Yom Kippur Meditations—Going Deeper…

Yom Kippur—A Journey Through Past History and on Into the Future

Yom haKippurim (literally, the Day of Atonements, plural) is not a one-time thing. The redeemed believer is covered by the blood of Yeshua at the time of their initial salvation, but needs additional covering every time they sin. We need this covering of blood on an individual and collective basis. 

This pattern was set in Leviticus 16 when on the Day of Atonement, the high priest made atonement for his sins, those of his family, of the nation and even the Tabernacle of Moses itself due to defilement cause by men’s sins. 

We’re all in this thing together. My sin affects you and vice versa. My sins are passed on down to successive generations, and unless I break the sin cycle through the means that YHVH has provided, this sin cycle will continue as it has from Adam to this day bringing corruption, ruination, division, strife and death to all men.

Atonement and At-One-Ment—It’s About Healing Broken Relationships

The English word atone means “to make amends or reparation of wrong or injury.” Atonement biblically means “to cover, purge, make an atonement (Heb. kaphar), make reconciliation, cover over with pitch.” As with many Hebrew words, kaphar means not only to cover over sin (by the blood of the Lamb), but it means “to reconcile and purge.” When we sin, we need the forgiveness of Yeshua and his blood to pay for or to cover over our sin debt. We also need to get purged of the inclination to sin in the first place. We also need to make amends with those we’ve injured in the process of sinning—to reconcile with them, to repair the damage, and to mend the breach in the relationship. When we sin, a breach occurs both on the vertical level (with Elohim) and  on the horizontal level (with our neighbor). Each of us is a broken, damaged and hurt person, and we have a hard time mending the damage we’ve caused to others, which is a painful process, but one which yields rich results in healing wounded relationships including the wounds and brokenness of our own heart. We must humble ourselves to do this. Pride and self protection prevents most us from repenting and asking forgiveness of Elohim and of others. To come into the presence of YHVH, we must take the step. Yom Kippur pictures our taking this step.

Some Bible teachers have taken the word atonement and have made a word play out of it by turning it into at-one-ment. This play of words isn’t totally without merit, since the word atone comes from a Middle English word meaning “to make or become united or reconciled” or literally “to become at one with someone else.” There’s a lot of at-one-ment that needs to occur between people and their Heavenly Creator! The older I get, the more I realize this!

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Join Hoshana Rabbah in Celebrating Yom Kippur 2020!

Tomorrow (for some people reading this, it is already tomorrow), Monday, September 27, 2020 it is Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. This year both the biblical new moon calendar and the traditional Rabbinic Jewish calendar match up, so that Yom Kippur falls on the same day on both calendars. So regardless of which calendar you follows here are some free resources to help you to celebrate this day with a heart and mind of purposeful intent.


The new moon in Israel was spotted ten days ago, and according to the Torah, the Day of Atonements is to be kept on the tenth day of the seventh month (Lev 23:26).

Biblical months always start on rosh chodesh when the first visible crescent of the new moon is spotted in the land of Israel. As a point of reference, those who follow the traditional rabbinic or Hillel II calendar (invented in ca. AD 360 and was approved by Roman emperor Constantine) are celebrating Yom Kippur today, which is two days too early, according to the new moon sighting in Israel. In reality, they are are celebrating Yom Kippur on the eighth day of the new month, not the tenth day according to the Scriptures (Lev 23:26).

While those who are celebrating Yom Kippur today are following the spirit of the law, they’re not following the letter of the law, since, technically, today is NOT Yom Kippur. In his Sermon on the Mount, Yeshua clearly states that all of the Torah is to be followed (Matt 5:17–19), and  that our righteousness is to exceed of that of the Pharisees, which includes their modern day descendants (the rabbinic or Orthodox Jews, Matt 5:20), and that we are to follow not only the spirit, but also the letter of the law (Matt 5:21–48).

Moreover, Yeshua enjoined his disciples (and us) to follow the Word of Elohim and to reject any manmade traditions that in any way contravene Elohim’s Written Word (Matt 15:6–9and Mark 7:6–913). Sadly, both our Christian and rabbinic Jewish brethren have, in too many areas, not followed the instructions of the Messiah instead preferring obedience to their manmade traditions instead of Elohim’s Word.

In Romans 12:1–2, Paul the apostle of Yeshua the Messiah states that each disciple of Yeshua must discern what is the perfect will of Elohim based on his Written Word and then must willingly lay down his or her life as a living sacrifice and do that will. In reality and quite honestly, very few people achieve walking out the perfect will of Elohim consistently in their lives. Most of us are walking out Elohim’s good or the better will, and only from time to time his perfect will. While celebrating the biblical feasts on the manmade traditional Jewish Hillel II calendar is certainly a step in the right direction, and may, indeed, be the good will of Elohim, it’s not his perfect will according to his Written Word. May the reader honestly ponder these truths and evaluate his or her walk and heart before Elohim. Are we really willing to lay down our lives as living sacrifices and to say, “Yes Lord, thy will be done, not mine!”? Or is it more convenient to just follow men’s traditions and the convenient inclinations of our fallen natures?

