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1 THESSALONIANS CHAPTERS 3 & 4

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1The 3,1-11

(121a) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Content with your way of life >> Content in any circumstance

1The 3,1-7

(1j) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God >> Carrying a false burden >> Weighs you down as you walk in the flesh – Paul had the constant burden of the Church resting on his shoulders (2Cor 11-28). This burden was legitimate, until he became obsessed with it. He began thinking about all the work he put into the Church, and all the jail terms and beatings he received, and then envisioned everyone simply walking away from their faith after all he invested into them. Paul started seeing other visions, not sent from God, about all his labor turning to dust and began to panic, sending Timothy to investigate the spiritual health of the people, like John the Baptist sending for a word to confirm that Jesus was the Christ shortly before his execution. Paul was a man of faith, believing God could take care of his own church, but on occasion he had doubts, yet there is nowhere in Scripture indicating that God reprimanded Paul for this, rather commending him for his concern.

(20g) Sin >> Doubt is the consequence of the fear of death

1The 3,1-6

(14l) Servant >> Ministry of helps >> Helpers fill in the gaps >> Messengers help in communications – Without Timothy Paul would have struggled without any means of knowing how things were going with the Church. He needed to know if God’s people were growing in the Lord, not stuck in bitterness or some other trap of Satan. Although Timothy’s part was to communicate between Paul and the Church, perhaps his greatest accomplishment was to simply encourage Paul in his distress.

1The 3,1-5

(188c) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Suffering >> Growing pains >> Growing outwardly

(209h) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Righteous saved with difficulty >> Fulfill your calling with difficulty – In Act 9,10-19 God sent a man named Ananias to pray for Paul, but he had questions, asking God why He would select such a man to be His servant, a blasphemer and a persecutor of the Church. God told him, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name." What happened here does not necessarily correspond with the old saying, ‘what goes around comes around.’ That is, Paul was not being persecuted because he was once a persecutor of the Church. Rather, Paul was destined to suffer because he was bringing the gospel to the world. In other words, his suffering wasn’t the result of bad karma from the past; Jesus wasn’t getting even with him for persecuting His Church, making him go through the same sufferings that he inflicted upon the saints in his earlier days. Instead, Paul had the right mixture of traits and abilities that God wanted to harness for His own purposes, even before his conversion, though he was misguided. For instance, even while he persecuted the Church he had a clear conscience, in that he thought he was doing the right thing. Paul had prioritized and protected his conscience throughout his life, and by that criterion he served God, unlike many of his Pharisee colleagues, who defended their religion from the true faith. We could almost say that Paul didn’t have a religion in that he actually believed in what he was doing. He had a genuine faith in God, except that he was wrong in his thinking, indoctrinated from childhood. Jesus paid him a visit and turned him into one of his greatest evangelists this world has ever known, and for this reason he suffered, not because of what he did to the Church prior to his conversion, but because of his zeal; he brought the truth to a world that hates God and established Churches under the nose of Satan, who was helpless to do anything about it. Paul was perfectly aware of what was ahead of him. He didn’t walk blindly into affliction, but knew what was coming when he opened his mouth and breathed the word of God into the ears of his persecutors. See also: Paul the zealot; 1Cor 15,5-8; 144b

1The 3-1,2

(9h) Responsibility >> Strengthened by the sword of His Spirit >> Through His word

(107d) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> Word creates faith >> Believing the word creates faith -- These verses go with verse 10

(139b) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Encouragement >> The adversity of our brothers encourages us

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1The 3-2

(29i) Gift of God >> God is on our side >> God identifies with us >> Jesus is our brother

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

1The 3-3

(97i) Thy kingdom come >> Attention >> Giving attention to the wrong things

(219j) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> Predestination >> God’s calling is our destiny

(239b) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Teachers >> Teachers "remind" their students >> Recalling the circumstances

1The 3-5

(24b) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Anxiety >> Fear of losing the fruits of your labors – Paul not only endured the physical suffering of persecution, but he also suffered a great deal of anxiety regarding the Churches. He worried that all his blood, sweat and tears were in vain. Paul’s great fear was to go through all this trouble only to have the Churches fall away from the faith. Paul was totally committed; he sacrificed his entire life, but he was afraid the Churches would worship the golden calf, as Israel did in Moses' absence. He was more than willing to accept suffering and affliction so long as he was making converts and those converts kept the faith. He could take being stoned, unmercifully whipped, beaten with rods, starvation, exposure and lost at sea, but he couldn’t take the mental torture of the Churches being disobedient to God. However, the Thessalonians were faithful in Christ and so were many other churches in those early days.

(101i) Thy kingdom come >> Ambition >> Be an ambitious businessman for God >> Investing spiritual currency

(160j) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Temptation to walk in unbelief >> Tempted to abandon your convictions

(170k) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance >> Vanity >> Vain effort >> Effort frustrated by failure – Paul wrote to the Thessalonians about the level of suffering and persecution he had to endure in order to bring the gospel to those who would believe in Jesus Christ for eternal salvation. There was a huge price he had to pay in his flesh for the accomplishment of bringing the gospel to the known world. The man was beaten mercilessly multiple times; he was thrown in prison and subjected to terrible conditions. A comprehensive list of his sufferings is found in 2Cor 11,23-30. He sent Timothy to strengthen and encourage the brethren while he was away, for fear the tempter came and stole away their faith and all Paul’s efforts would be in vain. According to this verse it appears that people's fear of death is motivated by a sense of futility, fearing they will go to the grave with their life counting for nothing. Even Paul had this sensation tingling down his spine.

(207b) Salvation >> God makes promises on His terms >> Eternal security? >> Perish By Losing Your Faith >> Perish in deception

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1The 3,6-10

(81j) Thy kingdom come >> Pray without ceasing >> For the Church

(101g) Thy kingdom come >> Zeal >> Zeal comes from a grateful heart

(226c) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of the Kingdom of Heaven >> Reserved in heaven >> God crowns us with glory for sharing our rewards

(228a) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> God comforts you in times of adversity >> He comforts you in your suffering – Paul was not just seeking the reward of heaven, but on earth he was comforted, knowing he had a purpose in this life, and though he had to suffer, so do a lot of people in their pursuit of accomplishment, and in their success all their suffering is rewarded, just like a woman in childbirth. If she can get through the long pregnancy and the pain of childbirth with a healthy baby, then all her suffering is worthwhile, but if the child dies, her suffering is in vain.

