For this we say unto you by the word of the LORD, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the LORD shall not prevent them which are asleep.

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For this we say unto you by the word of the LORD, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the LORD shall not prevent them which are asleep.
 
The above is 1 Thessalonians 4:15, Paul first speaking by “the word of the LORD” in him as the LORD’s manifested presence, and then speaking of those who like him will be left, permeated with the life of the LORD alive in them. His sentence ends saying those who remain in a mortal state shall not understand we, those of us here with the life of Christ in us, have already risen from the dead.
 
This is the idea the risen LORD speaks of in John 21, saying, “22 Jesus said unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to you? follow you me. 23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to you? 24 This is the disciple which testifies of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.”
 
Here is the truth that all those who say they “know” and “understand” are afraid to tell, because they haven’t heard or listened to the LORD speaking. We are the dead, those who have died in the LORD, and therefore have not been left in corruption, though we are now brought to life in the old world of Sheol. We are here to awaken those the LORD in Paul describes, as the sleeping, using the Greek word written in the original text as koimethentas, from the words koimao, (coma) meaning a sleep-like state; and thnetos, meaning liable to die – mortal.
 
The word rendered above as “prevent” is the seven times used Greek word phthano, a word constructed to mean to affirm the death or end (phemi + thnetos or thano). Paul is saying it doesn’t come by us, but rather as the LORD entered into us and raised us to life, so shall He with the sleeping.
 
1 Thessalonians 4
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the LORD, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the LORD shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the LORD himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the LORD in the air: and so shall we ever be with the LORD.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
 
Friends, this word I preach and teach is the LORD in me preaching and teaching deliverance from the death this world teaches. It is the salvation and the presence of the LORD Paul speaks of in 1 Thessalonians 2, coming to those who have received the word he spoke as the word of God, as it is. “13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when you received the word of God which you heard of us, you received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually works also in you that believe.” Paul continues to tell of those, the sleeping he later refers to, who were resisting the truth, who those now living were losing hope would ever see and hear the word as they have. This is the topic of his later words, pasted above from chapter 4, urging them not to lose hope because the LORD would come to them also raising them up with the living. Those who were already alive, risen from among those who have corrupted the word of God, who have put on immortality, are those Paul then speaks of as being in the presence of the LORD at His coming. Paul says seeing this glory, the LORD’s glory now in them, was His joy, as you are mine. “19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even you in the presence of our LORD Jesus Christ at his coming? 20 For you are our glory and joy.”
 
Ephesians 5
14 Wherefore he says, Awake you that sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light [understanding].
15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Wherefore be you not unwise, but understanding what the will of the LORD is.
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the LORD;
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our LORD Jesus Christ;
21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the LORD.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the LORD the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
 
When Paul, above in verse 14, speaks of this awakening and rising from the dead, He is paraphrasing Isaiah 60: 1 & 2. Friends, these words are the LORD speaking to you, not as a metaphor, but in reality, you are in His presence at His coming. His is the voice Paul speaks of in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, spoken by the archangel as the trumpet of God, which He sends to awaken the sleeping, to raise them and join them, together with us, to Himself.
 
Isaiah 60
1 Arise, shine; for your light [understanding] is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.
2 For, behold, the darkness [confusion and ignorance of God] shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon you, and his glory shall be seen upon you. [Therefore we leave behind those who have brought us up as children and we join ourselves to the LORD. 1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.]
3 And the Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
4 Lift up your eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to you: your sons shall come from far, and your daughters shall be nursed at your side.
5 Then you shall see, and flow together, and your heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto you, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto you.
6 The multitude of camels shall cover you, the dromedaries of Midian [of those who have caused strife] and Ephah [and caused the gloom that covers the earth]; all they from Sheba [all those who the LORD has promised] shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD.
7 All the flocks of Kedar [of darkness – the confused and ignorant] shall be gathered together unto you, the rams of Nebaioth [the rulers in the high places of the earth] shall minister unto you: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory.
8 Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows [as one who signifies and declares the end]?
9 Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish [those who have fled from their responsibility to call the world to repentance] first, to bring your sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD your God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he has glorified you.
10 And the sons of strangers shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister unto you: for in my wrath I smote you, but in my favor have I had mercy on you.
11 Therefore your gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto you the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought.
12 For the nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.
13 The glory of Lebanon [purification] shall come unto you, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious.
14 The sons also of them that afflicted you shall come bending unto you; and all they that despised you shall bow themselves down at the soles of your feet; and they shall call you; The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. [Hebrews 12:… you are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things than that of Abel. 25 See that you refuse not him that speaks. For if they escaped not who refused him that spoke on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaks from heaven: 26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he has promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.27 And this word, Yet once more, signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God is a consuming fire.]
15 Whereas you have been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through you, I will make you an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.
16 You shall also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shall suck the breast of kings: and you shall know that I the LORD am your Savior and your Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.
17 For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make your officers peace, and your exactors righteousness.
18 Violence shall no more be heard in your land, wasting nor destruction within your borders; but you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.
19 The sun [the church] shall be no more your light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon [civil government] give light unto you: but the LORD shall be unto you an everlasting light [understanding], and your God your glory.
20 Your sun shall no more go down; neither shall your moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended.
21 Your people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.
22 A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time.
 