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matt 7:13–14)

In this ministry, as truth seekers no matter the cost and in an effort to follow the Scriptures—the Written Word of Elohim, we chose many years ago to follow the Word of Elohim instead of men’s unbiblical traditions. That’s why we’re celebrating Yom Kippur on Friday instead of Wednesday.

For more informations on why we do what we do and what the Bible and history both have to say about the biblical calendar, I invite you to read my three well-researched and referenced teaching articles on the subject, which are available for free downloads at https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/teaching.html#feast. There you can find my articles on Yom Kippur as well (https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/yom_kippur.pdfand https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/goat.pdf).To watch my teaching videos on Yom Kippur, go to https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5EzE5DQnrHfWWbczzkRo6IOnglxhbRfM.

Love and blessings in the glorious name of Yeshua the Messiah.

Natan


Yom Kippur Videos


Yom Kippur—Past, Present and Future

Yom Kippur—The Historical Roots of Our Faith,
Present Relevance for believers & Prophetic End Time Implications

Ya’acov Natan Lawrence
Hoshana Rabbah Biblical Discipleship Resources, Portland, OR

Introduction

Yom Kippur is a day of contradictions and contrasts: Joy and sorrow. Rewards for the righteous and judgments for the wicked rebels. Joy for the righteous when Satan and his demons, death and Babylon are destroyed by the King of kings.

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Yom Teruah Selah (Pause and Reflect) Points

The Sound of the Shofar Is Calling Us to Spiritual Revival

There are only two verses in the Bible that command the keeping of Yom Teruah.

And YHVH spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto YHVH. (Lev 23:23–25)

And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you. And ye shall offer a burnt offering for a sweet savour unto YHVH; one young bullock, one ram, and seven lambs of the first year without blemish: And their meat offering shall be of flour mingled with oil, three tenth deals for a bullock, and two tenth deals for a ram, and one tenth deal for one lamb, throughout the seven lambs: And one kid of the goats for a sin offering, to make an atonement for you: Beside the burnt offering of the month, and his meat offering, and the daily burnt offering, and his meat offering, and their drink offerings, according unto their manner, for a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto YHVH. (Num 29:1–6)

The Breath of Life and Yom Teruah

Without the life-giving breath of YHVH we are dead both physically and spiritually. As YHVH breathed the breath of life into Adam who then became a living being (Heb. nephesh), so when Yeshua breathed on his disciples (John 20:22), they came alive spiritually. Similarly, YHVH breathed on the first century redeemed believers through the wind of the Ruach HaKodesh (the Set-apart Spirit) on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:2, and the congregation of renewed covenant believers was birthed. Similarly, on the day of Messiah’s second return (Yom Teruah), the shofar (called the last trumpet in Hebraic thought, which comes just prior to the final or the great trumpet/shofar hagadol of Yom Kippur) will sound and the dead in Messiah will be resurrected (1 Cor 15:51–53; 1 Thes 4:16). It is the breath of YHVH that will revive the righteous dead. This is similar to the breath of YHVH blowing over the Valley of Dry Bones in Ezekiel 37, which some see as a prophetic picture of the resurrection of the saints.

What can we learn from this? When YHVH breathes or blows on man, the power of the supernatural pierces the natural dimension and the supernatural breaks the status quo of the natural and supernaturally empowers one to do that which he could not do in his own power naturally. We need YHVH’s divine breath to blow on us to empower us with his power and his ability to be and act supernaturally in a natural world for his glory and the advancement of his kingdom! 

When the shofar sounded in ancient Israel, it signaled that heaven and earth were about to meet, that divine power, the supernatural forces of heaven were about to break into the human realm. It signaled that Elohim was about to do great things! 

Are you ready for this to happen again?

When Was the Shofar Blown in Ancient Israel?

The shofar is an instrument unique to the ancient Hebrews and their descendants. In the Scriptures, we see that the shofar played a highly significant role in Hebraic culture. Below are some examples this instrument’s importance:

The History of the Shofar and the Three Trumpets

The ram’s horn shofar is first alluded to in the Scriptures in Genesis 22 at the binding of Isaac and known in Hebrew as the akeidah. 

The symbolism in this historical event is tremendously significant. The ram represents Yeshua the Lamb of Elohim who died to redeem man from sin. The thicket is a biblical poetic symbol of human sinfulness. Humanity is entangled in the thicket of sin from which it needs to be freed. Yeshua the Messiah is the Lamb (or ram) slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8), who, while hanging on the cross, wore a crown of thorns. Is this not a picture of the “ram caught in the thicket” (Gen 22:13) of the man’s sins? After all, the Scriptures say that the sins of man were laid upon Yeshua (Isa 53:6). The crown of thorns is a picture of this. Furthermore, in Matthew 13, in Yeshua’s Parable of the Sower, we see that some of the seed was cast into the thorns, which Yeshua explained represents the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches that choke out the word of YHVH. These references to thorns and thicket are a picture of sin. The wages of sin is death. 

