This is my forty-second year watching for the return of Jesus. In 1975 when I first believed and began to follow Jesus, I was expecting the Lord’s return by the end of that year. I read in the scriptures how Jesus had come to earth the first time and these events were recorded for us in the New Testament. I believed what Jesus said when He promised to come again as soon as everything was ready. I understood from the scriptures that the time of the Lord’s return was sudden and without warning. I considered how people would begin to say in the last days: “where is the promise of His coming?”
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. —John 14:1-3
Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. —Matthew 24:44
By Jesus words in Matthew 24:44, He is saying that after many years have passed people will stop expecting Him to return so that when He finally does, most will not be ready.
The year 2017 has been one of incredible promise for the return of Jesus. I have seen more young people excited about the Rapture than ever before. There are many web sites and Facebook pages that are chronicling events and scriptures about Jesus’ coming this year during the Feast of Trumpets. Some have claimed that there is a prophecy of Revelation 12 where an alignment of stars will taken place on September 23rd that has not happened for 7,000 years. I could find no verifiable source for this 7,000 year assertion, anywhere.
Thirty years ago when I began to teach that Jesus had fulfilled the first four Feast of Israel and He would return during the Feast of Trumpets, very few listened or believed. This year I have noticed that there are many books about this subject and it is widely accepted that Jesus will return for His church during the Feast of Trumpets. Regardless of the passage of time, every year I have made myself ready for Jesus’ return when we arrive at the Feast of Trumpets. I have never been discouraged during the past forty-two years that the Lord had not come at those times.
Jesus said that we should always be ready at any time. The early church was also expecting the Lord to return during their lifetime. Each generation of believers has expected Jesus to come in their lifetime. This is the way that the Lord wanted it to be. He expects each one of us to always be watching for His return and not give up our excitement or hope. When we lose our expectation that Jesus could come at any moment, we start to slip back into the world again and forget Jesus in our lives.
There were a few posts on Facebook this year where young persons said that they had fallen away from Jesus. When they heard that He was coming again in September, they came back to Jesus and started to follow the Lord once more. This is precisely why it is important to always maintain an excitement for Jesus return.
I am concerned about these young people this year; millions who are so excited about Jesus coming again. I fear that should this not be the year of the Lord’s return, they will lose their confidence and not believe that Jesus is going to come again. Peter wrote that in the last days some would begin to say, “where it the promise of His coming.”
…knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” –2 Peter 3:3-4
The idea here is that after many years when people have said that Jesus was going to come for His church and He hasn’t returned, some will lose their confidence and become discouraged. Others who never believed that Jesus would come in the first place will make fun of those who had said “the Lord is coming soon.” I have heard these scoffers for many years and they never move me away from my hope. Peter said that one of the signs of the last days is that people will begin to scoff at the idea of Jesus return. Another sign is that after so many years when Christians have been saying that “Jesus is coming this year,” people will grow tired of hearing this and not listen anymore.
I have received numerous comments from people in the past two weeks where they told me that the Rapture is not going to happen. Others have said that the Rapture is not in the Bible. I read an article this morning about a writer for Huffington Post who said that he was raised in the church to believe in the Rapture and continued through college. After so many years where people have said “this is the year of the Lord’s return and Jesus did not come, he gave up. He now writes in opposition to the return of Jesus.
This happened because what he expected did not take place. Listen to me: The Rapture is going to happen because the Bible is filled with places where it is clearly taught and illustrated. You cannot live your Christian life with the idea that God must operate according to your timeline or expectations. If this is your thought then you will constantly be disappointed and discouraged. Many people stop following Jesus because their expectations are not met. Jesus came to earth and gave everything for us. He is worthy of more loyalty and trust than to simply give up because we don’t get what we want.
I wrote a lengthy section in my new book, “Great Tribulation: Time Of The End,” about the evidence that is presented in the Bible for the doctrine of the Rapture. This important principle is taught, both in the Old Testament, as well as the New. Jesus instructed us to always be watching for His return and warned that if we lose our expectation that He is coming at any moment and go back into the world, He will come on a day when we don’t expect and He will assign us a place with the unsaved where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
In the following text of Matthew, Jesus tells us a story of a Master, who is Jesus, and a servant, who is all of us who claim to follow Him. In this illustration Jesus comes and finds that His servant has begun to say in his heart that His Master is not going to come again. He returns to his old life and begins to live like the rest of the world. Jesus is saying that He will come on a day that this servant is not expecting, a clear reference to Jesus coming for His church suddenly at the Rapture.
