The Seventh Shofar and The Rapture (Part 1)

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Daniel Juster, Th. D. Restoration from Zion of Tikkun Global 

September 12th, 2018

Those who believe that the rapture of the saints and the resurrection of the righteous in Yeshua comes at the end of the tribulation (Post Tribulation), present two views of where to place the rapture.  One view, which I think is the more dominant, is that it comes at the seventh Shofar in Rev 11.  The other view is that it comes at the end of the season of the bowls of wrath (a brief season at the end of the tribulation), and is identified with the blowing of the shofar at the end of Yom Kippur.  This identification is connected to the I Cor. 15:51-52 text that says we will be transformed at the last shofar. 

In my book Passover, Key to the Book of Revelation, I argue for the seventh shofar as the shofar of the Rapture, our being caught up with the Lord that leads to our return with him.  I see a process of events in his return and do not see it as an all at once event.  I do understand that in such matters we see through a glass dimly and that all such views are somewhat speculative. 

My reasons for holding to this view: 

1.  The Last Shofar in I Cor. 15 could refer just to the last of the shofars that bring judgment and this seventh is the last one in the series and announces the final judgment, rapture and resurrection.  It is not the last to ever be blown.  There will be many more blown throughout the Millennial Age.   

2.  The Feast of Yom Teruah, or the Feast of the Blasting of the Trumpet, has no great fulfillment as do the other Feasts, which have obvious fulfillments in Yeshua.  But if Yom Teruah announces the coming of the Messiah, and effects the rapture, the resurrection and then his descent to earth, we would have that fitting fulfillment.  Other attempts do not identify a great fulfillment sufficient for the weightiness of a major feast.  The association of I Thes. 4:16-17 with Yom Teruah or Rosh Hoshana is a dominant view and commonly taught for good reason.

3.  The Book of Revelation provides a chronology that is progressive in the 7 Seals, the 7 Shofarot, and the Seven Bowls of Wrath.  The Seventh Seal opens up and includes the Seven Trumpets. The Seventh Trumpet opens up and includes the Seven Bowls of God’s wrath.  The book also includes parentheses narratives in the midst of this progression that are not necessarily in the progression.  It is significant that John puts his parentheses narratives where he does. 

Before the Seventh Shofar, John writes that the mystery of God has been completed when he is about to sound the seventh shofar (Rev. 10:7).  If this is the shofar of the rapture and resurrection, it would be a perfect fit.  The mystery is the completion of the numbers counted in the Bride of the Messiah (as Paul teaches in Ephesians 3 and is the fullness of the gentiles in Romans 11).  If the rapture and resurrection are after the seventh shofar, then the mystery would not be complete before it is blown as Rev. 10:7 states.  There would still be people being saved who can be part of the rapture after the blowing of the seventh shofar.  This does not fit the text in Rev. 10:7.   

4.  Revelation 11:3 states that at the end of 1,260 days (the time of the Great Tribulation) the two prophetic witnesses who are martyred are raised from the dead and ascend to heaven.  This is certainly a picture of the rapture and resurrection that I believe shortly follows.   Then there is a great earthquake and 7,000 die in the city called Sodom, which is identified as Jerusalem by noting that it is the city where our Lord was crucified.  It then indicates that Jerusalem turns to the Lord.  “The rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.”  (Rev. 11:14)

In every other case when judgments falls in the Book of Revelation, the people do not turn to God but rebel and curse all the more since they are under the deception of the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet.  This fits as the time when Israel/Jerusalem calls on Yeshua to save them (Matthew 23:39 ff.)

This fits Zech. 14 where the nations have surrounded Jerusalem, there is the earthquake and then the Lord goes forth to fight against the armies of those nations.  The turning of Jerusalem to Yeshua fits if it occurs between Zech. 2-3and then his feet touch down on the Mt. of Olives.  The saints return with Yeshua and the war is still ongoing, not the end of the war yet.  It is not yet the born-again experience for Israel, but seems it is a corporate turning of Jerusalem to Yeshua.  Only after this turning in Rev. 11:14 do we read that the angel sounds the Seventh shofar.  I believe that when Israel or Jerusalem call upon Yeshua it leads to the rapture, then the Kingdoms of this World have become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Anointed One. (Rev. 11:15). (Click to Source)

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Shalom, New Moon – September 11, 2018

Shalom,
New Moon

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The New Moon has been seen in Israel. We enter into the Biblical Seventh Month and the Fall Feasts!
Look toward the western sky at sundown tonight and celebrate the goodness of HaShem in our lives.

