If you are not Jewish, you probably aren’t too interested in Rosh Hashanah, which is commonly known as the Jewish New Year. Well, I’m here to tell you that you are missing out on something BIG!!! You are missing out on a grand mystery the Lord has revealed in this amazing biblical feast. Take a journey with me and you will realize this isn’t just a Jewish Feast, and if you are a Christian you should pay very very close attention.
So what is Rosh Hashanah? As I stated above, it is the Jewish New Year. Like our New Year’s in January, it falls once a year during the month of Tishrei. Ten days after Rosh Hashanah is Yom Kippur (also known as The Day of Atonement). These two holidays together are known as the High Holy Days. If you don’t know what the month of Tishrei is, you are not alone. Most of the world follows the Gregorian calendar, which is a calendar set forth by man. God’s calendar is the Jewish/Hebrew calendar and it is laid out much differently. I will go into the Jewish/Hebrew calendar at another time, as the details can be lengthy, yet fascinating.
Rosh Hashanah is celebrated on the first two days of Tishrei, which usually occurs in either September or October on our Gregorian calendar. This year it will occur at sundown on OCTOBER 2, 2016 and go all the way through sundown on OCTOBER 4. The actual date varies from year to year, based on the Hebrew calendar.
Leading up to Rosh Hashanah is the month of Elul. Elul occurs in either August or September, depending on the year. During this entire month the Jewish people will spend much time searching their lives and repenting of sins. They will often make amends with people they have wronged. It’s a time to purify and cleanse oneself of sin. The month of Elul is preparation for Rosh Hashanah, or the New Year, where one’s life can “be made new.”
Now here’s where it gets interesting. During the month of Elul, leading up to Rosh Hashanah, the SHOFAR, or ram’s horn (trumpet) is blown everyday. The blast (sound) of the shofar is piercing, loud and sharp. It is meant to “wake up” the souls of men/women so they can be aware of their sin and repent. It is meant to draw them close to God, and remind them to turn back to him. In fact, in the Bible, God’s voice is compared to a trumpet, or shofar. There is a specific number and order to the shofar blasts that I will describe later. But as you probably know, God has a divine order to everything, especially his feasts. On the actual holiday (feast day) of Rosh Hashanah, the shofar is blasted 100 times! This is why Rosh Hashanah is also called YOM TERUAH, which means Day of Blowing, or the Day of the Shofar.
Since the Jewish people have examined themselves and repented throughout the month of Elul, they are ready when Rosh Hashanah arrives. It is on this day they believe their names will be written in the Book of Life for at least one more year. God has heard and accepted their pleas of repentance, so he will allow their name to be placed in the Book.
Now, does any of this sound familiar to Christians? Let’s see, I’ll throw a few verses out there.
Here’s 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17– “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the TRUMPET CALL OF GOD, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
Do you see the trumpet (the shofar) mentioned in there? Those verses are describing the Rapture, when Christ will to fetch his PURE, HOLY Bride. The Bride must be made pure through the blood of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross. By accepting Jesus as Savior, it purifies us of our sins. We repent and confess our sins to Jesus. Just as the Jews search their hearts during the month of Elul, we search ours everyday and repent, knowing our groom will come get us one day. Christ will return at the sound of the trumpet, or shofar.
1 Corinthians 52 says, “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will be changed, in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at THE LAST TRUMPET. For the TRUMPET will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.”
This verse is also referring to the Rapture, when Christ will snatch his Bride in the twinkling of an eye. It will be quick like lightning. In a moment’s notice, our bodies will be changed and we will be taken to heaven. And this will all be done at the sound of a trumpet, or shofar.