If this was the time of Jesus’ second coming to earth at the end of the seven year Tribulation then we would know to the very day when He will arrive. Daniel said that it will be exactly 1,290 days after the Abomination of Desolation takes place at the middle of the seven year Tribulation (Daniel 12:11). Clearly Jesus is teaching the sudden Rapture when He comes for His church to remove us from the earth as Paul described in 1 Thessalonians 4: 17: “caught up to meet the Lord in the air…”
“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. —Matthew 24:45-51
There are numerous places like the example above. I placed this text that is from Jesus, directly, because the writer of the Huffington Post stated that Jesus never taught the Rapture in the New Testament. When a person does not have a good knowledge of the Bible, these are the mistakes that are made.
“The Rapture was not taught in the Christian Church, until 1830.”
The chief objection to the modern teaching of the Rapture comes from writers who claim that before 1830 the Christian church only believed in a single arrival of Jesus, after the Great Tribulation.
As we examine the writings of the early church, we see that this is not true.
From the beginning, the coming of Jesus before the Tribulation was well established in the minds of early believers. It is true that for a long durations of time the teaching of the Rapture fell into period of disinterest and disuse by large numbers in the church. There was a revival of interest in the return of Jesus, beginning in 1820 after Emmanuel Acurzna (Ben Ezra) began to teach this doctrine. Others followed: Edward Irving (1816), • Margaret MacDonald (1830) • John Darby in 1830, who revived the facts of 1 Thessalonians 4 and Paul’s instruction that the church will be “caught up,” or Raptured to meet Jesus in the air.
I cite fourteen examples in my book “Great Tribulation,” from the early church Fathers where the pre-Tribulation Rapture was being taught in the Christian church from as early as 60 A.D., to 330 A.D.
Finally, the weakest argument of all is the idea that a person cannot believe the Rapture is true because The word “Rapture” is not in the Bible.
If these critics had read the text of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 in the Latin Vulgate, the text says rapiemur, from the root word, rapto, or rapturo. When the Bible was translated from Greek to Latin they used the word Rapturo and this was later adopted as “Rapture.” All that the word Rapture encapsulates is the facts of Paul’s statements in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. There is no ambiguity in what Paul is saying. Jesus will come and take those who love Him, violently and by great force, from the earth to meet Him in the air.
What should occur when examining the true text of 1 Thessalonians and what it is actually saying is an examination of the original Greek word for “caught up” that Paul uses in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. In this case, ἁρπάζω harpazō; is used, which means “to seize, catch away, pluck from, pull up, or take by force.” This clarifies the whole issue. The Lord will seize, catch away, pluck, pull up, or take by force, those who are alive when He comes to meet us in the air. You can call this event whatever you want but you cannot exclude the removal of believers from earth because you don’t see the term Rapture in the Bible.
Find the word “Grandfather” in the Bible. Its not there, yet we refer to Grandfathers who are in the Bible everyday. No one objects to the idea of a Grandfather as being true in the Bible because they cannot find the word in the text..
Here is the thing: Jesus came the first time. He said that He would come again.
Jesus’ promise to return should be sufficient for anyone to keep believing that He will come again. The problem for us here on earth is that we have no idea what the timing of Jesus’ return will be. I can tell you that the return of the Jews to their own land in 1948 caused a huge stir in the hearts of people to believe the coming of the Lord was near. In the late 70’s there was a tremendous anticipation of the Rapture. None of the prophecies of the last days could be fulfilled until Israel was back in their own land. As we see increases in natural disaster, wars, rebellion, riots, and evil increasing we naturally think the coming of the Lord must be near.
A problem began a few years ago when a few people began to publish articles on the internet about events that were taking place in the heavens that they say point to the soon return of the Lord. While it is true that God created the stars and planets as signs for us here on earth to show certain times when God was going to do something incredible, they were never intended to cause us to focus strictly on these signs. It has always been the word of God, the Bible, that people who trust in Jesus should be looking to for their information about Jesus return and the last days.
The entire scope of all prophecy for the last days is centered around Israel. All of the major prophecies that concern the return of Jesus at the Rapture and the beginning of the seven year Tribulation, depend upon what God is doing in the world with Israel and the Jews. When a group of persons or a person takes a scripture out of the Bible that was written for Israel and the Jews and seeks to use it to predict the coming of Jesus it is always going to be wrong.
