Part V - The Feasts of the Lord: Rehearsals for Messiah's coming

by Voice of Judah

YOM TERUAH: REHEARSAL FOR THE RESURRECTION AND RAPTURE

OVERVIEW OF THE FALL FEASTS SEASON

Before we get into the feasts let’s get an overview of the entire season.  There are three Fall Feasts, all of which occur in the 7th month of the biblical Jewish calendar (the 1st month on the civil Jewish calendar). But the Fall Feasts season actually begins the month before in the 6th month.

Below is a 2-month calendar which shows how the feasts occur on the calendar. It will make more sense to you as we learn about the feasts. Be patient, it takes a while for everything to become clear. But stay with it! Once you understand the feasts, you will be able to place virtually any biblical passage about the end times into its proper chronological order and context.


THE FALL FEASTS SEASON OF THE COMING OF MESSIAH 

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Biblical/Jewish days are reckoned from sunset to sunset (approximately 6pm to 6pm). So a biblical/Jewish “day” is shown in the calendar above as being spread across two standard calendar days.

Days highlighted in yellow mark Teshuvah - the 40 day period for introspection and repentance which begins on Elul 1 and ends with Yom Kippur on Tishrei 10.

(RC) = Rosh Chodesh (In Hebrew - “Head of the month”) This holiday occurs every month of the year. As the months were reckoned on the ancient Israel, biblical calendar - according to the sighting of the New Moon - the first of each month always starts on a “day and hour which no one knows...” Matthew 24:36.

t = Blowing the shofar (trumpet) after morning service during Elul. The shofar is not sounded on Shabbats (sabbath); nor is it sounded on the last day of Elul - making Yom Teruah “the hidden day.”

Lt = The “Last Trumpet” (last shofar blast) which marks the start of Yom Teruah. Paul refers to this marking event of this day in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.

YT = Yom Teruah (Day of Shouting, Day of Trumpets). The only feast which occurs on Rosh Chodesh, a “day and hour which no one knows...” Matthew 24:36. This feast starts the Fall Feasts - the High Holy Days.
The rehearsal for the resurrection and the rapture.

YK = Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)
The rehearsal for the defeat of Satan and national atonement for Israel.

S = Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) (superscripted numbers count the number of days of Sukkot).
The rehearsal for the Wedding Feast of the Lamb with His people.

SA (LGD) = Shemini Atzeret (The Last Great Day - in Hebrew: "the assembly of the eighth [day]"). The final (8th) day of Sukkot and the holiday of Simchat Torah (in Hebrew: "rejoicing in the Torah”). This day completes the annual Torah reading cycle, then the Torah reading cycle begins anew with Genesis 1.

The rehearsal for two events: 1) The time during the beginning of the Messianic Age (Millennial Reign of Messiah) when the nations will begin to seek Messiah for understanding as “the Law (Torah) will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem...” Isaiah 2:3, and 2) the time after the Millennial Reign when the Father Himself will come and dwell with His people forever (Revelation 21:1-3).


YOM TERUAH (also modern day ROSH HASHANA) (occurs on Tishrei 1)

“The day and hour no one knows” We have seen how Yom Teruah is unique of all the feasts because it’s the only one that occurs on Rosh Chodesh - the day and hour no one knows until the sighting of the new moon. When the new moon has been confirmed in the evening and the shofar is blown, it is Yom Teruah - the beginning of the first day of the seventh month, Tishrei.

The Hidden Day. Because the moon is “hidden” during this time of the month, Yom Teruah is known as the Hidden Day. This term is also a reference to the daily shofar blasts during the previous month of Elul. Remember during the entire month of Elul the shofar is blown after every morning service to arouse the people’s hearts to repentance and to “sound the alarm” for the soon-coming High Holy Days. The shofar is not blown on the final day of Elul - making the last day or two between the ending of Elul and the beginning of Tishrei a short time of quiet, yet intensifying suspense, fear and trembling before the shofar is sounded to mark Yom Teruah on Tishrei 1. This concept leads us into the next term for Yom Teruah

“Day of Trumpets” - The Day of the Last Trump. Now place yourself in the month of Elul. You are praying earnestly every morning for God’s forgiveness as you search your heart for how you’ve strayed from Him in the past year. The shofar is blasted every day for 28 days then all is silent. You know the new moon is at hand, which will signal the next month and begin Yom Teruah, but as the final shofar sounds on the 28th day of Elul you don’t know if the moon will be sighted tonight, tomorrow night, or possibly even the next night. You are increasingly fearful with anticipation of Yom Teruah, which is also known as the Day of Judgment. As the month of Elul passes you pray with more intensity each day...each hour...thinking, “Will God forgive me? Forgive us? O God...”

Slowly, one silent day merges into the next day with no sound of the shofar. Will today be the day? You pray again... Preoccupied with the mounting suspense you work frantically during the day trying hard to complete the final harvest of the crops. The sun sets...still...silence.

