As shown before, Satan's and antichrist's reign ends at the end of the forty-two months or 1260 days. Now Christ reigns alone from this point on. The kingdoms of the world have become the kingdoms of our Lord. When Christ was enduring the forty days of temptation in the wilderness, Satan offered him all the kingdoms of the world, if he would bow down to Satan. Satan had that right, as Satan owned the kingdoms of the world. He will own them until the reign of antichrist is over. But Christ knew that one day he would have to give them back. Now Satan's reign is over and Christ does own the kingdoms of the world. He has redeemed them back from Satan, and He will reign for ever and ever. Satan will never own the world again. Again, confirmation that this 1260 day period is the same period as the forty-two month reign of antichrist. The kingdoms of the world do not become Christ's until that time block is finished.
Verse 16-17 "And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned."
The order of Melchizedek now bow down and worship God praising Him first as He who was, is, and always will be - the eternal God. Then they thank Him that He has finally taken up His great power in its totally unrestricted sense and is reigning. This not only applies to God the Father, but God the Son. Christ is the one who will reign now. He is taking back control of the fallen universe from Satan's power. Everyone is grateful for that. This comes after the sixth woe, the sixth trumpet judgment, and the end of the 1260 days of the two witnesses. Again this confirms the whole mortgage redemption plan and that the seventh seal was part of this agreement and not God's wrath. This is the first time that God or Christ is being praised for taking back the reign from Satan. Had it happened earlier on, it certainly would have been praised before this.
Verse 18 "And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth."
The twenty-four elders announce that God's wrath has come, the time to destroy those who destroy the earth. Again, this is after the 1260 day period that runs during the second half of the 70th week. God's wrath begins with the seventh trumpet judgment that is after the second woe or sixth trumpet. It begins at the conclusion of the 1260 days and runs to the end of the 1290 days mentioned in Daniel. It also mentions that the time for the prophets and the saints to be rewarded has come. The time for the dead to be judged and rewards to be given is when the resurrection/rapture occurs. We had surmised previously that this was the case, and now it seems confirmed. This is telling us that the resurrection/rapture, which is the time for rewarding the saints, occurs after the second woe. Thus when the two witnesses are called up, it would seem that it is in the resurrection of everyone who has died. This was one of the verses that created such a discrepancy for me when I first thought the rapture was in chapter 6. A fair amount of time has passed from the time that occurred until the end of the 1260 days. A minimum of five months is required for the fifth trumpet judgment alone. It did not seem quite right that this huge gap of time would occur between the rapture and the judging of the dead and giving of rewards. We will run into the rapture in chapter 14, and it would seem to also indicate that the timing is at this same point before the seventh trumpet, so then there would not be a great amount of time between the rapture and giving of rewards, if the resurrection/rapture is here. Now God's wrath is going to be poured out and those who destroyed the earth will themselves be destroyed. As we are not appointed to God's wrath, and God's wrath is now going to be poured out, it makes sense that this is where the rapture occurs in the timing of events.
Verse 19 "And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail."
God is now pouring out His wrath, so His temple is opened up and the ark or His throne of the mercy seat is seen. In the temple on earth, the Holy Place was a building with two rooms. The first room was the Holy Place which had the table of shewbread, the menorah, and the altar of incense. The second room behind that was the Holy of Holies. In this room was the ark of the covenant, or mercy seat on which God sat when He was in residence at the temple. (For those of you who may not know Israel's history, God's glory left the temple, because of the people's sins and it did not return). There was a thick (6 inches or so) veil between the two rooms to prevent anyone from seeing God's glory, which would kill them. The high priest was allowed to enter one time a year on Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement to put the blood on the mercy seat. On that day alone, the priest went behind the veil to the ark. Now in heaven we see that the temple is opened and the ark can be seen.
God's wrath will produce lightning, thunder, earthquakes, and great hail. Again the voices may be the thunderings of the Trinity, but it may also be the screams of the inhabitants of the planet. We will see when we get to the seventh trumpet or vial (bowl) judgments that these exact same things occur on earth. This is to help us get our timeline correct to realize that this is indeed speaking of God's wrath and that it is the bowl judgments. These events are not to be confused with the events in the sixth seal. This time the sun and moon are not said to be darkened, the stars (meteors, which are not to be confused with hail which is a different thing entirely) are not falling, and the sky is not being rolled up like a scroll. Those events in the sixth seal matched exactly those events in Matthew and Joel. These events listed here will match exactly the events at the end of the bowl judgments. This is yet another confirmation that God's wrath is poured out after the 1260 days of the witnesses, which is in the last half of the 70th week.
