We have always been told in evangelical churches to be ready because Jesus will come like a thief in the night, and no one knows the day or hour. So how does one stay ready? If a person is ready then does the thief in the night analogy even apply? Are we talking about a dispensational pre-tribulation rapture here, the second coming, or the day of the Lord? The more time spent reading what the scriptures actually say, reveals things that are hard to reconcile with twentieth century eschatology. I wonder how much money was spent on books that were completely irrelevant ten years after they were written in the last half of the twentieth century? Arguments over pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, and post tribulation rapture theories could cause bloodshed if someone didn’t end the argument with “remember, no one knows the day or the hour”. That is more of an American thing though, in Canada it seems we just accept the dispensational theological narrative and keep quiet about it, or we don’t think about it at all. If you read my blog Immortal Soul or Resurrected Body, I show that the resurrection should be our focus and our hope, not a secret rapture. I would like to deal with some of this here. First, below is one of a few places where Jesus uses the thief analogy.
Mat 24:42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.
Mat 24:43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.
Mat 24:44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Mat 24:45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time?
Mat 24:46 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.
Mat 24:47 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.
Mat 24:48 But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’
Mat 24:49 and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards,
Mat 24:50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know
Mat 24:51 and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Now let’s look at how Jesus describes the way he will come back in Matthew 24:
Mat 24:21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.
Mat 24:22 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
Mat 24:23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.
Mat 24:24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
Mat 24:25 See, I have told you beforehand.
Mat 24:26 So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.
Mat 24:27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Mat 24:28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
Mat 24:29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
Mat 24:30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Mat 24:31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Jesus appears as lightning across the sky. In Revelation 1:7, “Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.” With these two passages there does not appear to be the sense of a thief in the night. So what is meant by this idea of a thief in the night? I know what you are thinking, in dispensational theology these verses are not referring to the “secret rapture”, thief in the night scenario, but a time later. The “church” has already been removed. I agree that believers will not experience the wrath of God, however, we can not make things appear in scripture that are not there. Please read my blog, The church and Israel, the church or Israel, or both? Faith works. Let’s look at who the coming of Christ will appear as a thief in the night to according to Paul.
1Th 5:1 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you.
1Th 5:2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
1Th 5:3 While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
1Th 5:4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.
1Th 5:5 For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.
1Th 5:6 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.
1Th 5:7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night.
1Th 5:8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
1Th 5:9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Th 5:10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.
1Th 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
In these verses we have an important distinction. People will be in a false sense of security, but those who are not in darkness will not be surprised by the day. The thief in the night comparison is being used to describe what the day of the Lord will be like for those in a false sense of security and darkness. The day of the Lord requires its own blog, but let’s look at a verse describing it out of the book of Zechariah.
Zec 14:1 Behold, a day is coming for the LORD, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst.
Zec 14:2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
Zec 14:3 Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle.
Zec 14:4 On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.
Zec 14:5 And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.
Zec 14:6 On that day there shall be no light, cold, or frost.
Zec 14:7 And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the LORD, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light.
Zec 14:8 On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea. It shall continue in summer as in winter.
Zec 14:9 And the LORD will be king over all the earth. On that day the LORD will be one and his name one.
Zec 14:10 The whole land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. But Jerusalem shall remain aloft on its site from the Gate of Benjamin to the place of the former gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses.
Zec 14:11 And it shall be inhabited, for there shall never again be a decree of utter destruction. Jerusalem shall dwell in security.
Zec 14:12 And this shall be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the peoples that wage war against Jerusalem: their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.
Zec 14:13 And on that day a great panic from the LORD shall fall on them, so that each will seize the hand of another, and the hand of the one will be raised against the hand of the other.
Zec 14:14 Even Judah will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be collected, gold, silver, and garments in great abundance.
Zec 14:15 And a plague like this plague shall fall on the horses, the mules, the camels, the donkeys, and whatever beasts may be in those camps.
Zec 14:16 Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths.
A couple points here show that it’s a unique day known to the Lord, “Mat 24:36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”, and there will be those of the nations that survive and will be required to keep the fall feast of Booths. As believers we will not be taken by surprise because we have been told what to look for.
