Rosh Hashanah, and the Rapture

This article was originally published on October 9, 2009. I am republishing it for the upcoming Feast of Rosh Hashanah on Sunday, September 17-19, 2012.

Sunday Evening at 6 p.m., Jerusalem time (8 am Arizona Time), September 17 , begins the Jewish feast of “Rosh Hashanah”

It is called “The Feast of Trumpets” in the Old Testament Book of Leviticus, chapter 23..
It is one of 7 feasts that the Lord commanded Israel to Keep in the Old Testament.
The Feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashanah, is a time of “The Gathering of God’s People” together in one place, by the sound of a trumpet.

As we have been going through the Book of Revelation, we have taught you the doctrine of the “Rapture of the Church”.

There are some skeptics of The Doctrine of the Rapture that say that this is not taught in the Bible.

They do so while ignoring 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 and other key bible verses that clearly describe the removal of believers in Jesus Christ from the earth.

1 Thessalonians 4
13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
17 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.
18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Here is what we know from these 6 verses in 1 Thessalonians chapter 4:

  • Paul is writing this letter to the church in Thessalonica, to believers in Jesus Christ, because a false doctrine had been circulating that said that Jesus had already returned the second time to the earth.
  • The believers there were concerned that if Jesus had already returned, then what happened to their loved ones who had already died, where were they?
  • Paul writes to tell them that Jesus has not returned yet, and when He does return, here is what will happen.

1. Verse 14: When Jesus returns, He will be bringing with Him, ALL those who have already died, believing in Jesus Christ.
2. From that statement, we know that this means that from the time they died, to the time that Jesus comes again, all those who die believing in Jesus Christ, have been with Him in heaven.
3. Verse 15: When Jesus returns, there will also be believers alive, living on the earth, they will also be raised to meet Jesus in the outer atmosphere of the earth.
4. Verse 16: Jesus will depart from Heaven, there will be a great shout, the sound of a Trumpet blast, like at The feast of trumpets, that gathers all of God’s people together.
5. The first thing Jesus will do when He departs from Heaven and returns to the earth, is to raise from the dead, the physical bodies of those who have already died and have been with Him in heaven. Their physical body will be joined with their Spirit at this moment.
6. Verse 17: Amazingly, those who are alive when Jesus returns, they will also be raised up in the clouds to meet Jesus in the air also.
7. Both the dead in Jesus Christ, who return with Jesus, and those who were alive when Jesus returns, will now be united together with Jesus forever.

These are the major Points Paul makes:

  • Jesus will be returning to the atmosphere of earth.
  • He will be Raising the dead believers in Jesus.
  • Removing quickly, the Living believers in Jesus.
  • Both groups will meet Jesus in the air.
  • This event, we have called “The Rapture”.
  • The word “Rapture” comes from the Latin Word “Rapturo”, which means “fast snatching away”.

The term Rapture is not found in the Bible.

Now some people say that because we don’t see the term “Rapture” in the Bible, that means that there is no such thing as the event of the Rapture.

Well, the term “Grandfather” is also not found in the Bible, but we see lots and lots of Grandfathers in the Bible.

I think it is clear to any reasonable person that the events of 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 describe a great snatching away of believers from the earth to meet Jesus in the air, that is undeniable, that is what we call “The Rapture”.

Now, that being said, did you notice that the Feast of Trumpets is a time when God’s people are also gathered together at the blowing of a Trumpet?

1 Thessalonians chapter 4 says that when Jesus gathers us together in the air, it will be by a Trumpet Blast.

  • For this reason, and many others that I am about to share with you this morning, I believe there is a very great chance that when Jesus comes for us, it will be during the Feast of Trumpets.
  • When does the feast of Trumpets happen this year?
  • Next Monday September 29th at 6 pm, and concludes 6 pm Wednesday, October 1st.
  • Will Jesus come for us next Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, I don’t know, but it has exciting possibilities!

In the Book of Leviticus, the Lord commanded Israel that they should observe 7 feasts each year.

1. Passover.
2. Unleavened bread.
3. First Fruits.
4. Pentecost.
5. Trumpets.
6. Atonement.
7. Tabernacles.

Leviticus 23
1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.’ “

Notice that these are clearly called “The Feasts of the Lord”, and “My Feasts” says the Lord.

Verse 5 1st feast, On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the LORD’S Passover.

The first Passover was observed by Israel on the night that the Lord delivered them out of Egypt from their 400 years of slavery.

Exodus 12:3-6
3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: On the tenth of this month, every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.
5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.
6 Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.

On the 10th day of April, the Month of Nissan on the Hebrew Calendar, they would choose the Lamb.

  • He had to be a Male, the firstborn.
  • Without Blemish, that is, without any imperfections.
  • He was to be kept and observed from the 10th day until the 14th day of the month, to see if He passed inspection as a perfect Lamb without imperfection.

Jesus is called the “Lamb of God” throughout the Old and New Testament.