In Genesis 22, Isaac was about to die, but the ram caught in the thicket that YHVH provided was a prophetic picture of Yeshua (a Hebrew word meaning “salvation”) that became a substitute sacrifice for Isaac. Isaac was set free and the ram was sacrificed instead. This ram was a prophetic picture of Yeshua’s death on the cross for man’s sins.

In Hebraic thought, the left horn of the ram signifies mercy and grace. This is also a picture of the left (or weaker) hand of YHVH, which symbolizes grace, or the feminine side of Elohim. Furthermore, the left horn of the redemptive ram signifies the purpose of the first coming of Messiah Yeshua as the Suffering Savior, as one bringing mercy and grace, and who refused to quench a smoking flax or breaking a bruised reed as a meek and quiet lamb going to its slaughter (Matt 12:20; John 12:47; Isa 53:7). 

The right horn of the ram caught in the thicket represents judgment picturing Elohim’s stronger right hand of power, might and judgment (Ps 89:10,13–14). Thus, this horn represents the second coming of Messiah, who is seated at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:32–33), and who will come this time in power as King of kings to rule with a rod of iron and to judge the living and the dead, and to destroy all his enemies (Rev 17:14; 19:15).

That is why the first trumpet (representing the left horn of the ram) is sounded on Shavuot representing YHVH’s grace and mercy upon his people from Abraham until the Yeshua’s second coming—a time for his people to repent and return to him.

The second trumpet occurs on Yom Teruah (called the last trumpet) and the third or final shofar blast occurs on Yom Kippur and is called the final trumpet.

Let’s now discover when the shofar was blown In ancient Israel.

Shofar Blown on Yom Teruah: A memorial day for blowing the shofar

The shofar was blown to usher in Yom Teruah. This was a call to Sabbath rest, a memorial of blowing trumpets, a set-apart convocation and marked the beginning of a ten-day period of self-examination and repentance culminating with the Day of Atonement (Lev 23:23–25; Num 29:1). 

Lesson for us: What are we to memorialize when we sound the shofar on this day? The Scriptures don’t specifically tell us. All we can do is to study how and when the shofar was sounded in ancient times, and from this deduce its significance and hence what it is we are to remember about our past and our future.

The Shofar Announced YHVH’s Presence

The shofar was blown to announce YHVH’s presence and our need to praise and worship Him (Exod 19:16,19 and 20:18; Pss 47:5, 98:6; 150:3; Isa 18:3; 27:13; Rev 1:10).

Lesson for us: Get yourself ready for his presence to come upon us.

A Call to Worship

Shofars were blown to welcome the Ark of the Covenant (representing the anointed and glorious presence of YHVH among his people) while David danced with all his might (2 Sam 6:15; 1 Chron 15:14).

Lesson for us: It is time to worship YHVH with unhindered and unrestrained passion as David, a man after El’s own heart did. It’s time to take off those things that bind and hinder us from freely worshipping El. What limits you from worshipping and serving Yah? Let go of them now!

A Call to Prepare to Receive the Torah

The very first time Scripture records the blowing of the shofar occurring was to herald YHVH’s giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai (Exod 19:16,19 and 20:18).

Lesson for us: Yom Teruah is a time for us to prepare to receive the Torah. We must put off the rudiments of this world and align ourselves within our heavenly calling as a kingdom of priest as our fathers did in Exod 19 when preparing to meet their Creator at Mount Sinai.

A Call for Israel to Renew Its Marriage Vows to Elohim

The sound of the shofar was a call to Israel to prepare their hearts and minds to meet their Creator/Bridegroom to make marriage vows to him (Exod 19:8). Under Ezra and Nehemiah, Israel began the process of rededicating themselves to love and obey YHVH and his Torah on Yom Teruah (Neh 8:1–11).The shofar was blown when the Israelites swore an oath of allegiance to YHVH under King Asa (2 Chron 15:14).

Lesson for us: Let us not be like the five foolish virgins in Yeshua’s parable who were unprepared when the bridegroom came and were thus unable to enter into the wedding supper (Matt 25:1ff), or like those who made excuses why they couldn’t come to the great supper of the Master (Luke 14:16ff). Let us rededicate ourselves to our high and heavenly calling that we will set aside the things of this world and the flesh and reaffirm or commitment to consecrate ourselves to love and obey our Creator as our ancient fathers did.

A Call for Spiritual Consecration of the Temple

It was on Yom Teruah that the Israelites dedicated the temple of Solomon. When Solomon’s Temple was dedicated, a choir of 120 priests sounded 120 silver trumpets (2 Chron 5:12; 6:6). When this occurred, all Israel stood at attention and the glory of Yah filled the house of El (2 Chron 5:14). The ark was brought into the temple on Yom Teruah, and the glory of El filled the temple or house of El (2 Chron 5:3–14).

Lesson for us: You and I are now that temple, the body of Yeshua. He is our head, and by his strength we can follow his Torah, and his power, presence and glory will fill us when we are filled with his Set-Apart Spirit. Let us now rededicate ourselves to our Creator, YHVH Elohim, the Elohim of Israel, and resolve by his grace and glory living in us through his Set-Apart Spirit to serve and love him by obeying his Torah with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.

