The Non-Event on Rosh Hashanna 2008
There were many reasons for the expectation of the Rapture to take place on Rosh Hashanna/Feast of Trumpets 2008. One of them was the astronomical tetrad in the years 2014-2015 as discovered by US Pastor Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries. For only the third time in 2000 years, there will be a succession of total lunar eclipses on the feasts of Passover and Tabernacles in this Jewish years, including unusual solar eclipses.
It appeared that this could be the fulfillment of Yahushua's (Jesus') words, "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light ..." (Mt 24:29).
Calculating backwards 7 years, which is the duration of the 70th week of Daniel, called the Tribulation; the Feast of Trumpets 2008 became a focal point for the fulfillment of the pre-Tribulation Rapture.
Also, and in support of this, the Feast of Trumpets 2008 appeared to be the beginning of a new sabbatical cycle, or year week; a period of 7 years that will conclude the 50 year Jubilee cycle around about the year 2015. Taking a re look at the Sabbath year, which many believed to have passed on Rosh Hashanna which was the end of the civil year, we discovered that the sacred calendar year only ends on the eve of 1 Nisan 5769 (around the end of March 2009). Rosh Hashanna is in its right position at the start of the seventh month of Tishrei on the sacred calendar.
We now take a detour to show you something else also taking place after the Sabbath year that ended the end of March 2009.
Birkat Hachama is a Pharisaic or Talmudic practice that should not be seen in the same authority as biblical scripture, but is very interesting none the less. Birkat Hachama (ברכת החמה, "Blessing God for the Sun") refers to the Jewish blessing: "Blessed is He who made the Creation", that is recited on the Sun once every 28 years when the Sun returns to the position it occupied when it was created at the beginning of the fourth day of creation.
The Birkat Hachama of the current 28 year cycle according to Rabbinic sources will occur on 8 April 2009 and is very significant in that it falls on the Hebrew date of 14 Nissan 5769 which is the Feast of Passover or Pesach on the Rabbinic Calendar.
Based on Rabbinic sources this conjunction of events only happens three times in 6,000 years of Hebrew history:
- Prior to Israel being redeemed from Egypt.
- Prior to the miracle of Purim. (Redemption of Israel in Medo Persia as described in the book of Esther)
- On 8 April 2009 (Gregorian Calendar) / 14 Nissan 5769 (Hebrew Calendar)
There is therefore a great expectation of this event occurring on 8 April 2009 in Israel.
The two previous occurrences of this event preceded a time of great redemption work and miracles for the nation of Israel. 8 April 2009 is also last time this event will ever take place and "shortly afterwards redemption must come" as indicated by the Kadosh Elyon (Ostrovster Admor).
Another interesting aspect of this date is that based on rabbinic believes the Moshiach ben David (the Messiah son of David) will arrive at the end of a 7-year cycle. The Hebrew Year 5768 - 2008 was a shmitta (sabbatical) year, and is followed by 5769 - 2009, the year in which Israel recite Birkat Hachama. Israel is therefore looking at a time of redemption which will climax in the coming of the Messiah.
What is also very interesting is that the Yovel or the Jubilee year always follows a sabbatical year. During the Jubilee a year of liberty is called upon the land and all possessions is restored to there original owners and all debt is canceled. The Messiah is expected to return in a Yovel/Jubilee year, to bring final redemption (freedom from sin) and bring restitution to all things. Now for some speculation: If the redemptive works start early in 5769/2009, the Messiah will then be expected to return to the world early in 5776/2016, which is most likely a Yovel/Jubilee following the sabbatical year of 5775/2015. If the redemptive works do not start, it would mean we are only starting the sixth seven year cycle at this time.
Now on with the original Article...
According to the Scripture, Yahushua (Jesus), the Kinsman Redeemer, will return to the earth on the Final Jubilee, defeat the armies of the world at Armageddon, and restore the land of Israel to the Jewish people and usher in the Thousand year peace.
So then, are we prepared to be like the Bereans, "in that they received the word in all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11)? If we are willing to search and examine the Scriptures, and put a magnifying glass over them, we will surely find out why many have lapsed into a state of despair and disillusionment over the non-event of Rosh Hashanah 2008.
Also we will see that because of this condition, we are
closer than ever before to His coming.
The Ten Virgins
"Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom ... But while the bridegroom was delayed they all slumbered and slept" (Mt 25:1-5).
Everything is summed up in these verses. It does not matter whether we agree or disagree about the timelines pointing to Rosh Hashanah 2008.
The fact is, because of these timelines and teachings and understandings, millions of Christians around the world "took their lamps and went out to meet the Bridegroom" on this date, which was an appointed time [feast day] on the Hebrew calendar. And because "the Bridegroom was delayed" millions of Christians have lost hope that He is coming and are falling asleep.
How I wish we could all see the simplicity of it all! Of course, there were five wise and five foolish virgins who went out to meet Him. The Greek word for "foolish" is moros [Strong's 3474] and means "dull or stupid, blockhead." Our English word "moron" is derived from it. Oh dear! But the trouble is, "they all slumbered and slept," including the wise virgins.
