Holy Days

 

Part Ten

 

The Days of Awe: Ten Days to Cleanse the Conscience

Each fall as we cross the plain of Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) and close in on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) each believer must ask themselves, what is the purpose meant by its Creator? Things can become quite complicated when we interpret its meaning through the eyes of both the traditional Judaism and Christianity. Right from the beginning we have two misleading definitions.

 

 

  • (Traditional Judaism) Yom Teruah = Rosh Hashanah
    Or

  • (Traditional Christianity) Yom Teruah = Feast of Trumpets


But Yom Teruah cannot be interpreted as Rosh Hashanah nor Feast of Trumpets. The actual interpretation from Hebrew to English is the “Day of Shouting”. Rosh HaShanah was the Babylonian new year and an eleven day festival was held in honor of the god Akitu. The Babylonians saw the crescent moon of the 7th Lunar Month as the mark of the close of one year and the beginning of the next. Jews who were transported to Mesopotamia by King Nebuchadnezzar gradually adopted this concept into their culture. 


Using the term “Rosh HaShanah” rather than its true biblical name undermines the Mosaic economy. According to Moses, the biblical year does not conclude until the end of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) which occurs about three weeks after the sighting of the new moon of the 7th biblical month. 


One must question traditional Judaism and ask “how can Rosh HaShanah signal the new year when Moses says the year does not end until the feast of Tabernacles? "Then Moses commanded them: "At the end of every seven years… during the Feast of Tabernacles…you shall read this law before them in their hearing” (Deuteronomy 31:10-11). While many believers are appalled at the thought of Passover being confused with the Easter season by the Christian church; they readily celebrate Rosh HaShanah according to Jewish tradition rather than in its biblical context as the Day of Shouting. Many are virtually doing the same thing as their Christian counterparts.


Those who have come from a Christian perspective have an extra layer of confusion to wade through since interpreters have labeled the “Day of Shouting as “Feast of Trumpets”. This term conjures up priestly figures blowing celebratory instruments at the temple. Here is the verse that has thrown many of us off the trail of truth. "On the first day of the seventh month hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. It is a day for you to sound the trumpets” (Numbers 29:1). But the word trumpet in this verse is not related to a musical instrument; on the contrary the word means to shout!


Here is a verse in scripture that helps us differentiate between shouting and blowing a trumpet. The following verse is about David and all Israel when the Ark of the Covenant was transported to Jerusalem. “He (David) and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of YHWH with shouts (Teruah) and the sound of trumpets” (2 Samuel 6:15). Note here that the people were shouting and the Priests were sounding their trumpets. This indicates two different classes of people and two different actions. So we can conclude that a shout is not synonymous with a trumpet blast.


The Meaning of Yom Teruah


The biblical festivals are closely connected to prophecy. The reason why it is needful to undo the damage done by false traditions and incorrect interpretations is to clarify the meaning originally intended by our Creator. In the book of Revelation, we find an interesting passage that points its reader to the anti-typical “Day of Shouting”. It is found in Revelation chapter 18 and says “I saw another angel coming down from heaven… with a “mighty voice he shouted”: "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird” (Revelation 18:1-2).


The entire chapter lays out all the destruction coming upon all nations for following the lawless practices of Mother Babylon. ”For her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Mix her a double portion from her own cup” (Revelation 18:5-6). Along with this great shout comes another message of mercy saying "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues” (Revelation 18:4).


It is highly likely that this great voice will come from the man sent with the spirit of Elijah as prophesied in the book of Malachi. There it states that a great message of repentance is to be proclaimed for His people “before the great and dreadful day of YHWH comes” (see Malachi chapter 4) I believe that the ten days between Yom Teruah and the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) relate to the effects of Elijah’s message and cause the great multitude come out of Babylon before the seven plagues commence. 


But neither Elijah, the great tribulation and the seven last plagues have come yet. Today we are commanded to rehearse and contemplate how these events will effect us should the come to pass in our lifetime. According to the writer of Hebrews, The blood of goats and bulls offered on the Day of Atonement were not sufficient to cleanse the conscience (see Hebrews 9:9). These offerings were shadows and types of events that were set to occur far in the future. 


So all the way to the close of the first century the conscience of man has gone uncleansed. You would think that the Israelites who had their Creator so near to them. And experienced firsthand the great deliverance from Egypt, who were spared from the judgments of their fathers who died in the desert would have become a generation with a clear conscience, but that was not the case.


Moses said “With your own eyes you saw those great trials, those miraculous signs and great wonders. But to this day YHWH has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear” (Deuteronomy 29:1-4). I believe that the day when His people receive the eyes to see and the mind to understand is not far off. It will occur within a period unlike any other that has ever existed. “There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then” (Daniel 12:1). 


It is within this time frame that the consciences of His people will be cleansed and pure. This prophecy relates to the following passage spoken by Moses. “When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come upon you and you take them to heart wherever YHWH Elohim disperses you among the nations…you will again obey YHWH and follow all his commandments I am giving you today” (See Deuteronomy 30:1-8).


Unfortunately it will take the curses of the Law written in the covenant to achieve the cleansing of heart mind and soul. Only this is sufficient His people back to full obedience to all the commandments given to His people. The terrors and warnings given to us in the book of Revelation are meant to bring about deep reflection and repentance. Every believer at this time should open their heart to consider whether or not they are in the faith and prepare themselves for the enlightenment of YHWH’s will. “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. (Revelation 3:19)