Many times I have heard people say that we cannot know exactly when He shall come as the scripture says He shall come “Like a thief in the night”. The scripture they are referring to is this one.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-5
1 But concerning the times and the appointed times (seasons), brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.
2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of Yahuwah will come as a thief in the night.
3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.
4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.
5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.
Many quote verse 2 alone, which by itself would seem to say that no one will know the time he appears, but ignore what is said in verse 4. Verse 4 tells us that the people of Yahuwah shall be ready and not be surprised the same way one would be when a thief comes to a house in the night. These people are not living in the darkness which is when the thief comes. They are living in the Light. (A good article to cover which speaks about the Light and the darkness in His calendar can be found here).
So who are these people that live in darkness that shall be taken by surprise like a thief in the night and who is the thief that we should be fearful?
2 Peter 3:10
10 But the day of Yahuwah will come like a thief, and then the heavens will vanish with a roar, and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and the works that are on it will be burned up.
So what is this day of Yahuwah? It is when the judgment is handed down. Atonement is made and then judgment comes.
14 The great day of Yahuwah is near,
Near and coming very quickly.
Listen! The day of Yahuwah!
The warrior cries out bitterly [unable to fight or to flee].
15 That day is a day of wrath,
A day of trouble and distress,
A day of destruction and devastation,
A day of darkness and gloom,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,
16 A day of trumpet and the battle cry
Against the fortified cities
And against the high corner towers (battlements).
17 I will bring distress on men
So that they will walk like the blind,
Because they have sinned against Yahuwah;
Their blood will be poured out like dust,
And their flesh like dung.
18 Neither their silver nor their gold
Will be able to rescue them
On the day of Yahuwah’s indignation and wrath.
And the whole earth will be consumed
In the fire of His jealous wrath,
For He shall make a full and complete end,
Indeed a terrifying one,
Of all the inhabitants of the earth.
The destruction of the people here is based upon the judgment of Yahuwah. There will be those who follow man and the traditions thereof and those who instead follow Yahuwah and the commandments He wants us to walk in. The judgment here is for those who do not follow Yahuwah.
Let’s continue looking at 2 Peter 3 now we know who the judgment is for:
2 Peter 3:11-15
11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be in holy behavior and in godliness.
12 Look for and await the coming of the day of Elohim. For on this day the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the [material] elements will melt with intense heat!
13 But in accordance with His promise we expectantly await new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
14 So, beloved, since you are looking forward to these things, be diligent and make every effort to be found by Him [at His return] spotless and blameless, in peace.
15 And consider the patience of Yahuwah [His delay in judging and avenging wrongs] as salvation [that is, allowing time for more to be saved]; just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given to him.
Verse 14 tells us that we are to be found spotless and blameless. The question arises, therefore, can anyone else walk this way but the Messiah alone?
1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, Yahuwah appeared to him and said,
“I AM Yahuwah Almighty;
Walk before Me, and be blameless and complete.
Here we see that Yahuwah thought that Abram could be blameless. Did anyone else walk this way?
5 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a certain priest whose name was Zacharias (remebered by Yahuwah) , of the division of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron [the first high priest of Israel], and her name was Elizabeth (oath of Elohim).
6 They both were righteous (approved) in the sight of Elohim, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of Yahuwah.
Here we see Zacharias and Elizabeth walking blamelessly in the way of Elohim. Zacharias (Remembered by Yahuwah) and Elizabeth (oath of Yahuwah) could be written together as “Yahuwah remembers His Oath”.
The son of Zacharias and Elizabeth was none other than John (Yochanan) the baptist whom Yahuwah promised He would send.
In Genesis we read:
9 These are the records of the generations (family history) of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with Elohim.
In Job we read:
1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared Yahuwah and abstained from and turned away from evil.
In Genesis we read:
27 When the boys grew up, Esau was an able and skilled hunter, a man of the outdoors, but Jacob was a quiet and peaceful man, living in tents.
If we stop and have a look at the word for quiet in the strongs concordance we see the following:
The word used here is perfect, or to be pure. It is the same word we find written above in Job 1:1 as blameless. The tent he was living in was none other than the tabernacle of Yahuwah.
What we can see from these scriptures is that it is possible to walk undefiled, in the ways of Elohim. It may not be easy at times, but it is possible. Think of the trials which Job went through. We are reminded of being perfect and blameless in Matthew:
48 You, therefore, will be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
In the book of Revelation we read again of those who are not watching and how the coming of the son of man shall come as a thief in the night.
3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.
The scripture is saying that those who do not watch shall be the ones who He shall come upon like a thief in the night. Those who are watching, there shall be no surprise.
In Revelation 3:10 we read these people, the faithful ones, who have followed Yahuwah and have not denied His name – Yahuwah. He says:
10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
A trial is just like that which Job went through. A test to see if they would still love Him and not deny His name.
