1 Thessalonians 3
Paul reveals that he is at Athens and is sending this letter by Timothy for the purpose of confirming and establishing the pillars of faith at Thessaloniki.
1 Thessalonians 3:1 Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone; 3:2 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith: 3:3 That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.
Paul, suffering persecution and opposition himself, was deeply concerned that the pillars in Thessaloniki should not waver during persecution.
Today, as the scriptures have warned us (Mat 24:5, 24:11, Jude), the spiritual Ekklesia is filled with deceivers who try to lead the brethren away from any zeal to live by every Word of God to follow idols of men and false traditions, and to persecute the faithful pillars that they cannot deceive.
3:4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know. 3:5 For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.
Paul rejoiced at the steadfastness of the brethren at Thessaloniki when he received Timothy’s report.
Today God has not left his pillars without support and encouragement for their zeal!
3:6 But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity [true godly love, which is living by every Word of God], and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you: 3:7 Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith: 3:8 For now we live [rejoice], if ye stand fast in the Lord.
Paul prays for the zealous of Thessaloniki and desires to meet with those pillars, being full of great joy over their steadfastness.
The pillars of today who are greatly scattered, also pray for one another in deep concern over all the deception and persecution that each must bear, praying to confirm their strength of zeal to stand on the solid foundation of the whole Word of God; and we long for the day that we will meet with one another and be with our LORD!
3:9 For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God; 3:10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith? 3:11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.
Paul prays that he might see his friends and that they will be perfected in their faith and love of God.
If we have faith in God: We will have the works of faith and we will live by every Word of God! We are to abound in love of God to do God’s will, and our love for God will result in also loving people.
Proper godly love of people is built on the foundation of love for God and the keeping of the whole Word of God, which teaches us how to love God and humanity.
3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
Being unblameable in holiness before God the Father; means to be in FULL COMPLETE UNITY with God Almighty! In thoughts and in deeds!
We achieve that FULL UNITY with God by following the Lamb whithersoever he goeth (Rev 14:4), by following the lead of God’s Spirit into all TRUTH and by an uncompromising obedience to all of God’s Word and Will; thereby internalizing the very mind and nature of God!
Paul encourages the faithful to grow more and more in sanctification [set apartness to God and separated from worldliness] and their zeal to please God.
1 Thessalonians 4
The pillars are taught and encouraged by Paul to live according to the scriptures.
Those who are pillars today must also live by every Word of God the Father, growing continually in godliness; which is well pleasing to God (Mat 4:4)
1 Thessalonians 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. 4:2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication [pornea; all sexual sin and its spiritual corollary which is disloyalty to God and idolatry]:
We are to flee from all sexual sins and disloyalty, and to be absolutely faithful to our spouses [a man and a woman joined together by God]; which was instituted to teach us the virtue of deep abiding love and LOYALTY to our espoused eternal Husband Jesus Christ.
4:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 4:5 Not in the lust of concupiscence [evil thoughts, plans and imaginations including vicariously sinning by delighting in watching others sin], even as the Gentiles [as those who do not know God] which know not God: 4:6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter [Including deceiving many away from any zeal for God and thereby defrauding people of their salvation and their crowns. God will correct the deceivers who now walk respected and unafraid among the assemblies.]: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
We were not called to remain in the uncleanness of sin: We were called to come out of [and to cast away] all sin. To become clean, pure and holy, just as God the Father is holy.
4:7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
Today, many brethren are like those looking into a large mirror who close their eyes to their blemishes and imperfections and proclaim ourselves clean of sin and godly, when we are not clean at all.
Our many compromises which we see as only little things are all seen by God, and are big things to him. They prevent us from being like him who has no sin, and they are a blot on our Feasts, being unacceptable blemishes that the Bridegroom will not tolerate (2 Peter 2:13). Either we cleanse ourselves or we will be rejected by God the Father as a part of the collective bride for his Son.
4:8 He therefore that despiseth [Those who despise others who are zealous to live by every Word of God; despise the author of God’s Word, God Almighty.], despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.
Do not despise zeal to live by every Word of, and by the Will of God. Let us all work diligently to internalize the very nature of our beloved Father and our espoused Husband through living by their every Word!
If we love God and are enthusiastic to do God’s will, then we will also love mankind just as Jesus Christ loved humanity and gave his life to ransom man from sincerely repented PAST sin.
4:9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.
Be honest and work hard, not being lazy; both in learning [study and thinking] and applying the things of God in our daily lives.
4:10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; 4:12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.
Study hard and be honest and careful to live a Christ-like life.
Now come words of encouragement concerning the dead in Christ, and the reward of those found faithful at his coming.
4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
God the Father will raise up the faithful just as he raised up Jesus Christ, and Christ will come with them to rule the earth.
Just as God raised up the sinless Christ; he will also raise up those who allow Christ to live in them and who are filled with Christ-like zeal to live by every Word of God (Psalm 69:9).
4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [precede] them which are asleep.
The dead who were faithful and zealous through Jesus Christ living in them, will awaken and rise up to God in heaven (Rev 15, 19); they shall be changed to spirit and rise with the dead into heaven for the Wedding Feast of the Lamb (Eph 2:6). After which they shall return to rule the earth with Messiah the Christ their collective Husband (Rev 15, 19)!
4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Revelation 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
If we sincerely repent of breaking God’s law and then STOP sinning and continue in living by every Word of God, we shall be raised up to eternal life.
1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
If we remain carnal and not subject to the Word of God; we shall NOT enter the resurrection to spirit.
15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, [the physical bodies of the faithful will be changed to spirit] and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the [Sin is the breaking of the law for which the penalty is death.] law.
15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory [over commandment and law breaking, which is sin] through our Lord Jesus Christ.
15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Take a stand to keep the Word of God without compromise; and we shall, by internalizing the very nature of God as defined by his Word be changed into spirit just as God is spirit!
1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.