Here’s what’s very, very, very interesting. Did you know Jesus fulfilled many of the Jewish Feasts already? Rosh Hashanah, as well as Yom Kippur and the Feast of Tabernacles have not been fulfilled YET. These three feasts are called the Fall Feasts, or Harvest Feasts. However, he will fulfill them in the future. But, Jesus already fulfilled the SPRING FEASTS. What are they? Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and Pentecost. Let me explain. For thousands of years the Jewish people have been celebrating seven specific feasts (holidays) commanded by God. Each feast has very specific traditions and God required special rituals to be completed. He didn’t ask them- he commanded them to do everything just the way he described in Leviticus 23. Why? Because they were DRESS REHEARSALS for the real thing. For thousands of years the Jewish people were celebrating Passover and sacrificing an unblemished perfect lamb. They were putting blood on their doorposts and piercing unleavened bread with a “fork”. Many years later Jesus would die on the Jewish Feast of Passover as the “lamb of God”. His body was pierced and he was beaten, even though he had no sin (no leavening) in him. Next came the Feast of Unleavened Bread, where the Jews were commanded to only eat “unleavened bread.”. This represented removing sin from their lives. Jesus, the sinless sacrifice, was actually laying in the tomb during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. He was the bread of life with no sin. Next came the Feast of First Fruits. For thousands of years the Jewish people had been bringing God “the first fruit out of the ground” from their harvest on this day. They would offer these “first fruits” to God as a sacrifice to him. Well, guess what? Jesus rose from the dead on the Jewish Feast of First Fruits. He was literally “the first fruit out of the ground” on that day, fulfilling the Feast right on time. His sacrifice had been made. I am just providing you some of the details. If you had time to study all the rituals and how Jesus fulfilled every single one it would blow your mind!!!! I’m just giving you a few pieces of the information.
Here’s my point. If Jesus fulfilled all the Spring Feasts to the day and hour, don’t you think he will fulfill the Fall Feasts! The answer is yes. We don’t know the exact year or time, but it is likely it will be fulfilled exactly as rehearsed. The Jewish people are still rehearsing it. Rosh Hashanah could be a dress rehearsal for the rapture. Again, we don’t know what exact year, but you can bet Jesus will fulfill the Fall Feasts at some point. In this blog, I’m focusing on the Fall Feast known as Rosh Hashanah. In later blogs, I’ll focus on the other two. Keep in mind that I’m giving you some clues and symbolism but I do not claim to know all the dynamics of this feast. I also do not know exactly how the feast will be fulfilled! Only God knows that and it is possible this feast could be fulfilled in multiple ways and more than one time!
Now why a trumpet, or shofar? Well, in Exodus 19:19, God spoke to Moses with the voice of a trumpet. It is after all, his calling card.
But there’s still even more symbolism and history that ties to Rosh Hashanah and the shofar.
Let’s delve in even further. When Abraham went to Mount Moriah to sacrifice his son Isaac, there was a shofar involved. Remember, Abraham was about to sacrifice his son Isaac on the altar, when at the last minute God provided a RAM for a sacrifice. The RAM’S HORNS were caught in the thicket. Now, Abraham would sacrifice the ram instead of his son Isaac. Now, what is a shofar made out of? A ram’s horn! Whenever God hears the shofar, or ram’s horn he is reminded to show mercy. It is a reminder of when he showed mercy to Abraham. Of course we know this story is a foreshadowing of when Jesus, God’s only son, would be sacrificed for our sins. In God’s mercy, he provided his own son in our place. So, essentially the shofar is a reminder of Jesus, and his mercy.
The Books of the Law, also known as the Torah, were actually given to the Israelites with the sound of the shofar. (Exodus 19:19). Sacred meetings and assemblies were called to order by the blowing of the shofar, or trumpet. It was used to signal war, and it was used for the coronation of Kings. It was used when people took oaths with God. Temple services always included the playing of the shofar. In addition, the Ark of the Covenant, which carried the spirit of God, was often accompanied by the sounding of the shofar.
Are you starting to see how important the shofar is? Are you starting to see it’s symbolism?
Now let me clue you in on another mystery. Rosh Hashanah, as you know from above, is also called Yom Teruah or the Day of Blowing (of the shofar). Well, did you know it is also called the Hidden Day? In Hebrew it is called Yom HaKeseh. The word Keseh comes from the word kacah which means to cover, conceal or hide. The mystery is going to go deeper.
So, why is Rosh Hashanah also called The Hidden Day, or the Day of Hiding? Remember when I told you earlier that prior to Rosh Hashanah the shofar (trumpet) is blown everyday during the month of Elul? Well, this is true but there is ONE DAY the shofar is not blown. It is on the day before Rosh Hashanah, or Elul 29. The shofar is not blown on this day because it is meant TO HIDE OR CONCEAL the day. Why conceal it? It is concealed so Satan (the persecutor) does not know when the actual feast is taking place. Satan knows the festival times and he knows the sounding of the shofar is related to them. But, he does not know the details of how the festivals will be fulfilled. For example, he knew there was a Passover Feast, but he did not know Jesus was going to fulfill the Feast on the exact day and hour. This was hidden from him. Now keep in mind in the month preceding Rosh Hashanah the Jewish people are cleansing and purifying themselves in preparation for Rosh Hashanah, which is when their names go into the Book of Life. They believe this is their “Day of Judgment”. When the shofar is not sounded the day before their “Judgment Day” they believe it throws Satan off. He is not aware the actual feast will take place the next day. By the time the feast comes around the next day, it is too late. God’s people are now in the Book of Life.
