By Dr. Stephen Yulish - September 17, 2009
Sundown on Friday September 18 till sundown of Sunday September 20 is the festival of Feast of Trumpets, Rosh Hashanah, (new Jewish year of 5770). Traditionally, RH only began on new moon when two witnesses said so and the head of the Sanhedrin agreed. Thus each year, nobody knew the exact day or hour (Matthew 24:36). Leviticus 23:24-32 "first day of the seventh moth, Tishri, will be a day of rest, reminder, and blowing of the shofar - a holy convocation.
Season of Teshuvah, return or repentance actually begins 30 days before on the first of Elul and ends 40 days later on the 1oth of Tishri or sundown, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The last 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are called the days of awe. Each morning for these 40 days the shofar (ram's horn or trump) is blown at the morning prayer service to call everyone to repent and return to God. Psalm 27 is recited after each morning and evening service. "the Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?"
Rosh Hashanah is the head of the year in the Jewish civil calendar (Nissan is the New Year in the religious calendar - Passover). It is the birthday of the world.
Early rabbis said, and this was agreed upon by early church fathers, that there would be 6000 years or six days of creation and then the seventh day of millennium peace would come. According to scripture, there were approximately 4000 years from Adam to Jesus. Add 2000 years and we should be coming to the time of the millennium!
The rabbis were looking for the messiah after 4000 years and Jesus came right on schedule (see Daniel 9:25). After the destruction of the temple, the Jews changed the date of the creation of the world from 4oo4 to 3761 BCE due to some captivity issues 3761+2009=5770! Instead of what it should be 6013! We are very near the seventh day of millennial peace. Very near the rapture of the church which might take place on the feast of trumpets when the last trump sounds. No one can know the exact day or hour, as one cannot know the exact day or hour of the new moon signaling the beginning of the festival, but one can know the season!
1 Corinthians 13:9 for we know in part and prophesy in part
1 Corinthians 13:12 for now we see in a mirror dimly
Rosh Hashanah also called Yom Hazikaron - day of remembrance and Yom Teruah day of awakening. "Awake you sleepers from your sleep! Raise yourselves you slumberers! Examine your deeds and unto God in repentance abandon your evil ways, your unworthy scheming everyone of you."
Who said this? Was it Paul? He did say to the church at Ephesus "awake, sleeper and arise from the dead" Ephesians 5:14? Was it Paul to the church in Rome? "awaken from sleep for salvation is near" Romans 13:11!
No! It is from the gates of repentance a Jewish Rosh Hashanah prayer book that cites Maimonides "call to awakening"!!!
According to Judaism, on Rosh Hashanah the books of life and death are opened by God in heaven. They are shut by him on Yom Kippur 10 days later. It is also believed that the gates of heaven are opened on Rosh Hashanah and closed on Yom Kippur. "Open to me the gates of righteousness. I shall enter through them. I shall give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the lord. The righteous will enter through it." psalm 118:19-20, Isaiah 26:2
During this period, Jews seek forgiveness for their sins so that they may be written in the book of life for the coming year. Popular greeting is "lashana tovah tiketavu." May you be inscribed (in the book of life) for a good year.
Each person is accountable for sins committed first against fellow man (guilt offering in temple) and then to God (sin offering). Matthew 5:23-24 "if therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother and then come and present your offering."
A problem is that it says in Leviticus 17:11 that the life is in the blood and only through shedding of blood is their remission of sin. As long as the temple sacrifices existed they could do blood sacrifices but with the destruction of the temple what could they do? Rabbis said do 'prayers, fasting and charity'
Part II - The Rapture
Moses Maimonides stated that the thirteenth article of the Jewish faith was, "I believe with perfect faith that there will be a resurrection of the dead."
The Talmud states that the resurrection of the dead (yes this is a Jewish doctrine also) will take place on Rosh Hashanah which begins tonight (Friday) many Jews therefore put shofarim (trumpets-ram's horns) on their tombstones
"Your dead will live their corpses will rise. You who live in the dust awake and shout for joy...the earth will give birth to the departed spirits" Isaiah 26:19
"The messianic hope, resurrection and immortality of the soul are intertwined with the shofar on Rosh Hashanah." from Machtzur Jewish prayer book for high holy days.
According to Jewish legend, the blowing of the first trump or shofar, was the left horn of the ram Abraham sacrificed instead of Isaac, at Sinai in Exodus 19:19 the last trump, the right horn of the ram sacrificed at Sinai, and spoken of in 1 Corinthians 15:52 will be blown at the Jewish resurrection of the dead what we call the rapture of the body of messiah.
Jews read the 27 psalm and Ezekiel 33 on Rosh Hashanah "for in the day of trouble (the tribulation, Jacob’s trouble), he will conceal me in his tabernacle; in the secret place of his tent, he will hide me." Psalm 27:5
Ezekiel 33 speaks of sword coming upon the land and the blowing of the trumpet to warn the people to repent of their sins.