1The 3-6,7

(123h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Ministry of the saints >> Caring for each others needs – It is the Churches faith that made Paul’s suffering worthwhile. Their faith was like gold to him, and so it was to God. Both Paul and God felt the same about many things, which is what made him such a spiritual man, and made him very effective in conveying the gospel. He trained his mind to understand, believe and love the truth.

1The 3-6

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

(125ba) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Faith and love in equal measure – Paul used the words “Faith and Love.” These two words are often mentioned together in the Scriptures for good reason. Faith is the spiritual substance of God, and love is the manifestation of faith. The two of them can easily be understood as one and the same, like two members of the trinity, Father and Son, the same but different. A person who has faith in God also has love, and a person who demonstrates love is showing faith, as it says in 1Jn 4:8, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” Love is a manifestation of Jesus Christ, which is the exact purpose of faith. Our faith knows that God is in the world in that He abides in us, and our love manifests that reality in the world.

(127b) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Kindness >> Be kind like God >> Kindness is meeting the needs of the saints

(156d) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> Loving your fellow man is evidence of salvation >> Love the brethren

(143i) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Popularity >> Sought commendably >> Being sought for your relationship with God

(156d) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> Loving your brother is evidence of salvation

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1The 3-7,8

(207ca) Salvation >> God makes promises on His terms >> Eternal security? >> God will accept you into heaven if you overcome – We know there is a teaching in the Church that says we cannot lose our faith, suggesting that we are eternally secure, and in the proper context our salvation is secure, so long as we believe to the end, even if we must die for our faith. With this attitude in mind we need not worry about our salvation, but for those who believe in eternal security and have intensions of entertaining sins of their bondage and live as common heathens while claiming to believe in Jesus, their faith is less secure than the person who serves God with a whole heart. See also: Eternal security; 226f

(226f) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of the Kingdom of Heaven >> Reserved in heaven >> Eternal rewards – Paul always thought in terms of both this life and the life to come. He did not disregard this life but considered it important, mostly because this is the time we have to save souls. He was a soul winner, and his primary motivation was to preach the gospel that others may be saved. His other concern was that he was storing up treasures in heaven as Jesus commanded (Mat 6,19-21). This should be the mindset of every Christian. All our interests should be on producing fruit for the Kingdom of God and for the personal motive of storing up treasures in heaven. It is like a football player whose primary goal is to help the team win games, but he also has an interest in his personal record: how many sacks, how many catches, how many touchdowns, etc. If he doesn’t produce, he may be kicked off the team, and if he does produce, he stands to make more money. This was Paul’s thought process too. Through suffering he gave birth to the Thessalonian Church, and so long as the church remained spiritually healthy he was happy, but like a woman who would give birth to a child and just a few days later suffered Infant Death Syndrome, this was the kind of thing that most concerned him. Paul said, “Now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord.” “If” implies a condition; the entire sentence is built around is two-letter word. If the Thessalonians don’t fall away from the faith, the eternal treasures that Paul and his associates have been storing for the life to come will be secure, but if the Thessalonians fell away from the faith, then what good is all the work they put into them, and how could God reward Paul and his crew for the work they did? Would God reward them for trying? God could hardly blame Paul for what the Thessalonians did, but neither could He give Paul a full reward if the Thessalonian Church were not present with him in heaven. See also: Eternal security; 207ca

1The 3-7

(165l) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The hardship of affliction

1The 3-8

(97k) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Rooted deeply >> Standing firm together in the faith – Paul was saying that if the people of God stood firm in the faith, the apostles and missionaries who brought the gospel to them would really live, but if the Church fell away from the faith, Paul and his friends would turn gray return to dust before the time. Christians usually don’t just quit believing; deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons carry them away, and they begin to believe things other than the Bible, things dreamt by unprincipled men, who feel they have authority in themselves apart from God's word to make up stories and spread it far and wide. All the work and hardship, all the pain and suffering and all the dedication and commitment of Paul and his associates were rewarded, in that 2000 years later the Church is still here. It has lived and grown among a multitude of religions and variations of ancient beliefs and emerging ideas. The truth of God is still with us; we have the Bible and can read what God would say to us. We don’t go by what people speak from their fleshly minds who follow deceitful spirits; we trust God for the strength of faith to believe the truth, that we may successfully enter the gates of heaven.

1The 3-9,10

(7h) Responsibility >> Defend God’s cause >> Protecting the Church

(9g) Responsibility >> Strengthen us by the sword of His Spirit >> Through prayer

(99l) Thy kingdom come >> Perseverance (Working to keep in motion) >> Persevere in prayer

(125d) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Joy >> Joy is the result of investing in the kingdom >> Investing in a life of service – It was a daunting task to fully give thanks to God for the incomprehensible joy he enjoyed from the Church’s stability in the faith. What did the Thessalonians do to make Paul so happy? They just continued serving the Lord. That was all he wanted, and that is all God wants from us. Paul prayed day and night most earnestly that he might see their face and complete what is lacking in their faith. This is the only thing he knows to somehow pay back the Thessalonians for the joy they have given him. This is true also with God. Jesus most earnestly desires to see us face-to-face, as He continually intercedes with the Father on our behalf to complete what is lacking in our faith. In heaven the moment our eyes lock with His our faith will be complete. The level of love that Paul had for the Church was unsearchable, and so it is with God. Paul had deep feelings and a deep spirit that searched the mind of God, and he loved His people with a love that was incorruptible. Paul wasn’t very concerned about what was lacking in the Thessalonians, because there will always be lack if there is room for growth. He couldn’t wait to see them so he could impart to them his faith in the form of truth and wisdom that disseminates from the Holy Spirit, so that their relationship with the Lord might deepen all the more.