Now think about this. As Christians our names are written into the Book of Life when we accept Christ. We are saved by the blood of the Passover Lamb. Yet, we do know there will be a Judgment Day, also known as the Day of the Lord. Many believe this is when the rapture will take place and those whose names are in the Book of Life will be taken and “hidden” in heaven while the Tribulation takes place on Earth. This will happen at the sound of “the last trump”. Keep in mind on Rosh Hashanah the shofar or trump is blown 100 times!!! Does Satan know the timing? No, he doesn’t.
Let’s look at the words of Jesus in Matthew 24. The disciples are asking Jesus what will happen at the end of the Age. Jesus tells them to watch carefully and says there will be many signs in the world. Wars, famines, earthquakes and such. He mentions false prophets and the increase of wickedness. He then goes on to explain the distress that will befall the world will be unlike any other time on Earth. In verse 27 he says, “For as lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Then he states the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light and the heavens will be shaken. Next he says, “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Note the trumpet being sounded when God’s people are gathered, or raptured.
After Jesus says these things, he goes on to tell us something very, very important! He says “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” Keeping in mind, this is known as “a hidden day.” We certainly can’t pinpoint an exact year or time. We don’t “date-set”. But, we need to be on target with signs. And Jesus expects us to know his feast times, such as Rosh Hashanah. If we do, it will not surprise us like a “thief”.
But, look on and see something amazing. After Jesus says no one knows the day or hour, he says when he returns it will be like the days of Noah- people were going about their business, not knowing what was coming. They were eating, drinking and whatever they wanted with no idea of the flood at their heels. The DAY WAS HIDDEN TO THEM. This is exactly how it will be at the rapture. People who are “asleep” will have no idea what is coming. They will be going about their business. It will sneak upon them like a thief. Jesus says, “And knew not until the flood came and took them all away; so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.” ( Just like the lightning flashing from the East and West, it will be quick!) Then Jesus says, “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the Mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore; for ye do not know what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known what watch the thief would come, he would have watched and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.” You see, if we are looking for our Savior and keeping relationship with him, and we are familiar with his JEWISH roots, we will not be surprised. We will not let our house be broken into. We will be gone from our house because we are raptured with Jesus!!!
There is a big sign Jesus said to watch for before his return, and it happened in 1948. Look at this verse: “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When its branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know the summer is near: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, you that it is NEAR, even at the door.” What does this parable mean? Well, you have to understand that in “God’s language”, Israel is the fig tree. The verse mentions “when its branch is tender and puts forth leaves, you know the summer is near”. This is referring to when Israel (the fig tree) saw its “rebirth” in 1948. Keep in mind the people and nation of Israel of biblical times were persecuted and scattered. They lost their nation. But prophecy was fulfilled on May 14, 1948 when Israel’s branches literally burst forth. They became a nation once again. What this means is the return of Jesus is “right at the door”. This was a sign Jesus spoke of! This is quite interesting because last year there were two blood moons on Jewish Feasts in 2015. There were also two that occurred in 2014. One occurred on Passover and the other on the Feast of Tabernacles in both years, for a total of four blood moons (total lunar eclipses on Jewish Feasts). 2015 marked 67 years since Israel became a nation. May 14, 2015 marked 67 years since Israel’s rebirth on May 14, 1948. Why is that significant? Because in 1967 Israel reclaimed East Jerusalem and unified the capital. There was a tetrad of blood moons this year as well (in 1967 and 1968), coinciding with the unification of God’s Holy City under the nation of Israel. Prophecy unfolded! You see, the return of Jesus is right at the door.
Since Jesus is our JEWISH savior it is likely when he returns for his BRIDE he will follow the customs of a Jewish wedding! Let’s look at how that would unfold. And guess what? It will include the sounding of the trumpet, or shofar!!! So, let’s see how a Jewish wedding unfolds.
First of all a Jewish wedding started with a legal contract. When a man was interested in marrying a woman (often the Father chose the Bride), he would bring a contract to the Bride’s father. The contract (covenant) would include the PRICE to pay for the Bride. Often, the price would be high.
