|1 Thessalonians 5 |
1 Now of the times and the dates, brothers, you do not need me to write you.
2 For you know perfectly that "the day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night" [unexpectedly].
3 For when they are saying, "Peace and safety;" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they will not escape.
4 But you, brothers, are not in darkness, that day should overtake you like a thief.
5 You are all the children of light to be, and children of the day to be;1 we are not to be of the night, nor of darkness. [From the Word of the Lord within: "You are a son when Jesus appears in your heart to guide you. I stand with those freed from sin."]
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do; but let us watch and be sober.
7 For those who sleep, sleep in the night; and those who are drunk, are drunk in the night.
8 But let us, who are to be of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.2 [These believers were still hoping for salvation to come; salvation is to be freed from all sin and be in union with God; and salvation only occurs after you have: waited on the Lord, heard his many spoken-to-you reproofs, consistently obeyed his many commands that you hear him speak to you, died daily on the inward cross of self-denial, suffered many trials and tribulations, and endured with patience and persistence to the end. ]
9 For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, [Salvation is still to come for these relatively mature believers.]
10 Who died for us, so that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. [Notice! To live with him is to have him resurrected in us, so that we are a new creature, with all the old having passed away; living in union with Jesus in his kingdom, our sight of the world and its lusts having passed away, but still physically on the earth.]
11 Therefore comfort and edify one another, even as you do.
12 And we beseech you, brothers, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you.
13 Esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
14 Now we exhort you, brothers, warn those who are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
15 See that none of you repays evil for evil to any man; but always follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.3 [But your prayers must be with words supplied by the Holy Spirit: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, Eph 6:18. Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities for we do not know what we should pray for as we should, but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Rom 8:26. Teach us what we shall say to Him, for we cannot order our speech by reason of darkness. Job 37:18. If you believe what you have heard the Lord tell you to pray, then you will receive what you ask in prayer, as John carefully states: "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him." 1 John 5:14-15. Unless you have crucified your sinful nature, to receive his Spirit in sufficient measure to reveal His will, you have no idea what His will is. This is why the vast majority of prayers, made in the carnal minds of beginning believers, are never answered. When we can do His will, we hear what to pray from Him, and we know for sure such prayers are heard and will be granted. From the Word of the Lord within: "Pray only as you are told."]
18 In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
19 Do not quench the Spirit.
20 Do not despise prophesying.
21 Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good.
22 Abstain from every form and appearance of evil.
23 And may the God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless to the coming at our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Faithful is he who calls you, who will also do it.
25 Brethren, pray for us.
26 Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.
27 I charge you by the Lord that this letter be read to all the holy brothers.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
1 You are all the children of light to be, and children of the day to be; This verse has been typically translated as: You are all the children of light, and the children of the day. The verse in the original Greek has a complex construction of to be in the present, (<1510> <5748>), which is correctly translated as "children of the light to be now" or better expressed as "now children of the light to be." Paul makes the statement in a subsequent verse of this same chapter that they should be "putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation." So the Thessalonians were still without salvation and hoping for a salvation yet to come. You cannot be a child of light, (or child of day), until you have experienced salvation, which is to be freed from all sins. You cannot be a son of God or a child of the light until you have crucified your lusts and affections on the inward cross of self-denial — thus to become free of sin and receive salvation. However, the translators, having been schooled in Babylon's doctrine that all are sons of God with only belief that Jesus is the Son of God, chose the present tense "are" <5748>, but left out the "to be" <1510> part; stating that they were already sons of light and day; the translators did not understand that belief required is to believe what Jesus says to them from within their heart. Even the demons believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and they tremble.
2 But since we are to be of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. As explained in footnote 1 above, this verse was translated incorrectly as "we are of the day," instead of "we are to be of the day," which is impossible while they are still hoping for salvation. While we are hoping for salvation, we conduct ourselves in obedience to the commands we have been given from the Word of the Lord and His light; we conduct ourselves as dedicated disciples to sobriety and moderation.
3 Pray without ceasing. From the Word of the Lord within: "Pray only as told." When Paul tells them to pray without ceasing, he means to pray in the spirit, as he said in Eph 6:18: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit. You cannot be praying in the spirit if the words are chosen by your own carnal mind.
Paul was speaking to Christians who had crucified their flesh sufficiently so that they could pray in the Spirit rather than in their carnal minds.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God. For it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be. Rom 8:7
How could prayers from a mind that is enmity against God be pleasing to God? He must be worshiped in Spirit and Truth. John 4:23-24
So Paul was speaking to mature Christians, who had sufficient Spirit to control their prayers.
Several years before George Fox had been totally perfected and purified, he was able to pray in the Spirit, causing the churches he was in to shake.
Beware! If you are praying continuously from your mind, you cannot hear the Lord's directions. When you are in the Spirit, praying only with words supplied by the Spirit, then the Lord will cease giving you words to pray, so that he can guide you, and you can hear and see His instructions.
There is an exception heard from the Lord by a reader of this site, as loud as someone standing next to him, and there is scripture to prove it: "I only hear a prayer of a righteous man and a prayer of a sinner who comes to repent."
Until your heart has been purified, be silent to wait for, hope for, and listen for God's teachings and words to you.
Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord. Psalm 27:14
Here are a few scriptures to support this advice:
When you pray, do not use vain repetitions, as the heathen do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you need, even before you ask him. Mat 6:7-8
Be silent, oh all flesh before the Lord. Zech 2:13
Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
In repentance and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength. Isa 30:15
So a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name. Mal 3:16
So blessed is the man who hears me, watching daily at my gate, waiting at the posts of my door.
For whoever finds me, finds life; and he shall obtain favor of the LORD. Prov 8:34
I remember You upon my bed and meditate on You in the night watches. Psalm 63:6
Truly my soul silently waits upon God; From Him comes my salvation. Psalm 62:1
It is good that one should hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. Lam 3:26
The LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. Hab 2:20
For whoever comes to Me, and listens to My words and does [practices, obeys] them, I will show you what he is like. He is like a man who built a house, and dug deep and laid the foundation securely built on a rock; and when the flood arose, the torrent beat violently upon that house, but could not shake it because it was founded on a rock. Luke 6:47-48
Listen to and obey My voice, and I will be your God and you will be My people; and walk completely in the ways that I have commanded you. Jer 7:23.
See George Fox's writing on Why Silence for more on silence.