Expanded Biblical Comments / Ebc52 - 1 Thessalonians

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1 Thessalonians

General

When released from prison at Philippi, Paul, Silas and Timothy went about a hundred miles direct to Thessalonica, the largest commercial city of that district--Macedonia. Nothing daunted by their experience at Philippi, Paul at once began a vigorous presentation of the Gospel. The result of his labors was the nucleus of a flourishing church, to which two of his epistles were addressed. R3130:1,2

Written from Corinth during the year and a half in which St. Paul labored with his associates there, the first epistle to the Thessalonians is credited with being the first of the New Testament writings which have come down to us, AD 52. The epistle is a very fatherly one, very gentle and loving. When we remember that the believers addressed were merely "babes in Christ" less than a year old, we are inclined to amazement that the Apostle should consider them prepared for teaching on so high a plane. Let us recall to mind the setting of this epistle. Less than a year before its writing, the Apostle and Silas arrived from Philippi bruised and haggard, surely, as a result of their experiences. It will be remembered that they had peace but a short time at Thessalonica, during which they made known the Gospel of God's grace. Then the Apostle was obliged to flee again, but subsequently heard from the believers at Thessalonica through Silas and Timothy. With a fatherly love he assayed several times to revisit the believers, but was always providentially hindered. Possibly these hindrances led up to the writing of this epistle, more profitable for them, as well as advantageous to all of the Lord's people throughout the world during eighteen centuries. R4417:2,3

Although the church at Thessalonica was composed of those who in respect to length of Christian experience were but "babes," yet very evidently the persecution which had come upon them had caused them to grow very rapidly. It was but a year since they had received the Gospel, and yet the Apostle witnesses to their rapid development, as evidenced by their love one for the other, and not only love for the company at Thessalonica, but the breadth of their love extending to and manifesting an interest in all of the household of faith throughout the province of Macedonia. R2196:2

1 Thessalonians 1

1 Thessalonians 1:4

Knowing -- By means of the various evidences that we are the children of God, namely our begetting, quickening, and sealing of the Spirit, and by which it may be discerned, not by oneself only, but ere long by the brethren. F191

1 Thessalonians 1:5

Gospel -- Message of good tidings. R1419:3; HG311:6

1 Thessalonians 1:6

Followers of us -- The under-shepherds do not own the flock, and their value to the flock as overseers consists in their faithfulness in making known to the sheep the message of the great Shepherd and, to the extent of their ability, communicating his tone and his Spirit with his Word. R4278:3

The view that the apostles were exceptions, and their sacrifice and suffering were not intended as examples for the remainder of the Church, would hinder us from obedience to this apostolic injunction. NS591:5; SM628:2

1 Thessalonians 1:10

To wait -- There is no more practical doctrine than the second advent. It is the motive for patient waiting. R298:2*

Implies that the Kingdom was not already here. NS677:1

We cannot hope to bring the Kingdom to pass of ourselves. While continuing our missionary exertions, let us tie our faith to the Apostle's words. OV246:7

Each system knows that the marriage of the Lamb is to take place at the second coming of Christ. They have lost sight of the fact that the true virgin Church must wait and keep herself unspotted, a virgin. SM408:2

His Son from heaven -- "If I go I will come again." (John 14:3) F671; R1827:1

Whom he raised -- If, as the Scriptures declare, it was his soul that died, then Christ could have no power to resuscitate himself. R2795:2

No agency was called into service to accomplish his resurrection, but, as when first created, he was the direct workmanship of Jehovah. "God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power." (1

Cor. 6:14) R1005:5

The Father raised up Jesus from death. If the Father and Son are the same being, then the Father was dead. R370:3

Us -- Such as now accept of Christ and become his obedient followers. R787:3

Wrath to come -- The great time of trouble in the end of this age. Even now, though not delivered from present wrath and penalties of sin, we are assured of a full release shortly from every vestige of the curse and wrath now resting on all. R787:3

1 Thessalonians 2

1 Thessalonians 2:2

Shamefully entreated -- Paul and Silas' clothing was torn from them, and the command was given that they should be beaten with rods and imprisoned. R3123:1

1 Thessalonians 2:6

We might have been burdensome -- The Apostle might have said you owe me, to care for my temporal necessities, but the Gospel message is not given along lines of justice, but along the lines of love and compassion. R2500:5

1 Thessalonians 2:7

But we were gentle -- Paul did not act as a lord or master amongst slaves or subordinates. R3130:2

The apostles issued neither bulls nor anathemas, but loving entreaties. F232

The apostles never claimed a monopoly of the teaching or of the pastoral work of the Church; nor did the Lord ever intimate that they should do so. R1524:1

1 Thessalonians 2:9

Labor and travail -- The Apostle did not belong to a paid ministry. He had a message to deliver which he appreciated so highly to spend his life in its promulgation--using for other purposes only so much of time and energy as necessary to procure necessities. R3157:6

Laboring -- Working with his hands, as well as preaching and expounding the Scriptures. R3130:2

Some missed a grand opportunity when Paul needed to make tents to support himself. R733:2

He neither coveted their silver and gold, nor asked for it or their praise. R2500:5

1 Thessalonians 2:10

We behaved -- Paul lived an unblameable, unselfish life in their midst, giving them the Gospel, and with it his very life. R3130:2

1 Thessalonians 2:11

And comforted -- Not harassed, threatened and upbraided. This spirit in the apostles as fathers and brethren in the Church should be a guide to all who would be sons of consolation. R3435:6

1 Thessalonians 2:12

Who hath called you -- The new creature is to remember that he has become a representative of God and his righteousness. "As he that hath called you is holy, so be ye holy." (1 Pet. 1:15) F91

Unto his kingdom -- "Whereunto he called you by our gospel." (2 Thes. 2:14) R1419:4

1 Thessalonians 2:15

Persecuted us -- Largely by those who had some light, but whose light was darkness in comparison to the great light of the holy Spirit shining in and through the Lord's fully consecrated ones. R2415:2

The persecutors of the "Body," like the persecutors of the Head, are cooperating to fulfill the divine plan in a manner they little suspect. R2415:3

1 Thessalonians 2:16

For the wrath -- The wrath of God which entirely swallowed up the nation and left the land almost desolate, scattering the people amongst all the nations. R3292:5

If all the woes purposed of God upon the Israelites in the conclusion of their age were fulfilled, then none of those woes belong to the future. CR423:1

Is come upon them -- The fire of trouble through which fleshly Israel passed when Jesus was present, has already come upon the Jewish people. A229; C300; E357

