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2 THESSALONIANS CHAPTER 2

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1&2 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 

 

2The 2,1-12

(49k) Judgment >> Judgment day >> God judges the world >> The great tribulation – It is not the tribulation of the world, but the tribulation of the saints. Jesus said in Jn 16-33, “In the world you have tribulation…” suggesting that God does not acknowledge the unbelievers' tribulation, for they are the cause of most of it in the world. A literal manifestation of darkness in the man of lawlessness will seize the world, and the Church will witness it firsthand. The fact that he is called a son means he has a father, and this antichrist-man is the son of Satan himself, perhaps literally conceived by him. There is an account of demons having sex with women in the Old Testament. Children born to women conceived by demons are called the Nephilim (Gen 6-4; Num 13-33). In Revelation Satan is depicted as the dragon. 

(109a) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Revelations of the Holy Spirit >> Spirit reveals the Father

(181e) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Lawlessness >> Lawlessness is no excuse for sin >> Lawlessness does not cancel the power of sin

(186g) Works of the devil >> The result of lawlessness >> The reprobate >> Man’s role in becoming a reprobate >> After they reject God’s faith how can they believe?

2The 2,1-8

(53j) Paradox >> Opposites >> Contradicting your own standards >> Believing in something you don’t understand – Pre-tribulation Rapture advocates contradict themselves when it says in verse 7 that he who restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. They claim the apostasy must come first and that the Rapture must come first at the same time. What they don't understand is that they are right! The problem with Pre-tribulation Rapture theology is they say that the whole reason the antichrist comes to power in the first place is that the Holy Spirit is taken from the world at the Rapture, causing the apostasy, but this requires the Rapture to precede the apostasy, whereas verse 3 plainly states that the apostasy comes first, so which one is it? Some try to weasel out of it, defining the apostasy as the appearing of Satan in the flesh as the antichrist instead of the Church's falling away from the faith, but again in fact it means both. More importantly, many attribute “the day of the Lord” to mean the period of God's fiery judgment instead of the Rapture, but in fact once more these are one and the same. The Rapture kicks off the judgment period of the bowls. The Rapture is an aspect of God's fiery judgment on the world, inseparably linked to the first resurrection, an event in which the world cannot participate. Rather, the world will participate in the second resurrection, which is reserved for the damned. For the Christian, we must make a distinction between the Rapture and the judgment of God, though for the world they are the same, since the initial concern was raised by the Thessalonians who were afraid they missed the day of the Lord; they were not afraid of missing His judgment but His appearing (see: verse 2 and 1Tim 6-14). 

2The 2,1-4

(20ca) Sin >> Nature of sin >> Unbelief >> Having a mind that is unable to receive >> Unbelief cannot distinguish light from darkness

(160b) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit >> Counterfeit God >> Counterfeit spirit – Paul warns them not to be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us. Paul was very much aware that there were deceiving spirits at work in the world, but how much do we believe that in our secular society today? If there are deceiving spirits in the world, then if we are not vigilant, it is almost a guarantee that we are waist deep in spiritual deception. “Let no one in any way deceive you” regarding the Day of the Lord, as though the Rapture had already occurred. “For it will not come unless the apostasy comes first,” meaning the Rapture will occur only after the apostasy. This man of lawlessness will oppose and exalt “himself above every so-called god or object of worship,” particularly and especially above Jesus Christ. The best way for the antichrist to oppose Christ is to counterfeit Him, and the best way to do that is to display himself as god in the Jewish temple, meaning that Israel's tabernacle of worship must be rebuilt, or at least that is how it sounds. 

(162a) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Carried Away >> Carried away by the storms of the devil -- These verses go with verses 9-12. The world is like the sea that is being constantly battered by the wind, but in the last days the world will become even more disturbed than ever, so that even the ruler of the world materializes in human flesh. 

(182e) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Three causes of interpreting Scripture falsely >> Because they have no regard for God’s word Verse 1 says, “Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him...” That clearly is referring to the Rapture. Paul referred to the Rapture, then assured the saints not to worry about missing the day of the Lord because it will not come until the apostasy comes first, meaning that the day of the Lord is in reference to the Rapture. Although this is clear, yet there are some misconceptions regarding this passage; first, as though Paul meant antichrist when he said “apostasy.” Rather, Paul was saying that antichrist and apostasy are two separate things, yet coming together simultaneously. This only makes sense when considering the fact that antichrist will cause apostasy, that is, the falling away of the faith. His very presence makes it nearly impossible to believe in Jesus; like the mythical Greek goddess Medusa, the only solution is to run and hide, which then will be the wilderness. The son of destruction is a deep, dark void, like a black hole, sucking the life force from every vessel and then discarding it. When antichrist comes and makes his presence known, the world will not understand why it ever tolerated Christians convicting them of sin, and many martyrs will result. The second misconception of this passage is the concept of the day of the Lord. We know from the book of Joel and from various other places in the Bible that the day of the Lord is a time of great darkness, billows of smoke with the moon turning blood red and the sun not giving its light, and the stars seeming to fall from heaven, depicting the sign of the son of man. Paul said not to worry, we haven’t missed the second coming of Christ, the day of the Lord, for He is coming on a day of simultaneous darkness and hope, a day just prior to releasing the bowls of God’s judgment on the world. Paul is saying that Jesus will not come for His people until the antichrist is first revealed. Most people in the Church think the Rapture is a Pre-tribulation event, when it isn’t. It isn’t post-tribulation either, depending on how we interpret the word tribulation. If it is the tribulation of the saints, then yes, the Rapture will indeed terminate the tribulation no matter when it happens, but if it is the tribulation of the world, then no, the Rapture will not happen at the end of the tribulation, but more in the middle. The sky filling with smoke and the moon turning blood red will occur during the trumpet judgments with the Rapture, at the seventh trumpet, the last trumpet, as it says in 1Cor 15-51,52. When the trumpets are finished, the bowls will commence, which does not represent the tribulation of the saints, since the Church will no longer be on the planet; rather, it represents God’s judgment on the world for martyring His saints during the periods of the seals and the trumpets, and it will be a bloodbath.