Next, the groom had to pay the price for the Bride. Once the contract was agreed upon and the price paid, the groom would then leave. Now it was time to go back to his Father’s property. The Father would now prepare a place on his property for the Bride and Groom. The Father would build a beautiful bridal chamber on his property and fill the room with food and all the things the Bride/Groom would need for a period of 7 days. This is because once the Bride/Groom arrived on the property they would immediately go into the special chamber and stay for the entire week. (Sounds like a “hiding place” doesn’t it?)
Now keep in mind that it could take a while to build this bridal chamber on the Father’s property. In the meantime, the Bride would be waiting. She wasn’t even allowed to see the Groom during this period!!! Sometimes she would have to wait up to a full year! Keep in mind, she didn’t see the Groom at this time. Nevertheless, she wore a veil to remind herself and others that she was promised to the Groom. She missed her groom terribly, but she was absolutely certain he would come back for her. She had an oil lamp waiting at night, just in case her Groom came in the evening, or the middle of the night.
At some point the Father would finish the chamber and at that time he would tell his son to “Go Fetch his Bride.”. The Groom would be off to the Bride’s house, followed by the wedding party. Often this would happen around midnight. It’s possible the Bride would be asleep. Then again, knowing the groom could come at any time, she may have her wedding dress on, or be fully dressed!
The Groom and the wedding party did give the Bride a little warning before they made it to her house. One person would belt out a very loud SHOUT! A shofar would be sounded as they approached. As soon as the Bride heard the SHOUT and/or SHOFAR she knew her Groom was coming. She quickly grabbed her oil lamp and waited for the Groom to burst into her home. The Groom would grab his Bride and off he would go. That’s where the expression, “stealing the Bride away” comes from. She was “taken” from her home as quick as lightning.
When the Bride and Groom reached the Father’s Property, they would enter into their “hidden” chamber and remain there for seven days. At the end of the seven days, the couple would emerge and come out to enjoy a marriage supper with the wedding guests. After the marriage supper the Bride and Groom would go to their own special place, which was made ready by the Groom.
Do you see any parallels here? Do you see that the Father of the Groom is God. God the father tells Jesus (his son) when to come fetch his Bride. The Bride are those who have a covenant with Jesus. They have accepted him as the Savior. Jesus, the Groom, paid a high price for the Bride- he paid with his life- his blood. Once he was crucified, he died and rose again. But then he was taken to heaven. His followers, the Bride, miss him dearly. He has been gone such a long time. Yet, here the Bride waits. The Bride sets him/herself apart by allowing the world to see he/she belongs to Jesus and not to the world. Just like the Jewish bride who had to wait for a long time, so does the Bride of Christ. Does the Bride fall asleep? No, he/she is to be alert and awake. Now, did you notice that when the Groom does return he will warn the Bride with a shout, and the sound of the shofar? Just like on Rosh Hashanah, there is an “awakening blast” that reminds the Bride he is on his way. The Bride has her oil lamp ready. This oil lamp is symbolic for the Holy Spirit. We receive the Holy Spirit from Jesus when we accept him as Savior. When Jesus comes we will need to have our oil ready. We won’t have time to get it later. It has to be ready when he arrives.
Once he arrives we will be raptured and taken to heaven. The Father’s House is symbolic for heaven. God is the Father and the place he prepared is in heaven. Jesus will snatch the Bride from Earth and bring them to heaven to a “hidden place”, or a marriage chamber on God’s property. In a Jewish wedding the Bride stays “hidden” in the chamber for 7 days. But this may be symbolic of the 7 year tribulation. The Bride will be hidden away during this horrible time on Earth. Now, do you remember when I said Rosh Hashanah is also called “The Hidden Day.” Well, think about it………….the Bride will be taken and “hidden” for the time of tribulation. Also keep in mind the Bible says Jesus will return like a thief in the night, but those who are on the alert will not be surprised by the thief. They will know he is coming. Just like the Jewish Bride who slept in her wedding dress, we should have our clothes ready to go. The Bride was “stolen“, yet she knew it was coming so she was not surprised.
John 14:2,3 says, “In my Father’s House are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am”
Here’s the thing. God never intended for us to forget his special feast days like Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), or the Feast of Tabernacles. These are his Fall Feasts that he will fulfill one day. He already fulfilled the other four in the Spring. You have to remember Jesus came to save all mankind, but he started with the Jew and then the Gentile. Together we form the ONE NEW MAN. We are on the same branch. Together we form the full dwelling place of God. If we forget the Jewish roots we have lost part of the puzzle. We can never finish it because pieces are missing. God hasn’t forgotten the Jewish people no more than he’s forgotten the Gentiles. God has set out to redeem his people through the grace of Jesus and the witness of the Gentiles. How amazing it is that God set his feasts are set up to mimic what he will do in the future.