Isaiah 61
1 The Spirit of the LORD God is upon me; because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.
5 And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
6 But you shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: you shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall you boast yourselves.
7 For your shame you shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.
8 For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD has blessed.
10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth brings forth her bud, and as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the LORD God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
 
Friends, Paul, in 2 Corinthians 10:14, uses the word phthano to describe the gospel we preach, the full unaltered message of Christ, as the extent of our reach. He is saying this is all the LORD has authorized us to do, preach the word as His archangel, blowing the trumpet calling the sleeping to awaken. It is then up to the LORD to determine who will receive it, first realizing they are dead without Him, and to then set a course with Him to be born again by a renewed minds, and thereby quickened into full maturity.
 
2 Corinthians 10
1 Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:
2 But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
7 Do you look on things after the outward appearance? if any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s.
8 For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the LORD has given us for edification [for educating], and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:
9 That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters.
10 For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.
11 Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present.
12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
13 But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God has distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.
14 For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far [phthano – come as far – where you realized you were dead without Christ in you] as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ:
15 Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men’s labors; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged [grow into maturity] by you according to our rule abundantly,
16 To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s line of things made ready to our hand.
17 But he that glories, let him glory in the LORD.
18 For not he that commends himself is approved, but whom the LORD commends.
 
The word phthano is used in Matthew 12:28 and Luke 11:20, as the LORD says the kingdom of God unknowingly “is come” to those who have seen Him cast out demons by the finger of God. The passage begins as He is doing so, and when they were cast out the dumb spoke. He then describes the divided kingdom not standing, and this division under the devil as what has caused the desolation. These places where the division is apparent, the divided body, are the places He then speaks of as those where people go after He has cast out the demons. There they are infested with seven spirits of the errors that have caused the divisions and desolation, and their latter state is worse than the first, because now they think they are right when inwardly now possessed by even greater errors, partial truths, and ignorance.
 
Luke 11
…And lead us not into temptation [lead us not into denying your presence]; but deliver us from evil [deliver us from those who so deny it].
5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;
6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?
7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give you.
8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needs.
9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10 For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.
11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit [who will come along side and lead you into all truth until Christ is formed in you] to them that ask him?
14 And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spoke; and the people wondered.
15 But some of them said, He casts out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.
16 And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven.
17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falls.
18 If Satan [the spirit in those resisting and opposing the LORD at His coming] also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because you say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.
19 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.
20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come [phthano – where you have heard that you are dead without Christ] upon you.
21 When a strong man armed keeps his palace, his goods are in peace:
22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armor wherein he trusted, and divides his spoils.
23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathers [into one body joined to the LORD] not with me scatters.
24 When the unclean spirit is gone [has been cast out] out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, I will return unto my house [the tombs {churches}] whence I came out.
25 And when he comes, he finds it swept and garnished.
26 Then goes he, and taketh to him [furnishes his mind with] seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.
 
Paul uses the word phthano in Romans 9:31 where it is translated as “attained” as he speaks of Israel, God’s people who think they are the true believers, zealous but without the knowledge of God. He is not saying they haven’t attained to the law of righteousness, but rather they haven’t come to the point of admitting that by it they are dead and without Christ, because they lack faith. This lack is what he then describes as their stumbling at the stumbling stone, the rock that offends them, the voice they should be hearing and understanding.
 
Romans 9
14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
15 For he says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
16 So then it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy.
17 For the scripture says unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
18 Therefore has he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardens.
19 You will say then unto me, Why does he yet find fault? For who has resisted his will?
20 Nay but, O man, who are you that replies against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why have you made me thus?
21 Has not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?
22 What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
24 Even us, whom he has called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
25 As he says also in Hosea, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, You are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.
27 Isaias also cried concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:
28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the LORD make upon the earth.
29 And as Isaiah said before, Except the LORD of Sabaoth [of the armies of heaven] had left us a seed [an elect remnant], we had been as Sodom, and been made like unto Gomorrah.
30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, has not attained [phthano] to the law of righteousness.
32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling-stone;
33 As it is written [in Isaiah 28:16], Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling-stone and rock of offense: and whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed [shall not be disappointed by what they were told about the end not coming into reality – as these others who’ve followed fables will].
 
Isaiah 28
5 In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,
6 And for a spirit of judgment to him that sits in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.
7 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.
8 For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.
9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith you may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
14 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, you scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
15 Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol [sha’al – those who demand God act as they demand – be silent so they can speak] are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
16 Therefore thus says the LORD God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believes shall not make haste.
17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with Sheol [silencing God] shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then you shall be trodden down by it.
19 From the time that it goes forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.
20 For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.
 
Psalms 91
1 He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3 Surely he shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with his feathers, and under his wings shall you trust: his truth shall be your shield and buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flies by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walks in darkness; nor for the destruction that wastes at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come nigh you.
8 Only with your eyes shall you behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, your habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall you, neither shall any plague come nigh your dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.
12 They shall bear you up in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shall you trample under feet.
14 Because he has set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he has known my name.
15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
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