1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
1 These. 5:1-6 Paul the Apostle, evangelist, made his way to Thessalonica in about 52 A.D. where he preached the Good News, starting in the synagogue. There he showed them from the scriptures about the suffering Messiah, (probably from Isaiah). As he proclaimed this scripture he was able to introduce these Thessalonians to Jesus of Nazareth, proclaiming Him to be the Messiah prophesied about. Some of the Jews there believed, along with many Greeks, among whom were some prominent women, according to Acts 17. After just a few weeks the non-believing Jews stirred up a riot and the authorities against Paul, and the church. He then fled to Berea, then to Athens, and finally to Corinth where he wrote this letter to the Thessalonians.
In this letter Paul praises the believers for their love, and their devotion to sanctification as believers. They are doing what Christians are supposed to do, and Paul encourages them to excel even more. Now he gives them some more information as time didn’t allow when he was in there presence. Concerning those believers who have died and the possibility of Jesus Christ’s return, what happens to the dead? So Paul explained that if that happens the dead in Christ will rise with those who are alive, they will not be left behind, at the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God.
Chapter 5.1 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you know full well that the day of the LORD will come like a thief in the night. While they, (non-believers, enemies of God) are saying, “Peace and safety,” then destruction will come upon them suddenly, like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they won’t escape. vs.4. But you brethren are not of the darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night or darkness, so let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.”
If we now turn to Revelation 16:15, we can get a glimpse of the metaphor that Paul uses here of a thief. Vs. 15: Elohim Mauzi, God, the Almighty says, “Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.” In the Levitical priesthood a priest would be assigned to stay awake all night and tend the fire in the altar, so that it would be stoked and ready for the morning oblations, and first sacrifices of the day. The High Priest, who in this role was known as ‘the thief,’ would then, on occasion, check on this priest who was assigned night duty, to see if he was alert, or sleeping. If he was caught sleeping, the High Priest would then take some coals from the altar and sprinkle them on the sleepers cloak, eventually setting it on fire, awakening the priest, who would then tear his outer garment off and be caught naked and shamed. It certainly doesn’t pay to get caught sleeping. God is not portraying Himself as a robber and a crook, but rather as a High Priest in the role of ‘the thief.’
So, Paul says, we are of the day, and not the night, we also are not sleepers, but alert as to the Second advent, knowing and anticipating Christ’s promised return. Though we don’t know the day of His return, we are aware of the signs and are even more alert and ready for His return. As the prophecies concerning the First Advent were cryptic and hard to read, so are the ones concerning the Second Advent. Yet we stay alert and wait, for our God, Jehovah, El Yashua loves us so very much and is our salvation, and soon we will be with Him for eternity.