THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS/YOM TERUAH...9/13-15/2015
The Feast of Trumpets introduces the autumn festivals-representing the culmination of the present age of man and the beginning of an incredible time during which God will play a much more direct part in world events.
The previous festivals constitute personal responses to the workings of God in the people He calls and chooses. The Feast of Trumpets herald the intervention of God in the affairs of humanity on a global basis.
This Holy Day represents a dramatic turning point in world history.
This particular festival also marks the beginning of the third and final feast season (Exodus 23:14, Deuteronomy 16:16), which includes the final four Holy Days of the year, Rosh HaShanah.
A special season known as 'Teshuvah' which in Hebrew means "to return or repent", begins on the first day of the month of Elul and continues 40 days, ending with Yom Kippur. Thirty days into Teshuvah, on Tishrei 1, comes Rosh HaShanah. This begins a final ten-day period beginning on Rosh HaShanah and ending on Yom Kippur. These are known as the High Holy Days and as the Awesome Days. The sabbath that falls within this ten-day period is called 'Shabbat Shuvah', the Sabbath of Return. Five days after Yom Kippur is 'Sukkot', the Feast of Tabernacles. Teshuvah begins on Elul 1 and concludes on Tishrei 10, Yom Kippur. Each morning during the 30 days of the month of Elul, the trumpet (shofar) or ram's horn is blown to warn the people to repent and return to God.
God has always had a heart to warn people before He proclaims judgment. God warned the people before the flood, and He warned Nineveh before it was ruined. He does not want anyone to receive the wrath of His judgment (Ezekiel 18:21-23,30-32, Zephaniah 2:1-3).
The message from Elul 1 to Rosh HaShanah is clear: Repent before Rosh HaShanah. Don't wait until after Rosh HaShanah, or you will find yourself in the Days of Awe.
Rosh HaShanah is also referred to as 'Yom Teruah', the Day of the Sounding of the Shofar, or the Day of the Awakening Blast. On Yom Teruah, the Day of the Sounding of the Shofar, it is imperative for every person to hear the shofar.
Yom Teruah is the only festival that no man knows the day or the hour in which it begins. This is due to the fact that it begins on the new moon. The new moon was sanctified when two witnesses see the new moon and attest to it before the Sanhedrin in the Temple. This
sanctification could happen during either of two days, depending on when the witnesses come. Since no one knew when the witnesses would come, no one knew when the Feast of Trumpets would start. On the 30th of each month, the members of the High Court assembled in a courtyard in Jerusalem, where they waited to receive the testimony of two reliable witnesses. They then sanctified the new moon. The new moon is very difficult to see on the first day because it can be seen only about sunset, close to the sun, when the sun is traveling north. So, looking for a very slim faint crescent moon, which is very close to the sun, is a very difficult thing to do. If the moon's crescent was not seen on the 30th day, the new moon was automatically celebrated on the 31st day.
For this reason, Yom Teruah is always celebrated for two days. These two days are celebrated as though it is just one long day of forty-eight hours. The reason that it is celebrated for two days is because if they waited to start the celebration until after the new moon had been sanctified, they would have missed half the celebration because the new moon can only be snactified during daylight hours. The command seems to be that we know the season, but not the day or the hour (Matthew 24:32-36).
Yom Teruah, or the Feast of Trumpets, is the only feast that we do not know the day or the hour in which to keep it. Therefore, we have to be on the alert and watch for it.
Teruah means "an awakening blast". A theme associated with Rosh HaShanah is the theme "to awake". Teruah is also translated as "shout". The book of Isaiah, chapter 12, puts the shouting in the context of the thousand-year reign of Jesus. The Messianic era and shout is mentioned in Isaiah 44:23 and Zephaniah 3:14. The first coming of Christ is associated with a shout in Zechariah 9:9. The ultimate shout is the rapture in First Thessalonians 4:16-17.
Whether it is by the blast of a shofar or the force of a supernatural shout, God's goal is to awaken us. "...Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." -Ephesians 5:14. The book of Ephesians has many references to Rosh HaShanah and the high Holy Days. For example, in Ephesians 4:30, being sealed unto the day of redemption refers to Yom Kipur, the Day of Atonement. God gave this festival to teach us that we will be judged on RoshHaShanah and will be sealed unto the closing of the gates on Yom Kippur. This will be covered in that study later.
