How to Understand the New Testament-Part 13

Psalm 47 is a coronation and a Rosh Ha Shannah psalm. We are going to pick up some terms that will relate to “the Gathering”, or rapture, of believers. In v 1 we have “clap your hands” and “shout unto God” used there, and both are associated with the Gathering (Rapture). In 2 Kings 11.11-14 we have the coronation of Joash, who is a type of Yeshua, and we also see the clapping of hands and trumpets. In Psa 47.5 we see again the “shout” and the “trumpet.” In verse 9 we have the princes gathered/assembled. So, when we read 1 Thes 4.13-16 we see the key words of Psa 47, a Rosh Ha Shannah psalm and they are being used by Paul because he is alluding to Rosh Ha Shannah in a passage concerning our gathering to Yeshua on that day. Another name for Rosh Ha Shannah is “Yom ha Din” or “day of judgment.” In Dan 7.9-10 we see thrones and the Ancient of Days taking his seat. The “wheels” being spoken about there is “galgilaw” and they are a type of angel. In Dan 7.10 we see that the “court was seated”, which is the posture of judgment (Exo 18.13) and the “books were opened” which speaks of judgment. So, the context here is a “day of judgment”, or Yom ha Din, specifically Rosh Ha Shannah. There are three types of people judged on Rosh Ha Shannah. We have the Tzaddikim, or righteous, so there is a book for them. Then there is the book of the Rashim, the wicked. And third there is the book of the Chata’im, or sinners. These verses in Daniel are Rosh Ha Shannah verses. Now, with these terms in mind, let’s go to Rev 4.1-2. Here we find that “a door is open” and compare that with another Rosh Ha Shannah psalm, Psalm 24.7, and you see the concept of the door being opened, meaning the gates of heaven are open on Rosh Ha Shannah. In the Temple, this related to the Nicanor gate. On Yom Kippur, the gates are closed, called “Neilah.” One of the keys to understanding the Book of Revelation is to understand them in their Jewish context and forget how the “church” or Christianity interprets it, you have to ask yourself how a believer in the first century would have understood this book. Look at the terms here in Rev 4, we have a door opened, a trumpet, a voice, a throne and one sitting on the throne (the Ancient of Days) and four living creatures, or “chai’ot.” What we have in Rev 4 is a Rosh Ha Shannah passage. We have a glimpse of heaven on Yom Ha Din. Now, let’s move to Dan 7.13-14. You will see the terms “clouds” (Rev 1.7-8; Matt 24.29; Jude 14; Deut 33.2;Heb 12.1; “son of man” which is “Bar Enosh” and an eschatological term for the Messiah; “presented” (2 Kings 11 and Joash) and “given dominion.” What we have in Rev 4 and 5 is the coronation of Jewish king.
Rosh Ha Shannah is a festival associated with the covered, or concealed, moon (Psa 81.3-another Rosh Ha Shannah psalm). In Gen 37.9-10, the sun and moon are related to Jacob and Rachel. In Rev 12 we see the woman is Israel and Israel is the bride. A new moon is called “Rosh Chodesh” and it is a feast relating to women, also called the “born again” moon. Mal 4.2 refers to the Messiah as the “sun of righteousness” and Psa 19.4-5, the sun is called a bridegroom. The moon has no natural light, but it reflects the sun. The moon is “hidden” (the bride is “hidden” in the heavens at the rapture) on Rosh Ha Shannah, so Rosh Ha Shannah is called “the day of Concealment” because that is the day the bride will be hidden. This day is known by another idiomatic phrase called “the day no man knows” because nobody knows when to start the month until the new moon is sighted. Now, remember Abraham’s ram caught in the thicket? We already discussed that the left horn of that ram was called “the first trump” and it signifies the betrothal of Israel to God on Shavuot. The right horn is called the “last trump” and it relates to the full marriage on Rosh Ha Shannah. As result, an idiom for Rosh Ha Shannah is “the last trump” and it is used by Paul when talking about when the resurrection. In a rabbinical commentary on Gen 22 and the Akeida (binding of the sacrifice), it says that Abraham burned the ram as an olah but it resurrected and the horns were used. The left horn was blown at Sinai at the betrothal and the right horn will be blown at Rosh Ha Shannah at the coming of Messiah. Yom ha Kiseh is another idiom for Rosh Ha Shannah and it means “the day of concealment.” In addition, “kiseh” means “throne.” Psalm 81 is another Rosh Ha Shannah pslam. It was written by Asaph, whose name means “to gather” (the biblical term for the rapture and how it is known in Judaism). This name is related to the word “oseif” (“gathering of the nobles”-Isa 13.2) which is another term for Rosh Ha Shannah. In Psa 81.3 it says “Blow the trumpet (shofar) at the new moon, at the concealed (“kiseh”=hidden) moon on our feast day.” The new moon is a “covered” moon. The Baylonian Talmud in Rosh Ha Shannah 8a and 8b quotes Psa 81.3 as “covered time for our feast day.” What we have is the new moon (the woman, bride) being hidden concealed on Rosh Ha Shannah. Now, a wedding week was the custom in the Scriptures (Samson) and Jacob worked for a week of years for Rachel. So, the bride will go to be hidden for week (the seven year Birthpains, or “tribulation”), which also corresponds to the 70th week of Daniel. The word “kiseh” also relates to the throne and speaks of the coronation of Yeshua on that day. Rosh Ha Shannah is associated with the resurrection, as we have noted before. The “last rump” is a Hebrew term used by Paul in 1 Cor 15.52. The shofar is an allusion to the “wake up call” for believers in Eph 5.8-14 (Isa 18.3, 26.19). An ancient Temple Rosh Ha Shannah prayer called for the people to “awake” and Paul based his prayer in Eph 5.14 on this. In 1 Thes 4.13-15 we have another Rosh Ha Shannah passage and we have two groups of the righteous being referred to. One group “sleeps” (is dead) and the other is “alive and remains.” 