The Jewish New Year, Rosh haShanah is upon us. It is also called 'Yom Teruah' (Day of the Awakening Blast), and understanding this holiday is key to understanding the last days, the 'rapture' of the church, and so much more.
For it is on this day according to Rosh haShanah, a shofar is blown to awaken the righteous dead. The 'mystery' as Paul revealed in his first letter to the Corinthians (15: 39-55), is that those who are alive at that time will also be changed into having glorified bodies, and with those righteous who died earlier, meet the Lord. That was the mystery, that we who are alive will join the righteous dead, for in Judaism it doesn't mention the righteous living being transformed.
What I find perplexing is that so many Christians have built their theology about the rapture without any knowledge of Rosh haShanah - which is what Paul taught. That has led to much error, so this series is about the 3 fall festivals that we might understand scripture and in the larger view of things, what God is doing, will do, and our part.
We are closing out the year 5778
This year (2018) Rosh haShanah is on September 10th on our calendar, in the Jewish calendar it is Tishri 1, starting the year 5779. It is the Jewish New Year, celebrating the day the world was created according to ancient tradition.
Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement is 10 days later, September 19 on our calendar, or Tishri 10 on the Hebrew calendar. These 10 days from the start of Rosh haShanah on Tishri 1 to the start of Yom Kippur on Tishri 10 are called the High Holy Days.
Those 10 days conclude a larger 40 day time of repentance that began on the month of Elul 1 (August 12 this year).
That 40 day period of repentance is called 'teshuvah' (Hebrew: return) that begins on the 1st of Elul, 40 days before Yom Kippur. During these 40 days Jewish people turn their hearts and minds to the Lord, to anyone they wronged during the year, in humility working through their experiences and heart to prepare for Rosh haShanah, which is the day of judgement for believers in the God of Israel, and then for the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) when their sins are forgiven.
What happens on Rosh haShanah?
Rosh haShanah is the only 1 of the 7 Biblical festivals that begin at the new moon phase, which is when there is no moon. The other 6 begin on the full moon, but Rosh haShanah starts when the moon is hidden. Psalm 81 and v3 in particular is read at this time: "Blow the trumpet (shofar) in the New Moon, at the time appointed, on our feast day."
The reason will be explored in detail later, but the overview is the moon has always been a type of believers, recognized in Judaism as such from creation because the moon was created to rule the night, (Genesis 1:16) We also recognize the moon has no source of light itself, but merely reflects the light of the sun...
The reason Rosh haShanah starts when the moon is hidden is because the Awakening Blast causes believers to be hidden in Messiah with Him, during which time they are judged and receive reward, the Messiah is crowned and a celebratory feast is had - all in heaven while the earth goes through a time called 'Jacob's Trouble'.
In the Talmud the term they use for this event of the Teruah, the Awakening Blast, is Yom HaKeseh, which means the Day of Concealment. Paul confirms this in Colossians 2: 16-17 when he says the new moon is a 'shadow of things to come.' More on all that next week.
The original trumpet
The original trumpet was said to have been the right ram's horn from the ram caught in the bush when Abraham was about to offer Isaac, thus its use as an awakening blast (Hebrew: Teruah). Rabbi Eliezer (Pirke De-Rabbi) wrote around the 700's AD that the long understood fact was that the left horn of Abraham's ram was blown on Mt. Sinai in Exodus 19: 13 and was called the 'first horn' or first trump. The right horn of Abraham's ram is known as the 'last trumpet' or 'last trump' and will be blown as the Awakening Blast. This was Paul's reference to the last trump in I Corinthians 15: 52, which, if the reader doesn't know Rosh haShanah, will miss the meaning.
It may be in part why Hebrews 11: 17-19 tells us Abraham received Isaac raised from the dead 'in a figure'. The ram's horn, the 'last trump', signifies the sacrifice, judgement, and the raising of the dead.
This is important
According to Rabbi Se'adiah Gaon (892-942AD), there are 10 meanings of the blowing of the horn at this time:
1) It is the beginning of creation. 2) it is the 1st day of the Days of Awe, the last 10 days of repentance. 3) To remind us of the Exodus 19:1-25 in which the sound of the shofar was sounded to both proclaim and warn, as "our fathers accepted when they said, 'We will do and we will hear.'"
4) To remind Israel of the words of the prophets, which were compared to the sounding of the shofar as a warning, the watchmen on the wall, to take heed. 5) To remind of the destruction of the Temple and the blowing of the enemy trumpets. 6) To remind of the binding of Isaac, who offered his life to God, and the ram offered in his place. 7) To remind us to feel fear and trembling as Amos 3 says, "Shall the people hear the shofar in the city and not tremble?" 8) To recall in fear the coming Day of Judgement, as Zephaniah 1 says, "Near is the great day of the Lord, near and exceedingly soon is the day of shofar and shouting."
9) "To recall the dispersion of the Jewish people and to awaken our yearning for a future ingathering, as it is said, a great shofar will be sounded on that day, and those who were dispersed will return." (Isaiah 27). 10) "To recall our faith in the future resurrection of the dead, as Isaiah 18 says, 'All you inhabitants of the world, and you who live in the earth, when a sign is lifted up on the mountain you will see, when the shofar is sounded you will hear...'
Why it is important: What's missing
That element of judgement, of repentance, of somber reflection, is what is missing from much of the Christian culture looking here and there for signs that the Lord might soon return. They view the blowing of the shofar as an escape from this world only, not realizing it is also the Judgement Seat of Christ - yes the Marriage Supper of the Lamb to follow - but it is judgment day for us according to Rosh haShanah. More on that next week.
In Rosh haShanah liturgy as well as the Talmud (book of Jewish ceremony and law compiled by Rabbi's through centuries), Rosh haShanah is also called Yom haZikkaron, which means 'Day of Remembrance'. It is called this by God when He gave the feast in Leviticus 23: 24: "...a memorial (zikkaron) of the blowing of shofars, a holy gathering." God called it the Day of Remembrance, why?
On Rosh haShanah God opens a book called The Book of Remembrance, as seen in Malachi 3:16: "Then they that feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name."
That was a lot of information to digest, but I'm building a foundation of understanding so I can explain what Paul said in I Corinthians and I & II Thessalonians, what and why we have the book of The Revelation, and about Tabernacles, the only one of the 7 festivals God gave that will continue to be celebrated each year for 1,000 years.
But next week....about that trumpet, the order of events, WHEN it will come...and more. Until then! Blessings,
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