Like a Thief
Updated: Jan 26
Behold, I am coming as a thief. ~Revelation 16:15
(I captured this photo on my deck overlooking the trees on 10-19-21. The clouds look like the wings of an angel. Notice the heart shape in the center of the trees....Only God!)
A thief comes in the night when it is dark and when people are asleep. He comes when he is least expected. Revelation 16:15 warns us that He is coming like a thief. This same verse also comforts us with this...
Blessed is he who watches, and keeps (guards, take care of) his garments (cloak, mantle), lest he walk naked and they see his shame. ~Revelation 16:15b
Notice that another word for garment in this verse is mantle.
What is a mantle?
A mantle in the Old Testament was a garment worn by the prophets and it was an indication of their authority as God's chosen. According to gotquestions.org, "The mantle served the practical purpose of keeping people warm and protecting them from elements. It also served a symbolic purpose, in the case of the prophets, showing that they were wrapped in God's authority. Like all imagery in the Old Testament, the mantle presents a visible representation of a New Testament principle. The mantle can be seen as a symbol of the anointing of the Holy Spirit whom God so graciously gives to all Christians."
His return should not be a surprise to those who belong to Him. We should be watching for it and we must keep the mantle securely in place and stay wrapped in God's authority while we watch for His return.
But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 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. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so this Day should not overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore, comfort each other and edify each other, just as you also are doing. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Take comfort to know that the wrath that is coming is not for us! Do you ever read the Book of Revelation and feel a sense of fear come over you about the events it foretells are coming? Take heart and read it with new eyes. His coming wrath is not for the righteous. Wouldn't that contradict His Word if it were so? God cannot contradict Himself. Maybe this was already obvious to many who read this. But maybe, there are some who are like me and you have never been fully taught anything like this from the pulpit in churches that you have attended. Sure, we have been told about the rapture, but it is made to feel so allusive and undefined. And we are certainly told that NO ONE knows the day or the hour, so don't even speculate about it. Why is that anyway? Why aren't we inundated with sermons regarding end times? Why aren't we being led to pay attention to the signs of His coming, especially right now? I don't have a clue. My guess is that the answer to this goes far deeper and reaches farther back into history than any of us can imagine.
Matthew 24 explains what it will be like when He returns.
But as the days of Noah were, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. ~Matthew 24:36-39
To me, this verse shows us that life will be going along quite normally when Christ returns for the righteous. Eating and drinking, not starving in famine. Does He tell us this part to comfort and reassure us? He also adds, "marrying and giving in marriage." If things were at an apocalyptical point at this time, would His people be planning a wedding? Or, would they be merely fighting just to stay alive? Again, it sounds to me like things will be going along as usual when Jesus comes back. This comforts me. I hope it does the same for you, my friend.