Putting The Pieces Together: Part 2

This article is a followup to an article I wrote earlier this year and will probably be a bit disorganized and I apologize for that.  We continue to uncover a lot of pieces to the prophetic puzzle and it looks like we may have little time left to share it.  Normally I like to move slow on research and test it out thoroughly, but because of the lateness of the hour I want to share with you some of the highlights being discussed in our fellowship (credit to Adam, Barry, Brad, Daniel, Greg, Jeff, Jim, Paul, and Scottie for different bits of insight).

Moving Forward
promised-land
Many people were disappointed by 9/23 and the scoffers really came out of the woodwork.  The media promoted and sensationalized a false narrative that Christians were claiming the world was going to end, which just added to the hype.  No one claimed that the world was ending and in regards to the rapture, we have said the same thing about 2017 for the past year and a half: we don’t know for sure the day or hour.  No one at Unsealed, nor among those that I fellowship with, are claiming a special insight not available to the Church at large.  No one is claiming to be a prophet.  We are just researching, praying, and speculating as we long to meet the LORD.
I do believe Revelation 12:1-2 was just fulfilled and the evidence seems more and more compelling.  I can’t dismiss this Great Sign because it can’t be debunked.  It does match the description in Revelation 12.  That’s either the most amazing coincidence in modern history or it’s by design.  On the mornings of the 23rd and 24th many of us actually saw the 12-star crown rising in the east and it was a beautiful sight to behold, complete with Mercury, Mars, and Venus.  This got me to thinking: observers in many parts of the world actually could see the entire Great Sign if they had looked.  In Israel from about 5:40 to 6:05 AM on the 23rd and 24th the entire 12-star crown was visible in the east.  Then Virgo rose while clothed with the sun followed by a faintly visible crescent moon under her feet.  A roughly 4-hour time-lapse would have shown the entire sign.
Regarding the mockers, they fall into two camps, both of which fulfill prophecies to their own shame:
1. Unbelievers outside of the Church:

Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.  They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised?  Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”  But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water.  By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.  By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

2. Unbelievers who claim to be part of the Church:

But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, “My master is staying away a long time,” and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards.  The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.  He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Now I know there are differing interpretive opinions about Matthew 24’s dispensational placement, but I find these four verses to be fascinating because of what we’re now witnessing.  Isn’t it interesting that Christians who refuse to look for the coming of Christ and who join in with the scoffers to falsely accuse, beat, and malign those Believers who are hoping, watching, and longing for the LORD, are repeating “no one knows the day or hour” ad infinitum, not realizing that in that same passage it is the wicked servants who are caught unaware.  It is the wicked who are in the dark and who know neither the day nor hour.  This comports perfectly with 1 Thessalonians 5:3-4Hebrews 10:25, and Revelation 3:3.  Immediately following those four verses in Matthew 24 is The Parable of the Ten Virgins.  We are saved through faith alone, but does the Christian who routinely mocks and beats his brother, who loves the world more than God, and who has little interest in being with the LORD actually have faith?  Faith isn’t in the head, it’s in the heart.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers.

 
Setting The Record Straight About The Feasts

As we continue to study and pick up the pieces some information has recently come to light that may have dramatic implications.  Before you absorb this you first need to clear your mind of assumptions.  I think we’ve all been partially blinded by the traditions of men and outside commentaries when it comes to what are commonly called “The Feasts of the LORD”.  Let’s just stick to the Bible to get a basic framework from relevant passages in Leviticus and Numbers.  Leviticus 23 is the foundational passage as it lists all seven “feasts”.

1. These are moed, which means appointment or meeting.  “Festival” and “feast” seem to be poor translations.  To carry the correct meaning, we really need to call these “The Appointments of the LORD”, because for the most part they are anything but festivals and there is often no feasting.  These are divine and prophetic meetings between God and man.

2. The other Hebrew word used to define these appointments is miqra, which means convocation or sacred assembly.  However, don’t get moed and miqra confused – there are seven moedim, but not every moed is a miqra.  Passover and First Fruits are not called miqra.  There is no sacred assembly on those days.  Five of the moedim have sacred assemblies (Unleavened Bread, Weeks, Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles).  Two of the moedim have two assemblies (Unleavened Bread and Tabernacles).  Thus there are seven Divine Appointments:

Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Weeks, Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles

And there are seven Sacred Assemblies:

Unleavened Bread #1, Unleavened Bread #7, Weeks, Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles #1, and Tabernacles #8

3. There is no such thing as a “Feast of Trumpets” – unless you mean every moedim.  This has been majorly overlooked and needs to be investigated further because it could have profound prophetic implications.  1 Corinthians 15:52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16 associate the resurrection and rapture of Christ’s Church with a trumpet (the last trumpet and the trumpet of God, respectively), which has given Christians a natural desire to associate the timing of the rapture with the Feast of Trumpets.

