INTRODUCTION

                      Also written from Corinth. Silas and Timothy still with Paul. Despite Paul's efforts, there was still an abundance of false teaching, misrepresentation and misunderstanding after the first epistle. Paul reminds the Thessalonians that he had told (not necessarily written) them these things (2:5). Some thought that judgment had already begun. Some thought they were exempted.

                      Aside from doctrinal issues, Paul addresses the practical ramifications brought on by the confusion since some members of the church, thinking the world was coming to an end, became idlers and stopped working (3:6-11).

                      Most importantly, we must understand that this epistle, above all, is written clearly, carefully and plainly. It is devoid of parable, symbolism and mystery. It is Paul's second attempt to deliver prophecy that any reader could understand. Paul's intention was not to require or invite interpretation, but rather to present literal truth in a straightforward manner. To regard the "man of sin" (2:3ff) as something other than the individual incarnation of evil described by Paul is to introduce error and confusion, to ignore the purpose and intent of the epistle and to disregard the surrounding corroboration of Daniel and Revelation in particular.

Ch 1:1,2 - Identical to 1Thessalonians up to "peace". Last clause ("from...") omitted in text of 1Thessalonians.

3- 6 - "as it is meet" - See 1Th 5:18

       - groweth exceedingly"=Gr."huperauxano" Only occ.="increase beyond ordinary measure". This word combines the idea of internal growth and outward expansion.

       - Unlike 1Th 1:3, Paul mentions "faith" and "love" but omits "hope", the word used in reference to "patience". This attitude of immediacy was addressed later (2Pe 3:1-17) and remains a problem.

A lack of patience is the enemy of faith (See 1Co 15:58; Heb 3:14, 6:17-20; 1Pe 5:8-10; Col 2:4-9).

The presence of patience is required to overcome the evil one (See Heb 10:36, 12:1-3; Jas 1:2-4, 5:7-11; Rev 2:2-3, 3:10, 13:7-10, 14:9-12). Mk 13:1-27

       - "manifest token"=Gr."endeigma"Only occ.="a proof" (a thing proved, not merely an indication). Contrast the "mark" of the beast (Rev 13:16,17) which is also NOT PHYSICAL.

       - "righteous judgment of God" - See Lk 16:25 and note that suffering itself does not translate to future joy. It is suffering that comes of faith and is endured for the sake of the kingdom of God.  1Pe 3:13-17, 4:12-19.

7-12 - This group of verses refers to a single occurrence (7-10) leading to unity in glory. There is no pre-tribulation "rapture" and no one will be "left behind" (1Co 15:50-53). We are given both sides of a single coin ("when" vv.7,10).

       (7) - "troubled"="afflicted" (crushed, constrained)

            - "rest"=Gr."anesis"="relief", "relaxation"

            - "with us" - the tone of unity begins. Present suffering. Future glory.

            - "when..." = "in the revelation of..." (Gr."apokalupsis")

            - "His..." = "the angels of His power" (Gr."dunamis")

                  Ps 68:17     Rev 19:11-14

       (8) - "flaming fire"=Gr."phlox"="a blaze" (Literal & figurative fire of glory)

                 Rev 1:14, 2:18, 19:12-16      Ac 7:30     Heb 1:7

            - "taking ...on" = "giving...to" - The "fire of flame" at one and the same time is a revelation of Divine presence and an instrument for vengeance (Mal 3:2,3; 4:1,2). It will punish as well as enlighten. By nature, fire can both purify and destroy (Dan 3:19-27, 1Co 3:12-15).

            - "know not...obey not" - The negative corollary to Jn 3:16. A restatement of Jn 3:18-21. It is our choice that determines what we are given - Vengeance or a crown (1Pe 5:4, Rev 2:10, Jas 1:12).

It is a compound requirement to know God and to obey the gospel. It is possible to do one and not the other. See Jas 2:19 and Mt 7:22,23.

