing any excuse for rejecting the truth, having every opportunity to embrace it. The Scribes and Pharisees were experts in the Scriptures; many of them could recite the ancient manuscripts verbatim, but their interpretation of it was utterly skewed; thus, they failed to understand what any of it meant. Misinterpretation occurs gradually throughout the generations through motives of self-interest, which for them ended in a lucid directive to nail their own Messiah to a cross, and for the Church in the last days it will end in being ill-prepared for the fulfillment of endtime prophecy. Their theology has continued to mutate over the last two millennia, called Judaism. They made up their own ideas, putting their stamp of approval on it, and then believed it as though it were truth from God. This kind of mentality is common among all religions and denominations of the world. People are either unable or unwilling to monitor their own thought process. Our minds are always searching for new ways of looking at things, and these outlooks often lead to false logic and wrong conclusions, and ultimately to building entire mindsets based purely on delusion with the result that the Jews completely lost touch with themselves and with what they believe. See also: Disobedience of the Jews; 242c

(188c) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Suffering >> Growing pains >> Growing outwardly -- These verses go with verses 1&2

(209h) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Righteous saved with difficulty >> Fulfill your calling with difficulty -- These verses go with verses 1&2

(211c) Salvation >> Jews and gentiles are being saved >> Gentiles included >> Gentiles steal the kingdom from Israel through obedience

(242c) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Persecuting God >> Persecuting the word of God -- These verses go with verses 1&2. The more they persecuted the gospel, the faster it spread and more the gentiles believed it. When people witnessed Paul accepting so much ill-treatment from his own countrymen for the sake of preaching the gospel, it got their attention and communicated a commitment to the truth that the people had never seen, which worked as evidence that Paul was preaching the truth. Therefore, the gentiles clamored to hear the gospel the more Paul was persecuted. Persecution is ironically a motivator for evangelists to continue preaching, because it literally proves their message. The Jews were faithful in proving God true, though themselves liars (Rom 3-4). See also: Disobedience of the Jews; 1The 2-14,15; 242a

1The 2-14,15

(210c) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Jesus is our sacrifice >> God used sinners to sacrifice His son

(241h) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Persecution to the death >> Kill Jesus >> Kill Jesus because of who He is

(242a) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Persecution to the death >> Killing God’s prophets – When Paul said that the Jews killed the prophets, he wasn’t talking about the most recent prophets of his day, i.e. John the Baptist. Rather, he was talking about the prophets of old, such as Jeremiah and Ezekiel… the vast majority of them were killed defending God’s truth. Paul was saying that those who martyred them were Jews. See also: Disobedience of the Jews; 1The 2-18; 164j

1The 2-14

(11o) Servant >> Example of God’s people >> The Church

(99f) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Enduring our circumstances Caused by other people

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1The 2-16

(148j) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Obligation to preach the gospel >> Preach even if it hurts -- This verse goes with verses 1-13

1The 2-17,18

(24e) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Waiting creates anxiety

(76k) Thy kingdom come >> Desires of your heart >> Desiring to be among the people of God

(160f) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Led by the devil into the wilderness – Paul blamed the devil for the separation between he and the Thessalonian Church; he wanted to come and see them, but something got in the way. Paul was always getting himself in trouble; people didn’t like him, because he was changing the world in ways the world did not appreciate and in ways the devil did not accept. The Church did not ask the world’s permission to exist but exists by the power of God. The world has no authority to tell the Church that it cannot exist, though there will be a man come in the last days who will try to exterminate the Church, but he will fail, and so will the world, for the essence of the Church resides in an inaccessible realm. God created the Church just as he created Israel, and He has determined that they should exist, and no one can overrule His order. Case in point, all they could do was throw Paul in prison to keep him from preaching the gospel. Saving souls, converting people to Christianity and developing whole communities of saints, who themselves were changing the world, the Church was making the world a better place. As Christianity continued, the world was dismantled; governing officials lost their places, and certain businesses, such as those that made idols, went bankrupt (Act 19,24-27). The world doesn’t like change in the direction of God’s will; it doesn’t want anything to do with God. He is the object of their hatred and rebellion, as is Satan’s hatred and rebellion, who is the ruler of the world.

