I. Salutation V. 1‑2
1. Paul is the human instrument (II Pet. 1: 21) God used to write this second epistle to the Thessalonians. (3:17)
2. He adds Silvanus (Silas) and Timotheus (Timothy) along with his name, giving credit to those who were helpers (co‑laborers) of his at the time of writing this epistle.
3. The time of the writing was shortly after the 1st epistle was written, probably in AD 54 while he was still at Corinth.
4. The purpose of the letter was to correct the misunderstanding that the church had concerning the second coming of Christ.
5. It appears that there had been a letter sent to the church (someone may have signed Paul's name to it) stating things that misrepresented the "day of the Lord". (2:2)
6. Therefore, Paul's words in this letter are more stern than in I Thess.
7. The letter was written to the church of the Thessalonians.
8. "Church" = assembly; those called together out of a multitude or masses for the transaction of business.
9. In this case it means a local, visible body of baptized believers who meet together to worship and glorify God and transact business between heaven and earth. (Mat. 16:19)
10. In this verse, Paul give the church's:
A. Geographical location = In Thessalonica. That being where the assembly of the Thessalonians assembled.
B. Spiritual location = "in" God and "in" the Lord Jesus Christ.
11. "In" = shows position; in the sphere of.
12. "In God our Father" = characterizes them as not being heathens.
13. "In the Lord Jesus Christ" = characterizes them as not being Jews.
14. Paul is placing the Lord Jesus Christ on the same level as the Father. (John 10:30; Col. 2:9)
15. Note: "our" = personal to Paul. (Rom. 8:15)
1. Paul begins with his usual greeting; yet this is more than a simple "how are you, hope you are fine, etc".
2. "Grace" = sanctifying grace, not justifying, for he is speaking to saints, those who are already justified. He is speaking of undeserved, unearned, unmerited favor.
3. This is the grace that enables the saint of God to overcome obstacles and keep on keeping on for the glory of God.
4. We have access (freedom to enter through the assistance or favor of another) into this grace by faith. (Rom. 5:2)
5. "Peace" = That state brought about by the grace and loving mind of God wherein the derangement and distress of life caused by sin are removed; refers to sanctifying peace, not justifying peace which is peace with God. (Rom. 5:1)
6. Sanctifying peace is the peace of God that passes all understanding, even in troubled times. (Phil. 4:6‑7)
7. "From" = As a fountain head and source of grace and peace. 8. Again the Father and Son are placed on the same plane of the source of this grace and peace.
II. Comfort ‑ From the Hope of Christ's return
A. The consolation of comfort in the present V. 3‑7
1. In this letter Paul used what is referred to as sandwich psychology. That is, stating something positive to begin with and also ending with something positive, but placing something negative in between. (+ - +)
2. In other words, he praises them for what good was in them to get their attention before he deals with their faults.
3. "Bound" = to be under obligation.
4. "To thank God" = to express gratitude toward.
5. "Meet" = deserving; suitable; worthy; right and proper in the circumstance of the case.
6. Paul feels a sense of personal obligation, not necessity, to keep on giving thanks to God because of God's continued blessings on the Thessalonians.
7. The Blessings he gave thanks for are:
A. Your growing faith.
1) "Faith" = living faith. Refers to faithfulness and fidelity (faithful devotion to duty) as produced in the life of the yielded Christian by the Holy Spirit.
2) "Groweth exceedingly" = to superabound; figure of a tree growing beyond measure, more than normal.
B. Your abounding love.
1) "Charity" = agape; love; God kind of love; only present when saved. (Rom. 5:5)
2) "Aboundeth" = increase in intensity.
8. This verse lets us know that Paul had heard from the church since his first epistle was written.
1. Paul states that he mentioned their example to other churches (local assemblies, more than one) and even gloried (boasted in a good sense) which caused other churches to be encouraged.
2. "Patience" = constancy; a bearing up under. Patience is associated with hope and refers to the quality of an individual that does not surrender to the circumstances nor succumb under trials.
3. Patience, in order to be of any value in the sight of God, must be combined with faith (trusting and leaning on the Lord, the only one who can carry you through).
4. "Persecutions" = to afflict constantly so as to injure or cause distress; to chase; to pursue.
5. "Tribulations" = grievous affliction or distress; pressure or burden upon the spirit.
6. "Endure" = really means "are enduring" at this present time; the persecution which arose when Paul was at Thessalonica, being continued.
7. The patience and faith of the Thessalonians shines the brightest in the midst of persecution and affliction, just as the stars shine the brightest at night.
8. It doesn't take much to be a true Christian in the time of peace and prosperity, but it takes patience and faith to be a true Christian in the season of persecution.
9. There is an old saying, "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church".
1. "Which is" = is in italics and is not in the original scripture, but placed there to try to help us see that this verse is a reference to the previous clause.
2. "A manifest token" = an indication; proof; evidence; anything that shows or points out how a thing is, or is to be.
3. In context, "manifest token" refers to the fact that the Thessalonians steadfastly enduring persecutions and afflictions for the sake of the gospel is an indication or gives evidence of the "righteous judgment of God".
4. "Righteous" = equitable; right; just; impartial.
5. "Judgment" = rendering to each his due.
6. This refers to a future judgment when:
A. The inequalities of the present state of things will be adjusted.
B. The apparent violations of justice will be set right (rectified).
C. Matters will be completely reversed = when the persecutors will be punished and the persecuted rewarded. (Phil. 1:28)
7. "That" = in order that. Indicating the purpose of God's ordering of events under His divine authority.
8. "Be counted worthy" = to deem entirely deserving; be fitted for the kingdom of God.
9. This does not mean that Christians will merit heaven by their suffering, but evidence is given by their patience and faith that they are not disqualified to enter the kingdom of God.
10. "Kingdom of God" = includes 1000 year earthly reign of Christ and also the eternal abode with Him after a New Heaven comes into being.
11. "For which" = for the sake of which.
12. "Ye also suffer" = tense in Greek reveals that the sufferings were being continued down to the time Paul wrote this epistle, = "ye are suffering".