And suddenly! The “last trump” is sounded as the shofar blasts forth from the Temple. It’s Yom Teruah! The Day of Shouting! The Day of Trumpets! This is what the Apostle Paul is referring to in the following verse:

“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed — in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-52

To illustrate this more for you, look at our 2-month calendar picture at the top of this article. See the month of daily trumpet blasts during Elul (designated as t), then a few days with no blast at the end of the month, then the “last trump” of Yom Teruah on Tishrei 1 (designated as Lt).

The Day of Judgement. Yom Teruah is also known as Yom Ha Din, the Day of Judgement. The Jewish Talmud teaches that on Yom Teruah God will begin His judgement of all people and conclude it on Yom Kippur:

Three books are opened on New Year's Day: one for the utterly wicked, one for the wholly good, and one for the average class of people (intermediates). The wholly righteous are at once inscribed, and life is decreed for them; the entirely wicked are at once inscribed, and destruction destined for them; the average class are held in the balance from New Year's Day till the Day of Atonement; if they prove themselves worthy they are inscribed for life, if not they are inscribed for destruction.” 1

1 Internet Sacred Text Archive. Babylonian Talmud, Book 2 as translated by Michael L. Rodkinson [1918] Tractate Rosh Hashana. Ch.1, Mishna 2, p.26 (as listed)  http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/t02/ros03.htm Accessed on 20 August 2012

On the day of Yom Teruah, the gates of heaven are opened, the heavenly court convenes and three books are opened. The prophet Daniel saw a vision of this:

“As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:9-10

In the book of Revelation, the Bible shows exactly what the Talmud teaches as John sees heaven open on Yom Teruah after the trumpet is sounded (which is the very same trumpet blast we read about in Matthew 24:29-31, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52):

“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet... Then God’s temple in heaven was opened...” Revelation 11:15-19

John’s vision is interrupted by other revelations of the Divine Mystery of God's Plan (Revelation 12:1 - 15:1), and then John resumes describing his vision as he sees those who have been resurrected and raptured at the 7th trumpet:

“And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number of his name...” Revelation 15:2

and John describes the opening of heaven’s temple again:

“After this I looked and in heaven the temple, that is, the tabernacle of the Testimony, was opened...” Revelation 15:5

When Messiah fulfills these events in the future Yom Teruah and concludes the end times:

The wicked who will be sealed for perdition - will be those who chose to align with the Antichrist and his new world order and took the “mark of the beast”:

“A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.’” Revelation 14:9-10

The righteous who will be sealed for eternal life - will be the followers of Jesus who did not take the “mark of the beast” during the final years of the end times;

“This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven say, ‘Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.’ Revelation 14:12-13

(These are the same people John saw in Revelation 15:2, described above)

The intermediates who have ten days left to repent - These ten days are known as the “Ten Days of Awe.” They are the ten days from Yom Teruah (Tishrei 1) until Yom Kippur (Tishrei 10). (See next article) The intermediates will be those who also did not take the “mark of the beast”, but they are not followers of Jesus.

Day of Shouting. "Teruah" in Hebrew (Strong's dictionary #8643) means: alarm, signal, shout (as if splitting the ears) or blast of war, alarm or joy. This day is a day of an ear-splitting shout or alarm; the blasting sound of the shofar. Numbers 29:1 commands the trumpet to be sounded this day.

“On the first day of the seventh month hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. It is a day for you to sound the trumpets.” Numbers 29:1

Since the day falls on the New Moon, a shofar is used:

“Sound the ram’s horn at the New Moon, and when the moon is full, on the day of our festival; this is a decree for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob.” Psalm 81:3-4

The implication is that you only have to hear the shofar, not blow it. The picture here is that one day in the future an ear-splitting shofar blast will be sounded on this day and all the earth will hear it.

The prophets understood that the "shout, or blast, of Yom Teruah" was associated with the coming of the Messiah in the Day of the Lord to save Israel and redeem His people. Isaiah spoke in the context of the resurrection and exhorted Israel to shout:

"But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead." Isaiah 26:19

Jeremiah spoke of the Lord’s Day of Judgement beginning on Yom Teruah, the Day of Shouting:

“‘I am calling down a sword on all who live on the earth,’ declares the Lord Almighty...’The Lord will roar from on high; he will thunder from his holy dwelling and roar mightily against his land. He will shout like those who tread the grapes, shout against all who live on the earth.’” Jeremiah 25:29-30

Zephaniah, whose entire book contains an end times context, refers to shouting in the time of the coming of the Lord to save Israel from her enemies:

“‘Therefore wait for me,’ declares the Lord, ‘for the day I will stand up to testify. I have decided to assemble the nations, to gather the kingdoms and to pour out my wrath on them—all my fierce anger. The whole world will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger...Sing, Daughter Zion; shout aloud, Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm.’” Zephaniah 3:8, 14-15

The apostle Paul, a rabbi trained under Rabbi Gamaliel, had an extensive knowledge of the Torah and the Prophets and would have understood the rehearsals in the feasts. He sums up the association of a “shout with Yom Teruah” and the resurrection and rapture with amazing clarity:

"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." 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

Finally, all the context we have seen gives us a fuller understanding of Jesus’ words in the New Testament:

“Immediately after the distress of those days: ‘‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” Matthew 24:29-31

The “distress of those days” Jesus mentions is a reference to the tribulation events of the end times which He had just described to His disciples (Matthew 24:15-21). We see here that the trumpet call to gather his elect occurs on the day of Yom Teruah, after the tribulation events of the end times.