       (9) - "be punished with"="pay (Gr."tino" Only occ.) the penalty (Gr."dike") Mk 8:36-38 

           - "everlasting" = "eternal"

           - "destruction from..." - The harshest lot of the sinner is separation from God and permanent exclusion from His presence (Lk 13:23-28). It is more severe than the physical torments (Isa 66:24, Lk 16:23-28). Note that in Mt 27:45,46 Jesus quotes Ps 22:1 and the feeling of being forsaken in conjunction with the total darkness: the absence of Light (both physical and spiritual).

What could be counted as more complete and devastating a loss as separation from the presence of One Who is omnipresent?

What is left to one who is told, "I never knew you" by the One Who is omniscient?

Paul's plea in Eph 4:1 sets our life objective - The wicked are those who hinder the purposes of God and do not become or remain true to the purpose for which they were created. In Col 2:13-17 Paul refers to the O.T. Law as "a shadow of things to come." Such is the relationship between the O.T. capital punishment, "cut off from his people..." (Lev 7:20,21,25,27 etc.) and being cut off from God's presence.

10 -Paul moves from the subject of separation to the unity of the saints in Christ. (Eph 2:19-22)

       - "glorified"=Gr."endoxazomai" Only here and v.12 - This will be done "in" the saints, not "by" or "through." Christ is seen and reflected through us as His mirrors. We are exalted and purified by Him to reflect His perfection just as the Father was glorified in the Son (Jn 14:8-13, 17:1-5). Jesus was the perfect mirror; "express image" (Heb 1:1-3).

       - "admired" by the saints, dreaded by the lost (Lk 23:29,30).

       - "in that day" = at the return of Christ

11 - "count...worthy" - Of the calling (Eph 4:1-7). We are never worthy of salvation (Eph 2:8-10)

       - "fulfill"=Gr."pleroo"="accomplish, complete" (Jn 19:30)

       - "with power" - We must do God's will under His power, at His direction, in His time.  1Sa 24:1-12   Mt 8:8,29   Mt 26:51-54

12 - The objective of our calling and its fulfillment

          2Co 3:2,3; 5:20     Jn 17:21-26

       - "according to..." - A disavowal of human merit

Ch. 2 - What must happen before the Judgment

1 - "beseech", "brethren" - Paul adopts a familiar, confidential tone to calm unwarranted expectations.

       - "coming" = "parousia"  here, 8 and 9

       - "gathering together"=Gr."episunagoge" Only here and Heb 10:25 ("assembling...together")="congregating for worship"

       - "unto"=Gr."eis"=downward motion of Christ to us.

2 - "soon" - relative to their conversion 

       - "shaken"=Gr."saleuo"="wavering"  See Gal 1:6, Mt 11:7

       - "in"=Gr."apo"="from"  See v.5. Christians must guard against being distracted, diverted, or deceived once they have received and known the truth. See Mt 24:21,21  Mk 13:19-22            Note Isa 50:7  Eze 3:8,9

       - "troubled"=Gr."throeo"="outwardly, visibly, audibly disturbed or frightened" - Many who are "shaken in mind" may exhibit no outward sign, others will.

IMPORTANT - "spirit" = spirit-communication (in this case, demonic)

                    - "word" = "logos" - spoken word (hearing)

                    - "letter, as from us" - reference to forgery (See Gal 6:11)

Paul addresses 3 avenues of false teaching - Some claim authority based on spiritual revelation. Some based on (alleged) conversation with an authoritative source (in this case, Paul). Others could produce false documents (epistles). A look ahead to 3:17 emphasizes Paul's concern.

       - "at hand"=Gr."enistemo"="imminent, present"

3 -  THE BEAST OUT OF THE SEA (Rev. 13.1)
     - "man"=Gr."tis"="a certain one," "some one"

     - "deceive"=Gr."exapatao"="to wholly seduce" See Ro 7:11. translated "beguiled" in 2Co 11:3

    - "by any means"=those mentioned in v.2 or any other way.