These two verses lay the foundation for the coming of the Bridegroom, for the words of Yahushua (Jesus) seem not only to be a parable, but also a prophecy. At some time in history, the Lord Jesus was saying that before He could come, ten [the number of ordinal perfection] virgins, representing the entire watchful church, would agree that the appointed time had arrived for their wedding day, the Rapture. And on that appointed Day, in their hearts, as it were, they would all go out to meet with Him "in the clouds" (1 The 4:17).
And when that happened - He would delay!
Now, what does it take for all these virgins to agree upon a certain date? After all, they are not all at the same place but spread around the world, and all of them have somewhat different perspectives and understandings about this Day.
We are not talking here about a cult, where all agree by decree. Half the virgins, we may assume, are the Bride of Christ, who are filled with the Holy Spirit, the ones who, according to Yahushua, had oil in their lamps. And this whole company, both wise and foolish, are persuaded that on a certain date their Bridegroom is coming to marry them.
In the first place, it is not possible to go to an appointment without a time. Simply put, no person in their right mind will go to an appointment unless a time and date has been set.
It is becoming clearer now why there were so many timelines pointing to Rosh Hashanah 2008, a date that was not set by cults and cranks, but based upon the prophetic Word.
Moreover, if it had been a date set by a single person or ministry, it is doubtful whether this event could have been fulfilled as Scripture requires it to be.
It is also clear that, since this was the wedding day of Yahushua Hamashiach, no such thing could have happened unless it had been sanctioned by the Holy Spirit. It is He that has been appointed to tell us "things to come" (Jn 16:13), and He alone, as at Palm Sunday [the delayed wedding date at the end of week 69 -Mt 22:1-14, Mt 21:1-11] could create this expectation in the hearts of men.
Therefore many men and many ministries, and watchmen, all working together under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and guided by the Word of God, persuaded the ten virgins that the appointed time of their wedding day was Rosh Hashanah 2008.
If we place a magnifying glass over the Scripture, we see clearly that unless we did what we did on Rosh Hashanah 2008, the Lord will not come. For reasons which are not yet clear to us, the Spirit of Prophecy has decreed that until all ten virgins have common cause that the Bridegroom is coming, and at a certain fixed time, and act upon it, He will not come.
And if it was not this day, then this part of the Rapture process has not yet been fulfilled, for there has been no other day in the history of the church that has fulfilled this pre-Rapture condition. Or are we to wait for another day at another time that all, or many, will agree upon?
Also, had we believed that He would delay; we would not have gone out to meet with Him?
If I should say to you, I will meet you on such and such a time on such and such a day, but I will be delayed, will you come out to meet with me? How then shall I persuade you to come out and meet with me, for knowing that I will delay, you will not come?
Yet He said, "But while the bridegroom was delayed." And in another place, "Though it delays, wait for it, for surely it will come. It will not tarry" (Hab 2:3). And in another place, "For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry" (Heb 10:37). And He also delayed on Palm Sunday, saying, "The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy" (Mt 22:8). Did we forget?
So then, He delays His wedding. Palm Sunday, the last day of the 69 weeks of Daniel, was His wedding day. It was delayed. Rosh Hashanah 2008 was also the appointed time of His wedding. It has also been delayed. Are we then to lose heart, or fall asleep? Surely not. For then He said, "And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!'" (Mt 25:6).
He has only delayed so that He can come. Indeed, now that He has delayed, His coming is closer than ever. Until He delayed, He could not come. But now that the appointed time has come and gone, and He is delaying, He will come.
And He will come suddenly, "at midnight." It will be swift, sudden and unexpected for many.
There will be no more time and no more warning.
"Cry" is the Greek, krauge, [Strong's 2906], "an outcry (in notification, tumult or grief), or clamour." Will the global financial system finally implode, or World War III break out?
Clearly, the Rapture is not going to take place on a sunny day, but in the midst of calamity.
"Go out" is the Greek, exerchomai, meaning "come out of, or escape out of" [Strong's 1831], and "to meet" is apantesis, "a friendly encounter" [Strong's 529]. Did He not also say, "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Lk 21:36)?
My dear friends, I am also disappointed that He delayed at Rosh Hashanah. But I am fully persuaded that God's watchmen were not wrong about this appointed time. And I am fully persuaded that the Rapture will be fulfilled exactly as it has been set out in the Scripture, with a date, with a disappointment, and with a delay. For without a date, there is no appointed time, and without an appointed time, there can be no delay.
Whether men believe it or not, all who waited for the Bridegroom to appear in the clouds on Rosh Hashanah 2008, have now made it possible for Him to come at the Rapture. So do not be disappointed, but rejoice, for through our simple faith that we can know the time, that date setting is not an abomination to God but a pre-requisite for our wedding day to be fulfilled, you have collectively brought this incredible day so much closer.
So how long is this delay?
A Little While
The Scripture gives us many clues, but no precise time [that we know of] for this crucial period.
