The Shout , the Shofar and the Rapture
Rosh Hashanah is a Holy Convocation celebrated both in joy and solemnity. During the daily prayer service a ram’s horn, or in the Hebrew, shofar, is sounded:
“And the LORD Spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, in the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.” (Leviticus 23:23-25)
All of the Holy Days (Moedim), were and continue to be, living symbols of the stages of God’s plan of Salvation and Redemption for humanity. The First Advent of Christ was fulfilled during the spring Feasts (literally interpreted in Hebrew as “Appointments”) on the exact day of those appointments! Unlike many Jewish observances such as Tish B’Av, Tu B’Av, or Hannukah, these seven Moedim were given by God to Moses.
In perfect order and time, Jesus was crucified at Passover/Pesach, was buried at Unleavened Bread/ Hag Hamatzah, was raised from the dead on First Fruits/ Yom HaBikkurim, and the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) fell on the believers at Pentecost/ Shavout.
The first of the fall festivals is Rosh Hashanah, known as The Feast of Trumpets or in Hebrew, Yom Teruah, meaning the awakening “blast” or “shout”. The prophetic application of this “appointment”? The Natzal, the gathering of the believers in Christ. Many of the Apostle’s teachings have words and phrases that, to the first century believers, would instantly be associated with Rosh Hashanah/ Yom Teruah :
“Behold, I show 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-53)
“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.” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)
The second advent of the Messiah will be fulfilled in the Fall Feasts just as the First Advent of Messiah was fulfilled in the Spring Feasts; in perfect order and time.
Yom Teruah (the Day of the Awakening Shout/ Blast)
Yom HaDin (the Day of Judgment)
HaMelech (the Coronation of the Messiah)
Yom HaZikkaron (the Day of Remembrance or memorial)
The begining of Jacob's (Ya'akov) trouble (the birth pangs of the Messiah, Chevlai shel Mashiach)
The opening of the gates or door of Heaven
Kiddushin/Nesu'in (the wedding ceremony)
The resurrection of the dead (rapture, natza1)
The last trump (shofar)
Yom Hakeseh (the hidden day)
Yom Kippur / Day of Atonement:
Messiah returns to Earth to vanquish his foes along with the false messiah (leviathan) and redeem the nation of Israel
Sukkot / Feast of Tabernacles (Booths):
Messiah establishes the Kingdom of God on Earth and begins his Earthly reign in Jerusalem.
Each morning during 29 days of the month of Elul, the trumpet (shofar) or ram’s horn is blown to warn the people to repent (the season of Tishuva) and return to God, who always offers a chance to repent in order to escape coming judgment. In this case, to escape the coming “Days of Awe”. After the 29th day, there is no shofar blown again until the blast that signals the start of Rosh Hashanah/Yom Teruah.
Yom Teruah is the only festival that no man knows exactly the day or the hour it will occur. This is due to the fact that it begins on the new moon. The new moon was sanctified when two witnesses saw the new moon and attested to it before the Sanhedrin in the Temple.
This sanctification could happen during either of two days, depending on when the witnesses spotted the new moon and then reported their sighting. Since no one knew when the witnesses would come, no one knew when the Feast of Trumpets would start.
On the 30th of each month, the members of the Sanhedrin assembled in a courtyard in Jerusalem, where they waited to receive the testimony of two reliable witnesses. They then sanctified the new moon. The new moon can be very difficult to spot on the first day, because it can be seen only about sunset, close to the sun. So, looking for a very slim, faint, crescent moon, which is very close to the sun, is a very difficult thing to do. If the moon’s crescent was not seen on the 30th day, the new moon was automatically celebrated on the 31st day.
For this reason, Yom Teruah is always celebrated for two days. These two days are celebrated as though it is just one long day of forty-eight hours. The reason that it is celebrated for two days is because if they waited to start the celebration until after the new moon had been sanctified, they would have missed half the celebration, because the new moon can only be sanctified during daylight hours.
The blast of the shofar and the force of a supernatural shout will awaken the righteous dead. “...Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Messiah shall give thee light.” (Ephesians 5:14). The Jews have believed for centuries that the resurrection of the righteous dead would occur at Yom Teruah. The “Mystery” that Paul revealed was that those alive in Christ on this ressurection day would also receive their glorified bodies and would be gathered immediately after the dead are raised.
The theme of awakening from sleep is used throughout the Bible. It is found in John 11:11, Romans 13:11, Daniel 12:1-2 and Psalm 78:65.
On Rosh Hashanah, a shofar delivers 99 blasts, followed by one long blast on the 100th. This last blast is known as “Tekiah Gedolah” or “The Last Trump.”
“Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, in the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.” (Leviticus 23: 24)
“And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you.” (Numbers 29: 1 )
The book of Ephesians has many references to Rosh Hashanah and the high Holy Days. For example, in Ephesians 4:30, being sealed unto the day of redemption refers to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. God gave this festival to teach us that the righteous will be judged on Rosh Hashanah and will be sealed unto the closing of the gates on Yom Kippur. The righteous will escape the tribulation of days (years) between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Another name for Rosh Hashanah is ‘Yom HaDin’, the Day of Judgment.