Celebration Tips
Lighting of the Menorah
Reading Psalms
Sounding of the shofar
Celebration dinner
Special time of thanks and blessing.
Prayer for peace of Jerusalem (Ps 122:6) and regathering of the family of Israel.
(EZ 37)
May HaShem open His floodgates of blessing upon you in this new month.
Chodesh Tov. (Good month)
Be Strong,
Mike Clayton
Joined To HaShem
 
Disclaimer: This email is not intended to set a calendar or appointed time. It is only to announce the sighting of the New Moon in Israel. It is to be a reminder to those in exile that Jerusalem should be the focus and center of all we do.

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Revelation 12 Fulfilled: The Midnight Cry

 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud cry of summons, with the shout of an archangel, and with the blast of the trumpet of God. And those who have departed this life in Christ will rise first.

Then we, the living ones who remain [on the earth], shall simultaneously be caught up along with [the resurrected dead] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so always (through the eternity of the eternities) we shall be with the Lord!

Therefore comfort and encourage one another with these words. 

(1 Thessalonians 4:16-18) Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation

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Of course…

Oh, how blind.

It was obvious… a long time in coming… yet we didn’t see it.

September 23, the end of the world — that’s how the press ran it. That was the headline—and a poor one, I might add. To be fair, even those of us who didn’t think it would be an ultimate end to this world, we at least thought it a fitting date for the rapture of the Church. Imagine it… on the evening finale of Yom Teruah, the Revelation 12 sign paints the sky of Jerusalem with the birth of the Body of Christ into heaven, and then, at the same time, at the last sounding of the shofar to end the new moon festival, the Lord Himself descends with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet call of God… (1 Thess. 4:16) The rites, observances, sacraments, and symbols of the festival all seemed to be a perfect shadow of the rapture.

But here was the flaw: Yom Teruah never typified anything more than a warning of coming judgment, not the judgment itself. We know that judgment begins with the Church (1 Pet. 4:17); if anything, we should’ve considered the next festival, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the Jews’ holiest day of the year, a sombre day foreshadowing the ultimate judgment of souls. Yom Teruah is more of a wake-up call. It’s emphasis on the shofar—the only festival in which the shofar is to be blown—is supposed to stir people from their spiritual slumber, as with the awakening blast of the shofar—hence Yom Teruah, the Day of the Awakening Blast. It begins at the start of the month when the 10 Days of Awe begin, a time of critical repentance leading up to Yom Kippur. Yom Teruah and its distinguishing trumpet blasts act as the great shout of warning that your judgment day approaches, that is, in the sense of a rehearsal, foreshadowing what will one day take place during this exact time period in some future year. Each year, the drama is rehearsed by way of these festivals; one day, however, it will not be a rehearsal.

Jesus died on the Feast of Passover. He was buried on the Feast of Unleavened Bread. He was resurrected on the Feast of First Fruits. The Holy Spirit conceived in the Church on the Feast of Pentecost. 1, 2, 3, 4… The spring festivals were all fulfilled in order! And now, festival #5, Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets… It has to be! It has to be fulfilled! It makes so much sense! The next event is the rapture of the Church, and the next festival to be fulfilled in sequence is Yom Teruah! And the great sign of Revelation 12 was marking its final day with the Sun in Virgo, the Moon beneath her feet, the 9 stars of Leo joined by Mercury, Venus, and Mars, Jupiter birthed from between Virgo’s legs after retrograding for 9 months inside her womb… It’s too perfect.

 

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It can’t be nothing. It just can’t.

As I write to you now on September 26, now that we no longer have to speculate about what would become of the ominous September 23, let’s scrutinize what did happen that day. No rapture, no unscheduled eclipse… No anything? Nothing at all?

Ah, but not so.

As I said, how very blind we were.

The purpose of Yom Teruah is to blow the trumpet of alarm, the awakening blast of the shofar that stirs us from our spiritual slumber. It’s a preparation, a warning. That’s the chief purpose of its institution. And what did we see on this festival? The grandest celestial sign illustrated in all the pages of Holy Writ, the enigma of all enigmas, the great prophetic dance of the sun, moon and stars that has confounded its students since John first wrote it in 96 AD. On Yom Teruah, we saw Revelation 12 fulfilled. We saw what Jesus prophesied when He said, “At that time shall appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man…” (Matt. 24:30)

We saw the great sign heralding the coming of Christ to gather His Church, and we saw it on a festival chiefly symbolizing a cry of awakening.

The 5th festival has just been fulfilled. After the first 4 were fulfilled in chronological order 2,000 years ago, the Feast of Trumpets, #5, has finally been fulfilled—and perfectly in sequence with the rest.

My God… I don’t even know what to say.

I walked with my dad along the sea after dark, watching the sharp crescent moon fall on the horizon as the Revelation 12 sign was finally, slowly drifting apart. I thought of that famous first verse of Revelation 12, “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” That great mystery of the ages… and there we were, watching the very moon envisioned by John when he wrote that verse. There have been many crescent moons like it, but this was the one, the very one, immortalized in Scripture. And then, it plunged into the silhouette baseboards of the horizon and vanished forever. It would never be seen again, seen only by the Apostle John in vision 2 millennia ago, and by those of us blessed enough to be alive and awake in the year 2017.

