Monday, September 10, 2018
Happy Yom Teruah or Rosh Hashana!
Some of you may be wondering if I've converted to Judaism. Nope, but I have been grafted onto the Jewish vine! And so have you if you're a believer in Jesus.
But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, Romans 11:17
We owe a great debt to the Jewish people, for they brought us our Scriptures and through them our Messiah was born. God is not done with them yet. He still loves the Jewish people. When we received the truth of the Gospel and received the Jewish Messiah, Jesus, we became part of the Jewish people. Should we then celebrate their holy days? I'll leave that up to you and the Lord, but I think it's a great idea! Far better than celebrating the pagan holidays of Christmas and Easter and Halloween (shudder)
And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.Leviticus 23:1-2
Feasts: In Hebrew the word is pronounced “moedim.” It is Strong’s Dictionary #4150 and it means: an appointment (a fixed time or season), an appointed time, an assembly (of a congregation), a place of meeting, a signal (as appointed beforehand).
Convocations: In Hebrew the word is pronounced “mikra.” It is Strong’s Dictionary #4744 and it means something called out, i.e. a public meeting (the act, the persons or the place); also a rehearsal - an assembly, calling, convocation, reading.
God is describing specific times of the year when His people are to meet with Him to memorialize and rehearse special events. These “appointed times and seasons” have become better known to people today as the Jewish holidays. What many don't understand is that the spring and fall feasts were dress rehearsals for the first and second coming of Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth. That's why God considered them of upmost importance!
There are 4 Spring Holy Days and 3 Fall Holy Days. The Spring Feasts are Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Pentecost. These were PRECISELY fulfilled by Jesus on their exact day. Briefly, Jesus died on the cross precisely at 3:00 pm, which is the exact time the sacrificial Passover lamb was slaughtered in the temple. The subsequent Feast of Unleavened bread represents his sinless body sacrificed for us. First Fruits is the day Jesus was resurrected and was celebrated by the Jews as the first of the Barley Harvest (Throughout the Bible, God uses harvests to represent resurrection) and Pentecost was the day the Jews celebrated the giving of the Torah. Also called the Feast of Weeks, it is also a time when the Jews celebrated the first of the wheat harvest. (Jesus often refers to His followers as Wheat!) Of course it was on this day that the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples and the church began.
The 3 Fall feasts are Yom Teruah (today. Feast of Trumpets), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles)
Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Leviticus 23:24
Yom Teruah is the first day of the Jewish religious new year. The Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar (ours is solar). In order to determine when the first day begins, they had to wait until the first glimpse of a new moon. Two witnesses would go atop a hill at sunset and wait until they spotted the first glimmer of the new moon. Then they would ride back to the Sanhedrin and be questioned. If they were found to be truthful, the start of Rosh Hashana would be declared. But until that point, no man knew they day or the hour it would begin. (Now, where have I heard that phrase before?)
Some of Yom Teruah's other names are
Day of Awakening Blast
Day of judgement
Day of Remembrance
No man knows the day or the hour - the hidden day
The coronation of the King
Opening of Heaven's gates
The Last Trump
Head of the Year
Wedding of Messiah
Day of Creation - Jews believe it was on this day that God created Adam and Eve
If you read through that list and your mind started spinning with the thought that those descriptions sound a lot like the rapture, you'd be right!
Yom Teruah - Day of blowing
Trumpets are blown in pattern of 3 different sounds 3 times each for total of 9 blasts
This is repeated 11 times for total of 99 blasts
The 100th blast is set apart and is the blast that is known as the Last Trump.
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 1 Cor 15:52
A day of proclaiming God is King of the Universe
A day all inhabitants of the world pass before G‑d like a flock of sheep,” and it is decreed in the heavenly court “who shall live, and who shall die ... who shall be impoverished and who shall be enriched; who shall fall and who shall rise.
Another important aspect of Yom Teruah is that it marks the first day of 10 days called "The High Holy Days" or "Days of Awe" During this time Jews are supposed to repent of all sins and ask forgiveness of anyone they've offended. This time is also referred to as "Days of Returning, Days of Admitting, Days of Repentence". At the conclusion of the 10 days, they celebrate Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement. (More on that next week) Then the Feast of Tabernacles is celebrated which is a Jewish holiday marking the end of harvest season and also celebrates God living with man.
It is believed by many Christian scholars that Jesus will return and judge the world on the Day of Atonement and then set up His Kingdom from Jerusalem where He will rule the world and dwell with mankind for 1000 years.
How is Rosh Hashana celebrated?
Candle lighting in the evenings, festive meals with sweet delicacies during the night and day, prayer services that include the sounding of the ram’s horn (shofar) on both mornings, and desisting from creative work. (For more detailed information on how to celebrate, read Celebrating Biblical Feasts in your Home or church by Martha Zimmerman.)
Why is this important to us
Since Jesus fulfilled the first 4 Jewish Feast days exactly on their day, it is reasonable to assume He will fulfill the final 3 on their day. Many Christian Scholars believe the rapture will on occur on Rosh Hashana, and from the above description, you can see why! Then in heaven, we celebrate the wedding of the lamb to His bride and the feast and wait out the 7 years of tribulation occurring down on earth (perhaps represented by the "Days of Awe" mentioned above). Then Jesus returns the 2nd time on the Day of Atonement, judges the world, and sets up His Kingdom on the Feast of Tabernacles.
If this is true, then we should be very excited and should be looking for Jesus today and tomorrow!
Do I believe Jesus will fulfill these final 3 feasts on their exact day? Without a doubt! However I'm not 100% sure the rapture will occur on Rosh Hashana. At least not the rapture of the church. My reasoning is this: The first 4 feasts were all related to the Jewish people. I think sometimes we gentiles get full of ourselves and put ourselves above the Jews, just because most of them are still not believers in Jesus. But the truth is, we are just lucky to have been grafted onto the Jewish vine. They are still the apple of God's eyes. So, I tend to believe these last 3 feasts are going to be God dealing with the Jews, not us.
Rosh Hashana - the rapture of the remaining saints and the believing Jews who survived the tribulation
Days of Awe - Jesus returns and conquers His enemies
Day of Atonement - Jesus judges the nations and the people
Tabernacles - Jesus sets up His Kingdom
I believe, just like the Spring feasts that these feasts will happen one right after the other in the same time period. But I could be wrong! The rapture could very well occur on Rosh Hashana one year and then 7 years later, another rapture could occur on that feast day to gather those who believed in Jesus after the first one.
I've rambled on enough! There's so much info here to digest. I encourage you to do your own homework. For way too many years, the church has ignored these Jewish appointment days and their meanings, much to our own disgrace. They are extremely important to God and should be to us as well... and they are all rehearsals of important events.... the final Fall ones of major events yet to occur! And I personally believe yet to occur VERY SOON.
Perhaps today or tomorrow even. And since some believe that the Jewish calender is off a month, perhaps in October. So we wait, we watch, we pray, and we spread the Love of Jesus wherever we can!
Happy Yom Teruah!