Yom Teruah 2019—Natan’s Teaching Notes

Insights, Meaning, Purpose, Thoughts, Reflections and Questions

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?

Most of us feel powerless to do anything about the state of conditions the world is currently in. A wise man once said that when the world is falling apart all around you, all you can do is to tend your own garden. In that  way, you’re making your little corner of the world a better place. If enough good people do this, who knows what might happen? It might be the mythical lever that’s big enough to move the entire world. 

The Word of Elohim is that lever. It shows us how to help transform the earth back into the Garden of Eden one life at a time starting with our life. So there is something we can do after all to combat spiritual evil and darkness and to help to make the world a more beautiful place. HalleluYah!

It all starts with having a spiritual relationship with Yeshua the Messiah and loving him by keeping his commandments including his sabbaths and feasts, which are the skeletal framework of his glorious plan of redemption and salvation for all humans. 

Today is the Yom Teruah or the Day of Trumpets or Shofar Blowing. What does that have to do with turning evil on its head and making the world a better and more beautiful place? Let’s find out…

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Have a Joyous Yom Teruah!

On my prayer walk this Yom Teruah morning, I took this photo of the river at the end of my street. I thought of these verses in anticipation of the second coming of Yeshua the Messiah, which this day prophetic represents.

I also had the privilege of praying for those who read this blog, as well as lifting up by name before the throne of YHVH Elohim many of you who regularly contribute to the comments section of this blog. Thank you and praise YHVH!

Have a wonderfully blessed and glorious day in the presence of our Heavenly King! May he make his face to shine upon you and grant you his shalom!

 

Yom Teruah Study Guides

Here is a link to my Yom Teruah study guide: https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/yom_teruah.pdf

Here is a link to my YouTube channel with numerous teachings on the biblical feasts including Yom Teruah: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5EzE5DQnrHfWWbczzkRo6IOnglxhbRfM

Stay tuned for my notes on the teaching that I will give tomorrow. I will post them shortly.

 

Happy Yom Teruah!

The new moon was sighted by multiple witnesses this past evening marking the first day of the seventh month on the biblical calendar. This means that Yom Teruah, the Day of Trumpets/Shofars, will be on Monday, September 30. A joyous Yom Teruah to all!

My family and I (at least the ones who can make it) will be celebrating Yom Teruah at home as a high holy day Shabbat. This means that I will be shutting down my business, no work, and spending the day with YHVH and our family focusing on the meaning of the day.

Ten days from now, on the tenth day of the seventh biblical month, will be Yom Kippur on Wednesday, October 9. Five days after that will be Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, starting on Monday, October 14 and lasting until Sunday, October 20. The first day of Sukkot is a high holy day Shabbat. Shemini Atzeret, the Eighth Day, another high holy day Shabbat, will be Tuesday, October 21.

As I have done my entire life (since 1960), except for several years in the 1990s when I was part of the Sunday church world and failed to honor the Sabbath and biblical feasts, I, along with my wife, will be taking the time off from our daily work to honor these divinely mandated, set-apart times and to be with YHVH Elohim and his people.

May YHVH bless you as you honor and obey him by celebrating these appointed times!

 

Yom Teruah 2018— My Ponderings

The Good Ancient Paths Are Stepping Stones to the Future

Following Torah is an ancient river path that leads back thousands of years to the beginning of humanity and forward to eternity. It’s a true path that won’t lead us astray, because it’s divine Truth. At the same time, it’s a path that is greatly disparaged and hated by the devil and those who wittingly or unwittingly follow him. Why? Because it leads to Elohim and to eternal life. The biblical feasts are like the skeletal framework, blueprint or outline of the Torah and the whole Bible. They’re Elohim’s ancient plan of salvation and redemption for humans.

 Thus saith YHVH, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old/ancient/eternal [Heb. olam, also everlasting, perpetual, unending future] paths [Heb. nathiyb, also footpath, trodden, traveller] where is the good way [Heb. derek, also journey, direction, manner, habit, way, of course of life (fig.), of moral character (fig.)], and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. (Jer 6:16)

Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity/worthless idols, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in pathways and not on a highway, to make their land desolate and a perpetual hissing… (Jer 18:15)

Elohim’s ways are high ways as opposed low ways or to the other lower paths that most humans find themselves walking on.

Don’t Forget!

Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. (Deut 32:7)

Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of YHVH: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. (Mal 4:4–6)

Humans tend to forget their past history and YHVH’s ancient Torah-ways, which is why humans continually repeat the same mistakes of the past. Each present generation thinks that it’s wiser and smarter than the previous one and that they won’t make the same mistakes of the past, but they invariably do. This is because of human pride and ego. The feasts and Sabbath help to keep us on track spiritually, so that we won’t keep making the same mistakes over and over again. They help man to evolve spiritually to a higher level. The feasts are essential in that they help us so that we don’t forget who we are, where we’ve come from and where we’re going.

Choose the Upward, Less Travelled Path, Not the One of the Majority

Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions? (Song 1:7)

Each of us is continually confronted with two choices; we have to make a decision many times every day. Will I choose to go up to where my heavenly bridegroom feeds his flocks on the mountaintops, or am I going to hang out with my companions and peers? The former is a highway; the latter is a low way.

The Biblical Feasts—The Aerial View

The biblical feasts are moedim or divine appointments when Elohim meets with his people—when heaven and earth meet at a high place spiritually and kiss each other. When this happens, the mundane, secular, earthly or horizontal plane meets or bisects the heavenly, divine vertical plane. This is the place of the holy of holies, heaven on earth and the way of the cross (two beams meeting—a horizontal and vertical one).

The biblical feasts and weekly Sabbath are when YHVH gathers his sheep together to restore, refresh, encourage, energize, correct, unite them and to point them to the higher way. The feasts are like a mini Garden of Eden as well as a New Jerusalem, heaven on earth events. They keep us in touch with our sorry past and our potential glorious future.

The feasts and Sabbath help keep us on track spiritually (since they are the seven steps in Elohim’s plan of redemption or salvation for mankind) and are links to connect us to our corporate past and to the future. They help to provide us with a greater context to our lives, so that we will better understand the present—who we are individually and collectively, where we’ve come from, where we’re at and where we’re going. The fall feasts especially help us to understand where we’re going and what the future holds for us. Everyone wants to know what the future holds for them. Celebrate the feasts and find out!

The feasts reaffirm and reestablish the special relationship that man has with Elohim. Only men who were made in Elohim’s image have that relationship. Plants, animals, rocks, fungi and atoms don’t.

The feasts make us remember that we’re dependent on Elohim as our sustainer and creator and that Elohim has chosen in his sovereignty to be dependent upon us because he has allowed us to make his presence known and felt in the world. Without us, Elohim, in a sense, couldn’t exist on this planet, so our mutual relationship is a very big two-way street. We are Elohim’s light to the world, the ambassadors of his kingdom. We reflect him in the darkness of this world, which is why it’s important that we stay on his path of light, and in his ancient river of life that flows from the distant past into eternity. Since we represent the Creator, we need the Creator to show us the upward path, and the Creator needs us in the this world not only to represent him, but to reveal him to the world. It’s impossible for him to just come into this world with all of his power and glory without instantly destroying it. Imagine the earth being a few degrees closer to the sun. Now imagine this by a gazillion percent! That’s what would happen to the earth if Elohim were to show up as he is. That’s one reason he, in a certain sense, “needs” us in order to fulfil his purposes on this earth.

Yom Teruah—The Aerial View

The bottom line of Yom Teruah is that it points us to two very important things that are our great hope for humanity and the future: the coming of the Messiah and resurrection and glorification of the righteous dead. Until Yeshua the Messiah actually comes, Yom Teruah points us to the third most important thing: teshuvah or repentance. We need to stay humble and repentant, so that when he comes, he will find us in a spiritual state that will qualify us either to be resurrected from the dead or, if we’re alive at his return, to be immortalized and glorified in the moment of a twinkling of an eye as we meet him in the air.


 

The Significance of Yom Teruah (part 2)

Yom Teruah Verses

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 supernatural 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 Continue reading


 

The Significance of Yom Teruah (part 1)

Very little is said in the Tanakh about Yom Teruah. In fact, the Torah only mentions it twice. 

Leviticus 23:24, “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall you have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.”

Numbers 29:1, “And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have an holy convocation; you shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you.

Nehemiah shows us how the Jews kept Yom Teruah (Neh 8:1ff).