1The 3-10

(44d) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Complete >> Finish the course

(107d) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> Word creates faith >> Believing the word creates faith -- This verse goes with verses 1&2

1The 3-11

(105h) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Led by the Spirit >> Into The will of God >> Led to the right people – Verse 11 seems to be the theme of this chapter, if not the entire book of 1st Thessalonians. The Lord was drawing Paul and his companions to the Thessalonians as a metaphor for God drawing the Thessalonians to Himself. The next chapter talks about the rapture, which is Christ literally drawing the children of God to Himself.

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1The 3-12,13

(11m) Servant >> Paul’s example of love for the Church

(30k) Gift of God >> God’s favor qualifies you for heaven – “Love covers a multitude of sins” (1Pet 4-8), preparing us for heaven. This verse shows the concerted effort of both God and the believer becoming partners according to 2Cor 6-1, “Working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain.” God causes love to rise in our heart, but if we don’t walk in it, then His work in us is in vain. He creates the desire in our heart and we respond with love to our immediate family members, then to our fellow saints, and last to our neighbors in the world.

(42a) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Be like Jesus >> Blameless before God >> Prepare for His return – This is Paul’s whole desire and purpose, that he might present the Church to God at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He looked forward to the coming of Christ, believing He would come in his own lifetime. The way to preserve the Church for the day of Christ is through love and unity. We can be doomsday preppers and spend all our money on supplies; build an underground bunker and fill it with guns, ammunition and canned foods. We could go though all that trouble and expense preparing for the second coming of Jesus Christ, or we could love the brethren. People will collect weapons to defend themselves from looters during those days, but we don’t need weapons; we need love. In the last days when everything falls apart before Jesus comes the fastest way to get killed is to defend ourselves by killing people (Rev 13-9). The Bible doesn’t instruct us to hurt or kill anybody or to buy weapons or to be doomsday preppers; it instructs us to walk in love. That might get us killed faster than anything, but it is a ticket straight to heaven, knowing we did the will of God. The doomsday prepper will meet God without faith in Him and live to regret it, but the one who walks in love knows what he did was pleasing to the Lord. Whether or not we make it through endtimes doesn’t really matter; we will go to heaven by Rapture or by death just the same. If a person gets murdered in the last days doing the will of God, he will join the ranks of martyrs, who are promised a better resurrection, so it is a win-win situation for us. No doomsday preppers will be martyred, who amass an arsenal of heavy weaponry and use it against their fellow man, because they are not walking in faith. The one thing the Bible reiterates more than anything else is that God wants to find us in the last days doing His will. People think about the apocalypse and all the horror it entails, but the only thing that should concern us in those days is being pleasing to the Lord, because we are about to meet Him. See also: Last days (Global economic collapse); Mat 24,37-39; 215g

(60c) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> The second coming / End time revival It is the manifestation of God’s love that establishes our heart in holiness before our Heavenly Father at the coming of Jesus Christ with all His saints. Paul is saying that these things must happen throughout all time and history, but especially at the second coming of Christ. Coincidently, we know that apostasy is prophesied for the last days (2The 2,1-4), and it is already here, so we can’t have both, or can we? Paul is saying that we can have both apostasy and the demonstration of God’s love, with the result of His people being established in the faith, and placing it within the period of endtimes, suggesting that both apostasy and revival will be happening at the same time.

(74a) Thy kingdom come >> The heart >> God wants you to bless your brother from the heart – The best way for God to establish our heart in holiness without blame is to increase and abound in love for one another and for all people. Love covers a multitude of sins (1Pet 4-8 taken from Proverbs 10-12). We can unwittingly commit sin and make up for it by loving the brethren. Some of the sins we commit are against our conscience and not against our fellow man. Maybe we cussed or drank a beer, defiling our conscience. Drinking alcohol is not a sin if we do it with moderation, but if we think it is wrong then for us it is wrong (Rom 14,14-23). The best way to compensate for the sins we commit against our conscience is to walk in love toward the brethren. Be kind to people and God will overlook our stupidity.

(98c) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Rooted deeply >> The lord establishes us

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

(129h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> love perfects unity >> Genuine love

(133f) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Holiness >> The body of Christ is holy >> God has made His people holy

(229b) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Kingdom grows by itself >> Growing In Numbers Corresponds With Spiritual Growth >> Kingdom grows in strength

(237f) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> The Church is transferred to the kingdom >> The Rapture >> Rapture of the blameless

1The 3-12

(216g) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> Compelled by the Spirit >> God forces us by His love

1The 3-13

(228h) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> God works in you to keep you in His will

 

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1 THESSALONIANS CHAPTER 4

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1The 4,1-12

(10c) Responsibility >> Bring order to the Church >> Dealing with immorality – Paul was talking about immorality in the Church, not in the world, prefacing this with an exhortation to the Thessalonians and to us that we should live uprightly before the Lord, for if we act like those who don’t know the Lord, who’s to say we do know Him? He calls us to sanctification, set apart from godlessness. There are many sins, but immorality is perhaps the most destructive in that it always involves other people, influencing every aspect of their lives; and ultimately, those who do not repent could lose their faith. We cannot believe in Jesus and walk in sin at the same time, for the two oppose each other. Either sin kills our faith or faith deadens our temptation to sin.

1The 4,1-8

(4i) Responsibility >> The choices you make >> Accountable for your sinful nature

(11a) Servant >> Standard for a servant >> A changed lifestyle – This passage pertains to a changed lifestyle as a result of our faith in Jesus Christ. However, there are people who adhere to the doctrines of easy-believism who say God is our friend, which He is, and that He welcomes anybody, which He does, and that anyone who believes in Him for eternal life can be saved, which is also true. Nevertheless, there seems to be a problem in Christendom of distinguishing between the holy and the profane; the Church has replaced godliness with an overemphasis on grace. That sounds almost impossible, but go to some churches, especially Evangelical and Baptist churches, and all we will hear is grace, grace, grace. That seems like a good thing, yet we all know that man has the ability to corrupt virtually anything, and in that case people are teaching that sanctification is no longer necessary because God accepts us through the blood of Christ, but what does Heb 12-14 say? "Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord."