     - "except"="if not" - What follows is an absolute precursor to the return of Christ (note "first").

IMPORTANT: "a" should be "the" noting a specific unique event.

     - "falling away"=Gr."apostasia"=""apostasy" (revolt, rebellion). This term CANNOT apply to the unsaved and eliminates any pre-tribulation "rapture" of the saints. Mk 13:5,6 and Heb 6:4-6 address this topic.

     - "and" - BOTH must happen before the "parousia."

CRITICAL: "man"=Gr."anthropos"= an individual of the biological genus Homo. not an animal or a spirit. A flesh and blood human male (homo sapien). This is not the "spirit of antichrist" of 1Jn 4:1-3. Paul's use of this word is purposeful."the" falling away will be triggered by "the" antichrist (anti = in the stead of). A false Messiah. See Rev 13:18, Dan 8:23-25; 11:21-45. (In Dan 11:31, Mt  24:15, Mk 13:14 read "the abomination of the desolator"). The false Messiah will be one-in-essence with Satan, as the True Messiah is one-in-essence with The Father.

     - "be revealed" - The revelation of the false Christ will immediately precede the Revelation of the True Christ. He will be revealed as an impostor by the resurrection of the two witnesses (Rev 11:3-13).

     - "perdition" Gr."apoleia"="physical, spiritual and eternal loss and/or ruin"

            See Rev 17:8-11 Heb 10:38,39  2Pe 3:7. Note the term "son of perdition" in Jn 17;12 used of Judas Iscariot.

4 - The man of sin is described, once again, literally.

     - "opposeth"=Gr."antikeimai"="is an adversary to"

     - "...and exalteth..." - The Antichrist must fulfill both conditions: He must oppose God and attempt to replace God (Dan 11:36). Once again, inextricably bound to the Adversary (Satan) and using his methods.

               Jn 8:44  Rev 12:9  2Co 11:13-15  1 Ti 6:9-10

      This individual will oppose the true God and the false gods seeking to draw all to himself.  Lk 4:5-8  Rev 13:7-9

     - There can be no restrictions on the ambitions of one unsatisfied with the position of archangel (Eze 28:14-17). His servant will be no different.

     - "as God" - Omit

     - "the Temple (of God)"=Gr."naos" as in Mt 23:16 = The Sanctuary of the Temple building consisting of the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. This has never been any location other than Jerusalem. Paul's use of "the Temple" instead of "a Temple" is neither accident nor oversight. We cannot assume that is a structure already in existence. The Gr."kathizo" translated "sitteth" is intransitive and indicates "so that he ends up sitting".

     - "shewing"=Gr."apodeiknumi"="to accredit", "to proclaim", "to exhibit". Usually used for proclamation of a sovereign. In this case, he will proclaim himself.

     - "is God" - A claim to absolute, divine authority.

5 - An indication by Paul that the contents of this epistle should not be new to the church at Thessalonica, but rather a written expansion on prior discussion.

6 - "withholdeth"=Gr."katecho"="hold fast", "restrain" same as v.7 "letteth"

     The power that restrains is referenced here, personified in v. 7.

     - "that..." - The restraint is God's purpose and design until the proper season. God's calendar has been suspended since "Messiah be cut off..." in Dan 9:26 after 69 of the 70 weeks (7 year periods). The final 7 years will begin when God chooses, with one of the conditions stated in Mk 13:10. Read Dan 9:24-27. It is midway through the last "week" that the tribulation period takes place referenced as 3 1/2 years, 42 months, and 1260 days. This is the time shortened by God to 5 months for the elect's sake (Mt 24:21,22   Rev 9:5, 10). This will be at the fifth trumpet when the bottomless pit is opened (Rev 9:1,2).

7 - Paul emphasizes the word "revealed" (in v.6) by pointing out that the evil is already working. It is the incarnation which shall be revealed.

