Greetings! L’Shana Tova tikatev v’tichatem” (May you be inscribed in the book of Life and sealed for a good year).
Beginning at sunset tonight, September 29 until sunset September 31 is the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah), one of the 7 Feasts of Israel that God commanded His people to observe. The Jewish people typically refer to this “Feast” as Rosh Hashanah, or “Head of the Year”. It marks the end of a long, hot, and dry summer and the beginning of the fall festivals. The word Festival, in Hebrew is Moed, and means “Appointed times”. God’s Moedim are His appointments with mankind.
Leviticus 23: 23: Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord.’”
Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) is the only Moedim (Feast Day) where God does not specifically state the purpose of the day. The Bible gives at least one reason for all the other holy days and two reasons for some. God does give us a clue to the meaning of this Holy Day with the word “Teruah”. The word Teruah means “to make a loud noise”. Yom Teruah is known as the “day of blowing of Trumpets (Shofar/ram’s horn) or the day of shouting”.
This word (Teruah) can describe the noise made by a trumpet but it also describes the noise made by a large gathering of people shouting in unison (Numbers 10:5–6). For example,
Joshua 6:5 It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead.”
Some Jewish Rabbis believe that Rosh Hashanah (“Head of the year”) is the anniversary of 1st day of Creation. Other Rabbis believe that Rosh Hashanah is the anniversary of the day that God created man, the 6th day of Creation.
On Elul 1, we began what is known as the 40 days of Teshuvah, a time of self-reflection and repentance. The final 10 days of Teshuvah begin with the Feast of Trumpets and continue on to Yom Kippur. These final 10 days of repentance are known as “the 10 days of awe” because they are the pinnacle of the days of Teshuvah. According to Jewish Tradition, on Rosh Hashanah the destiny of the Righteous (tzaddikim) are written in the Book of Life, and the destiny of the wicked (resha’im) are written in the book of death. This is why they greet one another with the phrase “May you be inscribed in the book of Life” on Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets). According to tradition, most people won’t be inscribed in either book, but are given ten days — until Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)—to repent before their fate is sealed. If a person turns to God, and makes amends to those whom he has harmed, he may be given another year to live in the following Jewish year. On the other hand, if he does not repent, then the decree will be given that he will die during the following year. In other words, though the books are opened on Rosh Hashanah, our deeds during the first ten days of the new year will determine whether we are written in the book of life or the book of death.
As Believers in Jesus Christ, the “Day of Judgment” for our sinful lives has come, and justice was served through the sacrificial offering of Yeshua (Jesus). Our sins have been covered by the blood of the Lamb of God. Jesus IS the propitiation for our sins. The Greek word used for propitiation (hilastērion) in Romans 3:25, 1 John 2:2, and 1 John 4:10 is the same word as the Septuagint word (kapporet)…meaning cover of the ark of the Covenant), which was sprinkled with the blood of the Sacrifice each year on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).
Romans 3:25: whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
1 John 2:2: He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 4:10: In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Those who are trusting in Yeshua (Jesus) as their ATONEMENT, their PROPITIATION or COVERING… can be CONFIDENT that their names are WRITTEN in the Lamb’s book of LIFE. The Scriptures also warn us that there is coming a DAY OF JUDGMENT, and anyone whose names are not inscribed in the Lamb’s book of LIFE will be thrown into the LAKE OF FIRE.
God’s Divine Appointments with mankind, His Moedim (“feasts), are a picture of God’s plan of Redemption and Restoration. Each Holy Day finds its fulfillment in Messiah Yeshua (Jesus). The Holy Days are cyclical and were meant to be a type of DRESS REHEARSAL to PREPARE mankind for their fulfillment.
In Judaism, a Trumpet or Shofar was always used to ANNOUNCE a KING. A shofar was also used to WARN of an impending BATTLE or WAR. The Feast of Trumpets has its final fulfillment in “THE LAST TRUMP” when the DEAD IN CHRIST RISE FIRST (1st Thessalonians 4:16). The war or battle that will immediately follow the Dead in Christ rising and the Rapture will be the time of Great Tribulation on the earth. This is the same pattern that we see in the book of Joshua. First, the blowing of Trumpets, the walls (of sin) falling down, then the battle ensues….Great Tribulation. (Joshua 6:15-20)
Feast of Trumpets is the ONLY FEAST DAY in the Old Testament whose PURPOSE was not directly specified…thus it’s a MYSTERY. This is because on SOME …Feast of Trumpets, our God will have COMPLETED a MYSTERY…the MYSTERY of the CHURCH, God bringing HIS GOSPEL of SALVATION to the GENTILE BELIEVERS in YESHUA. Could it be THIS Feast of Trumpets? Only Time will tell. We are in the Last Days, so WE should be READY for KING JESUS….ALWAYS!