A Call to Anoint a King

The shofar was blown when a king was anointed (1 Kgs 1:34,39,41; 2 Kgs 9:13).

Lesson for us: Is Yeshua the undisputed king over your life? Let’s proclaim Yeshua as king and rededicate ourselves to serve our King and Master! Our king is coming. Are we ready to meet him? Don’t be too quick to answer yes. 

A Call to Welcome the Bridegroom/King and Our Being Raised Up in Glory

The shofar was blown to announce the coming of a Jewish bridegroom to fetch his betrothed — a picture of Yeshua returning for his bride, the saints. All the righteous living and the righteous dead will receive glorified, resurrected bodies and will meet him in the air at the sound of the shofar. (Compare Matt 24:31; 25:6; 1 Cor 15:52; 1 Thess 4:16; Rev 11:15–18).

Lesson for us: Again, are we ready to meet Yeshua?

A Call to New Beginnings

It marked the beginning of the monthly cycle/Rosh Chodesh: a time for a fresh start (Ps 81:3).

Lesson for us: Let this Yom Teruah the first day of the seventh month, the beginning of the fall feast season, be a new beginning for you. It is time to take stock of our lives, and to make a new start if necessary. This occurs as we make teshuvah (repentance) before our Creator, call out to him for forgiveness and mercy and realign our hearts and minds with his Word and Yeshua, our Master, King and Bridegroom. We must be set free from all those things of the world, flesh and the devil that are holding us down spiritually.

A Call to Set the Captives Free

The shofar was blown to herald the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) to announce the Year of Jubilee. Every fifty years slaves were freed, debts were forgiven and land returned to the original owner (Lev 25:9–10 [verse 10 says, “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants” and is inscribed on the Liberty Bell.”])

Lesson for us: Have you been set free from the things of the world, the flesh and the devil that are holding you down spiritually? What are the spiritual, mental and emotional strongholds that still keep you captive from which you need to be set free?

A Call to Repentance and Fasting

The shofar was blown to call people to repentance or fasting (Isa 58:1; Hos 8:1; Joel 2:1)

The shofar was blown by YHVH (Zech 9:14).

The shofar was blown by the angels (Matt 24:31; Rev 8:2,3; 9:1,13–14; 10:7; 11:15).

Lesson for us: Freedom from the world, the flesh and the devil comes only as we pray, fast and repent of sin, and then seek him with all of our hearts. Sometimes, we won’t experience victory over our enemies and freedom unless we first pray and fast (Matt 17:21).

A Call to Warfare

Israel sounded the shofar in the time of war to be remembered by YHVH, to be saved from its enemies, and rout the enemies of Israel by sending fear into their hearts and confusion into their camps (Num 10:9–10; Judg 7:20–22).

Shofars were blown continually by seven priests before the Ark of the Covenant, as part of the battle plan to take the city of Jericho as the Israelites were entering the Promised Land (Josh 6:4–20).

The shofar was blown to sound the alarm of war (Jer 4:19,21; 6:1;17; 51:27; Joel 2:1,15).

The shofar was blown to sound the warning of danger (Amos 2:2; 3:6; Zeph 1:16; Hos 5:8, 8:1; Ezek 33:2-9; Isa. 58:1). The sound of the shofar is compared to a prophet’s voice.

Shofars were blown by Gideon to rally the Israelites soldiers against the Midianites and again by his 300 soldiers in their battle against Midian (Judg 6:34 and 7:8,16,20).

The shofar was blown to rally the troops (Num 10:9–10; Neh 4:18, 20).

Lesson for us: Yom Teruah is a time to engage in spiritual warfare. The end times prior to Yeshua’s coming will be a time of physical and spiritual warfare against the forces of Satan who are committed to preventing Yeshua from taking his place as King of kings. As Yeshua’s emissaries, we are Satan’s chief targets on earth. We must not be ignorant of his devises, so that when he attacks we will a) recognize it as such, and b) be spiritually strong and prepared to oppose him spiritually. As Satan attempted to prevent the children of Israel under Joshua from possessing their promised inheritance in the land, history will repeat itself in the last days.

Conclusion

When the righteous hear the sound of the shofar these things should be called to remembrance. The shofar is a powerful reminder of the powerful right arm of YHVH outstretched on behalf of his people. The sound of the shofar sends tremors of fear throughout the camp of the enemies of YHVH and his people and rallies the righteous to take courage and to rise up against evil knowing they will be victorious through faith in YHVH Elohim.


Living Out the Garden of Eden in a Chaotic and Desolate World

Elohim created an idyllic, paradise garden and put the first humans into it. Sadly, man sinned and got kicked out of the garden. We now have the world as it is; it’s anything but a garden of peace! The world is a mess and what decent and loving person doesn’t know this? There is meanness, ugliness, combativeness, strife, contention, division, hatred, suffering, persecution, greed, lust, murder, hatred for what is good and righteous, unholiness, evil and darkness all around us, and it seem to be overtaking us like a tsunami. What can be done about this?