Thank-you, Lord.

Something profound began to dawn. Yes, we all know the sun, moon, and stars were made “for signs and for seasons” (Gen. 1:14). So what was this telling us? This sign involved each the sun and the moon and the stars in a major prophetic fulfillment that would’ve had any sensible eschatologian dizzily reaching for a sofa to pass out on. The message is clear. Jesus is coming now. He’s coming to get His 5 wise virgins, His patiently, eagerly, beautifully waiting Bride. The rapture of the Church.

It’s easy to see once you identify the “male child” in Revelation 12 with the Body of Christ, not just Christ alone, seeing all the characters in the sign as corporate entities; all you need to do is examine the male child’s role “to rule all the nations with a rod of iron” (Rev. 12:6) and compare that with Jesus’ promise to His Church: “The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.” (Rev. 2:27) Now, seeing the male child as the Church, we find the Revelation 12 sign depicting its rapture into heaven — “…her child was caught up to God and to his throne…” (Rev. 12:5) — and that’s prior to the dragon’s pursuit of the woman, proving the pre-tribulation rapture of the Church. That child that’s “caught up to God and to his throne” is the same group described in Revelation 7, the fully redeemed Church — “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Rev. 7:9-10) Remember, that’s prior to the 7th seal, the 7 trumpet judgments, and the 7 bowls of wrath—and definitely not after the final Battle of Armageddon.

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It circulated the world. It made headlines. Everyone knows about it. The rumours reached the ears of every church, addressed by almost every pastor I know of. The sign became the subject of a documentary for DIRECTV called The Sign. God made sure the alarm was heard by all. Loud and clear. On Yom Teruah, the great shout of warning signified by its emblematic shofars was an official heavenly announcement of the coming rapture. It was like a loud message: “Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!”

… Ring a bell?

The midnight cry.

MATTHEW 25:1-12 — “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” 

I believe this prophecy is taking place right now, and is about to be fulfilled.

“…at midnight there was a cry…” — The Greek word for “cry” used in this parable is “kraugé“, meaning a shout.

Yom Teruah—the Hebrew word teruah literally means a loud shout, or cry. It is the Day of Shouting, the Day of the Cry, referring to the awakening blast of the shofar stirring its hearers to repentance in light of coming judgment.

And is this not exactly what the midnight cry in the parable is for, to awaken the 10 slumberous virgins to the bridegroom’s imminent arrival — “Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!”

The Revelation 12 sign illustrating the rapture of the Church and the subsequent great tribulation of the Jews appeared precisely on Yom Teruah, the Day of the Awakening Blast, a blaring call to repentance in the form of an ancient festival. That was the midnight cry. The shout in that parable was meant for us, now, at this exact point in time and history. This is for us: “Here is the bridegroom! Go out to meet him!”

Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.

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It was no mere astronomical sign. September 23 was not just a festival. It was an encrypted message intended only for those who perceive by the Spirit. The true words silently shouted through this celestial wonder were those written in the parable of the 10 virgins. That means that the lamps of those 5 foolish virgins who didn’t bring oil are about to go out. We’re going to see a divide amongst professing Christians, some continuing to burn bright in faith and godliness, and some dimming in doubt and scoffing. Those destined to fall away will fall away — “Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.”

Could we really be receiving advance warning from God that the rapture is soon to take place, our glorious transfiguration, our grand assembly with Christ in the air, our entrance into the wedding banquet from amidst this dark night on earth?

It isn’t inconceivable that God would give us some forewarning. In fact, God has a pattern of giving His people advance warning shortly before an event takes place. “For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matt. 24:37) God will deal with us the same way He dealt with Noah. And how did God deal with Noah?

GENESIS 7:1, 4, 10 — “Then the Lord said to Noah, ‘Go into the ark, you and all your household… For in seven days I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights…’ And after seven days the waters of the flood came upon the earth.”

God gave Noah 7 days of advance notice.

I don’t mean to be spooky, but Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is exactly 7 days after the Revelation 12 sign—September 23 – 30.

I wonder—and I’m only speculating—if God is repeating the Noahic pattern. Jesus told us that the days of His revealing would be just like the time of Noah. If the midnight cry went out on Yom Teruah (September 23), it’s very likely that the Church—those who hear the midnight cry—is being given the same 7-day warning before a Yom Kippur rapture.

Oddly enough, this theory begins to make more and more sense.

According to Leviticus 25, if it’s a jubilee year (every 50th year), the “religious year” is supposed to begin on the 10thday of the 7th month, instead of the 1st day.