Unless there is clear revelation concerning this, we would be wise not to speculate with too much rigidity. One of the most comforting clues comes from the Greek text of Hebrews 10:37, which is a quote from the vision of Habakkuk 2:3. "For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry."
The word translated "little" is the Greek mikron [Strong's 3397/8], "a small space of time," from which the English word "micron" is derived.
A micron is "one millionth of a meter," a distance which is too small to be visible. To emphasize how small this space of time is, the Greek text includes the words "oson, oson" which are translated as "a very [little while]." Oson means "much or great" [Strong's 3745], so in effect it means "a great, great little while" or a "very, very, small space of time."
Is the Holy Spirit indicating that this delay is for such a microscopic period of time that it is, for all intents and purposes, almost invisible on the scale of Biblical prophecy? This is good news to those who were disappointed at the Feast of Trumpets.
There is also comfort in the Hebrew text of Habakkuk's vision. Habakkuk says, "For still the vision is for the appointed time, but it [the appointed time] pants to the end and does not lie.
Though it delays, wait for it, for surely it will come. It will not tarry."
"Pants" is the Hebrew word puwach [Strong's 6315], and means "to puff, blow with the breath of air." It suggests a woman in the birth pangs of labour, and will proceed immediately after the appointed time. That is now. These then, are the birth pangs of the Tribulation, short, shooting pains that must come suddenly before the birth of this awesome Day of the Lord.
No wonder we are dismayed.
The word "tarry" is achar [Strong's 309], and means "to loiter, by implication to procrastinate, be late." In the first place, the appointed time is not a lie. This should give us hope. And however long the delay, we are told that this is not some aimless procrastination, but for a specific purpose, and undoubtedly for a predetermined but "very, very, small space of time."
What is this purpose? Is it not to separate the wise from the foolish virgins, those ‘blockheads' that have no oil in the lamps and believe they can enter Heaven without being born again by the Spirit? This, I believe, is the primary purpose of the delay, to sift and separate the wise and foolish from each other. To want to escape this earth, for whatever reason, is not a qualification for the Rapture, for only the indwelling Spirit can take us home [Romans 8:11].
As for the time, perhaps we are not given to know this, but to watch for the midnight cry. Of all things that come to mind, one stands out above all the rest, the threatening crisis in the Middle East. Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, Iran, and many other Arab/Islamic countries, are all targeted for destruction according to the Bible.
In real time, we are only 24 hours or less away from an incident that could unleash the greatest conflict since World War II, one that will lead to the 7 year Peace Treaty of Daniel 9:27. It will come swiftly and terribly upon a blinkered, oil depleted church that refuses to receive the Holy Spirit and believe the Word of God.
The prophet Daniel was told to "shut up the words and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall increase" (12:4). When knowledge increases it means that it becomes greater over time, especially the time of the end.
Before Rosh Hashanah 2008, we did not think that this appointed time would be delayed, yet it stands clear in the Word of God. Since then, as prophesied through Daniel, our knowledge of these things has increased, and will continue to increase until the end.
Let us not, therefore, despise these things and quench the Spirit of Prophecy. If you perchance have joined the ranks of those who have now become disillusioned or indifferent to the Lord's coming because of His delay, let the final words of Hebrew chapter 10, as quoted from the vision of Habakkuk, speak to you; "Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him" (Heb 10:38).
It is not for nothing that the final verses of this chapter speak so strongly to us, for they clearly envision this difficult and potentially destructive time in which we now find ourselves.
We are in a new dispensation, as it were. The Church Age as we know it, is over, and all that remains of it is a micron of time called the delay.
The Rapture, for the first time, is now imminent, and the destiny of millions of Christians, the wise and the foolish, is about to be determined for eternity. For this reason the writer to the Hebrews exhorts us so, saying, "Do not cast away your confidence which has great reward" (10:35), and "For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of YHWH (God), you may receive the promise" (10:36).
That promise is the Rapture, which, after a "very, very, small space of time" is coming "and will not tarry" (10:37).
No more do we measure the time, for this we have done, but let our ears and our eyes be focused on what is to come, so that when it comes, we may be ready to "go out to meet Him!"
We believe that a Sabbath year or Shmitta has just passed at the end of March 2009.
We are now going into a new seven year cycle. If this is the case we could find ourselves in a small window of time going over into the 70th week of Daniel. That implies the Rapture of the Bride to be very imminent
Israel is therefore looking at a time of redemption which will climax in the coming of the Messiah, Moshiach ben David at the end of a 7-year cycle.
The Messiah is expected to return in a Yovel/Jubilee year, to bring final redemption (freedom from sin) and bring restitution to all things. Now for some speculation: If the redemptive works starts early in 5769/2009, the Messiah will then be expected to return to the world early in 5776/2016, which is most likely a Yovel/Jubilee following the sabbatical year of 5775/2015 which includes the Tetrad. WOW!
A Quick word of Caution
Since we do not know the day and hour we musk keep an open mind.
We could however possibly only be entering the sixth seven year cycle which means we could be here for a while longer.
Whatever happens, we are still exited Praise God!
This article was made possible with much help from two friends.