Going back to reference the viewing of the ark, we had seen in our study of the festivals that the fall festivals were all about the Second Coming. This will no doubt be the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur, as the temple has been opened and the ark is being seen and further it will be a year of Jubilee, which if remembered, is when the last trumpet for the year is sounded on Yom Kippur.
First, not relying on the traditions, but keeping it strictly to Scripture we see that when we look at the feast of trumpets, as these feasts are foreshadowing things symbolically through whatever actions the Lord tells the people to take, we see that there are only three things He asks of them on this day. Blow the trumpets, observe it as a Sabbath, and offer the usual sacrifices of the month along with a few more. If we look to the New Testament, the only thing we see that might refer to this day that doesn't have to do with a tradition is the seven trumpet judgments. Trumpets are blown on the new moon of every month and then there is the Feast of Trumpets on the seventh month. This gives us seven trumpets up to this point. It is signifying that seven trumpets are important, and the seventh one especially is the cause of a Sabbath. So the Feast foreshadows the importance of the trumpet judgments in Revelation and especially designated the seventh or last trumpet as the most important. And in Revelation we see that seven trumpets are sounded, and the last trumpet is the most important. It symbolizes what is to come. As the day is also declared to be a Sabbath, we see a foreshadow of the Sabbath rest of the millennium.
When it comes to the traditions associated with the day, there is the phrase "nobody knows the day or hour" that Christ says in Matthew 24:36 "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." It is thought that since He said that He would come back at a time when nobody would know the day or hour, many assume that the Feast of Trumpets must be the day of the rapture, but this is not necessarily true. Every first day of the month would be a day which no man would know the day or hour, not just this day, although this day has a feast on it. And as it wouldn't matter what hour they saw the sliver, it was really that nobody would know the day as they had to see the new moon and report it for it to be declared. Weather conditions could cause this to not be reported at all, if the moon was not seen. Thus making the day unknown to all. The hour wouldn't really be relevant as far as the Feast of Trumpets goes. And it would seem that Jesus should know what God knows as they are of one mind, and as they are in charge of nature and the appearance of the moon, it seems unlikely that Christ wouldn't know the day or hour that the Feast of Trumpets would happen. There happens to be another event of which this is also said, but it fills what Christ said in a more complete way.
While people may not know the day of the Feast of Trumpets, (the hour being irrelevant as no matter what hour the sliver was seen, it was the day that mattered) Christ specifies that only God would know the day and the hour. The event of which only a father would know the day and the hour would be the time at which he would send his son forth to get his bride. In the traditions of the culture, when a man was betrothed (as Christ is to the Church) he would leave her behind while he went back to his father's house and built a place for the newlyweds to live (New Jerusalem). When his father examined the structure and decided it was complete, he would give his son permission to go get his bride. (The groom would know it was time, but he had to await the actual permission to go). The groom would then make a noisy parade of it, probably with instruments (maybe a trumpet?) alerting all that he was on his way to pick up his bride and take her home. Now, in this case, the son would know that everything was ready for his departure, but he would not be able to leave, or know the day or hour in which his father would actually say the words, "Go get your bride." It would seem that since Christ is a groom, who has made a place for his bride to live and needs to wait for His Father to tell Him to go and get her, making a loud triumphant event of it, that when Christ said nobody knows the day or hour but the Father, refers to the resurrection/rapture at His Second Coming, but it does not mean that it has to occur on the Feast of Trumpets. It simply means that His Coming is the Bridegroom coming for His Bride and He can't know for certain when the Father will say "go", down to the hour. This seems made clear when He follows it up with the parable of the ten virgins, and how five were not ready for the groom's return and so missed out. It would seem that the point of His statement is not to point us to the Feast of Trumpets, but to alert us to the fact that this is about a wedding and it will be at a time when the groom and father know all is ready, but everyone else will be caught by surprise, unless they are vigilant and watching.
Finally another tradition associated with this holiday is a coronation. Trumpets were also sounded at coronations, and Christ must be crowned King before He returns. This would seem to be a good time to do it.
When it comes to Yom Kippur we know that in particular the most important Yom Kippur is the announcement of the year of Jubilee. We see that Christ read the Scriptures about the Jubilee when He announced that the ultimate day of Jubilee had come, if they would accept it. This would seem to indicate that Christ will come on a Jubilee year to set the captives free and declare the acceptable year of the Lord. Jubilee begins at Yom Kippur with the last trumpet blast of the year according to God's ordinances.
