Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles …what Does it All Mean?

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If you study Jewish culture and tradition, you are likely aware that we’re in the midst of the fall feasts of Israel.  There are 7 major feasts, originally prescribed in Scripture, but lived out in either secular context or rabbinic context by most Jews.  The first three (Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread and Feast of First Fruits) are bunched tightly together in the spring, Pentecost follows 50 days later, then three more feasts (Feasts of Trumpets, Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement and Feast of Tabernacles) are bunched tightly together in the fall.  Jewish feasts and festivals follow a lunar calendar, so do not occur on the same day each year on our Gregorian calendar.  Also, days on the Hebrew calendar begin at sundown.

This year, the Feast of Trumpets commenced at sundown on September 10.  It is also known as Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish civil new year, so is marked by celebration and great joy.  That feast is followed by 10 “days of awe” when Jews fast, pray, examine their lives, repent, forgive and prepare for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  It is a very somber day for Jews, as many wail in repentance, attempting to insure their names are written in the Book of Life.  This year, Yom Kippur occurred between sundown on September 18 and sundown September 19…just a few days ago!  Next up is the Feast of Tabernacles, which is a 7-day feast, beginning on September 23 this year.

But what does it all mean?  Well, on more than one occasion we have discussed each feast and provided Biblical evidence that Jesus is the fulfillment.  (Here and here, for example)  Today, we’ll go a different direction.

Among believers, there are different ideas about Jesus’ fulfillment of the feasts and what it means for us as Christians.  Some of those ideas are just plain wrong.  For example, some say, because the Jews rejected Jesus, the church has replaced Israel and Jesus’ fulfillment of the feasts now applies to the church.  WRONG!  God has not rejected the Jews (read Romans 11:1-2), and the feasts still apply to Israel.

Another common misconception among believers is that, because a trumpet will sound at the rapture, it will occur on the Feast of Trumpets.  But we must understand at least two simple things:

  1. Trumpets are mentioned many times in Scripture, not simply at the rapture.  Thus, the Feast of Trumpets cannot be limited simply a signal of the rapture.
  2. The feasts are Jewish and apply to Israel…not Christians!  God did not implement the feasts as a “Christian thing,” but rather a “Jewish thing!”  Thus, it is highly unlikely the rapture will happen on the Feast of Trumpets!

At the rapture, the trumpet will sound from heaven, but only believers will hear it as we are snatched rapidly from this earth.  However, another trumpet will sound at the Second Coming of Jesus…when He physically returns to earth, stepping foot on the Mount of Olives at the end of the Tribulation.  Revelation tells us that we (“saints,” believers) will be with Him.  Thus, that trumpet is meant for unbelieving Jews, and WILL occur on the Feast of Trumpets, as Jesus fulfills that feast!

The progression of feasts will follow.  The trumpet will announce the coming of Jesus (Feast of Trumpets). Jews will “mourn for Him” and “weep bitterly” (Zechariah 12:10), fulfilling the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).  Then, Jesus will tabernacle with them (Feast of Tabernacles).  By God’s grace, all the nations of the world will be invited to go up to Jerusalem to worship at the Feast of Tabernacles, making that the only feast not fully Jewish!  (Zechariah 14:16-18)

Image result for feast of trumpetsNow, one last thing.  In Numbers 10, God commanded Moses to make 2 silver trumpets, then gave him instructions for using them.  Trumpets were sounded to gather and assemble the congregation.  That’s what the trumpets will do for both Christians at the rapture and Jews at the Second Coming!

But why two trumpets…and why silver?  The Old Testament (Isaiah 43:8-13) indicates Israel will gather the nations together and will be a witness.  The New Testament (Acts 1:6-8) identifies Christians (the church) as a witness.  Thus, two trumpets…Israel and the church…are blown to warn the world of what is to come.

Interestingly, silver is precious, but not perfect.  Such is the case with Israel and with the church….precious in God’s sight, though not perfect!

There is so much more to the feasts, the trumpets and all  the other symbolism God has given us in His Word to help us understand the days and times in which we live!  Over the past few days, we have focused on world events that assure us we are living in the last days.  Isn’t it good to know that, despite what might seem “scary” to some, God has laid out His plan for us and it cannot be thwarted!  We are safe in the plans of the One who fulfills those feasts!

I hope you are encouraged by these things!  Check back tomorrow, as we’ll talk more about the Feast of Tabernacles, which is quickly approaching on the Hebrew calendar!

Shalom!

UPDATE: Israeli Air Strikes on Latakia

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Following up an earlier report today about an attack on Latakia, Syria, reports are confirming major airstrikes on advanced Iranian weapon systems there.  Syrian and Russian defense systems were activated against what is believed to be an Israeli airstrike.  There are also reports of other warships (perhaps France) participating in the strike.

