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Wally

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Third Quarter--2012--SDA SS LESSON 11--Promise to the Persecuted
« on: September 07, 2012, 04:32:38 PM »
Lesson 11 *September 8-14




      
Promise to the Persecuted

2 Thess. 1:1-12



Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: 2 Thess. 1:1-12, John 1:18, Rom. 2:5, 12:19, Rev. 16:4-7, 20:1-6, John 14:1-3.

Memory Text: “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power” (2 Thessalonians 1:11, ESV).

Key Thought: The second coming of Jesus is the culmination of all Christian hope.

Because written correspondence could be slow, a church that wanted to talk to Paul had to track him down and get a message to him, not always an easy process, to be sure. Once contact was finally made, the apostle would then dictate a response and have it hand-delivered back to the church. The process might take months. In the meantime false beliefs would have time to develop and spread.

This seems to have happened in Thessalonica, where new problems arose in the church. These problems may even have become worse due to the misapplication of what Paul wrote in the first letter. Second Thessalonians was Paul’s attempt to further correct the situation.

Paul’s words in this week’s lesson come down to this: at the Second Coming, believers will be rescued by God’s spectacular intervention in Christ. This passage provides further information about the nature of His return.

*Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, September 15.

Sunday September 9

Fresh Greetings (2 Thess. 1:1, 2)

“Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 1:1, 2). What hope and promise is found even in such a simple greeting as this? How much theology is in there, how much hope, how much promise? How can we learn to make these hopes and promises our own?

Paul, as he does so often, talks about grace and peace. In one sense, are they not related? Shouldn’t the realization of God’s grace, the promise of forgiveness in Jesus, lead to peace in our lives? How crucial that, no matter our circumstances, we all take time to dwell on the wonderful provision of salvation made for us and the grace it offers us, regardless of our unworthiness. What better way to experience the peace that we are promised? We need to keep the focus off ourselves and on Jesus and what we have been given in Him.

Compare 1 Thessalonians 1:1 with 2 Thessalonians 1:1, 2. There’s a small difference in the wording. What significance might be found in that difference?

There is one difference between 1 and 2 Thessalonians. Paul changes from “in God the Father” (1 Thess. 1:1) to “in God our Father” (2 Thess. 1:1). This adds a relational touch. There are people who feel close to Jesus yet are afraid of God the Father. Paul assures the Thessalonians that they can have as much confidence in their relationship with the Father as they do with Jesus. Jesus came to this earth to show us what the Father is like.

Read John 1:18 and 14:7-11. What assurance and hope can we draw from these texts, especially in light of 2 Thessalonians 1:1, 2?

Monday September 10

Paul’s Thanksgiving (2 Thess. 1:3, 4)

Paul had a tendency toward extra-long sentences. Second Thessalonians 1:3-10 is a single sentence focusing primarily on events surrounding the second coming of Jesus. The central core of the sentence, however, is not focused on the Second Coming (2 Thess 1:3, author’s translation): “We are obligated at all times to give thanks to God concerning you.” Paul’s comments regarding the return of Jesus (2 Thess. 1:6-10) are part of the reason he thanks God concerning them, the Thessalonians themselves.

Read 2 Thessalonians 1:3, 4. What important spiritual principle do we find in these verses in regard to the question of faith? What happens to faith if it does not grow?

“We are bound,” or “we ought,” to give thanks to God is the main verb of 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10. Paul feels obligated to thank God for the Thessalonians because their faith is getting stronger and stronger. Meanwhile, their love for one another is also increasing, and both verbs are in the present tense in the original. This means that their growth in faith and love was consistent and ongoing. This kind of growth is basic to any healthy church. Like a plant, if a church does not grow spiritually, it will die.

Paul will go on to offer significant criticism of the church in the second and third chapters of this epistle. But he knows that people need a lot of affirmation before they can handle criticism constructively. He provides that kind of affirmation in the first chapter.

One of the reasons for Paul’s affirmations is that the church in Thessalonica is continuing to suffer persecution. He particularly commends their “patience” in affliction. Instead of faith, hope, and love, Paul talks about their faith, love, and patience. Because “patience” here is a substitute for “hope,” it leads Paul into his exposition of the Second Coming later on in the chapter.

The result of their increase in faith and love is that their fortitude in the face of affliction has become a source of boasting for the apostles among all the churches they visit. The Thessalonians have become a model of Christian commitment under fire.

How can trials and affliction increase our faith? At the same time, who hasn’t struggled to maintain faith precisely because of trials?
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Wally

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Re: Third Quarter--2012--SDA SS LESSON 11--Promise to the Persecuted
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2012, 04:33:57 PM »
Tuesday September 11

Suffering as a Sign of the End (2 Thess. 1:5, 6)

Second Thessalonians 1:5-10 in the Greek has an Old Testament feel (the Bible of most New Testament Christians was the Septuagint, a pre-Christian Greek translation of the Old Testament). Second Thessalonians exhibits many more references to the Old Testament than does 1 Thessalonians.

Read 2 Thessalonians 1:5, 6. What is Paul saying? What promises are found in there?

The word evidence (NIV) or token (KJV) means “proof” or “plain indication” of something. What does the persecution of Christians (vs. 4) prove? It is certainly not evidence of God’s judgment against His people. To the contrary, it is a pointer to the future judgment, in which the people of God are vindicated and those who persecuted them receive the same kind of experience they inflicted on others.

There is a message here for us. Violence begets violence, and those who use violence against others have reason to fear for the future. God’s judgment sets things right. Those who persecute the people of God will one day face the justice of God. But those who experience injustice on account of their faith today can look with confidence to God’s future judgment. On that day, it will be evident to all that they were the objects of God’s favor.

The New Testament encourages believers to exhibit grace, mercy, and forgiveness toward others. But when these actions are rebuffed and repaid with curses, blows, and confinement, it is encouraging to know that injustice will not last forever. Thus, the saints of God are invited to have patience (see also Rev. 14:12).

In 2 Thessalonians 1:5, 6, therefore, Paul reminds the persecuted Thessalonians that the “righteous judgment of God” in the future will demonstrate His approval of them in the present. More than this, their patience and faith in the face of trial validates that God has chosen them. In this way Christian suffering can be the basis for rejoicing (1 Thess. 1:6, 7). It is real-life evidence of whose side we will be on when Jesus comes.

Verse 5 shows the righteous judgment of God in His approval of the Thessalonians. Verse 6 shows it in the condemnation and destruction of their persecutors. In both cases the judgment is the end-time outcome of present conduct.

Have you been unfairly victimized, with the perpetrators receiving no apparent punishment for their actions? If so, what comfort can you take in the promises of God’s judgment? Or look at it this way: have you treated people badly, unfairly, and have gotten away with it (at least so far)? If so, how do you view the promises of God’s end-time judgment?