Once God CALLS UP the Gentile Believers (the dead in Christ rise first – Rapture), Jesus will have FULFILLED 5 of the 7 Old Testament Feasts in His Plan of Redemption (Passover/Firstfruits/Unleavened Bread/Pentecost/Trumpets). At this point, only 2 “Feasts” will be left to fulfill….Day of ATONEMENT, and FEAST OF TABERNACLES. We’ll detail these two upcoming feasts in our next couple of posts. God WROTE His entire plan of Redemption into these 7 Old Testament Feasts (Divine Appointments with mankind).
One more thing….The Gentile Church is NOT REQUIRED to observe these Moedim (Holy Days/Old Testament Feasts); however, God does offer GREAT BLESSINGS and a RICHER understanding and appreciation for His Plan of Redemption and Restoration if we understand and observe them in the light of Messiah Jesus.
Should we observe them? That is an individual decision for each Believer. My family greatly enjoys observing these feasts in our own personal way. I’m sure we do NOT observe them the way that Jewish Rabbis REQUIRE Jews observe them…but that’s not the point. We remember them, we enjoy them, and we do so with the understanding that all of these feasts (APPOINTMENTS) are DRESS REHEARSALS for God’s Great Plan of Redemption. God’s Feasts (Divine Appointments with mankind) are HARVEST FESTIVALS looking forward to the GREAT HARVEST OF SOULS!
Spring – fulfilled
We REMEMBER Jesus, our Passover Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world! We commemorate His Crucifixion on the Cross where He shed His Blood for us. On Firstfruits, we Rejoice in His Resurrection and understand that we also will RISE with HIM. He has gone on before us to prepare a place for us! During the Feast of Unleavened Bread, we remove all leavening (metaphor for sin) from our homes for 7 days (7 = fullness and completeness) as we recognize that Jesus is doing a work in mankind, a sanctifying work, leading us not only out of sin, but out of the DESIRE to sin.
Summer – fulfilled
We REJOICE over the GIFT of the Holy Spirit that Jesus gave HIS BRIDE in advance of His WEDDING. This GIFT was given to the Bride of Christ 50 days after the Resurrection (50 day counting of the Omer). The 50 day count is a REPRESENTATION of the approximately 50 ADULT YEARS (on average) that God gives mankind to recognize that God is REAL, and that Jesus is HIS MESSIAH. On this same day, God first gave His Law to the Israelites (written on tablets of stone to represent their stoney hearts) on Shavuot at Mt. Sinai (Old Covenant), and 1600 years later, God poured out His Holy Spirit on His Believing Church at Pentecost, His law written on human hearts (New Covenant). All of this was done on the same day….Shavuot/Pentcost, Jew and Gentile, the two “Wave Loaves” spoken of in (Leviticus 23:15-17). Pentecost was the beginning of His Divine Mystery, the Mystery of the Church..that God was granting His Plan of Salvation not only to the Jews, but also to the Gentiles!
Fall – yet to be fulfilled
In the Fall, we LOOK FORWARD to the day when the LAST TRUMPET sounds, the walls of sin fall completely down (like Jericho), and Jesus takes His Bride with Him to the Divine Chuppha and the WEDDING SUPPER of the LAMB. We also look forward to Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement (At ONE ment)..when Jew and Gentile come together, One “NEW MAN” in Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus). Finally, we look forward to the Feast of Tabernacles, when Jesus will again Tabernacle among mankind during His Millennial Reign of the Kingdom of God on earth! This is God’s GREAT PLAN of REDEMPTION written into His Moedim, His Divine Holy Days.
Let everything we do as believers find its fullness in Yeshua, let NO CELEBRATION OR OBSERVANCE BE DONE IN A BINDING WAY. Let no believers judge one other based on their observance or non-observance, let no one feel “unspiritual” if they get nothing out of the celebration of the feasts-and if the Lord puts it in your heart to celebrate the feasts, then be blessed in that celebration.
Maranatha, The Bridegroom is coming soon!