The High Holy Days- Eschatological View-Part 1

We are going to look at the first two festivals of the fall season, Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur. Together they are called the High Holy Days. Their “appointments” have not been fulfilled yet and they teach the coming of Messiah. We will deal with Yom Teruah first, and it is known by several idioms and are used in the Bible. Yom Teruah, or as it is known by many as Rosh Ha Shana, means “the day of the awakening blast (of the shofar)”  in Num 29.1-2 and it occurs on Tishri 1, the seventh month of the civil calendar. Yom Teruah is known by several idioms which include: the first day of creation; the Last Trump; the Day of Remembrance; the Day of Judgment; the Wedding of Messiah; Coronation of Messiah; the Gate (or door) is opened; the Day of Concealment (the moon=bride is hidden); the day no man knows; the Day of the Lord (or Lord’s Day). Now, let’s do some back-round first. Thirty days before Tishri 1 (Yom Teruah) begins a period called “teshuvah” which means “to turn” and it is a period that warns the people to get ready for the High Holy Days. This period runs from Elul 1 to Tishri 1. Once you come to Tishri 1, there are ten days to Yom Kippur. This ten day period is called “the Days of Awe” or Yamin Noraim in Hebrew. Teshuvah is divided into four periods: the thirty days of the month of Elul; Yom Teruah; the 10 days of the Yamin Noraim and Yom Kippur. This is a total of 40 days and you will see why and what this means coming up. We know from Lev 23 that the festivals were known as “mikrah” (rehearsals)” and “moedim” (appointments) and to everything there is a season (Ecc 3). This 40 day period is called “the season  of return” or teshuvah. Another concept that needs to be brought out is that the Bible goes by two calendars. The month of Tishri is the first month on the civil calendar and the seventh on the religious, and the month of Nisan is the first month of the religious calendar and the seventh on the civil. The civil calendar speaks of the physical and the religious calendar speaks of the spiritual. The 30 days prior to Yom Teruah starts this time of return to the Lord spiritually before the High Holy Days. God is not willing that any should perish (2 Pet 3.9). Hos 14.1-9 is tied in with this period and the days of awe. Joel 2.11 talks about the days of awe to come and it is “terrible” and “awesome” and we know it is talking about the Day of the Lord. The purpose of teshuvah is to prepare the people for the coming festivals. Remember, these are “rehearsals” so some day the people will be preparing for the real thing. Again, the spring festivals teach the first coming of Yeshua and the fall festivals teach the second coming.  He is also referred to as “the teacher of righteousness” (early and latter rain) in Joel 2.23. Yeshua fulfilled the first four festivals so we can be assured he will fulfill the last three on the day they are celebrated. If that is so, how are they celebrated year to year and what does it teach us about the coming of Yeshua. Psalm 27 is read everyday from Elul 1 to Yom Teruah. It talks about the “time of trouble” or the “time of Jacob’s trouble”, also known as the Tribulation. Ezekiel 33.1-8 is also read and it gives a picture of the feeling of this time leading up to Yom Teruah. It is a stern warning of judgment and a shofar is blown every morning. We are to examine our-selves before the heavenly court that sits on Yom Teruah, as we shall see in a minute. This is a picture of what is coming because there will be what is called the “eschatological Yom Teruah” where the dead are raised and the living believers will be caught up to heaven and appear before the bema seat of Messiah. So, lets look at Yom Teruah and Tishri 1. The beginning of every year starts on Yom Teruah or Rosh Ha Shana, which means the head of the year. After 6000 years from creation, Yom Teruah of  year 6001 will start the last 1000 year period called “the Day of the Lord” or “the Sabbath (7th day) of God.” Just like during the week, this “Sabbath” will start out in darkness (the Tribulation, time of Jacob’s trouble)and it will turn to light. The altar in the Temple was cleansed at the beginning of the Sabbath, and likewise, the earth will be cleansed. There will be two stages on which prophecy will be played out. One will be a time of blessing, rejoicing, a wedding, a coronation in heaven and the other will be a time of judgment, awe, trouble, darkness, distress and indignation on earth, called the Tribulation. All this begins on Yom Teruah, year 6001 from creation, and it goes by several other names, so let’s look at a few. The first one is Yom Ha Din” or the day of judgment. You will see this day referred to by several other idioms like “the books are opened” (Dan 7.9-10). The “court is seated” is another idiom because the court is seated in judgment, and each man is judged (Neh 8.1-18 happens on Yom Teruah). Yom Teruah, as discussed above, is found in Num 29.1-2 and it means the “day of the awakening blast” of a shofar. Teruah is also translated as “shout” and Paul refers to the shofar and a shout in 1 Thes 4. 16-17 in talking about the resurrection of the righteous.  Related to this judgment, this day is also known as “Yom Ha Zikkoron” or the Day of Remembrance where believers are remembered before God (Mal 3.16; Rom 14.10; 1 Cor 3.9-15; 2 Cor 5.10; Num 10.10). It is understood that all men pass before God on this day, like sheep before the shepherd. Mankind is divided into 3 categories: the Tzaddikim (righteous); the Chata’im (the average sinner): the Rashim (wicked). Believers have been written down into the Book of Life and this is reflected in a greeting that is done before this festival that says “May your name be inscribed in the book of life for a good year.” So, on this day the court is seated and the books are opened. A reference to the Rapture, or Natzal, using this idiom can be found in Isa 26.1 where it says “Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the one that remains faithful.” Just like we have phrases and idioms for holidays in America, the Bible is full of idioms for its feast days as well.  