Wednesday September 12

Fire and Destruction (2 Thess. 1:7-9)

Read 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9. What is the primary reason for the destruction of the wicked at the time of Jesus’ second coming? How are we to understand these verses with the idea of God as full of love, grace, and forgiveness?

Many people are uncomfortable with the language of these verses. They feel that “pay back” (NIV), vengeance, punishment, and the infliction of suffering are unworthy of a God of love, grace, and mercy. But just punishment and retribution is a frequent theme of Paul (Rom. 2:5, 12:19). Paul is unequivocal: God’s justice will one day be powerfully made manifest.

And why not? Any good government in today’s world must at some point exercise force in order to restrain evil. Though force is not always violent (as when you are stopped for a traffic violation or audited for your taxes), in some cases, especially when the criminals are using violence themselves, they must be answered with violence. Good governments provide a necessary restraint so that we can all live together in peace. Many times outright evil will not give way voluntarily. And the greater the power and brutality of evil, the greater the force often needed to undo that evil.

The images in this passage are not pretty, but they assure us that God will do whatever it takes to end violence and oppression.

Read Revelation 16:4-7 and Daniel 7:21, 22. What do these verses teach that parallels what Paul wrote above in 2 Thessalonians?

Through His own experience, Jesus understands the cost of suffering. He can be trusted to exercise divine justice, but without overkill. Divine justice will result in suffering, but not one iota more than necessary. If we can trust God in anything, we can trust that His justice will reveal a wisdom and fairness that we cannot currently comprehend.

The goal of this passage is not to rejoice in vengeance but to encourage the abused and oppressed. The day of justice is coming. We don’t need to take justice into our own hands.
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Wally

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Re: Third Quarter--2012--SDA SS LESSON 11--Promise to the Persecuted
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2012, 04:35:12 PM »
Thursday September 13

Glorifying Christ (2 Thess. 1:10-12)

Read 2 Thessalonians 1:10-12. What does it mean that Jesus Christ will be glorified in His saints?

The full sentence in this week’s text (2 Thess. 1:3-10) provides a number of important details about the second coming of Jesus. When Jesus returns, He will afflict the afflicters and provide rest for the afflicted (see 2 Thess. 1:6, 7, ESV). He will come down from heaven in the company of powerful angels (2 Thess. 1:7). He will come with flaming fire and execute justice on those who have rejected God and the gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Thess. 1:8 ). The wicked are destroyed (2 Thess. 1:8, 9) while the righteous bring glory to Christ (2 Thess. 1:10).

The events of the Second Coming set the stage for the millennium, during which time the earth lies desolate for a thousand years (Rev. 20:1-6). Though this week’s passage does not tell us what happens to the righteous, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17 tells us that the saved join Jesus in the air at His return. John 14:1-3 further indicates that Jesus will take the righteous with Him to heaven.

How does Paul instruct believers to prepare for the second coming of Jesus? 2 Thess. 1:11. With verse 10 Paul is finished talking about the wicked and turns again to the fate of the righteous at the Second Coming. In verses 10-12, the glory of Jesus is exhibited in the character of those who believe in Him. Paul rejoices that his prayers and efforts for the Thessalonians will be vindicated at the return of Jesus (see 1 Thess. 2:19, 20).

Paul here sets the stage for chapter two, in which he argues that the day of the Lord has not yet come. If it had, there would be flaming fire, destruction of the wicked, and the full glorification of Jesus in the eyes of all.

In today’s passage, Paul shifts easily from God to Jesus, using the two terms interchangeably. According to inspiration, Jesus is God. This teaching is very important to us. The greater Jesus is, the more powerful His salvation and the clearer a picture of God we receive as we contemplate His life, death, resurrection, and return. If Jesus is truly God, then the Father is just like Him.

How can we learn to go about the business of living our daily lives, but with the expectation of the Second Coming? Why is it so easy, amid the daily rhythms of life, to forget about His Coming? How can we learn to keep this amazing promise before us and go about our daily business, giving the promise the time, attention, and seriousness it deserves?

Friday September 14

Further Study: “The Bible is written by inspired men, but it is not God’s mode of thought and expression. It is that of humanity. God, as a writer, is not represented. Men will often say such an expression is not like God. But God has not put Himself in words, in logic, in rhetoric, on trial in the Bible. The writers of the Bible were God’s penmen, not His pen. . ..

“It is not the words of the Bible that are inspired, but the men that were inspired. Inspiration acts not on the man’s words or his expressions but on the man himself, who, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, is imbued with thoughts. But the words receive the impress of the individual mind. The divine mind is diffused. The divine mind and will is combined with the human mind and will; thus the utterances of the man are the word of God.”-Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 1, p. 21.

“The instruction that Paul sent the Thessalonians in his first epistle regarding the second coming of Christ, was in perfect harmony with his former teaching. Yet his words were misapprehended by some of the Thessalonian brethren. . . .

“In his second letter Paul sought to correct their misunderstanding of his teaching and to set before them his true position.”-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 264.
Discussion Questions:

    Does the truth of Scripture reveal itself more through intensive word-by-word study or in the broad themes that we can observe by way of wide reading? Or is there a time and place for both? Discuss the answer(s) in class.

    Read the Ellen White quote above regarding how inspiration works. How does this help us to understand the “human element” that appears at times in the Bible?

    Does the thought of the Second Coming frighten you, or does it bring you hope? What does your answer say about your relationship with God or about your understanding of the gospel? Or both?

    However much truth there is to the idea that trials can strengthen our faith and character, what do you say to people whose trials are not only causing them to be bitter, resentful, and angry (in other words, not character-building) but to lose their faith?

Summary: In the opening chapter of 2 Thessalonians, Paul rejoices over the way in which the Thessalonian believers remain faithful in spite of much affliction. He encourages them by pointing to the great reversal at the second coming of Jesus. Whatever happens now, we have the promise that God will execute divine justice.
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Richard Myers

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Re: Third Quarter--2012--SDA SS LESSON 11--Promise to the Persecuted
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2012, 10:38:45 PM »

Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: 2 Thess. 1:1-12, John 1:18, Rom. 2:5, 12:19, Rev. 16:4-7, 20:1-6, John 14:1-3.


  1:1   Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: 
  1:2   Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 
  1:3   We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; 
  1:4   So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: 
  1:5   [Which is] a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: 
  1:6   Seeing [it is] a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 
  1:7   And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 
  1:8   In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 
  1:9   Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 
  1:10   When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. 
  1:11   Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of [this] calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of [his] goodness, and the work of faith with power: 
  1:12   That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 


Prayerfully read the chapter today.  The Holy Spirit will reveal to you what Paul is saying without commentary.
I'm going home SOON, come along!!