The Revelation 12 text is not a prophecy of Jesus’ return.
The sun is Jacob, the moon, Rachel, and the twelve stars are the twelve sons of Jacob, who are the twelve tribes of Israel. The entire context of Revelation 12 is describing the Jews of Israel as they will flee Jerusalem after the Abomination of Desolation that Jesus said would happen in the middle of the Tribulation period.
In 2017, we have the annual observance of the Feast of Rosh Hashanah, or Trumpets on September 20-22, and the theory of a Revelation 12 prophecy on September 23. Let us imagine that Jesus will come for His church during the two day Feast of Trumpets this year. This would fit the scope of Bible prophecy that the 23rd of September could be a sign to the Jews by this event in the heavens that the Tribulation is about to begin.
What if Jesus does not return during the two days of Trumpets? Does this invalidate all of the scriptures that describe the last days? The obvious answer is no. If people place their hopes in a Rapture in September and Jesus does not return, there will be many who will have a hard time believing that the Lord will come again. Don’t let this happen. Again, I have been watching and waiting for forty-two years. I will watch every year until my Lord comes for me.
After Peter wrote that scoffers would come in the last days, he said that people should not forget that when God said certain things about events that would happen in the past, they did happen.
For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. —2 Peter 3:5-7
People who say that Jesus will not come again because that promise was made over 2,000 years ago, have not realized that God has waited for long periods of time in the past before He fulfilled His word. Genesis 3:15 is the first prophecy of the Bible where God promised a Savior to redeem the descendants of Adam. Jesus did not come for 4,000 years after God made this promise. God warned the Canaanites that He would destroy their nation if they did not cease from offering their babies to the fiery hot arms of their god Molech. It was 900 years later that God destroyed the Canaanites. Jesus promised to come again and it has been 2,000 years. God said that the way that we would know that the time of the Lord’s return was getting close was by Ezekiel’s prophecy of chapters 36 and 37. Jesus said that when we see Israel as the Fig tree, blossoming again as a nation, know that His return was near.
In 2018, we will see the 70th year since Israel began as a nation once again. How long were the Jews held captive in Babylon? 70 years. We are living during the time of Jesus return, we just don’t know if this year is that year.
Now learn the parable of the fig tree: When her branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near: So likewise you, when you shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. —Matthew 24:32-34
Now in the morning as he returned to the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree along the way, he came to it, and found nothing on it, but leaves. He said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you henceforth, forever.” And immediately the fig tree withered. —Matthew 21:18
Matthew begins with the answer to a riddle that has puzzled many: “Why did Jesus curse the Fig Tree in Matthew 21:18-22 and Mark 11:12-25?
In Matthew 24:32-34, above, Jesus tells us that when we see the Fig Tree (Israel) “put forth leaves,” we know that summer is near. Summer is the four months just before the Feast of Trumpets in September-October when Jesus is likely to return for His church. Since Israel is once again a nation this event is a signal for us to be watching for our Lord’s return.
Israel, The Fig Tree
When Israel put forth her leaves and became a nation once again in 1948, the commencement of all the prophecies of the last days began their countdown.
Here, the writers of the Gospels make it possible for us to understand the difference between the coming of Jesus for His church and the time of His return with His church at the end of the seven year Tribulation.
Matthew, Mark, and Luke begin with the parable of the Fig Tree which is an illustration of the nation of Israel. In Matthew 21:18 Jesus comes to the fig tree and finds that there is no fruit. This incident becomes and important place of instruction for us as we learn the importance of Israel to the prophetic scriptures that describe Jesus’ return.
Jesus is near Jerusalem on the final week of His life. He is about to offer Himself for the sins of the world and be crucified. This moment when He speaks to the Fig Tree is not an accident and it is extremely important to our understanding of all the events of the last days.
The Fig Tree Often Symbolizes the Nation of Israel
Why has this people slidden back, Jerusalem, in a perpetual backsliding? I will surely consume them,” says the Lord. No grapes shall be on the vine, Nor figs on the fig tree, And the leaf shall fade; And the things I have given them shall pass away from them. —Jeremiah 8:5,13
I found Israel Like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers As the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season. —Hosea 9:10
This fig tree that is before Jesus has leaves but no fruit; even as Israel has religion but no living and personal relationship with God that produces fruit. Jesus was not angry with the fruit tree, He was using this opportunity to teach us regarding Israel and the place that she has found herself now that the Messiah has arrived.