13. Paul says that the sufferings which you now endure are because you are professed heirs of the kingdom, you are persecuted because you are Christians (word given to those who live Christ‑like). (Acts 11:26; Note: others called them Christians)
1. "Seeing" = since indeed; an emphatic assertion; meaning it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you.
2. "Righteous" = right; proper; just; upright; impartial.
3. "With God" = means by the side of God. Therefore, in context, means from God's standpoint.
4. "Recompense" = repay; settle the score.
5. "Tribulation" = pressure; affliction; speaking of punishment to be displayed upon their persecutors.
6. "Trouble" = to press as grapes; to afflict.
7. The sense is that there will be a future judgment, because it is right and proper that God should punish those who now persecute you because:
A. It is unbelievable that God should threaten such punishment if it were not right.
B. It is not wrong to punish wickedness in the future world since we punish it now in this world.
C. It will be a righteous thing for God to punish the wicked in a future state, for they are not always punished here as they deserve.
8. Since it is right that God should punish the wicked in the future world, it will be done because:
A. There is nothing to hinder Him from doing it. He has all power and all the necessary means at His disposal to inflict punishment.
B. It would not be right not to do it.
C. It cannot be believed that God has uttered a threatening which He never meant to execute.
D. The Judge of all the earth "will do right". (Gen. 18:25)
1. "Rest" = denotes relaxation; ease; a letting loose; release. Implies the relaxing or letting down of chords or strings which have been strained or drawn tight. (This is a noun and not a verb.)
2. Paul promises to the troubled, tense, Thessalonians, that they could find rest in the day of the Lord as he anticipates for them not so much cessation from labor, as relaxation of the chords of affliction, now so tightly drawn, strained, and stretched to the uttermost.
3. It is a righteous thing with God to recompense the persecutors with affliction, and also it is a righteous thing with God to recompense rest to those who are afflicted. (Mat. 11:28‑29)
4. This rest is that which awaits believers, not in this world, but in the next. (Job 3:17; Heb. 4:9)
5. It will be rest to the weary; freedom to the enslaved; release from sorrow, suffering, and pain; relaxation from toil; ease from noise and turmoil; the quiet haven of peace after being tossed about in this tempestuous sea of life.
6. "With us" = referring to the writers of this epistle: Paul, Silas and Timothy.
7. "When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed" = states the timing of this future rest.
8. "Revealed" = revelation; visible manifestation of Christ. (Rev. 1:7)
9. "From heaven" = where now He is concealed from human view, seated at the right hand of God.
10. "With his mighty angels" = "with the angels of His power". 11. "Mighty" = power; delegated power.
12. These angels are serving His power and proclaiming His might and will be sent forth to execute His commands. (Mat. 16:27; 24:31)
13. By their (angels) instrumentality, the saved that sleep shall be called from the graves and the saved who are alive shall be changed, (I Thess. 4:16‑17; Rev. 14:13‑16) while the wicked will be separated from the just, (Mat. 13:49) and prepared for judgment. (Rev. 14:17‑20)
B. The compensation of comfort in the future V. 8‑12
1. "In flaming fire" = Not the instrument of punishment, but a further description of the glory of Christ's appearance.
2. In the Old Testament, God is represented as appearing in flaming fire:
A. When He manifested Himself to Moses. (Exo. 3:2)
B. When he led the children of Israel. (Exo. 13:21‑22)
3. Paul seems to represent Him as coming in the midst of vivid flashes of lightening, as if the whole heavens were illuminated with a continued blaze. (Mat. 24:27)
4. "Taking" = giving; awarding; allotting.
5. "Vengeance"= used in the sense of punishment, not revenge, for there cannot be in God what corresponds with the passion of revenge. This represents the act of a righteous Judge not of an avenger.
6. The vengeance (punishment) will come on two groups of people:
A. Those "that know not God" = speaks of those who are living in heathenish darkness, or those who having heard of Him, have no understanding (know not) because they are ignorant of Him.
B. Those "that obey not the gospel of our lord Jesus Christ" = Those who have heard, had some understanding, but rebelled and rejected its truth. They would not embrace it and practice its precepts in their lives. The Jews are included in this group. (John 1:11)
7. "Obey" = refers to the manifestation of faith as revealed in the humble acceptance of the gospel message.
8. "Gospel" = good tidings; good news. Paul uses this word to refer to the basic facts of the death (died for my sins), burial, and the resurrection of Christ, and the interpretation of these facts. (I Cor. 15:3‑4)
1. "Who" = refers to the two groups in v. 8 upon whom will come punishment, namely, the unbelieving Gentiles and Jews.
2. "Shall be punished with" = made up of two Greek words with the tense being future; both words together mean to pay the penalty, to suffer, or incur punishment.
3. The punishment will be everlasting (eternal) destruction and separation from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.
4. "Destruction" = means ruin and death, not annihilation. Used in the same sense in which we use the word when we say a thing is destroyed.
A. Health is destroyed when it fails.
B. Property is destroyed when it is burned or sunk in the ocean.
C. A limb is destroyed that is lost in battle.
D. Life is destroyed when one dies.
E. The soul is destroyed as to the great purpose of its being = its enjoyment, dignity, honour, holiness, happiness. It will not be annihilated, but will live and linger on in destruction.
5. "Presence" = face. The unbelievers will be banished away from the presence of the Lord, they will not be able to look upon His face.
6. "Glory" = manifestation of that which brings forth praise.
7. "Power" = strength.
8. The meaning of this last phrase seems to be that the unbeliever will not be able to endure the manifestation of His glory and strength (power) when he shall appear. (2:8; Luke 21:27)
9. There will be a great exhibition of both:
A. "Power" will be seen:
1) In the convulsions of nature which will precede or attend Him. (Rev. 6:12‑15)
2) In the resurrection of the dead. (I Thess. 4:16‑17; Mat. 24:31)
3) In the bringing of all to punishment. (Rev. 6:17)
B. "Glory" will be seen:
1) In His own person. (Rev. 6:16)
2) In the dignity and number of His attendants. (Mt. 16:27; I Thess. 3:13; 4:14)
10. By the manifestation of that power and glory, the wicked will be driven away into eternal ruin (everlasting destruction).
