Happy Rosh Hashanah (Why Rosh Hashanah is Important to Me)
The Jewish Holiday Day of Rosh Hashanah, also called the Feast of Trumpets, begins at sundown on Monday, September 6, 2021 and continues until sundown on Tuesday, September 7 (1 Tishri). It is considered to be New Years Day on the Jewish calendar even though the Lord God told Moses to change the beginning of the calendar to the 1st of Nisan, which occurs in March or April. 1 Tishri is also thought to be the First Day of Creation when God created light and separated the light from the dark. It is a time to begin reflection on how one has lived during the past year.
Rosh Hashanah is one of seven Jewish holidays that the Lord God gave to the children of Israel during the 40 year Wilderness wanderings from Egypt to the Promised Land (Leviticus 23). The Lord God gave three spring holidays, one harvest holiday, and three fall holidays. Most translations of the Bible call these holidays “convocations” or “feasts,” but the Hebrew word is better translated “appointed meeting” or “appointment.” Rosh Hashanah (the Feast of Trumpets) is the first of the fall appointments. Hanukah, which even non-Jewish people are familiar, is not one of these seven appointments. Hanukah is a celebration of an event that occurred during the re-dedication of the Second Temple after the children of Israel under the leadership of the Maccabees threw off the yoke of the Greeks around 160 BC. Hanukah recounts how there was not enough oil for the lamps in the Temple to burn continuously for the required eight day ceremony of re-dedication, but yet the lamps miraculously burned for eight days. In commemoration of that event the Jewish people celebrate Hanukah. There have also been many other holiday commemorations added through the centuries, but the discussion of those are for another time.
Now why in the world would a Gentile (non-Jewish person) like me celebrate the Feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashanah?
Firstly, Paul the Apostle, a high ranking Jew at the time of Jesus Christ, and an Apostle of Jesus Christ, wrote in his Epistle to the Romans, that I have been grafted into the Olive Tree of Israel because I believe in the Jewish Messiah that fulfilled the prophecies of the Messiah in the Hebrew Scriptures (aka Old Testament). Specifically, Jesus Christ presented Himself to the children of Israel on 10 Nisan as the unblemished Passover Lamb, was sacrificed on The Cross as the Passover Lamb on 14 Nisan (Passover), was buried on 15 Nisan (Feast of Unleavened Bread), and Resurrected on 17 Nisan (the Feast of First Fruits). Then, 50 days later on the harvest Feast of Weeks (aka Pentecost and the same day that Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mt Sinai) the Holy Spirit filled the Apostles in the Upper Room and they began to preach the Law of Grace to the Jewish people, many of which became followers of the Way [aka Jesus Christ]). Sometime later the Apostles came to understand that the promises to the children of Israel were also for the Gentiles (as foretold by the Jewish prophet Isaiah circa 620 BC). They were lead to consider this expansion when many Gentiles became interested and after they ran into much resistance to their preaching about Jesus Christ within the Jewish leadership and community. In fact, Paul, who at one time had been a violent persecutor of the Jewish believers in Jesus, was met on the road to Damascus by the risen Jesus, was converted, and was specifically sent by Jesus to preach to the Gentiles. And eventually the preaching came to me in the 20th Century and I myself believed. And so now these feasts or appointments are also important to me from the historical perspective that I just described and from a prophetic prospective which follows.
I’ve already explained the fulfillment of the first four feasts (appointments), but why is Rosh Hashanah in particular important to me? And for that matter what about the last two fall feasts and Hanukah?
Just as the first four feasts (appointments) were for the First Coming of Jesus Christ, the last three of the seven feasts (appointments) plus Hanukah are the appointments for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
The Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) is the appointment for the first event of the second coming – the Rapture. The Rapture is the snatching away of Holy Spirit indwelled believers by the Lord God into the clouds. This occurs some time after the opening of the 6th Seal in the Book of Revelation. The 6th Seal releases a dramatic display in the sun, moon, and stars in the heavens (see Revelation 6).
You might ask, “How can can you know when Jesus will return, Jerry? Jesus said neither the day nor hour is known by anyone except the Father.” Well, since the actual day of Rosh Hashanah is determined by the rising of the New Moon, and since the New Moon can be hidden by the sun, the actual day that the New Moon rises is unknown until there is testimony by two witnesses. Thus, Rosh Hashanah and all the first days (New Moons) of the Jewish months are unknown until the day and hour that the New Moon is observed and testified to by two witnesses. Additionally, Paul wrote in the 15th Chapter of 1 Corinthians that the snatching away would occur at the Last Trumpet (Shofar). The Last Trumpet (Shofar) is blown on 1 Tishri after a trumpet has been blown on each of the 30 days of the previous month of Elul. Thus, if Rosh Hashanah is an appointment as the previous four, it is the next appointment and best matches the prophetic details of the Rapture.
