[I was given the responsibility] to enlighten all people regarding the working out of God's secret plan, which has been kept hidden for ages in [the heart of] God, who created everything.
[This message is] the secret which has been kept hidden throughout the ages and generations, but has now been revealed to God's saints [i.e., His holy people].
What I am telling you in the darkness [i.e., in obscurity], you tell it in the light [i.e., openly]. And what you hear [whispered] in your ear [you should] declare it from the housetops.
[This was] so that what was spoken by the prophet would be fulfilled, when he said [Psa. 78:2], "I will open my mouth [to speak] with parables. I will say things that have been hidden from the beginning of time."
Then the King will say to those at His right side, 'You who are blessed by my Father, come and receive the kingdom which has been prepared for you since the creation of the world,
So, as you go, make disciples out of people from all the nations, then immerse believers [See Mark 16:15-16] into the name of [i.e., to enter a relationship with] the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Then He said to them, "You [men] go into the entire world and preach the good news to every person.
And [the need for] a change of heart and life in order to receive the forgiveness of sins [from God] will be preached in Jesus' name [i.e., by His authority] to people of all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
The Word [already] existed in the beginning [of time]. [Note: This is a reference to the preexistence of Jesus. See verse 14]. And the Word was with God and the Word was [what] God [was].
So, Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I tell you, the Son [of God] cannot do anything on His own [i.e., independently of the Father]; but [He does] what He sees His Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son also does as well.
Now may there be glory for ever, through Jesus Christ, to the only wise God, who is able to make you stand firm [in the faith], according to the good news and proclamation of Jesus Christ. This message is the secret which was [eventually] revealed, after having been kept quiet about for long ages.
But we [apostles] speak God's secret wisdom, which has been hidden [through the ages], which God predetermined for our honor before time began.
Even before the creation of the world God chose us, who are in [fellowship with] Christ, to be dedicated [to Him] and to be without just blame in His sight. Out of love
in doing what He intended through Christ, to make known to us His secret plan, according to what pleased Him.
[It is] that God's secret plan [i.e., revealed in the Gospel preached to Gentiles. See verse 6] was made known to me by way of a revelation. [See Acts 9:15; 22:21]. I have already written to you [about this] briefly [i.e., probably a reference to 1:9ff].
For all things were created by Him; things in heaven and on earth; things visible and invisible, whether they are thrones [i.e., reigning beings], or lords, or rulers or authorities. [Note: "Authorities" here may refer to angelic beings]. All things were created by Him and for Him.
[This will happen] if you continue in the faith [Note: This means either "continue to observe God's teaching" or, "continue to believe"], firmly grounded and established, and not moved away from the hope offered by the Gospel message, which you have heard and which was preached to people throughout the entire created world under heaven. I, Paul, was made a minister of this Gospel.
But we ought to thank God for you always, brothers [who are] dearly loved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning [Note: Some manuscripts use the Greek word for "firstfruits" instead of "beginning" here, but it is difficult to know in what sense the Thessalonian Christians were "first"], in order to be saved through being set apart by the Holy Spirit and through belief of the truth [of the Gospel].
And without question the revealed secret of godly living is great. [It is this]: He [i.e., Christ, or God], who appeared in a fleshly body [was] vindicated [of false charges] by the Holy Spirit; [He was] seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed in throughout the world [and finally] was taken up into glory [i.e., heaven].
[It is] God who saved us and called us to live holy lives [or, "to be dedicated people"], not as a result of our [good] deeds, but in harmony with His own purpose and unearned favor. [This was] given to us through [the atoning work of] Christ Jesus, before the beginning of time. [Note: Salvation through Christ was planned before time began. See Titus 1:2; Rom. 16:25; Eph. 1:4].
But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message could be fully proclaimed and that all the Gentiles could hear it. And I was rescued from the lion's mouth. [Note: This is probably a figure of speech indicating that Paul had escaped some immediate danger. See Psa. 22:20-21].
[and provides] hope for never ending life. God, who cannot lie, promised this [life] before the beginning of time,
[but] during these final days He has spoken to us through His Son [Note: This period refers to the Christian age (See Acts 2:14-36)], whom He appointed to be heir of all things [and] through whom He created the universe. [See John 1:3; Col. 1:16].
For Jesus has been considered deserving of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house deserves greater honor than the house itself.
For Christ was previously known [by God, even] before the world was created, yet was not fully revealed for your benefit until [these] final times.
"Our Lord and our God, you deserve to receive the glory and the honor and the power for you created everything, and they exist because you wanted them to, so they were created."
And everyone who lives on earth will worship the beast, [even those] people whose names had not been recorded in the book of life belonging to the Lamb, who was killed [in prospect] from the creation of the world. [Note: This sentence could also read "...not been recorded from the creation of the world in the book of life belonging to the Lamb who was killed"].
Then I saw another angel flying in mid heaven. He had eternal good news to proclaim to those who lived on the earth, and to every nation, tribe, language group and race.
The beast you saw once existed, but now does not, and [yet] is about to come up out of the pit and go to [his] destruction. And those people living on the earth, whose names have not been recorded in the book of life from the creation of the world, will be amazed when they see the beast, because he had once existed, but now does not, and yet will come [again].