Richard Myers

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Re: Third Quarter--2012--SDA SS LESSON 11--Pro 14:7 If ye he to the Persecuted
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2012, 11:14:06 PM »

Sunday September 9

Fresh Greetings (2 Thess. 1:1, 2)


  1:1   Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
  1:2   Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 


What hope and promise is found even in such a simple greeting as this? How much theology is in there, how much hope, how much promise? How can we learn to make these hopes and promises our own?

Paul, as he does so often, talks about grace and peace. In one sense, are they not related? Shouldn’t the realization of God’s grace, the promise of forgiveness in Jesus, lead to peace in our lives? How crucial that, no matter our circumstances, we all take time to dwell on the wonderful provision of salvation made for us and the grace it offers us, regardless of our unworthiness. What better way to experience the peace that we are promised? We need to keep the focus off ourselves and on Jesus and what we have been given in Him.

Yes, we need to keep our eyes upon Jesus, but we must not forget what we saw when we looked in the mirror. And, we must realize that our only hope is being united to Christ, fully surrendered to Jesus. If we realize that when we sin, we are not abiding in Him, it will cause us to fall on our face and to seek Him who gave all for us.


Compare 1 Thessalonians 1:1 with 2 Thessalonians 1:1, 2. There’s a small difference in the wording. What significance might be found in that difference?

There is one difference between 1 and 2 Thessalonians. Paul changes from “in God the Father” (1 Thess. 1:1) to “in God our Father” (2 Thess. 1:1). This adds a relational touch. There are people who feel close to Jesus yet are afraid of God the Father. Paul assures the Thessalonians that they can have as much confidence in their relationship with the Father as they do with Jesus. Jesus came to this earth to show us what the Father is like.

Read John 1:18 and 14:7-11.

 1:18   No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared [him]. 
 14:7   If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 
  14:8   Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 
  14:9   Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou [then], Show us the Father? 
  14:10   Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 
  14:11   Believe me that I [am] in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. 


What assurance and hope can we draw from these texts, especially in light of 2 Thessalonians 1:1, 2?


This is an interesting question.  It is true that many feel comfortable with Jesus, but do not know our heavenly Father. We read the Words of Jesus. We understand that God is a consuming fire and will destroy sin when it comes into His presence. So, there is some hesitancy to approach God the Father. Jesus is the connection between heaven and earth. He is that Ladder that Jacob saw in his dream reaching from earth to heaven. There is good reason to fear God when one is in a Laodicean condition. Without abiding in Christ, fully surrendered, dead to self, only a fool would think that he could stand before our heavenly Father and not perish. Sadly, many think just that. They believe that because Christ died for them that they will be able to stand in front of our heavenly Father and live. But, no, if all sins have not been confessed and forsaken, then the sin will be consumed by fire. And that means eternal death to the unrepentant sinner.

What hope do we receive from the Words of Jesus in John? We get a clear picture of the character of our heavenly Father. He is just like Jesus in character. Oh...then you mean Jesus would be a consuming fire also to the unrepentant sinner? Absolutely!   But, there is more to the character of our God. He is not only just, but He is merciful.  The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan is illustrated in this apparent contradiction. How can God be both just and merciful? On one hand we are to fear God and on the other believe He will not hurt us.   Well....if we have listened to the false teachers, we may have been greatly deceived. God is both merciful and just. The gospel does not do away with either attribute. God will not excuse sin, but He will forgive it IF we confess our sins and forsake them. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9.  How can He do that and remain just? The price has been paid for our sins by our Saviour, IF we will accept Him as the ruler of our lives. If we will allow Him into our hearts so that He can change us, make us partakers of His divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world. "But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." John 3:21. When we surrender to Jesus, we are then born of His Spirit. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." John 3:6. There is a radical change in the convert to Christianity because the Holy Spirit indwells the heart of the believer as long as he remains in Christ. So, God can forgive the past sins because of the redemption price paid by Jesus and the repentant sinner can go to heaven because his character has been changed at conversion. His heart has been cleansed. Shall we repeat it again so that you can believe?  :)  "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9.  It is a promise, hold on to it. Don't be deceived by false teachers. Jesus wants to and will cleanse us from all unrighteousness IF we will come to Him just as we are.

Now, to trust Him with all we are and all we have, we must know Him.  How many know Jesus enough to trust Him with everything? Sadly very few. Many say that they do, but when in their actions they manifest the works of the flesh instead of the fruits of the Spirit, they reveal their lack of trust. They are walking in their own strength and that is not what we call righteousness, it is sin. Yes, some momentarily take their eyes off of Jesus, but these will not make excuses for their sins, they will confess them and receive pardon and forgiveness. They know they have hurt the One they love.

Back to Sunday's lesson. We are to trust that our heavenly Father has the very same character that our Saviour has. He too, is forgiving and desires that all would be saved. Think of it this way. Which was harder, for Jesus to suffer and die or for our heavenly Father to have to watch His innocent Son suffer at the hands of wicked men for 33 years and then finally die and agonizing death as our heavenly Father separated His beams of light and love from His innocent Son? Our heavenly Father is love. He is compassionate and all loving. His justice does not diminish His character of love and mercy. "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other." Psalms 85:10. God's justice and His mercy met at the cross. Neither were sacrificed, but rather God's innocent Son took our sins upon Himself that justice would be served. What love!! Wonder O heavens and be astonished O Earth!!
I'm going home SOON, come along!!

Richard Myers

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Re: Third Quarter--2012--SDA SS LESSON 11--Promise to the Persecuted
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2012, 11:53:36 PM »
Some have to do their Sabbath School lesson primarily on the weekend. So, we are going to try to get a few lessons ahead this week. Unlike a class on Sabbath morning in the church, I can't look you in the eye and ask you a question.  :) So, you who are being blessed as you prayerfully study, need to get registered and contribute what it is that God is teaching you every day!  You know that it is more blessed to give than to receive. God expects you to share what He is giving to you. I am happy to go on day after day, but we miss the blessing or reading what others are learning also.

Monday September 10

Paul’s Thanksgiving (2 Thess. 1:3, 4)


  1:3   We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; 
  1:4   So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: 


Paul had a tendency toward extra-long sentences. Second Thessalonians 1:3-10 is a single sentence focusing primarily on events surrounding the second coming of Jesus. The central core of the sentence, however, is not focused on the Second Coming (2 Thess 1:3, author’s translation): “We are obligated at all times to give thanks to God concerning you.” Paul’s comments regarding the return of Jesus (2 Thess. 1:6-10) are part of the reason he thanks God concerning them, the Thessalonians themselves.

Read 2 Thessalonians 1:3, 4. What important spiritual principle do we find in these verses in regard to the question of faith? What happens to faith if it does not grow?