The problem is that neither of the two passages that define this particular appointment explicitly involve trumpets (Lev. 23:23-24Num. 29:1).  The Hebrew word used is teruah, which means shout or alarm.  Hebrew has more exact words for trumpets: shophar (ram’s horn) and chatsotsrah (metal or generic man-made trumpet).  These words are both used in Leviticus and Numbers when a trumpet is explicitly mentioned, so let’s clear this up…

Teruah:
Shophar:
Chatsotsrah:

2 Chronicles 15:14 actually distinguishes between all three:

They swore an oath to the LORD with a loud voice and with shouting [teruah] and with trumpets [chatsotsrah] and with horns [shophar].

The so called “Feast of Trumpets” is actually called a “Memorial of Shouting” in Leviticus 23:24 and a “Day of Shouting” in Numbers 29:1.  Yom Teruah.  Therefore the seven moedim should actually be Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Weeks, Shouting, Atonement, and Tabernacles.  Rabbinical tradition has added confusion.

4. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 tells us that the trumpet which signals the rapture is the “trumpet of God”.  How might we identify this?  In New Testament Greek all trumpets are called salpigx.  No distinguishment is made between the Hebrew chatsotsrah and shophar, so we have to go back to the Old Testament to figure this out and the answer is actually pretty obvious:

First, the chatsotsrah is a man-made musical instrument (Numbers 10:2), whereas the shophar is from an animal – it is made by God.

Second, we have a clear rapture template in Exodus 19 complete with God descending, a cloud, a trumpet, and a righteous man ascending to meet Him halfway.  It fits 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 like a glove:

On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast.  Everyone in the camp trembled.  Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.  Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently.  As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.  The Lord descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses went up

Compare this passage to 1 Thessalonians 4:

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

The trumpet sound that accompanied God’s descent, which is mentioned twice in Exodus 19, is none other than the shophar (commonly spelled shofar).  Now here is the clincher for me: the term “trumpet of God” is only found in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, but there seems to be a clear reference to the trumpet that God Himself sounds in Zechariah 9:14 and the word used is shophar:

Then the LORD will appear over them, and his arrow will go forth like lightning; the Lord GOD will sound the trumpet [shophar] and will march forth in the whirlwinds of the south.

Psalm 47:5 appears to provide a double-witness that the shophar is the trumpet of God:

God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet [shophar].

The evidence seems fairly conclusive to me that neither teruah nor chatsotsrah constitute God’s trumpet.  The shophar is the trumpet of God.

 
The Overlooked Appointment

Believers recognize that Christ will return for His Church at a precise time, perhaps even on a moed, but we may not know when exactly that will be.  Jesus fulfilled Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Pentecost on the exact days.  There is also growing consensus that He was born or conceived on Yom Teruah or Tabernacles.  However, His ascension occurred outside of the moedim, so we should never put God in a box.  But if we’re humble, prayerful, and watching, we should be aware of how close Christ’s arrival is.  Matthew 24:48-511 Thessalonians 5:3-4Hebrews 10:25, and Revelation 3:3 seem to pretty clearly indicate that watchful Believers will be aware of the time, while unbelievers and perhaps even some Believers will be caught by surprise.

My honest opinion is that the doctrine of imminency is an attempt to put God in a box just as much as those who set exact dates.  Both sides fail to accept the genuine tension that exists in the Scriptures on the subject.  Everyone just wants to be right in their “camp”, but it usually comes at a cost – neglecting the Scriptures that the other side uses.

With that foundation laid, I want to offer a speculation that some of us are currently discussing: Atonement or Tabernacles may be better candidates for the rapture.

Numbers 10:10 describes how chatsotsrah (man-made trumpets) were blown over all of the offerings and sacrifices made on the moedim, thus in a certain sense every moed is a “Feast of Trumpets”.  Since Tabernacles is the last appointment, you could make an argument that it is the time of the last trumpet.  However, the chatsotsrah is not the trumpet of God and these trumpets are only blown over sacrifices and offerings – they are not a general call to the people.

