I THESSALONIANS - CHAPTER FIVE
[As translated from the Aramaic (Syriac) text]
Note: Please read the introduction to I Thessalonians Chapter Four (4) and be sure to read I Thessalonians Chapter 5, PART ONE, before continuing.
I Thessalonians Chapter five (5) [from the George M. Lamsa translation of the Aramaic Scriptures]:
12. We beseech you, my brethren, to respect those who labor among you and admonish you in our Lord and teach you,
Simply put, this verse is encouraging us to show some respect for those who teach you God's Word. Those who instruct you in the ways of the scriptures appreciate even a small gesture of respect and appreciation from the people that they love and teach.
13. That you esteem them very highly in love, and be at peace with them for their work's sake.
This verse continues to exhort you to reckon your Bible teacher very highly in love. It also goes on to say that you are to be at peace with them for their work's sake.
You may never realize just how much work and time goes into these teachings. We do it cheerfully and God blesses us with peace and joy as we continue to teach others His perfect Word. It should only be a normal situation, that any student of God's Word, would be at peace with their teacher and love them very much -- giving them all the support that they need, especially their prayers.
14. Now we beseech you, my brethren, correct those who offend, comfort those who lack courage, bear the burdens of the weak, and be patient toward all men.
As you should clearly know by now, a believer's mind DOES NOT change once he is born again. We need to renew our mind to God's Word and this is a very slow and continuous process. But the renewed mind is our key to power.
God is showing us that there are apparently some believers who need help with their renewed mind walk. So we are exhorted to correct those who offend. It is a terrible thing to offend other people if it can be avoided. Only someone who is out of fellowship and is sinning would do such a thing. It is up to us who are strong in the Word to correct those who offend other believers or anyone. We must remember that this reproof and correction MUST COME FROM THE WORD. You will bang your head against a wall time after time trying to correct someone with logic or with worldly wisdom which is sensual and devilish or by any other source . . . and you will fail.
When you are to correct someone and do it right according to God's way, you will prepare ahead of time WITH THE WORD concerning what you will say and do. You are to let the Word do the correcting.
If a fellow believer lacks courage, you are to comfort that believer. He or she may be a babe in the Word and may need a lot of time to grow and mature spiritually. A lack of courage is due to fear and fear is due to either ignorance or wrong instruction. In both situations, the Word of God is the ultimate and only cure for fear. Bring out the best in that person and work on their strong points until they can renew their mind to get rid of their fear and become more courageous.
We are to bear the burdens of the weak. We let believers walk on our feet until they can stand on their own. This again takes time and much love. It is up to you to undershepherd this person to the very best of your ability. If it is someone new to God's Word, you should see that person every single day. Witnessing is a beautiful experience and it is an art that must be developed. Think of the person who undershepherded you concerning God's Word. If it weren't for that person, where would you be today? Sometimes, it is the person who introduced us to the Bible that we never forget. It's really a beautiful thing.
We are to be patient toward all men. This is difficult at times as I'm sure you know. It is the person who masters patience who will also master peace and the ability to handle almost any situation in a successful manner. Patience or longsuffering is one of the nine fruit of the spirit that we acquire with the operation of the nine manifestations of Holy Spirit.
This verse expects a lot from a Christian, but when we walk with the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation, it becomes a way of life.
15. See that none of you render evil for evil; but always follow that which is good, both among yourselves and to all men.
You see, it is so tempting, especially for someone who is not spiritually mature, to render evil for evil. This is referring to seeking vengeance upon others. If you have not surpassed this goal of never seeking revenge, you must work hard at this area and understand that vengeance is God's job. It's only our old man who has been taught by the world that we are to get even with those who cause us harm, while God's Word teaches us to overcome evil with good. This is the exact opposite of what the world tries to influence you to do.
God says to always follow that which is good and that means to follow the directives of the Word of God. God says that we are not only to apply His principles among ourselves, but to all men whether they are believers or unbelievers. Keep in mind, that at times, God will tell you to keep away from certain people and certain situations and you are to listen to Him wholeheartedly. But when we get a chance, we are to overcome evil with good. The temptation to do otherwise may almost always be there depending on how strong your old man ways still are in contrast to your renewed mind efforts. God's Word says that Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. Sometimes, you need to make an effort to resist doing the wrong thing. When you obey God Almighty, He will find ways for you to be peaceful, blessed, and to have an inner joy that is honestly unexplainable. You need to experience it for yourself.