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2The 2,1-3

(98b) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Rooted deeply >> Plant the word deeply in your heart -- These verses go with verse 15. People were afraid that the Rapture had already come, that they had been left behind. All kinds of different ideas and theories were being proposed even back then, and Paul was constantly putting out fires that false prophets had started. This happens in our day far more than it happened in their day, partly because there has been far more time for new ideas and deceptions to be generated and dispersed, but mostly because we don’t have watchdogs like Paul guarding over the truth like they had during the time of the early church. Over the past 2000 years heresies have spread throughout the Church, so that even when you tell people the truth it doesn’t help, because these false doctrines have literally become entrenched in their religion. Entire cults have formed as a result of a lackadaisical pursuit of the truth without thoroughly investigating the Scriptures. Anyone found in a cult or caught believing false doctrine can find their way out of it just by reading the Bible with an open mind, but very few people find their way out of false doctrine, not because it’s so hard to do, but because people are not vigilant, but stubborn. They refuse to admit they have been wrong.

(191d) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Extract the leaven of false doctrine – It’s too bad Paul wasn’t clearer about what was restraining the antichrist from manifesting, because the Church today thinks it knows what restrains the antichrist, but their assumption is wrong in principle. The current most popular consensus is that the Holy Spirit is that which restrains the antichrist from manifesting, so when He is taken out of the way, then the antichrist will be revealed (meaning he will come to power). There are a number of problems with this scenario; though on the surface it may sound good, but it breaks down when investigating its implications. This pre-tribulation Rapture doctrine states that when God takes His people from the earth, He will take up His Holy Spirit with Him, and so leave those who are left behind stranded and in the dark, all alone without God in the world throughout the entire duration of the tribulation at a time when they will need God the most. However, this diametrically opposes the fact that God will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb 13-5,6). The sad reason these pre-tribulation Rapture believers consider this a viable interpretation is that they themselves have nothing to do with the Holy Spirit and so have determined the tribulation saints won’t miss Him either. This interpretation of Scripture is what most Christians believe today, and it is absolutely flawed, but it is the only interpretation they will accept. (As a side note: the words “he” and “him” were not capitalized in verses 6 and 7, suggesting it is not the Holy Spirit restraining the antichrist, though admittedly this is not strong support.) The pre-tribulation Rapture crowd knows there is something intrinsically wrong with their doctrine, so they say the Holy Spirit will come back to the world after He escorts his saints to heaven, but this is just psychobabble.

(236l) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> The Church is transferred to the kingdom >> The Rapture >> The day of the Lord – This “gathering together” and this “Day of the Lord” is referring to the same day, both to the Rapture and to the terrible judgment of God. The day of the Lord is a period that is longer than 24 hours. The proof that this “Day” refers both to the Rapture and to the period of God's judgment is in the fact that a person cannot miss an entire period, which will span many years? Remember, this was the concern that the Thessalonians had; they were afraid they had missed the Day of the Lord. There will be a single Day in which God will gather His elect according to Scripture. However, the Church must first fall away from the faith before this day comes. Does that sound a little paradoxical? It should! How are people supposed to be Raptured who have fallen from their faith? He has no intension of rescuing the faithless, but is coming for those who are faithful in Christ. Falling from the faith is actually a sign of the last days, so who will qualify for the Rapture when He comes for His people?  God will raise up a whole new people who will worship Him in Spirit and truth and Rapture them instead of those who call themselves by the name of God and refuse to serve Him. Eph 5-27 says that God is coming for a “church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.” That does not describe the Church today or a people who have fallen from the faith.

(250hh) Priorities >> God’s prerequisites >> Sequence of priorities >> Believe the first message; all subsequent messages are meant to dissuade you

2The 2-1

(60c) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> The second coming / End time revival -- This verse goes with verse 8

(131ja) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Many members but one body >> Many people but one person

(245e) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestation of Jesus Christ >> Manifestation of Jesus’ second coming

2The 2-2

(24c) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Anxiety >> Fear of losing spiritual territory

(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 -- This verse goes with verse 15

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

3&4 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

 

2The 2,3-12

(16aa) Sin >> The sin nature is instinctively evil >> Man’s flesh is related to the devil >> Unregenerate man is the son of Satan – Rev 9-11 says that the lid on the abyss has been removed and let out horrible stinging creatures that make men want to die from the pain they inflict. These creatures have no dignity and neither does the antichrist, for they both have joy only in the malice of destruction. So does this mean that Satan actually had relations with a woman in order to produce this antichrist? The Bible often speaks of Satan counterfeiting Christ. For example, in the Old Testament there is a people called the Nephilim in Gen 6-4 and Num 13-33, translated as "mighty men" or "men of renown." The problem with the idea of Satan requiring a man that has his genes is that there will be many antichrists. Satan is able to possess and use anybody who will receive him, so he doesn’t need a man with his genes in order to accomplish his work; consequently, the answer is both yes and no. No, the antichrist does not have anyone personally prepared to receive him, for many will receive him, but yes, demons apparently have had sex with women and brought forth the ancient Nephilim, meaning that our flesh is literally related to the devil. In other words, "angels" is just another word for "man", whom God created before Adam and Eve, suggesting that God will probably create another form of man after us. 

(65h) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Satan unites the world for the cause of deception – The devil deceives mankind in ways their natural mind will never be able to untangle. 