1. "When" = defining the period when this judgement of the wicked will occur.
2. "He" = namely, the Lord Jesus.
3. "Shall come to be glorified in His saints" = The redeemed in that day will be the means of promoting His glory and the universe will see His glory manifested in their redemption.
4. He will be "glorified" in His saints by:
A. The numbers that shall have been redeemed. (Rev. 7:9)
B. Their patience in the trials through which they have passed.
C. Their praises and songs. (Rev. 5:9)
D. Their ascending with Him to the realms of glory.
5. In that day (day he comes for his saints) He will be admired (wondered, marveled) in all them that believe for:
A. Having conceived the plan for redeeming them.
B. Being willing to become incarnate (virgin birth) and to die to save them.
C. The defence of all His sheep in all their persecutions and trials.
D. The virtues and graces which they will exhibit in that day. 6. "Because our testimony among you was believed" = The meaning of this seems to be that they (Thessalonians) would be among the number of those who would in that day honour the Saviour, because they had embraced (believed) what the apostle had preached (testimony) to them.
7. Therefore this phrase can be connected to verses 6‑7 in this way, "and to you it is a righteous thing that he should give you rest with us because our testimony among you was believed".
8. In essence, Paul was saying, "You have shown that you are true Christians and it is proper that you should partake of the triumphs and hopes of that day".
1. "Wherefore" = with a view to this end or outcome. In order that Christ may be glorified in you.
2. Paul, Silas and Timothy (we) could still pray for them even though they were no longer with them.
3. "Pray" = embraces all that is included in the idea of prayer to God: praise, thanksgiving, asking and requesting special things.
4. Paul prayed for three things:
A. "That our God would count you worthy of this calling":
1) "Count worthy" = to think fit; to deem entitled; to regard worthy.
2) Whom God counts worthy, He first makes worthy.
3) But the wonder and glory of it all is that God begins to count us worthy in Christ before the process is completed. (Rom. 8:29‑30)
4) "Calling" = speaks of a divine call, an invitation.
5) The calling was, properly speaking, only the commencement of the Christian life, but as it was the first link in a chain that terminates in glory, it is used to denote the whole Christian life, your vocation as Christians.
B. "That God would fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness"
1) "Fulfill" = to fill up; to complete; to be made full.
2) "Good pleasure" = satisfaction; delight.
3) "Goodness" = virtue; benevolence.
4) Paul is praying for God to make the work of salvation complete and effectual by filling you with all that good which is pleasing to Him and which His benevolence was fitted to secure.
C. "That God would fulfill the work of faith with power":
1) Paul is praying for rich fruition of what he had seen in the beginning. (I Thess. 1:3)
2) A faith that is active, living, and productive of good "works" = acts in which a man proves his genuineness and his faith to others. (James 2:20)
3) "Power" = enabling power. The apostle prays that as much power as needed to secure the saints (so they stand the trials) would be exerted.
1. The reason Paul prayed that their work of faith would be filled with power was so that the name of Jesus would be glorified.
2. That is, that the Lord Jesus Himself may be honoured among you. The name often denotes the person (his nature and character).
3. The second petition of the model prayer is "Hallowed be thy name", thus Paul is praying that His Name may be hallowed among the Thessalonians.
4. A two‑fold glorification:
A. Christ is glorified in believers, when by their holiness they promote His cause and reflect His glory.
B. The believers are glorified in Christ, when they receive out of his infinite fullness.
5. "According to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ" = that you may experience all the honour which His grace is fitted to impart. (II Cor. 12:9)
6. "My grace is sufficient" = there is COMFORT IN THAT.
III. Caution ‑ On the time of Christ's return V. 1‑17
A. The when and how of the coming V. 1‑12
1. Paul now comes to the heart of his letter by cautioning the believers because there were wrong ideas afloat concerning the Lord's return and certain matters connected with it.
2. In verses 1‑12, Paul guides and corrects as to the "when" and the "how" of the coming.
3. "Now" = marks the transition to the new subject.
4. "Beseech" = to make an urgent request of one; to ask someone on an equal level, as man to man (brethren = from the same womb, therefore on an equal level).
5. "By" = means concerning.
6. Note that the second "by" is in italics; therefore, only one preposition is in the original.
7. Paul speaks concerning "the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" and identifies what coming he is referring to by adding the phrase "our gathering together unto Him."
8. He is speaking of the Lord's coming back in the "rapture" for the gathering of His saints. (I Thess. 4:16‑17)
9. "Coming" = presence and lays emphasis on the presence of the Lord with His people.
10. "Gathering together" refers to the assembling of believers to Christ when He shall be revealed from heaven.
1. "That" = to the end that; the purpose for which the apostle besought the Thessalonians.
2. The apostle cautions the Thessalonians that they should not be deceived about the time of Christ's coming, and so "be soon shaken in mind, or be troubled".
3. "Soon" = quickly; hastily; may mean: 1) so soon after my exhortation, 2) so soon after my departure from Thessalonica, 3) so soon after you received the gospel, 4) so soon after this opinion of the nearness of Christ's coming was proclaimed.
4. "Shaken" = to totter; to be ready to fall; to be near ruin; to be agitated like the waves by a storm.
5. "In mind" = from your mind; from your sober reason; from your wits.
6. "Troubled" = a still stronger expression, "terrified" = a state of nervous excitement; the Greek tense indicates this condition was already going on.
7. Paul lists three things that he did not want the believers to be shaken or troubled by:
A. "By spirit" = refers to prophetical discourses delivered by members of the Church in a state of excitement, announcing the immediate coming of Christ, and which were mistaken for Divine communications. During the first days of the New Testament Church, certain believers had the gift of prophecy and in fact, did prophesy through the Spirit. (I Thess. 5:20, I Cor. 13:8‑10)
B. "By word" = an oral statement of a conversation with Paul spoken as if Paul had said it; a report of some of the apostle's words, either in error or misunderstood.
