We have been talking about the Lord’s coming in the Rapture and we have established that it will not happen “at any moment” but he will return at an appointed time and that will be Yom Teruah, year 6001 from creation. That day is the appointed time for the Rapture, but what happens next. The next biblical festival is called Yom Kippur and that festival occurs ten days later on Tishri 10 and this teaches the second coming of Yeshua to the earth after the Tribulation period. Let’s take a look at what is going to happen.
Let’s say the Rapture of the believer happens on Tishri 1. That means there are ten days until Yom Kippur, the day the Tribulation begins. The countdown to the second coming will begin on that Yom Kippur. We know from Matt 24.31 that Yeshua returns at the sound of the Great Trumpet, which is an idiom for Yom Kippur. That means that the Tribulation had to begin on a Yom Kippur, 2520 days earlier. Once the Rapture occurs on Tishri 1, you wait ten days for the beginning of the Tribulation. During those ten days the United States will be attacked and destroyed by Russia because defenses will be in chaos due to the Rapture.
Jews in this country will leave for Israel during these ten days, being led by the 144,000 who have been saved and anointed because they have seen the Rapture and will depart “Babylon” before this destruction happens (Jer 50 and 51). By this time, Israel will have control of the Temple Mount and an Altar is erected for sacrifices to begin, even though the Temple has not been built yet. This happened before in Ezra 3.1-6 after their return from Babylon, and it will happen again. Russia takes advantage of the chaos and many key people will be missing in the United States, which makes this country vulnerable.
With the United States out of the way, Europe and Israel may be next. Certain nations in the past are symbolic of the nations in the latter days. For instance, Israel will be Israel, America is the Land of Babylon, Assyria is a picture of Russia and Egypt is a picture of Europe (Pharaoh is a picture of the False Messiah).
So, the Rapture occurs on Tishri 1 and by Tishri 8 America is attacked by Russia. Anciently, before Assyria could invade Israel they had to remove Babylon, and they did. Likewise, before Russia will attack Israel, the United States will be removed. The United States will be destroyed in one day and Europe will panic. The heads of the European states will call a meeting around Tishri 9 and the False Messiah will be present in the meeting. He will stand up and say he has a plan to save Europe but they must act now and give him authority to act on behalf of the other nations. There will be no time for these representatives to go back to their governments and approve such a measure and they give him power and authority to act quickly.
The next day is Tishri 10, or Yom Kippur, and he signs an agreement with Israel to protect them also (Dan 9.24-27). By doing this, he will be identified as the False Messiah. All American military personnel who are out of the country will automatically come under the leadership of Europe and the False Messiah. He will use that power to his advantage. This is the day the Tribulation begins (Tishri 10, Yom Kippur).
The major powers will now be Israel, Europe, Russia and other countries in the Orient. Russia will try to take Europe through conventional warfare and will not succeed for three years (Isa 20.1-6). Europe will be neutralized, allowing Russia to invade Israel sometime between Yom Teruah (Tishri 1) and Yom Kippur (Tishri 10) at the beginning of the fourth year of the Tribulation (Russia has tried to take Israel before during a Yom Kippur in 1973).
Ezekiel 38 and 39 describe the destruction of the Russian army. Remember, the Two Witnesses and the 144,000 have been preaching in Israel for the first three years of the Tribulation and as a result of their teaching, the people will call on Yeshua for deliverance and they are saved from destruction. The nation believes in Yeshua as a whole (Ezek 39.22). This opens the way for the False Messiah to come into Israel with the False Prophet and they try to deceive the people into accepting the False Messiah as their Messiah for the next six months.
On Nisan 10, the exact half way point of the Tribulation, the False Messiah sets up an image in the now rebuilt Temple and tries to get the people to worship him, but the people realize who he is and they will flee into the Jordanian/Moabite wilderness where they will be protected by the Lord for the remaining three and a half years of the Tribulation. The Two Witnesses are killed on Nisan 10 also, and they rise from the dead on Nisan 14, or Passover, three and a half days later. This last three and a half years is called the Great Tribulation. From that point on all you have to do is count 1260 days and that brings you up to Yom Kippur, when the Lord returns to the earth as described in Matt 24 and Revelation 19.
So, as you can see, even the second coming will be known by those who follow the blueprint that the Lord has given in his festivals and they will be able to count down the days until they are delivered from the False Messiah and the Great Tribulation.
Are there signs we can look for leading up to the Rapture and the Tribulation? There are certain things that must be in place before all this happens. When studying prophecy, there is a concept that says whatever has happened before will happen again (Ecc 1.9; 3.15). All history is unfulfilled prophecy and all prophecy is unfulfilled history. There is nothing new under the sun. We can understand prophecy by looking at history.
There is a picture of the coming Russian invasion of Israel when one looks at the Assyrian invasion. There were two Jewish states at the time and it will happen again. So, modern Israeli politics will be deteriorating and there may be the establishment of two Jewish states, one civil and one religious. By the time of the Rapture there will be a movement toward this.
Secondly, in order to have the sacrifices begin you must have a functioning priesthood and control of the Temple Mount in order to put up an Altar there. In order to do this, you must have a Red Heifer for purification of the priests, the Altar and all utensils used for this. This cleansing ceremony is found in Num 19 so a heifer must be raised and killed at least seven days prior to any sacrifices.
In Ezra 3.1-6 already cited above, they began sacrificing on Tishri 1, a Yom Teruah. On Tishri 1, year 6001 from creation, these sacrifices could begin on the same day as the Rapture, so that means we will see the Jews obtain the Temple Mount for an Altar and the killing of a Red Heifer prior to the Rapture. There is a debate over the exact spot of the Temple going on today. Some think it is where the Dome of the Rock is (we believe this is correct), others think it may be just north and others think it may be south. But, nevertheless, a site will be established and sacrifices will begin on Tishri 1, just like it was done after the exiles returned to Israel from Babylon (Ezra 3.1-6).
Another sign to look for is oil being found in Israel. This will induce Russia to not only get rid of Israel once and for all, but to obtain oil as well. But, this invasion will not happen before the Tribulation begins because Russia won’t do it while the United States is still strong and it will most likely happen three years into the Tribulation, around Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur.
So, we can look for Russian policy towards Israel to get more aggressive. All of the things we have touched on would take hours and hours to develop, but these things should be watched as the time approaches. Keep your eyes on Israel and Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the development of the priesthood and the rise of a Red Heifer. Watch Russian and Israeli politics as they develop also.
In conclusion, the Rapture will happen on Tishri 1 (Yom Teruah or Rosh ha Shannah). Ten days later will be Yom Kippur when the Tribulation begins. The exact halfway point of the Tribulation will be Nisan 10. This is the day Yeshua rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, declaring himself as the Messiah. This will be the day the False Messiah declares himself to be “Jesus” and duplicates what Yeshua did (2 Thes 2). From this point there will be 1260 days left of the Tribulation, ending on a Yom Kippur with the second coming of Yeshua to Jerusalem, where he destroys the False Messiah and the False Prophet. Seventy-five days later you come to the 1335th (1260 days of the latter half of the Tribulation plus seventy-five days) day spoken about in Dan 12.12, which is the feast of Chanukah (meaning “dedication”) when Ezekiel’s Temple will be dedicated by Yeshua himself.
As you can see, there is a precise, eschatological plan that has been revealed by the Lord for us to study and follow. Believers who study prophecy in the right way as taught by the Scriptures will not be taken unaware when these prophecies unfold.