"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


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Saturday, August 16, 2014


STUDY #1 –


INTRODUCTION: This epistle might be referred to as 3rd Thessalonians, but not really. There may have been a forgery supposedly from Paul but actually from an imposter, and that might have been why the Thessalonian church was confused on certain matters. This was alluded to in 2 THESSALONIANS 2:2 (“not by letter as by us”).

This letter was written by Paul shortly after the first letter to the Thessalonian saints; both around A.D. 51.
Theme: The Day of the LORD (This phrase is also seen in JOEL 1:15; 2 PET 3:10 and REV 19:19 and elsewhere). This phrase refers to that period of time when God actively and openly begins to deal with the people of the Earth in judgment, beginning with the Jew and then the Gentile as portrayed in REVELATION Chapters 6–19.

It begins with (1) the translation of the church or rapture (“bride of Christ”) from Earth to Heaven and culminates at (2) the Great White Throne Judgment with the 70th week of Daniel (“time of Jacob's trouble” JER 30:7) in which the world will see the 7 year reign of anti-Christ or “the man of sin” (2 THESS 2:3) occurring between those two points.
The saints at Thessalonica were anxious because they thought that the Day of the LORD was upon them, but Paul corrects this misunderstanding in explaining that two crucial events must first happen before this occurs; we will see what those things are in 2 THESSALONIANS 2.

Introduction: 1:1-4
SECTION I – Comfort in persecution: 1:5-12
SECTION II – The Day of the LORD vs. the man of sin: 2:1-12
SECTION III – Exhortations and instructions: 2:13-3:15


Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ

Greetings from Paul & Co. in the Name of 'the Trinity' perhaps? “God, the Father, and the LORD Jesus Christ.” Punctuation doesn't exist in Hebrew the way it does in modern languages; punctuation is implied in some of the Hebrew letters, and these are translated into English Bibles into the appropriate commas and periods and exclamation points. So having a comma after “God” and also “the Father” (followed by the LORD Jesus Christ) may imply “God” as the third Person of the Triune God, the Holy Spirit. This is repeated in vs. 2.

Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Grace and Peace”. The grace of God brings us peace with God; prior to salvation the sinner is an enemy of God (Not that God is an enemy to anyone, but He is a Holy and Righteous Judge that must condemn sin); on our part however due to our sinful and rebellious nature, we are enemies of God in our fallen state (ROMANS 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God, not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Also EPH 2:16; JAMES 4:4).

Once salvation is obtained, this results in the sinner having peace with God (ROM 5:1) and as a result of that, the saved soul may experience the peace of God (PHIL 1:6-7) as we fellowship with the LORD according to His saving grace.

The fact that this grace and peace comes from both the Father and the Son with no apparent differentiation between the Father's grace and peace given, and that of the Son's, shows that the Son is God just as the Father is; for who can offer the grace and peace that the Father gives that has the same quality, except for God (the Son)?

We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;

Thanksgiving is offered by Paul and his co-laborers for the abiding, faithful saints of Thessalonica (thanksgiving is also offered in 2 THESS 2:13, except there it’s because of God's election, salvation, sanctification, and belief in the truth). We likewise ought to offer praise and thanksgiving to the LORD for those saints, (whether they are in the pastorate or in the pew) who are still abiding in Christ, still faithful in their service and devotion to the LORD, especially since we are living in the last days of the lawlessness.

These saints were “growing exceedingly” in their faith. Theirs was a faith that was growing far above and beyond of what would normally be expected, something that Paul could boast about to other churches (as mentioned in vs. 4).

Faith comes by hearing says ROM 10:17, and hearing by _____?
…the word of GOD!

We rightly conclude that if their faith grew exceedingly it was because of their devotion to the Word: both the Incarnate Word, the LORD Jesus Christ; and the inspired Word (the Scriptures).

Also in vs. 3 we read “...the love of every one of you all aboundeth...” or “super-abound” as the Greek word employs in this passage. So we see faith and love in this verse. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God, and faith operates by love (GAL 5:6).

So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

Lots of good stuff here! Paul glories in this fellowship in comparison with the other “churches of GOD”. These saints exceeded their contemporary churches, and the apostle was intent on letting them know that, by way of encouraging them to press on, even in the midst of hardships that they faced! Thanksgiving for spiritual growth, faith, love and here in vs. 4 w read about patience and endurance. Why are all these things so necessary in the Christian life? 

Firstly, to honor God Who purchased us with His own blood (ACTS 20:28). Secondly, because these godly traits, born and nurtured by the Holy Spirit indwelling us are greatly needed in times of hardships, struggles, persecutions and tribulations.
“Patience and tribulation” are both mentioned; and we learn more about this:

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

ROMANS 5:3-5
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

If we want to endure such persecutions and tribulations (troubles), these spiritual elements are fundamentals, not frills; these are bare necessities not benign niceties!