All the woes purposed of God were fulfilled. CR423:2; R5505:4

The "wrath to come" (Luke 3:7) did come upon the nation because of its rejection of Messiah. R2564:1, 4656:4, 4172:6, 2786:4

The Jews had experienced great blessings and privileges, and these being misused brought great darkness and a terrible national judgment. R1983:2

History estimates the trouble which came upon Israel, within forty years of our Lord's utterance, as the most awful that had thus far occurred amongst men. R1702:2

After the holy Spirit coming upon the infant Church at Pentecost, had searched, sifted and winnowed out of the Jewish dispensation all the wheat, then the fire came upon the chaff. R2927:2

The curses mentioned by Moses (Deut. 28:15, 46, 49, 63-67) that would befall Israel seem to have had a very literal fulfillment upon the Israel of our Lord's day. C300

"He shall baptize you with fire" (Matt. 3:11) F445; NS21:2, 626:4

Their national sin--expiated by their punishment in the past 1,800 years, as Paul foretold. R4612:3

To the uttermost -- In their complete ruin as a nation in the time of trouble at the close of the Jewish age. R2599:4, During those forty years ending the Jewish age. At the close of 70 AD the nation went to pieces. R5470:6, 5505:4, NS218:2, 305:4

They have been under that wrath and unable to reestablish themselves as a nation from that day to the present time. R2564:1

They have been cut off completely from favor. R4656:4

Divine anger burned against fleshly Israel and did continue until as a people they had suffered for their national sins. After divine wrath has burned out their national transgression, he will speak peaceably toward them. E357; R2599:4

1 Thessalonians 2:18

Satan hindered us -- The Apostle was a firm believer in a personal devil. R3165:6

We are sure that the Lord would overrule the machinations of Satan and cause them to work out his own glory. R5712:4

1 Thessalonians 2:19

At his coming -- Greek: parousia; presence. R223:2, 2978:6, 1693:1

1 Thessalonians 3

1 Thessalonians 3:2

To comfort you -- Signifies and implies establishment in the faith once delivered to the saints. All the terms and conditions of our covenant should be held in mind, and the promises of reward at the end of the journey. R2665:2

"Comfort all that mourn," (Isa. 61:2) "Through patience and comfort of the scriptures." (Rom. 15:4) "Wherefore comfort one another with these words," (1 Thess. 4:18) not only with respect to the things promised, but with respect to the loving compassion and sympathy of him who promises them. R2665:1

Faith -- Faith, like steam in an engine, is a power either for good or for evil. Hence, the importance of a correct faith, grounded and settled, and not moved away from the hope of the Gospel, rooted and built up in Christ. R1719:6

1 Thessalonians 3:3

Appointed thereunto -- The prophets foresaw and foretold "the sufferings of Christ (Head and Body) and the glory that should follow." (1 Peter 1:11) R147:5

1 Thessalonians 3:7

Our affliction -- Paul was apparently considerably cast down with discouragement and possibly sickness. R4416:1

And distress -- If Paul needed such experiences to bring out the best that was in him and to make his epistles the more useful to the Church, possibly the Lord's dealings with us at times may be with the same end in view--our preparation for further usefulness in his service. R4416:2

1 Thessalonians 3:12

The Lord make you -- Not to sinners are these words addressed, but to saints. Not those who have not the spirit of love does the Apostle exhort, but those who have been begotten of the spirit of love. Who are the "you"? Members of the true Church. R4662:2, 4663:2

It is not what we can do, but what the Lord can do in us and for us. It is the Lord's doing; we can accomplish very little for ourselves. He has various agencies through which he is pleased to increase our love--the word of God, divine providence, fellowship of the saints. R4662:5

Increase -- Signifies love already has attained an ascendency in the heart, and is progressing, conquering and bringing into subjection all the thoughts and conduct of life. R4662:2

Approaching more and more and attaining and maintaining the "mark" which God hath set before us as the standard of character for which he will be pleased to award the prize. R4662:2

And abound -- The Lord's people are to increase in love continually, until the love abounds or overflows in all the thoughts and words and conduct of life. R4662:2

One reason why love does not abound more thoroughly amongst God's people, is that so many of them have been blinded by the Adversary to the real character of God. R4662:3

In love -- We began to receive of God's spirit of love from the time we made our consecration to him, and began to live unto him, and not unto the flesh. R4662:5

One toward another -- The Apostles exhort fellow Christians to follow after them in the same way of self-sacrificing, loving obedience, as imitators of Jesus. R4662:5

Toward all men -- This presupposes the love which, first of all, is due to God our Father. Nor is it to be expected that any man will love his fellow-creatures to the extent indicated, unless he has first learned to love his Creator. R4662:2

Even as we do -- They were exemplifying in their daily course of life this very abounding love which, overflowing, was leading them to sacrifice their own interests and rights and privileges for the sake of the Lord's people everywhere. R4662:3

1 Thessalonians 3:13

To the end -- With the object in view. R4663:5

He may stablish -- Fixed, settled, rooted, grounded, thoroughly established, firmly fixed in love for righteousness; so that all unrighteousness would be an abomination to them. R4663:5

Your hearts -- To have a heart that is blameless is a very different thing from having flesh that is blameless. The heart, standing for the will, the intention, the desire; represents the new creature. R4663:6

At -- In. R4662:4

The coming -- Greek: parousia; presence. B159; R4664:1, 2979:1, 1693:1, 223:2

From this the Thessalonian brethren seem to have drawn a wrong conclusion, supposing the Apostle to intimate that the Day of the Lord would surely come in their day. To meet their difficulty, Paul wrote them the second epistle, in which the main thought is the correcting of this error. R665:3

We are now in this time of Christ's presence, and it behooves us to inquire carefully of our hearts to what extent we are established in righteousness, in love for it. R4664:4

Do we find that with the brighter shining truth our hearts are being established, our faith well founded and settled? If so, it is just what Paul expected. R349:1

1 Thessalonians 4

1 Thessalonians 4:1

Abound more and more -- As your capacity increases. F133

1 Thessalonians 4:3

The will of God -- His desire, his design. R5876:3

Concerning you. R5427:6, 5332:3, 5130:4, 5126:3, 4335:3, 2412:1

Thus our personal salvation comes first in God's order. We then inquire, What is the next step? R5427:6

In the nature of advice, rather than command. R5126:3

The great work is not for others, but a work in ourselves; subduing, conquering, ruling self. R5127:1, 2412:1; SM581:2

Heart loyalty; our first duty, continual duty, and the end of our duty. R5127:4

The acceptance of us by the Father is only the beginning of the sanctifying work. It is his will that this work should continue and progress in us, to its full completion. R5877:3