The people of Elohim are keeping His appointed times as His holy convocations (set apart rehearsals) to become the bride. The sudden destruction shall come upon them (those who do not follow the appointed times He gave us).
In Matthew 24 we read the following which is being spoken to the blind:
36 “But of that [exact] day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son [in His humanity], but the Father alone.
37 For the coming of the Son of Man (the Messiah) will be just like the days of Noah. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the [very] day when Noah entered the ark,
39 and they did not know or understand until the flood came and swept them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be [unexpected judgment].
40 At that time two men will be in the field; one will be taken [for judgment] and one will be left.
41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken [for judgment] and one will be left.
42 “So be alert [give strict attention, be cautious and active in faith], for you do not know which day [whether near or far] Yahuwah is coming.
43 But understand this: If the head of the house had known what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.
44 Therefore, you [who follow Me] must also be ready; because the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him.
The word thief used in these verses is Strongs G2182 – kleptas (where we get the word kleptomanic from) which is a thief or a false teacher.
In verse 42 he tells us to remain alert, or to watch so that the hour does not come as a surprise.
In John 10 we read:
8 All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.
9 I am the Door; anyone who enters through Me will be saved, and will go in and out, and find pasture.
10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance.
Those who enter through the door, that is Yahshua (I AM Saves) do not need to worry about the thief. In Matthew 25 we read the following parable:
1 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins, who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.
2 Five of them were foolish [thoughtless, silly, and careless], and five were wise [far-sighted, practical, and sensible].
3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they did not take any [extra] oil with them,
4 but the wise took flasks of oil along with their lamps.
5 Now while the bridegroom was delayed, they all began to nod off, and they fell asleep.
6 But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! The bridegroom [is coming]! Go out to meet him.’
7 Then all those virgins got up and put their own lamps in order [trimmed the wicks and added oil and lit them].
8 But the foolish virgins said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ (Provide us some of your knowledge as we do not have it)
9 But the wise replied, ‘No, otherwise there will not be enough for us and for you, too; go instead to the dealers and buy oil for yourselves.’ (Go the the churches – where the delaers were found in the renewed covenant – and buy the oil from them)
10 But while they were going away to buy oil, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut and locked. 11 Later the others also came, and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open [the door] for us.’
12 But He replied, ‘I assure you and most solemnly say to you, I do not know you.’ (The result of following the doctrines of men)
13 Therefore, be on the alert [be prepared and ready], for you do not know the day nor the hour.
We see the same thing being spoken of in Matthew 7
22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and driven out demons in Your name, and done many miracles in Your name?’
23 And then I will declare to them publicly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who work lawlessly.’
In Deuteronomy 32 we read of those who are are not His children.
4“The Rock! His work is perfect,
For all His ways are just;
Elohim of faithfulness without iniquity (injustice),
Just and upright is He.
5 “They (Israel) have acted corruptly toward Him.
They are not His children, because of their defect;
But are a perverse and crooked generation.
6 “Do you thus repay Yahuwah,
O foolish and unwise people?
Is not He your Father who has acquired you?
He has made you and established you.
And again in Jeremiah:
22 “For My people are foolish,
They have not known Me.
They are silly children,
And they have no understanding.
They are wise to do evil,
But to do good they have no knowledge.”
We read in Hosea 4 again that the people have no knowledge of the Father.
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I will also reject you from being My priest.
Since you have forgotten the law of your Elohim,
I will also forget your children.
The ones who shall be caught off guard are the same ones who He shall come to as a thief in the night. Those people who are watchful and ready and are keeping His appointed times shall know the season of when He shall return.
Those who have been rehearsing to be the bride shall not be as the foolish virgins and will have the oil to burn when there is no oil left. They have studied his word and have the oil with them and the understanding of what shall come.
For the commandment is a lamp, and the teaching [of the commandments] is light,
And reproofs (rebukes) for discipline are the way of life,
Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
20 To the law and to the testimony! If their teachings are not in accord with this word, it is because they have no light.
4 “Listen carefully to Me, O My people,
And hear Me, O My nation;
For a law will go forth from Me,
And I will quickly establish My justice as a light to the peoples.
The Light which many say is done away with, is the same light he wants us to accept. The Light which the people trample over and change. It is His word. It is His appointed times. What happens when we ignore the Light found in His word?
9 Therefore justice is far from us,
And righteousness does not overtake us.
We hope for light, but only see darkness;
We hope for gleam of light, but we walk in darkness and gloom.
10 We grope for a wall like the blind,
We grope like those who have no eyes.
We stumble at midday as in the twilight;
Among those who are healthy we are like dead men.
He calls us out of darkness. into His marvelous light. Not be be like dead men, but to walk in the light of life.
13 For You have rescued my soul from death,
Yes, and my feet from stumbling,
So that I may walk before Elohim
In the light of life.
So we should watch for Him. Observe His appointed times, such that we are not ashamed.
15 “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”