Dear Doves,The following is a message sent to Five Doves by Lisa Taylor concerning the reasons for considering the Feast of Tabernacles as the time for the Rapture. It is as relevant now as it was when it was first sent. Please read it and give these reasons your attention because they may be significant this year of 2010 more so than they were earlier.YBICRobertDear Doves,
I wanted to share a few intriguing reasons for why you may want to consider the Feast of Tabernacles as a candidate for the Rapture.
Tabernacles is a 7 day feast with an 8th day tacked onto the end. It memorializes the time that the Israelites had to live in booths after they were brought out of Egypt. During the first 7 days, the celebrants are to live in booths or temporary dwellings. See Leviticus 23:42. On the 8th day, the celebrants are to hold a sacred assembly.
Here are a few possible Rapture connections to the Feast of Tabernacles:
The Last Trump & Tabernacles
There is no scripture that expressly links the Last Trump of 1 Corinthians 15:52 to the Feast of Trumpets/Rosh Hashanah. That position is based upon a rabbinical or traditional convention. In fact, trumpets are blown on other Biblical feasts and festivals: “Also at your times of rejoicing – your appointed feasts and New Moon festivals – you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and they will be a memorial for you before your God. I am the Lord your God.” Numbers 10:10.
So, if the Last Trump is not sounded on the Feast of Trumpets, when else could it sounded? The answer may be simpler that you think. Since the cycle of the 7 Feasts of the Lord (Leviticus 23) is observed during a course of 7 months, beginning with Passover and ending with Tabernacles, why couldn’t the Last Trump be a trumpet blown during the last feast?
Scripture seems to back up this possibility. Check out Psalm 81:3-4: “Sound the ram’s horn at the New Moon, and when the moon is full, on the day of our Feast; this is a decree for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob.” (NIV) This verse refers to the Feast of Trumpets, which is a new moon festival, and to the Feast of Tabernacles, which is a full moon festival. Throughout the Bible, the Feast of Tabernacles is referred to as the feast or festival. (See 1 Kings 8:2, 65 and 12:32; 2 Chronicles 5:3 and 7:8; Nehemiah 8:14, 18; and Ezekiel 45:25.) Furthermore, blowing the shofar on the Feast of Trumpets and the Feast of Tabernacles is not a suggestion, but a mandate from God. He clearly wants a trumpet to be blown on the last of the 7 Feasts.
(*Note: The KJV reads differently for Psalm 81:3. “Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.” But if you look at the Hebrew, which you can check for yourselves at www.blueletterbible.org, the word for “in the time appointed” (“kece”) means “full moon.” And the Hebrew word for “on our solemn feast” (“chag”) also refers to the Feast of Tabernacles in the Talmud, 2 Chronicles 5:3 and 1 Kings 8:2.)
Sign of Jonah
A fellow dove, Daniel Lizarraga, posted a great study about the sign of Jonah and its relationship to the Church Age. http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/sep2007/daniell926.htm You may remember that the unbelieving Pharisees asked Jesus for a miraculous sign and he replied: “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.” Matthew 12:30-41.
In a nutshell, Daniel Lizarraga noticed that the sign of Jonah consisted of three feasts, not just one. He sees Passover in the three days and three nights. (Note: Passover tends to be a catchall for all 3 spring feasts. Technically, however, Christ died on Passover, was buried for 3 days during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and was resurrected on Firstfruits.) He sees Pentecost in the 120,000 Ninevites who repented, because the number is a multiple of the 120 Christian believers who were in the upper room at Pentecost. And he sees Tabernacles in the fact that Jonah made a booth to watch the outcome of the city. Finally, he sees all of this as an illustration of the Church Age.
I believe that his insight is confirmed by scripture. The 3 feasts that make up the sign of Jonah are the same 3 feasts that make up the Pilgrimage Festivals. “Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God in the place he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles.” Deuteronomy 16:16. (See also Exodus 23:14-17.) This is no coincidence. God has highlighted three out of the seven Levitical feasts for a reason. At the time Jesus pointed the Jews to sign of Jonah, he was making a specific point about Gentile believers. He also mentioned the Queen of Sheba who came to the faith during the time of King Solomon. (See Matthew 12: 42.) He was showing the Jews that the conversion of Gentiles would be a sign to them and that the 3 Pilgrimage Festivals would be connected to this sign.
In book of Jonah, the Jewish prophet is sent to Nineveh, a Gentile city, to warn the people of its destruction after a period of 40 days. The Ninevites believe his message and repent to the God of the Israelites, who preserves them from judgment. We thus have an illustration of Gentiles who come to a saving faith in God within a framework of events that point to the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles. This is the sign of Jonah. And it is being fulfilled by the Church, a predominantly Gentile body, who has accepted the resurrected Christ (i.e. Unleavened Bread) as her Savior. The Apostle Paul observed that our current age would be characterized by Israel’s unbelief, but that it would not be lasting. “Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious …. I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved ….” Romans 11:11, 25-26.
