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 to primarily Jews. When Jesus spoke, He communicated in Hebrew 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 when the moon is invisible to the earth, and just slightly before, when it appears as a small crescent. Over the next two weeks, more of the moon appears, until it is finally a “Full Moon.”
The appearance of the moon 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, and no man has the authority to change the appointed time of this feast (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. 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,” which is the basic foundation of 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 will be Moses and Elijah. Moses; representing the Law, and 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
These two witnesses, who were chosen to announce the coming of the new moon that would signal the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, must be men of good character, who were already proven to be honorable, truthful, and reliable.
In the Mishna, chapter 2, Mishnah 6; 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, 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.”
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.
It is for this reason that we cannot say precisely, what day or hour that Jesus will return for His church, at the Rapture.
Today is Friday, September 11, 2015. Sunday, September 13, begins theFeast of Trumpets at 6 pm and continue until 6pm on Tuesday, September 15, 2015.
According to astronomical data, the New Moon of September, which is the real determining factor for when The Feast of Trumpets occurs, begins at 9:41 am in Jerusalem, on September 13, 2015. The officially recognized beginning in Israel, will not occur until 6 pm.
Because Trumpets begins at 9:41 am, and Israel recognizes the beginning of the Feast at 6 pm, and it will last during a two day cycle, it is impossible to predict exactly when Jesus might come for the church, if He will come for us this year. “No man knows the day or the hour“
We mark the true start of this feast day from Jerusalem, Israel.
According to the above astronomical data for the true beginning of the New Moon, the beginning of the Feast of Trumpets will begin at 11:41 pm in Los Angeles, on Saturday, September 12, and 2:41 am in New York, on Sunday, September 13, 2015.
Jesus never said that we will not know when He is coming, He told us that we won’t know the specific day or the hour. When we understand that the time of His arrival will be at different times of the day and even on different days, depending where we are located in the earth, we realize what He was saying. There is no possible way that we can know the precise time or day when He will come.
This means that Jesus could possibly come anytime during this two day period, if this is the time when He has determined to return. When Jesus fulfilled the other four feasts of Israel, at His first arrival on earth, He fulfilled these on the precise day that the particular feast was called for, and in the precise manner that God determined.
When Jesus fulfilled the Feast of Passover, this feast began at 6 pm the night before. Jesus died on the cross at 3 pm the next day.
Unleavened Bread was fulfilled while Jesus was in the tomb
When Jesus fulfilled the Feast of First Fruits, this feast began at 6 pm the night before. Jesus rose very early in the morning on the following day.
When Jesus fulfilled the Feast of Pentecost, this feast began at 6 pm the night before. Jesus instructed His disciples to “wait for the promise of the Father.” The believers were waiting in the upper room and Acts chapter 2 says: “And when the day of Pentecost had fully come…” This was on the following day, we don’t know the specific time, when this Feast was fulfilled.
All of the first four feast of the Lord that Jesus fulfilled, were fulfilled on the specific days that they were required. Not one of these was fulfilled immediately when the feast began, at 6 pm the night before. Perhaps when Jesus returns for His church, it will be with such excitement that He will come at the very beginning of the feast, instead of later, as with the first four feasts He fulfilled.
In order to mark the true beginning for the Feast of Trumpets, according to when Israel marks the start of the feast, we must use 6pm Sunday in Jerusalem, not the time used by the rest of the world. This would be 8 am Sunday in Los Angeles, California, or 11 am Sunday in New York City.
“Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month (September, at the New Moon), on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. Leviticus 23:24
See the article on The Seven Feasts of Israel
Our duty as the followers of Jesus, is to be waiting, watching, and anticipating that Jesus could return for us at any time during this two day period. If He does not come for us this year during the feast of Trumpets, then perhaps it will be next year.
In the 40 years that I have known Jesus and have been studying the prophetic scriptures that described the return of Jesus for His church, there has been no greater candidate for the return of Jesus, at the Rapture, than this September, 2015. Whether or not this will prove to be that time, we will have to wait and see.
I will be watching for His return with you!
From the excellent study by Tony Galli; http://www.hebroots.org/hebrootsarchive/9807/980715_c.html