Thursday, September 09, 2010

Come on, blow that trumpet!

Happy New Year everyone!

(Photo above is of loading dock gate here in SLC that I thought was especially nice for a gate.)
Yes, today is the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, a day also known as The Feast of Trumps.
If you are up on your Bible, you might have noticed that Jesus had a "thing" about fulfilling Jewish festivals.
He hasn't finished up yet though. The Feast of Trumps is still awaiting His fulfillment.
Tonight Jewish people will be dipping apples in honey to celebrate this holy-day.
I so admire the way the Jewish people party:

so simple!
so memorable!
so do-able, even for a very busy person or small children.

If you haven't put the pieces together as to why we Christians might be fond of this holy-day, consider this article below.
I'm not saying that this is absolutely the last word the subject, but it does provide some interesting thoughts to think about, and maybe chat about with your family while noshing on an apple slice dipped in honey.

Here's the article:

Rosh Hashana

The rapture of the church of Jesus Christ has been something that all true "Spiritual Christians" have anticipated since the day of our Lord's death on the cross for our sins. Here we will give a "possible" solution to knowing at least what time of year this beautiful event will take place.

One verse that is always at the forefront, or ends a discussion, of every rapture discussion is our Lord's words in Matthew:

Matthew 24:36 "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

However, lets look a little closer at what is being said here by our Lord and let's also understand something of Jewish thoughts and traditions.

The phrase "But of that day and hour knoweth no man" is a common Hebrew idiom for the Jewish holiday of "Rosh HaShanah". Jesus' audience may well have fully understood that what Jesus was possibly saying was "I will come again on Rosh HaShanah at some point in the future". It would be like saying in America, "I'll see you again when we gather together to exchange presents." We automatically know that we are referring to Christmas. In like manner, can we expect to see our Messiah on some future Rosh HaShanah?

We find in Leviticus 23 that the Festivals of the Lord were appointed times established as yearly rehearsals that taught both historically and prophetically the whole plan of God concerning the coming of Messiah and the redemption of man.

The first four feasts have been fulfilled and the Jewish community celebrate them historically. They are Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot) or Pentecost. These four Spring Feasts are considered to be an interrelated whole where Pentecost is the completion of the process begun at Passover. (see link at end of this post to see a chart showing how Christ fulfilled the spring feasts.)

It is significant that the spring events that are associated with those feasts are considered a unit and are quite distinctive from the Fall Feasts. The last three feasts; Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles are celebrated in the Fall season and are yet to be fulfilled so they remain prophetic in nature.

The final three feasts are Trumpets (Rosh HaShanah), Atonement (Yom Kippur), and Tabernacles. Prophetically, the feast of Trumpets is tied to the coming rapture of the church. Yom Kippur will find its prophetic fulfillment when all Israel is saved at the end of the tribulation. Tabernacles will find its prophetic fulfillment when God once again tabernacles or dwells in the midst of His people at beginning of the millennial reign. (some Messianic scholars believe the Jesus was born during Tabernacles and rather than a "manager" was actually put in a "booth" as He dwelled for the first time with his people.)

The "Feast of Trumpets" will soon find its prophetic fulfillment. Why do we associate the Feast of Trumpets with the rapture of the church?

The Hebrew name for "Rosh HaShanah" is "Yom Teruah" or the "day of the awakening blast". Following are the Days of Awe. This in itself presents a strong case for a pre tribulation rapture. The coronation of the King, the resurrection of the dead, the joy of the Messianic kingdom, and the wedding of the Messiah are among the many themes associated with "Rosh HaShanah". A strong theme associated with Teruah is to "awake". Teruah can also be translated "shout". These themes are reminiscent of some verses in 1 Thessalonians which say:

1 Thessalonians 4: 15-17 "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

This passage is filled with Hebrew idioms that are expressly associated with "Rosh HaShanah, the Feast of Trumpets" and therefore this passage lends itself as "possible" cultural evidence that "Rosh HaShanah will be the appointed day of the rapture of the church and the resurrection of the dead."

Since a significant theme of "Rosh HaShanah" is that of the wedding of the Messiah, let us now examine the ancient customs associated with the Jewish wedding ceremony to see if there are practices that correspond with many themes of this festival.

Jewish Wedding
Messiah's Wedding

The Jewish woman indicates acceptance of a man's marriage proposal by drinking a cup of wine
Jesus passed the cup of wine at the Last Supper and when we drink we accept being His bride
The Jewish man would pay a price to the parent's of his new bride
Jesus Christ paid the price for us as His bride with His life
The Jewish man would then give his betrothed gifts
Jesus Christ gave us, His betrothed, the Holy Spirit
The Jewish man would then go a build a place for them to live once married
Jesus Christ said, "I go to prepare a place for you."
The Jewish man then goes for his bride at midnight with a host of people, shouting and blowing the shofar for his bride
The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:
The Jewish man and wife then spend 7 days alone to consummate the marriage in their wedding chamber
The Lord and his bride, the church, shall spend 7 years alone to consummate the marriage, during the 7 years of tribulation

Note that 1000 years is like a day to the Lord. Within 2 days or 2000 years Jesus will return for His bride!