C. "By letter" = speaking of some letter, either forged in the apostle's name or pretending to state his views.
8. "As from us" = applies to "by word nor by letter" = Paul is saying for them not to let any PRETENDED word or letter trouble them. (Gal. 1:8)
9. Evidently, someone claimed to have a private epistle from Paul which supported the view that Jesus was coming at once.
10. This may be the reason that Paul signed this letter in his own hand writing and also some later letters. (I Cor. 16:21) Paul had an eye problem (Gal.6:11; 4:15) and on at least one occasion used someone else to pen down what he spoke (Rom. 16:22) and it is believed that he did this with some other epistles because he stated that he penned the salutation with his own hand (I Cor., Col., and 2 Thess.)
11. The teaching that caused them to be shaken was that the day of Christ was at hand.
12. "At hand" = to be present; to be upon them.
13. "Day of Christ" = The day of the Lord. A common Old Testament expression denoting a period of time referred to as the second advent (second coming) of our Lord; coming back in the air for the resurrection of the saints and ending with the second part of second coming when Lord comes back and sets His feet upon the earth. During this period of time, wrath will be poured out upon this earth as it is judged.
14. The idea of judgment is contained in the term "day", and it will be a time of weeping , mourning and wailing, a day of darkness and not light.
15. This period of time is clearly described in the Old Testament as the phrase is used 21 times: (Isa. 2:12,17‑21; 13:6‑16; Jer. 46:10; Joel 2:1‑11,30‑31; 3:9‑16; Amos 5:16‑20; Zep.1:14‑18; Zech. 14:1‑5 = some of the scriptures)
16. There is no misunderstanding as to what the "Day of the Lord" consists of: = the wrath of God (Rev. 6:17) consisting of the trumpets, thunders, and vials as they are poured out upon this earth.
17. The saints in Thessalonica thought this period of time was upon them because they were being persecuted for Christ's sake and they didn't have full understanding of the scriptures. Therefore, they were shaken and troubled instead of being established. (I Thess. 3:2‑3,13)
18. Errors in the mind tend greatly to weaken our faith, and cause us trouble and such as are weak in faith and of troubled minds are many times apt to be deceived, and fall prey to seducers.
1. The apostle didn't want them deceived.
2. "Deceived" = beguiled; to be misled; to believe what is not true. He would not have their faith weakened nor their comforts lessen. Same as the Hebrew word for "beguiled" in Gen. 3:13.
3. "By any means" = in any way or manner; tricks of any kind. Some deceivers pretend new revelations, others misinterpret scriptures, others will be guilty of gross forgeries, and still others will use different means and trickery, but we must be careful that no man deceive us by any means.
4. Paul makes it very clear that the period of time called the day of the Lord shall not come except (unless) two things happen:
A. There come a falling away.
B. The man of sin be revealed.
5. "A falling away" = has a definite article in front; therefore, "the falling away = the apostasy". This is not the everyday departure from the faith, but the wholesale rebellion and thorough lapse into error and demonism of the period just preceding Christ's advent in glory (the day of the Lord). The great turning to idols from the true God.
6. "Man of sin" = Has a definite article meaning, "the man of sin". Speaks of a definite personage and not a system nor a spirit of wickedness and lawlessness even though these things will exist.
7. This man of sin is called "the son of perdition" = the lawless one; the last great demon; inspired world ruler; the antichrist (I John 2:18); not Satan, but some one, definite person who is doing the work of Satan.
8. "Perdition" = destruction; ruin. Refers to the state after death wherein exclusion from salvation is a realized fact, wherein man, instead of becoming what he might have been, is lost and ruined forever in the lake of fire.
9. This title was only given to one other, Judas Iscariot (John 17:12) which means that this man of sin will be doomed to perdition just like Judas was. (Note: Some think that this man of sin will be Judas Iscariot)
1. This verse gives the actions of the man of sin.
2. He "opposeth" = has a definite article meaning, "he is the opposer" = the adversary.
3. He "exalteth" himself = to lift oneself up above others; implies being haughty and arrogant.
4. "All" = Refers to all that is called God (deity; whether among the heathens or the Jews; speaks of a false god or the true God), and all that is worshipped. (Word means an object of worship whether person, place or idol.)
5. The man of sin will oppose all religions and all forms or types of worship and will exalt himself above all and sit down in the temple of God shewing himself to be God.
6. "Shewing" = to designate; proclaim; hold forth; to demonstrate; to exhibit; to show by proof. (2:9)
7. "Temple of God" = Refers to the temple that the Jews will reconstruct in Jerusalem during the first half of the 70 weeks of Daniel (Dan. 9:27), then he sets himself up as God. (Mat. 24:15)
8. With this in mind, then there must be three things that precede the day of the Lord:
A. The falling away.
B. The man of sin revealed.
C. The temple rebuilt.
9. Many today say all this comes after the rapture but Paul says it is before the day of the Lord.
10. Today many say why did these believers become alarmed. Remember they didn't have the completed word that we do.
1. "Remember" = call to mind. Paul recalls their memory of his words that he had told them when he was with them, to show that his views had not changed.
2. He no doubt had told them of the apostasy and about the man of sin being revealed before the day of the Lord.
3. Had they remembered what Paul had said, they would not have been so easily shaken and troubled.
1. "Know" = perceive with the mind; understand. They knew because Paul had instructed them when he was with them.
2. "Withholdeth" = restrains; holds back; constrains; keep in check. Word is in the neuter gender thus referring to some agency or state of things under the control of an individual.
3. This could refer to civil powers. (Rom.13:1; Pro. 21:1; John 19:10‑11)
4. Also could refer to the church. (Mat. 16:18‑19)
5. Either one still is controlled by God; therefore, the man of sin is kept in check until it is God's time for him to be "revealed" = to be manifested; appear.
6. "In his time" = in his season; in his proper time. Events were not yet ripe for his appearance.
7. Just as Gal. 4:4 speaks of Jesus being sent forth when the fulness of time (denotes the completion of a particular period of time before ordained and appointed) was come, the man of sin will be revealed at God's appointed time.