     - "he who now letteth will let..." - The verb "katecho" is transitive and must refer to an object. "will let" is improperly added. READ: "he that restraineth now be taken out of the way". This personified Restrainer is Michael, always entrusted by God to check Satan (Rev 12:7-9, 20:1-3). As the angelic ruler of the Nation of Israel (Dan 10:13,21; 12:1), one of the two original archangels (Jude 9) and captain of the heavenly host, he has proven himself not to be subject to deceit or defeat by Satan. It is Michael who will lead the heavenly host at the return of Jesus Christ (1Th 4:16, Rev 19:11-14).

NOTE: CAREFULLY READ and UNDERSTAND Jn 12:31.

           CONTRAST Job 1:7 and 1Pe 5:8 (no longer "in the earth").

           UNDERSTAND Rev 17:8 ("was and is not") ("was, and is not, and yet is").

       - "out of the way" = "out of the midst" (same phrase in 2Co 6:17 and Col 2:14) - A reference (in its ultimate fulfillment) to Satan's demise (See Rev 20:10 as referenced in Eze 28:17-19). Its partial fulfillments are in Jn 12:31, Rev 12:7-9; 20:1-3.

HOWEVER, the verse references Michael's restraint, NOT God's. AT NO TIME does Satan have capability beyond the power that is given to Him by God (note v.11). This is the essence of 1Jn 4:1-4 and the reason for the references to patience, holding fast, enduring, etc. Even those who are not deceived may despair, grow weary or lose heart.

8 - THE BEAST OUT OF THE EARTH (Rev. 13:11)
     - "And then" - refers back to "his time" in v.6.

     - "that wicked"=Gr."anomos"="the lawless one"

     - "consume" = "destroy"

     - "spirit of His mouth" - Literally, the "breath of His lips"

     - "destroy"=Gr."katargeo"="to render useless, bring to nought"

     - "brightness"=Gr."epiphaneia"=Literally, "a shining forth upon"

The physical manifestation of glory - striking, noteworthy and conspicuous. Overcoming any darkness.

     - "coming" - The 6th of the 7 occ. of "parousia" in 1&2 Thessalonians.

                                   See Is 11:4; 30:27,30,33

9 - The "advent" of the Antichrist - In obedience to a greater power (Satan) with miracles and signs.      Rev 13:11-14.

10 - "all deceivableness"="every form of deceit"

     - "unrighteousness"=Gr."adikia"=any act disturbing moral balance. A very general term emphasizing "every form of deceit". The antichrist will be without conscience, compassion or concern.

     - "them that perish"=Gr."apollumi"="those that are perishing"  See 1Co 1:18

They are perishing "because...". See Ro 1:32 and compare to v.12. This is not about ignorance, it is about rejecting the truth with no desire for it.

     - "the love" = "agape" - Freely offered, available to all without qualification. Jn 3:18-20 explains.

11,12 - There are 3 stages described concerning the demise of "the perishing".

     - Their act of setting themselves in opposition to the truth.

     - Their infatuation with the attractions of the antichrist, making him their master.

     - Their final punishment, as a result of the Divinely ordained and prepared 2nd stage.

SUMMARY: Those who passively receive deceit become its active promoters. They begin by closing out truth and end up as champions of error. Understand Mt 12:30.

(11) - Read Isa 66:4  

       - "strong delusion"=Gr."plane"="a working of error" - Compare to "working of Satan" in v.9.

IMPORTANT: "a" lie should be "the" lie. The relationship between belief and disbelief is the relationship between truth and error. They are moral concepts, not intellectual. See Jas 2:14-20 and understand that to believe is to act. To do wrong is to deny God's sovereignty (to lie). To do right is to acknowledge God. Thus v.12 shows that those who believe not the truth have pleasure in unrighteousness. God's universe is divided between what is true and what is false (Jn 4:24).

(12) - "damned" = "condemned"  Contrast Ro 8:1.

       - "the truth" contrasted against "the lie" of v.11.