One of the reasons the saints at Thessalonica thought that they had missed the rapture was because of the severe persecution they were enduring. There were those who were falsely teaching that this event had already taken place such as in 2 TIM 2:17-18.

On the subject of “endurance”:

MATTHEW 13:20-21
20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root* in himself but endures [only] for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. (ISAIAH 11:10 - “And in that day there shall be a *root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.”)

2 TIMOTHY 2:3-4
3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:

“manifest token”, that is, the fact that they are being persecuted by the world shows that they are not of the world (JOHN 17:14), but they are of God and thus accounted worthy of the kingdom of God; those who live godly in Christ will suffer persecution (2 TIM 3:12). “Walking worthy” is mentioned also in 1 THESS 2:12; 2 THESS 1:11 and in EPH 4:1-2. It’s essential that we make every endeavor, empowered by the grace of GOD, that we walk this walk with Christ without stumbling. Check out this TTUF series (and recent conference based on these biblical characters at SHINE BRIGHT Church, Tucson, AZ.!) WALKING without STUMBLING.

MATTHEW 5:10-12
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Consider Who is speaking here: This is Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, the One Who called all of reality into existence. He is saying “great is your reward”. If I were to inherit $100,000 I would consider that a great inheritance, but what would that be to someone like Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon? Or Armand Rothschild, International Banker? Hardly “great”, right?

Well the LORD Jesus Christ, Creator and Owner of all things, says “great is your reward”, you can be sure, such reward is great indeed!

Consider also 
HEBREWS 11:35b-38a
35b ...and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder [like Isaiah by the evil king Manasseh], were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38a (Of whom the world was not worthy:)...

Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;

“...recompense...” An actual name from Hebrew (of six different Israelis so named) transliterated into the Greek; the name means “God of deliverance”.
The saints of God are precious to our Abba Father Who takes it seriously when one of them are injured or even slighted in some way. The LORD Jesus sees any attack upon the church as an actual attack upon Himself!

For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.

Recall what Paul the apostle heard when he was Saul of Tarsus, a pharisee and a persecutor of the church:

ACTS 9:4-5
4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the [goads].

God is a God of justice and judgment executed justly. He is faithful to judge all sin both of sinner and saint. The unrepentant sinner will face his own judgment before God; the saint's sins have already been judged at the cross where Jesus bore our sins and their penalty in our place. This is the place of grace!

And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

“...rest with us...” Because of God's promised and forthcoming recompense for us, we can therefore “rest” in Him - “a letting loose, relaxation, rest, rest not from work but from endurance and suffering; also relief from anxiety and, or persecution.”

“...revealed from heaven...” The Greek word for “revealed” here is: apokalupsis – disclosure, revelation, be revealed, to lighten, manifestation, appearing. This word is more comprehensive than epipheneia and depicts the progressive and immediate unveiling of the otherwise unknown and unknowable God to His church.

“...taking vengeance...” upon those who:
1) Know not God - “Depart from Me, workers of iniquity, I never knew you.” MATT 7:23.
2) Obey not the Gospel of the LORD Jesus Christ. These are those who “believed not the truth” as mentioned in 2 THESS 2:12.
3) “...flaming fire...” Fire is the element long associated in Scripture with God's judgment. Fire can either destroy or refine. It can either ruin or enrich. 

It all depends on what it's working on. Spiritually speaking the fire of God will bring punitive destruction upon the unredeemed; but will bring purity and wholeness to the redeemed of the LORD. Even among the saints, the works that they accomplish will be tried by the fire of God's judgment (at the [bema seat], the judgment seat of Christ (1 COR 3:11-15; 2 COR 5:10) – the works of the flesh will be burned up, the work of the Spirit in our lives shall remain, be refined of any impurity (brought about by ourselves) and be rewarded. Check out June Hunt's concise article: TRIALS: GOD’s REFINING PROCESS.

These are the sort of works that the Spirit of GOD’s FIRE will judge and destroy:

2 TIMOTHY 3:1-5 
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Also in 1 PETER we see the two distinct groups that will both be judged: but the church will be judged for rewards (or lack thereof), not for their sins as will this fallen world that rejects the Gospel:

1 PETER 4:17-18
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

Three Greek words are employed for the following:

“punished” - This is a compound word in the Greek, using two different words together; the first being dike, meaning “justice, a just decision and its execution, judgment, punishment, vengeance, that which is right, equitable”; the second Greek word is tino and this means, “to pay a price, a penalty, punished.”

