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Yom Teruah “Day of Blowing” aka Feast of Trumpets
“The Day that No Man Knows”
By Maria Merola
This year in 2009, according to the Aviv Barley Calendar, the Feast of Trumpets (called Rosh Hashanah by Rabbinic Judaism) commences at sundown on Sunday, September 20th. The Rabbinic Calendar will be celebrating this holiday at sundown Friday, September 18th.
Matthew 24:36-37 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Many of us have read the famous quote of our Messiah in the four gospels when he declared that his second coming would come at a time “that no man knows.” But how many of us knew that he was actually making a reference to the Feast of Trumpets? The Feast of Trumpets is known by Jews as “The Day That No Man Knows.” And why is it called this? Because it is the feast that can only be determined by the sighting of the new moon, and so “no man” can calculate the exact day or hour of when this feast day will begin.
In ancient Jerusalem, two witnesses were to stand on the walls of Jerusalem and “watch” for the first sighting of the new moon. When the Father in heaven decided to allow the new moon to appear in the sky, then the “two witnesses” would sound the shofar (trumpet) and all the people in the city would immediately drop what they were doing, and they would run to the temple for the celebration of the Day of Blowing (in Hebrew Yom Teruah). The temple doors were only open for a short period of time, and if they failed to make it to the temple before the doors were shut, those who were slack in running to the temple were left out of the feast because the “doors were shut” and once they were shut, no man could get in. Because this feast was to begin at sundown, they had to make sure that their oil lamps were filled so that they could find their way in the dark towards the temple. In those days, there were no street lights, and so they had to carry their oil lamps to help them find their way. In Matthew 25, Yeshua gave us a parable of ten virgins. Only five of the virgins were wise and had their oil lamps filled when the bridegroom came. But the other five foolish virgins had not prepared themselves by filling their lamps with oil. When the “Day That No Man Knows” had arrived, the two witnesses sounded the “last trump” and the five wise virgins were ready to go into the marriage. But the foolish virgins had no oil in their lamps so that they could see their way around in the dark.
Many of these inhabitants of Jerusalem would be working in the fields or grinding at the mill (Matthew 24:40-42) , and when they heard the sound of the shofar (trumpet) they knew that their work was finished and they had to run towards the temple before the doors were shut. The person who was alert and listening for the sound of the trumpet was “taken” by the sound of the trumpet; this was his signal to run towards the temple. But the person who was not alert and not watching, would not hear the sound of the trumpet, and they would be “left” in the field or grinding at the mill, unaware that the day had come. Yeshua likened himself to the “thief in the night” who would come at an hour “that no man knows” and for these people who were not watching with their oil lamps filled, “sudden destruction” would come upon them as a woman in travail and it would be too late for them to escape God’s wrath.
The Thief in the Night
We often make reference to this term “thief in the night” from the scriptures, but how many really know what the metaphor of the “thief in the night” is all about? In order to understand this metaphor, we must know historically who the thief in the night was. In ancient Jerusalem, the High Priest in the temple (Cohen Gadol) would make his rounds each night to make sure that the other priests were doing their duty of keeping the fire burning on the brazen altar. The commandment in the Torah was to never allow this fire on the altar to go out. If a priest was on duty to watch the fire by night, he was not allowed to fall asleep on the job, for if he did, the fire would not stay stoked and the fire could go out and this would bring judgment on Israel. The priests were also commanded not to have wine or strong drink while serving in the temple. Alcohol in their blood stream would defile their worship and cause them to become drunk, lazy and sleepy.
Because the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) came at an hour when they were least expecting him to show up, the priests began to nick name him “the thief in the night.”