The Church, had its start on Pentecost, also known as the Feast of Weeks. It was at that time that the Holy Spirit began to indwell believers. In a spiritual sense, Pentecost has never ended. Believers continue to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit. In fact, Paul referred to our present age as Today. “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. As has just been said: ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.’” Hebrews 3:13-15. Someday, however, “Today” will end.
If the Church Age is connected to the 3 pilgrimage festivals, then the next event on God’s prophetic calendar is the Feast of Tabernacles. In the book of Jonah, the Ninevites were spared judgment. Likewise, the Church will be spared the judgment of the Tribulation through the Rapture. Our disappearance will truly be a miraculous sign to those remaining on earth.
Lastly, the name “Jonah” literally means “dove.” Isn’t it interesting that there is a book of the Bible entitled “Dove,” the sign of the Holy Spirit, which is about a bunch of reprobate Gentiles who are spared from judgment? Talk about an illustration for the Church Age.
The Feast of Tabernacles is the last of the 3 harvest festivals – which are Firstfruits, Pentecost, and Tabernacles, respectively. Jesus may have established a pattern by being resurrected on a harvest festival – the Feast of Firstfruits. Future resurrection events, therefore – including the Rapture – could occur on one of these festivals. Since the Feast of Tabernacles signals the end of the harvest (Deuteronomy 16:13-15), it would be fitting for the Church to be “harvested” at the end of the harvest season, since it had it start at Pentecost, the beginning of the harvest season. See Exodus 23:16. There is also a period of 4 months between Pentecost and Tabernacles. “Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest?’ I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.” John 4:35-36. Our job has been to participate in this on-going harvest. Someday, however, our work will end and there will be a final harvest of the Church.
Booths & Heavenly Chambers
There is a lovely passage in Isaiah that talks about the people of God entering chambers during a time of judgment. It is viewed as an Old Testament reference to the Rapture: “But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead. Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by. See, the Lord is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins.” Isaiah 27:19-21. Note that the people are told to hide themselves, but for a short period of time. It is interesting to note that the Feast of Tabernacles is celebrated by the entering of temporary structures or booths for a period of 7 days. Could this point to the Church entering chambers in heaven during the 7 year Tribulation?
Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there 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.” John 14:2-3.
Pattern from the Transfiguration
The Transfiguration is discussed in three out of the four Gospels: Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-3; Luke 9:28-36. The accounts are all similar: Jesus, Peter, James and John go up a high mountain where Jesus is transfigured before them. Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appear in “glorious splendor.” (Luke 9:31.) A cloud envelopes all of them and they hear the voice of God.
It is possible that the Transfiguration occurred during the Feast of Tabernacles, because Peter asks if they should build 3 shelters or booths for Jesus, Moses and Elijah. If this connection between the Transfiguration and the Feast of Tabernacles is true, we may have been given insight as to the timing of the Rapture. This is because there seems to be a parallel between the Transfiguration and the Rapture passage in 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 than, 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.”
Similarly, at the Transfiguration, Moses represents the dead in Christ because he experienced death. Elijah represents those who are alive at the time of the Rapture because he never experienced death. They, the dead and the alive, join Jesus and are transformed. Also, Old Testament saints and New Testament saints are together during this event as represented by Moses, Elijah, and the three disciples. Although they are not in the air, they are on a “high mountain.” (Matthew 17:1.) A cloud envelopes them and they are with the Lord in the clouds. Lastly, the voice of God is heard, and we know from other scripture that the voice of God is like the sound of a trumpet. (See Revelation 1:10 and 4:1.)
The Transfiguration appears to be a rehearsal for the Rapture. Perhaps it is also an indicator for its timing.
There is a passage in the book of John that expressly links Jesus Christ to the Feast of Tabernacles. It states that the Lord’s brothers mock him for not having a more public ministry. “Therefore Jesus told them, ‘The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil. You go to the Feast. I am not yet going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come.’ Having said this, he stayed in Galilee. However, after his brothers had left for the Feast, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. Now at the Feast the Jews were watching for him and asking, ‘Where is that man?’ …. Not until halfway through the Feast did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach.” John 7:6-14.
It is interesting that Jesus initially attends the Feast of Tabernacles in secret. People often criticize us for believing in a “secret” Rapture. Wouldn’t it be something if this passage is a hint for when and how Christ will come for us? Since the Feast of Tabernacles is a multi-day festival, no one would know the day or hour that He would come. But rest assured that Christ will come at the right time.
– Lisa Taylor