When we study the End-Times, we have to stay focused on the main story line, which is Israel, Jerusalem, the Jews and their Jewish King. Yes, you and I have been written into the story with our salvations because we have been grafted into the natural olive tree – Israel. But we ourselves are not the main story line, okay?
With that in mind, let’s look at the Jewish calendar and some important dates and feasts:
Nisan 1 or Rosh Chodashim (during our March or April): This is New Year’s Day for Israel because it is the day when Israel was delivered out of Egypt. Talmud tradition states that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob each died on Nisan 1.
But more importantly, I believe (along with Jonathan Cahn and others) that this is the date when Jesus was born in Bethlehem. There are lots of reasons behind my thinking, but most of it links to the Jewish calendar and God’s order of events. Interestingly enough, our modern calendars begin with the year of Christ’s birth. Thus, why shouldn’t the Jewish calendar begin with the day of Christ’s birth?
Feast of Passover or Pesach (Nisan 14-15, during our March or April): Passover is the feast of salvation which celebrates the blood of a lamb delivering Jews out of Egyptian slavery. Jesus fulfilled this feast by becoming our Lamb of God, dying on the cross and applying His blood to our sins and lives.
Feast of Unleavened Bread or Chag HaMotzi (Nisan 15-22, during our March or April): This feast celebrates the removal of sin (yeast) from people’s lives. Jesus fulfilled this at the cross by being broken for us and becoming our Bread of Life.
Feast of First Fruits or Reshit Katzir (Nisan 17, during our March or April): This feast celebrates the fertility of the land. Jesus fulfilled this feast when He rose from the grave and became our First Fruit.
Feast of Pentecost or Shavu’ot (Sivan 6, during our May or June): This feast celebrates the summer harvest. This was fulfilled when the Holy Spirit fell on believers fifty days after Jesus rose from the grave.
I wrote the above to show that all of the Jewish spring feasts have been fulfilled and fulfilled in order. That leaves us the fall feasts to be fulfilled sometime in the future.
For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. (1 Thessalonians 5:2)
Over and over, we’ve heard that nobody knows the day or hour when Jesus will return, right? They even say, “He will return like a thief in the night.”
But because our Bibles are written in English, and not in Hebrew or Greek, we miss the idioms the Bible author meant when he wrote his letters. These idioms were common knowledge back in the apostles’ days, but have been lost to most of us today.
The phrase “thief in the night” refers to the fall Feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashana.
The Torah commanded that no one was to work on this day. But because the Sanhedrin had to first see the new moon before a trumpet (or shofar) was blown, the day was made into a long day of 48 hours so no one would break the commandment of not working. Thus, the moon showed up like a “thief in the night” during that time period.
Also, the “thief in the night” refers to when the bridegroom returned for his bride, according to his father’s instructions. No one knew the day or hour when the bridegroom would show up.
But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. (1 Thessalonians 5:4
We seldom hear that Paul clarified his earlier words about the “thief in the night,” but he did. He knew his readers would understand that the idiom referred to Feast of Trumpets.
And guess what?
The next feast on the Jewish Calendar, which needs to be fulfilled, is Feast of Trumpets.
We will develop this more in future articles.
(Continued in Part 3…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.