In Genesis 1:14 God says something important. He says, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.” What this is saying is that God made the moon, sun and stars for special reasons. Do you see where it says seasons? I know you are thinking about spring, summer, fall and winter. But you have to think of this in terms of its Hebrew meaning. The word season is translated as moed in Hebrew, which means appointed time, meeting, sacred season or FEAST. What this means is that God uses the sun, moon and stars to point to his special FEASTS, which are actually appointments with him. If God made an appointment with you wouldn’t you want to keep it???? Well, his seven biblical feasts are APPOINTMENTS! He already fulfilled the Spring appointments at Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and Pentecost. Now, he is getting you ready for the Fall Feasts or appointments. All these feasts are set by the lunar cycle. What’s interesting is that in 2014 and 2015 we’ve had total lunar eclipses on two of God’s feasts- two on Passover and two on Tabernacles. Plus we had a solar eclipse on Rosh Hashanah in 2015. Since all this has occurred we have seen the rise of ISIS, terrorism, a major refugee crisis, great division (religiously, economically, socially) and earthquakes/floods/volcanic eruptions. The last time a series of blood moons occurred (also known as total lunar eclipses) on Jewish Feasts in was in 1967 when Israel unified the holy city of Jerusalem. Currently, there is a deal on the table at the United Nations to divide Jerusalem! Not a good idea!!!! Jesus will return to Jerusalem one day to rule the nations. The Feast of Tabernacles signifies the return of Jesus to rule on Earth!!! Two of these blood moons were on Tabernacles in 1967 and in 2014/2o15. Do you know there is a total SOLAR ECLIPSE traveling across the United States on August 21, 2017. It will travel from West to East and will be the first one to pass over our land exclusively since 1776. It’s not on a Jewish Feast date, but interesting none the less. I’m not predicting anything, I’m just saying you should be aware.
If you ask me, the Bride should be getting his/her wedding clothes on. Of course I’m not claiming to know any year or date. I’m just saying Jesus will fulfill the Feasts at some point and it’s a good idea to be in the loop about the Feasts. When he returns it shouldn’t be a surprise.
Here’s another detail to mention as to why Rosh Hashanah is called The Hidden Day. Did you know that Rosh Hashanah is the only festival that know one knows the exact time it will occur? Why? It is because the festival officially begins ON THE NEW MOON. Have you ever tried to look for the new moon in the sky? If you haven’t, it’s pretty tricky. That’s because on the day of a new moon the moon will rise when the sun rises. Then it will set when the sun sets. It will travel across the sky with the sun throughout the day. If you were to try to look at it with your eyes the glare of the sun would obscure your view. In addition, the lighted side of the moon is facing the opposite direction. In a day or two the moon will suddenly “show its face” as it moves while in orbit. At this time you will see a skinny waxing crescent sliver in the sky, but it will only be visible for a short time after sunset. Nowadays, some people call it a young moon. As you can see, pinpointing the arrival of the new moon can be difficult. Luckily we have satellites and NASA and all sorts of fancy gadgets to help us stay on track in our day and age. But, back in biblical times, they didn’t have such technology. Instead they had to rely on TWO WITNESSES. These witnesses were responsible for spotting the new moon, and then testifying to the Sanhedrin that it was seen. The Feast of Trumpets did not officially start until the new moon was sighted by these witnesses. Sometimes the two witnesses would spot it right away, but other times it was more difficult. Sometimes the witnesses arrived in time to testify of the sighting early in the day, but other times it could be later. If they arrived late much of the day would be missed. This is why the holiday is celebrated for two days, just to be safe. Typically the moon’s crescent (new moon) should be seen on the 30th day, but if it was not seen then Rosh Hashanah would be celebrated on the following day, or it could just be celebrated for the two days. In Matthew 24 Jesus says, “no one knows the day or hour he will return” and it is possible he was referring to the fact that at the Feast of Trumpets no one knows exactly when the new moon will show itself, or when the feast will begin exactly. The time and hour is “hidden” by the fact that it is a new moon, which is very difficult to spot. This is all the more reason why we need to keep our vision sharp, like a raptor. Falcons and other birds of prey (raptors) have such keen vision they can spot even the smallest prey from hundreds of yards away. When the rapture comes, not everyone will be watching with keen vision. The signs could just slip by if we are not awake and alert.