(92l) Thy kingdom come >> The narrow way >> Our holy conduct along the narrow way – If we wonder what sanctification means, we shouldn’t anymore, because Paul explicitly defined it. If we remain faithful, God promises His kingdom to us and imparts a measure of faith so we can believe in Him through the Holy Spirit; but if we resist sanctification, we regress to believing a mere set of doctrines, and our faith erodes until it disappears altogether.

(113m) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> The anointing >> Guard the anointing – God lit our lamps once, but allowing our faith to wear to a nub, it is very difficult if not impossible to return to faith once the flame completely smothers; and if we put ourselves in a place that God must relight our lamp, the Bible simply doesn’t say He is willing to do that. God holds us responsible for the gift of faith that we received when we first believed, representing our salvation; God requires us as good stewards to keep the lamp burning in our heart, because we don’t have any way of relighting it. God is reluctant to relight our flame after we have shone distain for Him and let it die. Accepting a life of bondage without seeking freedom from sin is evil, like a field that has gone fallow and produces thorns and thistles; it is close to being cursed and ends up being burned (Heb 6-7,8).

(135b) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Sins of the body >> Immorality >> Fornication Unethical means there are things people do that are wrong, whereas immoral means that too, only it is a word that has been set apart to specify sexual sins. Paul is commanding us to set ourselves apart from worldliness, so we don’t sexually violate one another in the Church.

(138k) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Exhortation >> The discipline of exhortation

(184f) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Abusing the grace of God >> Spending His grace on your pleasures >> Trying to take advantage of God’s kindness – It does not end well for those who would abuse the grace of God; Paul said that He avenges Himself on those who sin against the truth, posing as Christians and upsetting the faith of many. They teach by their lifestyles that they can live however they want and still be Christians because they believe in a set of doctrines. We page through the Scriptures but can't find this rendition of the gospel anywhere. Although the Bible teaches that we are retched sinners, and in believing that Jesus died to take away our sins we are forgiven, it doesn’t teach that it is hopeless to repent so not to bother trying. Many so-called Christians today are living in an ungodly manner while they wait for heaven; this is not how the Bible teaches we should show faith and patience toward our Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches that repentance is attainable, and that God expects it of us. He has given us a measure of faith, and we are to protect it. We are to live for Christ by protecting the indwelling Holy Spirit from sin through perpetual repentance.

(204d) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Back-slider >> Practicing sin >> The apostasy – Paul was never satisfied with the Churches’ progress; if they were doing well, he wanted them to do better. We will always have room for a deeper, fuller relationship with Jesus who dwells in us. There will always be a lack of commitment in our faith; there will always be room for growth. So long as Paul was alive, he would continue to push them to seek God for a closer relationship with Christ, because someday the Church would cease serving Him, and he wanted God’s people in his day to testify against future generations who would defect from the Lord, considering Him no longer fashionable. Many sound doctrines remained in place for centuries before they were eventually misinterpreted and replaced by gibberish, designed to allow people to walk in their flesh. These are the doctrines of demons that have led the Church into apostasy.

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1The 4,1-7

(247i) Priorities >> God’s priorities >> God’s interests >> Things that please God

1The 4-1,2

(72l) Authority >> Hierarchy of authority >> Authority makes you accountable >> Parents are responsible for their children

(239c) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Teachers >> Teachers "remind" their students >> Repeating instructions -- These verses go with verses 9-12

1The 4-1

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

(102b) Thy kingdom come >> Ambition >> Ambitious to fulfill God’s calling >> To please Him

(137l) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Maturity >> Maturing with our brothers >> Maturity is tested by our relationship with others -- This verse goes with verse 10. Our number one goal in life as Christians is to build up one another in the faith, and we edify one another through the word of God and prayer, allowing God to administer the revelation of His truth, which we use to edify the Church.

(222k) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Do not give what is holy to dogs >> Give to him who has >> Whoever has shall more be given – Paul is giving the Thessalonians what they already have, “for whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance” (Mat 13-12). Like the snowball effect, as the Thessalonians obeyed the Lord, they continued to increase in fruit and knowledge. Like a snowball rolling down a hill, much as they increased, Paul taught them all the more to remain faithful, but to those whom he had given instruction and they did not heed, he told them less, for “whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.” Consider a mountain with a small lump of snow teetering at its peak, depending on which way it falls makes a big difference at the bottom of the mountain, being miles from the other side. The less Paul instructs them, the less they think they’re sinning and the less they seek the freedom of Christ, and the less they bear fruit and the less knowledge they understand. It is a snowball effect that rolls in the opposite direction, rolling faster, gaining momentum and distance in the wrong direction from God's will. There will always be room to grow for those who seek the wisdom and knowledge of God and strive to apply these things to their lives, but to those who find no need to apply the truth, their knowledge of God will diminish until they won’t know what they believe. See also: Snowball effect; Rom 6-9,10; 38e

1The 4-2

(68a) Authority >> Doing God’s work under His authority >> Ministry of helps >> Help God’s people

(73b) Authority >> Respect your leaders >> Those in charge of the word

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1The 4,3-8

(22j) Sin >> Lust (craving pleasure) >> Sexual lust

(45b) Judgment >> God judges us for not judging ourselves >> Believer's Judgment >> Judged According to our deeds

(45g) Judgment >> Believer’s sin >> God will judge us with the world if we live like them – Every church has its problems, and Paul addressed them in his letters. He said to born-again Christians that God avenges Himself on their sins. Of course we know that God will avenge Himself on the world’s disobedience and unbelief; He will judge the wicked for their sins and send them all to hell, but Paul was not talking to unbelievers here. He was talking to devout Christians, not complacent believers like the Corinthians. He was taking preventive measures against immorality in the Church by speaking against it. Paul told those in the Church that if they live contrary to Scripture, to the will of God and to their conscience, God will avenge Himself on their sin, both in this life and at the believer’s judgment, regardless of their belief in Jesus. If we confess Jesus as our Lord and Master and if the Holy Spirit dwells in us, then we are bound for heaven, so the believer’s judgment does not determine whether we go to heaven or hell, but determines our quality of experience in eternity. The believer’s judgment is something that is rarely mentioned in the Church, and for this reason it is not well known or understood, though it is clearly mentioned in the Bible. All sin is offensive to God, and it pertains to idolatry, the worship of something other than God, which is why God hates it. For example, immorality worships the flesh. When we go to heaven there will be all kinds of pleasures for us to enjoy in His presence, and there are pleasures in this life that are not sinful, but the things we do that are contrary to the will of God, we will give an account at the believer’s judgment.