Yom Kippur is about atonement or redemption, fasting and mourning over ones sins with repentance, and Israel being given forgiveness as a nation. When Christ returns, it says that all Israel will see Him and mourn, as they realize their mistake. Zechariah 12:9-14 "And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem." Revelation 1:7 "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen."
When the Church is raptured, it is the end of the time of the Gentiles, and the time when all Israel will be saved. Romans 11:25-26 "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:" Zechariah 13:1 "In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness." On the day the Church is raptured, atonement will be made for the sins of Israel and all Israel will be saved. Yom Kippur is the day when Israel as a nation is given atonement.
It is a day when the priest puts on white (as we all will upon the resurrection/rapture) to go before God. It is a day when one goat is exiled (the first man, Adam) and the other is sacrificed (the last Adam, Christ). 1 Corinthians 15:45 47 " And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.... The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven." Yom Kippur is the Sabbath of Sabbaths, and this Jubilee of the Lord's return would be the mega Sabbath of all time. Which is what the millennium is.
According to tradition, it is the day when the books are closed and it is decided who is in the Book of Life, and who goes into God's wrath. When the Church is raptured, God's wrath is poured out on the rest of the world. According to tradition, Yom Kippur is that day when God's wrath begins to be poured out, and it is what concludes the passage that Christ read when He first entered the temple and read from Isaiah, but did not complete the Scripture verse. When Jubilee begins, God's wrath also begins, and both begin on Yom Kippur and at the last trumpet. Isaiah 61:1-2 "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn."
Joel 2:11-18 "And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD (the Day of the Lord will occur when the following occurs) is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, (repentance) and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: ( Yom Kippur) And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Who knoweth if he will return and repent, (Christ will return for them at Armageddon) and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God? (marriage supper of God, Rev. 19:17*) Blow the trumpet (last trump) in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: Gather the people, (holy convocation) sanctify the congregation, (Israel's sins forgiven, all Israel saved) assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people." Christ will redeem Israel and the land.
*Rev. 19:17 "And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God."
In the above passage Yom Kippur is clearly tied to the Day of the Lord. And the Day of the Lord is preceded by the resurrection and rapture. And Isaiah ties it to the year of Jubilee.
Ephesians 4:30 "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." We are sealed unto the day of redemption. Yom Kippur is the day of redemption for Israel, which means it is also the day of redemption for the Church as when their time is fulfilled, the time of Israel's redemption begins.
We see the events outlined in Isaiah 58:1-14 "Cry aloud, spare not, (Feast of Trumpets) lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and (Days of Awe) shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. (Yom Kippur) Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD? Is not this the fast that I have chosen?(Jubilee) to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? (Second Coming) Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, (All Israel is saved) and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; (Restoration of the people and nation) then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. (Restoration of land) And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. (Millennium) If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it."
Just to follow up with the third feast, five days after Yom Kippur is the Feast of Tabernacles. It is Scripturally a time of celebrating the memorial of the people in the wilderness under God's protection after leaving Egypt. And it could just as easily stand for the protection in the wilderness during the second half of Daniel's 70th week. Revelation 12:14 "And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent."
It is also Scripturally the feast celebrating among other things, the harvest of grapes, which has a significant parallel in Revelation 14:14-20 "And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs."
It is also called the "Season of Our Joy." A wedding feast generally lasted a week in Biblical times. This feast is eight days long. Five days might be sufficient time for the Bema Seat awards to be given and have the Bride prepared for a wedding ceremony. It is this feast which is mentioned in Zechariah 14:16, which all people are required to come to Jerusalem to celebrate during the millennium. What better feast to celebrate the anniversary of the Lord's marriage to His Bride than this one? "And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles."
While many will want to cling to the Feast of Trumpets as the rapture, due to the two premises 1) the phrase "nobody knows the day or hour" and 2) the trumpet blast, I think those two things can be explained away (the marriage tradition and the Jubilee trumpet actually being the last trumpet, not the one on the Feast of Trumpets) which leaves no other evidence for that day. I believe the preponderance of Scriptural evidence clearly indicates that Yom Kippur, and in particular the Jubilee Yom Kippur, is the day which will see the Second Coming of Christ and the resurrection/rapture, and Day of the Lord's wrath. The evidence of the traditional beliefs seems to weigh in that favor also. However, it is up to the reader to decide what they will believe.