One Loud Shofar Blast Will Raise the Dead in Christ!
So let no one make rules about what you eat or drink or about holy days or the New Moon Festival or the Sabbath. All such things are only a shadow of things in the future; the reality is Christ. ~ Colossians 2:16-17, GNT
It is clear that what the Apostle Paul is saying in the above verses is that the seven Jewish Feasts are all prophetic types, or symbols, that not only point to the true Messiah, Jesus the Christ, but also these seven Jewish Feasts will be fulfilled in Him. In other words, in Jesus the Christ, the seven Jewish Feasts become the perfect and complete phases of God’s Salvation Plan for ALL humanity.
God’s Salvation Plan for ALL humanity is clearly seen in the four Spring Feasts, which were fulfilled in Jesus the Christ at His First Coming. For sure, the Passover Feast prophetically signifies the Messiah as the Passover Lamb. Thus, Jesus the Christ fulfilled this feast when He was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover—He was crucified at the same hour that the lambs were being slaughtered for that evening’s Passover meal.
Next is the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and this feast prophetically signifies the Messiah as the only man who would live a sinless life (since leaven is a biblical image of sin). Thus, Jesus the Christ fulfilled this feast, for He was the perfect sacrifice for the world’s sins. Moreover, the Lord’s body was in the grave during the first days of this feast, symbolizing a kernel of wheat planted and waiting to burst forth as the Bread of Life.
Then there is the Feast of Firstfruits, and this feast prophetically signifies the Messiah as the first fruits of the righteous. Thus, Jesus the Christ fulfilled this feast when He was resurrected on this very day, which is one of the reasons that Apostle Paul refers to Him in 1 Corinthians 15:20 as the “first fruits from the dead.”
Finally, there is the Feast of Pentecost, and this feast prophetically signifies the Messiah as the sown seed (Word of God/Bread of Life), which would grow into the Church Age’s great harvest of souls. He also is the Messiah through whom God gives the world the gift of the Holy Spirit so that both Jews and Gentiles could be brought into the Kingdom of God during the Church Age. Thus, Jesus the Christ fulfilled this feast when His Church actually was birthed on Pentecost, after God poured out His Holy Spirit and 3,000 Jewish people responded to Apostle Peter’s first proclamation of the Gospel.
Since the first four of these seven Jewish Feasts are “a done deal,” that is, they have been fulfilled in Jesus the Christ, to the letter, as He actually satisfied each one of these aforementioned Spring Feasts on their applicable FEAST days, and since seven is the biblical number for perfection and completion, then there is no doubt that Jesus the Christ also will fulfill the three remaining Jewish Fall Feasts on their particular FEAST days. That is to say, the three Jewish Fall Feasts are a picture of the work Jesus the Christ will complete on this Earth prior to and after His bodily Second Coming!
Therefore, it should be evident to today’s believers that if they do not understand Jesus the Christ or the Apostle Paul’s Hebraic roots, then these believers never will fully comprehend many of the Rosh Hashanah (Yom Teruah or the Fall Feast of Trumpets’) idioms/expressions that Jesus the Christ and the Apostle Paul use when they speak about the “Last Days” and “End Times.” For the record, there are at least 12 or 13 traditional Rosh Hashanah idioms (ancient names and/or expressions the Jewish people used to explain the spirit or real meaning of Rosh Hashanah).
Those Rosh Hashanah idioms to be noted here are: 1. Yom Teruah = Day of the Awakening Blast, or Day of the Sounding of the Shofar; 2. Yom HaZikkaron = The Day of Remembrance; 3. Yom HaDin = Day of Judgment, Feast of Trumpets; 4. Rosh Hashanah = Head of the Year, Birthday of the World, New Moon; 5. HaMelech = Coronation of a King; 6. Kiddushin/Nesu’in = The Messiah’s Wedding Ceremony; 7. Yom HaKeseh = Hidden Day/Day of Hiding or Day of Concealment; 8. Natzal (Rapture) = The Resurrection of the Righteous Dead and the Taking Up of the Living Righteous; 9. The Opening of the Gates; 10. Akedah = Abraham’s Offering of Isaac (the Ram’s Left and Right Horns: Shofar’s First Trump and Shofar’s Last Trump); 11. Chevlai shel Mashiach or Yamim Nora’im = The Tribulation Period, The Time of Jacob’s Trouble, or The Birthpangs of the Messiah; 12. Molad/Rosh Chodesh = The Birth and Announcement of the New Moon and the Renewal of the Moon or First Day of the New Month; and 13. Tashlikh = Casting Off. (For more details, see Joseph Good’s “No Man Knows The Day or The Hour”; Chuck Missler’s “The Feast of Trumpets”; “How will Yeshua (Jesus) fulfill the Fall Feasts?”; Eddie Chumney’s “Rosh HaShanah: The Season of Teshuvah”; and “STUDYING THE HEBRAIC ROOTS OF CHRISTIANITY .”)
Of these 12 or 13 familiar Rosh Hashanah idioms, Jesus the Christ references at least two of them when He says, “No one knows, however, when that day and hour will come – neither the angels in heaven nor the Son; the Father alone knows” (Matthew 24:36, GNT)—these referenced idioms are Yom HaKeseh (Hidden Day/Day of Hiding or Day of Concealment) and Kiddushin/Nesu’in (The Messiah’s Wedding Ceremony). Now, the Lord’s Matthew 24:36 prophecy follows the verses in which Jesus the Christ is telling us that just like any Hebrew would know with certainty that the time when figs are their ripest is during the summer harvest time, which for ancient Israel was in the summer months of late August and early September (Elul and Tishri), then we New Testament believers should know with certainty the sign that would precede the Lord’s bodily Second Coming (cf. Mathew 24:32-35). This sign, believe it or not, is wrapped up, tied up, and tangled up in every one of the Jewish idioms for Rosh Hashanah!
