We are living in amazing times, prophetic times. Right now, there are many signs that the coming of the Lord is nearby. Biblical birth pangs that the return of the Messiah is coming soon are happening virtually every day. Like the shofar, they serve as a wake-up call to be prepared.
The prophet Joel wrote:
“Blow 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 comes, for it is close at hand.”—Joel 2:1
The signs we should not overlook in studying end-time prophecy are the Biblical Holidays. They are part of the Lord’s Master Plan. I wish we had all been brought up to honor and celebrate the “Feasts of the Lord” so they would hold a more powerful spiritual place in our theology.
They were definitely not some sort of busy work scheme to keep the Jewish people full of monotonous, legalistic activity throughout their life. Each festival is a Holy Day, rich in revelation – and like Christmas and Easter, continue to be living signs of the stages of God’s plan of salvation.
Christmas is the story of the Lord appearing as a baby born in Bethlehem; destined to be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Passover is the story revealing the Messiah as the Lamb of God. And now the Feast of Trumpets is the story of the appearing of the Lord at the end of the age. It’s the people of God entering into their eternal destiny.
The Rapture: The Fulfillment of God’s Promise of salvation
As we celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Feast of Trumpets, it’s important to understand this is symbolic of the rapture of the church. The rapture is one of the most incredible and amazing promises from the Bible. It’s almost incomprehensible. The rapture should be seen as the fulfillment of God’s promise of salvation. When you study this, you will discover that the rapture is a resurrection.
Look at how it’s described in one of the great Bible verses on the rapture:
This is the word of the Lord: we who are alive in him and remain on earth when the Lord appears will by no means have an advantage over those who have already died, for both will rise together. For the Lord Himself will appear with the declaration of victory, the shout of an archangel, and the trumpet blast of God. He will descend from the heavenly realm and command those who are dead in Christ to rise first. Then we who are alive will join them, transported together in clouds to have an encounter with the Lord in the air, and we will be forever joined with the Lord. So encourage one another with these truths. — 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 The Passion Translation
A New Beginning Is Coming
First, you need to understand that all the Spring Feasts were fulfilled at Christ’s first coming. Then, all the Fall Feasts are a picture of the various aspects of the Second Coming. The last three “festivals” on God’s divine calendar are Rosh Hashanah, the Feast of Trumpets, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and Sukkot—the Feast of Tabernacles.
These occur in the seventh month of the Jewish calendar, the month called Tishrei – which means beginnings or to begin. Right now we’re in a divine moment when God is about to birth a new beginning in us. Rosh Hashanah means “the head of the year” because it’s believed that God created the heavens and the earth on this day. I really believe right now at this appointed time God is about to recreate our destiny for the better!
If it’s not the rapture, which is the ultimate change in destiny, something powerful is still planned. Believers are about to enter into a period of sustained blessing as we’ve never seen before. This is not so we can spend it all on ourselves but so we can continue to prepare the world for the coming of the Lord. In Jewish literature, this is known as Tikkun Olam – repairing or healing a broken world.
Tikkun Olam is one of the key concepts behind this appointed season and specifically “The Feast of Trumpets or Shofars”. The sound of the shofar announces something great is about to occur. It proclaims the coronation of the King. It is also God’s alarm clock to wake us up from any spiritual slumber. It reminds us to be about our Father’s business.
A Season Of Judgment
Why sound the alarm? Why is it a wake-up call? Because it’s a season of judgment. It’s when the heavenly books are examined.
It’s the time we need to give an account. The judgment that follows could be good, if we’ve been accomplishing things to build the Kingdom of God. It could also be bad, if we’ve been neglecting and ignoring their spiritual obligations.
All of this is a shadow of what God has planned – it’s a picture of the rapture. The term ‘rapture’ comes from the Greek word ‘harpazo‘, which means “to seize, catch away, catch up, pluck, pull, take by force.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17) So then, the rapture is a form of judgment. Those who are caught away with Lord are being judged favorably. Those who miss the rapture are also being judged but their judgment is a punishment for closing their hearts to the Gospel.