LEVITICUS 25:8-10 — “You shall count seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years shall give you forty-nine years. Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land. And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his clan.”

That means that the jubilee year would begin on Yom Kippur; and whereas a shofar is only blown on Yom Teruah, in the case of a jubilee year, a shofar will also be blown on Yom Kippur. This would mean that the “last trumpet” of the year is not blown on the Feast of Trumpets, but on the Day of Atonement — “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.” (1 Cor. 15:52) 

This might finally make sense of that riddle of the “last trumpet”. This is a rare occasion. This only happens every 50th year. The question is: are we about to begin a jubilee year?

The exact jubilee count has been long lost over the last 2,000 years. However, there are certain historical events surrounding Israel that seem to indicate that God has been preserving the jubilee cycle, even if the Jews stopped keeping track. Imagine that this is a jubilee year, 2017. 50 years ago, in 1967, the Jews regained Jerusalem in the Six-Day War, God’s chosen race back in their Holy City after its destruction in 70 AD. 50 years before that, is 1917, when the British government after World War I announced their support for a Jewish national home in Palestine with the Balfour Declaration, the statement that led to the restitution of national Israel 30 years later, the Jews back in their God-given land after being exiled for nearly 2 millennia.

These events all seem to indicate a 50-year cycle which may, in fact, be the jubilee cycle, upheld by God’s divine providence. Strangely, the dates all seem to fall on 7’s, God’s sacred number of divine completion—1917, 1967, and perhaps 2017.

Here’s another 7…

1217 is the year a man died, Judah ben Samuel of Regensburg, a rabbi and mystic of the Chassidei Ashkenaz with a fervour for the Messiah’s coming. He claimed that something had been revealed to him by the Prophet Elijah. On the same year of his death, he made a curious prophecy:

When the Ottomans conquer Jerusalem they will rule over Jerusalem for eight jubilees. Afterwards Jerusalem will become no-man’s land for one jubilee, and then in the ninth jubilee it will once again come back into the possession of the Jewish nation – which would signify the beginning of the Messianic end time.

300 years (exactly 6 jubilees) after Rabbi ben Samuel’s death, the Turks conquered Jerusalem and ruled over Jerusalem for precisely 8 jubilees. The Ottoman conquest began in 1517, and the Land was divided into four districts and attached administratively to the province of Damascus and ruled from Istanbul. 400 years later (8 jubilees), in 1917, the British conquered the Turks and the League of Nations took the Mandate for the Holy Land to the British, making Jerusalem a “no-man’s land” under international law until 1967, 50 years later. When Israel took back Jerusalem in 1967, ben Samuel’s prophecy seems to have reached a fulfillment. According to his prophecy, the “Messianic end time” begins in that final jubilee period (1967-2017)—perhaps indicating that the Messiah would appear at the end of that cycle, 2017.

It’s compelling, but not definitely trustworthy. I do, however, find all the 7’s fitting nicely with these supposed jubilee years—ben Samuel’s prophecy and death in 1217, the Ottoman conquest and supposed start of jubilee cycle in 1517, the Ottoman rule in Jerusalem overthrown and the Balfour Declaration established in 1917, the Six-Day War recapturing of Jerusalem in 1967. Those are all apparently jubilee years, and it makes perfect sense in accord with what we know to be true historical events ushering in the rebirth of the nation of Israel, and thus the end times. 2017 would therefore also be a jubilee year.

Consider the year 1517: although this is the year the Turks began their conquest on Jerusalem, it was also the year that Luther exhibited his Ninety-Five Theses in Wittenberg on October 31 and began the Protestant Reformation, a sort of jubilee liberation of the Christian world enslaved by Roman darkness — “You shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants.” (Lev. 25:11) It seems that God has been considering Christians in the preservation of His jubilee cycle after all; in fact, the Church looks to be the main focus of it.

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Assuming there is actually something to all of these numerical, historical patterns, and speculating that God may still be preserving the jubilee count, Leviticus 25 tells us that the jubilee year should begin on the Day of Atonement this year—Tishri 10 instead of Tishri 1—and that a shofar is to be blown on that day. Just to reiterate, that means that, in this special instance, the “last trumpet” of the year is not going to be blown on Yom Teruah, but Yom Kippur. It also happens that Yom Kippur falls on a Sabbath this year, which is not always the case. Yom Kippur itself is known as the “Sabbath of Sabbaths”, and this year, it’s on a Sabbath—and so was Yom Teruah.

HEBREWS 4:1-11 — “Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, ‘So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: ‘On the seventh day God rested from all his works.’ And again in the passage above he says, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, God again set a certain day, calling it ‘Today.’ This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.’ For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.”