(48j) Judgment >> Levels of judgment >> Judged by withdrawing rewards – If we believe in Jesus and live for Him, the question is not whether God will let us into His heaven but what level of reward we will receive when we get there. God has a certain trail of good works that he wants us to walk (Eph 2-10); to the extent that we walk on it, will be the extent of our reward. Walking this trail also proves that we are His true children, hence guaranteeing our heavenly enrollment. If we walked this trail perfectly, He would give us a full reward, but we all fail in various ways and have deviated from His designated trail. In the ways that we do not fulfill His purpose and calling, He will subtract from our reward; this is the believer’s judgment. Most people in the Church pooh-pooh the rewards, giving themselves freedom to live as they choose at the cost of rewards in the life to come, as though they had no value. In fact, heavenly rewards are almost never mentioned in the Church but are reiterated throughout the Scriptures. When that day comes and our judgment is at hand, and God pulls out our record and begins processing it, chopping at our reward and handing us a mere fragment of what we could have received, this sad state will be reflected in our resurrected body, so that everybody will forever know by simple observation to what extent we served the Lord in this life. Then we will wish we served Him more. See also: Life is lived along the trail of good works; Act 20,3-16; 251a

(51f) Judgment >> Judging the Church with the world >> God warns the immoral man – Paul said that the Lord is the avenger in all these things; He avenges Himself on those who practice sin. Sin avenges itself on those who walk in it; sin has a destructive power that dismantles our lives and disintegrates our faith, so why does God need to judge us on top of it? God is good, and His judgments are proof of it, avenging Himself against all that is evil. If He allowed evil to go unpunished, how would we know He was good? Some say that good and evil can only be understood in contrast to each other, but that is not the case. Rather, good is defined in terms of its power to build up and edify, while evil is defined in terms of its power to tear down and destroy. God commands us not to be destructive, and if we rebel, destruction will find us. It is not good to do things that are destructive to our fellow man, and sexual immorality is destructive. Some might argue that sexual immorality is not destructive, that we can be sexually permissive without expecting any consequences. That may be truer in the world than in the Church, since it erodes our faith, yet be warned oh godless man, lest your sin find you and reduce your life to a morsel (Proverbs 6-26).

(134b) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Mediator between the natural and the spiritual realms >> Manifesting the kingdom of darkness through disobedience

(153g) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> God bears witness against the world >> Shame >> Walking in condemnation >> Walking in sin

(156K) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of being hell-bound >> Living an ungodly lifestyle >> Practicing sin – If we live like those who don’t know God, how can we prove that we do know God? Most of us have had long bouts with sin, yet God has been patient with us, because He knew there was something genuine in us that desires freedom. He gives us time and eventually we emerge from our bondage, having learned our lesson and now we serve the Lord in righteousness holiness of the truth. In contrast, those who live a life of bondage under the title “Christian” without seeking freedom or repentance, who continue resisting God’s prompting voice, will eventually develop a reprobate mind, and now they just go to church with a veneer of faith. Probably every church has a few of these. They are like the walking dead, spiritual zombies, and we must beware of them.

(168b) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Do not conform to the world >> Do not conform to the world’s version of love

(191i) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Result of putting off the old man >> Set apart >> Set apart from sin – Sanctification means to be set apart for God's purposes. Being set apart is the very concept of repentance, but the so-called believer who lives no different from the world considers himself set apart in some other way, perhaps by the notion that he affirms a set of doctrines to be true, namely that the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ is for the salvation of the soul. Believing this makes him feel set apart from the world, in that secular people don't care to believe this, but in a more practical sense in connection with our faith, we also need to set our behavior apart from the world.

(203g) Denying Christ >> Dishonor God >> Dishonor God by dishonoring your brother – The Bible makes a distinction between our "brother" and our neighbor. "Brother" means brother in Christ, our fellow Christian, whereas neighbor means a person close in proximity to us in the world. Paul is saying he doesn’t want us having casual sex with fellow Christians, so does it matter if we have casual sex with people in the world? Yes, of course it matters! The reason Paul didn’t address having sex with our neighbor is that Paul assumes we are set apart from the world, and if we are sanctified, how can we form unions with sinners? God intends for us to minimize our dealings with people in the world except to do business with them and to fulfill our ministry of evangelism. The Church in the beginning spent most of their free time fellowshipping with one another, so that they rarely interfaced with the world. Like us, though, many people had their working careers in the world, but when they weren’t working, they were fellowshipping with the brethren. Today, however, we go to church on Sunday morning, and that is about the extent of our Christian fellowship. The rest of our time is spent in the world. Is it any wonder, then, that immorality is rampant in the Church today? People calling themselves Christians venture into the world and have sex with unbelievers, and then return to church on Sunday morning, considering themselves believers. "My brethren, these things ought not to be this way" (Jm 3-10). See also: Brother versus neighbor; 1Jn 3,10-18; 129i

1The 4,3-5

(42h) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Transformed >> Conform to the purity of Christ

(145j) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Demon possession >> Human state >> Their behavior >> Immoral spirits

(209b) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Personal relationship >> Counterfeit relationship through religion >> Knowing about God, but not knowing God – Since the Bible associates obedience with belief, any contradiction therein is a type of unbelief. A person can actually believe and still commit sin, because we are fallible creatures; it’s the reason Jesus died for our sins, but there must be a point where being set apart from the world must occur. If it never happens, James is bold and asks what is the difference between our faith and that of demons, who also believe and shudder (Jm 2-19)? Paul is saying that sanctification is not an option but a requirement. It should be a natural by-product of our faith, because of the Holy Spirit dwelling in our hearts, who leads us to obey God. As with the case of many people in the Church today, if this aspect of their salvation never transpires, it is time to question if the Holy Spirit dwells in them, questioning, are they really God's children? Peter urged us to have a little introspection, “Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble” (2Pet 1-10).