Your -- Addressed only to the saints of God. SM578:1; R5876:3

Sanctification -- The complete devotion of your will to God. F136; R5126:6; SM582:2

Full setting apart from the world to himself and his service. R5876:3, 3655:6, 200:2, 50:2; SM578:1

Through the truth, which becomes illuminated to us through the holy Spirit. R5878:1, 5877:6

Progresses throughout the Christian course until the character is fully developed and ripened, and it must then be maintained until the end of the way. R5877:1

This work should affect our minds, our hands, our eyes, our ears, our tongues, our all, that we may be fully used of the Lord. R5877:3

Walking after the Spirit, which leads to everlasting life with our great Redeemer. R5100:5

There are two parts to sanctification; the first is our own, the second belongs to God. "Sanctify yourselves," and "I will sanctify you." SM581:4; R5332:3; 200:2 If God's will is really our will, we have a clearly marked pathway. R5127:5

Our sanctification is effected not when we are "called," nor when we begin to turn from sin, but when we come to the point of full consecration. R4592:1

1 Thessalonians 4:7

But unto holiness -- "Be ye holy, for I am holy." (1 Pet. 1:16) F92

Her righteousness is that to which the Bride is called. R50:2*

1 Thessalonians 4:10

Brethren -- Fellow-servants. R2196:2

More and more -- In love and service one for the other, which implies a growth in all the graces of the spirit. R2196:3

1 Thessalonians 4:11

Study to be quiet -- Might be rendered literally "that ye be ambitious to be quiet," or that ye have a quiet ambition, not a restless zeal for notoriety and great exploits, but a quiet, earnest perseverance in well-doing. R2196:3

The Lord's people are to study to have a mind that is well balanced; this is not natural to the majority of people, and is, therefore, something to be studied and attained. R5167:3

Quietness that appertains to peace--a composure which is the opposite of nervousness, giddiness and childishness. R5167:3

This desirable quietness represents the graces of the holy Spirit; meekness, gentleness, patience and brotherly kindness. R5167:3

Your own business -- "Let none of you suffer as a busybody in other men's matters." (1 Pet. 4:15) F583

A busybody is a person who meddles with the affairs of others with which he properly has nothing whatever to do. R5167:6

One who spends considerable time in correcting others is prone to forget himself. R5168:1

With your own hands -- Not to be dependent upon charity, so far as possible. R2196:6

Home and family duties were not to be neglected. R2196:3

1 Thessalonians 4:12

That are without -- In darkness, out of Christ. R2196:6

1 Thessalonians 4:13

Which are asleep -- All our sleeping friends. R4793:5

Which have no hope -- No such substantial hope. E328, 329

No hope of the resurrection. OV333:1

1 Thessalonians 4:14

That Jesus died -- For us; a ransom for all. E444; R4793:5, 3529:6, 2197:3,5

The Adamic death penalty was to perish; but it has been cancelled by Christ's ransom. R1126:2

And rose again -- To be the Deliverer of the race from the bonds of sin and death. R4175:1

That he might be Lord and life-giver to all. R4793:5, 3529:6, 2197:2

Our faith is built upon this fact; it is an evidence that his sacrifice was acceptable. R2197:4

Even so -- Let us believe as true. R4793:5

Them also -- All mankind. E328; R4793:5, 4160:5, 3529:6, 3436:5, 2528:2, 2197:2

Which sleep -- Not which have gone to heaven. R1591:5

Referring to the dead, both good and bad. R3027:6, 5059:6, 5166:4, 4794:2, 4793:5, 4633:1, 3529:6, 3063:4

Whose death through Jesus' merit has been changed to a sleep. R4175:1

By reason of his death our souls do not die in the full sense of the word, but are Scripturally said to fall asleep. R4956:1

In Jesus -- In the sense that the hope of an awakening centers in him. R2618:1, 4175:1, 3436:5, 3063:4; SM38:2

The word Jesus means "Savior." R2197:5

It is through Jesus that the race previously extinct in Adam has hope of an awakening. R5107:3, 4956:1, 4633:1, 3063:4

Will God bring -- From the sleep of death. E346; R4793:5, 2197:5, 1881:1

All who sleep in Jesus will God bring from the dead through him. SM740:2

This was the comfort the Apostle set before the early Church. OV213:4

With him -- By. R1881:1

Through, his instrumentality. R2197:5

1 Thessalonians 4:15

The coming -- Greek: parousia; presence. B159; R2981:6, 2979:1, 2198:4, 1881:2, 1693:1, 473:2, 293:2, 223:2

Of the Lord -- If Jesus can be present, and not seen, the dead in Christ could be raised and not seen, because when raised they will be like Jesus. R170:1

Prevent -- Precede; go before. R5166:4, 2981:6, 1881:2, 473:2, 170:1; F663; C233

Hinder. R4794:2, 2765:2, 293:2

Them -- The saints, the Church. C233; F663; R2528:2

Which are asleep -- Those of the Church already dead. R2981:6

The dead saints were raised spirit beings in 1878. C234

1 Thessalonians 4:16

Descend from heaven -- He comes unknown to the world. R579:3

"If I go I will come again." (John 14:3) F671

With -- In, or during. B149

A shout -- Greek: keleusma; a shout of encouragement to all men to wake up to a sense of their rights and privileges. B146

The shout of encouragement should be understood to be the people's response to the Jubilee trumpets blown by the priests. R2026:1

With the voice -- With the authority and command. B147

Of the archangel -- Michael. R668:1, 152:6

The chief messenger, "The Messenger of the Covenant," (Mal. 3:1) Christ. B147; R490:1

The trump of God -- The seventh trumpet, the last trump, covering the entire Millennial age; typified by the Jubilee trump. B148, 149, 197; OV386:T Paul's "shout" and "trumpet" corresponds in every way with those used by John (Rev. 11:15), and the same event in Daniel's prophecy (12:1) is called the standing up of the archangel Michael. R668:1, 845:2, 579:6, 263:3

The dead in Christ -- Applicable only to the elect Church. R5107:3, 2528:3, 2197:5, 152:3

They are reckoned as dying with Christ their Redeemer. R1454:4

The death of the flesh being fully accomplished; they are to have the first resurrection, the chief resurrection. R5107:6

They will receive new bodies like unto the Lord's glorious body. R5108:1, 3106:6

The scene described here is the same event of 1 Cor. 15:51, 52 of our change to a spiritual, immortal, powerful, heavenly body. R152:2