Mat 24:6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.
Mat 24:7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
Mat 24:8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
Mat 24:9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.
Mat 24:10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.
Mat 24:11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.
Mat 24:12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.
Mat 24:13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Mat 24:21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.Mat 24:22 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
Some of the signs for us to look for, not to have the day come on us like a thief, are the following: false teachers leading people astray, lawlessness, (anomia, abandonment of the commandments and statutes of יהוה), people being hated for their faith, leaving the faith and great tribulation. Paul gives us some more signs.
2Th 2:1 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,
2Th 2:2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
2Th 2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
2Th 2:4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.
2Th 2:5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?
2Th 2:6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.
2Th 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.
2Th 2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.
2Th 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,
2Th 2:10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
2Th 2:11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,
2Th 2:12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
This opening statement tells us about the subject that follows, “Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him”. This gathering is spoken about from the beginning to the end of scripture. Notice the similarities between verse eight and what John speaks of in Revelation.
Rev 19:11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.
Rev 19:12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.
Rev 19:13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.
Rev 19:14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.
Rev 19:15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.
Rev 19:16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
Rev 19:17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God,
Rev 19:18 to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.”
Rev 19:19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army.
Rev 19:20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.
Rev 19:21 And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.
A similar prophecy in Ezekiel also has the birds cleaning up the mess.
Eze 39:17 “As for you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD: Speak to the birds of every sort and to all beasts of the field: ‘Assemble and come, gather from all around to the sacrificial feast that I am preparing for you, a great sacrificial feast on the mountains of Israel, and you shall eat flesh and drink blood.
Eze 39:18 You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth—of rams, of lambs, and of he-goats, of bulls, all of them fat beasts of Bashan.
Eze 39:19 And you shall eat fat till you are filled, and drink blood till you are drunk, at the sacrificial feast that I am preparing for you.
Eze 39:20 And you shall be filled at my table with horses and charioteers, with mighty men and all kinds of warriors,’ declares the Lord GOD.
Eze 39:21 “And I will set my glory among the nations, and all the nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid on them.
Jesus even makes reference to the birds. “Mat 24:27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Mat 24:28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.” These all appear to be speaking of the same event.
In the second letter to the Thessalonians, quoted earlier, Paul was clarifying what he wrote in his first letter to the Thessalonians. There is one coming of the Lord, and one gathering of the saints to him.
1Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Daniel speaks of the same event many years before Paul’s letters.
Dan 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
Dan 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Dan 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
Dan 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
Where Paul speaks of one restraining, “2Th 2:6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.”, it could be Michael in Daniel 12:1 who stands up and allows the time of trouble. Some would say that it is the church remaining on Earth that restrains, but there is no scripture to support that. The word for “stand up” H5975, can also mean cease or stop moving. Compare this to the Greek word for restraining. It makes sense that Michael standing up implies he is is stopping whatever it is he is doing that prevents the great time of trouble.
1) to stand, remain, endure, take one’s stand
1a1) to stand, take one’s stand, be in a standing attitude, stand forth, take a stand, present oneself, attend upon, be or become servant of
1a2) to stand still, stop (moving or doing), cease
1a3) to tarry, delay, remain, continue, abide, endure, persist, be steadfast
1a4) to make a stand, hold one’s ground
1a5) to stand upright, remain standing, stand up, rise, be erect, be upright
1a6) to arise, appear, come on the scene, stand forth, appear, rise up or against
1a7) to stand with, take one’s stand, be appointed, grow flat, grow insipid
1) to hold back, detain, retain
1a) from going away
1b) to restrain, hinder (the course or progress of)
1b1) that which hinders, Antichrist from making his appearance
1b2) to check a ship’s headway, i.e. to hold or head the ship
1c) to hold fast, keep secure, keep firm possession of
2) to get possession of, take
2b) to possess
Peter also warns us not to be impatient, and the the day will come as a thief, but he is not referring to a dispensational type rapture here. Verse four, in my opinion, is speaking of a time in the future when Christians who have been deceived will loose faith in his coming because it didn’t follow the pattern of the common dispensational view.
2Pe 3:1 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder,
2Pe 3:2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles,
2Pe 3:3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.