Russia is said to be very angry.  To make matters worse, US officials believe Syrian anti-aircraft systems may have inadvertently shot down a Russian naval aircraft over the Mediterranean while attempting to shoot down Israeli missiles targeting Latakia.  (That aircraft is believed to have carried 14 Russian soldiers.)

As a result of the action in Latakia, many Russians are demanding war with Israel.

It is too early to determine whether or not this activity has lit the fuse that will ultimately lead to Russia’s invasion of Israel (along with Iran, Turkey and others), described in Ezekiel 38.

However, even if the fuse is not yet lit, never in the history of the world have world events aligned so closely with end time prophecy.  We are living in exciting times, and we may very well be the generation that is taken up in the rapture.

Are you ready?

Meanwhile, keep an eye on Damascus (Isaiah 17:1), as well as on the “big three” (Russia, Iran, Turkey) who will spearhead the War of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38).  God seems to have set the hook in the jaw (Ezekiel 38:4), and has brought them down to the Israeli border.

If you missed Amir Tsarfati’s message, The Generation that Shall not Pass Away, given at Calvary Chapel Tustin Sunday morning, I encourage you to find it here (9/16/2018) and listen to it.

Keep looking up, my friends!  Our redemption is drawing near.  (Luke 21:28)

For Zion’s Sake – September 2018

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On the first Wednesday of every month, Christians from around the world join together in the Isaiah 62 Prayer Initiative.  Igniting prayer warriors worldwide, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem guides us through Isaiah 62, where we focus on one verse per month while praying for current prayer needs.

So, let’s gather in the throne room!

PRAISE:  Lord, we praise You!  You are good, Your love endures forever!  We thank You, bless You, honor You and give You thanks.  We come before You with glad praises and joyful thanks.  Amen.

PROCLAIM:
(I’m combining verses 8 and 9 in order to avoid beginning in the middle of the concept.)
The Lord has sworn by His right hand and by His strong arm,
“I will never again give your grain as food for your enemies;
Nor will foreigners drink your new wine for which you have labored.”
But those who garner it will eat it and praise the Lord;
And those who gather it will drink it in the courts of My sanctuary.
~Isaiah 62:8-9

PONDER:  The Lord promises that which the Jewish people gather and bring together, they will eat and drink.  This sounds fair enough.  It is simply normal.  But it is only normal for a people who are not at war, being plundered, or raided, or under siege as Jerusalem has been throughout most of her history.  As God’s people enjoy food and drink, they will praise the Lord in the holiness of His presence.  In this same scroll, Isaiah recorded the words of God, “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy?  Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance” (Isaiah 55:2).  We ask God to compel Israel to seek this satisfying food, praying…

PRAY:  Find this month’s specific prayer points here.

Russian War Games, Iran Cuts a Deal with Syria, EU Cooperation with Turkey and Russia

Russia-tanks

You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
~Matthew 24:6-8

Signs of the time.  The birth pangs are intensifying once again.

Reuters has reported that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that Russia is set to commence the largest war games since 1981.  Vostok-2018 (East-2018), involving 300,000 troops and thousands of aircraft and naval vessels, will take place in central and eastern Russia next month.

For what purpose?  Are they suddenly ramping up unprecedented levels of training just to stay sharp, or is there an ultimate objective they are working toward?  I suspect the latter.  With a tumbling economy and oil riches at stake, could it be the shark-like czar smells blood in the water?

Meanwhile in Syria, Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami has signed an agreement stipulating Iran’s assistance in rebuilding the Syrian military.  He also issued a warning against “foreign aggression,” seemingly in defiance against America’s stance on Iran’s support of the Assad regime.

Saber-rattling, or are Syria and Iran up to something?  Signs of the times…

Beyond that, French President Emmanuel Macron is pressing for an EU defense project in cooperation with Russia and Turkey.  Seemingly, his plan is to abandon NATO policy, in preference to a stronger EU.  (Think: revived Roman empire!)  Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will host a summit in Istanbul in September, where France, Germany and Russia will send representatives.

Friends, we know for certain that Damascus will one day be utterly destroyed (Isaiah 17:1), and that Russia, Iran and Turkey will lead a coalition of others in an attack on Israel (Ezekiel 38-39).  Jesus Himself told His disciples that war and rumors of wars, and nations rising against one another, will happen in the last days.  (Matthew 24:6-8)

Verse 8 says these things are the beginning of birth pangs.  Matthew 24:14 tells us that, ultimately, the end will come.  We are watching the birth pangs happen right before our very eyes!  Thus, the question: How long before we are called to meet Jesus in the air?

It’s coming!