Sabbath, the day of rest. Only Christians, through a saving faith in the finished works of Jesus Christ, rest from the law of justification by works. It would be fitting, then, for the rapture of the Church to occur on a Sabbath, especially if it’s also Yom Kippur, the “Sabbath of Sabbaths”…

… And what would make the Jews more jealous for their God than to actually witness on their holiest Holy Day the gentiles obtaining salvation? The Apostle Paul makes clear that stirring the Jews to jealousy is exactly God’s plan to bring about their final awakening to Yeshua HaMashiach, their true Messiah, Jesus Christ.

ROMANS 11:11-15 — “So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean! Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?”

Envision this: 7 days after the midnight cry is heard with the Revelation 12 sign fulfilling the Feast of Trumpets, a rapture of the Church takes place on the Day of Atonement—just as Noah was given 7 days advance warning before the Flood… Is that how it’s going to happen? It’s hard to be certain about anything, but there’s a lot of signs pointing to it. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, certainly would make a perfect memorial for the Church considering that the whole identity of the Church is in the atonement Christ made for it by the sacrificial shedding of His own blood.

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Whether or not Yom Kippur this year brings the ultimate consummation of the Church, I think that the coming days are going to be very exciting—if we faithfully continue watching, staying alert, and do not recede into worldliness. Many, I fear, will fulfill this prophecy:

LUKE 12:45-46 — “But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of THAT servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful.”

I believe the midnight cry has gone out on September 23, Revelation 12 fulfilled, the sign of the Son of Man in heaven.

Grace, peace, and blessings to all of you eager and vigilant believers. Let’s continue in faithfulness, maturity, hope, and use whatever time remains to continue feeding the flock. These last days are going to be a very divisive time within the Body, to separate light from darkness, wheat from weeds. Already, many false brothers are revealing themselves in gracelessness and immaturity, abandoning hope so easily. Encourage one another.

After September 23 came and went, after every prediction and hope of a rapture came to nothing, a sharp dividing sword came down amongst those waiting for the Bridegroom. That was almost more of a sign than the stars painting the night with Revelation 12 — “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 the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Pet. 3:3-4)

It’s not the last days without 5 foolish virgins.

To all mockers, scoffers, don’t be so quick to speak in this auspicious time. Consider the role you’re playing in this retold story of Noah and Lot, and ask yourself who you would’ve been in their time, the faithful or the scoffer — “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man.” (Luke 17:26-27)

 

 

Love and patience be with the Bride.  (Click to Site)

 

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)

Torah Commentary – Ha’azinu (Hear) – Yom Kippur and the Song of Moshe – SCRIPTURES FOR September 23, 2017

Torah Commentary
Ha’azinu (Hear)
Deuteronomy 32:1-52
Isaiah 55:6-56:8, 2 Samuel 22:1-51
2 Kings 22-23

shofar-300x200

Yom Kippur and the Song of Moshe
It has been a long sermon for Pastor Moshe.  The thirty-one chapters of what we know as the Book of Deuteronomy all came forth during this sermon.  He has given the people a summation of the Torah and repeatedly told them the choice they have: to follow it or not. Whether they receive the blessings or the curses and the life or the death will result from their choices.
But how should a message like this end?  How about with a song?  It would not be just any song, but rather a song Moshe would compose, right there on the spot.  It was much more than just a song, much more than lyrics attached to a melody. The song would have the purpose of once again telling them and generations to come, the choice they have regarding following Torah, and the blessings and curses which would come from their decisions!
In this Song of Moshe, a song which is sung by those in the Book of Revelation, the summation is not of the Torah, but rather of the fall and redemption of mankind.  We see the love of a Dad to his children and the judgment of a Father when they get out of line.  We see the protection and nurturing on one hand and the deserved judgment on the other.  It is a song of the highs of obedience and the lows of correction.  It is a song which brings the assurance of victory in the end and confidence of eternal reward for those who remain faithful.  No wonder it is a song sung during the time of Revelation!
After the last note of the song rings out, reality sinks in.  Moshe is reminded of the walk he must soon take.  It is a walk he will make alone, the last walk that he will ever take in his lifetime.
I cannot imagine the emotions Moshe must have felt during this time.  He had failed to “demonstrate My holiness” to the people.  Striking the rock had, and would, cost him dearly.
With this very sobering image in our minds, let’s consider a question for ourselves.  How are we doing at “demonstrating His holiness” to the world around us?  How are we doing in this task with our spouse, our family, our co-workers or just any person we come in contact with on a daily basis?  After the closing song is sung, what image of The Father is being seen in our lives on a daily basis?
At this point I could continue about what it means to demonstrate His holiness, or how Moshe was apparently judged more harshly because of his failure, or any number of other avenues available, but I won’t.  I simply end this rather brief but direct Torah commentary with a short and direct question for each of us to answer privately to ourselves and also to Yah: “How am I doing at ‘demonstrating His holiness?'”
On a final note, it is interesting that this Torah portion falls in the days between Yom Teruah and Sukkot. The fall feasts prior to Sukkot are all about repentance and preparation, and I believe it is appropriate to get our hearts right before having the opportunity to “live out” our preparation by demonstrating His holiness at the gathering of Sukkot, all in practice of standing before Him on The Yom Kippur to come.