(166j) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> >> The carnal mind cannot discern between good and evil >> The carnal mind agrees with the devil – God was glorified when Jesus exercised the demons, for it demonstrated there was a spirit world surrounding the earth and that man has a spiritual enemy. It also demonstrated that Jesus was Lord over that spirit world. The last thing the devil wants is for his spiritual conspiracy against humanity to be exposed. If demons exist, then God also exists, goes Satan’s reasoning. Hence, his favorite belief system is secularism, the worldview of materialism, that nothing exist beyond what we can detect with our five senses. The devil would deny there is a spirit world, though he himself is a spirit. By this strategy he can make evolution seem tenable as an explanation for life and the universe, and can thus make believing there is no God seem almost plausible, but if he takes on human flesh and is exposed, then his atheistic façade disintegrates. Jesus taught that demons long to inhabit people because they miss having a body, but they are far less influential and far more vulnerable to exposure in that state, so therein lies the devil’s conundrum, should I or shouldn’t I possess the antichrist?

(185g) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Mystery of lawlessness >> God helps Satan in the mystery of lawlessness – There is no mistaking that lawlessness will precede the Antichrist, and that lawlessness will originate within the Church and quickly spread throughout the world. Once the Church has made its choice to reject God's purpose for itself through the apostasy, God will send a spirit of unbelief to the Church so they cannot believe. Nevertheless, the mystery of godliness is greater than the mystery of lawlessness in as much as God is greater than Satan. Satan is greater than us in might and power, but not in the wisdom of God. How long did Lucifer possess his inheritance from God consisting of the entire universe (by evidence that it is now cursed) before he fell into sin? The answer to that must be exactly how it went with Adam and Eve, who fell into sin even before Eve conceived, suggesting that she was more curious about sin than she was about sex. After God made Eve and gave her to Adam, he immediately intended to ‘try her out,’ but apparently she heard a voice that promised her authority that would become her possession, but it ended in possessing her. She said to Adam, “I’ll be right back, and when she returned, she was not the same person.” Satan carried her away and seduced her to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This happened almost immediately, so Lucifer too fell almost immediately. It was Satan’s main goal to immediately seduce man, so they would not become known as better than him. Unregenerate man and demons are the same in many ways. God gave Lucifer the entire universe as a gift, saying, “Do with it as you wish, only do not touch My throne, for in the day that you touch it you will surely die.” The throne was the only thing Lucifer wanted after that; he pursued it and immediately fell into transgression. He wanted what he couldn’t have. Paul eluded to this in Rom 7-8, “But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead.” If the mystery of lawlessness explains all these things and the mystery of godliness is infinitely greater, how deep are the mysteries of God?

2The 2,3-10

(145k) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Demon possession >> Human state >> Their behavior >> Being possessed by demons  

(164f) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world system >> Satan’s system of authority >> He is the prince of the power of the air – What does this mean that “he” is taken out of the way; if “he” is not the Holy Spirit, then who is “he?” Paul stated that “he” who restrains him is not a ‘she,’ eliminating the Church, which the Bible always addresses as female in keeping with her identity as the bride of Christ. So, in a process of elimination; ‘if it’s not the Church, then it must be the Holy Spirit,’ they say, who restrains the antichrist from manifesting, because it certainly can’t be the devil, or can it? In fact, there is reason to believe “he” is the great dragon, “the serpent of old, who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world” (Rev 12-9). The main question to this interpretation is why would Satan restrain himself? Consider this, the antichrist is the ultimate example of demon possession. Satan will possess a human being and manifest himself through that person, who would lead the world to destruction. Taking the devil’s perspective for a moment, the problem with demon possession is that it greatly limits his ability to control the world, in contrast to operating purely as a spirit from the vantage point of the first heaven, referring to the atmosphere surrounding the earth, analogous to social affluence. He prefers to remain anonymous in the background pulling the strings. Moreover, possessing a human body also leaves him vulnerable to exposure.

(196b) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Idolatry >> Worshipping the devil

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2The 2-3,4

(26ba) Sin >> Consequences of sin >> Death is hell >> Rejecting Christ has the sentence of hell

(190f) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Circumcision >> Undressing >> Dismantling the outer tabernacle – God Himself had the Jewish old covenant tabernacle destroyed; therefore, why would he lift a finger to see it rebuilt again? Mat 24-15 says, “(let the reader understand).” This phrase is found in Jesus’ description of the antichrist entering the temple. It’s the only time the Bible uses this phraseology. It is in parentheses and is not in red letters, so it wasn’t something Jesus said, but was inserted by Matthew, the writer of the gospel. What was he saying here? Obviously he didn’t really know, otherwise he would have been more specific, but he knew enough to give us a heads-up that the idea of the antichrist entering the temple and displaying himself as God has a hole in it. So, what was this hint to which Matthew was alluding? There is already a temple built on Mount Moriah, and authorities on the subject of Bible prophecy keep saying that the Jewish temple must be rebuilt in order for the antichrist to display himself as god to fulfill Bible prophecy, but that may not actually be true. The antichrist may just as well enter the Muslim Mosque to fulfill this prophecy. It is very possible that the antichrist may enter the Islamic Dome of the Rock instead of a Jewish built temple to display himself as God. This scenario is actually more tenable than the traditional idea of a Jewish tabernacle for one good reason; the act of entering the Islamic temple will be perceived by the whole world and especially by the Jewish high priest as the height of blasphemy, which the Bible says will be the response. What greater blasphemy would there be than that a Jewish “Messiah” would seek worship in an Islamic temple? Jesus never said the man of destruction would enter a Jewish made temple; He just said he would enter the temple. The Dome on the Rock is a temple of worship made for a god, so it does in fact satisfy the requirements of "standing in the holy place (let the reader understand)." If the antichrist were to enter the Islamic temple, it would not in any way violate Scripture. Everyone keeps thinking that the Jewish temple must be rebuilt. In fact, the antichrist does make a covenant with Israel to rebuild Jerusalem (Dan 9-25), but whether they are allowed to rebuild their temple is not clear. It is unlikely that the Dome of the Rock will be destroyed, and it is even less likely that Israel will be allowed to rebuild their temple right next to theirs. Huge tension already surrounds Israel from their Islamic neighbors. For Israel to rebuild their temple on the same hill would cause WWIII, but that war will have already come and gone, since this is what the seals describe.