I don't know what the author is looking for. I just take the verses as they read.  "...your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;  So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure."  This church is a great blessing to Paul. He sees that they love God and that they are converted as a church. Yes, there are some that are not, but he is not concerned about this, he is thanking the church for their trust in God, their faith in the Bible. Persecution reveals the character of people. Sadly, we suffer because we have not been persecuted in most countries in the world. It is coming and then we shall see churches like that of the Thessalonians. There are Christians suffering today in Muslim lands and in China. If Paul were to write a letter to your church, would he commend you as he is the Thessalonians?


“We are bound,” or “we ought,” to give thanks to God is the main verb of 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10. Paul feels obligated to thank God for the Thessalonians because their faith is getting stronger and stronger. Meanwhile, their love for one another is also increasing, and both verbs are in the present tense in the original. This means that their growth in faith and love was consistent and ongoing. This kind of growth is basic to any healthy church. Like a plant, if a church does not grow spiritually, it will die.

Paul will go on to offer significant criticism of the church in the second and third chapters of this epistle. But he knows that people need a lot of affirmation before they can handle criticism constructively. He provides that kind of affirmation in the first chapter.

The author is taking liberty with the Bible verses. Our readers need to stop now and read the next two chapters to verify what I am saying. Paul is not encouraging the church because he is getting ready to reprove them. That is far from the truth. Paul is thankful and that is why he is telling the Thessalonians that he speaks of them to other churches. He is not "affirming" them. He is encouraging them. The church has some members that need to better understand Christian principles, but it is not the church as a people that needs to be reproved. No, the church is a converted church with some needing to be dealt with. "some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies." 3:11. Paul is not reproving the church, but instructing them to deal with the erring ones. It changes nothing regarding their faith. That we would have many churches like the Thessalonian church, faithful to God and His Word, not in rebellion against the church and Scripture! This is my prayer.


One of the reasons for Paul’s affirmations is that the church in Thessalonica is continuing to suffer persecution. He particularly commends their “patience” in affliction. Instead of faith, hope, and love, Paul talks about their faith, love, and patience. Because “patience” here is a substitute for “hope,” it leads Paul into his exposition of the Second Coming later on in the chapter.

The result of their increase in faith and love is that their fortitude in the face of affliction has become a source of boasting for the apostles among all the churches they visit. The Thessalonians have become a model of Christian commitment under fire.

How can trials and affliction increase our faith? At the same time, who hasn’t struggled to maintain faith precisely because of trials?


Trials and affliction reveal who it is that we worship. Either we are converted and walking with God or when the hard times come, we show that we have no living connection with Christ. When we have overcome the temptations and trials, we know that it was God who carried us through them. It gives us an experience in the things of God. This causes us to fall on our face realizing that God loves us and His promises are true. We also understand that all things work together for good for us who love God and keep His commandments. "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  and patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Romans 5:3-5. So, we see that God is being honored and we are gaining an experience when we depend upon Jesus in our trials.
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Glen

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Re: Third Quarter--2012--SDA SS LESSON 11--Pro 14:7 If ye he to the Persecuted
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2012, 06:51:13 AM »
....Now, to trust Him with all we are and all we have, we must know Him.  How many know Jesus enough to trust Him with everything? Sadly very few. Many say that they do, but when in their actions they manifest the works of the flesh instead of the fruits of the Spirit, they reveal their lack of trust....

....be found in him....having....righteousness, which is....through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.... Philippians 3:9, 10

The Father and the Son as one in purpose to save lost sheep; that they become One with Them in purest LOVE:
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and my Father are one. John 10:27-30

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. 13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. Revelation 14:12, 13

....if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.... Romans 6:5

Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:10


The Holy Spirit is the breath of spiritual life in the soul. The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ. It imbues the receiver with the attributes of Christ. Only those who are thus taught of God, those who possess the inward working of the Spirit, and in whose life the Christ-life is manifested, are to stand as representative men, to minister in behalf of the church. DA 805.3

Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. 2 Corinthians 8:11

....conscious that they are breathing the breath of heaven, the only atmosphere in which the soul can live. By obedience they are made partakers of the divine nature. The doing of the living principles of the law of God makes them one with Christ. And He has pledged Himself 21MR 347.4 to raise them up at the last day. Because He lives they will live also. He will raise them up as a part of Himself. 21MR 348.4

The Cleansing Burn for the Christian (penitent sinners) will take place BEFORE Christ's return in the clouds at His Second Coming that He might recognize Himself in them, as "members in particular of His body" (1 Corinthians 12:27; -as His Bride Revelation 19:7):
The prophet Isaiah had declared that the Lord would cleanse His people from their iniquities "by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning." ….To sin, wherever found, "our God is a consuming fire." Heb. 12:29. In all who submit to His power the Spirit of God will consume sin. But if men cling to sin, they become identified with it. Then the glory of God, which destroys sin, must destroy them.  Jacob, after his night of wrestling with the Angel, exclaimed, "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." Gen. 32: 30.  Jacob had been guilty of a great sin in his conduct toward Esau; but he had repented. His transgression had been forgiven, and his sin purged; therefore he could endure the revelation of God's presence. But wherever men came before God while willfully cherishing evil, they were destroyed. At the second advent of Christ the wicked shall be consumed "with the Spirit of His mouth," and destroyed "with the brightness of His coming." 2 Thess. 2:8.  The light of the glory of God, which imparts life to the righteous, will slay the wicked. The Desire of Ages 107.04

To determine how great a matter is involved in the conversion of a soul from error to truth, we must appreciate the value of immortality, we must sense the pains of the second death. We must comprehend the honors and glory awaiting the ransomed, and understand what it is to live (NOW?!) in the presence of Him who died that He might elevate, ennoble, and give to the overcomer a royal diadem. UL 63.6

The Life-giver will call up His purchased possession in the first resurrection, and until that triumphant hour, when the last trump shall sound and the vast army shall come forth to eternal victory, every sleeping saint will be kept in safety and will be guarded as a precious jewel, who is known to God by name. By the power of the Saviour that dwelt in them while living and because they were partakers of the divine nature, they are brought forth from the dead (Letter 65a, 1894). 4BC 1143.5



...Jesus...will live through (YOU), giving (YOU) the inspiration of His sanctifying Spirit, imparting to (YOUR) soul a vital transfusion of Himself. Sabbath-School Worker 02-01-96.03  ...as the blood is in the body, and circulate there as a vitalizing power... 7T 189.02

Richard Myers

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Re: Third Quarter--2012--SDA SS LESSON 11--Promise to the Persecuted
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2012, 08:10:34 AM »
Glen, thank you!  If anyone questions the Biblical correctness of what I said, you surely have given them the necessary Bible truth that they may understand. From Genesis to Revelation the Bible states the same thing. Jesus is our wisdom and our strength and to all who refuse to be cleansed, He is a consuming fire. The false teachers must be seen for who they are. The world must be pointed to Jesus Christ as the foundation of our faith and the only hope we have of being changed and saved.

