In an earlier post, we have briefly gone over the Spring Festivals and how they were fulfilled in the first coming of Yeshua. We are going to go into much more detail on the Fall Festivals because these have not been fulfilled yet, and there are people who do not know how they fit into the second coming of Yeshua, so we are going to spend a little more time on them. This study fits right into the 7000 year plan of God, and will center on the festivals of Yom Teruah, or Rosh ha Shannah; Yom Kippur and Sukkot. We are also going to deal with the concepts of “Teshuvah” meaning “to turn” in repentance, the Yamin Noraim (days of awe), Leviathan, the false messiah and many, many more concepts. The festivals of Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot are some of the most sacred festivals and feast days. These festivals can be found in Lev 23.23-44 and we will expound on the eschatological meanings in this series. This information is endless, so we are going to stick to the basics so that anyone who wants to have a “blueprint” of what is going to come to pass soon will have a good idea of what to look for.
In order to understand the fall festivals, there is a ten day period that needs to be understood called the Yamin Noraim, or the “days of awe.” This ten day period goes from Yom Teruah on Tishri 1 to Yom Kippur, Tishri 10. This period alludes to the Birth-pains of the Messiah, or the Time of Jacobs Trouble. Christianity knows it as the Tribulation Period. But, we must go one month before Tishri 1 to get another picture of what is called Teshuvah, meaning “to return.”. The season of Teshuvah (1 Thes 5.1) starts on Elul 1, the sixth month of the religious calendar. That means that the month of Tishri, when the fall festivals occur, is the seventh month of “rest.” The thirty days of Elul, plus the ten days in between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur, equal forty days of repentance prior to Yom Kippur. We know from Mat 24.30-31 that Yeshua will return to Jerusalem on Yom Kippur, ending the time of repentance at the sound of the “great trumpet”, which is an idiom for Yom Kippur.
Now, remember that there are two calendars in operation in the Scriptures. The dates given in the Bible from Genesis to Exodus 12 are according to the civil calendar. Any date given after that is according to the religious calendar. That means that the month of Tishri with the fall festivals is the first month on the civil calendar and the seventh month on the religious calendar. So, let’s apply this quickly. Time began in Genesis 1, so that means that creation began in Tishri, with the first day of creation being Tishri 1. The first Sabbath, therefore, was Tishri 7 and man most likely sinned on Tishri 10, the day that would become Yom Kippur. The Scripture refer to these two calendars in Joel 2.23, Exo 23.16, 34.22; Deut 14.28, 31.10.
Thirty days before Yom Teruah begins a forty day period of repentance and return called Teshuvah. This happens every year and goes to Yom Kippur. These days are tied into the Yamin Noraim, the days of awe between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur. The Yamin Noraim is based on Joel 2.11 where it says that the day of the Lord is indeed “great and very awesome.” The purpose of the days of awe is to prepare the person for the fall festivals. Remember, the Hebrew word in Lev 23.2 for “convocation” is “mikrah” which means a rehearsal. These festivals are rehearsals for the future. The spring festivals were rehearsals for the first coming of Yeshua, and he fulfilled each one exactly when he came. For more on this see our post “The Spring festivals” on this site. There are certain things that are done during the days of Teshuvah. In the morning Psalm 27 is read. You will see in 27.1 that the term “salvation” is Yeshua in Hebrew, and in 27.5 that there is a reference to being “hidden” in the “day of trouble” (Jacob’s Trouble, Tribulation) in the Lord’s Tabernacle (Sukkah, Temple in Heaven). So, there is something coming to be saved from. A shofar is also blown each day. This is a stern warning of judgment that is coming. Joel 2.1-2 is also referring to the days leading up to Yom Teruah and the Yamin Noraim.
The teaching about the day of the Lord involves the last 1000 year period of the 7000 year plan of God. The fall festivals start the day of the Lord. Yom Teruah, Tishri 1 is the first day of this 1000 year period. The day of the Lord is also called the Sabbath of God. Now, the Sabbath day starts out in darkness, and it eventually turns to light. It is the same way with the day of the Lord, or “Lord’s Day” eschatologically. This 1000 year period starts out in darkness called the Yamin Noraim, or the Tribulation period. During these early years there will be a “dual nature” to the Messianic Kingdom. One aspect will be a blessing, rejoicing and a wedding and coronation in Heaven. The other aspect will be a time of darkness, judgment, awe and trouble during the seven year Yamin Noraim here on Earth. Both of these things will be going on at the same time.