With such a great body of prophetic evidence the nation should have been ready for the arrival of Jesus. Because of their blindness and unwillingness to believe and receive Jesus as their King, Israel the tree, is cursed.
This illustration of the fig tree that represents Israel is important for us in understanding the timing of Jesus’ return at the day of the Lord. This is described by Paul in his first letter to the Thessalonians where he states: “concerning the times and the seasons…you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them…”
There will be two occasions where this prophecy will be fulfilled, just as there are two fulfillments for many other prophecies that concern the Messiah. A generation that will exist when Jesus spoke these words will see the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70 A.D.
A later generation that sees Israel become a nation once again in 1948 will also see the return of Jesus for His church.
A generation can be 40, 70, or 120 years, depending upon the nature of the judgment. When Israel was in the desert and complained against the Lord; 40 years were determined for this generation. When Israel failed to keep the Sabbath for 490 years, a term of 70 years was determined for their generation. Moses was 120 years old when he died in the desert and was not allowed to enter the promised land because he misrepresented the Lord (Deuteronomy 34:7).
If we should try and guess which length of judgement should be applied to Israel and the generation that would be alive to see the coming of Jesus for His church, a logical choice would be 70 years. This was the term applied to Israel during their disobedience—leading to the 70 years of captivity in Babylon.
This is very similar to the disbursement of Israel beginning in 70 A.D., when they were scattered all over the world for nearly 2,000 years.
If we take 1948, the year Israel became a nation once again and add 70 years, we come to 2018. How this might be applicable to September of 2017, we will have to wait and see. It may be that the Lord will remove His church during the Feast of Trumpets September 20-22, also during the conjunction of planets with Virgo and Leo on September 23. After a short time of chaos on the earth when perhaps a billion people disappear at once, a leader will emerge who will be the antichrist and sign a seven year peace treaty for Israel. This will begin the Tribulation Period in 2018, the 70th year since they became a nation once again.
The Generation That Sees These Things
In Matthew 24:33-36, above we see that the fig tree as Israel is tied to a generation that will witness the budding forth of the nation once again after being disbursed for two-thousand years. This will coincide with the timing of the event described as: “no one knows the day or hour.”
So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. —Matthew 24:33-36
Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica to instruct them in the specific details of the return of Jesus to earth.
But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. —1 Thessalonians 5:1-5
Jesus said that when He returns for His church at the Rapture, just prior to the seven year Tribulation, it will be sudden—like a thief; His arrival will come without prior warning. The return of Jesus with His church is not a time that is unknown. The scriptures tell us when this event will take place.
At the midway point of the seven-year Tribulation the antichrist will command the world to worship him, described by Jesus in Matthew chapter 24 as the Abomination of Desolation. Jesus will return exactly 1,260 days later (+30 days for Armageddon).
And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. —Daniel 12:11
Paul told the Thessalonians that when Jesus returns at the Rapture it will be at a time unannounced. This is a fundamental difference that distinguishes the Rapture from the Second Coming of Jesus.
- Rapture: Time of Jesus’ arrival is unknown.
- Second Coming: Time of Jesus’ arrival will be at the end of the 1,260 days from the Abomination of Desolation, that occurs at the midway point of the seven-year Tribulation.
These clear differences between the Lord’s two appearances in the last days makes it certain that there are two separate returns of Jesus. One, in the air, when the timing is unknown; a second at the end of the Tribulation when the time is known. The Rapture will happen in close proximity to the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation, but on a day that no one knows.
But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. —Matthew 24:36
The Second Coming will occur a time certain—at the end of the seven-year tribulation (1,260 days from the Abomination of Desolation). Then there shall be a period of 30 days in which the Battle of Armageddon will begin, just after Jesus returns to earth. This will be followed by 75 days when Jesus will separate the sheep from the Goats during the judgment of the nations (Matthew 25:32).
And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. —Daniel 12:11
- Abomination of Desolation, mid-way in the seven year peace plan. •
- Add 1,260 days to determine the end of the Great Tribulation. •
- Add 30 days for the Battle of Armageddon (1290 days). •
- Add 75 days for the judgment of the nations before he Millennium kingdom of the Messiah begins (1,335 days).
When the Abomination of Desolation is announced at Jerusalem, the Great Tribulation begins. Start counting: 1,260 days later, Jesus returns to earth at the Mount of Olives with His church.
Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand)… —Matthew 24:15
The description of Jesus’ return with His church at the end of the 1,260 days:
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. —Revelation 19:11-16
“No Man Knows the Day or the Hour”
Many people are not aware of the meaning behind the phrase that Jesus spoke concerning the time of His return to earth, during the Rapture.
But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. —Matthew 24:36
Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming. —Matthew 25:13
We must remember that Jesus is a Jew and when He spoke He was speaking primarily to Jews. When Jesus spoke He communicated in Hebrew or Aramaic and expressed His thoughts in a way that would be understood by the Jews who listened to Him.
The Fifth Feast of Israel is called Rosh Hashanah, or The Feast of Trumpets.” It begins on the first day of the seventh month in the Jewish calendar. In the mind of the Jew who is thinking of Rosh Hashanah, this would be the start of The Day of the Lord, the one thousand year reign of the Messiah on earth. This would also mark the time of the resurrection. This important Feast of Israel is signaled by the New Moon. This is the time just slightly before the new moon becomes invisible on the earth, when it appears as a small crescent. Over the next two weeks more of the moon disappears, until it finally becomes dark, also known as full.
The appearance of the small crescent for the moon just after it is full, was so important to Israel that all of their feast days were signaled by its phases from new to full. This is why the total lunar eclipse, or blood moon, is such an important sign that we should pay attention to.
God gave authority to the Sanhedrin of Israel to announce when the start of these Feast days would begin, according to the cycles of the moon.
(Vayikrah-Leviticus 23:4).These are the appointed times of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at the times appointed for them
In the Torah; Mattityahu 18:18-20, we find that the beginning of the Feast of Trumpets occurs as soon as the New Moon is announced. In order to establish when this feast began, a watch was posted to observe the beginning of the New Moon. In Hebrew they refer to this watch as:
“appointed times.” No man has the right to set this time, it is determined by God alone. No man has the authority to change the appointed time of this feast, according to Midrash Rabbah Numbers, Vol 2.21.25, p. 852.
It was the intention of God and well understood by the Sanhedrin of Israel that the watch for the Feast of Trumpets was a rehearsal for the time when this feast would be fully realized by Messiah’s return during this Feast. In Colossians 2:17, Paul describes these rehearsals as a shadow of the good things to come.
Determined By Two Witnesses
The Sanhedrin determined who would watch for the arrival of the new moon and this important task was completed by pairs of two witnesses, the basic foundation for all legal transactions in Judaism.
During the seven year tribulation God will send His two witnesses to Israel to proclaim to the Jews, from their Hebrew scriptures, that Jesus is the Messiah.
And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. —Revelation 11:3
It is my opinion that these two witnesses during the Tribulation will be Moses and Elijah. Moses, representing the Law; Elijah, representing the prophets. Jesus said that all that God had spoken before John the Baptist arrived—as the last of the Old Testament Prophets—rests upon the Law and the Prophets.
The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. —Luke 16:16
Two witnesses were chosen to announce the coming of the new moon that would signal the beginning of Rosh Hashanah. They must be men of good character who were already proven as honorable, truthful, and reliable.
In the Mishna 6, chapter 2, regarding Rosh Hashanah, it describes how the witnesses are tested, regarding the start of Rosh Hashanah.
“The senior of them is brought in and they say to him, tell us how you saw the moon – in front of the sun or behind the sun? To the north of it or the south? How big was it, and in which direction was it inclined? And how broad was it? If he says (he saw it) in front of the sun, his evidence is rejected. After that they would bring in the second and test him. If their accounts tallied, their evidence was accepted, and the other pairs were only questioned briefly, not because they were required at all, but so that they should not be disappointed, (and) so that they should not be dissuaded from coming.”
In Qualifying the Witnesses, the Sanhedrin Used the Following Criteria:
- They never arrived at the same time.
- They were never questioned at the same time. •
- There were always two new witnesses each month.
These witnesses would stand before the Nassi or President of the Sanhedrin to give account of the moon’s appearance prior to becoming totally dark. —Moed Rosh HaShanah, Chapter 3, Mishnah 1
The way in which the witnesses could mark the beginning of the new moon and the Feast of Trumpets was seen in an event that took place just prior to the total blackness of the new moon. Immediately before the moon enters its new phase, a thin sliver of moon is observed along the edge, called “the horns of the moon.”