Shall rise first -- The faithful sleeping in death will be resurrected, reckoned with, rewarded; before the reckoning with and rewarding of the living members of the Church begins. R2981:6

Each receives life in complete measure instantly. R1854:5

We will from that instant be as invisible to fleshly beings as he is, and as angels are. R152:3

1 Thessalonians 4:17

Then we -- The ones left over of the same class. R1260:4

Which are alive -- The Lord's people still on the earth after the time of the beginning of the first resurrection. R5566:5

Some are still in the place of polishing and preparation--the Temple is not complete yet. CR457:1

Shall be caught up -- Caught away, changed in the moment of death. F663; R667:6, 152:3

Their taking will be unseen by the world. R35:3

As Moses was lost to the sight of the people below, so the entire Church will be gathered to the Lord. R2709:6

This change will take place in the end of the Gospel age, at or during the sounding of the seventh trump. R1260:4

As the type of the passover night in Egypt, without the tasting of death. R212:2*

Together -- Or also. R293:3, 473:2

As a class, not separately as each may die. R5132:4

With -- Or to. R293:3

In the clouds -- In the time of trouble. B138; R191:1

Into obscurity. R1260:4

To meet the Lord -- During the gathering of the trouble, before the storm bursts. R153:5

That will be the first meeting of the Church with her Lord. R5132:2

In the air -- In the spiritual rulership of the world, now controlled by the present "prince of the power of the air." (Eph. 2:2) C238; R1260:5, 191:1, 152:6

In the realm of spiritual control of the earth--in kingdom power and great glory. R5771:6

Symbol of the spiritual throne from which Satan is to be deposed, and to which our Lord and his joint-heirs are to come. R153:2

This does not necessarily mean that they will occupy Tartarus. R5182:1

Some expect to meet in the immediate presence of God, and others associate the meeting with earthly conditions, while we believe the meeting will be in a condition midway between the other two. R167:1*

Be with the Lord -- "Whom he hath appointed heir of all things." (Heb. 1:2) F70

1 Thessalonians 4:18

Comfort -- Of the Father, through the Son, by the holy Spirit, communicated through the Scriptures; also communicated by the members of the Body of Christ one to another. R2665:1

1 Thessalonians 5

1 Thessalonians 5:1

Times and the seasons -- The world moves on in ignorance of the fact that the Lord is again present. Those who are faithfully watching unto the sure word of prophecy will know of his presence. R598:2

Only such as are living up to their consecration vows will be granted Divine assistance in the understanding of the present situation. The others of the consecrated will go on in partial or complete ignorance until brought to their senses by the complete collapse of present institutions. SM700:3

The great Millennial morning of blessing is nearing, yet a dark period, a short season of terrible trouble and anarchy intervenes. SM700:3

Ye have -- The Lord speaks directly to his Church as thou or you, but of the world as they or them. R359:6*

No need that I write -- We are granted a clear understanding of "the deep things of God" (1 Cor. 2:10), some features of which were never revealed until the present time, even to the most faithful of the Lord's saints. R5489:6

1 Thessalonians 5:2

Day of the Lord -- In which we live. R310:5, 402:4; Bx The day of the Lord's presence, the "harvest," or end of the age. R2198:5

Its dawning cannot be discerned with the natural eye. If the second advent were to be an open, outward manifestation, would not the world know of it just as soon as the saints, the watchers? R2973:3

From this, the Thessalonian brethren seem to have drawn a wrong conclusion, supposing the Apostle to intimate that the day of the Lord would surely come in their day. R665:3

So cometh -- His second coming. R1416:5

As -- Like. R2973:3

A thief in the night -- Gradually and stealthily, taking the world unawares. SM789:3; R2973:3, 2693:5, 2504:4, 1923:3, 1416:5, 665:4, 593:6, 579:3; Q91:3

Quietly, stealthily, and after it has come, many for some time will not know they are in it. B21; R5256:3

Not to sound a trumpet before him, calling the world's attention to his work. R1742:6

Even at the second coming of the King there will be a night time. R2504:4

The secrecy observed respecting the time and manner of the second coming of Jesus will be a strong test. R5400:4

Throughout this entire age the Lord's people have been left in uncertainty as to the time of the Master's second coming. R5735:3

Only God's fully consecrated Church would not be taken unawares. R5917:4, 1416:5

They -- The world, not the saints. B22; R5400:4

Peace and safety -- We think that this saying of "Peace! Peace!" has been going on for some years, since the first Peace Conference at the Hague. Real peace can come only by Messiah's taking full control. He will bring in the peace. Q529:3

"Peace, peace, when there is no peace." (Jer. 6:14, 8:11) D242, 238, 241

Sudden destruction -- Sudden or rapid compared with the slow processes of the past six thousand years. B21

The Scriptures do not say that the trouble will come in an hour, one day, or in one year. The intimation is that the catastrophe coming upon our civilization will be a very sudden one. But it will be very sudden if it comes within twelve months. R5328:2

The world will not escape certain overthrow of their systems and politics. R2693:5

This comes as a just retribution upon those who, having had a knowledge of God and his righteousness, appreciated more the things of mammon. SM700:3, 701:T The world will be taken unawares; and many of the Lord's servants having fallen asleep, are not watching as commanded. R593:6

When anarchy has accomplished the complete destruction of the present order, it will be time for the setting up of the Kingdom of Christ, and he will bring the whole trouble to a sudden termination. Q529:3

It is only "ye brethren" who are privileged to have clearer light respecting present and future conditions. SM187:1

As travail upon a woman -- The catastrophe will come suddenly, at a moment as unexpected to the mother as to others. R5449:2

Each succeeding spasm will probably be more severe until the final one. D284; R1923:3, 707:2

The relief from present conditions will come only with the birth of a new order of things. A334; R1607:5, 621:2, 357:1

And they -- The world, unbelievers. R2198:4, 5400:4, 2972:3, 1923:3, 513:4

1 Thessalonians 5:4

But ye, brethren -- All the faithful in Christ Jesus, who wait for his kingdom and watch thereunto and seek to be prepared for it. R2303:4, 5479:4, 2513:4, 1785:4, 601:6*, 384:3; SM414:T It is not intended that this prophetic knock should be heard by the world; it is intended only for the virgin class, wise and foolish. R4185:4

Are not in darkness -- With the world--and so may pass through much of the trouble with a happiness based on this knowledge. R1470:5

Concerning the times and seasons. C139, 215; R2979:5, 2765:1

Respecting the dawn of the Millennial morning because taught thereof by the Comforter. R1760:1

Truth will be revealed to those fully loyal to God. R5545:1, 3822:2, 2973:3, 1063:4*, 289:2; CR438:5