Remember when I said Rosh Hashanah was called the Hidden Day? It is also known as The Day of Judgment, and the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. According to Jewish tradition Rosh Hashanah is a day when man is judged according to what he’s done throughout the year. Deuteronomy 11:12 says- “A land which the Lord thy God careth for: the eyes of the Lord thy God are always on it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.”
Another interesting fact about Rosh Hashanah is that it is said this day coincides with when the creation of the world was finished. The creator himself ruled the world with justice. Thus, Judgment Day. Another reason among Jewish tradition is that this is also the day Adam was judged, but he repented of his sin and was forgiven.
Of course as Christians and followers of Christ we are not bound by judgment, but by grace. Once we accept Christ, our names are written in the Book of Life.
Luke 10:20 “However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Daniel 12:1 “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people- everyone whose name is found written in the book- will be delivered.”
Revelation 3:5 “The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.”
The Book of Joel as well as the Book of Zechariah speak clearly about the Day of the Lord, or the Day of Judgment.
Joel 2:1 says, “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand.”
Do you see how the trumpet or shofar is mentioned? Remember, a shofar/trumpet blast is not only an awakening blast, it’s also a warning.
Now look at Zechariah 9: 14. It says, “Then the Lord will appear over them; his arrow will flash like lightning. The sovereign Lord will sound the TRUMPET; he will march in the storms of the south and the Lord Almighty will shield them.
There’s the trumpet again- the shofar. This passage is describing the Day of the Lord or the Day of Judgment.
Here’s another verse to compare. It’s from Zephaniah 1:14-16.
“The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the Day of the Lord: the mighty men shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a DAY OF THE TRUMPET and ALARM against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.”
Did you see where it mentions the shofar/trumpet AGAIN? It says its a Day of the Trumpet (which is like saying it’s a Yom Teruah- perhaps a Rosh Hashanah). What is interesting to me is how it mentions it’s a day against THE HIGH TOWERS. It makes me think of the Tower of Babel when man tried to out do God by building a high tower to the sky. It reminds me of the Twin Towers and how they were destroyed – only to be built into a tower that is even taller! Yet, has our country turned back to God? They build towers, forgetting the one who made all of creation.
Are you starting to see the parallels? The Day of the Trumpet is likened to a hiding place for those who know the Lord, but a day of Judgment for those who do not. A Day of Hiding, as well as a Day of Judgment.
Not too long ago I read the book THE HIDING PLACE, by Corrie ten Boom. It was an amazing story about how a Dutch Christian woman and her family saved hundreds of Jews and persecuted people during World War II. Corrie ten Boom, along with her father and sister built a hiding place in the wall of their house. When the Nazis would come to search the house the people would literally hide in the wall. Though Corrie and her family were arrested on suspicion of hiding Jews in their home, the hiding place was never actually found by the Nazis. Every Jewish person (or persecuted person) that came to their home was kept safe, and hidden. One of Corrie’s favorite verses was Psalm 91 which says, “He that dwells in the shadow of the Most High, rests in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, he is my REFUGE and my fortress: Surely he will deliver thee.”
As I was reading The Hiding Place I couldn’t help but think about The Hidden Day and Rosh Hashanah. The Lord himself will hide his people from the judgment of the world. Just as Corrie hid the Jews from the judgment and terror of the Nazis, Jesus will also hide us from the terror on Earth. Like Psalm 91, he will shelter us, and he will be our REFUGE. He will deliver us from all evil.
Often people think of the word APOCALYPSE when they think of the Judgment of the world. It’s interesting because the root word of apocalypse is CALYPSO and Calypso means “to conceal” or “hide”. It also means “she who hides”. I think about the “hidden day” when Jesus will “hide” his Bride on his father’s property. The Bride will be hidden from the turmoil unfolding on Earth.
