The first FALL feast that God instructed Israel to observe each year is.........
ROSH HA SHANNAH, which means Head of the Year. It is the New Year Holiday of Israel. Another name for this feast day is YOM TERUAH (day of sounding the trumpet) This is also known as the beginning day of the High Holy days that end on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
The 10 days from and including RH to and including Day of Atonement are the Days of Repentance, Days of Admitting and Days of returning. All together they are known as the Days of Awe.
According to Jewish TRADITION, the 30 days before RH is to be used as a special PREPARATION for oneself to be ready for JUDGMENT on the day of RH. This 30 day period is the full month of Elul which is the 6th month of the religious calendar. To prepare, one must fast, examine oneself in regard to Gods commandments, recite the Word of God and prayerfully repent of all iniquity. Scriptures used are Jer. 3:14 "Return O backsliding children" and Isa. 6:10 "And understanding with their heart, return and be healed". Finally , the phrase of "I am my beloveds and he is mine" is spoken out. Another thing that is done every week day in public is to recite the Psalms.
This 30 day period is called TESHUVAH and means a Time of Repentance. During this 30 day month, the shofar is blown once each morning at the morning prayers (in some cultures they blow it in the evening also). All this traditional information can be read in the classic book by S.Y. Agnon called "The Days of Awe" copyright 1948
RH has been celebrated during the first TWO days of Tishri since the Babylonian captivity and was a two day Holiday during the time of Jesus. There are numerous explanations why its a two day feast instead of only one that Gods Word requires, None of which are satisfactory for everyone. I believe God has allowed confusion for the timing of this 5th feast for a purpose.
The ancient Jewish commentaries teach that on the day of Rosh Ha Shannah there are three types of people that come before God to be judged.
1, The righteous -- These are the ones that have repented of their sins, obeyed the Word of the Lord and have drawn near to God during the time of Teshuvah.
2. The unrighteous-- These are those who refused to repent of their rebellion towards God and never will.
3. The In between ones -- These are the ones who have not rejected God and His commandments but have not yet repented. They have until Yom Kippur to repent and be reconciled to God or their fate is sealed.
Remember, this is a Jewish understanding of Gods dealings while under the Law.
On the day of RH the righteous are accepted by God and do not need to use the Days of Awe to repent and turn from their evil ways. They are deemed righteous by God and are safe from any judgment of their sins. The unrighteous have until The Day of Atonement to repent and since they wont, their fate is sealed on that day. They will be deemed unrighteous by God are cut off from His presence and will not receive any of His protection or blessings. The In Between ones have until Day of Atonement to repent and many do. On the judgment day of Atonement they are judged righteous by God and their fate is sealed. They will receive Gods protection and blessings belatedly since they had not repented before the 10 days of awe.
ROSH HA SHANNAH is the only feast that is on the first day of a Jewish month. This month is called Tishri. The first day of any Jewish month is always on the first day of a new moon. Gods instructions for this first of the Fall feast is found in Lev. 23 and verses 23-24. Also in Numbers 29 verses 1-6
What are the Characteristics of this Feast?
1, To be an assembly Lev 23:1
2. A day of rest (no ordinary work) verse 1
3. A day of blowing the trumpets verse 1
4. Make an offering unto the Lord made by fire (bull,ram, lambs,grain,goat) Verses 2-6
5. New moon offering verse 6
I find it interesting that there are five things the Lord requires Israel to accomplish on this the 5th of 7 feast; and six things on the 6th feast of Atonement and then 7 things on the 7th feast of Tabernacles. I don't know if it means anything or not, but I find it very curious.
What are some of the pictures and patterns of RH??
The very first PATTERN we see was established at the time of Gods creation. That pattern is the DAY OF REST on the 7th day. Noticed that Rosh Ha Shannah is on the first day of the 7th month of the religious (spiritual) calendar. That means the the first and most important lesson God is telling us is that this feast day is the ultimate day of rest from our life of toil and struggles. It is THE day to rest in the finished work of The Father, Son and Holy Spirit in our lives. It is a day when all of our earthly struggles are over. The 7th day is a day of completion. All of those who have placed their faith in the WORD of God are deemed righteous on this day and will not be judged by God on the Day of Atonement.
The first PICTURE we see in this feast is one that is present in all seven of the feast and that is a Holy Convocation. This word represents a call of all those who are called and set apart unto the Lord to be gathered together. The picture is one of UNITY of the Body of Christ or in the Jewish sense the Wife of God. Both are the "called out ones".
The last three characteristics of Rosh Ha Shannah are unique to the other feast and are what (along with being the 7th month) separates it from all the others.
1. RH is the only feast where the moon is hidden. The moon is an illusion to and represents the Bride of Christ. Could the Bride of Christ be hidden away some future RH??
2. RH is the ONLY feast where the blowing of trumpets is the central theme. Jewish tradition says the shofar is blown 100 times on this day, however, according to the instructions given by God in Numbers 10:1-10, only the silver trumpets from the temple are to be blown on this day. There are two different "trumpets" in scripture. One is a rams horn called a shofar, and the other is the silver temple trumpets.
The two temple trumpets are to only be used by the High priest and are to be used on the following occasions:
1. Calling an assembly Num. 10:2
2. Directing the movement of Gods people V. 2
3. At all appointed feast V10
4. At the beginning of each month over offerings made to the Lord V10
5. When going to war as an alarm V.9
6. On RH as a memorial (to remember) Lev. 23:24
Since the silver trumpets are kept in Gods house (the temple) they represent His call to for His people to come into His house. They are symbolic of how the mystery of the Body of Christ and the age of grace is hidden in the old covenant of the Law of Moses. How is that you say??