For this last reason, believers also need to know that, for ancient Israel, any Hebrew would know, as well, that the Fall festivals, or times of rejoicing, come immediately after the summer harvests. Therefore, spiritually speaking, it should be very evident to believers that Jesus the Christ’s CHURCH is the end of the Age harvest—every New Testament believer’s soul that has been sanctified by the Holy Spirit to be Jesus the Christ’s Bride (those born-again believers who spiritually have prepared themselves for the their Bridegroom’s return). Moreover, it should be evident to believers that this end of the Age harvest is the sign that would precede Jesus the Christ’s bodily Second Coming (cf. Matthew 13:39; Revelation 14:14-16).
Now, for most believers, it is obvious that in between the fulfilled four Jewish Spring Feasts and the future fulfillment of the three Jewish Fall Feasts is the current Age of Grace, or the CHURCH Age. These believers know that, starting from the Day of Pentecost, when God sent His Holy Spirit, the Lord has been calling His CHURCH/His Bride to repentance and to salvation, via the voice of God’s Holy Spirit and the written Word of God (just like He called the 3,000 souls who responded by faith to the Apostle Peter’s preached Word (cf. Acts 2:1-41). Indeed, God’s process of sanctification causes the Lord’s CHURCH/Bride to come out of the world, to fill Her lamp with the oil of the Holy Spirit (an image Jesus the Christ uses in Matthew 25:1-4), and to put on the robes of righteousness (white, fine linen), in preparation for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. This picture of a sanctified (purified), righteous, full of the Holy Spirit Wife-to-Be is ever so clear in the Parable of the Ten Virgins.
Hence, knowing that the Parable of the Ten Virgins is a picture of a sanctified (purified), righteous, full of the Holy Spirit Wife-to-Be (cf. Matthew 25:1-13) will leave no doubt that this image is developed in Matthew 24:32-35 through Jesus the Christ’s ripe fig and summer images. These images show that the Lord is drawing on His knowledge of the Jewish season of Teshuvah (a time of repentance and returning back to God), which runs forty days, from the first day of the Hebrew month Elul to Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) in Tishri.
These forty days of Teshuvah actually are the 30th of Av (July 30th), which is counted as a first day of Elul, the real Elul 1st (1 August), and the first 10 days of Tishri (from Rosh Hashanah [Feast of Trumpets] to Yom Kippur [Day of Atonement]). Traditionally, Jewish people only celebrated Yamim Norai’m (Days of Awe or Days of Repentance), and these days originally were Tishri’s first 10 days. According to Jewish tradition, these 10 Days of Repentance were extended to include the 30 days before Tishri so that everybody would have an opportunity to prepare, spiritually, for the High Holidays—so that everybody would have time to do some serious soul searching, repenting, and turning back to God, in the hope of receiving salvation.
Thus, the spiritual significance behind each day’s blowing of the shofar in Elul is all about getting God’s people to turn away from evil and a turn toward good, which ultimately means turning to God before His wrath is poured out. For this reason, there can be no doubt that the Lord knew that, starting with day 1 of Elul, the shofar would be blown every day of this month, except on the 30th day, and that was because the priest wanted to make the distinction between the blowing of Elul’s shofars and the blowing of Tishri’s Feast of Trumpets’ shofars, especially since the “customary” sequence of every blown shofar, even those blown in Elul, is one long single blast (Tekiah, which depicts the sound of the King’s coronation), followed by a series of short blasts (Shevarim, the three short wail-like blasts that signify repentance, and the Teru’ah, the nine staccato blasts of alarm sounded to awaken the soul), and eventually the shofar blowing would end with the extremely long, unbroken final blast called the “Last Trump” (Tekiah Gedolah). This prolonged sound typifies a final invitation to sincere repentance and atonement!
Also according to Jewish tradition, the priest skipped blowing the shofar on the 30th day of Elul, because by then the people were ready, they were gathered together, and they were waiting for Rosh Hashanah’s awakening shofar blast. This notion about the people being prepared, gathered and waiting is based on another Jewish tradition that teaches that the month of Elul represents the time that Moses spent on Sinai preparing the second set of tablets. Apparently, Moses ascended on Elul 1st and then descended 40 days later, on the 10th of Tishri, at the end of Yom Kippur, when the repentance of the people was complete, and he found the people prepared, gathered, waiting, and frightened because the skin on his face shone (cf. Exodus 34:1, 28-30; Deuteronomy 10:1-5). Lastly, according to Jewish tradition, the last day of trumpet blowing in Elul also is skipped for the purpose of confusing Satan about the exact day the Messiah is coming. This skipped day of shofar blowing also is the reason why the day when the final “last trump” is blown again, on the first day of Tishri, is known as “the day and hour that no man knows.” (More about this “not knowing the day or hour” later.)
What is more, the Jewish tradition of Teshuvah (repentance and returning back to God) teaches that the 40 days of Teshuvah are about individuals going through an internal, transformational process of deep honest self-reflection, prayer, and repentance. Thus, there can be no doubt that Jesus the Christ, in Matthew 24:32-33, is making a comparison between the process of Teshuvah and the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit that began on the Day of Pentecost.
The process of Teshuvah spiritually prepares individuals for the High Holy Day of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) by challenging them to confess their sins, to regret having sinned, to ask for forgiveness of their sins, and to resolve not to repeat their sins. Obviously, this internal process is very similar to the internal process a believer, who has been convicted by the Holy Spirit, goes through before accepting Jesus the Christ as Lord and Savior. Each believer acknowledges he or she is a sinner who needs a Savior, confesses his or her sins, repents his or her sins and turns to Jesus the Christ, from whom he or she receives forgiveness for his or her sins, and from whom he or she receives salvation.