Have you ever heard of the story of Jericho? Of course you have! The Israelites marched around the city of Jericho for seven days and on the seventh day they gave a loud shout and the walls fell down. Not only that, the trumpets (shofars) were blaring, as the Ark of the Covenant was carried. The Israelites took the city and entered their Promised Land. As the Israelites entered the land they were told to destroy all the people within the walls. Yet, Rahab and her family were spared. Why? Because she had hidden the spies (sent by God) from enemies within the walls. She had hidden God’s people. This story is reminiscent of the Rapture, when Jesus returns at the sound of the shofar. The Bride, like Rahab, will be spared and taken to the Promised Land (Heaven). After Rahab and her family were spared the rest of the city was judged. The entire city was burned and destroyed. Keep in mind that Jericho was full of evil and pagan practices. Rahab herself lived on the wall of Jericho, her house being built against the wall itself. Yet, when fire came and destroyed the city, Rahab and her family were safe inside this “hidden place” in the wall. Even archaeological evidence backs this up. You know what else is interesting? In the ruins of Jericho they found an abundant supply of food. They found many large jars full of grain. That’s because it was the time of the HARVEST when Jericho was attacked. Now why is this important? It’s important because in the Bible the harvest represents the harvesting of God’s people. The Rapture itself represents “gathering God’ people” as one would gather in the harvest. The harvest is taken up to heaven. It’s interesting to note that the month of Elul, which precedes Rosh Hashanah means harvest and is the first of the Fall Feasts or “harvest feasts.” In addition, keep in mind there are 7 total feasts – 4 spring and 3 fall. So, this makes Rosh Hashanah the FIFTH feast of the Lord. In the Bible the number FIVE points to GRACE. The Rapture itself points to grace for those in Christ Jesus. I think it is fascinating how God reveals his plan through stories throughout the Bible.
Rosh Hashanah is also associated with what’s called THE TIME OF JACOB’S TROUBLE. This is also called the time of tribulation for Israel. In the Bible, Jacob is another name for Israel. It is possible that after the Rapture of the Church, it will usher in the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. The Antichrist would come on the scene after much disorder and chaos. He will fool the world into thinking he is the promised Messiah. He will even sign a peace treaty with Israel, promising peace and safety to all. Yet, it will be a false peace. After 3 1/2 years, or 42 months he will let his true self be revealed. He will trample on the Jewish people and Jerusalem. He will punish those who stand against him. Death will be the punishment for those who do not worship him. But Jesus will return to settle the score and save Israel, and the world.
I know this is a lot to take in. It has taken me lots of time, prayer and study to understand the vast symbolism God reveals in his word. All this Rapture and Day of Judgment talk may seem just plain scary. I get it. No one wants to think the world will be judged. But sin has to be judged. Yet we have a Savior. He’s not going to let us sink like the Titanic. Think about this: The original requirement for blowing the shofar was NINE BLASTS. Depending on which synagogue you attend, the pattern can vary, but for the most part the sequence of blasts, as well as the total number is always in groups of three and nine. This is amazing symbolism because Jesus Christ went to the cross at the 3rd hour, and he died at the 9th hour. Do you see the three and nine pattern? He died on the cross for all of mankind’s sin. We have learned the shofar, or trumpet is blown during the month of Elul to call mankind to repentance. It is an alarm. An awakening blast. That very shofar is made from a ram’s horn, reminding us of the sacrifice Abraham was willing to make at Mt. Moriah. But God provided a ram instead. It was all a foreshadowing of the sacrifice God would make. He would sacrifice his son on the cross. The three and the nine point back to Jesus, the lamb of God and the time he was on the cross. It also points to the trinity- God the father, Jesus the son and the Holy Spirit. So, the shofar is not to be feared. It’s something to look forward to. It’s a reminder that one day our Savior will meet us in the air and take us to heaven.
Now here’s the thing. We know Jesus said he will come like A THIEF IN THE NIGHT.
1 Thessalonians 5: “But of the times and seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.”
Now if you look at the verses above you should see it says, “But of the times and SEASONS brethren ye have no need I write to you.” Do you remember that SEASONS translated in Hebrew is FEASTS, APPOINTED TIME, DRESS REHEASAL! It’s saying you should be aware and know the appointed times to meet with God- his feasts. Then it says the Lord is coming like a Thief. Coming like a thief sounds kind of scary. But its not the same kind of thief you are thinking of. You have to understand it the way it would have been looked at in ancient times- during the times of Jesus. Back then, the High Priest was called THE THIEF IN THE NIGHT. Now keep in mind the HIGH PRIEST had full access to God and he was the one who made pleas to God for forgiveness for the people of Israel. Once Jesus came, he filled the role of the HIGH PRIEST and died on the cross, thus giving us complete and total access to him 24/7, without the need of the HIGH PRIEST of the Temple. But before Christ came the High Priest was there to make sure all Temple Services ran smoothly and everything was done right.
In the Holy Temple a priest was put on night duty every single night. One of his jobs was to guard the fire burning on the altar. He needed to make sure it kept burning all through the night so as to be ready for the morning sacrifice. The fire had to remain lit at all costs.