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Restoring Yom Teruah: What You May Not Know about Rosh HaShanah

day-of-trumpets-e1505582096252-300x200

Last week, Israelis began excitedly preparing for Rosh HaShanah, the secular Jewish New Year. As you may know, Israel observes two main new years. According to Exodus 12:2, the new year which God gave us starts in the spring. The secular or civil new year is celebrated the first day of the seventh month (“Tishrei”).

Rosh HaShana literally means “Head of the Year.” The holiday falls this year on September 20-22. It is traditionally celebrated with liturgical worship, merry greetings and gatherings, gift giving, and sounding the shofar. A hearty consumption of apples and honey symbolizes hopes for a sweet new year. Prophetic words about the upcoming year (which will be 5778) now add to the mix, as more and more Christians celebrate this special day.

It is good that Gentile followers of Messiah are engaging in the biblically Hebraic roots of our faith. We Messianic Jews encourage your authentic celebration of the feasts. What you may not know, however, is that some of the most critical, biblical aspects of Rosh HaShana are overlooked by many Jews and Christians due to a focus on extra-biblical traditions. Restoring the purity of God’s appointed day in your celebration could bring even greater blessing to you, others—and Him.

What are some ways we can restore the foundations of this week’s feast known as Rosh Hashanah? First, Rosh HaShanah as the Jewish new year is not a biblical feast. It is not mentioned or even directly referenced in the Scriptures. The feast that is commanded on what has been popularized as Rosh HaShanah is actually the Day of Blasting Trumpets (Numbers 29:1) or according to Leviticus 23:24, Memorial of Trumpet Blasting. The Hebrew name for the day is Yom Teruah.

There is reason to believe Rosh HaShanah was likely observed by the ancient Israelites. It developed as a major holiday during the Jewish exile in Babylon in order to accommodate the pagan culture in which Israel had become immersed. Eventually it overshadowed any national emphasis on the new year God actually designated for His people, which is the first day of the first month, called “Nissan.” Unfortunately, Rosh HaShanah also eroded much of the significance of Yom Teruah. This is reflected in the fact Yom Teruah is the only feast rarely called by its biblical name.  So to start, to help restore the pure essence and meaning of the day, Rosh HaShanah ought rightly be called, and observed as, Yom Teruah.

One rationale for the replacement of Yom Teruah with Rosh HaShanah, and resulting new year focus, is the rabbinic belief that Yom Teruah marks either the creation of the world, or of Adam and Eve, or both. (Believing in both could impact the meaning of seven “days” of creation.) This is based partly on a complex, mystical word play on the first word of Scripture, “bereishit.” In any case, I believe we would do best to call the day as God calls it, namely, a day to sound trumpets:

“On the first day of the seventh month, hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. It is a day for you to sound the trumpets. As an aroma pleasing to the Lord, prepare a burnt offering….a grain offering… [and other offerings] by fire…” (Numbers 29:1-6, NIV)

“On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a Shabbat [Sabbath] rest, a memorial of blowing [shofars], a holy convocation. You are to do no regular work and you are to present an offering made by fire to Adonai.” (Leviticus 23:23-25, TLV)

According to the Scriptures, God wants us to honor what we call Rosh HaShanah as a Sabbath. Instead of our usual daily work, we are to gather in holy assembly with His people. He instructs us to make temple offerings and sacrifice, but thankfully, the atonement of Yeshua fulfills this command. In Yeshua, we are to approach Yom Teruah (and everyday) with a spirit of sacrificial surrender: “In view of God’s mercy, offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1) Perhaps most importantly, the Scriptures say God wants us blasting trumpets loudly and repeatedly throughout the day. According to tradition, the shofar was (and is) sounded in Israel 100 times.

Understanding certain Hebrew nuances of the name Yom Teruah can help us grasp deeper realities of the day. The Hebrew word which is translated “sound trumpets” or “blow trumpets” in Numbers 29 and Leviticus 23 is teruah. According to Strong’s Concordance, the Hebrew root for teruah means (1) to disfigure or shatter by breaking; (2) to split ears by loud noise, such as by shouting for joy, sounding an alarm or intense crying; and (3) loud destruction or triumph. Based on the root meanings teruah, Yom Teruah can be translated as a day of loud clamor or noise, loud acclamations of joy, piercingly loud alarms, shattering battle cries and jubilee. This is significant!