One evidence of faithfulness today, would be a knowledge of present truth. R2942:4, 5479:4

This does not necessarily mean all the truth, but enough to sanctify; certain basic principles that the Lord's people have at all times grasped--one God, the penalty for sin, etc. R5479:4

"The Spirit will show you things to come." (John 16:13) B121, 169; R1948:1, 402:4, 310:5

You have your lamps trimmed and burning. R2693:5

Yet they were not to know the hour, i.e., the exact time of his coming, yet if they were to watch closely they would not mistake the signs of his presence. R326:6*

That day -- The great seventh thousand-year day. CR438:5

The day of the Lord's presence. R189:4, 173:1

The time of trouble. SM414:T The Christian who does not watch will be overtaken of that day just as the world is overtaken. R598:3

Overtake you -- Though it will thus overtake all the world. R3784:6, 326:6*

As a thief -- It will come upon the whole world as a thief and a snare. R5715:6, 5765:6, 5632:6, 4185:2,4

It shall not so come upon God's children who are living up to their privileges. R5735:2, 1785:4

1 Thessalonians 5:5

Children of light -- All the children of God, so far as they have received the holy Spirit of begetting. "Let your light so shine before men." (John 15:19, Matt. 5:16) R5099:5

Having laid down their lives in consecration, for the purpose of becoming servants of righteousness, they are the enemies of sin. R5098:1

They will be watching and be enlightened and taught of the Lord. R2972:3, 5735:2, 5256:6, 5595:5, 513:4, 237:5*

"For God has shined into our hearts." (2 Cor. 4:6) E293

"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, a lantern to my footsteps." (Psa. 119:105) We belong to the new dispensation and are therefore counted as children of the light even in the present darkness. R3686:3, 5256:6

Children of the day -- We are God's representatives and ambassadors. We are to tell the people about the light and knowledge and glory of God that is to come so soon, so that all who love the light may take heed to the Word of God and get ready to be members of that Kingdom class. R5339:6

Darkness -- Superstition and ignorance; the world's condition. R5098:1, 3686:4

The educated of the world are rapidly dropping the thought of a personal God and a divine plan. SM700:2

1 Thessalonians 5:6

Let us not sleep -- Be awake, and keep active, lest you become drowsy with the lethargy which pervades all around you. R173:4

Such a period of drowsiness and non-alertness as respects the truth, prevailed amongst the Lord's people for centuries. Many of the Lord's true followers have been dreaming about the conversion of the world, while Satan has been sowing tares with liberal hand in their very midst. "While men slept his enemy came and sowed tares." (Matt. 13:25) R3769:6

As do others -- They have not watched to catch the foregleams of the new day. R5256:6

The world knows not of the Bridegroom's arrival, intoxicated with the spirit of this world and false doctrines. R2693:5, 5256:6; Q663:6

Let us watch -- For the day, for Messiah's Kingdom, which will produce that day. R5256:3

Let us be alert, watching our own hearts; watching the trend of times, and for opportunities of usefulness in the proclamation of the Kingdom message; also watching for the interests of the Church, seeking to build one another up. R5400:5, 2303:4

Watch ourselves, to keep ourselves from the snares of the present time. Watch the fulfillment of Scripture, fully awake, and watching to see what is the duty of the hour, and then to be diligent in doing it. R5633:4, 2303:4, 87:2

Those who are alert should call the attention of others to these wonderful things. R5257:1

As we watch we shall be putting off anger, malice, hatred, envy, strife. R5257:4

Taking careful notice of all the directions which the Lord our God has given us respecting what would not be acceptable service to him; striving to walk as nearly as possible in the footsteps of the great High Priest. R3056:5

Does not the command "watch!" imply that at the proper time the watchers will be rewarded by a knowledge which the un-watching will not have? R1873:3

And be sober -- Not referring to the use of intoxicating liquors; not frivolous, but in the sense of being earnest, appreciative of present opportunities and privileges in connection with the Lord's service. R3056:5, 5633:1

Have the spirit of Christ, the spirit of a sound mind, of meekness and gentleness, love for God and man, not intoxicated with the spirit of the world or of Churchianity. R3056:5, 5632:6

Sober in mind, not excitable, not carried about by every wind of doctrine. R5257:1

1 Thessalonians 5:7

Be drunken -- Intoxicated with the spirit of the world. Q663:6

1 Thessalonians 5:8

The hope -- It is not a hope, but the hope, not some general hope, but the hope of the gospel (Col. 1:23), the hope of eternal life (Tit. 3:7), the hope of glory (Col. 1:27). R1435:2

Of salvation -- This salvation reaches no one until the end of the Gospel age, except believers, who (in a reckoned sense) grasp the hope of salvation and anticipate it by faith. R2051:1

The apostles declare that we are "heirs of salvation" and point us to the fact that it "shall be brought unto us at the revelation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ"; and tell us that "now is our salvation nearer than when we first believed" and that meantime we are "kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time." (See Rom. 13:11; Heb. 1:14; 1 Pet. 1:5, 13; Heb. 9:28) R2051:1

The completion of salvation is called resurrection. R2051:1

1 Thessalonians 5:10

Who died for us -- The Adamic death penalty was to perish, but it has been cancelled by Christ's ransom, so far as it relates to those who, when brought to know the Redeemer, shall forsake sin. No longer should it be regarded as a perished condition, but as a "sleep," from which the Redeemer will awaken all. R1126:2; E446

Sleep -- Referring to the dead. R3027:6

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Comfort yourselves -- Of the Lord, through the holy Spirit, through the agency of Paul and Timothy. All the Lord's people need to remember that in the present life they have a ministry of comfort to perform toward all who mourn in Zion. "Comfort all that mourn." (Isa. 61:2) "Through patience and comfort of the scriptures." (Rom. 15:4) R2665:4

Edify one another -- Encouraging one another, building one another up in the most holy faith; helping one another to put on the wedding garment and to be meet for the inheritance of the saints in light, as joint-heirs in the Kingdom (Jude 20; Col. 1:12; Rom. 8:17) R2707:6

"Inciting one another to love and good works." (Heb. 10:24) F311

The Lord never intended the meetings of his people to be all of the preaching kind. An effort should be made to develop whatever talent there is in any little company--to incite and draw out thought and expression respecting the divine plan as presented in the Word. R3014:5

1 Thessalonians 5:12

You, brethren -- When we consider that the believers addressed were merely "babes in Christ," less than a year old, we are inclined to amazement that the Apostle should consider them prepared for teaching on so high a plane. R4417:2

