With the Biblical feast days around the corner I thought it would be nice to learn a little about them, especially if you are like me and don’t know much about them. The only thing I knew when I started looking more into the Old Testament is that everything was for the Jews and it didn’t apply to me. Since studying for myself I have found that I am wrong in a lot of my assumptions, the feast days were no exception. Here’s what I found out. Maybe it will help you too.
There are seven feasts or festivals of Yahweh. These feasts are to be celebrated every year at the time God specified in His word. The last three feasts happen in the fall season. They are Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. These feasts are known as the “season of t’shuvah,” the season of repentance from all of our sins, transgressions, and iniquities and turning back toward the Almighty Elohim, agreeing to do things His way.
The first of the fall feast days go by several names — Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, Feast of Trumpets, and Yom Teruah, the actual name given in the scriptures.
ADONAI said to Moshe, “Tell the people of Israel: The designated times of ADONAI which you are to proclaim as holy convocations are my designated times.” ADONAI said to Moshe, “Tell the people of Israel: In the seventh month, the first of the month is to be for you a day of complete rest for remembering, a holy convocation announced with blasts on the shofar. Do not do any kind of ordinary work, and bring an offering made by fire to ADONAI.” (Leviticus 23:1-2, 23-25 CJB)
In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you are to have a holy convocation; do not do any kind of ordinary work; it is a day of blowing the shofar for you. Prepare a burnt offering to make a fragrant aroma for ADONAI — one young bull, one ram and seven male lambs in their first year and without defect — with their grain offering, consisting of fine flour mixed with olive oil – six quarts for the bull, four quarts for the ram, and two quarts for each of the seven lambs — also one male goat as a sin offering to make atonement for you. This is to be in addition to the burnt offering for Rosh-Hodesh with its grain offering, the regular burnt offering with its grain offering, and their drink offerings, according to the rule for them; this will be a fragrant aroma, an offering made by fire to ADONAI. (Numbers 29:1-6 CJB)
As you can see from the above scripture Yahweh said the designated times, which are called “feasts” in the KJV, are His designated times (feasts). The Hebrew term used here is “Moadim” which means “appointed time and place.” These are set apart times established by the Creator Himself. The Jews didn’t establish them so they are not the Jewish Holidays. The feast days belong to Yahweh Elohim, Master of the universe, who planned every detail of these feasts to reveal to us what He was going to do. The one we will focus on today is Yom Teruah.
Yom Teruah is the only feast day that wasn’t given a name by God. Instead, it is named for its description. It is described as a day of shouting [of the people and sounding the trumpet]. It starts the Ten Days of Repentance (Ten Days of Awe) by blowing the shofar to call God’s people together to repent from their sins. This is something that happens as a nation. The people gather together and confess their sins before God.
Sounding trumpets and shofars (ram’s horns) are seen throughout the scriptures. The trumpet gathers God’s people for worship, for journeys, and for battle. It announces the coming of the Bridegroom for his bride, and the coronation of the King as He ascends His throne to rule. The last trumpets to sound is found in Revelation where seven trumpets are sounded to declare God’s judgment — with a chance to repent, His Kingdom, and His reign as the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Yom Teruah is one the holiest days to the Jewish people. It is considered a High Holy Day. The belief is that on this day God opens the Book of Life and studies the words, actions, and thoughts of every person whose name He has written there. If a person’s good deeds outweigh or outnumber their sinful acts, his or her name will remain inscribed in the book for another year. Then He inscribes the fate of each person for the upcoming year in the Book of Life or the Book of Death. Finally, the book is sealed and the verdict is determined ten days later on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
Could this be why a person’s name can be blotted out of the Book of Life?
He who wins the victory will, like them, be dressed in white clothing; and I will not blot his name out of the Book of Life; in fact, I will acknowledge him individually before my Father and before his angels. (Revelation 3:5 CJB)
I don’t know about you, but I want to be like King David, who acknowledged a greater King than himself when he said, “God, in your grace, have mercy on me; in your great compassion, blot out my crimes. Turn away your face from my sins, and blot out all my crimes.” (Psalm 51:1, 9 CJB)
Honoring Yom Teruah can only benefit us because in honoring it we, like King David, acknowledge a higher authority than ourselves. We realize we are subjected to the Great King of the universe and we are given a chance, while it is still day, to repent and soften our hearts toward Him. Halleluyah!
When Yom Teruah Begins
This year’s Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets/Rosh Hashanah) begins Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at sundown and continues until Friday, September 6, 2013 at sundown.
Rosh Hashanah means “head of the year.” It is the Jewish civil New Year. During synagogue services, a trumpet sounds 100 notes to begin the New Year. It is a day of joyful celebrations, looking forward to God’s goodness and mercy in the coming New Year. It is also a day to reflect upon past actions from the previous year, remembering God’s judgment.
Here are some facts from the “Feast of Trumpets” article that was interesting:
- Jewish New Year is a more solemn occasion than your typical New Year’s celebrations.
- Jews are commanded to hear the sounding of the ram’s horn on Rosh Hashanah, unless if falls on the Sabbath, and the shofar is not blown.
- Orthodox Jews take part in a ceremony known as Tashlich on the first afternoon of Rosh Hashanah. During this “casting off” service they will walk to flowing water and say a prayer from Micah 7:18-20, symbolically casting their sins into the water.
- A traditional holiday meal of round challah bread and apple slices dipped in honey is served on Rosh Hashanah, symbolizing God’s provision and hope for the sweetness of the coming New Year.
- L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu, meaning “may you be inscribed [in the Book of Life] for a good year,” is a typical Jewish New Year’s message found in greeting cards, or spoken in a shortened form as Shanah Tovah, meaning “good year.”
Jesus Fulfilled the Feast Days
There are several thoughts about Jesus and the feast days. One is that the feast days belong to the Jews only. Another is the feast days are Old Testament and are no longer valid. The last is that Jesus fulfilled them spiritually when he was crucified. In some way this last statement is not entirely wrong. However, it is not the fulfillment of these feast days. Yeshua came to Yeshua came to bring a complete understanding to all that was written in the scriptures. During his time on earth he did everything to point people back to the Father. These feast days are no exception.
Paul spoke to his disciples after Yeshua had died, was buried and was resurrected about the feast days. He told them to not let anyone judge them in keeping the feast days, which are a shadow of things to come. This means that what the feast days fully represented had not come to past yet.
So don’t let anyone pass judgment on you in connection with eating and drinking, or in regard to a Jewish festival or Rosh-Hodesh or Shabbat. These are a shadow of things that are coming, but the body is of the Messiah. (Colossians 2:16-17 CJB)
Like Yeshua portrayed, everything he did was in direct response to his Father, the King of Glory. He talked about his Father’s will being done in the earth and in the heavens, not his will. Everything he did pointed back to the Father.
As the four spring feasts were fulfilled literally and right on the actual feast day in connection with Christ’s first coming, these last three fall feasts will likewise be fulfilled literally in connection to the Lord’s second coming.
Rosh Hashanah Video
Rabbi Irwin Kula, co-president of The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, describes the significance and observance of Rosh Hashanah.
In closing, learning more about the feast days and practicing them will allow you to gain a greater understanding of the scriptures, how God operates, and build a deeper relationship with the Father. If you are not sure whether or not you should honor these feast days, then ask yourself the question, “Am I a part of the Messiah?” If so, then yes. For a longer explanation, please read, “The Feast Days of Yahweh.”
Do you celebrate the feast days? Tell me why or why not. If you do, how do you celebrate them? Please share your wisdom below in the comment section.