16. Be joyful always.
The most amazing part of this verse is that if God says this, then it must be available. It's something to strive for, isn't it? It's inspiring in many ways to think that we can always be full of joy and peace in believing. It is apparently available to rejoice at all times. When your mind is renewed to such a strong point, there is nothing that can make you feel down, depress you, or make you feel discouraged or defeated. God does say in the book of Romans that we are more than conquerors in every single situation in life. The verse inspires one to continue to renew their mind with a diligent effort.
17. Pray without ceasing.
This is quite an interesting statement, would you not say so? God is saying that we should pray unceasingly without intermission. Well, how can this be? The Word teaches us that there are two ways to pray -- one is with our understanding and the second way is by the spirit. Speaking or praying by the spirit is what this verse is referring to. Back in Corinthians, Paul says: "I thank my God I speak with tongues more than ye all."
Please remember that our Heavenly Father never wants us to condemn ourselves. Every believer should speak in tongues as much as possible during every waking moment of their lives. It is not easy to acquire this habit after we are born again. I'm simply trying to say to do your best to pray without ceasing. It has been my understanding that if we listen to God and learn to speak in tongues much in our private prayer life, that our lives on this earth will be dynamic. So have patience and do your best to speak in tongues as much as possible during your everyday life and walk with God. First, you may want to try to listen to God and to do what His Word says. This will result in an exciting but yet peaceful life and this will inspire you to speak in tongues more often.
18. In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ concerning you.
I was taught a lesson about this subject at one time that always stayed with me -- I simply cannot forget it. If you think about this for a moment, you will realize that you cannot be negative when you are thankful. God wants us to look around during our day and see even the smallest thing that we can be thankful for. If you look away from your computer, you may see something on your desk that you can be thankful that you have. If you can discipline your mind to be thankful for even the smallest thing, you will always be blessed and be thinking positive. This can overcome any and all types of negative feelings and emotions that may occur during the day. God states clearly in this verse that it is His Will as a result of what Jesus Christ accomplished concerning you, His child, that you be thankful and give thanks not only in your prayers but as you go through your day. If you can master this renewed mind principle, you will rejoice in your heart and many problems that you may have been experiencing will simply disappear. The simplest life is always the best and this principle of being thankful will help greatly to make your life simple and enjoyable. I cannot say enough about the importance of applying God's Word in this area of giving thanks. It will bless you -- it will set you free -- it will improve your mental health -- you will feel more ambitious. You will be stronger when it comes to overcoming any problem or opportunity that may confront you while out in this present world.
19. Do not quench the spirit.
To understand this verse, we must understand what the word "quench" means. This is why it is so important that biblical research precedes teaching. That is the premise upon which this website is established. If we guess at what the Word means, we privately interpret God's Word and God strictly forbids us to do this. Now let's get to the meaning of the word "quench". Let me say one other thing before we go on and that is that it is fun and very exciting to research God's Word. It is like going on a treasure hunt and I urge you to give it a try. There are many research materials that are available to you such as a Lexicon and a large Concordance. You may also purchase a Bible dictionary or Bullinger's massive work on Figures Of Speech Used In The Bible. God will meet your needs -- He will always take care of you when you dedicate your life to keeping Him first and teaching His Word to the best of your ability.
This word "quench" means to dampen, to hinder, or to repress. You can think of this as a light that is being extinguished or put out. The Word of God is urging us to pray and to be thankful which are results of renewing our mind to what the Word directs us to do. We have the option, by our own free will, not to do this, if we so choose. You see, God does not want people to love Him because they have no choice. You have a choice every single day to keep Him first in the morning and to do your very best to keep God first throughout your day or to ignore Him. If you ignore Him, you will never experience peace and you will always be striving towards a goal that you will never completely achieve. Without God first, you will live a miserable existence even though you may think that your life is normal. Eventually, the god of this world, will steal, kill, or destroy your life.