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Yom Teruah—Celebrate and shout! The Messiah is coming…

This weekend (likely on Shabbat/Saturday—if the new moon is spotted in Israel, which it likely will be) will be the biblical feast called Yom Teruah or the Day of Shouting/Shofar Blasts. I will be celebrating it along with members of my family. Yom Teruah is one of YHVH’s seven commanded biblical feasts, and the first feast of the fall season. Ten days after Yom Teruah comes Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), then five days after that comes Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles), and finally the next day after the end of Sukkot is Shemini Atzeret (the Eighth Day). All of these feasts are prophetic with regard to future events that were to or will occur, and each one is a progressive step in YHVH’s plan of salvation for the saints. Below is all you ever wanted to know about Yom Teruah and then some. Please enjoy!…


“Arise thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Messiah shall give thee light.” (Eph 5:14, also 8–16)

Yom Teruah—The Day of Trumpets or Shofar Blast

The Historical Roots of Our Faith, Present Relevance for Believers and Prophetic End-Time Implications

Yom Teruah or the Day of Shouting; the Shofar Blasts (commonly called “Rosh Hashana”) occurs at the end of the summer months and marked the beginning of the fall harvest or festival season for the ancient Hebrews. Prophetically, the summer months between the spring feast of Shavuot/Weeks (Pentecost) and the fall feast of Yom Teruah is a spiritual picture of what is often called the “Church Age,” which is the period of time from the Feast of Pentecost in Acts 2 until the return of Yeshua the Messiah at the end of the age and lasting for approximately 2000 years. For many, especially those living in hotter climes, summer is a time of leisure, vacation, weariness and fatigue due to the excessive heat. Likewise, many Bible believers have fallen asleep growing spiritually weary while waiting for the return of the Messiah. Yeshua discusses this issue in the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matt 25) who all grew weary and fell asleep awaiting the coming of the Bridegroom (Yeshua). 

This all changes on the first day of the seventh month of the biblical Hebrew calendar when off in the distance the sound of a shofar blast suddenly pierces the atmosphere and registers in the eardrums of those who have fallen asleep. Not only does this shofar blast signal the beginning of the seventh month when the new crescent moon is sighted, but it announces the return of the Bridegroom (Yeshua) coming for his bride (the virgin saints). As in the Parable of the Ten Virgins, the cry went forth that the bridegroom was coming and all awoke from their slumber to prepare for his arrival. In these end days, that cry is going forth even now for all to hear, to awake and to prepare for the arrival of Yeshua the Messiah.

In the biblical calendar, the visible sighting of the crescent new moon always marks the beginning of the month and is announced by the shofar blast (Ps 81:3). Likewise, on the first day of the seventh month of the biblical calendar, the arrival of the new moon (called Rosh Chodesh) when the shofar sounds marks the beginning of Yom Teruah. This is the first day of the fall (festival) harvest season and is the time when the call goes out for the spiritual drowsy to awake, and to hear the voice of YHVH, to be invigorated by the breath or voice of the shofar, which is symbolic of YHVH’s prophetic word or oracle going forth across the earth in the last days. 

Furthermore, the ram’s horn shofar is bent into a curved shape to represent the contrite heart of both the blower and the hearer. This is the season for the righteous to bend their hearts in humility and contrition before YHVH and repent of spiritual lassitude and lukewarmness and to awake to spiritual action and preparation, for the fall feasts point to awesome end time events that will occur at some point in time in the near future. It is a time to be refreshed by the breath of YHVH, and a time of new beginnings. Let YHVH breathe on you, revive you and empower you as you enter into the fall biblical festival season, and as you prepare to meet your King and Redeemer, Yeshua, in the air.

Yom Teruah also begins a season that prophetically speaks of war and battle, for in ancient times the shofar was a weapon of warfare in Israel, and it will be used again as such in the end times. It was used to call Israel to battle, to defeat her enemies with the help of YHVH. The shofar was then used to proclaim victory after the battle was won and to worship YHVH who had given them the victory. The battle against Israel’s enemies still rages on—even in the end times. Today, the enemies of the redeemed Israelites are mostly spiritual. They are the world, the flesh and the devil (Jas 3:15; Eph 2:2–3). Through faith in Yeshua the Messiah who defeated death, hell and the grave, we can have victory over mortality, sin, the devil and this world (1 Cor 15:51–57; Rom 8:27; 1 John 4:4; 5:4; Rev 12:11). As we hear the sound of the shofar calling us to arise from spiritual slumber, YHVH is telling his people to become overcomers, so that they may be worthy to partake of the glories of his eternal kingdom (Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21).

Yom Teruah is also the time of the reaping of the summer harvest. Spiritually speaking, this period will be the time of the reaping of the righteous to their reward (Rev 14:4) and the harvest of the wicked to the great winepress of Elohim’s wrath (Rev 14:14-20). It is the time of the resurrection of the dead in Messiah Yeshua at the end of the tribulation (Matt 24:29) and the beginning of Elohim’s wrath being poured out upon the nations (see Joel 3:11-13). This begins the wrath of Elohim time pictured by Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement, which occurs ten days after Yom Teruah) before which time the dead saints will have been resurrected and given their spiritual, glorified, second Adam bodies. 