More Verses about the "Shout" and "Trumpet Blast" of Yom Teruah in an End Times Context. Note how in these verses the prophets in the Old Testament specifically use the words: shout, voice, roar, or trumpet in association with the conclusion of end times events and Messiah's coming in the Day of the Lord. See Isaiah 30:30-31, 42:13, 49:13, 52:8-10, Joel 2:1-2, 3:12-16, Zephaniah 1:14-16, Zechariah 2:10-13, 9:9, 9:14-16.

The Apostle Paul in the New Testament was a Jewish rabbi thoroughly versed in the Torah and the Prophets. It was the prophets' writings which showed Paul that Yom Teruah was a rehearsal for the Lord gathering His people with a shout and a trumpet blast at the end of this age: 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.

The Coronation of God as King (Rosh Hashanah). The Jewish Sages teach that Yom Teruah, which is also known as Rosh Hashana (Head of the year), is the anniversary of the creation of man. Tishrei 1 is understood to be the sixth day of creation according to their interpretation of Genesis 1:1 in the original Hebrew script. Rabbi Eliezer (80-118) teaches that the world was created during the last week of Elul and man was created on the first of Tishrei. Of course God is sovereign over creation, but His title of King was not appropriate until the creation of man because a King must have people to govern. Rabbi Eliezer describes Adam’s coronation of God as King over himself and all creation:

“Adam stood and he began to gaze upwards and downwards. He saw all the creatures which the Holy One, blessed be He, had created...Adam said to them: ‘What (is this) ye creatures? Why are ye come to prostrate yourselves before me? Come, I and you, let us go and adorn in majesty and might, and acclaim as King over us the One who created us’...

In that hour Adam opened his mouth and all the creatures answered after him, and they adorned in majesty and might and acclaimed their Creator as King over themselves, and they said,’The Lord reigns! He is appareled with majesty.’ (according to Psalm 93:1)” 2

2 Hathi Trust Digital Library. “Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer” (The chapters of Rabbi Eliezer) Chapter XI (11), pp.79-80. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/njp.32101062000755 Accessed on 19 August 2012.

Therefore, the Jewish Sages continue (as does the Talmud in tractate Rosh Hashana),

“The fundamental theme of Rosh Hashanah is the coronation of G-d as King over us. A coronation is a solemn and awe-inspiring ceremony, and the holy trembling in every Jew’s heart at the onset of the ‘Days of Awe’ (Tishrei 1 - 10) goes far beyond fear of punishment. The specific term for this feeling is ‘yirat haromemut’ (Awe of G-d’s grandeur), fear stemming from each Jew’s contemplation of his personal role in the King’s coronation...the coronation renews each Jew’s personal bond with G-d, his direct inner connection as an individual. Each man and woman personally asks G-d to accept the coronation, thus creating the bond of ‘We are your people and You are our King.’” 3

3 Chabad.org website. High Holidays. “The High Holidays: Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur” The Coronation. http://www.chabad.org/holidays/JewishNewYear/template_cdo/aid/4412/jewish/The-Coronation.htm Accessed on 19 August 2012.

The Bible shows us that in ancient Israel, the shofar is sounded at the coronation of a king (1 Kings 1:39).

So, in accordance with the rehearsals in the feast, when the trumpet blast of Yom Teruah sounds at the end of this age, Jesus will be crowned King of creation. Daniel saw a picture of this:

“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” Daniel 7:13-14

And the book of Revelation gives us a clear picture:

“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.’ And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: ‘We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.’” Revelation 11:15-17

Now that we understand how these events will unfold in the future Yom Teruah when Messiah comes, we can see Psalm 47 as being a prophetic declaration of this very same thing:

“Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.

How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth!

He subdued nations under us, peoples under our feet.

He chose our inheritance for us, the pride of Jacob, whom he loved.

God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets.

Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.

For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise.

God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne.”

Conclusion. I hope you are beginning to see how the traditions of Yom Teruah are a rehearsal for the events of the coming of Messiah; and more specifically how Yom Teruah is a rehearsal for the resurrection and the rapture. As we study the remaining feasts, it will be more clear how the Fall Feasts must occur in their natural order on the calendar - giving us greater certainty that the feasts do show us pictures of the end times and that their events occur only at the end of the last 7 years. Let's keep going!

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