Is the trumpet of God ever sounded on a moed?  Yes, and in fact it’s the appointment that has been most overlooked as a template for the rapture: the Day of Atonement.  According to Leviticus 25:9, the shophar is sounded “throughout all the land” on the Day of Atonement announcing the Year of Jubilee.  In the Torah itself only one moed is explicitly identified with the trumpet and it’s Atonement – and only on the Year of Jubilee.  Thus at the end of every Jubilee cycle the shophar is blown throughout all the land announcing the Jubilee year.  This shophar signals:

1. Liberty to all captives in the land (Lev. 25:10; compare to Rom. 7:248:28:218:23).

2. Eating freely and rest from labor (Lev. 25:11-12; compare to Heb. 4:9-10Rev. 2:7Rev. 14:13).

3. Returning to your land, property, and family (Lev. 25:1013; compare to Is. 26:19-20Jn. 14:2-3Rom. 8:17Gal. 3:294:7Eph. 1:3).

Remember that according to Leviticus 23:27, the Day of Atonement is not only a moed, but also a miqra – a sacred assembly.  God’s people are gathered together.  And guess what else is significant about Atonement?  It is the only day of the year when mankind has access to the Holy of Holies, which is why Yom Kippur is considered the holiest day in Judaism.

The Temple was a template of the heavenly realms and the Holy of Holies represented God’s throne in Heaven.  A thick curtain separated the people from God and only on Yom Kippur could the high priest enter in to make an offering for the people (Lev. 16:2).  Jesus is the head of the body, the Church, and according to the book of Hebrews He is our High Priest who entered the heavenly places, but His entrance into Heaven was not restricted to Yom Kippur because He is God Himself.  Since we are a kingdom of priests (1 Pet. 2:9), yet not divine, perhaps Yom Kippur serves as the template for when we also will enter Heaven.  It’s the only day Heaven is opened!

It has long been thought that Christ’s visible second coming would occur on the Day of Atonement, but based on this additional evidence, perhaps the rapture will occur on that day, as well.  As the only day when Heaven is opened, it could be the day the Church enters Heaven and also the day Christ and the Church return fromHeaven.  The Day of Atonement might then be a template and encapsulate the entire Tribulation period – the Day of the LORD.  Here is a summary of points in favor of a rapture on a Yom Kippur that also coincides with the Jubilee:

1. It’s the only moed explicitly tied to the shophar and this shophar is heard “throughout all the land”.  This might be the best candidate for the trumpet of God mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

2. The trumpet announces liberty from bondage, rest from labor, and a return to land, property, and family – all images of what Believers inherit at the rapture.

3. It is the only day of the entire year when access was granted to the Holy of Holies, and perhaps then the only day of the year when Heaven is opened and the Church can enter in.

4. A Jubilee trumpet at the rapture would mark both the end of that particular Jubilee cycle and perhaps even the end of all Jubilee cycles.  Thus, in at least two different ways it would be the “last trumpet”.  Genesis 6:3says that mankind would persist for 120 years.  This is generally thought to be a reference to the time remaining before Noah’s Flood, but it may also indicate the total number of Jubilee years from creation to the Millennial Kingdom – the length of mankind’s rebellion.  120 years x 50 years = 6,000 years, which just happens to be right about where we are in history.

The obvious question presents itself: does this weekend’s Yom Kippur also mark the Jubilee?  There is some evidence it does:

1. Biblical years run from roughly April to April and that timeframe in 1917-1918 and 1967-1968 marked the Balfour Declaration and the conquest of Jerusalem, respectively.  In the first instance the land of Israel was returned in a sense when the anti-Semitic Ottoman Empire was conquered by the British.  The British government announced that the Holy Land would eventually return to the Jews and Jews were allowed to move more freely to their ancestral homeland.  The very next year, in 1919, the Third Aliyah kicked off with tens of thousands of Jews returning.

In the second instance, Jerusalem was returned to its rightful owners when Israel conquered the city in addition to other portions of the Promised Land.

In 1867 the Jews were emancipated (released from bondage) in the Austro-Hungarian Empire – another event closely mirroring the biblical concept of Jubilee.  Interestingly, the Austro-Hungarian Empire existed for exactly one Jubilee (1867-1868 to 1917-1918).