1The 4-3

(247k) Priorities >> God’s priorities >> The will of God >> We play our part in the will of God >> Doing the will of God

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1The 4-4,5

(32h) Gift of God >> Father will honor you if you die to self >> Your obedience

1The 4-4

(61b) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> Vessel—Your body / Your wife

1The 4-6

(238h) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Teachers >> Teachers "remind" their students >> Strong reminders – As a good teacher of the Scriptures, Paul minced no words with the Thessalonian disciples. Anybody who would mince his words with the people of God, hoping to gain their approval is not serving Christ but themselves (Jn 12-43). True Christians would appreciated hearing the truth straight and congratulate their teacher, but if they persecute him for telling the truth, then they don’t deserve a teacher; in fact, they may be false brethren.

1The 4-7,8

(111a) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit sets you apart by the word >> Set apart through repentance – God has called us to sanctification, to be set apart from the world that doesn’t know God, for if we behave like unbelievers, then who’s to say that we know God? “Consequently, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.” Paul is telling us to avoid the deathtrap of immorality, committing ourselves to the faith by devoting ourselves to the word of God and prayer. The Holy Spirit has already redeemed us from eternal destruction, and pledged His kingdom in our heart. We possess a piece of heaven, but how do we gracefully receive our eternal inheritance? God doesn’t want us floundering through life; instead, He wants us to have His mind that longs for God, not be double-minded, but take possession of our lives by following the Holy Spirit that He planted in us, letting His grace strengthen us to rise above our temptations and fleshly practices that erode our faith.

1The 4-7

(90l) Thy kingdom come >> The called >> God’s purpose for us is to fulfill His calling >> Our purpose is to do God’s will

(91j) Thy kingdom come >> The called >> God’s calling transcends the will of man >> It is etched into our spirit

1The 4-8

(35f) Gift of God >> God gives Himself to us >> Father sends the Holy Spirit

(56a) Paradox >> Lose by gaining >> Gain your idea of wealth to lose God’s wealth

(72k) Authority >> Hierarchy of authority >> Authority makes you accountable >> You are accountable to the one who gave it to you

(132a) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Holy Spirit is in God’s people >> spirit of God in the spirit of man >> Spirit of the Father

(200c) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Rejecting Christ >> Rejecting the will of God >> Rejecting God’s purpose

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1The 4,9-12

(4l) Responsibility >> Advocate God’s cause >> Being accountable to your brother

(11h) Servant >> Love is our standard of ministry toward each other – Verse 9 corresponds with the golden rule of Lk 6-31, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The truth is self-evident. We don’t need anyone to tell us how to treat people, because we are people too and want to be treated a certain way. If we have a hearing ear and can discern what the Spirit is saying, we will hear Him speak about love, because this is the only thing on His mind, and we need often reminders to love one another. One of the best ways to fulfill the Scriptures, is to get a job and meet our own needs, so we might have something to offer the brethren instead of leaching from them (2The 3,6-10).

(89a) Thy kingdom come >> Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom >> Being sensible is always appropriate

(92m) Thy kingdom come >> The narrow way >> Walk it for the sake of your brother – Paul was never satisfied with the churches' progress; he was a man of great faith and commitment; he knew no boundaries in his service to God. He owed God his life, not because he was once a persecutor of the Church, but because he received the promise of heaven and would one day obtain it the moment he passed from his body into eternity. These things hold far more value than any aspect of this life. Paul had the attitude that every moment was an opportunity to serve the Lord. We too should, “make it our ambition to lead a quiet life… and work with our own hands,” for the purpose of edification. We should have something to offer those in need, instead of unnecessarily burdening the body of Christ.

(101j) Thy kingdom come >> Ambition >> Be an ambitious businessman for God >> Ambitious in the business world of this life

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

1The 4-9,10 

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

(129h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> love perfects unity >> Genuine love

(233d) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Seeking the goals of the kingdom >> Seek the goal of love

1The 4-9

(1b) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God/man >> follow the golden rule

(109i) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit the teacher >> Spirit trains us to be like Jesus – This verse comes straight out of the Ten Commandments (Exodus chapter 20) and from Heb 8,7-13 that speaks of the Ten Commandments this way, “I will put my laws into their minds and I will write them upon their hearts” (Jeremiah 31,31-34). Salvation is all about the Holy Spirit taking up residence in our soul; this is what makes us His children. Therefore, our calling as Christians in this world is to be a good host to the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. He is the spiritual equivalent of God’s word, being only one of His characteristics, and His word (the Bible) is the written account of God's will. In the Old Testament His will was written most succinctly in the law of Ten Commandments, where it says, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19-18). The Holy Spirit is that ever-present knowledge of God’s will, no longer confined to ink and paper, but is now the new covenant living and active word of God. He continually broadcasts the message in our heart that we ought to love one another, and Paul says that God Himself teaches us these things.

1The 4-10

(131c) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Brother depends on you >> To care for his needs

(137l) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Maturity >> Maturing with our brothers >> Maturity is tested by our relationship with others -- This verse goes with verse 1

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1The 4-11,12

(8n) Responsibility >> Prevent sin from coming between you and God

(23j) Sin >> Poverty (Oppression) >> The solution to poverty – Dire need can cause us to sin, and poverty adds frustration and a growing lack of self esteem to the already building pressures of life. Therefore, the solution to many sins is to simply get a job. Paul didn’t want people unnecessarily burdening the saints, but to have the attitude of making a contribution instead (2The 3,6-12). This is one of the indicators of imposters in the Church, whether they contribute or not. There are some imposters who pay their way into leadership positions, making it almost impossible for anyone to remove them, because of the financial support they provide. On the other end, there are those who never contribute, but only take. Both of these are just about equally destructive to the body of Christ.