(200m) Denying Christ >> Whoever is not with Jesus is against him >> He is against Christ who does not receive Him >> Whoever receives the world is against Christ – What do we see in the world today? There is a lot of resistance to Christianity with very few people being saved. Much of the reason is that Christianity has been abused over the decades and centuries, and people have largely quit believing in God, which is a terrible sadness. Whenever the light goes out and darkness invades, destruction follows, and that is exactly what is happening in our world today.

(204d) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Back-slider >> Practicing sin >> The apostasy – The word “Apostasy” refers to both the appearing of the antichrist and to the Church's falling away from the faith. It is the Church’s unbelief in the last days that gave opportunity for Satan to reveal his man of lawlessness. If we define “Apostasy” to mean the appearing of Satan in human flesh as well as the falling away of the faith, it highly suggests that the Church will be here when the antichrist comes to power. This does away with any notion of a pre-tribulation Rapture. How pre-trib advocates claim they will be Raptured before the tribulation is therefore a mystery. They seem to think the tribulation will start at the onset of the antichrist coming to power, but that is not biblical. The tribulation formally begins at the seals of Satan’s wrath, but his wrath does not necessitate his appearing. If the Church is in a state of apostasy, they why should we respect what they believe about endtime prophecy? Obviously, they are not getting their ideas from the Holy Spirit, or they wouldn't be in a state of apostasy. For the record, the apostasy does not refer to the world falling away from the faith, because the world has no faith; so we are obviously talking about the Church falling away from God. Now we have the Church responsible for allowing all the evil in the world to the point of Satan being able to manifest himself in human flesh. Jesus said in Matt 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? Many Christians are vacant of Spirit. Try to talk to them about Jesus and from most all you will get is a blank stare.

(245k) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestation of the devil >> Manifestation of sin -- These verses go with verses 8-10. 

2The 2-3

(207a) Salvation >> God makes promises on His terms >> Eternal security? >> Perish By Losing Your Faith >> The apostasy (walking out the same door you came in) – We know that there can be bad marriages when two people don’t get along, which often ends in divorce. If people’s marriages end in divorce, it is a sign they won’t get along with Christ either, because the relationship through faith is very similar. In fact, the marriage relationship between a man and a woman is a mere symbol of the marriage between Christ and the Church. To be unhappy in a marriage yet still be together and trying to get along is a hard life, but at least they are not divorced. This is the kind of relationship that many people have with Christ; they are not really happy as Christians; Christ is not doing for them what they wanted; they wanted peace of mind, but afterward they realized there were other things more important to them, like the world. Whatever most influences people wins their hearts, and for this reason they often divorce their spouses. Similarly, many people get saved and realize it is not their cup of tea, and so they divorce the Lord. Some say this is not possible, yet they also say that God never infringes on our will, so if we want to leave our salvation and God won’t let us, isn’t that infringing on our will? If we want to back out of our marriage and then later change our minds, we can remarry our spouses, but if we back out of our salvation, we can never return to Christ.

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

5-7 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.

 

2The 2-5

(239a) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Teachers >> Teachers "remind" their students >> Recalling the word of God – Paul was reminding the Thessalonians that while he was with them he told them these things. This verse tells us to read the Bible and then read it again. We never stop reading the Bible, because we easily forget, and even if we don’t literally forget certain passages, we still need to refresh our memory of them. The words of God need to return to the foreground of our mind, for if we are not meditating on the Scriptures, then we are invariably meditating on something that contradicts the Scriptures. We slip and look to see how far we have strayed, and if too far, we will wonder how we believed at all. We will wonder what was the secret that we had in the days of our faith, and the answer is that we committed our minds to a sincere faith in Jesus. Obedience produces faith; we believed because we dedicated ourselves to the truth, and disobedience produces unbelief. That is how it works; this is the reason people fall away from the faith; it is the reason their faith becomes weak, because they disobeyed the holy calling from God. Life for life, He asks for our lives, and in return He will give us His life. Our life in the flesh will last seventy or eighty years, and then we will exchange it for eternal life, but some people find it hard to believe, because the world does not emulate God’s values. He wants to see if we will believe in Him in the face of opposition, and the way to do that is to remind ourselves what the Bible says by reading it and re-reading it and dedicating our mind and body to the truth.

2The 2,6-15

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

2The 2,6-12

(40b) Judgment >> Jesus is the judge >> Jesus judges the world’s disobedience

(66l) Authority >> Lordship of Christ >> Jesus’ authority >> The authority of His second coming

2The 2,6-10

(46h) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Satan falls from heaven – Does Satan really want to become world-famous while in possession of the antichrist? Not really; he would love to be worshipped in human flesh, but strategically it will not be to his advantage, so why does he possess the antichrist? He will have no choice, for he will be kicked out of heaven, referring to the first heaven, analogous to social affluence. Rev 12,1-13 describes a fight that occurs in heaven, analogous to the original fight that occurred in heaven when Lucifer rebelled against God and sought His throne. Rev 12:7-9 says, “And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down-that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” Paul said that “he” was taken out of the way, in other words spiritually removed. It is not a coincidence that this original war that occurred in heaven so many eons ago is in the book of Revelation, highly suggesting this war that turned Lucifer into Satan must have significance to endtime prophecy. What is its significance? It’s going to happen again in the last days, only instead of being thrown out of literal heaven, he will be thrown out of the atmosphere surrounding the earth, analogous to social consciousness. The prince of the power of the air will again fall from heaven and consequently possess the man of lawlessness, having been defeated on a spiritual level. He will then attempt to destroy the world in a vulnerable position as ruler of the world encased in human flesh. So, his world just got smaller and his ability to perform his will just became a whole lot harder, and for that reason he will be much less likely to succeed. In other words, the devil’s plot to destroy the world just became impossible. His perfect rage against God and His absolute hatred for Christians will manifest in the antichrist, and he will establish a system of martyring the saints on a global scale, and will execute millions throughout the period of the trumpets before God puts an end to it. How was Satan defeated? God will raise up His two witnesses and they will restore the Church through the 144,000, and part of that restoration will involve exposing the devil. At the same time, the prayers of the saints will defeat him, meaning the Church is still here. For the first time since Jesus shed His blood and rose from the dead and gave power and authority to the Church over serpents will they have focused their efforts on a single point, at Satan and will defeat him. Satan will become desperate; he will need to step up his program and start making things happen immediately, almost like mankind isn’t quite evil enough for him, so according to the old adage, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” Mankind won’t have the heart to do to themselves what Satan has in mind for them, until he takes possession of the antichrist. 