Additionally, Jewish tradition teaches that the process of Teshuvah’s causes an external transformation as well, which is represented in the washing and bleaching of garments until they are as white as possible (white, of course, being symbolic of righteousness), and the stretching out of their washed and bleached garments so as to eliminate wrinkles. Once their garments are dried, the Jewish people would fold their garments so that their clothing would be ready for the High Sabbath (this reference is to the Feast of Trumpets, which is considered by many to be a High Sabbath). Now, there can be no doubt that this external transformation is undoubtedly comparable to the believer’s inner spiritual transformation that the Apostle Paul describes in Ephesians 5:26-27.
For New Testament believers, the comparisons here are important. Why? Well for one reason, New Testament believers know that the Jewish people who went through this external process of Teshuvah only could attempt to create their own righteousness through the washing and bleaching of their garments, but in reality their righteousness was/is still like their filthy rags (cf. Isaiah 64:6). In contrast, New Testament believers in Christ are imputed His righteousness, which shows that there is a difference from the righteous garments people dress themselves with and the righteous garments God puts on His sons and daughters (cf. Isaiah 52:1 and Isaiah 61:10). New Testament believers, therefore, know that NO ONE can achieve the God-kind of righteousness, which Jesus the Christ imputes, by doing “good works.” This is the reason why the possibly achieved spiritual and moral outcomes of Teshuvah only can point to salvation through Jesus the Christ, rather than through human efforts!
Lastly, during the Teshuvah season, Jewish tradition teaches that after the Jewish women prepared the Feast of Trumpets’ usual foods (like, challah bread, apples dipped in honey, and tzimmes, which is a Jewish casserole made from carrots, cinnamon, yams, prunes, and honey), they would go back to the millstone to grind, and the men would go back to the fields to harvest. The women grinding at the millstone and the men harvesting the fields are the same images Jesus the Christ uses in Matthew 24:40-41, which is additional evidence that the Lord’s fig tree lesson is teaching believers about THE sign—a future Feast of Trumpets’ Rapture (resurrecting of the righteous dead and taking up of the righteous living)—that will precede the Lord’s bodily return!
So then there is a spiritual importance that relates to Teshuvah’s time of spiritual preparation, and this spiritual significance is for today’s believers. The spiritual importance of Teshuvah’s time of spiritual preparation is that because nobody knows the day and the hour when Rosh Hashanah will begin, especially since the shofar that begins blowing on day 1 of Elul stops blowing on the 29th day of Elul, then just like the Jewish people had to be prepared before their Rosh Hashanah began, the same is true for New Testament believers.
It is crucial for born again and saved believers to surrender to the Holy Spirit’s sanctification process, His leadings, promptings, and teachings, if they ever want to be able to hear the Bridegroom’s cry, archangel’s shout, and the trump of God. The Holy Spirit’s sanctification process, which begins with justification and ends with glorification, is the only way God has provided for His children that would guarantee they would be able to be presented to Jesus the Christ as His Bride, who is without any spot, wrinkle, or other blemishes. This spiritual truth obviously is evident in the Jewish people’s process of Teshuvah, which is their annual need to repent and turn back to God. This spiritual truth clearly is evident also in their need to wash and bleach their garments plus prepare their foods so that when they heard the awakening sound of Tishri’s shofar they could stop what they were doing (like grinding at the millstone and harvesting the fields), go home, put on their white garments, and go to the Temple for a time of rejoicing.
What should be noted here is that the people who did not wash and bleach their garments and then set them aside in advance of this Fall Feast would find out, with the first blast of the shofar, that it would now be too late for them to be prepared/ready for the Feast of Trumpets. Therefore, the spiritual significance of Teshuvah’s preparation time also is that ONLY those believers who are born again, saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, totally sanctified, living righteous lives, and looking for their Bridegroom will be raptured. In contrast, those believers who are not prepared (have no oil in their vessels, are not without spot or wrinkle, or any other blemishes) and are not alert (watchful) will miss the Rapture, which is the next prophetic event that will happen, and it will happen during a future Feast of Trumpets.
For the most part, New Testament believers (the Body of Christ/Bride of Christ) know that the Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and The Feast of Tabernacles are prophetic pictures of the Rapture (the transformation/glorification of the resurrected righteous dead and of the caught up righteous living), the Messiah’s Wedding, the beginning of the Tribulation Period, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, the coronation of Jesus the Christ as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and Lord’s 1,000-year reign on this Earth (cf. Matthew 24:29-31; Matthew 24:40-41; Matthew 25:1-13; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 14:14-16 [see Psalm 98:6; 1 Kings 1:39; and Daniel 7:13-14]; Revelation 19:7-9; and Revelation 20:1-7). In essence, the Jewish Fall Feasts are the sequence of end-time events that primarily pertain to the Second Coming of Christ.
However, since the Feast of Trumpets (cf. Leviticus 23:24-25) is the next feast to be fulfilled by Jesus the Christ, it is then imperative to stress the need for believers to understand the spiritual significances of the Feast of Trumpets (also called Rosh Hashanah), as well as the spiritual significances of Yom Kippur and the Feast of Tabernacles. Concentration here, though, will be on the Feast of Trumpets, about which, once again, it also is important to know the various Rosh Hashanah idioms Hebrews used when they spoke about the Feast of Trumpets.
Along with knowing that there are many Rosh Hashanah idioms used when the Jewish people speak about the Feast of Trumpets, believers also need to understand the spiritual significances of these idioms, which is accomplished once they understand how these Rosh Hashanah idioms relate to the phases of God’s Salvation Plan for ALL humanity. In other words, it is important for believers to know how Rosh Hashanah’s idioms will be fulfilled in Jesus the Christ, especially those Hebrew idioms pertaining to New Moon (Crescent), Open Door, Last Trump, Natzal (Rapture), and Messiah’s Wedding, which either are used explicitly or are alluded to by Jesus the Christ and the Apostle Paul.