(30d) Gift of God >> Prepare to receive from God >> God supplies our needs under certain conditions

(78g) Thy kingdom come >> Sincerity >> Embracing your first love >> Simplicity of faith – People in the Church should lead a quiet and simple life of faith, or at least exude the attitude of a servant when they are among the disciples of Jesus. They should also be on their best behavior among worldly people and the heathen, whom they are trying to influence with the gospel. The last thing we want is fellow Christians teaching by example that leading the Christian life is an option, as though God does not require us to pattern our lives after the Scriptures. This is a poisonous attitude and a toxin in the bloodstream of the Church, living contrary to the teachings we know are from God.

(91d) Thy kingdom come >> The called >> His purpose answers "Why"

(95i) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Having an obedient attitude >> Attitude of a servant – Paul described the attitude of a servant. There are many ambitious people who love to work, and some are very generous. This is a tremendous ministry as something Paul advocated, especially in contrast to the alternative, which is to not work and be in need. This abusive, lazy lifestyle does not fit the biblical model of Christianity. The Church was not made to support lazy people, especially not the early Church, who consisted mostly of poor people, who could take very little financial strain. Paul said to lead a quiet life, working with our hands, but some people work too hard so that the only thing they have to offer is money, which is useful but is not a solution to everything. That which is most valuable comes from the heart, being what we need more than money and possessions. To pursue a genuine faith in Christ and to support ourselves and help those in need is all Paul asked from us. He didn’t want people to seek leadership positions in the Church or to work seventy hours a week; he wanted God’s people to share their faith and rejoice with each other in spiritual fellowship in the loving bonds of unity. The person who commits himself to the Lord full time with the plan of expecting others to support him, would benefit the Church more if he led a quiet life and worked with his hands as Paul advocated. He also mentioned widows and orphans as those who have bona fide needs, and commanded us to reserve resources to support them and those who were truly in need. The early Church wasn't able to support people who refused to work, and nor should we.

(123h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Ministry of the saints >> Caring for each others needs – God teaches His people to be contributors to the saints, but sometimes we hit rock bottom, and for this reason the Church is prepared to help. Once we get back on our feet, we can resume our practice of contributing to the saints. The day may return when we will need further assistance, but in general God wants us to give more than we receive. Giving to parasites, though, will attract more parasites.

1The 4-11

(119g) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Freedom >> Debt free

(127h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Goodness >> Rewards for doing good >> Doing good is the will of God

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1The 4,13-18

(34h) Gift of God >> God is willing to Give >> The blessed First Resurrection

(38i) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death >> Resurrection of the righteous – The Rapture will occur just after the First Resurrection. There will be many people behind Christ when he comes to gather his elect from the four winds of the earth. Christ will bring with Him all the saints who died in faith since the beginning of time. Why will Jesus have all His saints with Him when He comes? The Rapture happens on the day of the blessed First Resurrection! Rev 20-6 says, “Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection.” The purpose of the Rapture is to protect His people from the terrible judgments of the bowls as stated in the book of Revelation; this is when we will receive our new bodies. Also, the First Resurrection/Rapture will kick-off the eternal reign of Christ and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb as the precursor to the Millennium.

(49i) Judgment >> Judgment day >> It will come like a thief in the night Some claim that the Day of the Lord means what it says in the book of Joel, referenced by fire and smoke, a very dreadful time. Others speak about it as the day of the Rapture; in fact, these refer to the same day. The Rapture will occur on a day like that which Joel described, smoke and thick darkness, awful and terrible. All these things will be happening on the day of the Rapture; so when people speak about the Day of the Lord saying one thing and someone else saying another, it is possible they are both right. When God says He will Rapture his people in the clouds, these will not be normal, billowy white, puffy clouds, but an ash plume from a gigantic asteroid that is scheduled to hit the earth on the day of the First Resurrection. The entire earth will be encircled with a huge cloud of soot that will kick off the seven bowls of God’s judgment for rejecting Christ's offer of eternal life and for martyring many of His saints. It will not be an ash plume from a volcano, because that would take weeks or months to encircle the earth, but the plume of a giant asteroid that would take only hours from the energy pushing it forward. At the crest of this ash plume stands one who lives forever and ever, catching up His people.

(84c) Thy kingdom come >> Be on the alert >> Be faithful till Jesus comes – It is simply not the will of God that He should take us out of the world just at a time when He could use us most to win many souls to Christ. At the end of days, during these extremely difficult times, people’s hearts will open with the hope that God will help them through this very arduous period. God promises that the endtimes will hold some of the worst days in human history, and that is really saying a lot. When we think of World Wars I & II and all the horror that took place then, it seems impossible that there could be days worse that that, but they are coming. The Rapture gives people hope. It will come at a time when the world is in tremendous turmoil, and there will be many who will grieve over their lives because of the difficulties that they are facing. God will keep the Church here for a little longer than most people think in order to proclaim their hope in eternal life. For many, once their hope in this life perishes, they will finally listen to the gospel and be saved. They will not have that long to believe before they are taken from their troubles, and for this reason they will have a strong motive for believing in God because of the Rapture. While Satan is destroying civilizations, people will be clamoring for the Kingdom of God and be saved by the millions. A day is coming when people’s hearts will open to the gospel like we have never seen, and there will be a huge influx into the Kingdom of God. Why would God pull His Church out of the world just when the greatest opportunity to fill His kingdom was about to take place? See also: Great Endtime Revival (Harvest at the end of the age); 2The 2,10-12; 21l

(147f) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Divine works of God >> Spiritual manifestations

(182f) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Three causes of interpreting Scripture falsely >> Because they do not understand the Scriptures – This is probably the most popular passage in the Bible about the Rapture. Some think there will not be a Rapture, based on the fact that the word “Rapture” is not in the Bible, but the word “Trinity” is not in the Bible either, yet the Bible is full of instances of the trinity. Some complain that the Rapture receives too much attention, but what did Paul say about it? "Therefore comfort one another with these words" (v18). Having a proper understanding of the Rapture is a good way to interpret Scripture, causing it to unravel for us like a red carpet leading straight to the truth. The Rapture seems to help interpret Scripture better than any other doctrine in the Bible, simply because it reveals God’s true heart and motives, including His will and desire for His people and His goal for us in the world. The Rapture poses a few important questions about the character of God and perhaps even answers them, the biggest being whether He is willing for us to suffer. If it turns out that He is willing (post-tribulation Rapturethis is my stance), then there will be many people who will refuse to serve Him, but if He is not willing that we should suffer (pre-tribulation Rapture), that fact alone would insist that we look at the suffering of the Church throughout history and ask why God is unwilling that we should suffer. Having an accurate sequential understanding of endtime events is imperative to properly interpret prophecies of the last days and to expose false teachings that have plagued the Church for generations.

