by John Greene
Apparently, some in the Thessalonian assembly were still grieving the loss of many that had succumbed to persecution. Both letters detail Paul’s compassion for the afflictions and hardships of the Thessalonians – just as he was personally experiencing. As part of His encouraging love to his brothers and friends, he took the time to elaborate on what they could expect – what they had to look forward to. (“Disciples in the Face of Persecution“; “The Secret Weapons of Disciples“)
“…I do not have in mind for you to be in error brothers, about those asleep in death, so that you do not grieve, and even as the rest that possess no expectation of salvation. Because when you believe that Yahshua was slain and rose again, in this way those that sleep through Yahshua, Elohim carries in union with Him. And the same we say to you in the Word of the Master, that those of us now living find the Way around to the presence of the Master, anticipating no sleep because the Master Himself will descend from heaven in a shout, in the voice of the chief messenger, and in the trumpet of Elohim. But the dead in Messiah leave first. Afterward, those of us that live will leave, seized together with those in a cloud to meet the Master in the air. And in this way we will always be embraced by the Master. So then, encourage one another in these words.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, Project for Truth
Brothers and sisters in Messiah do not have reason to grieve always, because of the sacrifice of Yahshua [Jesus]. Messiah made the Way around, literally the Way into His Presence! Those dead are already resting safely with Him. Those that live at the end of the age will be seized together in a cloud to meet their Master and to enjoy His embrace forever. The dead will have already been restored to life. While most Christians think of white fluffy clouds, at closer examination, this is not what Paul or the assembly had in mind. They would be brought together, as if a massive single cloud, as a cloud of witnesses. (Hebrews 12:1) The indication of scriptural text refers also to the darkened cloud above the ‘pillar of cloud’ that led Israel out of Egypt. They would be embraced, welcomed by their Messiah, perhaps entering the cloud of His Presence in preparation for making the earth new in Messiah’s New Age. The whole point is that His disciples have no reason to fear, for they will be with Him, in His Presence always! (“Supporting the Way or the World“; “The Way: Getting Stuck in a Rut – And Out Again“; “Bible Truth About Death“)
Meanwhile, those living needed to continue. The brothers and their families needed to continue on be on guard, fully awake as sons of light.
”But brothers, about the time and the opportune time, you possess no need for me to write to you as you well know in what way the Master’s day comes, as a thief in the night. Because while they say ‘peace and security,’ at that time unexpected destruction is at hand, just as the pain possessed in childbirth, so there is no escape. Now you brothers are not in darkness in order that this day seizes you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of day. You are not of night, nor darkness. So then, these things being so, do not fall asleep as even the rest, but watch and be sober. Then those that fall asleep, fall asleep at night. Also, those that get drunk, get drunk at night. But we are of the day. Be sober, putting on the breastplate of belief and love, and the helmet of the expectation of salvation.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:1-8, Project for Truth
Once again, Paul continues with a reminder followed by further instruction. He warned them, just as disciples today should consider themselves warned about the world’s myth of ‘peace and security.’ The proof is plain. Whenever world leaders say ‘peace and security’, destruction of their promises is soon to follow. So it will be as the last hours of this age approach. As long as all disciples are on guard and awake, the Master’s day cannot come as a thief. He also begged them to listen to the elders of the assembly as they lived together in peace, in agreement with the Way of Elohim through Messiah. Disciples that meet together, whether in person or through technology are to do no less today (where this applies). (“Fighting a World of Fear & Delusion“; “The Antichrist & the War on Reality“; “The God of General Goodness“)
“Since Elohim has not set us to punishment, but into preserving salvation through our Master Yahshua Messiah, Who suffered violent death in our behalf, in order that whether watching or whether sleeping, we live together, completed in Him. Consequently, encourage one another and strengthen one to one, just as you indeed purpose. Now we beg you brothers, know those that toil in your midst, and preside over you in the Master, even exhorting you, and consider them more excellent in love through their work. Live in peace with yourselves.
Now we instruct you brothers: warn the disorderly, encourage the stressed, care for those without strength, be patient with everyone. Discern that not one gives evil because of evil to anyone, but at all times pursue what is commendable, both to one another and to everyone. Rejoice at all times. Pray continually. In all things give thanks because this is the purpose of Elohim in Messiah Yahshua for you. Do not quench the fire of the Ruach. Do not reject prophecy. Examine all things, hold fast to what is commendable. Abstain, be separate from fellowship with all forms of evil, and the Elohim of peace will set you apart completely to Himself. And you will be completed in ruach, and being, and body, reserved blameless in the presence of our Master Yahshua Messiah, Who is trustworthy to call you and fulfill it.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:9-24, Project for Truth
I trust you took the time to carefully consider what Paul wrote. What a statement for all disciples today! We are to encourage one another and be thankful in the Spirit. We are not to be in fellowship with any wickedness. To look at wickedness the Way that Elohim views it, the Old Covenant [Testament] tells us as disciples exactly what we need to know. (Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1; Matthew 3:3) One of the words for righteous is tsadaq [H6663], which means to walk the straight Way or a straight course. (“Understanding Sin“; “YHWH’s Track of Righteousness“; “YHWH: The Choice to Stay Loyal“; “What is Evil? The Jealousy of Nations & Skeptics“)
To a disciple of Yahshua [Jesus] the Messiah, righteousness is all about learning to walk righteously on that track, which is the Way of Yahshua [Jesus]. But this isn’t all about judgment, but protective love. Messiah completes us, setting us right when we make errors in judgment and the like, allowing for forgiveness when repentance is shown. By observing or practicing His Word, including the Torah as set out by YHWH, and listening to His Spirit, we learn to walk the straight and established track of righteousness. The wicked are just that. They do not walk his established track of righteousness. Mankind has many paths or courses of life [nathiyb, H5410]. They walk a crooked [aqob, H6121; haphakpak, H2019; iqqeshuth, H6143; iqqesh, H6141] path, hence the word wicked, which essentially means crooked. (Proverbs 1:15, 12:28; Isaiah 42:16, 59:8) Directly said, there is only one Way that is wisdom. That is the Way, the track of His righteousness. (“Discernment 101: Learning to be Discerning“; “Discernment: Having an Ear to Deeper Understanding“; “Pursue Righteousness“; “Justice & Righteousness“)