Good Morning, Siblings!
Today’s readings are 1 & 2 Thessalonians
Today’s notes are a double header so this one post will cover notes for two days. Don’t worry, they are brief.
I’m covering two very short books in one set of notes. I’m also going to just hit some highlights so feel free to chime in with your thoughts, comments, insights, and observations in the group. Congrats! You get a break from me!
1 Thessalonians 5:1-5 This passage is telling Believers that they need not concern themselves with when the Father will return because those who know the Word know that He has told them He will come like a thief in the night. Anyone who knows the Word will not be surprised or caught unaware. Rather, knowing the Word and living by it will ensure we are always prepared for His return.
For those who want to go deeper, remember that we talked about one of the Biblical Feasts which is often referred to as the one that “no man knows the hour”. The “thief in the night” idiom is another reference to this with the same meaning in this context. As we’ve mentioned, the Spring Feasts have already been fulfilled, meaning the events they predicted have already taken place. We are awaiting the fulfillment of the Fall Feasts so in essence, they are dress rehearsals of what is to come and they teach us about that. One of these feasts foretells the day Messiah returns, one foretells the day of judgement, one foretells us being together with Him in the Millennial Kingdom. Brilliantly, each of the events fulfilling the Spring Feasts were fulfilled either extremely close or on the exact day that feast took place. And so, it is logical to expect this to happen with the Fall Feasts as well, especially when you consider that whenever idioms like this are used to describe the return of Messiah, they reference the specific feast in which we rehearse and prepare for His return. That would be the Feast of Trumpets or Yom Teruah.
Okay so I just went into all of THAT right after I told you we shouldn’t be worried about trying to know when He will come. Well that is still true. But part of knowing His word is that we will naturally know. We aren’t to be kept in the dark, as we are children of the light. Let me elaborate as Paul continues to elaborate…
1 Thess 5:4-5 we read:
But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5 For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.
Let’s break this down a bit. We are not in darkness, this is a play on words. We are not in the dark about this (in ignorance) because we are children of light. One commentary I have says that the brightness of day does not surprise children of light or people who belong to the light. (Eph 5:8).
A little tangent that circles back to this: One of the benefits of living according to YHWH’s wisdom is that we don’t rely on getting groceries every couple of days or even every week or even every month. Sure, we get fresh produce and such but if we are unable to do that we are still able to sustain ourselves just fine on our pantry because we have spent years planning ahead, bit by bit.
I’ve done several posts on food storage and prepping before but you haven’t heard much (or anything) from me on this topic during 2020. Why is that? When the semi panic and full on panic hit back in March and April and as the prices continued to rise and different scarcity issues popped up with various products, I spent that time pulling from and organizing my long term storage, doing inventory and integrating our deep prep food stores into our regular food plan. I had no need to panic, although I did replenish our stocks as we used them if it was possible to easily do so. Further, I was able to fill in the gaps that people close to us found they had in terms of preparedness.
The time to prepare had passed and this was a time to rest in the fact that we were prepared. Similar to how Egypt, under the wisdom of Joseph, found themselves easily able to survive the famine while the surrounding towns struggled.
Of course, I read countless posts from people who taken no steps to prepare, blaming their inability to find items on “the preppers”, but this frustration was misplaced. Preppers were prepared years ago. We weren’t the ones out in the stores buying last minute toilet paper, rice and canned goods. If anything, we were sharing those items with loved ones because our stocks had long been set aside. And so, there was a great peace in being able to see what was unfolding and knowing we didn’t have to head to the store or get in a rush or panic buy anything.
This model should work the same for us when the end times come. There should not be a panic on our part now or then. We read His word daily and we trust and have faith that living in accordance to it prepares us for whatever may come. The Father has richly provided this assurance to us through His Word. Our job, then, is to remain a light for Him so that others will see that light in the darkness and we can then point them in His direction so that they, too, can know this peace.
1 Thess 5:16-21
Here, we read about the mystery of lawlessness already being at work. And 2 Thess 2:9 tells us that the lawless one will bring false signs and wonders.
Firstly, I think we need to ponder what lawless means in this context. The Greek word here is “anomos” and as we discussed in my Matthew 7-8 notes, that is one who knows full well the law but chooses not to live by it.
What law are we referring to? In the spiritual sense it is always YHWH’s law. His is the only valid law in the spiritual world.
However, as we’ve discussed, in our time there are many who have an anomian mindset towards YHWH. Let’s recap that:
- The greek term for lawless here is “anomos”.
- Whereas nomos means law, so a nomian would be a law abiding citizen.
- Therefore, anomos means lawless and an anomian is a citizen who knows full well what the law is but refuses to obey it. They choose to live outside of the law.
This is how Messiah describes a person with an anomian mindset:
“And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Messiah also references anomians in Matthew 7:22-23 and to me it is one of the most gut wrenching verses in the Bible:
22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:22-23
There has been a lot of speculation about who the anti-christ is, is he here now, has he already come, etc just in my lifetime alone. I’ve seen Godly and unGodly men called the anti-Christ on more than one occasion. In my personal opinion, we haven’t seen the anti-Christ in our time but we have clearly seen his advance team. Rather than focusing all of our time on preparing for the anti-Christ, we need to be focusing our energy on preparations for the arrival of our King.
This also a reminder that while books, movies, and television programs are regularly devoted to speculation about what the mark of the beast is and how to avoid it, precious little is said about the mark of the Father and how to make sure we have it.
Don’t know what that is? You’re not alone. The adversary has us so focused on him and his mark that Believers don’t even know the Father has one. Hang in there because we talked about it a few times in this reading and we will discuss it again on the next trip through the Word.
Each time I read the Word, I read it with new questions and always find more answers. In the meantime, know that each and every day you choose to read His Word and work to order your life with Him as the authority, you’re working on having His mark on your life. Feel free to talk about the Mark of the Father in the comments if you like. I may write an article on it soon. There are key verses that tell us exactly what it is but as we’ve covered that already as each passage came up, I’m going to keep marching forward.
In the middle of 2 Thess 3 we see Paul instructing people to work to earn their way and his famous line that states if anyone is not willing to work they shouldn’t eat. I want to point out that this is not referring to people who are unable to work and I want to further add to this that there are battles and struggles people face which are not always apparent on the outside. Therefore, if we must judge someone let us judge them with the compassion and grace that the Father has on us and let our ending judgement be that they need to be loved and shown some light in whatever interaction we have with them, be it brief or drawn out.
As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.
2 Thess 3:13
Keep reading. Be encouraged. Be strengthened.
And with that, we have completed two books. Rak Chazak!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!