AWAKE, ARMED AND AWARE - 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:24 “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, saying, ‘In the seventh new moon, on the first day of the new moon, you have a rest, a remembrance of Teru‘ah, a set-apart gathering.

Praise יהוה we are a couple of days or so away from Yom Teruah!!! And while not much information has been given in Scripture regarding this day, the one thing we are told to do is to gather and have a remembrance of Teru’ah or the blowing of trumpets! As we enter in to this exciting season of the latter Feasts of יהוה, may we be stirred to be steadfast in our continued joyful commitment in guarding His commands!

Over the past few weeks I have been sharing with you words of encouragement; to hold fast to the truth, stay awake, being strong and zealous for יהוה; and in continuing with the same theme of encouragement as we look forward to the 7th month and its Appointed Times of our Creator, I have a message tonight called, “AWAKE, ARMED AND AWARE”, which is what we are to be as we ‘stay in’ יהושע. Please turn with me to Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (Read)

For many who claim to walk in Messiah, yet do not guard His commands, are oblivious and ignorant to the set times and seasons of our Creator. But thanks be to our Elohim who has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light – He has called us out of ignorance and revealed to us the great truths and knowledge of His Appointed Times, and has woken us up from the hypnotic state of sleep we were under which was caused by the terrible lies and dogmas of man-made traditions. Tonight I simply want to run through a few Scriptures and key words of our Messiah in recognising our need to be awake, armed and aware.

We are children of the day and of the light and therefore we should not sleep as others do, but rather we are to be awake, armed and aware!

Yom Teruah, as I mentioned, is a remembrance of the blowing of trumpets and in Hebrew it is – זִכְרוֹן תְּרוּעָה – ‘zikron teruah’. The word here for remembrance is זִכְרוֹן  - zikron – a form of זִכָּרוֹןzikkaronH2146 meaning ‘memorial, commemoration or remembrance’ and comes from the root word זָכַרzakarH2142 which means ‘to remember, or be mindful, or bring to remembrance’. It is therefore a day for us as a call to remember Teru‘ah. And it is on this day that we certainly raise a shout and blow the shofar/trumpets. תְּרוּעָהTeruahH8643 – means ‘a shout or blast of war, alarm or joy’. It is a day of shouting, as in the raising of a noise as the sound of a shofar, trumpets – hence also known as The Day of Trumpets.

This day is also known as the Day of the Awakening Blast, as it will certainly usher in a clear sound of alarm for many as they will have a very rude awakening, yet for us who are not ignorant of the times we recognise that this signifies a time of being steadfast and armed for war.

Sha’ul tells us that we who are of the day should be sober, and in essence this carries the meaning of being completely unaffected by wine!!!  As obvious as this may sound it certainly carries significant understanding to us in declaring that we are to be completely unaffected by the ‘wine’ of the great whore of Baḇelon, which has made many drunk with the wine of here whoring (Ḥazon/Revelation 17:2).

Being sober and awake, we are to be armed as we are dressed in righteousness – that is armed in the Torah; as we see Sha’ul telling us that we are to be putting on the breastplate of faith and love and the helmet of the hope of our deliverance to come. This is essential as we see here the pieces of armour that are mentioned speak of armour that guards our hearts and minds in Messiah! As we know that it tells us in Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:16 that the renewed covenant ensures that His laws/Torah is written upon our hearts and minds; and in Pilipiyim/Philippians 4 we are told to not worry at all, yet make our requests known with thanksgiving and His shalom shall guard our hearts and minds in Messiah! Two vital pieces of armour that are needed to guard the very place where He has written His Torah; and we guard His commands through meditating daily on them as we are transformed by the renewing of our minds and by ‘doing’ His commands, in expressing our faith with works of righteousness in a true display of our love for Him. Why these pieces of armour are necessary is that it is a war!!!

Being awake is not enough – we need to be awake and armed and that we do as we guard to do all He commands, remaining sober and alert. The doing of His commands will increases our knowledge and understanding which causes us to be fully alert as a faithful watchman who is aware of the times and seasons!