1 Cor 15 and 1 Thes 4 are talking about the same event. In 1 Thes 4 we have the believers who are “caught up” to be with the Lord. The Greek word for this is “harpuzo” and it relates to the Hebrew “natzal” which means to “pluck up” (Zech 3.2). The dead and the living believers will be caught up together and “changed.” 1 Thes 5.1 says that Paul brings up the festivals (moedim, appointments) and their seasons and says that the Thessalonians understood their meaning. In 2 Thes 2.1 Paul writes that the believers will be gathered to the Lord. This term “gathered” or “gathering” is a Jewish doctrine and Paul has taught it and it is a better term than “rapture” and one we use (Isa 13.2, 18.3, 26.1-3, 57.1-2; Zeph 2.1-2). In 1 Thes 2.2-3 it says, “Let no man in any way deceive you (like they are today by believing you are going through the Tribulation, or “Birthpains”), for unless the falling away comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man of destruction.” Now, anciently the Greek word for “falling away” (“apostasia”) meant a “physical departure” and it was translated that way in the 1600’s. Sixteen Greek translations have it that way, and Kenneth Wuest has done much research on this (see “Rosh Ha Shannah and the Messianic Kingdom to Come” by Joseph Good, p 125). In other words, this falling away is not a religious “falling away” from Christianity but a physical departure from one place to another, in other words, the “gathering” together to him (what Paul said the letter was going to address in v 1). Now it says there that this comes first, or “at the first, or “rosh” which is referring to Rosh Ha Shannah. Paul is sating that the “gathering together to him” will happen “at the first” or “rosh” of the day of the Lord (Rosh Ha Shannah is the first day of the “Day of the Lord” or “millennium”) and then the man of lawlessness (meaning “torah-lessness”=false messiah) will be revealed. The term “rapture” is Christian terminology not found in Jewish sources, but you will find “the gathering.” In Job 14.7-15 the term “my change comes” is used and it is related to what Paul uses in 1 Cor 15.50-52. Our passage in 2 Thes 2.1-3 and “our gathering together to him” relates to 1 Thes 4.13-18. Until the “rapture” occurs, the false messiah cannot be revealed, so don’t listen to these prophecy teachers that tell you are going through the first half or all of the Birthpains, or tribulation. In the Jewish Encyclopedia, the article “Antichrist” establishes this concept. In the Talmud, Sanhedrin 98a it says that the Messiah will not be revealed until the world is entirely righteous or entirely wicked. It explains “that which restrains” as that which “impedes the redemption.” What we will find is that both statements are true (entirely righteous or wicked). When he came the first time, Israel rejected him (only one out of six believed in him=”wicked”). After the war with Gog and Magog, Israel believes as a nation (Ezek 39.22) and from that day on they know the Lord. Messiah returns shortly thereafter. Is there a doctrine, based on the Scriptures, in Hebraic eschatology that refers to a “physical departure?” Let’s look at some in the Tanach. In Psa 47.1-9 the nobles have assembled, and this is a Rosh Ha Shannah pslam. Psa 81.3, another Rosh Ha Shannah psalm, says the moon (Israel/believers) are concealed on Rosh Ha Shannah. Zeph 1.14-2.1 says the righteous are gathered before the Birthpains begin. Isa 11.10 says that the “signal” is where the people are gathered and that it is the Messiah. Isa 13.2-3 says that the Messiah is lifting the people “to his nose” like spices. Who are the righteous being gathered? All the ones going back to Adam, also called the dead in Messiah. Matt 7.15-23 talks about the Lord coming and “in that day” there will be a group of people who will be alive at this judgment that “prophesy, cast out demons and perform miracles” in the name of Yeshua but practice “lawlessness” (Torah-lessness; no Torah, it has been done away with, not under the law). Deut 13.1-5 talks about God testing people with false teachers and prophets to see if we will follow his Word or follow the false teachers. This can be a troubling statement, especially if you are one of those following these teachers and not the Torah. Not everyone who says they are a believer is really a believer. If they are, there should be fruits of the Torah being done. That doesn’t mean “totally observant or perfect” but you should be moving towards that direction because “my sheep hear my voice.” In Part 14, we will pick up with the concepts associated with Yom Kippur and the coming of Yeshua with the end result being that you will understand the New Testament in a new way.

Posted in Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Understanding the New Testament

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