“everlasting” - aionios is the Greek word here, meaning: “perpetual, eternal, forever; it can mean of a time undefined but not endless as in ROM 16:25 (“began”). Aionios when meaning eternal is the opposite of proskairos which means “for a season”. In 2 COR 4:18 “...the things which are eternal...” is aionios. It means eternal, and forever regarding the Person of God (ROM 16:26); His power (1 TIM 6:16); His glory (1 PET 5:10); redemption (HEB 9:12); salvation (HEB 5:9); life in Christ (JOHN 3:16); the judgment of God (HEB 6:2); and of the fire, one of judgment's instruments (MATT 18:8; 25:41; JUDE 1:7).

The punishment mentioned in 2 THESS 1:9 is not temporary but final, and accordingly the phraseology shows that its purpose is not remedial but retributive.

“destruction” - The Greek word here is olethros, meaning: “to destroy, death, punishment, destruction; ruin and divine judgment upon men at the ushering in of the Day of the LORD and the revelation of Jesus Christ.

The word here does not mean annihilation or to obliterate out of existence, but to bring to a state of utter ruin and uselessness, in a way similar to but not identical with the way that time will eventually bring a building into a state of disrepair and if left unattended will finally result in complete ruin and will then require demolition.

There is the false doctrines of Universalism and also that of annihilationism; check out CHRIST's COURT: SOON IN SESSION to read a series of articles that deal with these topics.

When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

“...glorified in His saints...” How is God glorified in us?

PSALM 22:23
Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.

GOD is glorified by our reverential fear and worship of His Majesty and Holiness.

JOHN 13:31-35
31 Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him. 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. 34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

GOD is glorified in the Supreme Sacrifice of the LORD Jesus Christ, Who, by His Spirit of grace enables us to love one another just as the LORD loves us - unconditionally, in wisdom and generous benevolence.

JOHN 15:8
 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
Bearing the fruit of the Spirit, which is the likeness of the LORD Jesus' noble and marvelous nature, in our lives is the means by which GOD is glorified. Check out the TTUF article AFTER HIS KIND.

JOHN 17:4-5
4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

Being obedient to the LORD's commands, His Holy will is how the LORD Jesus glorified our Abba Father - let us go and do likewise!

1 PETER 4:11-16
11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. 16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

By functioning in our respective ministries in the body of Christ, His church to the edification of each of all our members is a means to glorify GOD, particularly when we expound on the truth of His Word. By patient endurance in trials and persecution, allowing the LORD to do His Holy work of sanctification in us is also a means by which GOD is glorified in our lives.

2 THESSALONIANS 1:10 cont'd:
When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

“...admired in all them that believe...”
Believing in the sense of believing God, not merely believing in God (as in believing that He exists; demons believe in that sense of course (JAMES 2:19)); but believing what He tells us in His Word (ROMANS 4:3; GAL 3:6; JAMES 2:23). 

The ones that admire the saints here, I believe are those other saints still on Earth who came to know Jesus as LORD and Savior during this time of the tribulation, where mere intellectual belief in God could not sustain them through such a horrific time, but a true Holy Spirit-born faith in God's Word that is unshakable, even if one's very life is threatened!

Faith in the Word of God if it is genuine, is as unshakable as the Word of Truth itself (MATT 24:35 - “heaven and earth shall pass away...” The Words of Jesus, being the Word of God will never pass away! Whether we face ‘the time of tribulation’ or we face tribulation, hardships and persecution in this life, a solid faith in the Word of God will enable us by His Spirit of grace to prevail!

Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:

An excellent prayer! “worthy of this calling”. What calling is that? Ekklesia – a called out assembly that is redeemed, sanctified, consecrated: ROM 12:1-2 and EPH 4:1-3. “...fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness...” How good is the goodness of God? 95% good?

There is none good but God, so genuine goodness is a manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit (GAL 5:22) and where ever we see goodness demonstrated, it must be God working in our lives and the lives of all the saints.

“...the work of faith with power.” Greek words employed here:

That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Goodness, glory, and grace.

“...the name of the LORD Jesus Christ may be glorified in you and you in Him...”
The “name” is a representation of the character, and reputation; it is the exemplary of the heart. It is a manifestation of one's personality. The “Name” of Jesus Christ represents Who He is = Jesus: Yehoshua, a contraction of YHWH-shua meaning, “Our God is salvation”!
The name of God is highly exalted, and the only thing that God exalts even higher is His Word (PSALM 138:2); Jesus is the Name above every other name (ACTS 4:12; PHIL 2:9). 

In the Name of Jesus Christ, let us therefore pursue the LORD, seeking greater and deeper sanctification and edification in His Word by faith so that we may endure the trials and temptations and tribulations in these coming days!

Here ends part One of Four in this study, CROSSING The T’s – 2nd THESSALONIANS.

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