When we teach about the rapture we have to realize this is not Christ’s return to earth, when He sets up His heavenly kingdom here on earth. That’s a picture of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. That comes later when we enter into the Sabbath millennium and the 1,000-year reign of Christ.
The Rapture can be seen as the 1st of the two stages of the 2nd coming of the Lord. It’s when all believers from Adam until now are ‘caught up’ and carried away with the Lord into heaven. This is when, as we’re told in 2 Corinthians 5:10, we go through the judgment seat of Christ. We will receive our crowns, rewards, and future assignments for the good we’ve accomplished. Then we’ll go into the army of God and eventually establish God’s biblical form of government throughout the world.
Those who are left behind (those who miss the rapture) go through a 7-year tribulation. This is the period when God’s judgment is poured out on rebellious nations and those who have defied the Lord. As we know, this is a time of terrible chaos and destruction led by the Anti-Christ and his attempts to set up a counterfeit one world government, one world religion, and one world economy.
There is definitely a new world coming. One for saints and one for sinners. The closer we get to the coming of Jesus, the easier it will be to know which side you’re on. God is going to make it as plain and simple as could be for all people to decide if they are serving the devil or if they’re serving the Lord. So there will be no excuse.
Jesus said to the church in Philadelphia: Because you did obey my message about persevering, I will keep you from the time of trial coming upon the whole world to put the people living on earth to the test. –Revelation 3:10 CJB
Are You Ready For The Rapture?
Even though there are many obvious signs taking place that tell us the Lord is at hand, when the actual rapture happens it will be a surprise event as it will come “like a thief in the night.” (1 Thessalonians 5) And as Jesus said in Matthew 24:36, ‘no man knows the day or the hour.’ This is intended to keep us prepared and on our spiritual toes so we’re always watching, praying, and being about God’s business.
It’s a selective event according to Matthew 24:40-42; “Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left.” “So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming.
It’s also a sudden event in that it will happen in the “twinkling of an eye – a moment of time. (1 Corinthians 15) One of the intriguing reasons for blowing the shofar is to proclaim the resurrection of the dead. The resurrection of the dead will very likely take place on Rosh Hashanah.
In 1 Corinthians 15:52, the apostle Paul tells us that the resurrection of the dead will be “at the last trump.”
Listen, and I will tell you a divine mystery: not all of us will die, but we will all be transformed. It will happen in an instant —in the twinkling of his eye. For when the last trumpet is sounded, the dead will come back to life. We will be indestructible and we will be transformed. For we will discard our mortal “clothes” and slip into an imperishable body. What is mortal now will be exchanged for immortality. And when that which is mortal puts on immortality, and what now decays is exchanged for what will never decay, then the Scripture will be fulfilled that says: Death is swallowed up by a triumphant victory! –1 Corinthians 15: 51-54 TPT
One day soon, all of us as believers are going to experience this. And what follows includes a time of judgment both for saints at the Judgement Seat of the Messiah and also for sinners throughout the tribulation. This is why in ancient wisdom and tradition Rosh Hashanah and the build-up to it is an appointed time for personal reflection and repentance. This is teshuvah – returning to God as our number one priority.
The fact that on Rosh Hashanah there is an accounting or judgment on what we’re doing and what we’ve done suggests we all have incredible potential. We all have unique God-given gifts, talents, and abilities, and the Lord is looking for a return on this investment.
You Have A Choice To Make
Knowing a judgment is coming is meant to be motivation for how we live our daily lives. The problem we have to overcome is not to get overly focused on the priorities, affairs, and cares of this world; without any regard for God’s priorities. This is the dilemma of life; because as human beings we have been given something nothing else in creation has – a choice.
Every person has a responsibility and a divine calling to make the right choices for their life; for God, for good, for blessing, and for life—our life and to establish life in the world. Unfortunately, the devil and his worldly system use fake, counterfeit, and deceiving schemes to divert, distract and ultimately destroy destinies. This is why God gives us advanced notice of what’s coming.