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What Does the Book of Joel Reveal About the Fall Feasts?

Joel 1:14–15 talks about a fast and a solemn assembly (Hebr. atzeret, Strong’s H616), which is a reference to one of YHVH’s annual feast days, which occurs before the Day of YHVH Wrath. This is an a obvious prophetic reference to Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), which occurs in the fall between Yom Teruah and Sukkot, and is the only annual high Sabbath/solemn assembly where YHVH’s people are required to fast (Lev. 23:27). In the prophetic end time scenario of the fall feasts, Yom Kippur occurs between the catching away (“rapture”) of the saints (pictured by Yom Teruah), and the beginning of Yeshua’s millennial rule (pictured by Sukkot). Yom Kippur is the time of the judgment of the world when YHVH will pour out his wrath upon rebellious and unrepentant man (Rev 15–16, the Seven Bowl Judgments).

Joel 2:1 speaks about blowing the shofar and sounding the alarm in Zion, for the day of YHVH is coming. This is a reference to the time period surrounding Yom Teruah, the day of shofar blowing or awakening blast. These shofar blasts seem to correspond to the Seven Trumpets of the Book of Revelation, which occur just prior to the resurrection of the righteous dead (Rev 11:14–18) and the Day of YHVH’s Wrath (Rev 15–16).

Joel 2:2 further calls the time period surrounding Yom Teruah a day of darkness, gloominess, clouds and thick darkness. This cross references with Matthew 24:29–31 and tells us the timing of the resurrection of the dead, which is after (verse 29) the Great Tribulation (verse 21). All this is the precursor to the great and terrible Day of YHVH’s Wrath (Joel 2:11). The word morning in verse two is the Hebrew word sachar (Strong’s H7837) meaning “morning, dayspring, dawn.” This is darkest time of the night, and Joel uses this poetic metaphor to describe spiritual conditions existing on earth just prior to the return of Messiah Yeshua who will come as the Sun of Righteousness with healing in his wings to break the hold that spiritual darkness has had on this earth once and for all (Mal 4:2, cp. 2 Pet 1:19).

Joel 2:12–15 further identifies the time period that this series of passages is discussing as being what is commonly called by the Jewish sages “the 40 Days of Teshuvah (repentance),” which begins on the first day of the sixth month on the Hebrew/biblical calendar and ends on the tenth day of the seventh month, which is Yom Kippur. These three verses clearly delineate the major aspects of this forty-day period. YHVH’s people are to:

  • to turn from their sins (called teshuvah meaning to repent),
  • to turn to YHVH with all their hearts indicating a deep (not just a surface), heartfelt repentance,
  • to fast, which is a direct reference to Yom Kippur/the Day of Atonement when Scripture requires YHVH’s people to fast or afflict their souls (Lev. 23:27),
  • and to weep and mourn for the sins one has committed that have separated one from YHVH.

In Joel 2:15–17, we see that within these days of teshuvah there is a time of shofar blowing, followed by the sanctifying of a fast which again is connected to the idea of a solemn assembly (atzeret, verse 15). This is a clear reference to Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), which occurs on day forty of the forty days of teshuvah (repentance), and occurs on the tenth day of the seventh month. Verse 15 speaks of blowing the shofar (on Yom Kippur), which is a reference to the third in the trilogy of shofar blasts that occur on Pentecost, Trumpets and finally on Atonement. This final or jubilee blast and is called the Great Shofar Blast or Final Shofar (Shafar haGadol) and signifies when in ancient Israel all debts were forgiven, all land was returned to its rightful owners and all captives were set free. Prophetically, this pictures when the returning Yeshua will defeat all his enemies including the armies of the Beast, Babylon the Great, which has enslaved the world spiritually, economically and politically, and Yeshua will cast Satan into the bottemless pit. This is the Day of YHVH’s Wrath or Vengeance. It is even possible that the Day of YHVH’s Wrath may last for a year and terminate on Yom Kippur of the next year.

At this point, some honest Scripture students may wonder why we think that certain key prophetic end time events have to occur on the feasts. The answer is simple: Since certain key events pertaining to Yeshua’s first coming occurred on the specific feast days that until then had prophetically pointed to those events (for example, Yeshua was crucified on Passover when the Jews were sacrificing the Passover lamb in the Temple; Yeshua resurrected one the day the Levites were offering the first fruits of barley harvest; Yeshua poured out his Spirit on the Day of Pentecost and wrote the Torah on the hearts of the saints, which corresponds to the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai on Pentecost some 1500 years earlier; etc.), we have good reason to believe (based on scriptural precedence) that such will occur again regarding events surround the fall feasts.

Joel 2:16 speaks of the bridegroom going forth from his chamber and the bride coming out of her closet. This prophetically refers to the meeting of Yeshua, the Bridegroom, and his spiritual bride (the saints who have prepared themselves for the wedding of the Lamb) who will have a joyful reunion in the air at this time after the catching away of the saints. This occurs on or after Yom Teruah and during the Day of YHVH Wrath leading up to and on Yom Kippur.