2Pe 3:4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”
2Pe 3:5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God,
2Pe 3:6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.
2Pe 3:7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
2Pe 3:8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
2Pe 3:11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,
2Pe 3:12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!
2Pe 3:13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
How do we stay awake? Depart from wickedness, iniquity, and lawlessness, which is anomia in the Greek, and pursue righteousness. Both lawlessness and righteousness are defined throughout scripture, and it would be my guess that is the way יהוה God still defines them. The definition of anomia again is the following:
1) the condition of without law
1a) because ignorant of it
1b) because of violating it
2) contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness
2Ti 2:14 Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.
2Ti 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
2Ti 2:16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness,
2Ti 2:17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,
2Ti 2:18 who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some.
2Ti 2:19 But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”
2Ti 2:20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable.
2Ti 2:21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.
2Ti 2:22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
2Ti 2:23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.
2Ti 2:24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,
2Ti 2:25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,
2Ti 2:26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
Psa 37:27 Turn away from evil and do good; so shall you dwell forever.
Psa 37:28 For the LORD loves justice; he will not forsake his saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
Psa 37:29 The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell upon it forever.
Psa 37:30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.
Psa 37:31 The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip.
Psa 37:32 The wicked watches for the righteous and seeks to put him to death.
Psa 37:33 The LORD will not abandon him to his power or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.
Psa 37:34 Wait for the LORD and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off.
Psa 37:35 I have seen a wicked, ruthless man, spreading himself like a green laurel tree.
Psa 37:36 But he passed away, and behold, he was no more; though I sought him, he could not be found.
Psa 37:37 Mark the blameless and behold the upright, for there is a future for the man of peace.
Psa 37:38 But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed; the future of the wicked shall be cut off.
Psa 37:39 The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
Psa 37:40 The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.
What is יהוה God looking for us to do? Here are some examples:
Gen 26:4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
Gen 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
Luk 1:5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
Luk 1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
Jas 1:21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
Jas 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
Jas 1:23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.
Jas 1:24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
Jas 1:25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
Jer 7:20 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.
Jer 7:21 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh.
Jer 7:22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:
Jer 7:23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.
Speaking of sacrifice, here is an interesting situation in Leviticus 17:11 that was pointed out to me. If we look at Leviticus 17:11, with the Strong’s numbers, both in the Hebrew text and English text we will see something that is curious. Here is the verse, “Lev 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” Nearly all English translations translate it this way. Let’s look at it with the Strong’s numbers.
Lev 17:11 ForH3588the lifeH5315of the fleshH1320is in the blood:H1818and IH589have givenH5414it to you uponH5921the altarH4196to make an atonementH3722forH5921your souls:H5315forH3588itH1931is the bloodH1818that maketh an atonementH3722for the soul.H5315
Remember, Hebrew reads right to left and English left to right. It reads in English, “ and I” , but in Hebrew, “הוא ואני”, which clearly says he and I, even in the first two Duo Lingo lessons of Hebrew! H1931 is missing in the King James with Strong’s numbers, but it is there in the Hebrew text complete with the Strong’s number for He.
The Eth CEPHER version translates this verse as follows: “For the soul of the flesh is in the blood: he and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood of him that makes an atonement in the soul. VAYIQRA (LEVITICUS) 17:11 את CEPHER”
God Yahweh has always wanted his set apart people to follow his commandments, and he always intended for Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sins. That is why the priestly sacrificial system is no longer in play. The temple was destroyed in 70 AD and his people are scattered throughout the nations waiting to be regathered at the last day.
Heb 5:5 So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”;
Heb 5:6 as he says also in another place, “You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.”
Heb 5:7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.
Heb 5:8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.
Heb 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,
Heb 5:10 being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.
Heb 5:11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
Heb 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food,
Heb 5:13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.
Heb 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
So, we must discern good from evil by constant practice. What happens when we stop practicing good, and can no longer discern good from evil? A warning from the writer of Hebrews:
Heb 6:4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit,
Heb 6:5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,
Heb 6:6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.
Rev 21:6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.
Rev 21:7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
Rev 21:8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”