(214k) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> God’s timing >> God Has Good Timing >> God synchronizes events in His time – If you can show me a resurrection before the First Resurrection or a trumpet after the last trumpet, then I will believe your pre-tribulation Rapture theory. Look up the seventh trumpet in the book of Revelation and note what follows. Rev 11:15 says, “The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.’" The six trumpet judgments escalated in severity in the same way that the seals did, but the seventh trumpet seemed to have broken this pattern, merely evoking a decree from heaven. This loud cry was in celebration of God about to establish His kingdom in place of the tyrannical kingdoms of men. Pre-tribulation Rapture advocates complain about this interpretation saying that it is too concise, but contrary to popular belief, according to everything we know from Scripture, we can piece together a Rapture scenario that is accurate to the week, month and year. This does not conflict with Jesus’ statement that we will not know the day or the hour (Mat 25-13). Look at Pentecost. Jesus gave them specific instructions to wait for Him in Jerusalem, where He would rendezvous with his disciples “not many days from now” (Act 1-5). They did not know the day or the hour, but they did know the approximate month and year. It stands to reason, then, that this is the way God works. When these huge moments come, He will not make us wait in absolute darkness, but gives us clues about His return. However, this does not apply to those without insight, for they will wait in absolute darkness no matter what Jesus tells them.  

(216j) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> God is independent if His creation >> You cannot control God’s desire for you >> man is not in control of his own destiny – Paul prefaces his comment with, “This I say by the word of the Lord…” He did not use this phrase often, so when he did, he really meant this was not merely his opinion. We who are alive in the flesh will not precede those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. They will not precede them in what? We will not precede them in receiving our heavenly bodies. The Rapture marks the official point of transition from man being in control of the world to God taking over the earth and materializing His eternal kingdom, that He will preface with the thousand-year reign of Christ. The bodies of those who have died in faith will be first resurrected; then, we who are alive will follow them in receiving our spiritual bodies that we will keep throughout eternity. This will truly be a joyous moment, and it will happen at the world's darkest hour. The contrast between light and darkness will be immense, being why Paul started with the word “Hope” (v13).

(228b) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> Comforted >> God comforts you in times of adversity >> He comforts you in your grief

(236k) The Rapture (Key verse) Those who partake of the Rapture will be a righteous and holy people (Eph 5-27), not those who are caught in apostasy as we see the Church today, who refuse to live for the Lord, who all wait for the Rapture and expect it will happen before any other endtime prophecy. Being apostate, whatever they say will invariably be wrong, to the point that we can take whatever they say and believe the opposite and just about land on the truth, but of course we don't interpret Scripture that way.

(237b) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The Church is transferred to the kingdom >> The rapture >> Last trumpet – Verse 16 says, “The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout.” This word "shout" is reminiscent of the parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew chapter 25, for it too speaks of a shout. There is no difference between the shout in this verse and the trumpets of Revelation, for the two of them are essentially the same, referring to the voices of angels. The trumpet in this verse refers to the last trumpet of seven (1Cor 15-52), the signal for the First Resurrection. Note that all the trumpets denote judgments from God, so the First Resurrection/Rapture is also a judgment against all those who do not partake of it, and it also judges its partakers worthy of eternal life. That is, these three things, the shout, the voice of the archangel and the last trumpet are not three but one. Everyone who has the spirit of God front and center in their lives will hear this cry from heaven to get ready. At the sound of the seventh trumpet the dead will rise first as it says. “Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.”

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1The 4-13

(121e) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Hope is the expectation to receive >> What the wicked fears (expects) will come upon him – Paul is talking about those who have died in Christ, telling the members of the Church not to grieve as others do who have no hope. We who have loved ones who have died in the Lord have hope that they will live again. We have reason to hope for the resurrection from the dead, because we believe in Jesus and are living for Him. The ultimate manifestation of faith is love, but there is an intermediary (a mediator) between faith and love, and that is “hope”. This means love is a two-step process. When we dedicate our lives to manifesting our faith, it gives us hope there there is reason to believe in Jesus: the resurrection from the dead. Our hope is based on the fact that Israel was called by God and has had a history with Him, starting with Abraham many thousands of years ago. When Jesus finally came and fulfilled the prophecies of the Messiah, He died for our sins so we may believe in Him for eternal life. We have the New Testament teachings about His death, burial, resurrection and ascension as the Great High Priest who sent the Holy Spirit in His place, who comes to reveal His word to us, so we can believe in God by the strength of His Spirit for a better world. That is reason to hope. Faith tells hope that it is real, and hope communicates with love that our commitment to the truth holds a reward in His right hand and is waiting for us in heaven.

(165d) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is at enmity with God >> The world has no hope

(188j) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Sorrow >> Grieving over your own loss >> Grieving over your loved ones

1The 4-14

(86b) Thy kingdom come >> Belief >> Treating the knowledge of God as fact >> Believing is the result of the resurrection

1The 4,15-18

(152ia) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Prophets >> The Church holds the position of a prophet >> Church operates under a prophetic anointing >> Delivering a prophetic message from God

1The 4-16,17

(162c) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Carried Away >> Carried away by the Holy Spirit

1The 4-17

(81l) Thy kingdom come >> Pray without ceasing >> For the Church >> Anointing to pray

(224f) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Description of heaven >> The joyful kingdom >> We shall always be with the Lord

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