Joel 2:12–14, 17 speaks of a time period of great repentance for all the inhabitants of the earth (including the saints) not only during the first 30 days of teshuvah (repentance) leading up to Yom Teruah, but especially for those inhabitants of the earth who were not caught away to meet the Bridegroom in the air on Yom Teruah, and who still remain on this earth during the “Ten Days of Awe” between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur when the wrath of Elohim will be poured out upon the earth (the Day of YHVH). Many will repent of their wickedness and rebellion against YHVH during this time, and many will not.

Joel 2:17 speaks of the priests weeping between the porch and the altar of the Temple and making intercession for the people. We know that this occurred on Yom Kipper when the priests would actually slaughter a bull as an atonement for the sins of the priesthood and the people between the porch and the altar (The Temple and Its Ministry and Service, by Alfred Edersheim, pp. 248–249). Their weeping and crying out to YHVH to spare his people indicates that prophetically this will be a time of great duress upon the earth as YHVH’s pours out his wrath upon unrepentant humanity.

Joel speaks of the Day of YHVH (1:15; 2:1,11,31; 3:14), which is a time period associated with the ten days between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur. The concluding event of this time period (the wrath of Elohim) will be the Battle of Armageddon when YHVH will gather all nations to mount one final assault against the Messiah in an effort to thwart him from establishing his world-ruling kingdom on earth (3:2; 12:14). Joel refers to this as the “Valley of Decision” for these nations (verse 12). They will be given the opportunity to choose to fight or submit to King Yeshua the Messiah. There YHVH will judge the nations based on the decision they make (verse 12) (this very likely is the judgment between the sheep and goat nations Yeshua refers to in Matthew 25:31-46) before slaughtering those who persist in rebelling against him (verse 3:13; Rev 14:14–20). Zechariah also speaks of the Day of YHVH when YHVH will gather all nations against Jerusalem (Zech 14:2) and he will “go forth and fight against those nations” (verse 3), after which Messiah will touch his feet down upon the Mount of Olives (verse 4)—an event that will usher in the rule of Messiah on earth and the 1000 year long Millennium (Messianic Age).

With the back drop of the fall feasts in mind as we read from the writings of Joel, along with the Forty Days of Repentance being a time of turning from sin, mourning and weeping prior to YHVH pouring out his judgment upon unrepentant humanity, what should be our emotional and spiritual disposition as we entire the time period of the fall feasts? Yeshua is coming again to judge both the wicked and the righteous. Each will be rewarded according to the fruits of their actions. With these things in mind, please read 1 Peter 4:17–18; 1 Corinthians 5:10 and Matthew 5:19.

 

The Month of Elul—The King is coming, are you ready?

The fall biblical feasts are upon us, and now is time to prepare for them. As children of the light, we are called to NOT be ignorant of the times or seasons (1 Thess 5:1–10), and this includes understanding the biblical feasts which fall in their season (Lev 23:4) and are prophetic of and chronological in the steps YHVH’s glorious plan salvation for humankind.

The autumn feasts speak of events surround the second coming of Yeshua the Messiah. Contrary to biblical Truth, the mainstream church has lied to its people by declaring that Elohim’s Torah-law including the seven biblical feasts have been fulfilled (i.e. done away with) and are no longer relevant to the saint. This is patently absurd, especially when it comes to the fall feasts, since they obviously have not been fulfilled. This is because the prophetic events to which they point HAVE NOT yet occurred. Yeshua has not returned yet, the resurrection of the saints has not occurred, and Yeshua is not reigning with a rod of iron on this earth from his seat of power in Jerusalem.

So the biblical feasts are still important in the life of the Bible believing saint and, therefore, it is important that we not only be aware of them, but that we prepare to celebrate them. As such, the sixth month (the month of Elul) on the biblical calendar is the time to prepare for the fall feasts that occur in the seventh month. This is the time when the bride (the saints) are to prepare themselves for the coming bridegroom (Yeshua the Messiah). How do we prepare? By cleansing our lives of sin and putting on the robes of righteousness. This occurs through repentance from sin, turning from sin and getting our lives in line with the Word of Elohim. The month of Elul is the time to do this.


There is no salvation without true repentance!

What would you hear if you were to ask the average Christian to summarize the basic gospel message in one sentence? You might hear something like “Jesus loves you and has wonderful plan for your life.” Or you might hear, “Jesus died for your sins, so that you might go to heaven.” Some of the more “modern and progressive” or so-called “seeker friendly” Christians might say, “Come to Jesus and he’ll improve your self-esteem,” or “If you want good health and lots of wealth, come to Jesus.” But how does the Bible summarize the gospel message? That’s a question that almost nobody asks and no one knows or preaches about, even though the answer should be obvious to anyone who has read the Gospels. The truth is shocking and radically different from what most modern Christians think!