The theme of awakening from sleep is used throughout the Bible. It is found in John 11:11, Romans 13:11, Daniel 12:1-2 and Psalm 78:65.The shofar was also blown at the temple to begin the sabbath each week. There are two types of trumpets used in the Bible:
1. The silver trumpet
2. The shofar or ram's horn
Each sabbath, two men with silver trumpets and a man with a shofar made three trumpet blasts twice during the day. On Rosh HaShanah, it is different. The shofar is the primary trumpet. On Rosh HaShanah, a shofar delivers the first blast, a silver trumpet the second, and then a shofar the third.
According to Leviticus 23:24 and Numbers 29:1, Rosh HaShanah is the day of the blowing of the trumpets."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"And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you." -Numbers 29:1
The trumpet used for this purpose is the ram's horn, not trumpets made of metal as in Numbers Chapter 10.
Another name for Rosh HaShanah is 'Yom HaDin', the Day of Judgment. The righteous are separated and will be with God. This is known to Bible believers as the rapture. The wicked will face the wrath of God during the tribulation period.
The shofar blown on Rosh HaShanah is known as the last trump, which the apostle Paul mentioned in First Thessalonians 4:16-17. At this time, the believers in Christ will escape the tribulation on earth and will be taken to Heaven in the rapture along with the righteous who had died before this time.
The gates of Heaven are opened on Rosh HaShanah so the righteous nation may enter (Isaiah 26:2, Psalm 118:19-20). Because the gates of Heaven are understood to be open on Rosh HaShanah, this is further evidence that the rapture of the believers in Christ will take place on Rosh HaShanah.
One of the reasons for blowing the shofar is to proclaim the
resurrection of the dead. The resurrection of the dead will take place on Rosh HaShanah. In First Corinthians 15:52, the apostle Paul tells us that the resurrection of the dead will be "at the last trump." Earlier in First Corinthians 15:14, he wrote that without the Lord Jesus rising from the dead, our faith is in vain.
We cannot go to the Book of Revelation and say that the voice of the seventh angel (Revelation 11:15) is the last trump. In the first century, the last trump (shofar) meant a specific day in the year. In Judaism, there are three trumpets that have a name. They are the first trump, the last trump, and the great trump. Each one of these trumpets indicates a specific day in the Jewish year. The first trump is blown on the Feast of Pentecost (Exodus 19:19). It proclaimed that God had betrothed Himself to Israel. The last trump is synonymous with Rosh HaShanah, according to Theodore Gaster in his book, Festivals of the Jewish Year, in his chapter on Rosh HaShanah. Herman Kieval also states the same thing in his book, The High Holy Days in the chapter on the shofar. The great trumpet is blown on Yom Kippur, which will herald the return of Jesus back to the earth (Matthew 24:31).
The first and last trump relate to the two horns of the ram, which according to Jewish tradition, was caught in the thicket on Mount Moriah when Abraham was ready to slay Isaac and offer him up as a burnt offering. This ram became the substitute for Isaac even as Jesus became the substitute for us and provided life for us through His death.
Rabbi Eliezer tells us in Pirkei Avot, that the left horn (first trump) was blown on Mount Sinai, and its right horn (the last trump) will be blown to herald the coming of the Lord for His Church. Isaiah 18:3 and First Thessalonians 4:13-18 speak of the resurrection of the dead.
First Thessalonians chapter 5 continues with the day of the Lord and the birthpangs of the Messiah. The festivals will, beyond a shadow of a doubt, tell you that the resurrection of the dead precedes the time of Jacob's trouble (the tribulation). First Thessalonians 4:16-17 says that the dead in Christ will rise first, and that the catching away of the belivers will immediately follow.
The term 'rapture' comes from the Greek word 'harpazo', which means "to seize, catch away, catch up, pluck, pull, take by force"
(1 Thessalonians 4;17). Isaiah 57:1-2 speaks clearly of the
resurrection of the dead, the taking of the believers, and the hiding of the believers from the indignation (the tribulation). Zephaniah 1:14-18 and 2:2-3 tells about the terrible times during the day of the Lord, the birthpangs of the Messiah, and issues a decree to repent and turn to God before that day to be hid from that time. Psalm 27:5 says the righteous will be hid in the time of trouble. Paul in Second Thessalonians 2:1 tells us, "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him." The phrase "gathering together" comes from the Greek word 'episunagoge', which means"an assembly".
The Feast of Trumpets, through careful study depicts nothing less than the return of Jesus Christ for His Church at the last trump, just before God pours His wrath and judgment on a sinful and Christ rejecting world.