Of all of the Rosh Hashanah idioms, Yom HaKeseh (The Day of Concealment or Hidden Day/Day of Hiding) is one of the lesser-known idioms and yet it also is one of the most important idioms, too. It now should be more evident that the Lord’s Matthew 24:36 prophecy about no one knowing the day or hour, except God, also is the Rosh Hashanah idiom of Yom HaKeseh (The Hidden Day/Day of Hiding). It is interesting to note here that this lesser-known idiom, which pertains to the Day of Concealment or Hidden Day/Day of Hiding, is recited as part of Rosh Hashanah’s special liturgy. The two verses frequently recited are:
Sound the shofar at the new moon, at the [keseh] concealed time for our feast day. For this is a statue for Yisrael, an ordinance of the Good of Yaakov. ~ Psalm 81:3-4
Now, it’s obvious that the (Gentile) English Holy Bible’s versions of Psalm 81:3-4 are nothing like this (Jewish) English Tanakh (Hebrew Holy Bible) version. One (Gentile) English version of Psalm 81:3-4 is:
Blow the trumpet for the festival, when the moon is new and when the moon is full. This is the law in Israel, an order from the God of Jacob. ~ GNT
The reason why the (Gentile) English Holy Bible’s versions are different is because these versions are not accurately translated. This (Jewish) English Tanakh (Hebrew Holy Bible) version of the verses quoted above makes it clear that Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets) is the ONLY feast day that starts on the first day of a concealed New Moon—starts at a time when the New Moon might not have appeared yet, for during ancient times, including the days of Jesus the Christ and the apostles, the most that could be seen with the naked eye on the first day of the New Moon would be just a sliver of the moon. That’s why this Crescent New Moon—the sighted sliver of the moon—was called the “concealed” moon.
According to rabbinic tradition, the ancient Jewish people, including Jesus the Christ and the Apostle Paul, relied on the lunar calendar and the physical observance of the Crescent New Moon to determine when the New Month of the New Year (Tishri) would begin. However, before anyone could physically observe the sliver of the New Moon, the moon had to pass through a period of concealment (an eclipse of the moon, which results from the moon lining up between the earth and sun, which leaves one side of the moon looking basically dark). This dark phase of the moon lasted in the Middle East for a period of 1½-3½ days, and the dark phase of the moon means the time when the moon is not visible from the earth (not even if there are absolutely no clouds in the sky), as opposed to the “full moon,” which means the New Moon is completely visible!
When the darkened moon reemerged as a sliver of a moon, this birth of the New Moon was what the Hebrews called, and still call, the Crescent New Moon, because this sighting was the first time the moon was seen anew after being concealed for 1½-3½ days at the end of the lunar cycle. Moreover, the day that the sliver of the New Moon was sighted and announced also was referred to then, and still today, as the “day and the hour no man knows.” For this reason, biblically speaking, a Crescent New Moon (First Visible Sliver) is not the same as an Astronomical New Moon, for the latter is the Darkened Moon (completely invisible moon).
Additionally, rabbinic tradition teaches that Jewish people not only believed that the day and time when Rosh Hashanah (or the Feast of Trumpets) would begin was concealed from the majority of Hebrews, primarily because no one knew when the Sanhedrin’s faithful/trustworthy witnesses would actually sight the sliver of the New Moon and then report their sighting to the Sanhedrin (the rabbinic court that traditionally has had the authority to sanction the New Moon), but also, as previously stated, the Jewish people believed that the day on which The Feast of Trumpets would start was hidden from Satan, too, so that he would not know when God’s Final Judgment would begin. For these reasons, another Jewish idiom for Rosh Hashanah is Yom HaDin or Day of Judgment. It is important to note here that, of all of the Jewish Feasts days (God’s appointed times), ONLY the Feast of Trumpets is referred to as the “day and the hour no man knows!”
Furthermore, the start of a new month was determined by the physical appearance of a New Moon. In ancient Israel, Jewish Law demanded that as many witnesses as possible should report the appearance of the crescent to the appropriate authorities. During the Holy Temple years, as already mentioned, the Sanhedrin (rabbinical court) had the authority to delegate the task of observing the first sliver/sickle of the New Moon to at least two faithful witnesses, who reported back to the council members after they saw the first sign of the crescent New Moon on the sunset horizon. It is after the two witnesses testified to seeing the sliver/sickle of the moon, and after the Sanhedrin (rabbinical court) checked its own secret calendar calculations for the New Moon with the trustworthy witnesses’ report, that the Sanhedrin court, consisting of at least three members, would sanction the start of the Crescent New Moon.
However, since the Crescent New Moon only could be sanctified during daylight hours, this would mean that even though the Jewish communities were notified as soon as possible about the Crescent New Moon sighting via mountaintop torch signals, the day the Crescent New Moon actually is sanctioned is half over before people could begin to celebrate the Feast of Trumpets. Therefore, the Sanhedrin would start the Feast of the Trumpets at sundown of the day the Crescent New Moon is first sighted, which actually is the beginning of a new day. In a nutshell, ancient Israel’s Crescent New Moon, in which the Feast of Trumpets was celebrated, began the day after the sliver of the moon was first sighted in the sky at sunset. In other words, if the Crescent New Moon was observed at sundown today, then the Sanhedrin would declare the next day, which also would start just after sundown, as the first day of the New Month/Feast of Trumpets.