Man must cease looking unto man. We must find our wisdom and help in Jesus. What a blessing to one day discover that He is right there not just waiting, but pleading for us to turn to Him. Today is the day of salvation. Turn to Him today while there is still time.

  12:1   Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; 
  12:2   While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: 
  12:3   In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened, 
  12:4   And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low; 
  12:5   Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets: 
  12:6   Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. 
  12:7   Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. 
  12:8   Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity. 
  12:9   And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs. 
  12:10   The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth. 
  12:11   The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd. 
  12:12   And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. 
  12:13   Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 
  12:14   For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.  Ecclesiastes

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Re: Third Quarter--2012--SDA SS LESSON 11--Promise to the Persecuted
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2012, 08:03:06 AM »
Tuesday September 11

Suffering as a Sign of the End (2 Thess. 1:5, 6)


  1:5  Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: 
  1:6   Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 


Second Thessalonians 1:5-10 in the Greek has an Old Testament feel (the Bible of most New Testament Christians was the Septuagint, a pre-Christian Greek translation of the Old Testament). Second Thessalonians exhibits many more references to the Old Testament than does 1 Thessalonians.

I am not sure why this statement. It seems to bring reproach upon the Bible of the "New Testament" Christians. Are we New Testament Christians? The author does not appear to be. He likes the NIV and other modern translations, many of which have perverted the meaning of truth. 


Read 2 Thessalonians 1:5, 6. What is Paul saying? What promises are found in there?

The word evidence (NIV) or token (KJV) means “proof” or “plain indication” of something. What does the persecution of Christians (vs. 4) prove? It is certainly not evidence of God’s judgment against His people. To the contrary, it is a pointer to the future judgment, in which the people of God are vindicated and those who persecuted them receive the same kind of experience they inflicted on others.

There is a message here for us. Violence begets violence, and those who use violence against others have reason to fear for the future. God’s judgment sets things right. Those who persecute the people of God will one day face the justice of God. But those who experience injustice on account of their faith today can look with confidence to God’s future judgment. On that day, it will be evident to all that they were the objects of God’s favor.

The New Testament encourages believers to exhibit grace, mercy, and forgiveness toward others. But when these actions are rebuffed and repaid with curses, blows, and confinement, it is encouraging to know that injustice will not last forever. Thus, the saints of God are invited to have patience (see also Rev. 14:12).

Why this statement? "The New Testament encourages believers to exhibit grace, mercy, and forgiveness toward others." To separate the New Testament from the Old Testament as the author is doing is not right. The Bible is the Bible and it is the same from Genesis to Revelation. The Old Testament encourages believers to exhibit grace, mercy, and forgiveness toward others. What does the author have against the Old Testament? He appears to have an "Evangelical" attitude towards Scripture.


In 2 Thessalonians 1:5, 6, therefore, Paul reminds the persecuted Thessalonians that the “righteous judgment of God” in the future will demonstrate His approval of them in the present. More than this, their patience and faith in the face of trial validates that God has chosen them. In this way Christian suffering can be the basis for rejoicing (1 Thess. 1:6, 7). It is real-life evidence of whose side we will be on when Jesus comes.

Verse 5 shows the righteous judgment of God in His approval of the Thessalonians. Verse 6 shows it in the condemnation and destruction of their persecutors. In both cases the judgment is the end-time outcome of present conduct.

"their patience and faith in the face of trial validates that God has chosen them."
Yes, this is the evidence that we all are to look to when judging others as Christian. We call these attributes of character the "fruits of the Spirit". "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." Galatians 5:22-25.

Have you been unfairly victimized, with the perpetrators receiving no apparent punishment for their actions? If so, what comfort can you take in the promises of God’s judgment? Or look at it this way: have you treated people badly, unfairly, and have gotten away with it (at least so far)? If so, how do you view the promises of God’s end-time judgment?


"End time judgment" has to do with eternal life. Yes, there is punishment, but more than this, the professing Christian who believes that he possesses eternal life while sinning, will find out that he is not going to live forever in heaven, but will be destroyed with the wicked. This is quite a deception. The author points to Seventh-day Adventists that have "treated people badly, unfairly, and have gotten away with it."  Why would they believe they have gotten away with it? Because the "Evangelical" gospel has been widely taught from our pulpits and published in our books and journals. If you want to see how far removed things have gotten, read what is published at Spectrum or A-today. The truth of the "Investigative Judgment" has been perverted to make people believe that one may sin and still retain their justification (salvation). They teach that one is saved in their sins. Here is a quote from a popular teacher in the church. "The monstrous teaching in the Seventh-day Adventist Church is that when one sins he needs to be re-justified." The man teaches the perverted "Evangelical" gospel that one retains eternal life while sinning. This is why so many are baptized while yet unconverted. The evidence of conversion is not seen, but the baptism takes place anyway. The new church member believes that even though they have "treated people badly, unfairly" they have gotten away with it. It is the popular teaching within professing Christian churches today.

Here is something that counters what many Seventh-day Adventists believe. "I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment [was] white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne [was like] the fiery flame, [and] his wheels [as] burning fire.  A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened." Daniel 7:9,10.  There is an investigation into the lives of all who profess to love and serve God. It is taking place today in what is called the anti-typical Day of Atonement. Daniel is speaking of today. Many make light of this and tell us we are to "celebrate" because we have nothing to fear. It is a lie. The Day of Atonement is a solemn time. It is a time when we must look to God and make sure that we have not been deceived by man. For if all sins are not confessed and forsaken, the sinner will be cut off from God. Probation is about to end for all of humanity. The message to be given is this: "Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." Rev. 14:7. It is the opposite of what we hear today. And for Seventh-day Adventists there is another message that is to be given in the church today even though it is unpopular:

Revelation
  3:14   And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 
  3:15   I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 
  3:16   So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 
  3:17   Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 
  3:18   I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 
  3:19   As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 
  3:20   Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 
  3:21   To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 
  3:22   He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 
 




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Richard Myers

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Re: Third Quarter--2012--SDA SS LESSON 11--Promise to the Persecuted
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2012, 02:47:33 PM »
Wednesday September 12

Fire and Destruction (2 Thess. 1:7-9)


  1:7   And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 
  1:8   In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 
  1:9   Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 


Read 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9. What is the primary reason for the destruction of the wicked at the time of Jesus’ second coming? How are we to understand these verses with the idea of God as full of love, grace, and forgiveness?

Many people are uncomfortable with the language of these verses. They feel that “pay back” (NIV), vengeance, punishment, and the infliction of suffering are unworthy of a God of love, grace, and mercy. But just punishment and retribution is a frequent theme of Paul (Rom. 2:5, 12:19). Paul is unequivocal: God’s justice will one day be powerfully made manifest.

