The Rapture: Part 5
Aug 03, 2006
In Numbers 10, the stated purpose of blowing the trumpets is to gather the people (either the leaders or the congregation itself) and to muster the people for battle. We showed how this speaks prophetically of the Feast of Trumpets in two ways: (1) gathering the people to meet the Lord, and (2) a call to battle, which may possibly point to the day of Jerusalem's destruction in God's battle.
We do not know, of course, if these two events are to occur in the same year. That seems likely, but it is not stated in Scripture.
When the Feast of Trumpets is fulfilled, and the first resurrection occurs, only a limited number of believers will be raised from the dead. It will NOT include ALL of the believers, because there must yet come an hour in which ALL who are in the tombs will be raised. This other (later) resurrection will include both believers and unbelievers (John 5:28, 29).
This is confirmed by Paul's testimony before Felix in Acts 24:14, 15,
" (14) But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law, and that is written in the Prophets; (15) having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.
Paul was not referring here to the first resurrection that is limited to only a few believers. He was referring to the second resurrection mentioned in Rev. 20:11-15.
Likewise, Jesus spoke of this general resurrection in Luke 12:42-49. The faithful servant, He says, will be given authority (12:44), but if His servants (believers) oppress the other servants (congregation), they will given their reward (Life) at the same time that the unbelievers are judged (12:46). "He will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers." (Obviously, the rewards will not be the same; but they will be dispensed at the same time.)
Furthermore, Jesus says, those oppressive servants will be judged according to the law found in Deut. 25:1-3, for those who knew the Lord's will and did not do it will be "beaten with many stripes." Those who oppressed out of ignorance will be beaten with few stripes.
This is not talking about unbelievers, but believers who will be held accountable for their level of divine revelation. The more they know, the more accountable they are. But the law limits the judgment to 40 stripes (Deut. 25:3). This is, no doubt, what Paul meant when he says in 1 Cor. 3:15, "he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire."
This is also why Jesus concluded His teaching in Luke 12 with the statement in verse 49 equating the beating with "fire." The fire is a symbol of the judgment of the law and of the character of God, who appeared on Sinai only as a consuming fire to give Israel the law.
When the soon-coming Feast of Trumpets is fulfilled, and the overcoming dead are raised, many Church leaders will be greatly surprised to find that they were not called to meet the Lord in the air. In fact, this will precipitate a time of great repentance, once the reality hits them.
This repentance will be compounded if Jerusalem and the Israeli state are destroyed on the same day, for they will then realize that they were viewing Hagar as their mother, refusing to cast out the bondwoman and her son (Gal. 4:30). They will also realize that their contributions to finance Jewish families moving to the Israeli state only served to get more Jews killed.
And so, the days between the Feast of Trumpets (7/1) and the Day of Atonement (7/10) have been called in Jewish circles the Ten Days of Awe. It was and is still a time of introspection, repentance, and preparation for the Feast of Tabernacles. I believe that the events of the Feast of Trumpets will cause many to keep the Day of Atonement and the Ten Days of Awe. They will not keep it by killing a goat or leading a goat into the wilderness, as they used to do prior to the New Covenant. But they will certainly be in a state of shock and repentance, and many will even fast at that time.
Many of them will also be like the five foolish virgins, who lacked sufficient oil in their lamps to attend the wedding at the Feast of Tabernacles (Matt. 25:1-13). At the Feast of Trumpets, the "shout" will be made, "Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him." But only the overcomers will be qualified to actually meet Him, even though all of them (believers) were waiting expectantly for Him.
Yet all is not lost. Only the greatest reward will be lost, which has to do with authority and reigning with Him. This is a reward that goes beyond salvation itself. All of the believers will be saved, but not all will rule the nations with Christ. Further, they will have to wait for another thousand years to receive their immortal bodies.
Though life spans will be increased to the point where men will be considered young if they die at 100 years old (Is. 65:20), they will not yet be immortal in the Tabernacles Age to come. They will not yet be clothed with that tabernacle from heaven (2 Cor. 5:1-4). They will not yet be ready or prepared to experience the Feast of Tabernacles, because they had made no preparation for it during their allotted time on earth.
They will surely be saved, but they will not receive the "better resurrection" (Heb. 11:35) of the overcomers. It is for this reason that Paul disciplined himself, so that in the end, he would not be disqualified (1 Cor. 9:27). Paul did not doubt his salvation, but he remained unsure of being qualified as an overcomer. Only at the end of his life did he know that he had endured to the end and would receive the "crown of righteousness" (2 Tim. 4:7, 8).
Many have wrongly interpreted Paul's misgivings to mean that he was unsure of his salvation. Such teaching produced a wave of uncertainty and fear in the Church, which was then used to put men into the bondage of works. This fear was used by unscrupulous Church leaders to motivate men to give more money to the Church as proof of their sincerity.
But the truth sets men free. When Christians learn the revelation of the feast days, they can then easily see the difference between a Passover believer who is justified by faith, a Pentecostal believer who is sanctified by the Spirit, and a Tabernacles believer who will be glorified to reign with Him.
This is the path toward the full salvation of spirit, soul, and body (1 Thess. 5:23). Passover saves your spirit; Pentecost saves your soul; and Tabernacles saves your body. We call it Justification, Sanctification, and Glorification (or the redemption of your body--Rom. 8:23).
Of course, understand that the glorified body will not be like the present body with its limitations. Those who fulfill Tabernacles will have a body like that of Jesus after His resurrection. Because He had authority in both heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18), He was able to move with ease in both realms. All of this is prophesied in Scripture, and we will cover this later when we speak more fully of the Feast of Tabernacles.
It is sufficient for now to understand the Feast of Trumpets and its relationship to the Day of Atonement and the Days of Awe. Meanwhile, I advise all believers to start purchasing your oil today, rather than wait for the Feast of Trumpets.
This is the fifth part of a series titled "The Rapture." To view all parts, click the link below.