       - "had pleasure" = "were well pleased" as in Mt 3:17.

13 - "But" - Contrasting those headed to condemnation with those rejoicing over salvation. (Compare 1:3)

     - "hath" Omit

     - "from the beginning"=Gr."ap'arches" - See Jn 8:44 to highlight the contrast.

     - "to...through..." - God's purpose is connected to its fulfillment and the process. The three persons of the Holy Trinity are included in this verse. The operation of the Spirit must be followed by reception and acceptance of the truth. (1Pe 1:2 is similar). Again, note in Heb 6:4-6 that the Holy Spirit does not force or guarantee acceptance of truth - it is always a matter of choice.

14 - "Whereunto" - Refers to "salvation" in v.13. The preaching of the Gospel is God's instrument to accomplish His purpose (See Ro 8:29,30; 10:8-17).

     - "obtaining"=Gr."peripoiesis" translated "purchased possession" in Eph 1:14="something owned through cost/investment"  See Eph 1:4-14.

15 - "Therefore" - An indication that election and calling point to diligence, not self-satisfaction or carelessness. Read Phil 2:12,13.

IMPORTANT: "traditions"=Gr."paradosis"="teachings"  We nowadays contrast "written" Scripture with "oral" tradition, but that is not New Testament usage as the rest of this verse indicates. It would have been an impossible distinction before Scripture was in printed form and available.

IMPORTANT: "our" should be read following "by"

16,17 - "consolation", "Comfort" = Gr."paraklesis"

     - "everlasting" = "never failing", "inexhaustible"

     - "through grace" = "as an act of grace" extending beyond our good works to our words also. In matters both great and small.

     - "salutation..." - Provides understanding of Gal 6:11

Ch 3:1"Finally" - Paul's typical transition to exhortation and the conclusion of the epistle.

       - "pray for us" - literally. "make us the subject of your prayers"

       - "have free course" = "run" (See R0 10:15). A personification of the Word. (See Gal 3:8).  Ps 147:15.

2 - "And" - the secondary purpose for prayer: personal, but not selfish. Spiritual warfare is often waged by physical means just as political ambition may be realized through military means. Ministry can be impacted by outward conditions. Note Paul's trials outlined in 2Co 11:23-33. Note Satan's objective in Job 1:11; 2:4,5 is pursued through physical means. Our spiritual armor is designed to carry us through suffering and tribulation - not to prevent it. Our charge is to respond spiritually, not physically (2Co 10:3,4). Prayer is a spiritual weapon (Eph 6:18) to be deployed against the enemy's darts. Paul, the only N.T. writer to ask his readers for prayer, is concerned with his ministry.

3 - "But" - Faithful God is contrasted to faithless men. God can place us in position AND maintain that position despite enemy attacks.

       - "evil" = "the evil one"

       - Paul is mindful that intercessory prayer must be given as well as received.

4 - This verse points to Paul's trust in them to pray (vv. 1,2) and points ahead to vv. 6-14.

       - "do and will do" - Continuing, abiding faith and obedience.

5 - "direct" = "guide"  See 1Th 3:11   Read Ps 119: 105,133

       - "the love OF God" - Ambiguous in order to be comprehensive. The love God has towards us AND the love we should feel towards Him.

1Jn 4:19 (omit "Him")  1Jn 2:5,15  1Jn 3:16,17  1Jn 5:3

Note John about himself - Jn 21:7,20. John's references acknowledge God as Creator and Source. We cannot give what is not first given to us. It is only God Who gives increase (1Co 3:6,7) and the means for increase (Gen 1:11,12,29). Note "faith to faith" (Ro 1:17) and "glory to glory" (2 Co 3:18). John's love for Jesus meant that he was loved in return (Gal 6:7-9, Mk 4:23-32).

Read Ro 5:5 and 2Co 13:14 (note the sequence).

       - "patient...Christ" = "patience of Christ". Similarly including both "patience like Christ" and "patience born of Christ". The concept is expressed in 2 Co 1:5 concerning our union.