Matthew in his Gospel after describing the circumstances around the birth of Yeshua the Messiah, opens up by introducing the ministry of John the Baptist, the anointed prophet from heaven who came to prepare the way for the Messiah. The Gospel writers summarizes the preaching of John as “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt 3:2). In the next chapter after his brief introduction to John’s ministry, Matthew then brings Yeshua the Messiah onto the scene. After Yeshua’s temptation in the wilderness, Matthew records, “From that time Yeshua began to preach and to say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’” (Matt 4:17). Mark in his gospel records the same event as follows: “Now after John was put in prison, Yeshua came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of Elohim, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of Elohim is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel’” (Mark 1:14–15). Finally, on the day of Pentecost after being pricked in their hearts byu Peter’s convicting sermon, the crowd asked the apostle what they should do next. His answer was, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Yeshua the Messiah for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). A central and recurring theme in all of these passages is the idea of repentance from sin—a biblical concept that is understood by few modern Christians, and a message that is seldom preached in modern pulpits anymore. All of this is in spite of the fact that the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews refers to “repentance from dead works” as “one of the [six] elementary principles of Messiah [or the gospel message]” (Heb 6:1-3).

So what is repentance? How does Scripture define repentance? It is a Hebraic concept, so we must go back to the Hebrew Scriptures to discover the answer. 

Hebrew Word Definitions

There are two biblical Hebrew words that together present the complete picture of what true biblical-based repentance is. The first word is nacham meaning “to be sorry, console oneself, repent, regret, comfort, be comforted.” According to The Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (The TWOT), the origin of the root of this word seems to reflect the idea of “breathing deeply,” hence the physical display of one’s feelings, usually sorrow, compassion, or comfort. The root occurs in the Ugaritic … and is found in Old Testament (OT or Tanakh) proper names such as Nehemiah, Nahum and Menehem. The Greek Septuagint (or lxx) translates the Hebrew word nacham by the two Greek words metanoeo and metamelomai. The Greek word metanoeo means “to change one’s mind, that is, to repent or to change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins.” Wilson’s Old Testament Word Studies says this of nacham

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“Let US keep the feast…”

In 1 Corinthians 5 Paul the apostle of Yeshua the Messiah instructs the early Jewish and non-Jewish believers about the spiritual ramifications and significance of the Passover and the biblical Feast of Unleavened Bread. Then in verse eight, he assertively declares, “Let us keep the feast not with the old leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

You who call yourselves Christians and who don’t celebrate the biblical feasts including the Feast of Unleavened Bread, what about this command do YOU not understand? How can anyone declare that the YHVH’s biblical feasts were done away with, or were for the Jews only, when the apostle in this letter is addressing the non-Jews as well? How can we justify substituting non-biblical holidays such as Christmas and Easter for YHVH biblical holidays and call ourselves Bible believers and followers and imitators of Yeshua and the early book of Acts church? These are serious questions that many of us need to ask ourselves if we’re serious about our faith walk before YHVH Elohim and Yeshua the Messiah.


1 Corinthians 5:6, Purge out. The greater context of this passage is about putting sin out of our life (which is the temple of YHVH’s Holy Spirit, 1 Cor 3:16–17), which collectively form the spiritual body, church or the greater temple of Yeshua’s spiritual body (John 2:21). Therefore, sin that defiles the temple of Elohim must be put out of the church. In this letter to the Corinthians, Paul is especially concerned about the sin of sexual immorality that the church in Coringh had allowed to come into its midsts (1 Cor 5:1ff). From the context of this passage in light of Paul’s discussion about Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, it would appear that he wrote this letter just prior to the spring festivals (1 Cor 5:6–8). He is urging the church to remove the leavening of sin from its midsts prior to keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which he, by the way, urges the Corinthian believers to do. In fact, Paul’s admonition to “keep the Feast [of Unleavened Bread]” in verse eight, is the strongest imperative command in the Testimony of Yeshua (or NT) to keep the biblical festivals, and from this it’s evidence that in the mind of the apostle the biblical festivals were still relevant to Yeshua’s followers well past the middle of the first century, which means they’re relevant to the saints of today as well.

In his admonition to the Corinthian believers, it’s possible that Paul had in mind two examples in the Tanakh where spiritual revivals occurred after Hezekiah and Josiah cleansed the temple in Jerusalem of the filth of idolatry in preparation for Passover. Similarly, Ezra finished completion of the rebuilt temple in time to celebrate Passover (Ezra 6). These examples teach us that YHVH commands us to cleanse or deleaven our spiritual temples (individually and collectively) of sin annually in preparation for celebrating Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This spiritual spring house cleaning at the beginning of the biblical new year sets the tone spiritually for the rest of the year to go forward in a sin-free state. 

1 Corinthians 5:7, Messiah our Passover. In the Bible, the term Passover refers to both the appointed time or moed and to the sacrifice that was made on that day.

1 Corinthians 5:8, Let us keep/observe the feast. This verse proves several things. First that Paul (a Jewish believer) kept the biblical feasts, that non-Jewish believers kept the feasts, and that all believers could keep the feasts outside of Jerusalem.

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