What’s more, since the Sanhedrin authorities’ secret calendar calculations only could give them approximate dates for the New Moons and an appropriate date for the beginning of Tishri, and since no one knew when the witnesses would come forward, then no one could know with certainty when the Feast of Trumpets would start. In other words, because the Hebrews relied on a lunar calendar, the Jewish people knew the season for the Feast of Trumpets (approximately when a New Moon should appear), but they did not know the exact day or the exact hour (cf. Matthew 24:36), once again, primarily because the moon is invisible for 1½-3½ days of the Crescent New Moon. The Crescent New Moon only could be seen after this period of invisibility had ended, and there was no way for any ancient Hebrews to know for sure if the period of invisibility before the start of any Crescent New Moon was going to be 1 day, 1½ days, 2 days, 2½ days, 3 days, or 3½!
Furthermore, it didn’t help that the Crescent New Moons were very difficult to see with the naked eye on the first day, because they only could be seen around sunset. Since a very thin Crescent Moon would be close to the sun, it often would be difficult to see it. As a result, sometimes there were no sightings, and, in this case, if the new moon was not seen on the 30th day of Elul, then the new moon was automatically celebrated on the next day. On the other hand, when there were FALSE sightings backed up by some Sanhedrin members’ tampered-with calculations, where the Feast of Trumpets was concerned, Rosh Chodesh (the first day of the New Month), often would be celebrated a day or two after the average Molad (birth of the New Moon).
Therefore, because the new moon only could be sanctified during daylight hours, which would make one-half of the New Moon’s day over with, because the moon’s crescent often was not seen, and because the time of the mew moon often was miscalculated, the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah or Rosh Hashanah) became a two-day celebration. As a result, this feast is observed on the first and the second day of Tishri to guarantee that the Jewish people would not miss celebrating God’s commanded appointed days (the three Tishri feasts: Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Feast of Tabernacles) on time.
Returning here to the earlier mentioning of the fact that the Feast of Trumpets was the ONLY festival the Jewish people referred to as the feast that NO MAN KNEW THE DAY OR THE HOUR of, this fact is very significant in that, as earlier stated, it is the basis for Matthew 24:36. Indeed, since several of the Jewish idioms for Rosh Hashanah pertain to the time of the New Moon (meaning the Crescent New Moon), Open Door, Last Trump, Natzal (Rapture), and Messiah’s Wedding, then it is more than likely that Jesus the Christ’s “No one knows, however, when that day and hour will come – neither the angels in heaven nor the Son; the Father alone knows” (Matthew 24:36, GNT) is a direct reference to The Feast of Trumpets.
Thus, when the recent televangelists, who “specialize” in end-time prophecies, criticize believers for using Jesus the Christ’s “No one knows, however, when that day and hour will come – neither the angels in heaven nor the Son; the Father alone knows” (Matthew 24:36, GNT) prophecy to support the reasons why they never believed in Harold Camping’s May 21, 2011 false Rapture/end of the world predictions, these televangelists only show how wrong they are in declaring that the aforementioned prophecy only refers to the Lord’s BODILY Second Coming.
Certainly, when the Hebrews spoke about Rosh Hashanah (the Feast of Trumpets), they didn’t use their specific idioms of New Moon (Crescent), Open Door, Last Trump, Natzal (Rapture), and Messiah’s Wedding for no rational reasons. That is why it is aforementioned that believers need to become knowledgeable about these Jewish idioms, if they hope to understand the spiritual significances of the Jewish Fall Feasts fully, especially since these Fall Feasts are yet to be fulfilled in Jesus the Christ. However, while most Hebrews in Jesus the Christ’s day missed the fact that their Yeshua Ha Mashiach fulfilled His First Coming in the Spring Feasts, and, therefore, they didn’t get that He came the first time for their salvation, they did understand the Fall Feasts to be fulfilled in a coming of their Yeshua Ha Mashiach. Without a doubt they understood that the Fall Feasts are all about a King being crown, about Him coming for His Bride, about the Bridal Week, about the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, about the King’s reign on this Earth, and so forth. Unfortunately for New Testament believers, because so many of them do not celebrate these feasts, some of them also do understand that these Fall Feasts symbolize Jesus the Christ’s work that will be fulfilled during His bodily Second Coming, and on these feasts’ appointed days.
According to rabbinic tradition, Jewish eschatology supports what the rabbis have long taught, which is that after 6,000 years (six-days) of human history the Day of the Lord (Day of Judgment/Day of Trouble/Yom Kippur/Yom HaDin) will begin on the seventh day. Jewish eschatology also teaches that God judges the people of Israel on the Day of Atonement, when He would decide either to forgive the Nation of Israel of their sins or deny them atonement for the entire New Year.
Rabbinic tradition also teaches that before the Day of the Lord begins, on the first of Tishri (Rosh Hashanah/Feast of Trumpets), the shofar will sound and the righteous dead would be resurrected while the righteous alive would be taken up to Heaven (Natzal/Rapture). They would go to the “gates” of Heaven where they would witness the Messiah’s coronation, and then they would marry the Lord.
Now, since the Crescent New Moon (the first day of the concealed New Moon) and the day of the Feast of Trumpets (the first day of the month of Tishri) both are referred to as the “day and the hour no man knows” (for both the first day of the concealed New Moon and the hidden first day of Tishri/ the Feast of Trumpets are the same), then it should be evident that this day also is symbolized by the Rosh Hashanah Natzal idiom, which describes a time that New Testament believers call the Rapture, symbolized by the Rosh Hashanah Yom HaKeseh idiom (Day of Hiding), and symbolized by the Rosh Hashanah Kiddushin/Nesu’in (The Messiah’s Wedding Ceremony) idiom. Concerning the Lord’s Wedding Ceremony, rabbis also have taught that after the resurrection of the righteous dead on the Feast of Trumpets, the righteous (for New Testament believers, both the once dead and the remaining alive in Jesus the Christ) would enter into the chupah, wedding canopy, to spend seven years while the seven years of Tribulation (day of trouble/Time of Jacob’s Trouble/Judgment Day . . . cf. Jeremiah 30:6) happening on the Earth.