Yet another name for Rosh Hashanah is Yom Hakesh "the day of hiding or the "hidden day". Rosh Hashanah is called Yom Hakesh or the day of hiding because it was hidden from Satan the adversary. Satan comes to rob and steal and to confuse.
It is said by some that Satan did not know or understand the plan of the cross. It was hidden from him as well. Thus Satan is not to be given notice about the arrival of Rosh Hashanah either. It is to be the hidden day.
Besides Psalm 27:5 other scriptures showing a pretrib rapture Zephaniah 2:3 "perhaps you will be hidden in the Day of the Lord’s Anger"
Isaiah 26:20 "come, my people, enter into your rooms and close the doors behind you; hide for a little while until the indignation runs its course."
Isaiah 26:2 "open the gates that the righteous may enter".
1 Thessalonians 1:10 "who delivers us from the wrath to come."
1 Thessalonians 5:9 "for God has not destined us for wrath".
Revelation 3:10 "I also will keep you from the hour of testing"
"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last shofar(trump), for the shofar will sound and the dead will be raised imperishable and we shall be changed" 1 Corinthians 15:52
"For the lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the shofar (trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the lord in the air and thus we shall always be with the Lord." 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.
I wrote a novel, The Great Harpazo Deception, where the rapture takes place on a future Rosh Hashanah. I also developed the idea that those left behind would rather believe that we were abducted by so called extraterrestrials than that we are in heaven with Jesus. "God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false" 2 Thessalonians 2:11
The wedding of messiah and his bride also seems to follow Jewish tradition. Shavuot (Pentecost) was to be the marriage of Israel and God Jeremiah 2:1-3 the love of your betrothals Hosea 2:19 "I will betroth you to me forever."
The Ketubah, the Jewish wedding contract was the tablets of stone Israel accepted exodus 24:3 Israel sins with golden calf. Moses smashed tablets. Wedding off! Exodus 32:19
Body of messiah now bride - 2 Corinthians 11:2 "for I betrothed you to one husband...Christ but still follows Jewish wedding tradition.
We love bridegroom even though we have never seen him 1 peter 1:8 "though you have not seen him you love him" Bride bought with a price "knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold...but with the precious blood as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ" 1 Peter 1:18-19 1 Corinthians 6:20 "you have been bought with a price"(Christ’s death on the cross).
When you accept messiah into your heart you become betrothed to him. This is prior to the wedding. Ketubah or marriage contract has all promises God has promised for believers
2 Corinthians 1:20 "for as many as may be the promises of God in him they are yes."
But bride has to say yes to betrothal. To give her consent "the word is in your mouth and in your heart. If you confess with your mouth Jesus as lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you shall be saved" Romans 10:8-9 then bridegroom gives free gifts to the bride of eternal life, and the holy spirit to reside in us.1 Corinthians 12:4 varieties of gifts but the same spirit
Bride needs to be purified by immersion as God did Israel "I (Lord God) entered into a covenant with you (Israel) so that you became mine...then I bathed you with water washed off your blood" Ezekiel 16:8-9.
We are baptized with the Holy Spirit Acts 1:5
John 14:2-3 "I go and prepare a place for you in my Fathers house"
When father approved of new quarters, bridegroom could claim the bride at any time usually at night with a shout and blowing of shofar.
Matthew 25:6, revelation 4:1 but only the father knows the time Matthew 24:36 Isaiah 62:5 "as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so your God will rejoice over you."
Ephesians 5:27 "having no spot or wrinkle...holy and blameless."
On day of a Jewish wedding all sins are forgotten-stand pure without spot or blemish as they are united.
Revelation 19:7 for the marriage of the lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready." also Matthew 22:2 biblical Jewish couple (Yeshua and his bride) celebrate marriage for 7 days in his fathers house while 7 years of the tribulation rage on earth. Noah and family told to get into ark seven days before the doors closed Genesis 7:10 Matthew 24:37.
Friend of bridegroom at the door listening for consummation of the marriage john 3:29 (Jewish tradition also).
After 7 years (days) in fathers house the bride(the church) and the bridegroom (Jesus) will leave the fathers house and return to earth.
Joel 2:15 "blow a shofar in Zion, consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly."
Joel 2:16 "let the bridegroom come out of his room and the bride out of her bridal chamber!
The gates of heaven will be closed.
I am not trying to pick the date of the rapture because nobody knows but the Father, but I am only trying to pick the season. As you have seen, there are many connections between Rosh Hashanah and it's shofar (trump) and the rapture as well as the wedding with our Lord at the time and Jewish wedding tradition. Could I be wrong? Of course I could be wrong, but after years of study and prayer, I have found these connections fascinating.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus!