Christ’s Coming as a Thief—This Spring?
Summary: “If you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief.” The thief’s coming is invisible and with destruction, but watching is protective. God came invisibly to Egypt with destruction at Passover, and that was the only time Israel was commanded to watch, and He took them to a covenant (marriage). Passover is a wedding rehearsal (mikvah), replaced by communion (co-union) for a New Covenant. The prophet Joel supports the solar and lunar eclipses as coming “before the…day of the Lord.” They point to Passover, 2015.
#1. The wedding parables are not understood. The invitation is ridiculed in Matthew 22 and we are asleep with lights out in Matthew 25. Even Peter did not understand the parable in Luke 12:35-37.
#2. Those parables included a burned city, a cry at midnight and a “knock” that imply calamity. The first midnight cry was when calamity fell on Egypt as “travail on a woman with child.”i Egypt birthed God’s “firstborn.”ii Paul also said, “The day of the Lord so comes as a thief…[with] sudden destruction,” implying that we should know the times perfectly.iii
The “knock” in Luke 12:36 is explained by the only other text where Christ knocks. It was for a lukewarm church focused on possessions that ended in an earthquake circa 63 AD. Could be type and antitype for us?
#3. “The day of the LORD” is initiated by an earthquake. “The earth quakes…the day of the LORD is great.”iv “The day of the LORD is at hand…a loud crashing from the hills.”v It’s the sudden destruction” that comes as a thief in the night.vi God said that He won’t do anything without revealing His secret to His servants, the prophets. This means it’s revealed, and the next verse is about a lion’s roar. “Before the earthquake, he said, the LORD will roar.”vii This is about the Lion of Judah who “roars.”viii
#4. Christ offers protection if we watch. “If you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief.”ix
“If the goodman had…watched, he would not have suffered his house to be broken up.”x
#5. Watching means to be awake and Passover was the only time watching was commanded.xi
We misunderstand “watch” as being aware, and everyone thinks they are aware. The Greek word, gregoreo, means to be awake. That’s how Christ used it: “Watch with Me…watch and pray…” In that context, if we pray that God will pass over us in judgment, He can do it for Christ’s sake because He took the punishment for us.
#6. Instead of Passover, Christ instituted the New Covenant of communion in its place.
We don’t need to eat lamb with bitter herbs at Passover. Christ who fulfilled those sacrificial laws.xii But Passover was a mo’ed, an appointed time for other imagery like the judgment that fell on Egypt.xiii Mo’ed is first used in Genesis 1:14 where God appointed the sun and moon for signs and appointed days.
#7. The sun and moon point to Passover this spring for judgment. God indicated the new moon in spring as the beginning of the month and their year in Exodus 12:2. Two weeks later Israel put blood on their doorposts before judgment fell. This spring, God is marking those same times with a solar eclipse on the new moon and a blood moon (instead of blood on the doorposts) two weeks later on Passover. Will judgment fall? Not on us if we watch, but maybe if we don’t watch. Even Moses faced death for non-compliance.xiv
“The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the…day of the LORD.”xv
#8. We need spiritual motivation by seeing how Christ took our place: Blood oozed from His pores in extreme stress.xvi He took a whipping that we might not survive. He said through Isaiah, “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair:xvii We can’t imagine how painful that was. His visage was marred more than any man.xviii Maybe that’s why Mary Magdalene didn’t recognize Him at the tomb until He spoke, and why the disciples on the road to Emmaus did not recognize Him. He was spiked naked for an agonizing death. The closest that we might understand it is when we hit our elbow and fiery pain shoots into our hand, but that’s what He had continually with nails in His hands and feet…for us.
Let us watch and pray on the eve of Passover, appointed to memorialize His great sacrifice.
#9. “You don’t know the day or hour.” This cliché turns our brains off. “Know” comes from the Greek word, oida, and it means to be aware, consider, understand. Christ was talking to disciples who may have been thinking of Passover for the events in the last half of Matthew 24 that all happen suddenly. Some of them are clues* for Passover a month later “as the days of Noah” when the Flood came with Passover timing, but in the 2nd spring month. Noah entered the ark on the 10th day,xix the same day the lamb was selected in Exodus 12:3. When people refused Noah, they selected themselves for sacrifice. God leaves the choice to us.
*“If the goodman had known…he would have watched and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.”xx There is only one reference to goodman in the Old Testment (KJV). “The goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey…and will come home at the day appointed.” Some translations translate yom kece as “full moon.” Passover comes on a full moon, but “long journey” points to 2nd Passover. “If any man…be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto the LORD the 14th day of the second month at even.”xxi To remove all doubt, Christ also linked His last two parables with this same clue…
When five virgins missed the wedding, He said “You don’t [understand]…for the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country.”xxii Christ is the Master who took the far journey and His return for the marriagexxiii and a time of accountingxxiv must conform to this law that is in effect “till heaven and earth pass.”xxv
The “far journey” is also about the church’s pursuit of truth. Christ wouldn’t ask us to “watch” (be awake) every night, but we thought we can’t know timing, in spite God’s promise to reveal all that He does.xxvi
Everything we’ve considered is reasonable. It’s about communion on the eve of 2nd Passover with a focus on Christ. As Israel ate the lamb and left nothing till morning,xxvii we should review the closing scenes of Christ’s life. The Desire of Ages online could be a helpful resource for reading, interspersed with prayer.