There, then, can be no doubt that when Jesus the Christ says, “No one knows, however, when that day and hour will come – neither the angels in heaven nor the Son; the Father alone knows,” He is in fact not only speaking of ancient Jewish traditions pertaining to people not knowing when the Feast of Trumpets would start but also He is speaking about ancient Jewish Wedding customs, which God gave to the Hebrews. Indeed, Romans 3:2 tells believers that in “…the first place, God trusted his message to the Jews” and that message is symbolized through God’s covenants and His appointed feast days (cf. Romans 9:4 and Colossians 2:16-17).
Now, the traditional Jewish wedding ceremony that God gave to His people to teach all believers about the Wedding of the Messiah has been written about copiously. According to Jewish tradition, there basically are 12 or 14 steps to the traditional Jewish wedding ceremony, which include a step 8, the bridegroom departing, leaving his betrothed for a period of one year or two. This is the time when the bridegroom goes back to his father’s house to prepare the chupah (bridal chamber). Step 9 is the bride living a consecrated and set apart (sanctified) life, while the bridegroom is away building the bridal chamber, about which it was understood that the bridegroom’s father had to be satisfied with his son’s bridal chamber preparations before the father would give his son permission to go back to get his bride; and step 10 is the bridegroom returning, usually at midnight, with a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom comes’ (cf. Matthew 25:6), after which the ram’s horn (shofar) is blown (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:16; and Revelation 4:1 . . . when a shofar’s blast precedes John being taken up into Heaven).
Following the bridegroom’s return to his father’s house with his bride is their marriage, step 11, and their Bridal Week, step 12! What’s important about the Fall Feast of Rosh Hashanah is this irrefutable picture of the marital union between the true CHURCH (Jesus the Christ’s Bride) and the Messiah (the Bridegroom). For sure, Hebraic roots definitely show through the Messiah’s Wedding Ceremony idiom. Indeed, the ancient Jewish customs responsible for the established 12 or 14 steps to a Jewish Wedding plainly explain why the Bridegroom “steals away” His Bride, like “a thief in the night.” He does so, because He wants them to enjoy their marriage in peace and safety, which is achieved during the Bridal Week step.
One crucial Scripture that closely relates to the Rosh Hashanah Wedding of the Messiah idiom is the Day of Hiding idiom—an expression that applies to the Bridal Week. That closely related Scripture reads as follows:
In the times of trouble he will shelter me; he will keep me safe in his Temple and make me secure on a high rock. ~ Psalm 27:5, GNT
From this verse, it is easy to conclude that the mystery about why no one knows the day or hour when the Feast of Trumpets will begin obviously also points to this feast being the time when the Lord’s Bride will be concealed/hidden, for the Prophet Isaiah speaks of this feast’s mystery in a way that supports the Rosh Hashanah idiom of the Hidden Day. Isaiah writes:
Come, my people, enter thou into thy chamber, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. ~ Isaiah 26:20, KJV
There, thus, can be no denying that Jesus the Christ’s – no one knowing the day or hour – prophecy, in Matthew 24:36, and the Feast of Trumpets’ truth about no one knowing the day and the hour of the Crescent New Moon, or day one of Tishri, clearly have something to do with the Feast of Trumpets’ Wedding of the Messiah, as well as the Open Door, Last Trump, and, once again, the Natzal (Rapture) idioms. Just like Jesus the Christ doesn’t know when Father God will make His final inspection of the Lord’s Bridal Chambers, and just like no one knew when the Sanhedrin would sanction the start of the Crescent New Moon, according to the 12 or 14 steps of the traditional Jewish Wedding, the bridegroom’s betrothed and her bridesmaids also never knew when the bridegroom was coming back to get her and take her to the prepared bridal chamber.
Even though the bride and her bridesmaids don’t know the hour or the day when the bridegroom would be returning, according to the Jewish Wedding customs, the bride and her bridesmaids did know that the bridegroom usually would come at midnight to seize/rapture his bride and take her to his father’s house, where they would be married. From this custom comes the expressions “steal away” and “like a thief in the night.” Additionally, the bride and her bridesmaids knew that the bridegroom and his bride (symbolic of Jesus the Christ and His Bride) would be hidden away in the Bridal Chambers (the chambers Prophet Isaiah speaks of in Isaiah 26:20, as well as the mansions the Lord goes back to His Father House to prepare for His Bride so that He can receive Her unto Himself . . . cf. John 14:2b-3). They also knew that the bridegroom and the bride would remain in the Bridal Chamber for a period of time known as the Bridal Week.
All of this knowledge about ancient Jewish Wedding customs can leave no doubt that Jesus the Christ is using the Rosh Hashanah feast expression of “no one knowing the day or hour” to refer to both the time when the Feast of Trumpets would start AND the traditional Jewish bridegroom’s response when he is asked when he will finally marry his betrothed. According to Jewish tradition, the bridegroom gives his “of that day or hour no man knows, but my father only” answer, because, as already stated, the bridegroom has no idea when his bridal chamber will pass his father’s inspection. Thus, just as it is ONLY the bridegroom’s father who can tell him when his bridal chamber’s preparations are suitable and complete, so is it that ONLY Father God can tell Jesus the Christ when the mansions (bridal chambers) our Lord is building for His Bride (the CHURCH) will be suitable and complete (cf. John 14:2b-3).