2The 2,6-8 

(112j) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Light >> Being in the presence of truth

(214c) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> God’s timing >> God’s timing transcends our comprehension >> God’s time line gives the wicked just enough rope to hang himself

(237a) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The Church is transferred to the kingdom >> The rapture >> Appearance of Christ

2The 2-7

(185a) Mystery Of Lawlessness (Key verse)

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8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;

 

2The 2,8-13

(86n) Thy kingdom come >> Obedience >> Be doers of the word from the heart >> Love the truth – Paul did not call it the “truth” but the love of the truth, which the people did not receive so as to be saved. Therefore, we can confidently say that it doesn’t matter if the person is a member of a church or someone in the world; if he doesn’t love the truth, he is not saved. In the last days God intends to distinguish between those who love the truth and the imposters. The Holy Spirit leads His people into the truth, and since the Bible is so available in our society today after the Gothenburg Press has allowed it to become a household book, people have no excuse for being ignorant of God’s word. If a so-called Christian is too busy to read his Bible, then he is too busy. People need to work two jobs to afford living in their suburb of choice and in the house they want with two new cars in the garage and all the accoutrements required to have it all, but we don’t need all that stuff. Downsize if we must in order to make room for God and His truth in our lives, because a person who does not love the truth does not know God; that’s what the Bible says. All who read the passage about God sending upon the earth a deluding influence say to themselves, ‘Thank God this doesn’t apply to me,’ but not so fast; how do you know for certain that this will not apply to you? This applies to everybody who does not love the truth; that is the criteria, so that instead of their love of the truth leading them away from this deluding influence, their lack of devotion will draw them to the antichrist like a moth to a flame, and there will be no resisting him. The person who does not love the truth will fall prey to this delusion, whether he is a Christian or not, whether he goes to church every Sunday or not. There are too many people in the Church today who are pretending to be Christians; they don’t even pretend to love God; they just carry out the formalities of Christianity. Perhaps they believe in the facts of the Bible and recite the Apostle’s Creed every week, and these things are well and good, but if they don’t love these facts, then they don’t believe them and they don’t love God. To know Him is to love Him, and to love Him is to love His truth. When the time comes, they will be swept away with the unbelievers. To love the truth is to be committed to it, and commitment is what God wants in His people. We cannot know God without loving Him. People think they can know God without even trying, but the Bible teaches that it takes the whole heart, soul, mind and strength to love the Lord thy God, and if we don’t commit our whole lives in our search to know and love God, He will take that as seeking to know and love the world instead of Him.

2The 2,8-12

(48l) Judgment >> Jesus’ enemies are destroyed >> Enemies of the truth – Once Satan inhabits the antichrist, “then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming.” This verse describes God coming on the scene without changing His heavenly essence, whom the Bible teaches shines like the sun in its strength, coming on a white horse with His faithful ones riding behind Him. At His very appearance they will fall in the same instant from the intense radiation like that of the sun multiplied by a factor of X, hence the reason Moses on mount Sinai was warned by God that he could not look upon God's face and live. Like an atomic bomb the radiation and the bright light it emits will melt human flesh and bodies will fall in a puddle of their own substance if they are in the radius of the kill zone. This is how God plans to destroy His enemies. Will Jesus have to fight really hard? No, He will just show up and be Himself! Jesus clothed Himself in human flesh the first time He came to visit mankind; the next time they see Him, their eyes will melt out of their sockets! He will shine on them for a moment and they will melt, as He gathers those that remain of His children for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb during the thousand-year reign of Christ. God will show during this time that it was always possible to live in peace, but man never really wanted it. He preferred war, why? Their spiritual enemy demanded it of them, and they were always ready to comply with him. Man has always had an affinity for the devil, far more than they had for God. Man has always been more willing to walk in his flesh than to obey God.

(64a) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Limits of God >> God cannot tolerate sin >> He cannot allow unbelief in His presence

(154a) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> God bears witness against the world >> No excuse >> There is no excuse for rejecting Christ – Those who have an affinity to believe a lie better be careful, because God might give them reason to believe it. If people prefer a lie over the truth, then He will allow the devil to spread his spirit of deception over their hearts so the lie becomes virtually impossible to resist. God will then rightly judge them for believing it, because in their darkened hearts they would have it no other way. Some would say this is mean and evil of God, but God would say, ‘I am giving you what you want.’ In either case God can’t win with unregenerate man. Those of His children serve God in spirit and truth, but for the unregenerate no matter what God does they will never be happy. They would rather have what’s on the devil's plate, “in order that they all may be judged, who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.” God will step aside and let the devil have his way with them. He will not interfere; if He did, people would tell Him to get His nose out their business. Satan is as much interested in destroying mankind as he is in leading them into judgment, like tossing a child in front of an approaching truck. He doesn’t want to just make their lives miserable and destroy their bodies; he also wants to ensure they end up in hell with him. This has always been his desire. Just as God uses the devil to judge mankind, so the devil uses God for the same purpose. The bottom line is, the devil does not make people do anything, but man sins from his God-given free will. For this reason man will not be able to pin their sin on the devil, because it is not the devil’s sin, but their own. People are more than capable of believing a lie with the truth staring them in the face the whole time.

