Paul tells us to be followers together of him and mark them which walk as they (the apostles) had for an example. Paul worked with his own hands to meet his own necessities. He and the apostles are the example. He did not preach as a hireling but worked to support himself (as a tent maker) so that the good news of Christ should have “free course”. The gospel is not to be vilified by the outside world who see those who preach for money and are taking advantage of the flock. Philippians 3:17-21 KJV (17) Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. The life of Jesus is not being manifest in those who follow after those who preach for money…..handling the Word of God deceitfully for unjust gain. They walk as the enemies of the cross of Christ. The world is vilifying the gospel because of the preaching for money….and NO FLESH is being saved. (18) (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Their “end”….their consummation….is DESTRUCTION....destruction of the flesh. The flesh is being destroyed so that their spirits may be saved. MANY are walking toward that consummation of destruction. If we follow after them who walk in that broad way, our mortal flesh is also being destroyed. Our mortal life shall be consummated in destruction. The life of Jesus is not being manifest in our flesh because they remove the “daily” sacrifice of having love for one another in their denominations of envy, strife and hatred of one another and they set up covetousness…..the abomination of DESOLATION that destroys us. They want us to live after their lusts…..bigger church buildings, bigger ministries, bigger bank accounts, bigger congregations, etc. They suppose GAIN IS GODLINESS as they preach after these things and deceive many to join them in their earthly pursuits. (19) Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) We are to FLEE the “fornication”….not being joined together with them. We are of ONE FLESH with them if we sit together with them....speaking and believing in what they affirm. Guile…deceit…is found in their mouths…..fornication. We are to FLEE the idolatry……covetousness. We are to flee from the “abomination” that causes “desolation” when we wake up and see it in their presence. We are not to keep company with those who call themselves “brothers” but are covetous as they preach for money’s sake. They are defiling the flesh. The flesh is being destroyed so that the spirit may be saved in their presence. Our citizenship should instead be in “heaven”….dwelling in His words of life and spirit. “Heaven”= the “air” where the words travel to our ears. He that has ears, let him hear. We are to DWELL upon what we hear….and eagerly look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…whose life shall appear in our mortal flesh. We are to look for His life to appear IN US as He shall change….transfigure…the mortal body of our humiliation (“vile”= means “humiliation”). Our mortal bodies have suffered because of our sins. Our sins are being “remembered” in our mortal flesh until we eventually die and leave our sins behind…..so that our spirits are saved. Our mortal bodies are records of our sins....our "humiliation". But we are to be SAVED wholly in body, soul and spirit in the here and now if we hear and believe in Him. He shall blot out our sins. We shall NOT PERISH….but have an age-lasting life…His life in the here and now. (20) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: (21) Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. Let us not follow after the false apostles…..desiring the company of those who take away His life from appearing in our mortal flesh. God has raised Jesus from the dead. He is alive now and so we are to be alive now….in the here and now. Acts 3:14-21 KJV (14) But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; (15) And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. We are to be made strong in Him through faith in His “name”…His authority. (16) And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. We have done this thing in our ignorance.....as we follow after our rulers.... (17) And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. (18) But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. We are to change our minds and be converted so that the sins that are being marked in our mortal flesh may be blotted out….the times of the refreshing of our mortal bodies. To those who look for Him, He shall appear a second time without sin unto our salvation. (19) Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; Our “conversation” is in heaven….that is, dwelling in what we hear for Jesus is preached always in our hearing. The heaven must receive Him until the times of the restitution of all things. We must hear His words and DO them….fulfilling all righteousness so that His life may appear in our mortal flesh….the times of refreshing. We are to be REGENERATED. (20) And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: (21) Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. The “heaven” must receive Him until the restitution of all things (our REPENTING and be converted). The “heaven” is the air where His words are being preached to our ears. No matter if He is being preached of envy and strife or of good will, Christ is still being preached in the “heaven” where our ears hear. The only thing we must do is hear and believe and obey His words so that His life shall appear….for He will be sent to us to appear in and through us…the consummation of His life. Philippians 1:15-19 KJV (15) Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: (16) The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: (17) But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. (18) What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. (19) For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, Paul is pure from the blood of all men. He has not shunned to declare unto us ALL of the counsel of God. He did NOT preach for money. He did not covet after other’s “silver, gold or apparel”. Acts 20:26-35 KJV (26) Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. (27) For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. (28) Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. But the “grievous wolves” have entered in among us….laying the heavy burdens of the commandments and doctrines of men upon the flock…not sparing the flock. "grievous" = "weighty". (29) For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. (30) Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Paul had forewarned us with tears. He told us and tells us now weeping that MANY walk as the enemies of the cross of Christ. (31) Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. Our inheritance is "eternal life".....an age-lasting life in the here and now. (32) And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. But MANY are preaching for money….after the hidden covetousness within their hearts. We are not to keep company with them who do for Paul’s own hands had labored unto his own necessities and so are those who follow after His example. He worked as a tentmaker to support himself so that the “weak” minded would not vilify his preaching. The good news should have free course. (33) I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. (34) Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. (35) I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. Jesus forewarned us to keep the law and the prophets....which is doing unto others as you would have them do to you. DO these things and LIVE. Matthew 7:12-19 KJV (12) Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. But false prophets lead us astray from that strait and narrow way which leads unto HIS LIFE NOW. They lead MANY unto the broad way that leads to destruction....destruction of the mortal body. (13) Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: (14) Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (15) Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. The Word of the Lord is to have free course….so that it may be glorified by those who are on the outside. We are not to be preaching for money so that they may have an opportunity to blaspheme. Who will hear if they see us preaching for money…..minding earthly things after the hidden covetousness within our hearts? 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18 KJV (1) Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: (2) And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. (3) But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. (4) And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. We are to WITHDRAW ourselves from every brother that walks disorderly ….who are preaching for money….and not after the tradition which we have received of the true apostles who did not preach for unjust gain. The Lord will direct our hearts into the love of God and into the patient waiting for Christ….for His life to appear in us. (5) And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ. (6) Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. We know that we ought to follow after the true apostles who did not eat other’s bread for nothing. They worked day and night so that they might not be chargeable to any. They are the example of those who are true.. (7) For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; (8) Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: They are the example for us to follow. (9) Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. (10) For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. (11) For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. (12) Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. (13) But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. (14) And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. (15) Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. (16) Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all. (17) The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write. (18) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. The second epistle to the Thessalonians was written from Athens.