And why not? Any good government in today’s world must at some point exercise force in order to restrain evil. Though force is not always violent (as when you are stopped for a traffic violation or audited for your taxes), in some cases, especially when the criminals are using violence themselves, they must be answered with violence. Good governments provide a necessary restraint so that we can all live together in peace. Many times outright evil will not give way voluntarily. And the greater the power and brutality of evil, the greater the force often needed to undo that evil.

Paul is talking about justice, not restraint. They are two differing principles. In these verses, Paul is not discussing inhibiting persecution, but explaining that God is glorified through the Thessalonians as they obey Jesus in their persecution. We have a sense of justice. We want to see justice. Paul explains to his readers that justice will be done, "righteous judgment".


The images in this passage are not pretty, but they assure us that God will do whatever it takes to end violence and oppression.

Read Revelation 16:4-7 and Daniel 7:21, 22.

16:4      And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. 
 16:5      And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. 
 16:6      For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. 
 16:7   And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous [are] thy judgments. 

 7:21     I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 
 7:22     Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 


What do these verses teach that parallels what Paul wrote above in 2 Thessalonians?

Justice is the theme, not restraining violence.


Through His own experience, Jesus understands the cost of suffering. He can be trusted to exercise divine justice, but without overkill. Divine justice will result in suffering, but not one iota more than necessary. If we can trust God in anything, we can trust that His justice will reveal a wisdom and fairness that we cannot currently comprehend.

The goal of this passage is not to rejoice in vengeance but to encourage the abused and oppressed. The day of justice is coming. We don’t need to take justice into our own hands.


It does not appear that there was any mention of rejoicing in vengeance, but only encouragement that God is just and justice will be done. I don't see any reference to taking "justice into our own hands." That may not have been an issue. What is always an issue is that when persecuted for doing right, it can be discouraging. Paul is assuring them and us that God knows and justice will be done.
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Glen

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Re: Third Quarter--2012--SDA SS LESSON 11--Promise to the Persecuted
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2012, 05:58:12 AM »
"End time judgment" has to do with eternal life. Yes, there is punishment, but more than this, the professing Christian who believes that he possesses eternal life while sinning, will find out that he is not going to live forever in heaven, but will be destroyed with the wicked. This is quite a deception. The author points to Seventh-day Adventists that have "treated people badly, unfairly, and have gotten away with it."  Why would they believe they have gotten away with it?

....being dead in your sins.... Colossians 2:13
....he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 1 John 5:12
....I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Revelation 3:1
....she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. 1 Timothy 5:6
....unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;  Romans 2:8, 9

Contrasts Starkly With:
....dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:11
He that hath the Son hath life.... 1 John 5:12

....By the power of the Saviour that dwelt in them while living and because they were partakers of the divine nature, they are brought forth from the dead. 4BC 1143.5

To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 10 ....glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God. Romans 2:7, 10, 11



...Jesus...will live through (YOU), giving (YOU) the inspiration of His sanctifying Spirit, imparting to (YOUR) soul a vital transfusion of Himself. Sabbath-School Worker 02-01-96.03  ...as the blood is in the body, and circulate there as a vitalizing power... 7T 189.02

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Re: Third Quarter--2012--SDA SS LESSON 11--Promise to the Persecuted
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2012, 09:30:08 AM »
Amen, Glen! Hard to argue against Scripture.
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Richard Myers

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Re: Third Quarter--2012--SDA SS LESSON 11--Promise to the Persecuted
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2012, 09:43:48 AM »
Thursday September 13

Glorifying Christ (2 Thess. 1:10-12)


  1:10   When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. 
  1:11   Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of [this] calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of [his] goodness, and the work of faith with power: 
  1:12   That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 


Read 2 Thessalonians 1:10-12. What does it mean that Jesus Christ will be glorified in His saints?

The full sentence in this week’s text (2 Thess. 1:3-10) provides a number of important details about the second coming of Jesus. When Jesus returns, He will afflict the afflicters and provide rest for the afflicted (see 2 Thess. 1:6, 7, ESV). He will come down from heaven in the company of powerful angels (2 Thess. 1:7). He will come with flaming fire and execute justice on those who have rejected God and the gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Thess. 1:8 ). The wicked are destroyed (2 Thess. 1:8, 9) while the righteous bring glory to Christ (2 Thess. 1:10).

The events of the Second Coming set the stage for the millennium, during which time the earth lies desolate for a thousand years (Rev. 20:1-6). Though this week’s passage does not tell us what happens to the righteous, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17 tells us that the saved join Jesus in the air at His return. John 14:1-3 further indicates that Jesus will take the righteous with Him to heaven.

How does Paul instruct believers to prepare for the second coming of Jesus? 2 Thess. 1:11. With verse 10 Paul is finished talking about the wicked and turns again to the fate of the righteous at the Second Coming. In verses 10-12, the glory of Jesus is exhibited in the character of those who believe in Him. Paul rejoices that his prayers and efforts for the Thessalonians will be vindicated at the return of Jesus (see 1 Thess. 2:19, 20).

Paul here sets the stage for chapter two, in which he argues that the day of the Lord has not yet come. If it had, there would be flaming fire, destruction of the wicked, and the full glorification of Jesus in the eyes of all.

In today’s passage, Paul shifts easily from God to Jesus, using the two terms interchangeably. According to inspiration, Jesus is God. This teaching is very important to us. The greater Jesus is, the more powerful His salvation and the clearer a picture of God we receive as we contemplate His life, death, resurrection, and return. If Jesus is truly God, then the Father is just like Him.

How can we learn to go about the business of living our daily lives, but with the expectation of the Second Coming? Why is it so easy, amid the daily rhythms of life, to forget about His Coming? How can we learn to keep this amazing promise before us and go about our daily business, giving the promise the time, attention, and seriousness it deserves?


These verses deal with the reality of what happens when one truly "believes".  Unlike the multitude of "professors" of faith, Paul is encouraging the Thessalonians and us that God will be glorified in those who are truly converted, those who "finish the race" and will have the character of God when Jesus comes. This character being spoken of is not given at the time Jesus comes, but is developed today. When a heart is given fully to Christ, He indwells it through the Holy Spirit. At that time all of the fruits of the Spirit come with the third person of the godhead, not one is missing. And, through obedience to the law of God, including the statutes and judgments that were not ceremonial nor civil, the believer's character becomes more and more like Jesus' character. By beholding we become changed into the same image from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18).