(159i) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit >> Counterfeit God >> Counterfeit anointing >> Drunkenness >> Having a party spirit

(180h) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Rebellion >> Rebelling against God’s narrow way >> Rebelling against the word of God

(183d) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Spirit of Error (Anti-Christ / Anti-Semitism) >> Witchcraft >> Anointing of error

(199f) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Rejecting Christ >> Throwing God away >> Rejecting Christ to steal His glory

(217k) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> I never knew you >> Because you never received anything from Him – We all know that Paul is talking about people who are not saved who will receive this deluding influence, making it virtually impossible to believe in God after that. Question though, is he talking about people in the world or in the Church, or possibly both? He is talking about anyone who is not saved, regardless of their church affiliation. The way things currently stand, the line between the world and the Church is gray, at least in America. Paul is talking about the last days, when many changes will take place both in the world and in the Church. For example, in the last days there will be a tremendous revival, and the truth of God will become extremely available to anybody who wants to know and give his heart to Jesus and be saved. During the days of this great endtime revival, we won’t have so many unsaved parishioners in the Church as we do today. There is no real way of knowing the percentage of unsaved people in the Church, but the numbers are higher than most people think. Fact is, there are many churches where only a handful of parishioners are saved and the rest are destined to perish.

(219i) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> Predestination >> Predestined according to the word of God

2The 2,8-10

(177b) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> False doctrine >> Distorting Scripture to avoid the truth

(245k) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Manifestations of the devil >> Manifestation of sin -- These verses go with verses 3&4. The Pharisees upheld the argument that Jesus cast out demons by the captain of the demons, and performs various miracles through the help of demonic forces. We know that when antichrist comes, he will perform various so-called miracles through demonic forces, and so in that sense the Pharisees were calling Jesus the antichrist. This wasn’t an innocent mistake because of the miracles that Jesus performed, healing people and feeding them, things that Satan and the demons would never do if they could. This gives us an idea of what kind of signs and so-called wonders the antichrist will perform; they will reflect what Jesus said about him in Jn 10-10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy,” as the only fruit that he can produce. Perhaps he will topple buildings and thousands of people will be killed, and those who were not killed will worship him for reasons that are incomprehensible. He will be the wealthiest man on earth, not because he worked for his money, but because he stole it from all the central banks after he collapsed the economy. In the chaos he worked his magic, and he promises to restart the economy, only using the Mark of the Beast as the medium of exchange.

2The 2-8

(40j) Judgment >> Judgment of Christ >> God’s word judges the devil – The antichrist is defeated in the presence of God’s word. Jesus will say something and whatever He says will defeat the devil and His followers, both men and demons. 

(60c) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> The second coming / End time revival -- This verse goes with verse 1

(105f) Thy kingdom come >> Pure in heart >> Lacking a pure heart

(150h) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness of Jesus >> Speak the word of the Spirit >> Speaking the words that God speaks

(255d) Trinity >> Holy Spirit’s relationship between Father and Son >> God’s word is Spirit >> Jesus is the word of the Spirit >> Jesus is the authority of God’s word

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

9&10 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 

 

2The 2,9-12

(19a) Sin >> Twisted thinking >> Evil is good >> Loving darkness – There are a number of passages in the Old and New Testaments that speak dire warnings against anyone who would not seek God with his whole heart, prophesying that in the last days people will fall away from the faith, and they won’t even know they have fallen. To not know he has fallen away suggests that his faith was not very strong in the first place. In this very chapter and context the apostasy is prophesied. If the apostasy is defined as the “falling away of the faith,” then how could the apostasy be in reference to the world if the world never believed in God? Make no mistake, the apostasy is absolutely referencing the Church. Paul is talking about the Church falling away from the faith even on a doctrinal basis. People will slowly drift from the  teachings of the original apostles over many centuries and generations; the deceptions of Satan will creep in and step-by-step, doctrine-by-doctrine, sometimes word-by-word, it will slip away. The truth is still glaring at them in the pages of their Bible, yet they can’t see it anymore, because Satan has beguiled them. God will test the faith of men in the last days to see if their doctrines hold up to scrutiny, and the beguilements of the devil will expose their weakness of theology and heart in the great falling away of the saints. Some say that the apostasy is the name given to the devil, that he is the cause of people’s apostasy, but the title of the devil in this passage is a deluding influence, and “apostasy” is the result.

(162a) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Carried Away >> Carried away by the storms of the devil -- These verses go with verses 1-4

(219h) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> The elect >> God chooses us as we choose ourselves >> God chooses us through our faithfulness – The world has never believed in God, and it never will. The world is the pool that God is fishing; He selects certain individuals from the world to be his true worshippers, and the rest are hardened. Anyone can know the truth, but they must seek it with all their hearts, harder than they seek anything else, including a career. Why do you think salvation was promised to the poor? The rich don’t have time to read the Bible, but the poor have time to devote themselves to the word of God and to the love of the truth and don’t have time for a career. It is a guarantee that anyone who makes sacrifices for the sake of the truth are part of God’s elect, but at what point did they become part of God’s elect, after they sacrificed everything or before any decision to commit was made? If they belonged to God prior to their commitment, then they committed themselves because they were predestined from the foundation of the earth to be His children. Therefore, it was his election status that made him a child of God and not the sacrifices he made to know the truth, yet the two of them are one and the same, one depicting God’s point of view and the other depicting man’s.