The Moon Just Before The Feast of Trumpets
Two witnesses would watch until the sliver of light was visible after the Moon was completely dark (New). It was at this moment that the Feast of Trumpets began. Because no one knew precisely when this moment would arrive, it was known as “No man knows the day or the hour.” Once the two witnesses had been thoroughly evaluated for their truthful account of the new moon, the President of the Sanhedrin would announce the beginning of the “Rosh Chodesh,” (new month), with the words: “Sanctified.” Following his proclamation, all the people would answer: “Sanctified.”
Because no man knew the day or the hour for the beginning of the Feast of Trumpets, this became its secondary name.
When Jesus said: “But of that day and hour no one knows,” this precise process for determining the beginning of this feast was what He had in mind. Jesus is giving us a hint as to when He will come for His church—without setting a specific date: during the time when “no man knows.” This takes place during the two days of Rosh Hashanah.
It is for this reason that we cannot say precisely what day or hour of the two days for the Feast of Trumpets Jesus will return for His church at the Rapture.
Jesus did say that we can know the times and the seasons of His return. We can know that it will happen during the Feast of Trumpets, but there are two days in this feast. No man knows which day or which hour.
Jesus condemned the Pharisees for their lack of discernment in the times and seasons of His arrival on the earth as the Messiah. Jesus said that because they had not known the times and seasons of the Messiah’s arrival by the prophecies, they had rejected Him. This caused their House to be left to them desolate.
When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. —Matthew 16:2-3
The Sign of September 21 And The Feast of Rosh Hashanah
On September 20, 2017, the Feast of Rosh Hashanah or Feast of Trumpets begins. I have taught for many years that when Jesus returns for His church at the Rapture, it will likely be during the Feast of Trumpets. Jesus perfectly fulfilled the first four feasts; Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Pentecost, on the precise days and in the specific ways that these feasts must be fulfilled. It is certain that when Jesus returns for His church He will continue fulfilling the remaining three Feasts: Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles.
The Break Between The Fourth and Fifth Feast
After the fourth Feast of Pentecost Jesus ceased His fulfillment of the seven Feasts. This was clearly because there is a four month period between the fourth and fifth feasts called the harvest. These four months coincide with the harvest of souls that Jesus described in the Gospels.
Do you not say, “There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! —John 4:35
The time in which we are now living is called the harvest. This is when God offers salvation to the whole world through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When this harvest is concluded Jesus will return as He promised during the Feast of Trumpets and remove those who love him from earth.
The reason for the removal of the church is that God is going to place the world under a time of Great Tribulation that is unparalleled in the history of mankind. These seven years are specifically intended for the nation of Israel and the Jews. The Tribulation is the 70th week of Daniel and The Time of Jacob’s Trouble.
The seven year Tribulation is not for the church who Jesus has already redeemed by His blood. The Tribulation Period is a time of judgment, the church has already finished her judgment by Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Theses seven Feasts were intended by God as signs of future events when the Messiah would come and fulfill their purpose. We have seen this already in Jesus’ first arrival. It is certain that the remaining three feasts are left to us as signs of things to come. From the look of things in the world today, the fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets may be only a short time away. Beginning with the Feast of Passover we see just how important this day was to Jesus.
The disciples often asked the Lord why He didn’t go to Jerusalem and tell the leaders that He is the Messiah. Jesus refused because He said that He was waiting for one specific day so that He could fulfill the Feast of Passover.
On these occasions when the disciples had urged Jesus to tell the world who He is, He refused and said: My time has not yet come. When Passover arrived, His time had come and He would complete all things that were written about Him from the Old Testament.
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father… —John 13:1
Jesus was well aware of what was ahead for Him and the purpose for which He had come into the world. He understood that there were hundreds of Hebrew prophecies that must be fulfilled by Himself and everything must be done in proper order and at a specific time.
Then Jesus said to them,
“These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” —Luke 24:44
Do not lose your confidence in the return of Jesus, regardless of whether He does come this year during the Feast of Trumpets or not. Understand that we are living in the last days because Israel is back in their own land again. Look around and see the condition of hearts in people of the world. See the great need for the Lord to come again and take over the care of this world before we destroy ourselves. Jesus said He would come again, He will. The time of the Lord’s return is near and we should be patient and wait for it because Jesus is worthy of our trust and endurance. Those who endure to the end will be saved.
I love the Lord, because He has heard My voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live. —Psalms 116:1-2
The preceding text is from the new book: “Great Tribulation: Time of the End”