Ezra (500 BC) restored the observance of Yom Teruah following the return of the Jews from their seventy-year exile in Babylon. Ezra the cohen (priest) brought the Torah before the assembly, both men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month’ (Nehemiah 8:2)

The day is recorded as one which included, worship, joyful fellowship, instruction from the Scriptures, sharing with the needy:  ‘…all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words, that were declared unto them (Neh 8-12)

The reading of the Torah was at the center of Nehemiah’s Yom Teruah celebration (Neh 8:1, 18).

On this day, sorrow and joy kissed each other; sorrow because the Jews realized they had  failed to keep Torah—the very thing that sent them into exile and caused the destruction of Jerusalem; joy because it was a Yom Tov or a good day and a festival of YHVH when his people are to rejoice in him and draw close to him and he to them, since it is a divine appointment or moed.

But why rejoice on this day? The Torah and the account in Nehemiah leave us guessing? What specifically were the Jews rejoicing about on Yom Teruah?

We are told so little about this day that we have to draw out every clue possible from the scantiest details Scripture affords us about this day. 

The Jews of Nehemiah’s day were obviously rejoicing at rediscovering the Torah and learning its truths that would guide them through life and keep them as a set-apart people. Knowing the Torah would bring them closer to YHVH—to his heart and mind. Therefore, we can infer that on this day, we are to rejoice over the Torah—our instructions in righteousness give to us by YHVH our Creator.

Additionally, perhaps the name of the day itself, Yom Teruah, gives us a clue as to why we the ancient Jews were joyful and we too should be joyful. On this day, why did the people shout and blow shofars?  We can answer this question by reviewing the places in the Scripture where YHVH’s people shouted and blew shofars. Perhaps this will give us a clue as to what this day is commemorating, and therefore why we should be rejoicing as Neh 8:10 tells us to do.

The Shofar Can Be Blown for the Following Reasons

  • The giving of the Tor ah (their ketubah  or marriage covenant ) at Sinai to Israel on Pentecost (Exod 19:13, 16; 20:18 Hebrews 12:19)
  • The gathering of Israel (Num 10:4)
  • The fall of Jericho (Josh 6:5)
  • The beginning of the jubilee year (Leviticus 25:9),
  • The coronation of kings (1 Kngs 1:34, 39)
  • As a battle weapon (Judg 6:34; 7:16, 18)
  • When the ark was brought into Jerusalem (2 Sam 6:15)
  • At the building of the temple (Ezra 3:10)
  • At the new moons, at the full moon appointed times and on festivals (Ps 81:3; Joel 2:15)
  • Used by watchmen on the city walls to warn of danger (Ezek 33:3–6; Amos 3:6)
  • Used to call Israel to repentance and to return to Torah (Isa 58:1; Hos 8:1)
  • Many of these occasions when the shofar was sounded point prophetically to end time events associated with the fall feasts. They give us an idea of what our demeanor at these events. Rather than fear or apprehension, we should be joyful, victorious and expectant. 

In the End Times the Shofar Blast Will Signal Major Events

  • The shofar will herald the resurrection of the saints from the dead at Yeshua’s coming/return: ‘…And He shall send his angels with a great sound of a Shofar, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other’ (Matt 24:31).
  • Paul speaks of this same event by calling it the last shofar blast (1 Cor 15:52).
  • Paul speaks about Yeshua’s descent from heaven with a shout of an archangel and the shofar of Elohim will sound followed by the resurrection of the righteous dead and the transformation of the righteous living (I Thess 4:16).
  • John relates this same event to the seventh of seven trumpet judgements (Rev 10:7; 11:15–18).
  • As part of the end time judgments to fall upon this earth, seven shofars blasts will occur with significant events to follow each one. Each trumpet introduces a phase of the culmination of end-time events (Rev 8:2).
  • A shout was made at the midnight hour of announce the coming of the bridegroom in Yeshuas Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matt 25:6). This is prophetic of Yeshua’s second coming.
  • YHVH shall blow the shofar after he has filled the  bow of Judah with the arrow of Ephraim and together they shall go like a whirlwind from the south to save his people from their adversaries (Zec 9:14). This occurs after the military weakening of Ephraim and Judah (v. 10), before the return of Yeshua (Zech 9:1).
  • To announce the coming of the Day of YHVH (Joel 2:1; Zeph 1:16); the Day of the Lord is characterized by the sound of a great voice like a trumpet/shofar (Rev 1:10)
  • The gathering of the exiles to the land of Israel (Isa 27:13)