Notice above that the Jewish bride is taken from her familiar surroundings to a place she has never been - the home of the bridegroom. They would immediately go to the marriage supper and then enter the bridal chamber for a period of seven days to consummate the marriage.

Rosh HaShanah is also known as the "Day of our Concealment". Note that the seven days that we are concealed within the bridal chamber correspond with the "seven years of tribulation" that will be unleashed by God the Father upon an unbelieving world. Notice again the strong evidence for a "pre-tribulation rapture" based on the Jewish wedding ceremony. When the seven days are completed, we will return with Jesus and then "Yom Kippur" and "Tabernacles" will find their prophetic fulfillment.

We believe that all end time events are divinely planned and are not occurring randomly. Furthermore, we believe that the rapture will occur at an appointed time and God has revealed to us what the appointed times were and are in Leviticus 23 in His Festivals. We believe that all true Christians, on some "Rosh HaShanah"will hear the awakening blast of the "shofar" and the "shout" of the archangel and we will dwell intimately in the presence of our Savior while the Days of Awe are unleashed upon the earth.

Above from THIS site.
Interesting, no?

Pre, Post, or Mid-trib...regardless of when and how it all goes down, I am just thankful to know that a lot of us will eventually be gathered into the Lord's presence forever.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Date Night: Hot Dog!

Dollar hot dogs at the ball park!
The summer is almost over and we hadn't made a game yet, so off we went last week.
Someone should have warned me about the blue sno-cones though.
That blue syrup tongue dye job lasted a couple of days. Yikes!
The ball park setting is gorgeous.
As the sun sets behind us, the mountains turn that gorgeous shade of reddish purple. I always feel like I am in a small town movie set when we sit watching the game just a few rows up from the dug out. Players toss inning used balls to the kids around us when they retire from the field. Seeing the grinning kids holding up their caught balls makes me feel like all is right in the world again.
I know I shouldn't have noticed, but I did. This one particular player for the other team had on really tight white pants.
When he bend over to take his batting stance, it was difficult to tell what I was seeing: was his pant seat seam or ???
(Laura: It brought back swimming team memories of Jim M. and his speedo. You girl swimmers! Bad...bad!)

The Bees were having a great season, but didn't quite make it to the playoffs.
Next year. There is always next year!

(You didn't enlarge that previous picture for a closer look, right? Oh come on...I know you did!)

Monday, September 06, 2010

Five days outdoors

Last Thursday I got off work at 3, and by 6 o'clock Bernie and I were packed up and heading up Big Cottonwood Canyon to a campground near Brighton. The weather was clear, with light breezes, sunny in the sunshine and cool in the shade.

A half hour later we were unpacking our tent and gear, building a fire beside a stream with moose tracks on the muddy edges.

The next morning we drove ten minutes down to a lovely lodge for sour dough pancakes before heading out for a hike up the nearby mountains.

First we came to Lake Mary...

Then Lake Martha...
We kept climbing (Lake Martha in the background there)

And finally to Lake Catherine near where Bernie has often begun a ski run in winter.

We hiked up about 2.6 miles with an altitude gain of 1675 feet.

Of course we began at 8,740 feet above sea level to begin with. Huffing and puffing wasn't only due to not being completely in shape.

We saved Dog Lake for the trip back as it was only a bit off the trail and we weren't sure how much energy we would need for the hike up.
Dog tired at Dog Lake...time for a little siesta in the shade.
Meanwhile a marmot was taking a siesta in the sun.
Dog Lake panoramic view.
Back at camp I admired the artistry of long dead insects.

We tried out a slightly bigger tent for this trip. It will be perfect for summer camping, but was not really up to the challenge of below freezing night time temperatures as witnessed by frozen water in a cup left on the camp table.

Sunday we climbed to Lake Solitude, a much shorter one hour hike. Easy!

Around our campsite I spotted the butterflies of the future in colorful display.

While we hiked to Lake Solitude the local moose mommy and baby clomped around our campsite. People dropped by to tell us of our missed visitors; I have to admit each night I wondered if there had been moose right outside our tent as we slept. A daytime visit never occur ed to me.

Just as the sun began to set on our last night, Mother and Jr. dropped by for a peek at us. The sun shone through their huge ears as I fumbled with my camera and caught a single shot with the last of my camera's battery energy.

Look in the upper left corner to see Mom as she lumbered off to the woodland.


At least my brain battery worked. I will always have that memory even if I don't have a picture to prove it.

I tried my hand at doing a bit of painting; I haven't attempted a watercolor in over 16 years. Guess what? It isn't like riding a bike. The painting proved that while my eye for camera composition has improved over time, my ability to do the same via a sketch has not.

I also read the book "Eat, Pray, Love" from start to finish. So many things to think about, and talk about. Anyone else read the book yet? What did you think about some of her answered prayers?