1The 2-17

(6i) Responsibility >> Spiritual >> Ministering to people in the Spirit -- A person could go too far and say that Paul had out of the body experiences, when he said, "I was bereft of you -in person, not in spirit." However, I don’t think Paul was speaking totally symbolically either; so again, the truth is somewhere in the middle. The Holy Spirit, who unites believers engages the brethren in a type of spiritual communion, regardless of their geographical proximity. It is up to the individual as to whether he/she is able to pick up on this spiritual union, depending on how in tune they are to the Holy Spirit. Being with them in spirit means that his heart was with them through his constant prayers for them.

(70b) Authority >> Righteous judgment (Outcome of discernment) >> Sensitivity To The Spirit – Paul was taken from the Thessalonians in person but not in spirit; we could say the same about Jesus; He was taken from us in person but not in Spirit. He ascended to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit in His place, and He dwells in every believer. The Holy Spirit is the exact representation of Christ, not a replica but literally Him in Sprit. What about Paul’s case who was not with them in person but in spirit, how literal did he mean that? Was Paul able to project his spirit to the Thessalonians? He said to the Corinthians: “For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit" (1Cor 5,3-5). What did Paul mean by that? He was not able to project himself, but since God is everywhere, the Holy Spirit revealed to Paul the things that were happening to the Thessalonians and to the Corinthians and to all the churches. God would tell Paul the things that were happening in their congregations, being sensitive to the spirit, so that when they were doing well, he would know it, and when they were doing poorly, he knew that too. Then also, he had messengers who came to him with information about the churches to confirm the things he felt in his spirit. God was able to speak to Paul about the churches, because the people were in his heart, so he knew how to pray for them. God is willing to speak to us only about the things that are in our heart; He cannot minister to us beyond that, because we are insensitive to them.

(134d) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Composition of our bodies is from the earth >> We are physically subject to this natural realm

1The 2-18

(61c) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> Author—Paul or John / Jesus

(123i) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Being in love with the body of Christ >> Emotional situations -- This verse goes with verse 7

(164j) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is at enmity with God >> The world hates the Church – Paul writes about the other side of the spirit realm regarding satanic activity. He was in prison while he wrote this epistle to the Thessalonians, so Satan thwarted Him from coming to the Thessalonian church by having him incarcerated, suggesting that his prison sentence was a direct result of Satan, though he often called himself the Lord’s prisoner. The Jews were involved in getting him thrown in prison, and they were followers of Satan. Whatever the Jews were teaching Israel back then was born of the devil, which is essentially what Judaism is today, twisted and satanic beyond any semblance of reason. See also: Disobedience of the Jews; 1The 2,14-16; 24i

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1The 2-19,20

(50b) Judgment >> God judges the world >> The second coming of Christ Paul made mention of the second coming of Christ; it was Paul’s great hope and it is our great hope, and it was the hope of every generation in-between. Paul was fully expecting Jesus to return in his own lifetime. He wrote extensively about His second coming in his letters to the Thessalonians perhaps more than any other church, perhaps because the Thessalonians were the most interested in the topic of His return. 

(104i) Thy kingdom come >> Pure in heart shall see God >> Shall see Jesus >> Being in the presence of Jesus

(125d) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Joy >> Joy is the result of investing in the kingdom >> Investing in a life of service

(226b) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of the Kingdom of Heaven >> Reserved in heaven >> God crowns us with glory for sharing our rewards >> The reward of a crown – The Thessalonians were Paul’s hope, joy and crown. They were his hope in that they were the product of his ministry; they were his joy in that they worshiped the same God he did; and they were his crown, which he will one day receive from the Lord for being a soul-winner. Each gem on his crown represents a saint whom he personally led to the Lord and discipled. However, rewards are shunned in the Church today for the most part, because Christians are earthbound in their thinking. They are unsure about their salvation, for if they were sure, they would have enough faith in reserve to "Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Mat 6-20,21). They don’t have enough faith to pursue the treasures of heaven since they are not entirely sure they are going there. This is a sad commentary on the Church today. Very few sermons focus on the rewards of heaven or even heaven itself, because people care only about this life. It is not a bad thing to enjoy this life, but we shouldn’t let it take precedence over our hope of eternal life. If the people of God had the kind of faith they ought to have, they would know they were going to heaven, which would lead them to pursue heavenly rewards. Paul was looking forward to receiving his crown one day for helping establish the Thessalonian Church and all the churches.

(234f) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the glory of God >> Seeking the fruit of the ministry

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