Collectively, the Hebrew meanings of teruah describe Kingdom breakthrough. Not just humankind, but the earth and spirit realms may be affected by the ear-piercing cries, wails and triumphant declarations and decrees released this day through the shofar. One (admittedly exra-biblical) possibility is that heaven’s shofars are sounded over the earth realm on Yom Teruah. As we come into agreement with the declarations and decrees of YHVH by likewise blowing trumpets, His Kingdom on earth is released in greater measure.

When Yom Teruah was divinely instituted, the Israelites would have associated shofar blasting with their first and only direct, national encounter with YHVH. The literally heaven and earth shaking encounter took place at Mount Sinai. After a great and mighty shofar blast, God gave His people the gift of His holy Law. (Exodus 19:13, 16-19; 20: 18). Therefore, to the ancient Israelites, Yom Teruah would have served as a memorial—but also reaffirmation or renewal—of divine covenant: “If you obey Me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. … The people all responded together, “We will do everything the Lord has said.” (Exodus 19: 5, 8) If you, too, are in covenant relationship with God, Yom Teruah can be a special day to remember and reaffirm or renew covenant as the shofar blasts.  

Before long, trumpets were associated in Israel with other key events. They were used to call sacred assemblies. They sounded military battle cries to which God promised to respond: “When you go into battle … sound a blast … then you will be remembered by the Lord your God and rescued from your enemies.” (Numbers 10:1-10) If you assemble (with or without others) before God this Yom Teruah, or are engaged in battle (and who isn’t?) why not ask Him to apply trumpet blast victory to your situation?

A final primary purpose of trumpets was to declare the coronation of a king or anointing of a high priest.  (1 Kings 1:34; 39, 2 Kings 9:13; 11:12-14, 2 Samuel 15:10) Therefore, on Yom Teruah, observant Jews still declare the kingship of YHVH over creation. Yom Teruah is also an ideal time to declare Yeshua as King and High Priest over your life, your nation, Israel and all the earth.

With Yeshua as its focus, Yom Teruah is not just a memorial or new year celebration. It can serve as a prophetic act of intercession, worship, repentance and re-alignment with YHVH. It is also a form of spiritual warfare. “Dream” with me, for a moment. What might possibly happen if on Yom Teruah, Holy Spirit filled shofar blasting resounded across Israel and the nations? What Kingdom breakthroughs could transpire if His people around the world gathered in their respective nations, in unity by the Spirit, and sounded trumpets for a day to affirm covenant with YHVH, declare Yeshua’s kingship, and posture themselves for Kingdom advance?

In addition to all the above, Yom Teruah is a prophetic foreshadow of Messiah’s return and resurrection of the dead. When Yeshua comes to earth, heaven’s trumpets will sound loudly. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, 1 Corinthians 15:52, Matthew 24:30-31) Some believe that on a future Yom Teruah, followers of Yeshua will be caught up in the air to meet Him. Others say Yom Teruah is the day on which He will physically return to judge humankind. Still others say both could take place simultaneously.

Observant Jews who do not believe in Yeshua (and some who do) have traditionally regarded Yom Teruah as a day of judgment. It is said that heaven contains books in which every person’s words and deeds are recorded. There are also books of life and death, and all are opened on Yom Teruah.  On Yom Teruah, God carefully reviews the books. Some rabbis believe satan is given access to heaven’s court on Yom Teruah. There he stands and accuses humankind, proverbially throwing the book at us. God hears satan’s case, then gives us ten days to repent of our sin. Ten days later He closes the books and seals our destiny for the upcoming year. The day of sealed or final judgment is known as Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement. (Leviticus 23:26)

Such a scenario could well foreshadow the end of this age. After followers of Yeshua are caught up to join Him in the marriage supper of the Lamb, those remaining will have ten days, so to speak, to turn to God before they are judged. If this is so, the trumpet call this Yom Teruah offers an ideal time to praise God for the gift of forgiveness of sin, and to pray for the salvation of others. He desires that none perish, but that all gain everlasting life. Pray especially for Israel’s salvation as our people gather in synagogues this Yom Teruah, read His Word, and leave hoping to be inscribed in God’s book of life.  

Yom Teruah is a day to hear, and then do, what the Spirit is saying through the shofar. It is a day to engage with fresh revelation of and from God. It is a day to celebrate a fresh start—and new year, if you will. I encourage you to eat the scroll that is trumpeted on Yom Teruah, and then, feel free to enjoy your apples and honey, too! (Click to Site)

This article originally appeared on Light of Zion, September 16, 2017, and reposted with permission.