To know them -- To acknowledge them, and to look to them to preserve order. R1895:3, 4418:3; F301

Not only recognize them personally, but in their capacity as servants in the Church, and of divine appointment through the Church. R4418:3

Which labor among you -- The service of the Church is not merely an honorary one. The word minister signifies servant. R4418:3

Over you in the Lord -- Those whom God hath set in the Body to have a supervision and measure of control of the interests of the work. R4418:3

The recognition of the Lord and the watching for his guidance through his Word and his promises will enable the Lord's people to discern the ones he has set over them in the Lord. R4418:2

1 Thessalonians 5:13

Esteem them very highly -- They who serve you most, you must mark as your chief ones. The Son of Man came to serve others. Esteem and honor one another in proportion as you find in each other unselfish, sacrificing love and service. R2278:6

Those who are noble, humble, self-sacrificing, cannot be too highly esteemed nor too loyally supported. If the position of an elder and teacher is very full of temptation, the Church should sympathetically be very watchful not to increase the temptation. Instead of being fault-finding, they should be so appreciative as to let trivial and unimportant matters pass unmentioned and indeed unnoticed. R4503:4

Permit no rivalry of spirit, no unkind word of criticism. Honor them, as their position requires, for in a measure they represent the Lord. And honor them in proportion as their labors of love in the Church seem to merit. R4418:3, 844:1

While there is danger that some will fail to render "honor to whom honor is due," (Rom. 13:7) there is danger also of man-worship; rendering too much honor to human instruments, whom God is pleased to use in connection with the service of the truth. (Rev. 22:9) All servants of God are fellow-servants, regardless of the time or extent of their service. R2079:5

They are to be loved, to be upheld, to be appreciated; and if they have some imperfections, like other men, they are no less worthy of sympathy and forgiveness and exoneration. R4772:5

While human teachers are necessary, they are to be respected and heeded only so far as they can show us a thus saith the Lord for their teachings. R397:3

In love -- The law of love should be used to measure our every act, our every word, yea, our very thoughts. R4772:5

For their work's sake -- Because of loving, faithful service, but for no other reason. R1137:3 The instructions to the Church are often applicable to the world in general. As the Church is to esteem and honor its members according to their ability and usefulness, so with mankind in general, in the world each should be esteemed as he has and uses his abilities, even though there be other qualities or weaknesses which you may neither admire nor endorse. R1163:2

We may and should honor his servants and count those who serve well as worthy of double honor; but we must always "hold the Head," and render him supreme reverence and obedience. R1571:4

And be at peace among yourselves -- Harmony; peace, joy, comfort, under the great Shepherd's Son and his appointed under shepherds. R4418:4

Because all are harkening for the voice of the Shepherd and striving against the self-seeking spirit; and the voice of the Master has been heeded in the choosing of elders, deacons, etc. R4418:4

Because general discontent prevails in this our day, it becomes daily more necessary that each child of God be on the alert to keep his body under, keep his tongue from murmuring, to be filled with thankfulness and gratitude to God in appreciation of all his benefits toward us. R4772:3

There is a great need for patient forbearance, one with the other. With the truth, therefore, to this class God proposes there shall also go the spirit of the truth--otherwise serious friction and damage would result. R4772:3

1 Thessalonians 5:14

Brethren -- Not the elders alone are exhorted by the Apostle, as though they were a separate class, exercising control; he addresses the "brethren"--the entire Church, including the sisters also. R3136:1

Although addressed to the saints at Thessalonica, these noble words have been a source of strength, encouragement and discipline to the faithful in Christ Jesus from their writing to the present time. R3135:3

Warn them -- Admonish. R4418:4

Do not mistake the disorderly for the weak, and comfort them; but patiently, lovingly warn them. R1893:6

Not comfort, support and encourage them in their wrong way. F298, 299; R1575:2, 295:6

Show them that their course is contrary to the spirit of the Lord and all the arrangements instituted by the apostles, his representatives. R3136:2

Even when the disorderly need correction, it requires to be wisely done, else more harm than good may result. R4418:5

That are unruly -- Self-conscious, thrusting themselves forward, without the request of the Church. R3136:2

The unruly, the anarchists, were to be admonished. Let us remember that while the Lord deals with us as individuals, he deals with us also collectively. No man liveth to himself nor dieth to himself and no member of the Church is privileged to ignore the fellow-members of the Body of Christ. R4418:5

Disorderly. F299, 302; R4418:4, 3136:1, 1893:6, 1575:2, 295:6

Those who are drifting away from the true spirit of Christ. R295:6, 1575:2

Comfort -- Encourage. F305; R4418:4

The feebleminded -- The faint-hearted. F304; R5644:2, 4418:4, 3136:1

The backward, diffident, those lacking in combativeness and self-esteem. R3136:2

Support the weak -- The spiritually weak; by such promises as the one; "My strength is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9) F306

Those not strong in the faith, comparatively undeveloped. R5644:2, 2163:4*

The weak were to be assisted. R4418:5

Naturally backward, diffident, lacking in combativeness and self-esteem, they need to be pushed to the front a little, in order to bring out what talents they really possess, for their own encouragement and for the blessing also of the entire household of faith. R3136:2

Patient toward all -- Seems to imply that the better balanced amongst the Lord's people should look with sympathy upon and exercise patient forbearance toward all the classes above mentioned. R3136:2

Not only toward the weak and those who lack courage, but toward all, including those who have too much courage and self-push. Growth in knowledge helps us to grow in this grace of patience. R3136:2

The groaning creation is under the delusion of the "god of this world." (2

Cor. 4:4) F306, 307

1 Thessalonians 5:15

See that none render evil for evil -- Each is to see for himself, first, that he renders no evil to others, but secondly, the Church should see to it that none of its members in fellowship so do without being admonished. This is specially the duty of the elders--to watch out for the relationship between the Church and others. R4418:6

This principle is to govern each one. R5644:3

Elders should kindly admonish any who are guilty of such a wrong course. F307; The Lord's followers are not to attempt to retaliate upon their enemies by doing them evil in return, or in any manner to "get even with them." It includes also our thoughts, not to return anger for anger, malice for malice, envy for envy. R3136:4, 5898:4

If we were to exact justice from everybody, we would be losing our privilege of sacrificing for righteousness' sake. R5897:3

Follow that which is good -- Pursue. R3136:4

This will mean that each member of the Royal Priesthood will pursue righteousness to the extent of his ability, seeking to return good for the evil we receive, exemplified absolutely in our Lord. R3136:4