God does not want you to hinder or repress your progress with Him. Apparently, it is very possible to do so. You can decide at any time that you are not going to renew your mind and that you are not going to make any attempt to walk by the spirit of God. Remember, it is an everyday decision. Don't let the world lure you away from the Word. For all my life, I have remembered the advice that my earthly father gave me. He often tried to make me realize that it would be best for me to stay home and to study hard during my college days. Can you imagine that was 33 years ago and I still remember his advice? Why? Because so often, it reminds me of what God tries to teach me when I am tempted and distracted to get off course. My earthly father used to say to me: "You're not missing anything out there, you know?" So the next time you’re tempted to walk away from your commitment to God, even if it's just for a day, remember, there is absolutely nothing out there for you. Stay put on God's Word and learn patience. God honors commitment, steadfastness, and a believer who is unmovable concerning his stand on the principles stated in the Holy Scriptures. Galatians 6: 9 clearly states: "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not." The word "shall" means absolutely, positively.
20. Do not reject prophecies.
Now be careful here because I am going to tell you something that many will not mention. Make sure you if you are at a Bible fellowship, that it is conducted decently and in order, especially if you think you hear someone prophecy. Devil spirits cannot speak in tongues, BUT THEY CAN PROPHECY.
God stresses here that if a true prophet or believer is operating the manifestation of prophecy decently and in order, we are not to reject that prophecy or conclude that it is worthless. Someone who operates true prophecy is not possessed, remember that. He speaks forth, by his own free will, what God is inspiring him to say. The person operating the manifestation of prophecy BELIEVES to operate it. So often, this subject area of the Word is very much misunderstood. You see one person speak in tongues and another person give the interpretation. This contradicts the Word of God as stated in Corinthians which gives us a guide as to how these manifestations are to be operated. The person who speaks in tongues is to give the interpretation. If another interprets it, it is prophecy, not the interpretation of the person who spoke in tongues.
21. Prove all things, uphold that which is good.
If some of you may be reading this teaching or something from this web site for the first time, you may not believe a word of it and that's your privilege. But I'm going to tell you something that may shock you. You will never know if God's Word is true until you put it to the test in your life. God is challenging you in this verse to prove him. There is only one major difference that contradicts the pattern or system of the world in this example. You have to believe AND ACT FIRST before you will receive anything from the true God and Father of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. You may say to yourself right now that I will believe it after I see it. This will never happen when it comes to God's Word. That's just the way God set this thing up. I did not write the book. You will see it AFTER you BELIEVE it. And the word 'believe' is a verb and it requires ACTION on your part. So if you are one of those people who are going to sit back and wait for God to pull off some type of miracle for you while you sit back and do absolutely nothing, you're in for quite the surprise and a very long wait! YOU MUST ACT FIRST ON WHAT THE WORD TEACHES, AND THEN YOU WILL SEE RESULTS. God wants you to prove Him and to support that which is good. Well, what is good? The Word of God is what we are to support for all the days that we spend on this earth or until Jesus Christ returns.
22. Abstain from every sort of evil.
We often talk about the Bible being our guide throughout this life. God is giving us a simple directive here as to how we should appear before others. If there's one thing I remember about teaching at a fellowship, it is the following: A believer, especially one who is new, sometimes will look for anything wrong in your life or in your home or in anything that you do. It is quite an obnoxious habit but I have seen this happen time and time again. If you have even the smallest fault or problem, it is best that you do not let that babe in Christ see anything wrong in your walk with God. A more mature believer is able to understand that all of us need improvement in some area of our lives with God.
Every time I share something with a believer about a problem or an opportunity that I may be having in my life, I take a certain type of risk. It doesn't take much for a believer who lacks spiritual maturity to lose faith or respect in a teacher or leader who is not perfect. The fact of the matter is that I myself always abstain from every possible appearance of evil. The devil just waits for a leader or teacher or someone who has a gift ministry to do something wrong so that he can accuse that person. In the Bible, one of the names given to the devil himself is "THE ACCUSER". So be sharp in this area and watch what you say and how you act and be the best example that you can possibly be for God at all times.
23. May the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved without blemish to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Notice how many times God will repeat a subject because He knows that we need to hear something many times before we finally learn what He is trying to tell us. Again, and in this verse, he is getting more specific concerning our appearance and our daily living activities. God states that we are sanctified by Him who is the God of peace. We are set apart from the unbelievers and in many situations, we are a peculiar people as compared to worldly people.