Moreover, the spiritual significance of the Rosh Hashanah feast’s “no one knowing the day or hour” secret, in particular the Day of Hiding and Rapture idioms, and the traditional Jewish Wedding step of entering the chupah (Bridal Chamber) for a Bridal Week, is that these expressions/idioms affirm the Divine Truth about Jesus the Christ’s Bride (the CHURCH) not having to go through the Tribulation Period. The Scriptures very vividly describe the time when Jesus the Christ’s Bride will be hidden away in Her Bridal Chambers (the mansions the Lord goes away to prepare for Her so that He can come back and receive Her unto Himself . . . John 14:2b-3). She is hidden for a Bridal Week, and this time, without a doubt, refers to Prophet Daniel’s 70th week. The Bridal Week, thus, is no other time than the Tribulation Period, the prophesied seven years of “indignation,” God’s wrath, when He will “punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity” (cf. Isaiah 26:20; Revelation 14:10).
To further support the Bridal Week being the Day of Hiding that follows the Rapture of the CHURCH, once again, in anticipation of Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement (Tishri 10), according to rabbinic tradition, the Jewish people observed seven days of Yamim Nora’im (Days of Affliction), which follow the Feast of Trumpets (Tishri 1 and 2). These seven days of affliction are the same as the Prophet Daniel’s 70th week, which is The Tribulation Period. This observation also means that ALL of the Rosh Hashanah idioms discussed here concern a future Feast of Trumpets, which is going to be a time of rejoicing that no one has ever witnessed before!
Furthermore, rabbinic tradition teaches that from the Feast of Trumpets until the end of the Day of Atonement, the Temple doors (symbolic of the gates of Heaven) were left open to receive people’s prayers and repentance. Always left open were the gates of Repentance; often left open were the gates of prayer. Similarly, there is the “Open Door” in the Parable of the Ten Virgins that stays open for a brief period, and then shuts without any notice, which also confirms that The Feast of Trumpets is the time of the Rapture and Day of Hiding.
Jesus the Christ, Himself, is making a reference to a door (symbolic of Heaven’s gates, which already have been established to be the same open gates as the Feast of Trumpets’ Temple doors). He in fact is the door that is left opened long enough to admit only those born again and saved believers whose sins have been forgiven, through their previous acceptance of the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ, and who also are alert and prepared, watching for the Bridegroom’s return (cf. Matthew 25:10; see also Isaiah 26:2, Ezekiel 46:1; Psalm 118:19-20; John 10:7, 9; Revelation 3:8; and Revelation 4:1).
It should be noted here that this open door/gate is not just a symbol for Jesus the Christ, but this open door/gate is literally the ONLY Way to enter into the Kingdom of God, and the ONLY Way to see God. Thus, when Jesus the Christ, as the Bridegroom in the Parable of the Ten Virgins, closes the door/gate to the Heavens, He is making it clear that He literally is believers’ long-awaited Bridegroom who wants nothing more than to say His marriage vows with His New Testament Bride/CHURCH. He also is making it clear that the ONLY Way that the New Testament Bride/CHURCH can participate in those marriage vows is if He (Bridegroom/Jesus the Christ) saves Her from the Tribulation Period by catching Her away (the Rapture) and taking Her through the “open gates” of Heaven.
The Lord says about Himself: “I am the gate. Those who come in by me will be saved; they will come in and go out and find pasture” ~ John 10:9, GNT. In another passage, the Lord makes it clear, through the open door/gate symbolism, that the Rapture and subsequent Wedding Ceremony are connected to the Feast of Trumpets, and the blown “last trump,” which is why He warns His Bride that when She sees all of the simultaneous and with increased intensity Birthpangs He speaks about in Matthew 24, the signs that declare the end of the Age is happening, then She will know that the ONE sign that will precede His Second Bodily Return is “…near, even at the doors,” or gates of Heaven (cf. Matthew 24:32-33; Matthew 25:10; 1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16). By the way, another Rapture-related Rosh Hashanah idiom is Chevlai shel Mashiach or Yamim Nora’im (The Tribulation Period, The Time of Jacob’s Trouble, or The Birthpangs of the Messiah)!
It’s time to address the central observance of the Feast of Trumpets, which is the blowing of the shofar, and time to address the need for believers to deal with the spiritual significance behind the blowing of the shofar. What is very important to note here is the fact that even though God does confirm the Feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashanah as His appointed time, God never called the first feast in Tishri either the Feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashanah. The fact that God has hidden the true name of this feast from everyone points to the fact that this feast is connected to the undisclosed time of when the Messiah will appear in the Heavens, as He comes for His Bride—this time is called the Rapture. Both the Rapture and Rosh Hashanah are shown to be connected to the Fall Crescent New Moon, for each of these events’ future beginnings/happenings will take place on a day, about which no one really will know the EXACT “day and hour.” Nevertheless, Jesus the Christ will fulfill them on their particular days. What is known about the Crescent New Moon, the Feast of Trumpets, and the Rapture is that the blowing of the Shofar will signify when each of these events has begun!
For this reason, it is important to note that the Scriptures mention the spiritual significance of the shofar’s (ram’s horn) sound, and do so numerous times. For example, when the blowing of the trumpets are first introduced in Leviticus 23:24, the Hebrew word used for trumpet blast is Teruah—a loud blast. This shofar blast traditionally serves as a reminder that it is time to repent, because the Day of Atonement is near. The nearness of the Day of the Lord is why the spiritual significance of the LOUD blowing of the shofar (an awakening of the soul blast) on the Feast of Trumpets is to warn believers about being prepared, staying alert, and looking for the imminent return of the Lord, who is coming back for His Bride to save Her from the wrath of God that will be poured out on this world.
