Yom Teruah is the only biblical festival that is on a new moon
This week we are going to continue with the question "Is the return of Yeshua imminent?" We gave a basic definition of imminent and showed that His return is certain but it will be according to a fixed date according to the eschatological plan of God.
Now, the definition of esch-atology is the study of the Messiah and the redemption.
We are dealing especially with the coming of the Lord in what is known as the Rapture, or the Natzal in Hebrew.
The point I am trying to establish is that this event cannot happen "at any moment" because it will occur on a particular day called Yom Teruah on the Hebrew calendar and at the beginning of the 6001st year from creation.
Let me explain. We saw that there are actually eight festivals found in Leviticus 23 if you count the Sabbath day.
The 7th day Sabbath day is a picture of the last 1,000 years called the Millenium. It is also known as the Lord’s Day or the Day of the Lord. Each biblical, civil year begins on Tishri 1on the Hebrew calendar and that day is called Yom Teruah or as it is known today "Rosh ha Shana" meaning "head of the year."
Now, the seven days of the week correspond to the 7,000 year plan of God. We work six days and rest on the seventh.
Accordingly, man has 6,000 years "to work" but the last 1,000 years belongs to the Lord.
That 1,000 years begins on Tishri 1 on the Jewish calendar and that day is called Yom Teruah (Num 29.1-2). Teruah means "awakening blast" with a shofar and it can also be translated "shout."
It is a particular note played on the shofar and it is blown when the people are to be gathered. There are several idioms relating to this festival. It is called the "day no man knows" because it starts the civil year on a new moon and nobody knows for sure when that is until the new moon is sighted.
This festival was also the first day of creation, when time began, and no man was there.
Once the moon is seen, that starts the month and Yom Teruah is the only biblical festival that is on a new moon.
So, to the Hebrews when you said "I’ll see you on the day no man knows" they knew you meant Yom Teruah. Another idiom for this festival is "the last trump" and here’s why.
In Gen 22 Abraham is commanded by God to sacrifice his son Isaac on a mountain in the land of Moriah (meaning teacher).
A ram is substituted for Isaac and it is caught in a thicket (man’s sins) by its horns. In Jewish thought, the horns symbolized the two stages of a Jewish wedding, betrothal and full marriage and they were pictures of the redemption of the people.
These two stages are also symbolized by two festivals found in Lev 23, Shavuot (Pentecost) and Yom Teruah.
God said in Jer 2.2 that He betrothed Himself to Israel in the wilderness. We know they gathered around Sinai on Shavuot to receive the Torah, which was seen as a betrothal document called the Shitre Erusin, so Shavuot was called "the first trump." Remember the ram caught in the thicket?
It had two horns and the "first horn (trumpet)" symbolized the betrothal at Sinai. The other horn, or last "trumpet" symbolized the full marriage at Yom Teruah, or Rosh ha Shana. At Sinai a trumpet blew and the people gathered at the mountain and got "engaged."
At Yom Teruah, or the last trump, the trump will sound and the people will be gathered to the Lord for the full marriage.
When the Apostle Paul was discussing eschatology with the Thessalonians he says the Lord will "descend from heaven with a shout (teruah), with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God" and gather the people to the Lord in what is called the Natzal (to pluck) or rapture.
He describes the same event to the Corinthians where he says that in a " moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump (Yom Teruah), for the trumpet will sound and the dead will raised." Now, Paul uses "the last trump," a Hebrew idiom for Yom Teruah, to discuss the catching away of the believer.
That day happens only one time a year and that day is Tishri 1 on the Hebrew calendar. So the coming of the Lord in the Natzal, or rapture, can only happen on Yom Teruah, Tishri1, year 6001 from creation. Since we do not know for sure what year from creation we are we cannot know the "day or hour" exactly but we can know the signs of the times.In Matt 24.36 Yeshua is referring to unbelievers who will not know the day or hour and Paul wrote the same thing to the Thessalonians when he wrote that "as to the times (moedim=appointments, a term used for the festivals in Lev 23) and the epochs (seasons, as in festival seasons), brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you (because he taught them the eschatology of the biblical festivals- 1 Cor 11.1-2;Col 2.16-17).
For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord (Yom Teruah is the first day of the last 1,000 years called the day of the Lord) will come like a thief in the night. While they (unbeliever) are saying "peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth- pains (Hebrew idiom for the seven year tribulation) upon a woman with child and they shall not escape.
But you (the believer), brethren, are not in darkness (misunderstanding), that the day (Yom Teruah, Natzal, Rapture) should overtake you (the believer) like a thief." So, as you can see, the believer will not be taken by surprise when one knows the "times (festivals) and seasons" (that relate to the festivals). In Lev 23.2 the word "convocation" is used when describing these appointed times.
Convocation means "rehearsals" in Hebrew so these festivals are rehearsals for the real thing that will come along in the life of the Messiah and how he accopmplishes the redemption of the people. He was crucified on Passover, buried on Unleavened Bread, rose from the dead on First Fruits, sent the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.
Then came a long growing season where the wheat and the tares grew together. The next eschatogical festival is Yom Teruah and that will be on Tishri 1, year 6001 from creation and that is why the coming of the Lord cannot happen "at any moment" and it is on fixed date set by the Lord on His eschatological calendar found in the Scriptures.
Next week I will pick up here with what I believe must happen first before the Natzal, or rapture, can occur. Now, all this relates to the timing of the Lord but we will discuss political, geological and religious aspects of what will happen before the Day of the Lord begins.