(230g) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Partaking >> Partaking of God’s judgment

2The 2-9,10

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

2The 2,10-12

(21l) Sin >> Premeditated sin >> Making no provisions for the flesh – There are many unbelievers who go to church nowadays, and most of them obviously think they believe, but when pressure is applied, they will fold like a house of cards, and God will judge them along with the world. God will send upon them a deluding influence with all the deception of wickedness, “because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved,” meaning that salvation was offered to them, but they rejected it in favor of deception. God will make His truth known just before He comes through a Great Endtime Revival led by the Jews, and those who reject His spiritual revival and refuse to participate in it will fall to a deluding influence. Just as Jesus said in Jn 3-19, “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.” God will send the light into the world to give all mankind the opportunity to decide for themselves whom they will serve, whether it be light or darkness. Didn’t Jesus say that He would test those who dwell on the earth (Rev 3-10)? Signs, wonders and miracles will accompany the gospel of Christ disseminated by the Two Witnesses, who manage the 144,000, who preach Jesus to the whole world, proving their message of salvation is by the power of God. Heaven and hell are coming to rest on this planet, and they will meet eye-to-eye with mankind caught in the balance.

2The 2-10

(22g) Sin >> Lust (craving pleasure) >> Fleshly mind

(47e) Judgment >> God Judges the world >> Hell is a place of the dead

(127i) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Goodness >> Rewards for doing good >> Doing good teaches you about the truth

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

11-14 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. 13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

2The 2-11,12

(21a) Sin >> Disobedience >> Demonstrating unbelief in the character of God – The statement, “In order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness,” conjures up ideas of people committing atrocious sins, but what did Jesus say was sin, but simple unbelief (Jn 16-9)? It is through the environment of unbelief that people have committed all the atrocious sins the world has known, falling away from the faith being the most atrocious sin of all, and look, it can only happen to a Christian, let alone the sins that follow as a result of giving up the faith.

(40n) Judgment >> God is glorified >> God defends His truth through judgment

(62l) Righteous Deception (Key verse)

(62o) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Righteous deception >> God deceives the world

(64l) Paradox >> Anomalies >> God helps Satan >> Jesus blinds the world

(110k) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit of revelation >> Effect of the spirit on the word

(217d) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> God gives up on you >> When you give yourself over to sin

2The 2,13-17

(30j) Gift of God >> He favors you by His gracious choice of you

(125a) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love is the action of faith >> Love is the response of receiving from God

2The 2-13,14

(192b) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Result of putting off the old man >> Gain by losing >> Life for life >> Losing your life to gain God’s purpose – God wants us to escape the pitfalls of our flesh and to not be judged along with the world. Satan has a natural appeal to our flesh. Our outward man is attracted to his lies, but our inward man is attracted to God. Paul is calling us to submit our inward man, to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, even though His promises do not always have an immediate gratification that the devil promises, yet God promises a future. That subject is off limits to the devil, because he doesn’t have a future, and he wants us to be like him. In reality the choice is simple; it is our flesh that complicates the matter.

(219c) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> The elect >> Man is a spectator of his own salvation >> God has chosen us – God has provided a way of escaping all the things Paul mentioned earlier in this chapter as a function of separating ourselves from the world using the assistance of the Holy Spirit by leading us into the truth. Satan longs to one day control this world in the most literal sense. Those who fall into his trap can say they were not chosen, so how can God blame them? However, God has chosen us to be set apart by the spirit, but do you think there is not the human will involved in being set apart? God has called us to take hold of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us as a fulcrum to turn our flesh away from the devil and in the direction of Christ and to walk with Him. You don’t think that takes human will? The way people have viewed predestination throughout the ages is a bit skewed, because our will is always involved, hence it is not really God’s choice. Salvation is always a choice that both God and man make together, just like every decision God makes with man. God speaks to everyone; those who heed the call do it as an act of their will, and those who do not heed the call are also demonstrating their will, so how are we God’s choice? The only real aspect of predestination is in God’s foreknowledge. God foreknew the Thessalonian church would obey the Holy Spirit. He knows everyone who will respond to the gospel, but our response is still our choice. Some people will simply not follow God, and that is not God’s fault. If the human will is involved, and it always is, then predestination is not a pure idea. There is really no such thing as predestination; there is only foreknowledge. God can't make us do anything, nor would He desire it. God is all about freedom, not robotics. He doesn't force us to be Christians any more than He forces the damned to hell. The Lord simply knows who is who as it says in 2Tim 2-19, “Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness." Even this verse requires the act of man's will. Peter said it best, “…who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood” (1Peter 1-2).

(233h) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the glory of God >> Seek His glory without wavering >> Seek His glory by faith

2The 2-13

(33m) Gift of God >> Believers are special to God >> We are beloved of God -- This verse goes with verse 16

(105j) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Led by the Spirit >> To the truth >> Led into the mind of Christ

(111aa) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit sets you apart by the word >> Set apart by His grace

(191k) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Result of putting off the old man >> Set apart >> Set apart by faith in the truth – The Spirit and the word work side-by-side for the purpose of sanctification. It says that God has chosen us and that the choice was made from the beginning. We know that time began, not at the beginning of creation and not at the fall of Adam, but at the fall of Satan, for man fell into Satan’s curse that existed before him, for if the earth were not already cursed, there would have been no need for a garden. We know that this creation is dying, and since it is dying, we know it is on a timeline, meaning that this creation does not share the properties of eternity. So time began the moment Satan fell from heaven, and God knew Satan would fall, and He intended to create man after he fell, and He knew also that Adam would fall, and He knew that man would make Satan extremely jealous, because he inherited everything that God had previously given Satan and much more, including God’s throne, which Satan sought as the cause of his rebellion in the first place. God’s throne was Satan’s quest, and God simply gave it to man as part of his inheritance. The Bible teaches that we will sit next to Christ at His right-hand as Christ sits on His Father’s throne at His right-hand. Satan is extremely jealous of us because we have what he risked everything to attain and lost it all. God is choosing certain people from the human race to be His worshippers, and this verse picks up here, saying that He has chosen us through sanctification by the spirit, meaning that if there is no sanctification, neither is there salvation (Heb 12-14). We are set apart for the purpose of God, and it says that the sanctifying process occurs through the Spirit as we develop faith in the truth. We believe the truth by the Spirit, being the very definition of faith, and to do this is what it means to be set apart. The Church today has religiousized verses like this, turning it into a weak and flavorless misconception of God. They envision themselves sitting in an easy chair while God is at work doing everything for them, because they say all their works are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64-6), saying, ‘I would help but I can’t.’ Yes, Isaiah did say that our works are as filthy rags in his sight before we were saved. Now that we are saved, the works that He gives us to do are holy to the Lord. He has called us with a holy calling, and whatever we do according to His calling is holy.