According to rabbinic traditions, the loud blowing of the shofar also is done to awake all the righteous dead, after which the resurrected righteous dead and the living righteous will go through open “gates” for the coronation of the King, who is the Messiah. For this reason, the cry of the shofar also is a call to repentance, a call to return back to God. The shofar’s loud blast also represents the time when there will be a marriage between the Messiah as His Bride, after the resurrected righteous dead and the living righteous witness the coronation of their king, Jesus the Christ.
Without a doubt, there are references to the loud shofar sound/noise all throughout the Scriptures, and often the loud shofar sound/noise is referred to as an awakening blast, or a shouting. Consequently, biblical references to “shouting” invariably are associated with The Feast of Trumpets. In fact, the last shofar blast on the first day of the Feast of Trumpets is the “last trump”—the loudest and the longest blast known as the Tekiah Gedolah. As it already has been suggested, this prolonged, unbroken sound typifies a final invitation to sincere repentance and atonement. This, then, is the reason why this loud blast is the “last trump” of the Feast of Trumpets.
That’s why, since the “last trump” spoken of by Apostle Paul is understood to be a reference to the Feast of Trumpets’ Tekiah Gedolah, then there can be no doubt that the Apostle Paul’s references to the Lord descending with a loud cry, an archangel’s shout, and a trump of God (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:16); and to the “last trump” that resurrects the dead saints and catches up the living saints (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:52); are references to the same Tekiah Gedolah. Consequently, the Apostle Paul is indicating that the Rapture, prophetically speaking, will happen on the Feast of Trumpets. In fact, rabbinic tradition supports the Scriptures pertaining to this “the last trump” (Tekiah Gedolah), as being definitely connected to the Feast of Trumpets.
Rabbinic tradition also speaks about three special trumps that mark MAJOR events in God’s redemptive plan, and these three special trumps are associated with the Jewish Feast days. According to Rabbinic tradition, two of these special trumps are associated with Abraham’s ram, whose horns were caught in the bush, and they are: the First Trump (representing the left ram’s horn; the First Trump was blown on Pentecost supernaturally by God, who came down to Mount Sinai to give Moses the Law, and to proclaim that God had betrothed Himself to Israel; see Genesis 22:13; Exodus 19:16, 18-19; Isaiah 54:5; Hosea 2:19-20); then there is the Last Trump (representing the right ram’s horn; the Last Trump was synonymous with Rosh Hashanah, and the series of blasts on Tishri 1, the Feast of Trumpets; the Last Trump also is blown on the Feast of Trumpets to herald the Rapture of the Lord’s CHURCH; see Genesis 22:13, Numbers 10:10; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17). Notice here, that the Trump of God is both the First Trump and the Last Trump—the First is on Pentecost and the Last is on the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah). The third special trump, according to rabbinic tradition, is the Great Trump (which is prophesied to be blown on Yom Kippur to herald Jesus the Christ’s return to Earth; see Matthew 24:30-31).
Lastly, rabbinic tradition also teaches that to ancient Hebrews, the Last Trump/shofar blast was when the dead were remembered. As already mentioned, at the Last Trump the dead would be resurrected. For these reasons, rabbinic tradition teaches that early Hebrews recognized the Day of Trumpets as a type of memorial day. Indeed, God, Himself, commanded ancient Israel to keep this feast as a Sabbath rest and a memorial that should be remembered by and celebrated with the blowing of trumpets (cf. Leviticus 23:23).
Now, since the shofar is associated with the Rosh Hashanah Day of Hiding or Natzal idiom, which describes the time when God’s children will be taken away to a safe place where they will be hidden from the “indignation,” then clearly this “indignation” is the end-time Tribulation (cf. Isaiah 26:2-3, 19-20; Isaiah 57:1-2; Revelation 14:10, in KJV). It, then, should be obvious that Rosh Hashanah’s “Last Trump” idiom connects the last shofar blast of the festival, the shofar blast that follows the Jewish bridegroom’s cry/shout/announcement of his return for his bride (cf. Matthew 25:6), and the Apostle Paul’s “last trump” and “trump of God” (1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16) to the Rapture of the CHURCH. Many believers accept the Rapture as being that time when the dead in Jesus the Christ will rise first and the catching away of the alive believers immediately will follow. Therefore, the spiritual significances of Rosh Hashanah (the Feast of Trumpets), and the abovementioned rabbinic traditions and Scriptures, leave no doubt that the CHURCH’s Rapture not only will come before the Tribulation Period but also happen during a Feast of Trumpets!
More important, it should be obvious that this rescue/escape/hiding away will happen on a day similar to the ones the Sanhedrin court traditionally would sanction as the Crescent New Moon of Tishri; that is to say, the prophesied Rapture event will happen on an unknown first day of a future Crescent New Moon that also will be an undisclosed first day of a future Tishri, which will be an unknown first day of a future Feast of Trumpets! In other words, we will know the season but not the exact day nor the exact hour!
For this reason, if we can say with any certainty that there is a time when the Rapture will take place it would be on a future Feast of Trumpets. The Apostle Paul tells us that it is important for us to understand the significance of the Jewish Feasts Appointed Times and Seasons, for they are not just God’s appointed times for the Jewish people, but for all of humanity. For this reason, everyone who is a son and daughter of Light must stay prepared and alert, looking for the Rapture (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11). Finally, since there are only three more Jewish Feasts to be fulfilled in Jesus the Christ, and since the signs of the time of our Lord’s Second Coming are indicating His imminent return, it is time that we truly study and learn from the Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Feast of Tabernacles so that we not only can show ourselves approved of God but also be ready for our Lord when He comes like a thief in the night.
Stay prepared; stay alert; keep looking up, for your Redeemer is near! PEACE….
For additional information, please read my blog entries: The Three Most Important Crops of Israel’s Seven Major Crops and Jewish Menorah Mirrors 7 Feasts: Reflections Made On 2011’s Feast of Trumpets