If we want to give honor and glory to God, as we say we do, "Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come." Rev. 14:7, there is only one way. We must die to self and live unto Jesus. We must cease resisting His Spirit. We must come to Jesus just as we are. We must heed the still small voice that says to us
"Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Rev. 3:17-20.
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Glen

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Re: Third Quarter--2012--SDA SS LESSON 11--Promise to the Persecuted
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2012, 06:11:08 AM »
....all of the fruits of the Spirit come with the third person of the godhead, not one is missing.

....fulfil all the good pleasure of [his] goodness, and the work of faith with power:   12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.  2 Thessalonians 1:11, 12

It is essential to live by every word of God, else our old nature will constantly reassert itself. It is the Holy Spirit, the redeeming grace of truth in the soul, that makes the followers of Christ one with one another, and one with God. Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 10-12-97.07

We are plainly told what are the fruits of the Spirit; and I ask, Who will be excused in the day of God? If the word of inspiration has told us the fruits of the Spirit, and made plain to us the very work to be done in order to cherish and cultivate the fruits of the Spirit, then, I say, who can be excused for cherishing evils that will hinder us from entering into the kingdom of God? The Review and Herald December 21, 1886.01

Any one can be just what he chooses to be. Character is not obtained by receiving an education. Character is not obtained by amassing wealth, or by gaining worldly honor. Character is not obtained by trying to have others fight the battle of life for us. It must be sought, worked for, fought for; and it requires a purpose, a will, a determination. To form a character which God will approve, requires persevering effort. It will take a continual resisting of the powers of darkness to stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Immanuel, to be approved in the day of Judgment, and have our names retained in the book of life. Is it not worth more to have our names registered in that book, have them immortalized among the heavenly angels, than to have them sounded in praise throughout the whole earth? Let me know that Jesus smiles upon me; let me know that he approves my actions and my course, and then let come what may, let afflictions be ever so great, I will be resigned to my lot and rejoice in the Lord.
The Review and Herald December 21, 1886.02

The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, long-suffering. Are you in a position where you do not possess these graces? Just as soon as any one crosses you, or offends you, does there arise in your heart a feeling of bitterness, a spirit of rebellion? If this is the spirit you have, bear in mind that you have not the spirit of Christ. It is another spirit. It is the Satan side of your character that is ruling rather than the spirit of Christ.... The Review and Herald December 21, 1886.03


We might rightly say that the fruits of the Spirit comprise the Name of God as God proclaimed to Moses just prior to his receiving the ten Commandments from God on Mt. Sinai. 
Exodus 33:17-22; Exodus 34:6, 7

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? 
2 Corinthians 13:5

Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.  2 John 1:9


The influence of the Holy Spirit is the life of Christ in the soul. The Home Missionary 07-01-97.19

All who would enter the city of God must during their earthly life set forth Christ in their dealings. It is this that constitutes them the messengers of Christ, His witnesses. They are to bear a plain, decided testimony against all evil practices, pointing sinners to the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world. He gives to all who receive Him, power to become the sons of God. Regeneration is the only path by which we can enter the city of God. It is narrow, and the gate by which we enter is strait; but along it we are to lead men and women and children, teaching them that, in order to be saved, they must have a new heart and a new spirit. The old, hereditary traits of character must be overcome. The natural desires of the soul must be changed. All deception, all falsifying, all evilspeaking, must be put away. The new life, which makes men and women Christlike, is to be lived. Testimonies for the Church Volume Nine 23.01

The Holy Spirit is the breath of spiritual life in the soul. The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ. The Desire of Ages 805.03

What speech is to thought, so is Christ to the invisible Father. He is the manifestation of the Father, and is called the Word of God. God sent His Son into the world, His divinity clothed with humanity, that man might bear the image of the invisible God. He made known in His words, His character, His power and majesty, the nature and attributes of God. Divinity flashed through humanity in softening, subduing light. He was the embodiment of the law of God, which is the transcript of His character (Manuscript 77, 1899).

....if we are partakers of the divine nature, we must stand as a united whole. Let us not think that our churches can enjoy God’s blessing while in a state of disunion. In this world we are to be representatives of Christ. He has called us to glory and virtue. As He represented the Father, so we are to represent Christ to the world; for in representing Him we are representing the Father.
Peter’s Counsel to Parents 24
...Jesus...will live through (YOU), giving (YOU) the inspiration of His sanctifying Spirit, imparting to (YOUR) soul a vital transfusion of Himself. Sabbath-School Worker 02-01-96.03  ...as the blood is in the body, and circulate there as a vitalizing power... 7T 189.02

Glen

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Re: Third Quarter--2012--SDA SS LESSON 11--Promise to the Persecuted
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2012, 06:44:39 AM »
The light of the glory (character) of God, which imparts life (character) to the righteous, will slay the wicked. The Desire of Ages 107.04

....Judas possessed a form of godliness, while his character was more satanic than divine. He professed to be a disciple of Christ, but in words and in works denied Him. The Sanctified Life 59.02
...Jesus...will live through (YOU), giving (YOU) the inspiration of His sanctifying Spirit, imparting to (YOUR) soul a vital transfusion of Himself. Sabbath-School Worker 02-01-96.03  ...as the blood is in the body, and circulate there as a vitalizing power... 7T 189.02

Richard Myers

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Re: Third Quarter--2012--SDA SS LESSON 11--Promise to the Persecuted
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2012, 08:37:26 AM »

It is essential to live by every word of God, else our old nature will constantly reassert itself. It is the Holy Spirit, the redeeming grace of truth in the soul, that makes the followers of Christ one with one another, and one with God. Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 10-12-97.07

Amen, Glen!!  If we have Christ, we have Him through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. If we have Him, the Spirit, we have life. Those who claim they are following the Spirit of God will manifest all of the fruits of His Spirit. If we do not have His Spirit, we are none of His.  This comes as a shock to many professing Christians, but it is only because they have not relied upon Christ and His Word, but have been misled by false teachers. From the Bible:  "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Romans 8:9.

And Jesus said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." John 3:6,7.
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Richard Myers

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Re: Third Quarter--2012--SDA SS LESSON 11--Promise to the Persecuted
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2012, 09:02:48 AM »
Friday September 14

Further Study: “The Bible is written by inspired men, but it is not God’s mode of thought and expression. It is that of humanity. God, as a writer, is not represented. Men will often say such an expression is not like God. But God has not put Himself in words, in logic, in rhetoric, on trial in the Bible. The writers of the Bible were God’s penmen, not His pen. . ..

“It is not the words of the Bible that are inspired, but the men that were inspired. Inspiration acts not on the man’s words or his expressions but on the man himself, who, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, is imbued with thoughts. But the words receive the impress of the individual mind. The divine mind is diffused. The divine mind and will is combined with the human mind and will; thus the utterances of the man are the word of God.”-Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 1, p. 21.

“The instruction that Paul sent the Thessalonians in his first epistle regarding the second coming of Christ, was in perfect harmony with his former teaching. Yet his words were misapprehended by some of the Thessalonian brethren. . . .