John 1:29
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

John 1:36
And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”

Isaiah 53:7
He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.

Did you know that Jesus came into Jerusalem on the 10th day of the Hebrew month of Nissan, which was Palm Sunday?

  • According to Exodus 12, the 10th day of the month of Nissan was when they selected the Lamb for the Sacrifice.
  • This was the exact day that Jesus offered Himself to the World as the sacrifice, as he rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

Matthew 21:8-9
8 And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
9 Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: ”Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!
Hosanna in the highest!”

Jesus knew that His coming to Jerusalem on the 10th day of the month was the fulfillment of Prophecy. He came on purpose on this date, the day they would inspect the Passover Lamb.

Luke 24:44
Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”

Exodus 12 says that the Lamb must be without imperfection;

Hebrews 4:15
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Then Exodus 12 says that 4 days later on the 14th day of the month the Lamb must be offered as the sacrifice on the feast of Passover at about twilight.

Exodus 12:6
Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.

Matthew 27:46
And about the ninth hour (3pm) Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

The Pieces are coming together:

1. The Feast of Passover according to Exodus 12:

  • The Lamb is examined on the 10th (Exodus 12:3), the day Jesus rides into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. The fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy or 173,880 days from Artaxerxes’ decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.
  • Passover Lamb must be a Male. (Exodus 12:5)
  • Must be Spotless, or perfect. Jesus is perfect, without sin (Exodus 12:5). “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”   (Hebrews 4:15)
  • Killed at twilight (Exodus 12:6), early evening, the time when Jesus was crucified. “And About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani” (Matthew 27:46)
  • “The whole assembly of the congregation shall Kill it.” (Exodus 12:6) “Let His Blood be upon us and our children.” (Matthew 27:25)
  • “The Blood shall be for a sign.” (Exodus 12:13) “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin”. (1 John 1:7)

When I see the Blood, I will Pass Over you”. (Exodus 12:13) ” by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,” (Romans 3:25)

“The plague shall not be on you to destroy you.” (Exodus 12:13) “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

This day shall be to you a memorial.” (Exodus 12:14) “And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ “ (Luke 22:19)

Jesus fulfilled the feast of Passover, by becoming the perfect Passover Lamb, on the exact day that Exodus said the Passover Lamb should be killed!

The second Feast of Israel was the Feast of Unleavened Bread:

Leviticus 23
Verse 6 And 2nd feast:. on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; seven days you must eat unleavened bread.

The second feast the Lord commanded Israel to keep was the “Feast of Unleavened Bread”.

It happens the day after the Passover Lamb is killed.

Jesus fulfilled the feast of Passover, by becoming the perfect Passover Lamb, on the right day, at even the right time of the day.

2. Unleavened Bread

  • This feast begins immediately after Passover (Exodus 12:6)
  • Unleavened Bread is Bread without Yeast.
  • Yeast is a picture of Sin.
  • Yeast even in small amounts will permeate the whole lump of dough.
  • Bread without leaven or Yeast, will not raise.
  • Jesus is “The Bread Of Life”.
  • Jesus is without sin/Leaven.
  • After Jesus was crucified, he lay in the tomb “Un-raised” for 3 Days!

Jesus perfectly fulfilled the 2nd feast of Israel by laying unraised in the tomb for 3 days. What are the chances of that happening by accident?!!!

Three days later, when Jesus Rose from the dead, guess which Feast he fulfilled?

“The Feast of First Fruits”

Leviticus 23
Verse 10 Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, 3rd feast:. then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest.
12 And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the LORD.
13 Its grain offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour (Bread) mixed with oil, (Holy Spirit) an offering made by fire to the LORD, for a sweet aroma; and its drink offering shall be of wine, (Blood) one-fourth of a hin.

3. Firstfruits

  • Firstfruits began exactly 3 days after Passover. (Exodus 12:10)
  • Jesus died on Passover, then raised to life exactly 3 days later on Firstfruits.
  • Paul said that when Jesus died and was raised, “He became the Firstfruits of those who have died believing in Jesus.”

1 Corinthians 15:20
..But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s

In other words:

  • When Jesus died, he forever defeated death.
  • When Jesus rose from the Dead, it was never to die again.

Jesus was “The Firstfruits”, then we in our own order (At the Rapture), also will rise, never to die again.

This means that Jesus also perfectly fulfilled the Feast of Firstfruits, on the exact day it was called for.

Just a few more amazing facts about this 17th day of Nissan.

  1. Jesus raises from the dead, fulfills feast of first fruits.
  2. The day that Noah’s Ark lands on Mount Ararat.
  3. The day Israel is delivered through the Red Sea.
  4. The day that Hamans plan to exterminate the entire nations of Jews is exposed in the book of Esther, Haman is hanged.

Now this is where it gets really interesting. Do you remember what happened 50 days after Jesus was raised from the dead?