As you can imagine staying awake and alert all night can be hard work. I’m sure it would be easy to doze off every now and then. But if the priest dozed off he took the chance that the fire would go out. It was his job to add wood and fan the flames throughout the night. He could not take the chance of letting the fire go out.
Unfortunately a priest did fall asleep every now and then. This is where the High Priest came in. The High Priest was well aware that falling asleep was a possibility for any priest. For that reason he would at times leave his post to check up on the priest (the night watchman). The High Priest would come into the Temple “like a thief” (quietly and undetected) and he would check to see if the priest was doing his job. He would check to see if the fire was still going. If for some reason the priest on duty had fallen asleep, the High Priest had a surprise in store. He would grab a small piece of coal from the fire (an ember) and then place it on the garment of the priest who had fallen asleep. At that point the priest would be alarmed and wake up. He would immediately have to tear off his garment and of course he would be naked and ashamed! But, he would have learned his lesson!!!
Here’s the point. If the priest were awake and alert he wouldn’t fall asleep. Do you know that once Jesus died for our sins he became the High Priest and we (his followers) became holy priests. 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.” Revelation 1:6 says, “And he has made us kings and priests to God and his Father.” So, that means like the priests of the Temple (and remember Jesus became the Temple) we are to keep the fires going. We are to be “on fire” for the Lord. We cannot let the flames die. To do so would be likened to the priests who fell asleep on the job. In addition, we are to look for the signs of our Groom’s return and be ready for him when he comes.
Look at Matthew 24:42- “therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time the THIEF was coming, he would have kept watch and not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Just like the priests of the Temple, we have to be “on watch” so we are not taken by surprise.
So, what happens if we fall asleep “on the job”. Well let’s look at a few verses:
Mark 13: 35 says, “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back- whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you SLEEPING. What I say to you, I say to everyone: Watch!”
Here’s Revelation 16:15- “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and REMAINS CLOTHED, so as not to go NAKED and shamefully exposed.” Do you remember this from the priest on guard? His garment would be set on fire and then he had to tear it off. At that point he would be NAKED!
There’s also the story of the ten virgins at midnight in Matthew 25. Five had their oil, and five did not. The ones who had their lamps full of oil were allowed to go to the wedding supper (the Rapture). A lamp cannot burn without oil (the Holy Spirit) just like a fire can’t burn continually without someone tending it.
Hopefully you see that the Bride of Christ needs to stay alert and awake, and he/she needs to be aware of the Lord’s Feasts (appointments).
In Leviticus 23, verses 24-25 it says about the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Teruah): “On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of Sabbath rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with TRUMPET BLASTS.” In Numbers 29, 1-2 it says, ” The Festival of 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.”
The first “trump” was blown at Mount Sinai and it was the voice of God. The last trump will be blown when the dead are resurrected and God’s people are called to heaven at the Rapture. There’s also a Great Trump which will be the second coming of Jesus Christ when the nation of Israel recognizes him as the Messiah. His feet will step on the Mount of Olives and they will look on the one the one that was pierced. Jesus will fulfill Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement when they recognize him as their true Messiah that died on the cross. And then there will be the Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus will fulfill that feast by ruling and reigning with all his people- Jew and Gentile- the full dwelling place of God.
I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to all these feasts. Until Jesus returns I plan on showing up for all of God’s appointed feasts. I don’t know what year he will fulfill them, but I KNOW HE WILL FULFILL THEM, just like he fulfilled the Spring Feasts. Like the Jewish Bride, I will be waiting with my veil on. I will have my oil ready and I will be fully dressed with the “fire” of the Holy spirit burning in my heart. How about you?
Note: On Rosh Hashanah the shofar is sounded 100 times. Here are some times when 100 is referenced in the Bible:
In Matthew 18: 12 Jesus says, “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?” This makes me think about the shofar being sounded to awaken that one sheep that has lost its way. When that sheep is found, he/she will be shown mercy if she/he turns back.
Mark 10:30- “But he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” The Lord is saying we will receive one hundred times the reward for our service to Jesus, but best of all eternal life.
Abraham was 100 years old when his beloved, promised son Isaac was born. And as you know, Isaac is a foreshadowing of Jesus. A ram was provided in Isaac’s place when Abraham went to sacrifice him. The shofar is made from a ram’s horn. So, it looks like 100 points to mercy.
The Ten Commandments are made up of 10 Laws of God. Ten times ten equals 100. Jesus came to Earth and fulfilled the Law.