To all -- This expresses a higher principle and more exalted character than generally prevails. "Love your enemies; do good to them that hate you." (Matt. 5:44) R4419:1

1 Thessalonians 5:16

Rejoice evermore -- The Christian's rejoicing is not hysterical, but founded on established principles, upon promises and comforting assurances of the divine Word, which stands firm amid all the storms and shocks of life. R3136:6

The world knoweth us not, and it knows not the mainspring of our joy and peace. We have a continual source of refreshment, not only in the divine providential care in all of life's matters now, but additionally the inspiration of the "exceeding great and precious promises." (2 Pet. 1:4) R4419:2

1 Thessalonians 5:17

Pray without ceasing -- "Prayer is the soul's sincere desire, uttered or unexpressed." R4883:2

Constantly in an attitude of prayer, mentally, spiritually, looking to the Lord for guidance in all the affairs of life. The spirit of prayer, in every perplexity, looking to the Lord regarding all daily interests, would be a life of prayer without ceasing. R4883:5, 5480:6, 5203:5, 4983:2, 4883:6, 3351:5, 1802:1

In the sense of not being discouraged when the good things promised us and asked for do not come quickly. We pray unceasingly "Thy Kingdom come" by continuing the thought, the expectation, the waiting for it, and by laboring in the interests of that Kingdom and in the preparation of our characters in order that we may have a share in it. R5709:5

That we may be prepared to listen for God's answers and advice through the Word. R4983:1

The entire life should be a prayer and a song in respect to every affair of life. R3806:1, 5833:5, 4883:5

We should pray for strength to overcome the flesh, and to develop the fruits and graces of the holy Spirit; and for wisdom to know how to deal with ourselves and to understand the Word of God and the spirit of the truth. R5708:5

We should pray that we may have God's sentiment, mind and will; as our sentiment, mind and will. R5709:2

To some, prayer at any time is irksome, tedious, but to the true Christian prayer constitutes one of the greatest of God's blessings. R4419:2

The life of an advanced Christian should be a life of prayer in the sense that a desire to know the Lord's will should be continually before his mind; and in every stress of life, in every undertaking, the will of the Lord should be sought and accepted and thanks given. R4419:2

Only somewhat advanced pupils in the school of Christ are prepared clearly to comprehend this exhortation. Having set their affections on things above, their prayers are in respect to those things, less disposed to pray for earthly good things. R3136:6

We should ask for only such things as God has already declared himself well pleased to grant. R4983:2

To break off this communion would be like stripping a tree of its leaves. To suppose that Christian life depends solely upon prayer without earnest study of God's Word, is like supposing that a tree could flourish from its leaves only, without roots and soil. R4984:1

Prayer is absolutely indispensable to Christian growth, to spiritual existence. R5709:4, 2004:6

1 Thessalonians 5:18

In everything -- Such experiences as our gracious Lord may deem best for our spiritual development. R3136:6

This signifies that our Heavenly Father is deeply interested in everything that relates to us and ours. R1865:5

Give thanks -- Whoever loses the desire to thank and worship and commune with the Father of mercies, may rest assured that he is losing the very spirit of sonship. R2004:6

1 Thessalonians 5:19

Quench not the Spirit -- The holy Spirit. R4419:4

"The flame of sacred love," the holy Spirit of the Father and of the Son, was enkindled in our hearts through the word of Grace. But how easily such a holy flame may be extinguished--a sufficient draft of the spirit of the world might extinguish it, or by putting it under a bushel, or by the Adversary. Yet the Apostle intimates that we alone have the determining of the matter; whether the holy Spirit in us shall be quenched or not. R3137:2, 4419:4

"If the light that is in thee become darkness (be extinguished), how great is that darkness." (Matt. 6:23) E264; R371:6

To quench signifies to extinguish, as to extinguish a fire or a light. R371:6

Quenching and grieving are not instantaneous works, but they are the paths which lead to second death. R5391:1

We should be as careful of our spiritual condition as of our physical. R5130:1

The light can be extinguished by: the spirit of worldliness; selfishness or thoughtlessness; indulging in the pleasures of the flesh; weariness in well doing; or it may be permitted to die out for want of replenishing. R5129:5,3

We might let it die out by failure to keep our covenant faithfully. R5489:3

If this light be in us we should not keep it secret, not put it under a bushel. R4993:1

A flame might be revived, even after having been wholly extinguished. R5130:4

May surely be applied to a proper missionary spirit, as well as in other ways. R4359:3

1 Thessalonians 5:20

Despise not prophesyings -- Be not above hearing what any one may publicly utter as a child of God in the Church of Christ. Nevertheless, prove all things and hold fast that which stands the test. Because a brother is sincere, is earnest, does not prove that he is right in his Scriptural expositions. R4419:5

Our Lord was a preacher, the apostles were preachers, and the Lord has since raised up instructors among his people. Hence, such services should not be ignored. R3137:3

We live in a time when the very reverse is true; the danger is rather that too much time and attention may be given to preaching--when too much reliance is apt to be placed upon a leader and a connected discourse. R3137:3

1 Thessalonians 5:21

Prove all things -- Individual Christians cannot shirk their responsibilities by placing them on pastors, teachers, councils or creeds. D66

The Lord's people should not receive what they hear without proper examination; they should use good judgment as to what is supported by the Scriptures. R4750:2

Is it possible for a plain Christian, without any special learning, to comply? Yes, we reply, it is possible. If the desire for truth is paramount to every other desire, so that the inquirer will so bend his circumstances as to make opportunities for study and investigation, he shall find and rejoice in it. R1205:1

The early Church sat at the apostles' feet as learners, yet not with blank, unquestioning minds, but with a disposition to try the spirits and to prove the testimony. F232

It is the duty of every child of God to judge what is right and what is wrong, what is true and what is false. R416:2*, 1777:1, 664:4*

Searching of the Scriptures in proving, may be of lasting benefit to yourself, establishing you more than ever in the truth. R4419:6

Each individual should prove his own work; his faith in the doctrines, and his conduct in life, by the square and compass of God's Word. R1788:5

Remembering as you do so that "He that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be manifest that they are wrought in God." (John 3:21) R2532:5

That which is good -- That which stands the test of the divine Word, and shows itself to be in accordance with the holy Spirit. R3137:4

Not with enticing words of man's wisdom (of human philosophy and theory), but in demonstration of the spirit and of power, that the faith of the Church might not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. (1

Cor. 2:4, 5) R1524:5

1 Thessalonians 5:22

Abstain from all appearance of evil -- This is to abstain from every form of evil. (Revised Version) The first step in abstaining is to resolve or vow so to do. The fixing of the will must come before successful battling can be done. R4419:6