Acts 1:4-5
And being assembled together with them, Jesus commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, which, He said, “you have heard from Me;
5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Acts 2:1-4
When the Day of Pentecost (“Pent”=50) had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

The day of Pentecost was the day that the church was born

Leviticus 23
Verse 15: 4TH feast. “And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed.
16 Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD.”

4. Pentecost

  • Always happens in the Old Testament, 50 days after Passover (Exodus 12:15)
  • Jesus fulfills Pentecost, by sending the Holy Spirit 50 days after Passover.
  • The Church was born on Pentecost.
  • Jesus knew that He was fulfilling the feast of Pentecost, on the exact day it was supposed to be fulfilled.

Now by this time, you are probably wondering what the point is for this long exercise:

Did you notice that Jesus purposefully fulfilled each of these first 4 feast of Israel commanded by the Lord, on the exact day, and in the exact way the Lord commanded them to be fulfilled?

How many of you think that Jesus will fulfill the last 3 also, on the exact day and in the exact way?

Here is where it gets even more amazing! Guess what they call the 4-month period of time between Pentecost and the next feast Trumpets? “The Harvest Period”.

Matthew 9:37-38
Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.
38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

  1. The 4 months between the feasts of Pentecost and Trumpets, is a time when they bring in the great harvest of all that the Lord has provided.
  2. I believe that this is not by accident. I believe that the harvest between Pentecost and Trumpets is the Harvest period that Jesus is speaking of here on Matthew 9, the time when Jesus is bringing in to His Church, all those who will be saved.
  3. You are saved when you believe and confess with your mouth that Jesus is your Lord and Savior.

Romans 10:9
For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Jesus has fulfilled the first 4 feasts of Israel perfectly. Now we are in the churches’ harvest period when the Lord is gathering souls for eternal life.

Guess what happens next after the harvest period?

5. The Feast of Trumpets

At the end of the summer harvest, when it is time for all of God’s people to be gathered together in one place, they begin the gathering by the Blowing of the Shofar, a Trumpet blast.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
17 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

Jesus became:

1. The Passover lamb.
2. He laid in the ground un-raised to become the unleavened bread.
3. He rose 3 days later to become the Firstfruits.
4. 50 days later, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.

Jesus said that “He was the Lord of the harvest”, as He harvests the souls of all those who will believe in Him right now, in this great Harvest period upon the earth.

Did Jesus stop fulfilling the feasts of Israel right here, at number 5, the “Feast of Trumpets”?


When is the Feast of Trumpets this year? Next Monday night beginning at 6 pm lasting until Wednesday evening at 6 pm.

Is Jesus all done? Are the other 3 feasts of Israel not to be fulfilled also by Jesus?

I believe the answer is: Of course Jesus will fulfill them.

  • It was customary for any traveling Rabbi (Teacher) that came to a town, to stop and teach at the local Synagogue on the Sabbath.
  • It just so happened that when Jesus came to Nazareth and entered the local synagogue, they were currently teaching from the Scroll of Isaiah.
  • They handed Isaiah’s Scroll to Jesus. He unrolls it, and begins to read from Isaiah chapter 61 (Of course they didn’t have chapters then!)

Luke 4:18-20
20 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”
20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him.

Why were all of the eyes of the people fixed on Jesus? Because Jesus stopped in the middle of Isaiah 61!

Isaiah 61:1
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
Because the LORD has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
And the day of vengeance of our God;

Jesus stopped before He got to “and the day of vengeance of our God”.

You see there are things that Jesus came to fulfill the first time He came, and there will be some things that Jesus will not fulfill until he returns the second time.

I believe that Jesus is saving the feast of trumpets for that day when He calls up all those who are His, to meet Him in the air.

What about the last 2 feasts of Israel?

6. Atonement

The day of atonement was a time for people to afflict their souls for their sin.
The Tribulation period for 7 years the earth and its people will atone for their sin against God.
As Israel Atones for her rejection of Jesus as their messiah, and as Israel Finally accepts Jesus as Messiah as she flees to the Rock city of Petra.
As the World Atones for their sin of rejecting Jesus as Savior and Lord.

7. Tabernacles

  • The time when God’s people live together.
  • I believe it will be fulfilled in the kingdom age of the 1,000 year millennium as Jesus reigns from David’s throne in Jerusalem.

John 14:1-3
1 “Don’t be troubled. You trust God, now trust in Me.
2 There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly.
3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am NLT

  • In a Jewish wedding, the bridegroom was “betrothed to his bride” for up to a year before the actual wedding they were legally bound to each other, but not actually married.
  • The bridegroom would go off to build his bride a new house and when it was ready he would return at midnight or an hour that was unknown to receive his bride and take her back to the home that he had built for her.
  • In keeping with the traditional Jewish wedding, Jesus promises that as our bridegroom He will return for us to take us back to heaven when everything is ready.
  • He will come as in the tradition of the Jewish wedding “at an hour that is known only to the bridegroom”.

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