6 - Paul reproves the disobedient, idle and disorderly. What he mentioned in 1 Th 5:13,14 he now addresses as an existing situation in the church.

     - "command...Christ" = "You have a duty as brethren to have unity in Christ".

     - "withdraw yourselves"=Gr."stellomai"="to gather oneself together", "to shrink within oneself". Most commonly used of furling a sail.

     - "every brother" - Our obligation is because he is a brother.

     - "disorderly"=Gr."ataktos"="insubordinately". A military term used in reference to Christian soldiers (2 Ti 2:3,4). Remember 2 Co10:3-6.

     - "and not..." - To emphasize where obedience is required. Not to man, but to God (Col 3:23).     "...as unto the Lord"

7 - "know"=Gr."oida"="understand intuitively"

     - "follow"=Gr."mimeomai"="imitate", "copy"

8 - See 1Th 2:9. "wrought...day"="working without interruption"

     - "travail" See 2Co 11:27 where it is rendered "painfulness"

     - "chargeable to"=Gr."epibareo"="burdensome"

9 - Paul chose to provide an example to the brethren although he would have been justified in making his living directly from his ministry. Read 1Co 9:3-18

     - "power"=Gr."exousia"="authority", "delegated power with the liberty and right to exercise the power"  See Mt 28:18

IMPORTANT 10 - "would not" = "is not willing to" - This verse is not applicable to the elderly, infirm, etc. It does not apply to those who may find themselves "between jobs" and seeking employment. This verse addresses heart/character. (See Mt 16:41 and 2Co 8:11,12). In its essence, the verse refers to those who refuse to work.

11 - Note "disorderly" (not necessarily "idle")

     - "not...all" = "in nothing"

     - "are busybodies"=Gr."periergazomai"="to be busy about useless matters" - Activity does not equal productivity. Not all labor is fruitful. Those who are disorderly (insubordinate to God's will) cannot bear fruit. Jn 15:1-6.

12 - "command and exhort by" = "charge and entreat in" 

     - "quietness"=Gr."hesuchia"="stillness" (in contrast to "busybodies" in terms of speech and activity).

13 - "weary" = "faint" - Instruction to persevere.

     - "in welldoing"=Gr."kalopoeio" Only occ.="in your honorable course" 

See Pr 15:33, 18:12 to appreciate the contrast with the insubordinate.

14 - "note"=Gr."semeioomai" Only occ.="set your mark on" - Not as a "brand", but an acknowledgement, such as a check mark on a list.

     - "have no company"=Gr."sunanamignumi"="so as not to mix freely" - Not to ignore completely, but to restrict free interchange and familiar circumstances.

     - "be ashamed"=Gr."entrepomai"="be confounded" i.e., given pause to think and consider.

15 - Reprove him as a brother, not an enemy. It is admonishment intended to remind him of his duty.  See Gal 6:1.

16-18 - "Now" = "Only" 

       (1) - "Lord of peace..." One of 8 similar expressions of the character of God

       (2) - "comfort" (consolation) - Ro 15:5  2Co 1:3

       (3) - "hope" - Ro 15:13

       (4) - "love" - 2Co 13:11

       (5) - "glory" - Acts 7:2

       (6) - "patience" - Ro 15:5

       (7) - "all grace" - 1Pe 5:10

       (8) - "truth" - Deu 32:4

     - "always...means" = "at all times in all places", "through everything in every way"

   - IMPORTANT: "with you all" - Paul does NOT exclude the disorderly from his prayer.

     - "salutation" - Paul's authentication of the epistle (See "letters, as from us..." in 2:2.  Paul stresses this point in this particular epistle.

    - "every epistle" = "every letter" - Not a reference to the Biblical epistles, of which Thessalonians are the earliest, but the regular communications Paul must have had with the Gentile churches during, and after the previous 12 years of ministry.

     - "Amen" - Omit (not in the text).