Unfolding Prophecy Truth
Elkmont Baptist Church
In September there are two Jewish Holidays - Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah. What are they and are they important to Christians?
Jewish Fall Feasts and End Times Connection
May God bless you all!
Let's start with Rosh Hashanah also called the Feast of Trumpets. The first day of the seventh month (Ethanim/Tishri) (Leviticus 23:24; Numbers 29:1) is a convocation - a Sabbath day. No servile work done. And it is the first day of the Jewish civil year. Rosh Hashanah is a day of memorial and the Day of Judgment (warning of Yom Kippur 10 days later), in which God judges each person individually according to their deeds, and makes a decree for the following year. The holiday is characterized by the special mitzvah (commandment) of blowing the
(ram's horn). In Exodus 12, God sets
a new calendar that has the ceremonial or religious year start 14 days before Passover in the spring. For Jewish folks, Rosh Hashanah is set aside by the Mishna (Rabbinical teachings) as the new year for calculating calendar years,
jubilee (every fiftieth year) years, vegetable tithes, and tree-planting (determining the age of a tree). It is believed by Jewish tradition that the creation of the world was completed on Rosh Hashanah. Generally speaking, this holiday is considered by many prophecy buffs as the potential time of the year for the Rapture to occur. (Trumpets may have something to do with it . . . .)
While each of these feasts has an historical, commemorative role, each also has a
role. This role is highlighted in Colossians 2:16-17: "Let no man therefore
judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath
Tishri, the celebration actually begins 29 days earlier: a series of over 90 trumpet blasts accrue for a final blowing of blasts on the climax of the celebration, the
significant; the most significant one is the blowing of the
instead of the usual silver Temple trumpets.
is associated with the
Abraham's offering of Isaac on Mount
Moriah, as detailed in Genesis 22. Rabbinical tradition associates the left horn of the ram as the "first trump" and the right horn as the "last trump." A distinguishing feature of the celebration is the last climactic blast, the
This is not the usual
series of short bursts, signaling alarm or bad news. Rather, it is a long blast, signaling victory or good news. It is this last blast that is referred to as the last trump. Could this be the Last Trump everyone is hoping for? In Paul's resurrection chapter, 1 Corinthians 15, he describes the event known as "the Rapture" of the church: "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" (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). One school of thought has linked this phrase to the seventh trumpet judgment in Revelation. Others, like Chuck Missler
judgment is the final trumpet: "for a thousand years (at least) there will be subsequent trumpets in services performed in the millennial temple" (1995, Paul's Mystery, para. 4). So, just what is this "last trump"? Missler and others believe that since "Paul was of Pharisaical back ground, . . . he was alluding to the climactic trumpet of the Feast of Trumpets and that, perhaps, this feast is prophetic of the call of God's people (which he also refers to in Romans 11:2-5)" (1995, Paul's Mystery, para. 5).
Something to think about. So, if Dr. Missler is correct - we may have to wait until that time of year for the Rapture. However, with so many calendar shifts and changes over the last three millennia, who knows if it is the real date. Matthew 24:36: "But of that day and hour knoweth no
no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." What
is most important is that Rosh Hashanah reminds Christians to stay ready. We are to be like the wise virgins and be ready at any time to meet the Lord.
Ummm, do I hear a trumpet blowing?
The Christian Day of Atonement is an English translation of the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur. The Bible calls the day
(Hebrew for "Day of the Atonements") and God declares it, in Leviticus chapters 16 and 23, a high Sabbath day, one of the seven feasts of Israel. Today the day is commemorated with a 25-hour fast by Jews, but normally a 24-hour fast by Christians who observe it. While not observed by mainstream Christianity, small Christian groups do observe it as a day of atonement - particularly Messianic Christians.
Some Christians with an interest in biblical Eschatology (study of last things) believe that the Day of Atonement, the sixth of the feasts of Israel, will mark the very last day of this age. They believe that the Day of Atonement will be the final day to repent and that this epic future day in history will come on the eve of the return of Christ - or the "Great and Terrible Day of the Lord." Interestingly, in Leviticus 25:9, God does declare that the Trumpet of Jubilee is to be blown every fiftieth Yom Kippur, and many may see this as the Second Coming of Christ while some might see it as - well - the Last Trump (now let's not get into that again . . .). So calculating from 1948 when Israel declared itself a nation . . . . Oh well, I think this may be additional evidence that we don't try to set dates, and that we should always be ready for the Lord's return, or our homegoing.
The Jewish rites and practices for the Day of Atonement are set forth in the sixteenth chapter of Leviticus (cf. Exodus 30:10; Leviticus 23:27-31, 25:9; Numbers 29:7-11). It is considered to be a time for fasting on which no food or drink is to be consumed. Leviticus 16:9-10, 20-22 states:
to let him
go for a scapegoat into the wilderness. . . . And when he hath made an end of
and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he
shall bring the live goat: And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send
away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat
shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.
What is important to us today is that in the Book of Hebrews (chapter 8-10) there is a commentary on the Temple ceremony of the Day of Atonement. The author's subject (who I believe to be Paul) throughout the book is Christ - our High Priest, his priesthood, and his completed works. Paul takes some pains to establish that Jesus is THE High Priest even though, in the flesh, He comes from the tribe of Judah, not Levi. This is by virtue of the fact that Jesus is a priest after the order of Melchizedek, according to Hebrews 6:20, which is established by the fact that Abraham paid homage of Melchizedek, establishing a hierarchy. And in the process of explaining and developing the priesthood of Christ, Paul gives us a Christian commentary on the Day of Atonement,
and tells us what it actually means to a Christian - with Christ
as our High Priest, as the sin offering, and as our scapegoat He fulfilled for us all the righteous demands of a Holy God for the atonement of our sins. Christ's blood is sufficient! If you wish to observe Yom Kippur, do so as a day of remembrance of what Christ has done for us, not because you must atone for your sins - because you can't and He already did!
the ram's horn,
do not believe that the seventh trumpet
Missler, C. (1995, September). Israel's New Year Begins: The Feast of Trumpets.
Which are a shadow of things to come . . . ." Rosh Hashanah is also
the Feast of Trumpets. Observed on the first and second of
the Great Blowing. In the rabbinical literature, there are many details that are
sin offering. But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him,
reconciling the holy
And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD's lot fell, and offer him