Having said that, we must make sure that we are in fact awake, armed and aware – because a simple neglecting of duty can cause one to fall asleep!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 19:15 “Laziness makes one fall into a deep sleep, and an idle being suffers hunger.

This word for ‘laziness’ expresses the meaning of slowness or sluggishness, or being in a state of extreme inactivity or idleness, showing a lack of discipline and initiative! The word used for deep sleep can carry the meaning of being cast into a deep sleep or trance, and this again is the opposite to being sober and awake.

Being in a trance or hypnotic state under the intoxication of lies is something that we have been woken up from and brought out of and we must stay sober and awake as we guard to do all the commands of Elohim.

Mattithyahu/Matthew 24:42 “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Master is coming.

What Yom Teruah ushers is for us is the time of awakening and sound of the coming of Messiah. As we have clearly understood that it is not on Yom Teruah that He is coming but rather that on this day it is a sober reminder to us that there would be 10 days before He comes out of His Set-Apart Hěḵal and take up His ready Bride and tread the winepress of His enemies in His wrath. This day of remembrance of Teruah is also a call for us to clearly remember the day of the first shofar – when Yisra’ĕl said ‘we shall do’ and accepted the Marriage Covenant with יהוה.

This Day of the blowing of the Trumpet and the sound of shouting is also a time of the coronation of our King.

Tehillim/Psalm 98:6 “With trumpets and the sound of a horn; raise a shout before יהוה, the Sovereign.

Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 1:34 “And there Tsaḏoq the priest and Nathan the prophet shall anoint him sovereign over Yisra’ĕl. And blow the horn, and say, ‘Let Sovereign Shelomoh live!’

In understanding the remembrance of our Marriage to The King, we are called to be awake, armed and aware, standing steadfast until He comes. In the parable of the 10 virgins יהושע tells us in Mattithyahu/Matthew 25:5 that while the Bridegroom took time they all slumbered and slept! When the cry went out that the Bridegroom is coming only the wise were ready – they who had oil in their lamps!!!

And again we see in from the words of Messiah on these days in:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 24:29-31 “And immediately after the distress of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give its light, and the stars shall fall from the heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. 30  “And then the sign of the Son of Aḏam shall appear in the heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth shall mourn, and they shall see the Son of Aḏam coming on the clouds of the heaven with power and much esteem. 31 “And He shall send His messengers with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His chosen ones from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

This is a great passage which once again shows that our Messiah King will come on Yom Kippur – immediately after the distress with a great sound of a trumpet! The word in Greek used here for ‘distress’ is θλῖψις  thlipsis – Strong’s G2347 which means, tribulation, affliction, pressure, distress, persecution, trouble and is from the word θλίβω  thlibō – Strong’s G2346 meaning, to press, afflict, distress, suffer affliction.

Why I say that this refers to Yom Kippur is that we see this encouragement to remain faithful and be steadfast during the 10 days of persecution (from Yom Teruah to Yom Kippur) given to the assembly in Smurna:

Ḥazon/Revelation 2:10 “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. See, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, in order to try you, and you shall have pressure ten days. Be trustworthy until death, and I shall give you the crown of life.

The word used here for ‘pressure’ is the Greek word θλῖψις  thlipsis – Strong’s G2347 and is a clear reference to the 10 days from Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur. From the time of the Awakening blast and coronation of our King to the time of His coming for His faithful and ready Bride!

What is interesting when you look at the words given to Smurna is that we can learn that we are to be steadfastly committed under the most intense persecutions.

Smurna is also translated from Greek as “myrrh”, which is an extremely bitter white gum that comes from the trunk and thick branches of a thorny tree. While it is bitter it was also often used as a costly perfume, as well as an antiseptic medicine for stomach ailments. Myrrh was used in the anointing oil of the Tabernacle, as well as a substance for embalming dead bodies. What we can learn from the message to Smurna is that while the believers in Smurna were facing the bitterness of intense persecution and suffering, their faithful guarding of the commands of Elohim and the testimony of Messiah was like myrrh or sweet perfume to Elohim. We also recognise that we who are awake, armed and aware will be to some the fragrance of life and to others the fragrance of death, yet we need not fear what is to come, for the second death has no power over us – as long as we overcome by remaining awake, armed and aware in Messiah!

