Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

7-new-moon-shofar

Kids are back in school, coffee shops are serving pumpkin lattes again, and the crisp feeling of Autumn is tingling the air as the leaves of trees turn all shades of yellow, red and orange; the rains have come, and warm thoughts of the holidays drift through our minds. Holidays are special to most of us for various reasons, mostly because of family time, gifts, good food and all the decorations. There is a history that comes with most holidays, for every holiday had its beginning at some point in time and for some reason. It is important to know that reason or else the holiday loses its meaning, and one might as well call holidays “family time” instead of Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Did you know that today is a special day to God? Yes, each day is special and is the day that He has made, but today in particular is special because it is a God-created holiday.

Yes, this is also Remembrance Day for those lost on September 11, 2001, in a tragedy that unexpectedly struck our nation. And just as this nation is called to remember those lost on 9-11, God calls us to remember His holiday.

To begin with, there are actually seven holidays that are special to God, and today is one of those seven. They are most important number one, because God says they are important. In Leviticus 23:1 it says that, “The Lord spoke . . . saying, “Speak to the people . . . and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts.””

What feasts are these that God is speaking about in this passage? To what is God referring? Interestingly enough He is not referring to Christmas, Thanksgiving, Independence Day, Veterans Day, Labor Day, Halloween, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Not one of these holidays was put in place by God. They were all man-made.

God’s holidays have been all but forgotten by the Church, because the early Christians did not want to appear Jewish. Still today there are those who say these feast days are Jewish, but God does not call them Jewish. God clearly states that they are His holidays, His festivals, His holy convocations. He very clearly calls them “My appointed feasts.” They are not man-made, but God-ordained for the celebration of those who are called by His name. Because they are His, it seems imperative that we recognize their importance and purpose.

Does this mean that we MUST celebrate them, that we are under the law to do so? No. We don’t even have to celebrate Christmas or Thanksgiving, but it is more special when we do. Even so, it is a blessing to observe God’s appointed feast days, for in so doing we are celebrating what Jesus did for us in the past and will do for us in the near future. Truly, the focal point of these holidays is Jesus, for they foreshadow His fulfillment.

So, according to the Bible, what are God’s holidays? There are four Spring holidays: Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Pentecost; and there are three Fall holidays: Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles. All four Spring festivals have been fulfilled through Jesus. However, the three Fall feasts have not yet been fulfilled by Jesus.

In the Hebrew language “feast” actually means “an appointment, a fixed time.” And when God calls them “holy convocations,” convocation actually means “a rehearsal.” Therefore, all of God’s holidays are divine appointments set by God on His calendar as dress rehearsals for something more to come.

A clear example of this is Passover, which was set in place on the night that God delivered the Israelites from the death angel and Egyptian bondage by the blood of perfect lambs. For hundreds of years, the Jews rightly celebrated Passover looking back at what God had done for them in Egypt. But God intended that more would be fulfilled through this “appointment,” through this holiday, and so the people were to go up to Jerusalem and “rehearse” it every year until Jesus fulfilled it completely as the Passover Lamb. For it is by Jesus’ blood that we are delivered from bondage to sin and from the power of death, hell and the grave. Now we too as Christians look back on Passover and remember all Jesus did for us. Clearly, this festival is not only meant for the Jews but for all who believe on Jesus’ Passover sacrifice. And clearly it is not just about food or family, but the focus is clearly on Jesus.

And just as Jesus fulfilled Passover in all of its details, He also fulfilled the other three Spring holidays as well.

Number one, Jesus fulfilled Passover by being our perfect sacrificial Passover Lamb;

Number two, Jesus fulfilled Unleavened Bread by being sinless (without yeast) in all of His ways and being buried in the grave;

In John 1:29 John the Baptist rightly exclaims, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

The Apostle Paul states in I Corinthians 5:7-8

“7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.

8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

And in I Peter 1:18-20 it says, “18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you…”

Number three, Jesus fulfilled First Fruits by being our First Fruits from the dead, truly the First Fruits of the resurrection,

As Colossians 1:18 says, “18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”

And I Corinthians 15:20 reads, “20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.”

and Number four, Jesus fulfilled Pentecost by asking the Father to empower believers by sending the Holy Spirit (this is related in Acts 1–2).

But… He has not yet fulfilled the three Fall feasts. However, He will, for they are not just feasts; they’re not just about food and parties and family. They are appointments that God has set in place, predestined before the beginning of the world. They are dress rehearsals for that which Jesus will fully fulfill. They are God’s holidays. They are not Jewish. Therefore, as the people of God, it is important for us pay attention to these feasts and be aware of their significance.

The first of the three Fall unfulfilled feasts is Yom Teruah, “the day of blowing” the shofar (ram’s horn that is a type of trumpet). It has also been titled Feast of Trumpets and Rosh HaShanah. The Jews after their Babylonian captivity carried on some of the traditions of the Babylonians, and some of their months took on new names, and their new year, instead of beginning in the spring as God ordained it, they chose instead to have it begin in the autumn like the Babylonians. Thus, they call the festival Rosh HaShanah or Head of the Year or what we would consider as New Years. However, in scripture God does not call it this. Rather, He calls it Yom Teruah which can be translated as “the day of blowing” or “the day of trumpets”.

In Psalm 81:1-3 we read of this feast day as written by Asaph, “Sing aloud to God our strength; Make a joyful shout to the God of Jacob. Raise a song and strike the timbrel, The pleasant harp with the lute. Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon, At the full moon, on our solemn feast day.”

Throughout it’s history, Yom Teruah has been a holiday known by many names and idoms including, “the time of Jacob’s trouble,” “the hidden day,” “the awakening blast,” and “the coronation of the King.” On this day the shofar (a rams horn) is blown 100 times, and the hundredth time it is blown is called “the Last Trump.” No one knows when exactly Yom Teruah begins because this festival is based on the New Moon which is very difficult to detect, and there is only a small window of time that it can be seen. It takes two credible, trustworthy witnesses to declare the time when the sliver of the moon first appears. Thus, this feast is known as the day when “no one knows the day or the hour” that it begins. But, once the sighting time of the New Moon is agreed upon by two witnesses, the feast day officially starts.

Incredibly, Yom Teruah is all about repentance. It is a call for God’s people who’ve not already searched their hearts and fallen on their faces before God, to do so then. This is in preparation for Yom Kippur, the second Fall Feast which follows, which is known as the Day of Judgment and Atonement. Remember, this is not a call to those who do not know God to repent. This is a call to believers to repent before a holy God. Revelation 2-3 draws our attention to seven churches. Five of those seven God calls to repent or else He will remove their lampstand or even spew them out of His mouth. Five of those seven are not ready for Jesus’ immanent return, and God graciously alerts them to the necessity for them to repent. Yom Teruah is God’s appointed day for calling His people to repentance and holiness.

Yom Teruah, thus calls all Christians to repentance and preparation. Preparation for what?

Here are some clues:

It is a day that “no one knows the day or hour” it begins

It is the day of the “coronation of the King”

It is day of the “awakening blast”

It is the day of the “Last Trump”

Let’s take note that Yom Teruah is known as the “Day the No One Knows the Day or Hour.” Did not Jesus say that of His return? Matthew 24:36 states, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows… When Jesus comes back the sound of the shofar shall sound. First Thessalonians 4:16-18 states clearly, “16 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: 17 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. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” This scene is loud. There is a shout, there is a loud voice, and there is the trump of God.

And furthermore, God’s holiday of Yom Teruah is also called “The Last Trump”. And did not the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 15:51-52 speak of this “last trump” as the time Jesus will change us in the twinkling of an eye? “51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

Could it be that Jesus gave us a clue as to when He’d be returning? After all, the phrase, “no man knows the day or hour” referred to Yom Teruah. So, could it be that on any given year at the time of Yom Teruah, Jesus could return? And the Apostle Paul who was a Jew of Jews would have known that “the Last Trump” was a phrase used for Yom Teruah. Could it be that just as Jesus fulfilled Passover to the day and in every detail, that He’ll also fulfill in every detail the holiday of Yom Teruah otherwise known as the day of the blowing of the trumpet, the Last Trump, the Day when No One Knows the Day or Hour? After all, God always keeps His appointments.

First Thessalonians 5:1-2,4 says “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write to you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night . . . But ye brethren, are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief. Remember also that Jesus said that the time of His return would be like the days of Noah, wherein people would be going about their lives heedless of the end. But, Noah was not clueless, but was prepared with an ark that God instructed him to build. Those who’ll be surprised and taken off guard will be those who are not “watching” eagerly for His appearing (Revelation 3:3) and those who are caught up in the pleasures and cares of this world (Luke 21:34-36). But this is not so of God’s people.

As Christians, let us therefore, take note of Yom Teruah, God’s special holiday, for Jesus is coming back very soon at the “appointed time,” at “the Last Trump” and at at time “When No One Knows the Day or the Hour.” May we not be distracted to notice the signs; may we not be too busy to hear His Holy Spirit; may we not be too self absorbed to be in prayer; may we not be too consumed by the things of this world that we are unprepared and unwatchful. Indeed, Yom Teruah is about Jesus’ immanent return. Though this “appointment” has not yet been fulfilled by Jesus, it will be soon. Thus, rehearsing it would be a good thing, for it keeps us ever watchful just as Jesus wants us to be. As the days grow darker, may we lift up our heads for our redemption draweth nigh.


For more information regarding God’s Holidays please refer to the Mark Biltz web addresses below:

Page on All the Feasts: https://www.elshaddaiministries.us/feasts_pages.php

Main Web Address: https://www.elshaddaiministries.us/index.php

To purchase the DVD set on the Feasts of the Lord: http://shop.elshaddaiministries.us/Feasts-of-the-Lord-Set-ITEM-100-001.htm (Right now the package is only $10.00!!)

Advertisements