The Yamin Noraim begins on Yom Teruah, or Rosh ha Shannah. One of the names for Yom Teruah is Yom ha Din, or the day of judgment. It is day when the “books are opened” and the “court is seated” (Dan 7.10). We know from this that this is about the day of judgment. Another name for this day is called Yom ha Zikkaron” or the “day of remembrance” when all men pass before the Lord on this day. There are three categories that all men fall into. The righteous are determined by faith in the Messiah, called the Tzaddikim. The next category is called the Chata’im, or average sinners. The third category is called the Rashim, or the wicked and vessels “fit for destruction.” The righteous are sealed in the book of life. There is a blessing that one gives coming up to Yom Teruah that says ” L’Shannah tovah tike’teyvu” which means “May your name be inscribed (in the book of life) for a good year.”
God is seated for judgment and he has a “rod” and he puts the righteous to one side, with the wicked on the other. In Isa 26.1 we see that the term “open the gates that the righteous nation may enter” and this is an idiom for Yom Teruah. There is a certain terminology for the festivals that we need to be familiar with. For example, there are certain phrases that we use in November, but not in December, and certain phrases that we use in December and not in July. It is the same here. There are certain phrases that relate to the festivals. The terms “open the gates, the curt is seated and the books are opened are terms for Yom Teruah, or Rosh ha Shannah. In Rev 4.1 we again see that the gates are opened, the court is seated and trumpets. Revelation 5 talks about the book being opened and these phrases tell us it is talking about Yom Teruah. Isa 26.104 is related to Psa 27.5 and Zeph 2.1-3, so it relates to Yom Teruah also. Isa 57.1-2 says that the righteous are “taken away from evil” and enter into peace. Isa 26 deals with something we see in Psa 27 where the righteous are hidden in his pavilion and taken from the time of trouble. Dan 12.1 says that there will be a time of distress (Yamin Noraim, time of Jacob’s trouble, or the Tribulation) where those whose names have been written in the book (of life) will be rescued. This is how he will deal with the righteous in the time of trouble. Jer 30.4-7 says that will be”birth-pains” and “that day” (an idiom for the last 1000 years, or the Messianic Kingdom) is related to the time of Jacob’s trouble (v 7). So, we have several things going on. We have the Day of the Lord, a time of trouble, birth-pains, a righteous nation, the books are opened, the court is seated and a shofar sounding. All of these phrases are interconnected with Yom Teruah, or Rosh ha Shannah. There are approximately 35 passages that deal with the time of trouble and the Day of the Lord.
Isa 13.6-9 and Matt 24.8 talks about the Birth-pains. The Jewish scholars have taught for centuries that before the Messiah comes there will be a period called the “Chevlai Shell Mashiach” or the “birth-pains of the Messiah.” We know that this period is called the Tribulation Period. But why is the term “birth-pains” used? Jer 304-7 tells us it is because Israel will be “born again” into the Messiah. Israel’s natural birth was at Mount Sinai, when they became a nation. This is talking about their spiritual birth. Rev 12.1-2 talks about the woman (Israel-Gen 37.9-10) who travails in birth-pains. She gives birth to a child (Messiah) in Rev 12.5. 1 Thes 5.1-5 talks about the birth-pains as well. The analogy Paul is making here is that a woman at the beginning of her pregnancy is time when you can’t tell that she is pregnant. But in the ninth month, she will have birth-pains that she cannot ignore. No doctor in the world can tell you the exact day or hour she will give birth, but it could happen at any hour. Paul is saying that he ha already taught the Thessalonians all about the seasons and festivals (1 Thes 5.1), so the day of his coming will not overtake them like a thief in the night. Why is this time called a time of trouble? It relates to Jer 30.7 and the time of Jacob’s trouble. This will be the hardest time period for Israel to go through that she has ever experienced. It is not that the Lord is coming to destroy Israel, but he is coming to judge her. But, every nation is going to be judged because the Messiah is coming to set things right and to judge sin. Hos 15.15 says that the Lord is going to return to his place (Rev 12.5; John 14.1-2). Israel will be saved when they seek him (Hos 5.15) during their affliction (the time of Jacob’s trouble, the Birth-pains, the Tribulation).
In Part 2 we will pick up here and get into a little more detail on the Birth-pains and the fall festivals, and how they relate to the coming of the Messiah.