The Rapture

      The rapture of the church of Jesus Christ has been something that all true "Spiritual Christians" have anticipated since the day of our Lord's death on the cross for our sins. Here we will give a "possible" solution to knowing at least what time of year this beautiful event will take place.

      One verse that is always at the forefront, or ends a discussion, of every rapture discussion is our Lord's words in Matthew:

Matthew 24:36 "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

      However, lets look a little closer at what is being said here by our Lord and lets also understand something of Jewish thoughts and traditions.

      The phrase "But of that day and hour knoweth no man" is a common Hebrew idiom for the Jewish holiday of "Rosh HaShanah". Jesus' audience may well have fully understood that what Jesus was possibly saying was "I will come again on Rosh HaShanah at some point in the future". It would be like saying in America, "I'll see you again when we gather together to exchange presents." We automatically know that we are referring to Christmas. In like manner, can we expect to see our Messiah on some future Rosh HaShanah?

Take a look at this chart of Jewish Holidays:

      We find in Leviticus 23 that the Festivals of the Lord were appointed times established as yearly rehearsals that taught both historically and prophetically the whole plan of God concerning the coming of Messiah and the redemption of man. The first four feasts have been fulfilled and the Jewish community celebrate them historically. They are Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost. These four Spring Feasts are considered to be an interrelated whole where Pentecost is the completion of the process begun at Passover.

      Looking at the chart above, it is significant that the events that are associated with those feasts are considered a unit and are quite distinctive from the Fall Feasts. The last three feasts; Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles are celebrated in the Fall season and are yet to be fulfilled so they remain prophetic in nature.

      The final three feasts are Trumpets (Rosh HaShanah), Atonement (Yom Kippur), and Tabernacles. Prophetically, the feast of Trumpets is tied to the coming rapture of the church. Yom Kippur will find its prophetic fulfillment when all Israel is saved at the end of the tribulation. Tabernacles will find its prophetic fulfillment when God once again tabernacles or dwells in the midst of His people at beginning of the millennial reign.

      The "Feast of Trumpets" will soon find its prophetic fulfillment. Why do we associate the Feast of Trumpets with the rapture of the church?

      The Hebrew name for "Rosh HaShanah" is "Yom Teruah" or the "day of the awakening blast". Following are the Days of Awe. This in itself presents a strong case for a pre tribulation rapture. The coronation of the King, the resurrection of the dead, the joy of the Messianic kingdom, and the wedding of the Messiah are among the many themes associated with "Rosh HaShanah". A strong theme associated with Teruah is to "awake". Teruah can also be translated "shout". These themes are reminiscent of some verses in 1 Thessalonians which say:

1 Thessalonians 4: 15-17 "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

      This passage is filled with Hebrew idioms that are expressly associated with "Rosh HaShanah, the Feast of Trumpets" and therefore this passage lends itself as "possible" cultural evidence that "Rosh HaShanah will be the appointed day of the rapture of the church and the resurrection of the dead."

      Since a significant theme of "Rosh HaShanah" is that of the wedding of the Messiah, let us now examine the ancient customs associated with the Jewish wedding ceremony to see if there are practices that correspond with many themes of this festival.

Jewish Wedding
Messiah's Wedding

      The Jewish woman indicates acceptance of the man's proposal by drinking a cup of wine

      Jesus passed the cup of wine at the Last Supper and when we drink we accept being His bride

      The Jewish man would pay a price to the parent's of his new bride

      Jesus Christ paid the price for us as His bride with His life

      The Jewish man would then give his betrothed gifts

      Jesus Christ gave us, His betrothed, the Holy Spirit

      The Jewish man would then go a build a place for them to live once married

      Jesus Christ said, "I go to prepare a place for you."

      The Jewish man then goes for his bride at midnight with a host of people, shouting and blowing the shofar for his bride

      The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:

      The Jewish man and wife then spend 7 days alone to consummate the marriage in their wedding chamber

      The Lord and his bride, the church, shall spend 7 years alone to consummate the marriage, during the 7 years of tribulation

      Note that 1000 years is like a day to the Lord. Within 2 days or 2000 years Jesus will return for His bride! Notice above that the Jewish bride is taken from her familiar surroundings to a place she has never been - the home of the bridegroom. They would immediately go to the marriage supper and then enter the bridal chamber for a period of seven days to consummate the marriage. Rosh HaShanah is also known as the "Day of our Concealment". Note that the seven days that we are concealed within the bridal chamber correspond with the "seven years of tribulation" that will be unleashed by God the Father upon an unbelieving world. Notice again the strong evidence for a "pre-tribulation rapture" based on the Jewish wedding ceremony. When the seven days are completed, we will return with Jesus and then "Yom Kippur" and "Tabernacles" will find their prophetic fulfillment.

      We believe that all end time events are divinely planned and are not occurring randomly. Furthermore, we believe that the rapture will occur at an appointed time and God has revealed to us what the appointed times were and are in Leviticus 23 in His Festivals. We believe that all true Christians, on some "Rosh HaShanah", hear the awakening blast of the "shofar" and the "shout" of the archangel and we will dwell intimately in the presence of our Savior while the Days of Awe are unleashed upon the earth.

      A lot of the information for this short article (which shall grow as time permits) was gathered from the following two websites. Check them out as time permits, they are filled with very valid points concerning the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

May God Bless You

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Last modified: 2/25/2009