8. The implication is that the man of sin is hidden somewhere just as the false apostles pose as angels of light and he will be manifested (revealed) when it is time. (II Cor. 11:13‑15)
1. "Mystery" = Denotes something which is unknown or secret until it is revealed by the Holy Spirit.
2. "Iniquity" = violations of law; wickedness; lawlessness. Speaking of this apostasy which shall precede the coming of the man of sin.
3. "Doth already work" = is already working; to be active. Even at the time Paul wrote this, the seeds of apostasy were already sown.
4. "Letteth" = same word as withholdeth in verse 6 only here it is in masculine gender, thus identifying "he" as a person who is the Holy Spirit.
5. "Will let" = in italics, thus not in the original.
6. This verse reads "The mystery of lawlessness is already working, only until he who restraineth is removed".
7. Some say that he went out with the church but the problem is that the man of sin is revealed before "the day of the Lord" which beings with the rapture of the church.
8. The Spirit of God restrained the enemy from capturing Sampson until one day he departed and Sampson was capture by his enemy. (Judges 16:20)
9.The Spirit withdrew from King Saul and his kingdom ended. (I Sam. 16:14)
10. The devil could do nothing to Job until God took down the hedge. (Job 1:9)
11. In Acts 16:6‑10 Paul was forbidden to go into some places and then allowed to go into Macedonia.
12. A policeman in the road can restrain you from going by but when he is taken out of the way (road) you can go by, even though the policeman is not gone off the scene.
13. We are the light of the world and when we fall by the wayside, then darkness moves in.
14. We are the salt of the earth, but when we lose our savour, spoilage takes place and the mystery of iniquity increases.
15. When the Holy Spirit steps aside then there is no trouble for the man of sin to come on the scene.
16. God is God and He can do what he wants, how He wants, and when He wants.
1. "Then" = as soon as he that restraineth is taken out of the way.
2. "Wicked" = that lawless one; the man of sin; the son of perdition.
3. "Revealed" = arrives on the scene with all of his pomp and glory.
4. The apostle now interrupts his description of the man of sin by announcing his doom.
5. "Consume" = slay; destroy.
6. "Spirit of his mouth" = breath of his mouth (Isa. 11:4).
7. This is a powerful picture how the mere breath of the Lord will slay this arch enemy of God. (Rev. 19:15)
8. "Destroy" = to render useless; to cause to cease; to reduce to inactivity; put an end to.
9. "Brightness" = appearance; manifestation; splendid or glorious appearing. Refers to the manifestation of the Saviour when he comes to judge the world.
10. Destroy is a stronger word than consume and denotes entire destruction in the lake of fire which is the outcome of the man of sin. (Rev. 19:20)
1. "Even him" = not in the original but placed there to identify the man of sin as Paul continues his description of him.
2. The man of sin's coming is after (according to) the working (energy) of Satan.
3. Satan is the agent who works in the man of sin, he being the organ or instrument of Satan, under the direction and control of the great enemy of God.
4. He will come with:
A. "All power" = exercise of power; with all the power which Satan can exhibit; meaning also that there would be a great exertion of power (all that God allows him to demonstrate).
B. "Sign" = miracles, stand for real and pretended miracles.
C. "Wonders" = a miracle regarded as startling, imposing, and amazing.
5. "Lying" = really applies to all three ‑ power, signs and wonders, and means that all are "of falsehood".
6. The miracles of Christ were miracles of truth, but the miracles of the man of sin are falsehood to deceive and by whom the majority of this world will be deceived but not the elect. (John 8:44; Mat. 24:24)
1. He will come with all deceivableness (deceit) for the purpose of promoting unrighteousness or iniquity.
2. "In them that perish" = among those who will perish; that is among the abandoned and wicked. The reference is to men of corrupt minds and lives, over whom this man of sin and his system would have power.
3. They will perish "because they received not the love of the truth". = They prefer this system of error and delusion to the simple and pure gospel, by which they might have been saved.
1. "For this cause" = on account of their being destitute of a love of the truth; because they chose error, or their hearts love error more than they do truth.
2. "Strong delusion" = a working of error; strong deceit; they chose error instead of truth because the mystery of lawlessness was already working.
3. God gave them what they wanted, but they lost what they could have had. (Example: Children of Israel, Psa. 106:15)
4.Here is the definite judicial act of God who gives the wicked over to the evil which they have deliberately chosen. (Rom. 1:24,26,28)
5. "That they should believe a lie" = really, "the lie", because there is a definite article before "lie".
6. "The lie" = the falsehood which the man of sin spreads widely by the deceit of unrighteousness.
7. Being destitute of the love of truth, their minds are open to all manner of falsehood and delusion, and are led to believe "the lie" = the terrible result of wilfull rejection of the truth of God. (Rom. 1:25)
1. "Damned" = means to judge; determine; decide; and then to condemn.
2. "That" = A statement of purpose. God, as the moral Ruler of the universe, will pronounce sentence of condemnation against them, this sentence being the "necessary" result of their receiving not the love of truth.
3. Its reception would have been the cause of their salvation; its rejection results in their condemnation.
4. Their unbelief of the truth was the consequence of their want of the love of the truth, and was the first cause or reason for their being judged.
5. The second reason of their condemnation is because they "had pleasure in unrighteousness".
6. "Unrighteousness" = moral wrongfulness; that which is wrong.
7. If men have pleasure in sin, it is proper that they should be punished.
8. There can be no more just ground of condemnation than that a man "loves to do wrong".
9. God does not "will" a man to be lost or "desire" a man to be damned, but He has no other choice but to cast man in the lake of fire when man chooses to "believe not the truth". (II Pet. 3:9; John 3:18; 3:36) (Moses chose to suffer instead of have pleasure in sin. Heb. 11:25).
B. The why and how of the waiting V. 13‑17
1. "But" = a conjunction of transition. Paul is about to give a contrast to that spoken of in the previous verses.
2. Paul gave thanks to God for the fact that the saints would not be destroyed with the wrath as it comes upon the man of sin and his followers. (Rom. 5:9; I Thess. 1:10)
3. Paul uses the word "we" which is used to emphasize that Paul, Silas and Timothy felt a personal obligation (bound) to give thanks to God for them.