If the priest on duty fell asleep and was not watching the fire on the brazen altar, the High Priest would show up and find him sleeping on the job. The High Priest would then take some hot coals from the altar, and scoop them up in a shovel. He would then dump some of these hot coals on the priest’s garment who had fallen asleep. The priest who had fallen asleep would be suddenly awakened by the smell of hot burning coals and his garment on fire. He would immediately strip off his clothes as fast as he could in order to prevent from being burned. At the end of his shift, the other priests would see him naked without his garment, and he would be ashamed because all the other priests would know that he was caught falling asleep on the job. Yeshua is our High Priest after the order of Melchisidek (Hebrews 7:17-21) and we his followers are a royal priesthood (1st Peter 2:9). We are admonished not to be like those priests who would fall asleep on the job. We are given a command to watch, and keep our garments so that we will not be ashamed when our Messiah returns.
Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
The Apostle Paul was also making a reference to the New Covenant Israelites when he said to them “you have no need that I write to you about the appointed times of the Lord” in other words the “moedim” the Feast Days of the Lord. Why did Paul have no need to write to them about these things? Because they were all keeping the “Sabbaths” or Feast Days of Yehovah!
1st Thessalonians 5
1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
Paul and the Thessalonians were well aware of this metaphor concerning the High Priest and the thief in the night. They practiced these things in the temple year after year and there was no need to explain it to them. If they continued to keep the appointed moedim of the Lord as he had commanded them to do forever, they would not be overtaken by surprise.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
Paul knew that these followers of Messiah were not in darkness because they were keeping their “oil lamps filled” and ready for the day when it arrived. They would not be overtaken by “the day that no man knows” without oil in their lamps. Their High Priest, Yeshua would come not as a thief in the night for them, because they would not be in darkness!
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
As priests in the order of Melchisidek, we must not be like those priests who would be found drinking alcohol on the job, getting drunk and falling asleep. We are given clear warning here to “watch” and be sober. The Greek word here for “sober” is “nepho” which literally means “to abstain from wine.”
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Adonai Yeshua Messiah.
For those who are walking in the light, and the truth of scripture, we will all go through tribulation as part of the purifying process to be made ready as a bride without spot or wrinkle. But we are not appointed for the day of God’s wrath, for we will all be changed as we put in incorruption.
As children of the light, we will all be honoring the Holy Feast Days that Yehovah commanded us to keep forever because they are “holy convocations” or “rehearsals” for these future events that are yet to come.
Yehovah established an everlasting covenant with Israel and he gave us a “sign” that he alone was YEHOVAH their God. What exactly is this “sign” that he has given to “ALL ISRAEL” for ALL GENERATIONS, FOREVER? The sign of his everlasting covenant with Israel are his “Sabbaths” and Holy Feast Days. He declared that through these “Sabbaths” we might know that he is Yehovah who sanctifies us and sets us apart.
Ezekiel 20:12 Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am YEHOVAH that sanctify them.
Ezekiel 20:20 And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am YEHOVAH your God.
23 And YEHOVAH spake unto Moses, saying,
24 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.
25 Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto YEHOVAH.
Here we see that Yehovah is commanding us to have a memorial of blowing trumpets and he calls it a “holy convocation” in other words, a rehearsal. The offering that we make to him on this day is an offering by “fire” in other words our own lives are presented to him as a living sacrifice. We allow the fire of the Holy Spirit to purge and purify our lives so that we will be ready for the day when he comes for his bride. Yeshua is coming for a bride without spot or blemish. We must be ready to be purified by suffering, trials and tribulation in order to be ready for the “Day That No Man Knows.”
When the 1,260 day ministry of the “Two Witnesses” is finished, the “seventh angel” will sound, and we shall all be changed in the twinkling of an eye at the “last trump.”
Revelation 11:12-15 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them....And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Messiah; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
Now is the season of preparation as we once again rehearse for these prophetic events that are soon going to happen. Please tune in this Sunday Night to learn more about Yom Teruah, the Day that No Man Knows!
I hope to see you live on the podcast this Sunday Night!
Shalom in Yeshua,
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Feast of Trumpets
This is SSSOOOO interesting!