In the message given to Sardis we can see the clear wakeup call needed, and with the wakeup call the need to remember – two key elements of the primary elements of Yom Teruah – wake up and remember!!!

Ḥazon/Revelation 3:3 “Remember, then, how you have received, and heard. And watch and repent. If, then, you do not wake up, I shall come upon you as a thief, and you shall not know at all what hour I come upon you.

REMEMBER, WATCH and REPENT! This is a wakeup call and those who do not wake up will be caught unawares; yet we who are awake, armed and aware shall be ready to overcome what is about to take place!

Sardis carries the meaning of ‘red ones’ and what is interesting to note is that this language can speak to those who have been walking according the flesh, as Edom/Ěsaw means ‘red’ or ‘red one’ and speaks of those who run after the flesh. The believers in Sardis had fallen asleep and this was a wakeup call. Sardis was well known for the manufacturing of woollen garments, a fact that had much bearing on Messiah’s message to a people who assumed to be alive yet were dead, or better put – people who thought they were awake yet were asleep!

The manufacturing of woollen garments pictures for us how the church has cleverly manufactured for itself false garments under the assumption of being clothed in righteousness, as Sardis was a well-known centre for pagan worship; and they too, like Ephesos, had built a temple to Artemis which lies in ruins today.

In this once thriving and important city there remains today only a small village called Sart.

Twice in its history, Sardis was captured due to their sentries being asleep, as they failed to stay awake and keep watch. Now what we must take note of is that this once thriving military city, was situated on an inaccessible plateau that was 1500 feet above the main road, yet it was captured twice because the guards fell asleep! This is a clear warning for us not to sleep as others do – and by that I mean that this is a warning against complacency by running after and satisfying the flesh while neglecting to walk according to the spirit! There was only a few in Sardis who had not defiled their garments and this is a warning to us to be caught in the deceptive dressing of man-driven theologies that change the times and laws of our Creator, but rather wake up, remember the Marriage Covenant and guard to do what  faithful Bride must do – get clean and keep clean!

REMEMBER – WATCH – REPENT OR ELSE HE WILL COME UPON YOU AS A THIEF!

As Sha’ul tells us in verse 9 in Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5 that we must be awake, armed and aware because we have not been appointed to wrath, but to obtain deliverance through our coming King – The Master יהושע Messiah!

When we are awake, armed and aware to His Appointed Times and we diligently guard to Keep our Master’s Appointed Times then we are sure of being appointed to obtain deliverance; however those who are asleep and are unaware of the Appointed Times of our Creator, are appointed to wrath. What is clear here is that while Elohim gave us His clear Appointed Times, He did not appoint us to wrath; and so by default those who are asleep and have disregarded His Appointed Times have, by their own choice, appointed themselves to wrath!

As we enter into the 7th month of our Creator’s Calendar and keep His Appointed Times as commanded, may we be greatly encouraged to remain AWAKE, ARMED AND AWARE of the times and seasons that do not need to be written to us about, for it has already been written – therefore we guard to do them as we arm ourselves with His Torah, enabled and equipped to stand and not be afraid of the coming distress, knowing that we have been appointed to obtain deliverance through Messiah.

Perhaps in hearing these words you have recognized that there has been some areas of your life that have ‘fallen asleep’ so to speak due to laziness and complacency – if that be the case then please hear this call to be AWAKE, ARMED AND AWARE and let us continue to encourage one another and build one another up – as indeed we already do!!!

Luqas/Luke 12:37 “Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, shall find watching. Truly, I say to you that he shall gird himself and make them sit down to eat, and shall come and serve them.

Luqas/Luke 21:36 “Watch then at all times, and pray that you be counted worthy to escape all this about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Aḏam.

 

Let us be - AWAKE – ARMED AND AWARE – and let us rejoice and raise a shout of praise to our coming King, so that the Day of יהוה does not overtake us as a thief!!!

יהוה bless you and guard you;

יהוה make His face shine upon you, and show favour to you;

יהוה lift up His face upon you, and give you peace.

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