“In his second letter Paul sought to correct their misunderstanding of his teaching and to set before them his true position.”-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 264.
Discussion Questions:

    Does the truth of Scripture reveal itself more through intensive word-by-word study or in the broad themes that we can observe by way of wide reading? Or is there a time and place for both? Discuss the answer(s) in class.

    Read the Ellen White quote above regarding how inspiration works. How does this help us to understand the “human element” that appears at times in the Bible?

    Does the thought of the Second Coming frighten you, or does it bring you hope? What does your answer say about your relationship with God or about your understanding of the gospel? Or both?

Sadly, many do not understand the power of the gospel. And many do not realize that unless there is a change in their lives, they will not be in heaven, but instead will suffer punishment for every sin they have ever sinned. Many do not have fear when they ought to. Others are prodded by the Holy Spirit to understand that they are not right with God, that sin is in the life, and they have not done that which will allow them entrance into heaven. In a Laodicean church, many believe they are rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing. But, it is not too late to awake. Jesus stands at the door. Today is the day of salvation!


    However much truth there is to the idea that trials can strengthen our faith and character, what do you say to people whose trials are not only causing them to be bitter, resentful, and angry (in other words, not character-building) but to lose their faith?

We share the Word of God with them. We do not say "however much truth there is to the idea that trials can strengthen our faith and character," we tell them that when we abide in Christ, trials do strengthen our faith and character, that there is purpose in the trials. They work for our good and God's glory when we are in a converted state.

"We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Romans 5:3-5.
Character is developed, we gain an experience, our hope is renewed, and best of all, the world has a witness of what it means to be a follower of the Creator God. In Christ, we are always His witnesses. Many are nice when things are going well, but let the fires of affliction burn hot and then there is clearly seen a difference between those who love God supremely and those who do not. We are here to help others and when we suffer we give the world a revelation of the power of God.....if we are abiding in Christ. Jesus knows our character. He knows we are weak and heavy laden, but He has His hand on the thermostat. He will never allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear if we will depend upon Him fully. It is a promise to all who will make a full surrender daily.


Summary: In the opening chapter of 2 Thessalonians, Paul rejoices over the way in which the Thessalonian believers remain faithful in spite of much affliction. He encourages them by pointing to the great reversal at the second coming of Jesus. Whatever happens now, we have the promise that God will execute divine justice.


Yes, it is true that we are encouraged with the truth that there will be punishment for the wicked, that there is justice, even if it is delayed. But, that encouragement is not what gives us love, joy, and peace.  The knowledge that the wicked will be dealt with at the second coming of Christ is truth, but it does not feed us day by day, moment by moment.

It is not the promise of heaven of the fear of hell that motivates the Christian to a life of obedience to God. It is God's grace that empowers the Christian to walk the walk of Christian love. And, we must received that grace on a daily basis, we must die daily to self, we must be filled with the Holy Spirit on a continual basis if we are to manifest the fruits of His Spirit, for it is Christ, not I. This is our only hope, and this is the promise we have been given. Jesus stands at the door of many hearts today, wanting in.
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." Rev. 3:20,21.

This Sabbath, amid the great trials in our personal lives and in the church, let us remember what great things God has done for us in the past and what He has promised He is going to do today and in the near future. Encourage your Sabbath School class that Jesus is coming soon and revival and reformation is coming to all who will turn to Christ. The church will be purified and will reveal the glory of God. "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." 1 Peter 4:12,13. 
I'm going home SOON, come along!!

Glen

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Re: Third Quarter--2012--SDA SS LESSON 11--Promise to the Persecuted
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2012, 09:05:19 AM »
The light of the glory (character) of God, which imparts life (character) to the righteous, will slay the wicked. The Desire of Ages 107.04

....Judas possessed a form of godliness, while his character was more satanic than divine. He professed to be a disciple of Christ, but in words and in works denied Him. The Sanctified Life 59.02


...To sin is unmanly....In the Babylonian court, Daniel was surrounded by allurements to sin, but by the help of Christ he maintained his integrity. He who cannot resist temptation, when every facility for overcoming has been placed within his reach, is not registered in the books of heaven as a man. Temperance 189.03

THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD AND OF JESUS CHRIST, EXPRESSED IN CHARACTER, IS an exaltation above everything that is esteemed in earth or in heaven. It is the very highest education.It is THE KEY THAT opens the portals of the heavenly city. [This knowledge it is God’s purpose that all who put on Christ by baptism shall possess. And it is the duty of God’s servants to set before these souls the
privilege of their high calling in Christ Jesus. Testimonies for the Church Volume 6 97.01


I submit that those who express that they're "only human", and have "a fallen human nature", continuing to make any variety of excuses for sinning, as professing Christians, declaring that the Christian will continue to sin until Christ comes in the clouds at His Second Coming, are making "provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." Romans 13:14, and do not have the slightest clue of the WAY of Salvation. We who do know "the doctrine of Christ" and have definite purpose to "go on to perfection" (Hebrews 6:1; 2 John 1:9) are the light of the world (See Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing 41.02) to those who yet stumble on in darkness, who are yet in their sin(s). Our letting the mind of Christ be in us, thus reflecting His glory (character), are Saviours of men like our Master. (See Counsel to Physicians and Medical Students 5.02)
...Jesus...will live through (YOU), giving (YOU) the inspiration of His sanctifying Spirit, imparting to (YOUR) soul a vital transfusion of Himself. Sabbath-School Worker 02-01-96.03  ...as the blood is in the body, and circulate there as a vitalizing power... 7T 189.02

Glen

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Re: Third Quarter--2012--SDA SS LESSON 11--Promise to the Persecuted
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2012, 08:00:24 PM »
As was Enoch’s must be their holiness of character who shall be redeemed from among men at the Lord’s second coming. 8T 331.03

....It is the privilege of every believer, first to talk with God, and then, as God's mouthpiece, to talk with others....Men and women who commune with God, who have an abiding Christ, who co-operate with holy angels, are needed at this time. Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 12-08-10.06

Jesus, dwelling in you, desires to speak to the hearts of those who are not acquainted with Him. Steps to Christ 115


Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

In the day of judgment, the course of the man who has retained the frailty and imperfection of humanity will not be vindicated. For him there will be no place in heaven. He could not enjoy the perfection of the saints in light. He who has not sufficient faith in Christ to believe that he can keep him from sinning, has not the faith that will give him an entrance into the kingdom of God.—Manuscript 161, 1897.
...Jesus...will live through (YOU), giving (YOU) the inspiration of His sanctifying Spirit, imparting to (YOUR) soul a vital transfusion of Himself. Sabbath-School Worker 02-01-96.03  ...as the blood is in the body, and circulate there as a vitalizing power... 7T 189.02