INTEGRATING THE FALL FEASTS, 04.09.18
Scripture is intentional, and rich with meaning; and this is especially true of God’s Appointed Times, of which the feasts play a significant role. One does not need to be Jewish in order to appreciate the richness of the multi-faceted meanings of the feasts.
Although the Feasts are fashioned towards honouring Yahweh, their symbolic meanings are multifaceted, and take various forms: prophetic/warnings, instructional, blessings. The Fall Feasts, for instance, provide a picture of the end times, thus corresponding, as well, to the theme of repentance, a time to get one’s life aligned with the Master of the Universe. Referring to the Fall Festivals: “Adonai spoke to Moses saying: “Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, saying: In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you are to have a Shabbat rest, a memorial of blowing (shofarot), a holy convocation. You are to do no regular work, and you are to present an offering” (Lev.23:23-25). Obviously the offerings of ancient times have been replaced by Christ/Messiah Yeshua’s death on the Cross, and by His people, with our prayers, praise, worship, self-denial (i.e. putting self to death on the Cross), total surrender, rather than animal sacrifices. The principle, however, has not changed. There remains a call to worship and honour Yahweh, incorporating an element of expectation, of warning, of preparation.
Just as the blowing of the shofar called the people of Israel to the awareness of the time for celebrating the New Year, it also signified a time of judgment: “Jewish tradition teaches that Rosh Hashanah is also the Day of Judgment. . . . .Rosh Hoshana marks the beginning of the Ten Days of Awe, during which Jews reflect upon their actions over the past year and seek forgiveness for their transgressions in hopes of influencing God’s final judgment” (p.18, MJBI, Messianic Jewish Bible Institute of Canada, Course Workbook, 2015). Oh, but that was Old Testament, you say. . . . What about the warnings of Yeshua Ha Mashiach, Jesus Christ Himself, saying: “Now is the fullness of time,” He said, “and the kingdom of God is near! Turn away from your sins” (Mk.1:15). The message, the theme, is consistent, running a thread from Old Testament to New, the NT simply building upon the foundation of the OT.
“The purpose of prophecy is to warn people; to make them aware of His coming. . . . He who fails to prepare, is preparing to fail . . . many are in a state of spiritual slumber . . . time to wake up and return to our first love . … . blowing the shofar is a call to repentance. .. . he who has ears to hear, let him hear. . . . How is God speaking to you?” (Goldberg, 09.09.17, “God’s Appointed Time to Wake Up!”). It speaks to the need to prepare hearts and souls for the ultimate coming judgment: “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the land will mourn, and they will see ‘the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory. He will send out His angels with a great shofar, and they will gather together His chosen from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other”(Matt.24:30,31). This is when the Son of God returns as “the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed” (Rev.5:5), and “He will judge between the nations and decide for many peoples” (Isa.2:4).
“The Fall Feasts are a time of spiritual renewal and repentance . . . . the shofar is blown with 100 blasts. God is saying, ‘Wake up, sleeping Bride, wake up . . ..’ It’s God’s appointed time for the Bride to rise up . . . The fall season is the time to return to our First Love . . . . rekindle our love and our passion for Him . . . . to restore and reconcile our relationship with Abba, and with one another. We are called to be ambassadors of reconciliation to the world . . .” (Goldberg, “Are You Unoffendable?” 25.08.18). “For if you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions” (Matt.6:14,15). “It grieves the Holy Spirit when we are at odds with one another,” Goldberg points out (Goldberg, “Are You Unoffendable?” 25.08.18).
Yeshua/Jesus instructs and advises that His people should watch for Messiah’s return: “Now learn the parable from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, at the door. Amen, I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven nor the Son, except the Father alone” (Matt.24:32-36).
Paul had much to say on this topic: “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last shofar. For the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed” (1 Cor.15:51,52); “the Lord Himself shall come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the blast of God’s shofar (1 Thess.4:16).
Just as the shofar alerted the Israelites to the feast, the signs of the times, the events that are going on around us (of which there is no shortage), should serve as our alert/warning. The alert is to call one to an ongoing state of forgiveness and repentance. While Yeshua/Jesus walked in forgiveness, He had no need to repent, for He was sinless, and always doing the will of the Father; but He taught and commanded repentance (refer to STUDY CORNER TOPIC, 04.10.16 “FORGIVENESS, an integral component of REPENTANCE,” http://www.vernasstudycorner.ca/study-topic/ ). So we must walk daily in forgiveness and repentance, “taking up our cross, denying self, and following Him” (Lk.9:23).
We must be alert and aware, walking in the Spirit, as Yeshua directed: “Therefore stay alert, for you know neither the day nor the hour”(Matt.25:13). His Word should be as a shofar in our ears today, as the signs of the times are trustworthy indicators: “Now when these things begin to happen, stand straight and lift up your heads, because your salvation is near!” (Lk.21:28).
© 2016, revised 2017, 2018 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
Lk.21:28Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.
The Biblical Feasts and Minor Holidays, MJBI, Course Workbook, 2015.
Rabbi Cal Goldberg, message from the Bema, 09.09.17, “God’s Appointed Time to Wake Up!” http://www.bethshechinah.com/sermon/its-gods-appointed-time-to-wake-up-rabbi-cal-goldberg/
STUDY CORNER TOPIC, 04.10.16, “FORGIVENESS, an integral component of REPENTANCE,” http://www.vernasstudycorner.ca/study-topic/
Rabbi Cal Goldberg, message from the Bema, Aug. 25, 2018, “Are You Unoffendable?”