The Rapture, Part VI


The `last trump' is another controversy which causes  confusion for Christians. There are trumpets blown all the way through the  Tribulation. How can the last trump be before the Tribulation? To answer that question one would have to know something of the Jewish feasts. Sooner or later, believers who are  interested in  the Rapture, touch base with the Jewish feast, Rosh  HaShana, because  many tie the Rapture to this feast. The expectations  of the Rapture rise every year in September/ October, when the feast
days approach.

Rosh Hashana had its beginning about 500  B.C. The  Jews began celebrating this feast during the previous  month by blowing a ram's horn trumpet for twenty nine days. On the last day  the blowing stopped. Then on the first day of  Tishri  (Rosh HaShanah),  one more blowing of the trumpet occurred  which  consisted  of three distinct series of thirty blasts each  and  then concluded  with a blowing of ten blasts. At the end of all  these
blowings, there was one last, long sounding of the trumpet.

These  trumpet  blowings are used in the Old  Testament  for gathering  people.  Rosh HaShanah ushers in the new  year.  Being symbolic of the "last trump" it has implications to Christians in reference to the Rapture. The last trump for this feast day  Rosh HaShana has a connection to the ram's horn that replaced  Isaac as  a sacrifice. (see Genesis 22:1-14) The right horn  was  blown when  Isaac was set free and replaced with a ram and the left  is considered to be the last trump (shofar) at the final Rosh HaShana,  a  day  of judgment, a call for repentance, and  a  time of regathering for the nation.

There  are three stages of judgment seen by Jewish  scholars expressed in the opening of three books, one for the wicked,  one for  the righteous and one for the in-between. They refer to  the book  of  life, book of death and the verdict of  the  in-between which  is suspended until Yom Kippur {Day of  Atonement,  second coming for the Jews}. (Bloch, op.cit. p.24) The scriptural origin of  this  belief:  "And I will cause you to pass  under  the rod {referring  to the sorting the sheep from the goats}, and I  will
bring you into the bond of the covenant." (Ezekiel 20:37)

Nehemiah involved in rebuilding the temple and  reestablishing the annual atonement wrote: "Also we made ordinances for  us, to  charge ourselves yearly with.. the sin offerings to  make  an atonement for Israel, and [for] all the work of the house of  our
God."  (Nehemiah 10:32..33) The term `scapegoat' came  from  this tradition,  as two goats were used, one was killed and the  other carried the sins of Jews into the wilderness and disappeared. Yom  Kippur includes a face to face confrontation  with  God and  seven day period seclusion to mend their ways  and  prepare themselves  spiritually  for  the Great Day  of  Atonement  which reminds  us of the seven year tribulation.

The fate of the whole nation of Israel hangs on this day. A temple is necessary for the
high priest to enter the Holy of Holies to offer a sacrifice  for sins of the nation. If the sacrifice is accepted by God, then the nation of Jews rejoices because they have been given another year to  live. What Jews have yet to accept is that Jesus  Christ,  as
mankind's great High Priest, entered the Holy of Holies in heaven to  present  His sacrificial blood to God the  Father.  God  has already accepted this offering and provided eternal salvation for all who trust in Christ's sacrifice.

The  final  Jewish celebration in the year is the  Feast  of Tabernacles, five days after Yom Kippur. Zechariah in 14:16 tells those  who  are still alive after Armageddon about the  feast  of tabernacles in the Millennium. "And it shall come to pass, [that] every  one that is left of all the nations  which  came  against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles."

Since  there are two resurrections of believers,  the  first one including the Rapture in which Jesus does not reveal Himself, demands  that Scripture referring to His Second Coming has to  be carefully  divided  to ascertain which event it belongs  to.  The Rapture can also be called a translation, as Enoch experienced in the Old Testament because he believed that it was a  possibility. "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death;  and was  not  found, because God had translated him: for  before  his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." (Hebrews 11:5)  

The story of Noah reveals the concept of the  Rapture  and the  flood came seven days after the door was closed behind  Noah and his family, pointing to the seven year Tribulation.


The  Rapture is the signal ushering in the Tribulation,  the Gospel  of `man is god'. After the seven year peace agreement  is  completed between  Israel  and it's neighbors, someone of  great authority takes  control  of the region. Because he has  to  prove himself worthy  of greater authority, he will declare war  and  overwhelm three  leaders. The effect on the people is  devastation,  fires, plagues,  natural  disasters and death of 25% of  the  population results in a financial collapse causing inflation.