Well, the rams horn shofar is representative of Gods earthly provision for the sins of mankind. It was the rams horn that got caught in the thicket so that Abraham would have a substitute for Isaac as an offering unto the Lord. The shedding of blood of that ram (a male sheep) paid the price required for the salvation of Isaac.
When Christ shed His blood at Calvary for our sins, once and for all time, we had the payment for our sins paid. We were purified (made clean) in His blood. All we are required to do is accept this gift by faith and our names are written down in the Book of Life. Can I hear a PRAISE THE LORD shout.
If the rams horn is symbolic of Gods provision for salvation under the old covenant, then the symbol of the silver trumpets must be about the new covenant. Lets see....silver needs to be refined and the impurities removed in order to be useful. The temple trumpets were made out of hammered silver. That means the silver had to be heated and refined in fire, and the dross removed, in order to be pliable in the master silversmiths hands. Sounds to me like the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers. What do you think?
I am not saying that the silver trumpets represent the Body of Christ/Bride of Christ. What I am suggesting is that the PROCESS of making the temple trumpets is a NEW COVENANT representation of the sanctification process of those that belong to God and are called for a purpose that He will see to it that it is accomplished. Phil. 1:6 And, that is why only the true body of Christ will hear the "last trump". Why? Because the Master silversmith has tuned us to the same frequency as God's voice.
Since the silver trumpets are only used by the High priest, the two together do represent the Lord Jesus Christ as the one who calls us to unity, directs our lives, provides and protects us and warns us of danger when the enemy threatens. Jesus is definitely the pure silver trumpet that lives in our earthly temple/bodies. As we allow him to express Himself in and through us we are refined and purified and the sound of His "voice" will be clearly heard in us and through us.
Finally, the two silver trumpets are used as an ensemble of praise and worship to God as we offer up our tithes and offerings to the Lord. Reminds me of the song "We bring a sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord"..."And we offer up to Him....."
What CONCLUSIONS can we glean from this study of the feast of Rosh Ha Shannah?
1. RH is probably the most unique feast of the 7 feast of the Lord.
2. RH is probably the most talked about yet least understood feast.
3. There are two possible pictures that come from the symbolism of the main characteristics of RH.
The first possibility is that the "day of the hidden moon" might represent Gods sealing the 144 thousand and keeping them from His wrath; The call to assembly may represent All of Israel returning to the land of Israel; The two witnesses may represent the two silver Temple trumpets who stand in Jerusalem and prophecy for 3 1/2 yrs.
But I don't see a picture of Israel entering into a perfect day of rest on this feast like we can for them on the fest of Tabernacles. The symbolism for Israel is just not very clear unless you include the traditional teachings that talk about the three types of people God sees on this starting day of judgment. If that is the case, then the following scenario is probably true.
The second possibility is that the day of the hidden moon represents (The Bride of Christ), a call to assembly by Temple trumpets (a gathering of the faithful into the house of God), the ultimate day of rest (A picture of the people of God entering into their final day of rest) and a day of judgment(the start of Daniels 70th week to judge the world and reconcile Israel) are how this feast is going to be fulfilled.
4. The two possible pictures of the fulfillment of this feast day seem to paint a picture of the conjunction of two eras. The end of the time of the Gentiles and the restart of Gods dealing with Israel. One time line restarting for Israel and the BEGINNING of Daniels 70th week. The other, the RAPTURE of the Church as an offering unto God that is ORCHESTRATED by THE HIGH PRIEST, JESUS CHRIST.
5.. If you remove the two days of RH and the Day of Atonement from the 10 days of Awe countdown, what you have left is 7 days. Could this represent the 70th week of Daniel??
6. The two temple trumpets are to be blown as a MEMORIAL on the day of RH. Scripture does not specify how many times that is to be but infers it is an all day activity.
7. The only clue we have as to when the LAST trumpet will be blown on this Day of Blowing is when the last burnt offering is offered up to the Lord. Since scripture identifies the EVENING offering as the last on any given day, it seems reasonable to expect the LAST TRUMP to occur between 3 pm and just before sundown.
8. One final thought about Jesus and the fulfillment of the 7 feasts of Israel. Since the Church was established on Pentecost AFTER Jesus had ascended into the clouds, Maybe He fulfills RH the same way but in reverse. The Church is caught up into the CLOUDS to be with Jesus AFTER the end of the Church age. Jesus was not present on earth for Pentecost and Maybe He will not be on earth for Day of Trumpets either. There seems to be some kind of a pattern with this picture.
I started this in depth study with and open mind as to where it would lead me and what conclusions would be made from it. Even thought I have taught on the 7 feast of God in the past, I had not done a verse by verse, principle by principle, characteristic by characteristic study of all the primary scriptures concerning these 3 Fall feast before.
It has taken three days and much prayer to finish this study. I had no preconceived conclusions of where it would take me and was quite surprised at the conclusions that must be taken from the body of evidence found in God's Word.
However, because of our," seeing through a glass darkly", it is possible and probable that I have missed information needed and have made invalid conclusions. As the return of Christ draws nearer, we should be able to see a little clearer each day.
Your servant and brother in the work of Christ