4. "Thanks" = to express gratitude. Even though the disorders had arisen in the church, Paul still had reason to thank God for them.
5. He called them "brethren" = from the same womb.
6. "Beloved" = expresses the deep and constant love and interest of a perfect being towards unworthy objects.
7. "Of" = can be also "by" = denoting the agent; thus the saints are called "beloved" because they are loved "by" the Lord.
8. Paul identified the saints in such a way to assure them that even though they are passing through persecution, misery, heartaches and hardships, they are still loved by the Lord.
9. Paul gave thanks because (on account of) God chose them from beginning; there is no article "the" in the original, thus it speaks of eternity past.
10. There was no beginning with God, but man's finite mind has to have a point of reference.
11. "Chosen" = to take for one's self. The tense refers to a completed action in eternity past with existing results. This does not necessarily imply the rejection of those who are not chosen, but giving favor to the chosen subject. (Eph. 1:4)
12. This choosing is based upon the foreknowledge of God. (I Pet. 1:2)
13. "Foreknowledge" = recognizing before hand. Involves His electing grace, but this does not exclude man's right to choose.
14. God foreknows the exercise of faith which brings salvation; therefore, He chooses "to" salvation.
15. "To" = indicates the point reached or entered, of place, time and purpose. Same word as "on" in John 3:18 and various other scriptures.
16. "Salvation" = speaks of complete and eternal salvation from sin and misery; from penalty, power and presence of sin; justification of spirit, sanctification of soul, and glorification of the body.
17. "Through" = denotes the means by which salvation comes = by two means:
A. "Sanctification of the Spirit" = means the activity of the Holy Spirit as He works in the life of an unbeliever bringing him to the point of being saved by producing godly sorrow, repentance and faith. This is God's part; therefore, salvation is of the Lord.
B. "Belief of the truth" = belief shows man's part as he believes (trusts) after saving faith has been produced in an individual. (John 3:27; I Cor. 12:3; Rom. 10:17)
18. Without belief of the truth, there can be no true sanctification. (John 17:17)
1. "Whereunto" = to which; refers to being "chosen to salvation".
2. "Called" = speaks of the divine invitation to salvation; speaks of the effectual call (producing, or capable of producing, the desired effect). (Rom. 8:30)
3. Those whom God elects from eternity, He calls in time, His time.
4. He calls by "our gospel" = the gospel that Paul, Silas and Timothy had received, thus belonging to them, and the gospel they preached.
5. "Gospel" = good tidings. Refers to the basic facts of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, and the interpretation of these facts. (I Cor. 15:1‑4)
6. God made the preached gospel the means by which the Holy Spirit produces God's eternal purpose = "the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ".
7. When saved we became possessors and shares in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom. 8:17; Eph. 1:10‑12)
8."Glory" refers to our reflection of His image and character in our body, now; (Gal. 5:22‑23) but one day we shall be like him. (I John 3:2‑3)
1. "Therefore" = in view of the fact that you are chosen from eternity, and that you are to be raised up to such honour and glory.
2. "Stand fast" = to persevere; to continue in spite of difficulty. 3. "Hold" = to have masterful grip; to seize; to retain.
4. "Traditions" = generally denotes statements orally delivered and reported; here the word denotes the apostle's instructions in truth, those things he taught them whether it was orally while he was with them or by the first letter (epistle) written to them after he had left them.
5. Tradition of men is usually evil and we are warned to beware of it in Col. 2:8.
1. This verse is really a prayer to the Saviour.
2. Paul recognizes the Lord Jesus Christ (himself, not some other) as a source of consolation as well as the Father.
3. The Son's name before the Father shows that He is not inferior, but equality exists in the Godhead.
4. Paul speaks of the Father and the Son as the common source of the blessing for which he prayed.
5. The Father loved us and gave His Son. (John 3:16)
6. The Son loved us and gave Himself on Calvary's tree.
7. Therefore they have given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace.
8. "Consolation" = comfort; everlasting as contrasted with the temporary and deceitful comfort which the world gives.
9. "Hope" = expectation; confidence; desire of something good with the expectation of obtaining it.
10. "Grace" = unearned or unmerited favor.
11. "Through" = denotes the channel by which the gift came. Of His own free grace, in contrast to personal merit.
1. "Comfort" = from root words which mean called along one's side to aid, encourage and strengthen. That is the Holy Spirit's job as His name bears out. (John 16:7)
2. "Hearts" = the center and seat of affections; the soul; the inner being.
3. The Comforter comes along side and "whispers sweet peace to me".
4. "Stablish" = strengthen; to set firmly; to make stronger.
5. God is the God of comfort (II Cor. 1:3‑5) and strength (Rom. 16:25).
6. The Thessalonians were in the midst of trials and Paul prayed that the God who had already given them consolation and hope by saving them would continue to comfort and strengthen them in every good word and work while they were waiting for Christ's return.
7. "Good" = that which is right in contrast to that which is wrong and evil.
8. "Word" = in every true doctrine.
9. "Work" = toil; acts in which man proves his genuineness and his faith to man; (James 2:17) Speaks of practice of every virtue.
IV. Command ‑ In the light of Christ's return
A. Basis of command: appeal, confidence V. 1‑5
1. "Finally" = furthermore; for the rest; introducing the concluding part of the epistle.
2. "Brethren"= those of the same womb.
3. "Pray" = tense denotes "keep on praying".
4. "For us" = for Paul, Silas and Timothy. Paul was unselfish in asking them to pray because he asked prayer for the others, not just himself.
5. "That" = introduces the subject matter; what they were to pray for.
6. "The word of the Lord may have free course" = speaks of the gospel having free course (run) where God intended. The idea is that it might meet with no obstruction, but that it might be carried abroad with the quickness and swiftness of a runner in a race out of whose way every hindrance was removed.
7. "Be glorified" = be honored; or appear to be glorious; namely, in the conversion of souls. (Acts 13:48)
8. "Even as it is with you" = as it has had in your case; a recognition of the eagerness with which the Thessalonians had received the gospel.