The last shofar blown on Rosh Hashanah is known as the last trump, which the apostle Paul mentioned in First Thessalonians 4:16-17. At this time, the believers in the Messiah will escape the tribulation on earth and will be taken to Heaven in the “Natzal”, or the Rapture, along with the righteous who had died before this time.
In Judaism, there are three great trumpets mentioned. They are the First trump, the Last trump, and the Great trump. Each one of these trumpets indicates a specific day in the Jewish year.
The First trump is blown on the Feast of Pentecost/Shavout (Exodus 19:19)
The Last trump is synonymous with Rosh Hashanah/Yom Teruah and will signal the departing of the righteous in what is commonly referred to as the rapture.
The Great trump is blown on The Day of Atonement/Yom Kippur, which will herald the return of Messiah back to the earth.
The First and Last trump relate to the two horns of the ram, which was caught in the thicket on Mount Moriah when Abraham was ready to slay Isaac and offer him up as a burnt offering. This ram became the substitute for Isaac even as Jesus became the substitute for us and provided life for us through His death.
The left horn (First trump) was blown on Mount Sinai, when God spoke to the Children of Israel and his voice descended upon them like fire and thunder with the sound of a shofar.(Exodus 20 : 1-15) And its right horn (the Last trump) will be blown to herald the coming of the Lord to gather the believers. (1 Corinthians 15:51-53)
First Thessalonians chapter 5 deals with the day of the Lord and the seven years known as the birth pangs of the Messiah. The festivals will, beyond a shadow of a doubt, tell you that the resurrection of the dead proceeds the time of Jacob’s trouble, commonly referred to as the Tribulation.
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). Paul refers to it as a gathering together (Natzal) of the believers to Jesus.(2 Thess. 2:1) Isaiah 57:1-2 speaks clearly of the resurrection of the dead, the gathering of the believers, and the hiding of the believers from the indignation ( Chevlai Shel Mashiach) often referred to as the Tribulation. Zephaniah 1:14-18 and 2:2-3 tells about the terrible times during the” Day of the Lord”, the birth pangs of the Messiah, and issues a decree to repent and turn to God before that day, to be hid from that time.
The gate or door of Heaven is opened on Rosh Hashanah so the righteous may enter (Isaiah 26:2, Psalm 118:19-20).
The “Open Door” of Yom Teruah in Revelation 4:1 is a symbol of the gathering of the righteous, dead and living. (Nazal)
(Ezek 46:1) “Thus says the Lord God: The gate of the inner court that faces east shall be shut on the six working days; but on the Sabbath day it shall be opened and on the day of the new moon it shall be opened.”
“After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a shofar speaking with me, saying “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” (Revelation 4:1)
We are told that the new moon and the Feasts of the Lord are a shadow of things to come in Col 2:16, 17. Since Yom Teruah is the only Feast of the Lord that falls on a new moon, we should take particular note.
There are ten “Days of Awe” (Yomin Noraim) starting with first day of the Feast of Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur/ the Day of Atonement. From the end of Yom Teruah to the start of Yom Kippur is seven days. These days picture the seven years of tribulation, the “Birth Pangs of the Messiah”.
The Jewish wedding ceremony is also a picture of the marriage of Messiah and the believers at Rosh Hashanah.
In the Jewish Wedding, a betrothal (ketubah) is made between a prospective groom and bride. The groom tells his bride that he must go to prepare a place for her, but he will return again! He also bestows gifts ( mattan) to her ( Jesus gave us the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit) to keep her until his return. The groom leaves to prepare an abode. Only the groom’s father can decide when the dwelling place is sufficient. At that time, he instructs his son to go and retrieve his bride for the marriage. A marriage takes place over a period of time known as the “bridal week”. After the groom has come and claimed his bride, the bridal week begins as the groom and bride are joined together in the bridal chamber constructed at the house of the groom’s father. At the end of the week, there is a marriage supper to celebrate the union. Compare Judges 14, Rev. 19, and Genesis 29:22-28. This bridal week (Shavuah) represents the seven tribulation years on earth, while the bride (the believers) and the groom (Messiah) are in Heaven in their wedding chamber at the Father’s house!
Yom Teruah is also known as the coronation of the Messiah, when He will be crowned as king. Just as David became king over Israel in Hebron seven years before ascending the throne in Jerusalem (1st. Samuel 5:4, 2nd Samuel 2:10 & 2nd Chronicles 2:4), Jesus will be coronated as king seven years in heaven before ascending the throne in the Holy city. Daniel chapter 7 and Revelation chapter 4 both describe the coronation of the King.
We do not know the day or the hour when the new moon will be sighted each Yom Teruah, or what year the fall appointments will be fulfilled. However, world events foretold by the Prophets in the Holy word tell us our redemption is very near!