(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

(246f) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Demonstration of God’s kingdom >> God demonstrates His glory >> Demonstration of the Spirit

2The 2-14

(91f) Thy kingdom come >> The called >> Walking along the narrow way >> Walking in God’s calling is to fulfill His purpose

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

15-17 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us. 16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, 17 comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.

 

2The 2,15-17

(85g) Thy kingdom come >> Words that are spoken in faith >> Testify of God’s works

2The 2-15

(80b) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word in spiritual warfare >> To deliver yourself from bondage

(98b) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Rooted deeply >> Plant the word deeply in your heart -- This verse goes with verses 1-3

(99a) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Enduring the word of God >> Endure obeying the word of God -- This verse goes with verse 2. Everybody has read the Bible without thinking about it. Maybe we have a designated hour of prayerful study. Sometimes we read and don’t remember what we’ve read. How do we absorb the Bible? If we have read it a hundred times and know the Scriptures by heart, if we read it and get nothing from it, it must be time to put the word of God into action and incorporate the Scriptures into our lives. Then we can go back to the Bible and read it and it mean something to us. The reason we don’t get anything from our study time is that we are not applying the Scriptures to our lives. It doesn’t mean anything to us because we are disconnected from it, so the good traditions that Paul implicated connects first our body, then our mind and heart to the word of God, integrating into the good traditions that Paul would teach us.

(174b) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Man’s religion >> Good traditions (Exception to bad religion) >> Good habits – Paul wanted the saints in Thessalonica and all the churches to develop good habits, “whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.” “Letter from us” means the Bible, so we can read the Bible and develop good habits, not only good habits in our behavior, but also good habits in reading the Bible, developing a regimen of prayer, serving the saints, being a blessing to others and avoiding offense. One of the many benefits of developing good habits is they tend to replace bad habits, for we can only have so many habits. If we add a habit, most likely we will have to take one away; so developing good habits is a process of substitution, replacing bad ones with good ones. For example, the bad habit of smoking and drinking is replaced with finding better friends and serving God with them, and living and abiding in the joy of the Lord.

(232h) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Embrace (Jesus during the storm) >> Hold on to the word of God

(239d) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Teachers >> Teachable students >> The teachable submit to the word – When Paul wrote this to the Thessalonians, he was writing to a teachable people, and we know that some people are not teachable. Many unteachable people have an IQ that is perfectly normal, so that is not the problem; rather, it is their lack of willingness to learn. Mostly, people only know what they want to know. It is amazing what people will do to amass knowledge in the areas of their interest, and what they’ll also do to avoid knowledge. There are many who consider the Bible to be dangerous; they don’t want anything to do with it, and for that reason they are unteachable. Other people know and love God and can’t get enough of His word; they are like sponges. Tell them something about Jesus and we can see the light in their eyes as His word absorbs into them, so they can better serve and please Him.

2The 2-16,17

(9e) Responsibility >> God strengthens us from our weaknesses – Paul’s prayer is for God to comfort and strengthen our hearts through good hope and good works. Our works are related to hope in this way: for example, we hope to get a good grade if we take the test. Even if we get an F, it is better than a zero, for if we never take the test, how can we hope for a good grade? Likewise, if we never do any good works, how can we hope for God’s comfort? Who is even to say we have eternal life dwelling in us if we don’t have works to prove it? God wants to give us hope by the good works and words He has given us. Hope is by far the most important thing in this life. Hope is like a passport, though it cannot pay for our plane ticket overseas, yet without it we cannot go anywhere. Likewise, hope opens the doors to make possible everything God wants us to do. How do we kindle hope? We do the good works that God has prepared for us and speak the words He has put in our mouths. Hope without the foundation of good works is a false hope. All these things are hinged on the grace of God, which is given us through Christ.

(116a) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Through Good Works >> Works That God put in your heart

(121d) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Hope >> Expectation >> Hope is the expectation to receive >> God initiates His interest – What Paul is saying is just the opposite of the world. The Church has good hope, love and comfort by grace, also the Holy Spirit, who strengthens our hearts in every good work and word. This is quite a contrast from the world, which is set on serving and worshipping the devil.

(128b) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Goodness >> Doing good in the presence of God

(138h) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Exhortation >> Exhorting the people to glorify God – It is always good to hear that God the Father loves us. His love is actually more important than the love of Christ, because it was the Father’s love that sent Christ in the first place (Jn 3-16). Without His love we wouldn’t have Jesus either. Paul was one to always be looking for an opportunity to build up the body of Christ by any means possible, including exhorting the people to glorify God. Exhortation is sandwiched between encouragement and rebuke, being stronger than encouragement but weaker than rebuke. Encouragement we all know, though we may not have personally experienced much of it as it pertains to keeping the faith in these evil times. Encouragement is meant to inspire people with our own faith, but sometimes people need more than a little encouragement; they need to be exhorted by merging a rebuke with encouragement. A person could have a hundred different motives for rebuking someone, but there is only one motive for encouraging someone, and that is to help them serve the Lord. If we need to rebuke somebody in the process of encouraging them to keep the faith, that is an exhortation.

(228c) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> Comforted >> We are comforted in the presence of God >> Holy Spirit is our comforter

(255f) Trinity >> Father, Son and Holy Spirit >> The process of imparting the substance of God >> Father discloses the word by the Spirit

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

2The 2-16

(33m) Gift of God >> Believers are special to God >> We are beloved of God -- This verse goes with verse 13

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