1. "And that" = a further addition to the prayer.
2. "Delivered" = rescue; snatch from danger. There is no trace of cowardice in the words. The apostle desires deliverance, not for his own sake, but for the sake of the gospel, that it might have free course.
3. "Unreasonable" = absurd; out of place; odd; unbecoming; perverse; outrageous.
4. "Wicked men" = hurtful; destructive; men with bad aims and purposes; those who looked on labor as an annoyance; bad and
5. Paul had a plague of such men at Corinth from where he was writing this letter.
6. These were the fanatical and unbelieving Jews at Corinth who acted amiss or improperly. Men who were not found in the right place, or who had not the right view of things. Also, men of bad character, who were at heart opposed to what was good, as well as inclined to put things out of their place. (Acts 18:5‑6;l2)
7. "For all men have not faith" = In context, the meaning seems to be that all men are not prepared to embrace the gospel. Therefore, they set themselves against it, (unreasonable, out of place) and from such men Paul prayed that he might be delivered for they cannot be trusted.
1. "But" = in contrast with the men just mentioned.
2. "The Lord is faithful" = though men cannot be trusted, the Lord (speaking of Christ) is faithful to His promises and His purposes.
3. The faithful (trustworthy) one will stablish you and keep you from evil.
4. "Stablish" = to fix; to set firmly; to strengthen.
5. "Keep" = to guard; to watch; to preserve from danger or harm.
6. "Evil" = same word as "wicked" in verse 2; wicked; hurtful; mischief‑making; refers to evil in general (evil persons or things) or to the evil one, Satan. Paul may have had in mind the representative of Satan, the man of sin pictured in 2:1‑12.
7. In any case, whatever "evil" refers to, the Lord is faithful to keep you from "it" or "him".
1. "Confidence" = convinced; persuaded; reliance; tense shows a completed action with existing results.
2. Note his confidence is in the Lord not in man. His reliance is not on anything in themselves, but wholly on the faithfulness of God. (Micah 7:5; Psa. 118:8)
3. "Touching you" = with reference to you; the direction of his confidence.
4. Paul's confidence in the Lord was that the saints at Thessalonica would do both presently and in the future time the things he commanded them.
5. "Do" = to practice naturally and habitually; to pursue a course of action.
6. "Command" = to transmit a message. There is a note of apostolic authority here, not advice or urging, but command, as from the Lord.
1. This verse is a prayer for the Lord to "direct" = to guide; lead; to make straight.
2. "Hearts" = the center of the will; the center and seat of spiritual life.
3. "Into the love of God" = speaks of our love for God. This love (agape, God kind of love) is the fulfillment of the law, (Mat. 22:37‑40); therefore, Paul prays that the Thessalonians may be directed into it as a source and essence of all acceptable obedience.
4. "Into the patient waiting for Christ" = Into the patience of Christ. This does not mean that they were to wait patiently for the appearing of Christ, even though that is necessary; but Paul is praying that the same patience, which Christ exhibited in all His trials, would be in the hearts of the Thessalonians.
5. "Patience" = endurance; a bearing up under; refers to the quality of an individual that does not surrender to circumstances or succumb under trials.
6. The Thessalonians were exposed to persecutions and for this reason the apostle prays that they might be directed into the love of God and into the patience of Christ, as this would enable them to bear all their sufferings with calmness.
B. Nature of command: must work as we wait V. 6‑15
1. Paul now gives the command that was mentioned in verse 4 which he said he was confident they would do.
2. This command was given to members of the church in general, not just to the office‑bearers.
3. The expectation of the immediate advent of Christ had produced disorderly lives and conduct unbecoming to a child of God; therefore, Paul sets himself to correct the disorders by commanding the brethren how to treat those that were disorderly.
4. The command was given "in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" so that the readers would realize the responsibility on them for their obedience to his command.
5. "Withdraw" = abstain from associating with; keep out of the way; avoid fellowship. We are not to regard him any longer a Christian brother when he is no longer worthy to be regarded as such by walking disorderly.
6. "Walketh" = to conduct oneself; to regulate one's life; order one's behaviour.
7. "Disorderly" = military term meaning "out of ranks" or "out of step". Word would include any violation of the rules of Christ on any subject.
8. A disorderly walk denotes conduct that is contrary to the tradition (instructions; doctrine) which the church had received from Paul, whether by word or epistle. (2:15)
9. Church discipline is not something you do "to" someone, but "for" someone so that they may recognize their error, repent, and get back in full fellowship with the church and the Lord.
1. "For yourselves know" = Paul is saying, you know without it being necessary for me to say anything about the matter.
2. "Ought" = it is necessary; indicates a necessity because of the nature of the situation. They were witnesses of Paul's walk and they should have "followed" = imitate; follow as an example. (I Cor. 11:1)
3. "Behaved not disorderly" = they were not out of order; they were not out of step as a soldier.
4. Paul and the others were examples in their conduct to the Thessalonians when they resided with them (among).
1. Paul is telling how he was an example while he was among them.
2. He paid a fair price for what he ate and worked to provide his own support.
3. "Naught" = gratis; free of expense. Means he paid a fair equivalent (price) for all that he received.
4. Paul had to make his financial independence clear to avoid false charges which were made in spite of all his efforts.
5. "Wrought" = to toil; to work.
6. "Labour" = denotes the weariness which results from toil; exertion.
7. "Travail"= denotes the hardness and often painfulness of work; effect of exertion.
8. "Night and day" = speaks by day and by night; denotes continually; constant; without ceasing.
9. Paul's example was that by day he preached and by night he laboured in making tents, so that he "might not be chargeable to any of you".
10. "Chargeable" = expensive; to be a heavy burden upon.
11. Paul is saying, "We were not supported in idleness at the expense of others.
1. "Not because we have not power" = speaking of having authority (power) to demand support.
2. Paul, as an apostle, had the right of maintenance from the churches among whom he labored, and he exercised this right and allowed churches to help him where he would not be misunderstood. (Phil. 4:15‑16)
3. But for the sake of his converts, to give them an example (model) of diligent working, and remove any hindrance to the progress of the gospel, he often waived his rights as he did in Thessalonica, so they would imitate (follow) him.
