The epistles to the Thessalonians were recorded and preserved for God’s faithful pillars, who stand unshakable on every Word of God; encouraging them in their patient enduring while giving them key prophetic information.
While the epistles of Paul are addressed to individual congregations; they are likewise preserved as Holy Scripture and recorded for the instruction of all those who are called by God.
1 Thessalonians 1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in [faithfully obeying] God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Just as Colossians was meant as an encouragement to godliness for the Colossians and the latter day Laodiceans, this epistle is especially for the faithful pillars in Thessaloniki and for the faithful pillars throughout history and in these later days.
The Thessalonians were full of faith and the works of faith, and they were diligent to patiently live by every Word of God and so are the spiritual pillars of these last days and of all ages. We are to patiently endure, growing in godliness and overcoming all sin, and in so doing we shall be saved at the resurrection to spirit.
Luke 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls [attain eternal life].
Colossians was written specifically to Laodicea (Rev 3:14-22) and the epistles to the Thessalonians were (and are) a direct encouragement and instruction for the pillars, called the Philadelphian Ekklesia in Revelation 3.
1 Thessalonians 1:2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; 1:4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election [calling] of God.
This letter is addressed to the Thessalonians who are presented as faithful pillars of light.
These messages contain no correction at all, only instructions and encouragement for God’s pillars. Those folks in Thessaloniki had a true Philadelphian attitude of love for and of living by every Word of God; which is emulated by God’s faithful pillars throughout the ages.
1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
The pillars are called out with much affliction and endure very much for God’s way, yet they remain solidly grounded on the sound doctrine of the whole Word of God. They follow every Word of God with joy and through their zeal for all things of God, are full of the Holy Spirit of TRUTH.
1:6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.
Paul reminds them that they received the Word of God through much affliction; meaning that they suffered much for the sake of their love, zeal and faith toward God.
The pillars know that they were sinners and they know that they are weak, and that they are saved by the mercy and power of God. Therefore they stand upon and rely upon their Mighty Deliverer, cleaving to him and continually relying upon their Mighty One; diligently living by every Word of God and never turning aside to follow idols of men or their own imaginations.
They endure adversity and receive and embrace the truth of God with great joy.
Where has that great joy in discovering and understanding the things of God gone in the Laodicean church of today? Has it not been buried in a misguided zeal for false traditions and idols of men, instead of a Philadelphian love of the TRUTH?
True spiritual pillars are a Shining Light of example for their Laodicean brethren who reject them for a time; but will later remember that shining example and likewise turn to the Eternal!
1:7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
Today the spiritual Ekklesia has fallen far away from a godly zeal and Philadelphian love for TRUTH and an enthusiastic zeal for all of God’s Word; falling into a blind unquestioning faith in idols of men above their first love and faith in our espoused Husband and his Father.
How did this happen?
They were deceived by thinking that “Philadelphia” means brotherly love [love for men] while forgetting that the proper foundation of brotherly love is passionate love for God the Father.
All those who love God the Father and live by every Word of God will be bound together by their mutual love of God and will love one another on that common foundation. That is the definition of a Philadelphian pillar!
True Philadelphian love is to love God with all our beings, and if we truly love God we will seek to please him and we will do what God teaches us. Our love of God and our living by every Word of God then becomes the foundation for loving mankind.
Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 22: 38 This is the first and great commandment. 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
If God is left out of the equation by paying lip service to God but having no love to live by every Word of God the Father; our love of people becomes idolatry because it exalts love for people above love for God.
Yet today, there are still a few faithful pillars like those Thessalonians, and the scattered Philadelphian pillars are a Shining Light of passionate zeal to live by every Word of God.
1 Thessalonians 1:8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.
Others will one day point to the example of the faithfulness and zeal of the patiently enduring pillars; and how we turned from idolizing men to serve the Omnipotent Almighty God.
1:9 For they themselves [others will see our example] shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 1:10 And to wait [to wait patiently for the deliverance of the coming Christ] for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
The Thessalonians and the faithful pillars have always received the Word of Truth with joy, and have cleaved to the Word of the Eternal God through the strength of his Spirit; which is given to those who love and live by every Word of God.
1 Thessalonians 2
Paul, even after his previous experiences of persecution, was bold to preach the truth to the Thessalonians against much opposition. Today the truth of God is preached even in the professing spiritual Ekklesia, only through much opposition from the very corporate assemblies themselves.
1 Thessalonians 2:1 For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain: 2:2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel [the whole Word of God] of God with much contention.
The faithful recognize the words of truth by the inspiration of God’s Spirit, because of their zeal for God and their love to live by every Word of God. They love God and by God’s Spirit and a diligent study of the Word of God they recognize the truth of God.
Paul then goes on to tell them of his honesty in his preaching, and his deep love for God and for them.
2:3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: 2:4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but [to please God] God, which trieth [tests us] our hearts.
Paul did not seek advantage over them, neither wealth nor adulation; he did not seek for anyone to follow him, but for all to follow God. How unlike many of the leaders and elders of today’s spiritual Ekklesia.
2:5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness: 2:6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.
Paul cherished the brethren with all his heart as did Jesus Christ; who lived and died to reconcile mankind with God the Father.
2:7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: 2:8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. 2:9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. 2:10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:
2:11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged [taught] every one of you, [cherishing you] as a father doth his children, 2:12 That ye would walk worthy of God [by living as Christ lived, obeying God and doing those things which please God], who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
The pillars who receive and live by every Word of God with great joy will be filled with the works of faith; which is the effectual working of the Word of God in us.
2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
The Thessalonians and today’s pillars experience many trials
2:14 For ye, brethren, became followers [God’s faithful are fellow brethren with others who have suffered for the faith.] of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: 2:15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: 2:16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.
My friends, if these people suffered for the truth of God in the Mosaic Assembly of that day; do not think it strange if today’s pillars who love to live by every Word of God, are also persecuted and chastised by their brethren in today’s corporate assemblies.
Remember that they rejected any zeal for God’s Word before they rejected us. Be strong in the Spirit and faint not, for the day will soon come when those who rejected a love for godliness will return to their first loving zeal to learn and live by God’s Word, with sincere repentance and rejoicing in God’s deliverance.
Paul mentions that he would like to visit them but was delayed
2:17 But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire. 2:18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.
The desire of Paul’s heart is that all of the pillars remain faithful to love God and to live by every Word of God, and so be among the chosen at the resurrection to spirit and the coming of Christ.
Brethren that is my hope also; that all the called to God through Christ, should overcome and be chosen as a part of the bride!
2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? 2:20 For ye are our glory and joy.
See the “Marriage of the Lamb” article in the Spring Festivals category.