The beginning of any sin is the first yielding to its intoxicating influence. David's sin, like that of all other sinners, began in giving heed to the first suggestions of evil, and having done this, the subsequent steps were easily taken. R2017:1

It is possible for us, to abstain, as new creatures, to be out of sympathy with all forms of evil--to be antagonistic thereto. But on account of the imperfections of the flesh, we may not always be able to do this actually. R4728:6

Every form of evil is a form of selfishness. R4728:3

Evils may be summed up into three forms-- actions, words, and thoughts. R4728:3

A different thought from what the Apostle's words in the original would warrant, nevertheless representing a sound principle, we should avoid not only evil in its every form, but also everything that has an evil appearance; which our friends or neighbors might misunderstand and consider to be evil, that our influence for the Lord and the truth may be the greater. R4728:5, 4420:1, 3137:5, 1789:4

Evil thinking is one of the greatest evils with which God's people have to contend. R4728:5

"Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, revellings." (Gal. 5:19-21) R4728:2

1 Thessalonians 5:23

God of peace -- God is not a God of confusion, anarchy, turmoil and disturbance, but a God of peace, and in proportion as we are taught of him in the school of Christ, we will become lovers of peace, and the peace of God will dwell in us and abound more and more. R3137:5

Sanctify you -- Set apart for a special work or office. It is partly our work and partly God's work. R441:3

If we follow the course outlined by the Apostle (verses 12-22), God himself will sanctify us. R4420:4

Sanctification is of God by Jesus. "Sanctify them through thy truth." (John 17:17) R4528:3, 69:1; E242

Wholly -- Completely. Let us seek to have this sanctifying power of God, fully in control of every power in us. R4420:4

This condition of complete sanctification is the divine ideal, and God will complete it in you if you will but follow the directions prescribed. R4417:6

I pray God your -- The terms body, soul and spirit are figuratively used of the Church collectively. E353; R1881:3

The Apostle prayed that the spirit, soul, body of the Church (at Thessalonica) might be preserved without blame to the coming of Jesus. R4420:4

Undoubtedly it would have remained unto this day had it maintained its early and proper relationship to the Lord. But departing from this the Church at Thessalonica was not preserved. There is no trace of it today. R4420:4

Whole spirit -- The true spirit has been preserved in the Little Flock. E353

That the Church might be preserved entire, without schism, in the unity of the spirit. Q837:2; R4420:4, 3137:6, 1881:3

And soul -- Soul of the Church. R4420:4, 3137:6

The Church's activity, intelligence, sentient being. E353; R1881:3

"The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and one soul." (Acts 4:32) Q837:2

And body -- "One body and one spirit." (Eph. 4:4) Q837:2

However people may differ respecting the preservation of individual spirits and souls of the people addressed, all will agree that their bodies have not been preserved. E353

The number three is surprisingly prominent. Man, in his composition, is spoken of by Paul as having three elements. R197:3*

Not of each individual Christian at Thessalonica, but in other words, his desire was that the Church at Thessalonica might continue to the full end of the Gospel age as a noble and faithful congregation of the Lord's Body, full of his spirit and courageous in the work. R3137:6

The Church as a whole, the elect Church, whose names are written in heaven, discernible even now, notwithstanding the multitude of tares that would hide as well as choke it. R1881:3

Be preserved -- All will agree that their bodies have not been preserved, but have returned to dust, like those of others. R1881:3

This good wish of the Apostle was not realized, for the congregation at Thessalonica did die out, ceased to be. R3137:6, 4420:4

Unto the coming -- Greek: parousia; presence. B159; R2979:1, 1693:1, 223:2, 197:3

1 Thessalonians 5:24

Faithful is he -- What God has promised, he is able also to perform. R1142:1

Our Father mocks none with a call which they cannot attain. R200:1 Who (God) also will exalt you in due time, according to his promise. R946:5

Faithfulness on our part is also required. R1211:2*

If anyone breaks the contract, it will be ourselves. God will surely carry out his part. OV422:4; God promises us succor and every needed assistance in this way. His grace is sufficient for us. F374

If we are obedient to the Word of the Lord and are properly exercised by the experiences which are given us in the school of Christ, we shall gain his approval. R5460:2

Who also will do it -- Will keep his promise. R225:4

He will do for us exceedingly, abundantly, more than we could have thought or asked, or expected. CR274:5; R3660:1

The fact that the Thessalonica Church has not been kept in accordance with the Apostle's prayer is not to be charged to unfaithfulness on God's part, but to neglect and unfaithfulness on the part of those whom the Apostle addressed. R3138:1

The imperfect service of those whose hearts are fully set to do his will, is well pleasing unto God. And the Lord who discerneth the thoughts and intents of the heart, will make no mistake, nor will he be slack concerning his promises. R1018:5*

The promise is to the called and chosen (accepted) and faithful. R1142:1

The only question is whether we shall do our part faithfully, for God will surely do his part. R5907:1, 4420:4

1 Thessalonians 5:25

Brethren, pray for us -- Those who are praying the Lord's blessing upon his cause are seeking to serve it and are proportionately blessed; those who are indifferent to the welfare of Zion and the Lord's cause are in great danger. R2576:2

Not that the apostles could not pray for themselves, nor that Paul had lost fellowship with the Father, but that a door may be opened unto us whereby we may have opportunity of spreading the gospel of Christ. Q541:2

Not just a formality, but a blessing would come through remembering the apostles in prayer. Q541:2

1 Thessalonians 5:26

With an holy kiss -- In spirit, but not in letter, the courtesies and civilities of our times being somewhat different from the customs of that day, although equally hospitable. R1550:5*

The ancient form of salutation between men, and still used in some countries. R3138:2

The Apostle's thought is that there should be thorough cordiality amongst all who claim membership in the Body of Christ, and that this fellowship should be manifested by the accustomed form of greeting--whatever reasonable form that might be. R3138:2

1 Thessalonians 5:27

I charge you -- You elders, preachers, teachers, leading brethren who first receive this. R3138:4

That this epistle -- Should not be considered as a private message or letter to those in whose care it was sent, but as his address to the entire company of the Lord's faithful. R3138:4

The apostolic epistles were carefully preserved and were appealed to as authority in matters of doctrine. They were directed to be exchanged among the various congregations, and publicly read. R1146:1

Be read unto all -- The Apostle seemed to fear a spirit of censorship among the leading brethren--to dole his letter out secondhand, or such parts as they judged prudent. Such a spirit on the part of the elders in any church would be reprehensible. R3138:4