So, “the court is seated” and the “gates are opened” are idioms for Yom Teruah also. Now, look at the terms found in Revelation chapters 4 and 5 and you will see that “a door was opened” and a “shofar”; the “court was seated” and the “books are opened” which tell us that this is Yom Teruah terminology. Compare this with Dan 7.9-10 which has been interpreted for thousands of years as Yom Teruah and you will get the picture. When the nobles of Israel were gathered it was called “the Oseif” (Num 10.1-4; Isa 13.1-2). Isa 26.1-3 is related to Psa 27.5 where it says that “In the day of trouble he will conceal me in his tabernacle, in the secret place he will hide me.” Now, compare these verses with Zeph 2.1-3 where it says ” Gather yourselves together, yes, gather O nation without shame (before God). Before the decree takes affect -the day passes like chaff- before the burning anger of the Lord comes upon you, before the day of the Lord’s anger, seek the Lord, all you humble of the earth, who have carried out his ordinances; seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger.” As you can see there is a theme developing for this day that has to do with the catching away of the believers before the Tribulation begins. Yom Teruah is also known  as “the Day of Concealment” or “Yom Ha Kiseh” because it occurs on a new moon, when the moon is hidden, which brings us to another idiom for this day called the “day no man knows.” It is called this because Tishri 1 was the first day of creation and no man was there or knew of it. It is also related to the Jewish wedding where the bride did not know when her wedding was. It also occurs on a mew moon and no man knows exactly when it would come so they could start counting the days of the month. Isa 26 should be read in it’s entirety because it deals with the Day of Lord and the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer 30.4-7). It deals with a time of trouble and distress, birth pains, a righteous nation, the gates are opened and a resurrection. In Isa 13.6-9 the Day of the Lord and the Birth-pains are tied together. Yeshua referred to this time in Matt 24.8 and there was a teaching in Judaism for centuries that called this period  “the Birth-pains of the Messiah.” Why birth-pains? Because a new age called the “Atid Lavo” was coming and Israel was going to be “reborn” (Jer 30.1-8; Isa 66.7-9). We see this concept referred to in Rev 12.1-5 where the woman is Israel (Gen 37.9) travailing in birth with the Messiah. These birth-pains, when Messiah will be born into the hearts of Israel, will be the hardest time they ever had to face. He is not coming to destroy Israel, but to judge her. But he is going to judge every other nation as well. So, it is a time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jer 30.7) and they will be saved when they seek him (Hos 5.15).  A time of distress (Zeph 1.17-18) and they must return before the day of the Lord and be hidden (Zeph 2.1-3). God calls his people to escape judgment and be separated to a coronation of Messiah (Psa 2; Psa 47; 2 Kings 11; Dan 7.9-10). We are also being separated to the wedding of Messiah (Psa 45; Isa 61.10). Now, let’s explain the shofarim, or “trumpets” that are associated with Yom Teruah. The “first trump” comes from the ram caught in the thicket in Gen 22 in what is called the Akeida, or the binding of the sacrifice, a reading for Yom Teruah. The first horn (shofar) of the ram is seen as the betrothal of God to Israel at Sinai when he gave the Torah. This was the day that would be known as Shavuot, or Pentecost. The Lord refers to this betrothal in Jer 2.2  where he says he betrothed himself to them in the wilderness. Now, here is the important part. The “last trump” relates to the other horn of the ram in Gen 22 and it relates to the full marriage of God to Israel. It is this “last trump” that is blown on Yom Teruah and it signals a resurrection (1 Cor 15.51-52) and that war is coming (the Tribulation). Why blow the trump at the end of Tribulation after the wars are over, for instance. People that don’t know the festivals get into all kinds of scenarios that just aren’t biblical when it comes to this subject. Shofars are related to the coronations of Judean kings as well (Absalom, Joash- 2 Kings 11.11-14; Solomon-1 Kings 38-48). Remember, there are two shofarim, one for the betrothal and one for the full marriage. So, the Messiah is betrothed (first trump) and he returns for a wedding on Yom Teruah (Last trump). The righteous are being separated not only as subjects of the king for judgment, but also for a wedding because we are the Bride. This separation is called the Natzal, or Rapture, and it includes the resurrection, as seen in Isa 26.20. They are called to the Lord (Isa 26.1; 13.2; Rev 4.1) and this resurrection can be seen in Jn 11.24 where it said that Lazarus will be raised “at the last day” which is an idiom for the Messianic Kingdom (last 1000 years). In Rev 4-5 we have a picture of the resurrection and coronation. You have the gates are opened, a trumpet, the court is seated and the books are opened. How do you know it’s a coronation? You have a scroll given to Yeshua as the King (Psa 2; Psa 45; Psa 47; Dan 7.9-10). So, we have the righteous who are resurrected, vanish, hidden (Isa 26.20; 57.1-2; Zeph 2.3). They are caught up alive, so that leaves two groups left on earth, the average sinner who hasn’t been saved yet and the wicked. These go into the “Yamin Noraim”, the days of awe, the time of Jacob’s trouble, the indignation, the Birth-pains. The false messiah rises and all these must face this if not born again and hidden before the Day of the Lord begins.

Posted in Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

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