So again, why is Rosh Hashanah important to a Gentile believer like me? Any year now I and my brothers and sisters in Christ will be snatched away to heaven to be with the Lord God forever. Those remaining will probably rejoice that we are all gone, but Biblical prophecy assures us that the joy will be short lived.
So, how about Yom Kippur and the Feast of Tabernacles/Booths and Hanukah?
Simply put Yom Kippur (10 Tishri) is the appointment for the Day of Judgment. It is the day that Jesus Christ (the Lord God) touches down on the Mount of Olives to deliver the children of Israel from the wrath of the world armies assembled to come against Israel. After the Battle of Armagedon He will judge the nations and people and then set up His 1000 Year Kingdom on earth. Yom Kippur was also the day that Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil bringing judgment on themselves and all subsequent mankind. I suspect that the Day of Judgment will probably not occur the same year as the Rapture, so the Rapture will provide an obvious warning to those who remain and give them a chance to turn and trust in Jesus Christ or to hate Him even more. I’m proposing from my studies there is about a two to four year lag between these two events: many others propose there is a seven year lag. The lag in time is necessary for the judgments released by the Seven Trumpets and the Seven Bowls. These are the wrath of God poured out on the World that rejects Him and murdered His people.
The Feast of Tabernacles/Booths/Tents (15-21 Tishri) is a seven day commemoration of the Wilderness wandering from Egypt to the Promised Land when the children of Israel lived in tents, but it may be a short time of wandering in the Wilderness again for the children of Israel as the Lord God puts down the wicked forces that have come against Israel, restores the world for His 1000 Year Kingdom, and builds the Temple to be used during the 1000 Year Kingdom.
At the last of the feasts, Hanukah, I suspect that the new Temple will be dedicated on 25 Kislev ushering in eight days of celebration and 1000 Years of fulfilling the kingdom promises to the children of Israel found in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament).
How long until all this happens? Well, the Apostles asked the Lord Jesus Christ that very question on the Temple Mount (the answer is recorded in Matthew 24). Our Lord gave many details of what signs to watch for: many of these are in agreement with those events recorded in the Book of Revelation. He also said that know one knows the day nor the hour, but the Father: and so, neither do I know. But, I can tell you with assurance, based on the prophecies of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures (the Old & New Testaments), that before all these later appointments are fulfilled a Third Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem, there will be a world government where no one can buy or sell without the mark of the beast, the city of Damascus will be destroyed such that no one will be able to live there, a wicked man of lawlessness will arise to rule over all or much or the world and will present himself as god at the Third Temple and demand that the dwellers on the earth worship him, a false prophet will arise and instruct the dwellers of the earth to worship the the wicked man of lawlessness and the giant image of him, and two witnesses of the true God (Elijah and another) will prophecy and work wonders in Israel for about 3 1/2 years until they are eventually killed by the man of lawlessness but are then resurrected on the third day by the Lord God. There are other signs given in the Scriptures, but those I presented here provide an unmistakable warning.
The time after the Rapture and before the Second Coming of Christ is said to be in the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures a time of great trouble not only for the children of Israel, but all that remain on earth. The Hebrew Scriptures foretell that only one-third of the children of Israel will survive this time of trouble and it appears in the Greek Scriptures that an even smaller percentage of Gentiles will survive. More details regarding this Time of Trouble can be found in the Book of Revelation and throughout the Scriptures if one cares to read it.
You might ask, “What then shall I do to avoid this trouble?” Maybe this account of a conversation between Nicodemus, one of the leaders in the Jewish Sanhedrin at the time, and Jesus will help.
There was a man of the Pharisees, — named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto Him, Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that You do, except God be with Him.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Truly, truly, I say unto you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus said unto Him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say unto you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto you, You all must be born again. The wind blows where it lists, and you hear the sound thereof, but cannot tell from where it comes, and to where it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Nicodemus answered and said unto Him, How can these things be?
Jesus answered and said unto him, Are you a master of Israel, and know not these things? Truly, truly, I say unto you, We speak what we do know, and testify what we have seen; and you receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and you believe not, how shall you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, particularly the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world [note by me: the first time] to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.
He that believes on Him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that does truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are worked in God.
Today is the day of salvation: This is a call to turn from the ways of the world and set your heart on trusting in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of your inherited sin nature evidenced by your sins and for receiving the eternal life He offers through His Resurrection from the dead and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Happy Rosh Hashanah to You & Your Loved Ones
No Disclaimer, for this is the truth.