Torah Commentary – Ki Tavo (When You Come) – Until “Today” – SCRIPTURES FOR September 9, 2017

Torah Commentary
Ki Tavo  (When You Come)
Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8
Isaiah 60:1-22
Matthew 13:1-23
Acts 28:17-31
Romans 11:1-15

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Until “Today”
As I have shared, there are many themes in the book of Deuteronomy. We see the importance of taking responsibility for our actions, treating others with respect, walking in blessings and walking in curses through our disobedience. All of these instructions give us rich teachings to abide in during our life of exile. But there is an underlying theme that brings focus to our walk that is inherent to grasp. It brings greater joy and purpose to this life in exile. The theme I am referring to is Israel!
My heart for Israel overflows in my teachings which is why you will often hear me express concern for the apparent disconnect I see in the Hebraic and church communities. I have attended conferences where Israel isn’t mentioned! When I do talk about Israel, I am often met with glassy, clueless stares. It appears many people are more concerned about building their lives here in Egypt than allowing Father to turn their hearts to our true Home. For those people, I pray that as they read Scripture, Father will open their eyes and change their hearts. There are those who say that we really have nothing to do with Israel today until Messiah sets up His Kingdom. For them I will share modified words of Dietrich Bonheoffer, “I have no right to participate in the reconstruction of life in Israel in His Kingdom unless I participate in the trials of this time with my people.” We need to identify with Israel our people, Israel our home in this day, not tomorrow!
What about the rest of us? In the first chapter of this Torah portion it speaks of a time in which we will bring an offering in a basket and place it before His appointed priests. Read the words from Deuteronomy 26:3-11. Don’t those words give you a longing for that day? For me the word “Today” in verse 3 jumps off the page and grabs my heart. My soul cries out for “Today” to be today. For now we are left longing for “Today” but have to live in today. What can we do with our today’s as we long for “Today?”
In just a couple of weeks we will be into the Fall Feasts. Many will celebrate Yom Teruah with apples and honey. Now I understand it is a tradition, but it is a “sweet” one! I like apples and honey and really appreciate the meaning of entering into the Fall Feasts with a sense of sweetness. What if that delicious jar of honey was not from bees in your neighbor’s backyard, but from bees in our Father’s backyard, Israel? It is easier than you may think. Go online and type in Israel Honey. It can be shipped right to your door. We also look forward to Sukkot. Eight days of finding out things about people you are not sure you wanted to know! In Leviticus 23 we are told to bring the four species and worship before Him. My tradition is to order my lulav and etrog (can be spelled etrog or esrog) from Israel. It is fun to see the expressions on people’s faces when I tell them my bumpy, bright yellow fruit is from Israel. Ordering is easy. Go to myesrog.com and order your own citrus fruit from the Land! If you do so by Sept 20 you can use the code myesrog2017 for a discount. Imagine standing in the midst of the community waving a lulav and etrog that has just days before been in the place your heart is longing to be.
There is another issue to prayerfully consider. Today there are needs all over the world. In America we do not have to look farther than southern Texas. I urge people to do whatever they can to help whoever they can in that area. Even in the midst of this, please remember Israel? Are the verses in Deuteronomy not telling us that our first offering should be there? Take a look at Romans 15:25-27. It is absolutely a good thing to help those in Houston, but it is also our Scriptural duty to help those in need in Israel.
In mid October I will be leading our annual tour to Israel. As has been the case now for over 15 years, I will be taking funds to help those in need. If you would like to be a part of this, a Sukkot offering to our home, you can go to our web site and put “Israel” in the note section of your donation. Or if it is easier, you can send a check or call with a credit card. Every dollar will go to Israel to help those in need.
For today, Messiah has not returned, the Temple of His home has not been built, Torah is not flowing into the nations from Jerusalem, but that does not mean we cannot be involved in what may be hastening our today’s to become “Today.” May your longing for Home bring forth joy in your life, purpose and preparation! (Click to Site)

 

Torah Commentary Nitzavim “Standing” -Starting To Think

Torah Commentary
Nitzavim “Standing”
Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20
Isaiah 61:10-63:9
Hosea 14:2-10
2 Kings 16-18
Starting To Think
Jesus scriptures temple2
Many people have dreamed through the years how great it would be to have lived during Biblical times. They imagine what it would have been like to live during the time of Jeremiah, Isaiah or one of the other prophets. They think how exciting it must have been to have heard first-hand the words of John just days after he saw the vision.
If you have ever been one of those who thought this way, I encourage you to consider that we live in an even greater time today. Not only are we reading these exciting prophecies in our day, but we are also living them out. We are truly witnesses to the day which the prophets longed to see.
Moses himself spoke one of those prophecies in this Torah portion. Moses has already stated he was not merely speaking to the people who were gathered on that day, but to multitudes who were not there. He was speaking to a generation yet to come. When he spoke the words of Deuteronomy 30:1-6, he was not only speaking to the people he was seeing with his natural eye, but also to a people he could only see with his spirit. He was speaking to you and to me! (Click to Article)