1. From this verse it would seem that the evil of which the apostle warns had begun to operate even when he was with them, because he commanded at that time that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
2. The command laid down here by the apostle extends to all who are able to work for a living. If they will not do it, they should not be supported by the church. They should not eat at public expense.
3. To work is the law of God. (Gen. 3:19; I Tim. 5:8)
4. Idleness is the parent of many crimes and its product is misery.
1. Paul had heard that some's life style in the church was disorderly (out of step; contrary to the doctrine of Christ).
2. How he had heard, we know not; but it seems he had no doubt of its truth, because he had already warned them in I Thess. 4:11, "to do your own business."
3. "Working not at all, but are busybodies" = a play upon words:
A. "Busy only with what is not their own business.
B. "Working at no business, but being busybodies"
C. "Not busy, but busybodies"
4. "Busybodies" = denotes busy in useless and superfluous things about which one need not trouble himself; occupied about trifles.
5. Instead of occupying themselves with the fulfillment of the duties of their earthly calling, busied themselves about matters which were unprofitable and vain.
1. Paul commands and exhorts them that are such (those who worked not but were busybodies) and in so doing asserts his authority as an apostle and pleads as a man and minister.
2. "Command" = to charge; to pass on an announcement.
3. "Exhort" = beseech; beg; instruct; encourage; admonish.
4. "By our Lord Jesus Christ" = by Him as the source of authority.
5. "That with quietness" = in contrast to being busybodies, with calmness of spirit, freedom from excitement.
6. "They work, and eat their own bread" = not the bread of others, but their own, for which they have labored and which they have earned. To do so will be the exact opposite of v. 11.
7. This is a more solemn command and appeal than what Paul spoke in I Thess. 4:11.
1. "But ye, brethren" = contrasted with those who walk disorderly, ye who have not neglected your worldly employment.
2. "Be not weary" = don't lose heart; faint not. Means properly, to turn out a coward, then to be faint hearted, to despond.
3. The idea is that they were not to be discouraged from doing good to the truly worthy and deserving because of the idleness and improper conduct of those who walked disorderly.
4. If we are not careful, we will come to the place where we feel that all who ask for aid are of the same character; or not being able to discern who is worthy and deserving, we close our hands alike against all.
5. Against this the apostle would guard us, and he says that though there may be many such persons who are truly deserving, and though we may find it difficult to distinguish the worthy from the unworthy, we should not become so disheartened as not to give at all.
6. "Doing good" was that which marked the character of the Redeemer. (Acts 10:38; Gal. 6:10)
1. "If any man obey not our word by this epistle" = Paul is saying if any obey not the words that I have written in this epistle.
2. "Note that man" = set a mark upon him; note him for the sake of avoidance; withdraw all Christian fellowship from him.
3. "Have no company with him" = do not mix and mingle together with him; exclude him from your fellowship meetings; your love feasts.
4. The reason for noting him and having no company with him was so "that he may be ashamed" = the idea is to have one's thoughts turned in on oneself for the purpose of seeing his wrong, so that he would repent and be reclaimed.
1. Paul continues describing how to treat the marked one.
2. "Count him not as an enemy" = don't consider him an entire outcast.
3. "But admonish him as a brother" = "admonish" = to counsel; reprove gently; to warn; to entreat; to exhort.
4. This shows the true spirit in which discipline is to be administered in the church.
5. We are not to deal with a man as an adversary over whom we are to seek to gain a victory, but as an erring brother. (Gal. 6:1)
6. He is to be followed with tender sympathy and prayer, and the hearts and the arms of the saints are to be open to receive him again when he gives any evidence of repenting.
V. Benediction and Signature V. 16‑18
1. The Lord Jesus, whose characteristic is peace, can alone give real peace to the heart.
2. "Peace" = tranquility of soul and spirit based on the consciousness of a right relation with God.
3. Paul is referring to sanctifying peace, or peace of God and not to justifying peace which is peace with God.
4. This peace is the peace that passes all understanding, even in troubled times; times of persecution and trials in which the Thessalonians were at the time of this writing. (Phil. 4:6‑7)
5. "Give you peace always by all means" = at all times and in every way, whether it be outward or inward, for time or for eternity.
6. Peace is a person (Eph. 2:14), not the absence of turmoil or trouble.
7. "The Lord be with you all" = The Holy Spirit lives in us and is always with us, but Paul is saying may you have the God of peace with you, His manifestation made clear to you, each and every one.
8. This we can have if we meet his conditions. (Phil. 4:8‑9)
1. Paul closes this with his own hand writing.
2. The apostle usually dictated his Epistles to someone else to write, probably because of his poor eye sight, but wrote the concluding words with his own hand.
3. "Which" ‑ refers to the whole clause
4. "Is a token" = the mark of authentication
5. "In every epistle" = such authentication was especially necessary in the case of the Thessalonians, as it seems that a forged epistle had been circulated among them. (2:2)
6. "So I write" = Satan has his counterfeits and forgeries, so Paul assures them that this letter is authentic and authoritative.
1. "Grace" = from charis. Means a favor freely bestowed upon another without expecting anything in return; unmerited favor.
2. This type of grace can only be of the Lord Jesus Christ.
3. "With" = accompany.
4. Paul said may the Lord's grace accompany you all.
5. You refers to the saints. Therefore, he is referring to sanctifying grace, not justifying grace, for he is speaking to those who had already been justified (saved).
6. Sanctifying grace is the grace that enables the saints of God to overcome obstacles and keep on keeping on for the glory of God.
7. Grace that is sufficient. (II Cor. 12:9)
8. Grace that we are standing in and is ours and we have access by faith. (Rom. 5:2)
9. His grace is an ever‑flowing and overflowing fountain of grace to supply all our need.
10. Paul closed this letter with "amen" = firm; trustworthy; surely; truly; indeed; so be it.
11. This is God's word and it shall be just as He spoke it through His servant Paul. So be it!