Every  problem needs a solution and Satan moves in with  the solution:  promises of prosperity if people will take the  `mark' . Unbelievers fall down and worship him. Man becomes god. The Jews because of the devastation have built a third temple to resume the Aaronic priesthood and temple rituals and sacrifices. The Antichrist assumes throne in the temple to make Jews believe that the longawaited Messiah has finally returned.

Antichrist entering the Holy of Holies angers God and the  great day of the wrath is come.. "And the kings of  the earth,  and the great men, and the rich men, and the  chief  captains,  and  the mighty men, and every bondsman, and  every  free man,  hid  themselves in the dens and in the rocks of  the  mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and  hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from  the wrath  of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is  come;  and who shall be able to stand?" (Revelation 6:15-17)

The third phase is about to begin: The Gospel of the Kingdom goes into effect. "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.." (Matthew 4:17) At the time He preached that, Jesus  was referring to Himself at a future date on  earth.  This time of the tribulation will be God's dealing with the nation  of
Israel. "And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in  all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the  end come."  (Matthew 24:14) The end referred to would be  Armageddon, the  end of man's world order.

All  who believe the Gospel of the Kingdom that God will  be forming with Israel in mind, will be brought into the  Millennium who  are  martyred will be resurrected according to Ezekiel  37. Only those who have not accepted the Mark of the Beast are eligible for this offer into the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. The  only formal  prayer  the  Lord Jesus left with us  in  Matthew  6:9-13 refers to the kingdom to come. "..thy will be done in earth as it is  in  heaven, Hallowed be thy name.." On  the  resurrected  the second death has no power. (see Revelation 20:6)

Thomas Ice in his article April 1995, Israel/ Church Distinction:  The  Fourth Foundation refers  to  Fruchtenbaum's  article "Israel and the Church. The term Israel is viewed theologically  as  referring to all descendants of  Abraham,  Isaac,  and Jacob,  also known as Jews, the Jewish peoples,  Israelites,  Hebrews, etc." He notes that national election  distinguishes Israel  from  those peoples who were not chosen that we  know  as
Gentiles."  .. chosen to be the recipient of His  revelation and record, was to propagate the doctrine of One God  (Deut. 6:4), was to produce the Messiah.. (Romans 9:5; Hebrews  2:16-17; 7:13-14)

"Israel is not interchangable.. with the church.. reasons.. First: the church was born at Pentecost.., .. Second.. the resurrection  and  ascension of Jesus to become head of  the church.. third..{are}  four characteristics.. the Jewish and  Gentile  believers  as  one body.. Christ indwelling  every  believer..  the Church is Bride of Christ..{in} the Rapture.. Fourth.. the unique relationship between Jews and Gentiles, called one new man..  and last  both Israel and the church exist simultaneously.."  A  distinct plan for Israel and a distinct plan for the church  emerges which sets up a scriptural foundation for the Rapture.

There is no doubt that we are at the end of the church  age, which  means  any moment believers may be snatched out  of  their present surroundings and abandon families and friends. Homes  and contents,  cars, jobs, some hospital beds and many  other  things
would  be  left behind. Time, space and  circumstances  will  not matter. "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 4:17)

Jesus said in John 16:13, that they will know: "Howbeit when he,  the  Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide  you  into  all truth: for he shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear,  [that]  shall  He speak: and He will shew  you  things  to come." The Spirit of truth is the Holy Spirit who is or should be our teacher. The Bible states that He will bring Scripture necessary for the moment to our remembrance. "That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also [trusted],  after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel  of your  salvation:  in whom also after that ye  believed,  ye  were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise." (Ephesians 1:12,13)

"And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and  your  heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man  taketh  from you.  And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily,  I say  unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask {referring to `that  day'} the Father in my name, he will give [it] you." (John 16:22,23) He states this promise as a truth because we will be with Him in a different place and time.

The  Apostle  Paul  taught a behavior pattern for  us  in  1 Thessalonians  in anticipation of the Rapture. "For now we  live, if ye stand fast in the Lord... And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all [men], even as we [do] toward you." (1 Thessalonians 3:8,12) "For this is the will  of God, [even] your sanctification, that ye should  abstain from  fornication: That every one of you should know how to  possess his vessel {practice self discipline} in sanctification  and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence {strong sexual desires}, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no [man] go  beyond and  defraud his brother in [any] matter: because that  the  Lord [is] the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you  and testified.

For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but  unto holiness.  He  therefore that despiseth, despiseth not  man,  but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit. But as touching brotherly  love ye need not that I write unto you: for  ye  yourselves are taught of God to love one another. And indeed ye do it toward  all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but  we  beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; And that  ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work  with your  own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may  walk  honestly toward  them  that are without, and [that] ye may  have  lack  of nothing." (1 Thessalonians 4:3-12)

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