Sunday, September 28, 2008

NOTE: The following article can also be read on my blogs and at the American Chronicle web site at:

The Day of Trumpets as a Call for Christian Repentance
By Helena Lehman

“L'Shanah Tovah Tikateyvu!”
May you be inscribed in the Book of Life!

This is a traditional blessing that is usually said in greeting on Rosh Hashanah, which means "the Head of the Year," in Hebrew, and is considered to be the Jewish New Year, which always falls on the first day of the seventh month called Tishri on the Jewish Lunar Calendar. It is also known as Yom Teruah, or the Day of Trumpets, which is one of the seven major Jewish Feast Days established by God. Celebrating this day God’s way calls for the ritual blowing of the Shofar or Ram’s horn, which is a type of trumpet fashioned from the actual horn of a ram. As such, the Day of Trumpets is celebrated among Jews and increasing numbers of Christians with the blowing of the Shofar.

Due to its association with the blowing of horns and the coming of the holiest day on the Jewish Calendar - Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement - many Christian scholars recognize Rosh Hashanah’s prophetic connection to the Second Coming of Christ and the resurrection of the dead at the Last Trumpet. Still others see its close connection to an event known as the Rapture, or snatching away of the Church before the wrath of God is poured out on the wicked during the prophesied seven-year time of trouble known as the Great Tribulation, which is associated with the Prophet Daniel’s 70th Week, and the future event known as Jacob’s Trouble, which will be a time of great peril for the Jews in Israel.

Though not all churches believe that the Rapture will occur before the end of the Great Tribulation, many do. There are many proofs in the Bible that the Rapture will occur before the suffering of humanity during the Great Tribulation becomes unbearable. Since this Jewish New Year also marks the beginning of a new seven-year agricultural period known as a Sabbatical Cycle, many think it may coincide with the beginning of the Great Tribulation.

Due to this, expectations are high in some circles that the Rapture or secret return of Christ for His Church will occur on or near to the Feast of Trumpets this year, which will begin at the first sighting of the New Moon at dawn on September 30th, though it will officially begin being celebrated on September 29th this year at dusk. So, though my understanding of the prophecies in the Psalms and the Solar and Lunar Eclipses coming up on Jewish holidays over the next decade have led me to believe that the Rapture will not occur until sometime between the beginning of 2010 and the end of 2012, it is always an intriguing possibility to consider and to prepare for that blessed event.

In Jewish Tradition, the Day of Trumpets marks the beginning of the Days of Awe or Days of Repentance, which are the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Among Jews and Messianics, this ten day period is a time for fasting and serious introspection, when people are called to consider and repent of their sins over the previous year and to ask God for forgiveness before Yom Kippur. On Yom Kippur, with great pageantry and ritual in Temple times, two goats were sacrificed to atone for the sins of all Israel. This event is directly tied to Christ’s sacrificial death on the Cross for our sins, which is also directly tied to the sacrifice of the lamb on Passover.

The fasting and repentance of the Days of Awe are considered necessary because, in Jewish tradition, the Book of Life is officially opened on Rosh Hashanah, as well as the Book of the Dead. Now, while the Book of Life records the names of all those who will be resurrected into everlasting life on Judgment Day, the Book of the Dead records the names of all those who will perish in hell forever. Furthermore, on Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement, both of these books are officially closed again for another year. These truths are echoed in the Book of Revelation:

“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” - Rev. 3:5 (NKJ)

“And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” - Rev 20:12, 15 (NKJ)

Because the autumn Jewish holidays are tied to the Second Coming of Christ, Rosh Hashanah has increasingly become an important holiday for Christians, who joyfully await their Savior’s return at any moment. For them, Rosh Hashanah represents the fulfillment of God the Father’s promise of salvation for those who repent and accept His Son as their Messiah and King. It also represents the hopeful expectation among many Christians that Christ will soon return for His Bride the Church to attend the Wedding of the Lamb in Heaven while the Great Tribulation is raging on Earth. The biblical precedent for believing this is the Parable of the Ten Virgins (See Matthew 25:1-13).

In this deeply prophetic parable, five foolish virgin handmaids to a bride awaiting the arrival of her groom have to go out to search for oil for their lamps. Meanwhile, the five wise virgins who brought enough oil for their lamps are present at the bride’s home when the groom arrives at night. For this reason, they are mercifully allowed to accompany the bride to the groom’s home, where the wedding is to take place - all in the traditional Jewish fashion.

Now, this parable has little meaning unless it is seen as an allegorical prophecy pertaining to Christ’s return. When viewed in this way, this prophecy is telling us that half of the people who see Christ as their Messiah are not really prepared for His return to Earth to retrieve his Bride the Church, which is symbolized in the New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 21:9-11). Meanwhile, half of those who profess to be followers of Christ will be sufficiently prepared to accompany Christ to attend the Wedding Supper, which will occur at His Father’s house in Heaven. So, while those who are left behind will have to endure the seven-year Great Tribulation that corresponds to the seven days in a traditional Jewish wedding celebration, the wedding party will be in Heaven celebrating their salvation in Christ and worshipping Him for those same seven years.

Though Rosh Hashanah has particular importance as a prophetic symbol for Christ’s return for His Bride, however, it is important for Messianics and Christians to remember that Christ could return at any time. For this reason, it is always good to make sure you are living a life that you won’t have to be ashamed of when Christ returns. This means that those who love Christ need to continually call on the Holy Spirit to help them become the loving, forgiving, merciful, compassionate, kind and gentle people that Christ calls all of his saints to be - on every occasion.

Though we can never achieve the perfect nature of Christ on our own merit alone, we can - with the help of the Holy Spirit - approximate His loving-kindness and mercy here on Earth until He comes. That is why Rosh Hashanah is a good time of year to remember to ask God for forgiveness, as well as to humbly pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. It is also a great time for every Christian to renew their baptismal vows, which are to die to their fleshly sins and to live for Christ instead.

For more information about the timing of the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ, and to find out more about the Jewish Holy Days at what they prophesy and promise to Christians and Messianics everywhere, consider purchasing the highly acclaimed, heavily researched Language of God Book Series (See: This four book series features over 2000 pages of engaging text and illustrations that reveal the amazing meaning of God’s prophetic language of symbols. This amazing language can be found in the heavens, as well as in Bible prophecies like those found in the books of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Revelation.

In the meantime, may you find joy in Christ, and may your name be forever inscribed in the Book of Life!