God also wants our spirit, soul, and body to be preserved without a spot or a blemish. God is basically saying something similar to what was said in the previous verse. He is more specific and telling us that we are to live a godly lifestyle until Jesus Christ returns because He has set us apart from the rest of this world. We have been bought back from the realm of the devil by what Jesus Christ accomplished.
Also note that this verse mentions body, soul, and spirit as three separate entities. This clearly illustrates that there is a difference and all three were either made or created by God. [Please refer to the teaching "Body, Soul, and Spirit" for a more detailed explanation of this subject.]
I have seen believers who were great leaders and yet they ignored some of the things that God is saying in these verses. If you need to smoke a cigarette or gamble or once in a while use foul language, you had better learn that you should never appear evil in any way to others who depend on you as an example to follow. None of us are perfect and I myself have worked very hard to break every bad habit that I've ever had in my life. Overall, I feel much healthier and much sharper in my mind. There's no doubt that if we live a Godly lifestyle, that we have an advantage over the unbeliever because the unbeliever's life is controlled by Satan.
24. Faithful is he who has called you, and he will keep his word.
This is a beautiful verse in many ways. God is assuring us, His children, that He will be faithful to you who He has chosen from before the very foundations of the world. He is stating clearly and concisely that He will keep His Word to you. This is something that we need to understand and never forget and that is that God cannot break His Word. His Word will always stand true if no one in the world believed a word of it. God is faithful who has called you and He will keep His Word. His Word is filled with over 900 promises and He must fulfill every one that you learn and apply in your life. That is really exciting when you think about it. God must keep His Word. God is not a man that he should lie. What a comforting verse this is. We should honestly commit it to memory.
25. My brethren, pray for us.
We understand that Paul wrote this epistle by revelation to the church of the Thessalonians. One of the last directives that Paul gives is for the brethren to pray for him and the other believers who are moving God's Word. Prayer is VERY IMPORTANT and many times we do not realize this. We are to pray with and for each other. When we are in fellowship and our prayers are in alignment with God's Word, God is FAITHFUL and will answer our prayers. We just read that in the last verse. Remember to have your need and want parallel/equal when you pray. You should need what you are praying for as bad as you want it. You must BELIEVE that God will answer your prayer and EXPECT it to be answered.
26. Salute all our brethren with a holy kiss.
It has been a tradition for many years that Christians either give each other a hug or a kiss on the forehead when they meet. It was meant as an act of love and respect. That is the simple meaning of this verse. I can remember clearly this gentle act of affection in the fellowships I attended when there were about 100,000 of us who stood for and held forth God's Word rightly divided. When our founder passed on, very many went separate ways and were deceived into practicing unsound doctrine and watering down God's Word. My wife and I stood our ground and continued to teach God's Word in all its magnificence and ACCURACY as we were once taught. We will continue to teach you God's perfect Word verbatim as I was taught it 37 years ago. Men may come and go, but the Word of God liveth and abideth forever. The devil himself has tried everything in his power to shut down this web site AND HE HAS FAILED every time. There are very few places where the Word is taught WITH MINUTE ACCURACY. This is one of them.
27. I adjure you by our Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren.
God would like us to make an oath and be under its obligation to see that this epistle is read and made known to all the holy brethren. God wants every believer to be aware of what is written so that he can be edified, blessed, encouraged, and strengthened by God's mighty Words. God wants you, by your own free will, to MOVE HIS WORD. It is the only thing that defeats the devil and his devil spirits. The rightly divided Word of God has tremendous power spoken on the lips of believing believers -- power that we can't even comprehend.
28. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Finally, and in conclusion, God tells us so lovingly that it is His Will for us to have the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ upon us. "Grace" means DIVINE FAVOR. Can you imagine being a person who has God's 'divine favor' upon you?!! I can tell you that this Word of God is so tremendous that sometimes you want to jump in the air with joy. I don't see how you can be alive and not get excited at the tremendous encouragement, comfort, and exhortation that God's Word projects.
THE GRACE OR DIVINE FAVOR OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST,
WHO IS COMING BACK FOR US,
BE WITH YOU. TRULY.