Furthermore, if you go back to the same April to April range in 1517-1518 you’ll see another Jubilee-type event: Christians were released from the spiritual bondage of the Roman Catholic Church.  The Protestant Reformation began on October 31, 1517.  The 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation occurs next month.

2. Israelis actually celebrated 2017 as the Jubilee back in May, which marked 50 years since the Six-Day War on the Jewish calendar and also 70 prophetic years since the rebirth of Israel.  This was the first time Jews collectively celebrated the Jubilee since before Christ.  That alone should get your attention.  You can read more about this Jubilee celebration here.  Israel seemed to have no qualms about what they were celebrating:

3. WatchForTheDay noticed that exactly 49 prophetic years transpired between the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem on April 1, 1969 to July 17, 2017, when the Jews temporarily recaptured the Temple Mount and resumed prayer.  The same amount of time transpired between June 7, 1967, when Jerusalem was recaptured, to September 23, 2015 – the Day of Atonement.  The incredible precision of these two separate counts provides at least supporting evidence that we are very close to the exact year of the Jubilee.  The former count might even be a possible parallel fulfillment of the separate 7 weeks of years in Daniel 9:25.

Might the rapture happen this weekend?  I don’t know for sure, but we should be awake and watchful.  Yom Teruah ran from September 21st to 22nd (Tishrei 1).  The Great Sign of Revelation 12 occurred on September 23rd to 24th (Tishrei 3).  Yom Kippur is 10 days after Yom Teruah and 7 days after the Great Sign.  Consider the timing in light of the following verses: Gen. 7:4108:10Ex. 22:30Ex. 24:16Rev. 2:10.  Leviticus 12:1-5has also been on our minds:

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, If a woman conceives and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days.  As at the time of her menstruation, she shall be unclean.  And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.  Then she shall continue for thirty-three days in the blood of her purifying.  She shall not touch anything holy, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying are completed.”

This passage is interesting for a number of reasons.  For starters, we see the image of a woman in labor just as we do in Isaiah 26:17-1966:7-9Micah 5:3, and Revelation 12:1-2.  It’s even a male child that she delivers.  Just as she remains unclean for 7 days after giving birth to the male child, so Israel remains unclean for 7 years after giving birth to the Church.

But there’s more.  The Great Sign of a woman in labor occurred on Tishrei 3, 7 days before Yom Kippur.  The child is still in the flesh for 7 days before his circumcision.  Might circumcision be a symbol of the rapture when our fleshly nature is removed (1 Cor. 15:50-55; see also Jn. 3:3-7)?  Perhaps Yom Teruah marked the invisible reality that Christ’s Church has finally finished its growth and gestation and the corporate baby was born, yet the corporate male child is still in its flesh for 7 days.  Additionally, 33 days after Yom Kippur is the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, just as 33 days after the Great American Eclipse was the Great Sign!

Yom Kippur also happens to be 40 days from the Great American Eclipse.  Were 40 days given to the world to repent just as in the days of Jonah?  Just thoughts and speculation.

 
Don’t Forget Tabernacles

There is an important Scripture that we need to address.  This one simple verse holds immense importance and has caused a lot of confusion.  It’s Psalm 81:3:

Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day.

Rabbinical and Karaite Jews are divided over this verse.  The word here for “full moon” might mean “concealed moon”.  Jewish tradition favors “concealed moon”, but most biblical commentaries and the Karaite Jews favor “full moon”.  I won’t get into that.  What is most important to this topic is the fact that the trumpet mentioned here is shophar and this is not Yom Kippur.  The question is what moed does the last phrase “on our feast day” point to?  Commentaries are divided between Passover and Tabernacles, but the Tabernacles view is slightly more popular.

This verse is not in the Torah, but it is in Scripture, so we have to treat it as such.  If the moed referenced here is Passover, then in regards to the moedim Passover is the first trumpet and the Yom Kippur Jubilee is the last trumpet.  If instead this verse speaks about Tabernacles, then you might be able to argue that Tabernacles is actually the last trumpet.

Tabernacles has always been one of the “big three” moed to watch in regards to the rapture, along with Yom Teruah and Pentecost.  Here is further study on why Tabernacles might fit.

Friends, we’re getting closer than we could have possibly imagined.  Keep looking up and maranatha!  (Click to Site)

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