The woman clothed with the sun in Revelation 12:1 has the moon under her feet–a lunar understanding? We should see a new moon crescent April 19 after sunset; 2nd Passover begins two weeks later, Sunday night.
Note: If judgment begins at 1st Passover for Jerusalem as per Zechariah 14:1,2, we will want to watch and pray for 2nd Passover. As a Messianic rabbi said, “God is going to clean both houses before He puts them together.” He was referring to the two sticks in Ezekiel 37:16,22, one for Israel and one for Judah that become one kingdom where the context is the New Covenant Promise.xxviii
#10. “He will make [us] ruler over all that He has.” If we are awake, watching “that when He comes and knocks [earthquake, #2-4 above; we] may open to Him immediately.”xxix If He knocks, we open to Him with a Feast of Unleavened Bread that begins at Passover, as the passage says: “Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them.”xxx (Last Supper/communion imagery) “Ruler over all that He has” versus “beaten with stripes”xxxi is the highest incentive that Christ might offer. How do we “open to Him immediately”? We do so with a Feast of Unleavened Bread!
#11. Christ did not fulfill the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It calls for a “holy convocation” on the first day when He was dead and couldn’t convocate!xxxii If these were all fulfilled or nailed to the cross, why would Paul keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread with Gentile believers at Philippixxxiii and again at Corinth where he said, “Let us keep the feast.”xxxiv and “Imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.”xxxv
Weren’t those times “nailed to the cross”? The sacrifices and ceremonies were nailed to the cross, but the “appointed times” [mo’ed is the word in Genesis 1:14], weren’t nailed. The annual sabbaths were designed to teach the people that at the time appointed One would come to whom those ceremonies pointed.
This is supported by Paul who told the Colossians not to let anyone judge them for keeping the holy days—they “are a shadow of things to come,”xxxvi Translators added an italicized “is” to the text. Without it, the text might read, Don’t let anyone judge your keeping them, but the body of Christ (the local church can decide how to keep those holy days).
Since “they are a shadow of things to come,” we can expect the types that relate to the second advent to be fulfilled at those times. For example: God said, “I will execute judgment” in the context of Passover.xxxvii Also, “In the day of the Lord’s sacrifice, I will punish…the king’s children clothed in strange apparel”xxxviii No wedding garment?
The wedding parables each have Passover imagery. That’s when God took Israel to a covenant and later said, “I am married to you.”xxxix But God got an ignorant bride–they worshiped a calf 40 days later. This must not happen to Christ. This is why we need a Feast of Unleavened Bread as a wedding supper of betrothal. Leaven makes bread light and easy to chew, but Christ warned of doctrines made light in Matthew 16:12.
#12. If Christ knocks [earthquake], we must open to Him with a Feast of Unleavened Bread that becomes 7 days of betrothal for us to consider 7 topics that the Bible emphasizes 7 times as related to the covenant, like Abraham gave 7 ewe lambs in a covenant and God gave 7 holy convocations.xl
God’s name is an example of these topics. Seven times in the Ten Commandments we find “LORD” in all capital letters where translators removed God’s name (four letters called the tetragrammaton) and replaced it with a generic title, Lord. God says, “Call Me Ishi [Husband]…call Me no more Baali”xli The translation of “Baal” is lord; In the time of the end, He wants to be known by His name. If we change it to “Lord,” we may not know who He is and changing His name to Lord makes it empty, like taking His name in vain?
Laodicea is told to get eye salve in Revelation 3:18. “Your name is ointment poured forth; therefore the virgins love you.”xlii The Bride must take her Husband’s name; it’s time to think about some of these things…
Before Christ comes again, “Elijah is coming first and will restore all things.xliii We can all have a part in that work. We overlook the context of Elijah’s coming. It’s in Malachi 4: “Remember the law of Moses… with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah…”xliv
The statutes and judgments are another example of a truth with a 7-fold emphasis in Ezekiel 20:11-24. If Christ knocks (earthquake), such topics should be considered for the 7 days of Unleavened Bread along with Deuteronomy which Israel read in renewing their covenant.xlv “Beware of the leaven…the doctrine of the Pharisees.”xlvi They may say, We don’t need the law, but it’s the basis of kingdom—dominion of a King.
The feast means union with Christ by communion; it’s a 7-day feast.xlvii Bible weddings are also a week,xlviii The betrothal is also union with Christ by covenant. With similar meaing, they coincide purposefully.
If Christ came today or tomorrow, we wouldn’t be ready. We all can say with Paul, “the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.”xlix The great news is that the New Covenant Promise has a “latter days” context reserved for the final generation!l “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it…”li He will write His laws on our hearts.lii
The Bible suggests that what God purposed to do for the world through Israel, He will in end-times do through a covenant-keeping people. This may include Jews who accept their Messiah as they consider Him “whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son.”liii
Everybody should have an opportunity to be part of this. As the King’s servants in Matthew 22, we must share the wedding invitation in spite of scorn or ridicule. “As in the days of Noah,” everyone can make up their own mind if they want to watch and pray or sleep on the night of the wedding rehearsal.
If we open the doors of our churches at His appointed time, and the timing is right for His knock, we may sit with Him on His throne.liv There’s so much to gain and only a few hours of sleep to lose! How can we be sure it won’t happen? Based on His appointed signs,lv we could be blessed by His showing up at the rehearsal (invisibly as God came to Egypt). If we are “so doing when He comes, “He will make [us] ruler over all that He has.”lvi –see you at the wedding!