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge (reward) all people according to their deeds. Matthew 16:27 NLT
Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven. And everyone will see him—even those who pierced him. And all the nations of the world will mourn for him. [realizing their sin and guilt, and anticipating the coming wrath]. Yes! Amen! Revelation 1:7 NLT & Amplified
Two Historical Accounts of Rapture
There have actually been two raptures recorded in history over the past 6000 years. Two people have been caught away and supernaturally taken into Heaven without ever experiencing physical death. Both are a shadow and type of the final rapture; with the first being Enoch (Hanokh).
Genesis 5:24; Hanokh walked with God, and then he wasn’t there, because God took him.
Hebrews 11:6; By trusting, Hanokh was taken away from this life without seeing death — “He was not to be found, because God took him away” — for he has been attested as having been, prior to being taken away, well pleasing to God.
Enoch is a representation of all the saints of God who have been faithfully waiting and watching for the return of the Lord. This is well pleasing to the Lord of course. Enoch’s very name means dedicated. He was raptured because of his faith. His life and lifestyle were well pleasing to God! Enoch’s prophecy in Jude 1:14-15 serves as a reminder of the judgment that’s coming;
Moreover, Hanokh, in the seventh generation starting with Adam, also prophesied about these men, saying, “Look! Adonai came with his myriads of holy ones to execute judgment against everyone, that is, to convict all the godless for their godless deeds which they have done in such a godless way, and for all the harsh words these godless sinners have spoken against him.”
Most people didn’t know that Enoch was Noah’s great-grandfather. Jesus said His coming will be like in the days of Noah. This is a time when people ignored the preaching, the signs, and the warnings. The Great Flood is a shadow of the Great Tribulation. Whether willfully or ignorantly people will ignore God’s signs. Noah and his family were saved but they did go through the great tribulation of the flood. Enoch was raptured before the flood. He is a forerunner of all believers who will be raptured and not experience God’s wrath.
The second rapture was the mighty Jewish prophet of God – Elijah which is described in 2 Kings 2:1-12. This is where we see a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire and took Elijah up into heaven in a whirlwind. What’s so amazing is that we have not seen the last of him yet. God says in Malachi 4 that ‘I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord.
We Still Have Time
Then also we find something very important in Revelation 11 which describes two witnesses who will preach to the world after the Rapture and during the great tribulation.
“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed. They have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire.” – Revelation 11:3-6.
After the Church is taken away in the rapture, the book of Revelation teaches that God will raise up 144,000 Jewish believers and appoint two witnesses to preach the Gospel, do powerful miracles and warn people that the tribulation is God’s judgment. Through these witnesses, God will continue to provide opportunities for people to place their faith in Him right up until the second coming, Armageddon, and the Sabbath Millennium.
Most scholars believe one of the two witnesses will be Elijah. The other is debated and many believe it’s Moses who appeared with Elijah at the Mount of Transfiguration but it could be Enoch. In either case, the Gospel is going to be preached in the face of the anti-Christ and his counterfeit government. Many will be saved during the tribulation but also many will be martyred for their faith.
So right now, while there’s still time, we have to see ourselves as people of God who have the spirit of evangelism and will support efforts to share the message of Christ before the rapture happens. We need to be people like Enoch and Elijah who were filled with boldness, faith, and courage; people that will pray for salvation in loved ones, revival for the world, and bind and rebuke the works of darkness. We are called to be the light of the world and salt of the earth. We need to rise up and say: devil I bind and rebuke you. You will not defeat us…not on my watch. We will occupy our spiritual position until Jesus returns. We will endure until the very end and see the salvation of the Lord. This is how we stay ready!
The Prophetic Window of Heaven is Open Over You
As I shared, I believe that Rosh Hashanah is a shadow of the rapture. This is the season to take full advantage of what God has planned for you. There’s a promise of an outpouring of blessing, and it is centered on the measure of generosity that you extend.
As you know, without question, God will honor you and pour out such an abundant blessing upon you as He promises in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you [Israel].”
While this prophetic window of heaven is open over you, let this special season and opportunity stir you in faith as you believe God for your miracle harvest. Let it inspire you to bless Him and demonstrate your love and support for Israel and her people, who have been through a lot, and let it encourage you to bring your very best First Fruits offering.
Draw close to the Lord as He draws even closer to you and receive His miracle harvest in your life!