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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Jonathan Bernis » Jonathan Bernis - Rosh Hashanah

Jonathan Bernis - Rosh Hashanah

Jonathan Bernis - Rosh Hashanah
TOPICS: Rosh Hashanah

Jonathan Bernis: Welcome to Jewish Voice, where we help you to understand the Jewish roots of your Christian faith, Bible prophecy, and why you should stand with Israel. I'm rabbi Jonathan Bernis, and today my co-host, Ezra Benjamin, is joining me again during the first of the fall feasts. It's Rosh Hashanah this week, and we're going to uncover what this means to you as a believer. Ezra, it's an important week.

Ezra Benjamin: Very important, Jonathan. I'm thinking, you know, around Rosh Hashanah time, September, October, people are getting back to school, people are buying their pumpkin spice lattes, but for us in the Jewish community, it's really an important time. It's a wake up call.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah. Beyond that, though, this is a prophetic week. Right now, we're in the middle of a prophetic week in Bible history. Ezra, that's what I want people to understand, that it's more than... That Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot.

Ezra Benjamin: The fall holidays.

Jonathan Bernis: That the fall feasts are not just Jewish holidays, they're prophetic events that involve the whole world.

Ezra Benjamin: Wow, amazing. Jonathan, the word in Hebrew, correct me if I'm wrong, is “moed,” and it's not just a time, which is “zeman” in Hebrew. It's “moed,” an appointed time. What does that mean?

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, absolutely. So, people refer to, and I've read a lot of books on what we call the “moedim.”

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: They're appointed times of the Lord, and they call them the feasts of the Lord, the feasts of Israel, the celebrations of Israel. And I was brought up with this erroneous idea that the Jewish people have their own celebrations. So, we have the feast of trumpets, we have the day of atonement, we have Passover, and Christians have a completely different set of unrelated holidays or celebrations, Easter, lent, Christmas.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: Not biblical. Not what's in this book. What's in this book is a calendar that is a divine prophetic calendar. In other words, it's God's day-timer, as my friend Mark Blitz says. This is God's day-timer, so this becomes a universal calendar, Ezra, with appointed times throughout the year that have far-reaching significance beyond the people of Israel, beyond the Jewish people, and involve you as a Christian. Now, let me give you a scripture, and I'm going to put this up on the screen, it's so important. I'm gonna have to put on my glasses to read this. I don't have long enough arms anymore. But, I want you to look at Colossians 2 with me, and Paul is talking here in chapter 2, beginning in verse 16, about not being judged by what we eat, by what we drink.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: Or a religious festival, or a new moon celebration, or a sabbath day. He's talking about the Old Testament, of the mosaic covenant with the different ordinances, new moon, sabbath day, moedim. And he says this, in verse 17. “these are a shadow.” look at this with me now, everyone. “these are a shadow of the things that were to come: the reality, however, is found in Christ,” in Messiah.

Ezra Benjamin: Wow!

Jonathan Bernis: What is this saying? It's saying that the feasts are more than the feasts.

Ezra Benjamin: Interesting.

Jonathan Bernis: The Sabbath is more than the Sabbath. It's more than just the day of rest for Jewish people. The appointed times that the Lord has set, and we're celebrating one now, this week, Yom Teruah, which we'll get into in a moment, is an appointed time, but it's not the reality itself. The reality is the Messiah. But, he's making a connection here and he does it again in Hebrews 9, 10, and 11. Read Hebrews 9, 10, and 11. He's saying that these things all connect somehow to the Messiah.

Ezra Benjamin: Okay.

Jonathan Bernis: To God's plan and Messiah, anointed one, is the idea of the one who would bring salvation, not just to the Jewish people, but “God so loved the world.” Ezra, the point, and I want you to see this and get this into your heart at home, is God is saying that these appointed times, these things in the mosaic covenant in the Old Testament, are types and shadows of that which would come - he who would come, more accurately, Messiah, and he's connecting the appointed times to the redemption of the Messiah, and now it becomes a Christian event as well for everyone that's watching.

Ezra Benjamin: And you could look at it the other way, Jonathan, and say for our audience at home, as Christians to understand the full significance of what Yeshua, what Messiah has done, you have to have the context of the moedim.

Jonathan Bernis: It's the whole backdrop. The appointed times are the whole backdrop. One that we're not celebrating now, but it's part of the earlier feasts, as Passover.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: You can't understand Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world until you make this connection of Passover and Messiah being the greater thing to come. The greater thing is the Passover lamb, who now provides his blood and brings us out of the Egypt of sin into everlasting life, the Promised Land. When you begin to understand this type, this symbolism, this connection, you understand who Yeshua is, who Jesus is, and what God has done for us through him.

Ezra Benjamin: So important for you at home to understand. Now, Jonathan, what's the difference between the spring feasts and the fall feasts? What does that mean in the Jewish calendar?

Jonathan Bernis: And I want to put this up on the screen. Moedim, appointed times, this is what it looks like in Hebrew. So, the appointed times of the Lord come from Leviticus 23.

Ezra Benjamin: Okay.

Jonathan Bernis: And it lays out the cycle of the year, the day-timer of God, and it begins with shabbat. It says it's a day of rest, and we have to talk more about shabbat on upcoming programs, because this is not about Saturday versus Sunday, this is about family anchoring, being anchored. It's a failsafe for the family to gather together, and it keeps the family unit together.

Ezra Benjamin: Wow, so important.

Jonathan Bernis: That is very applicable in the United States and Europe more than any other countries of the world.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: This is an anchor. But, then you have three appointed times: Passover, first fruits, and then Shavuot or Pentecost, that are directly connected to the first coming of Messiah, the first coming of Christ, which he fulfills in his death, his resurrection on first fruits, and then pours out the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is poured out on Pentecost. This is not a coincidence, and it's the appointed times of the year.

Ezra Benjamin: Now when you say “appointed times,” who's appointing them and are they still appointed, or was that for our people 2.000 years ago?

Jonathan Bernis: God appoints these times. These are divine markers, and they go beyond the earth. These are heavenly markers. Think of it this way. What happens in heaven happens on earth. Your kingdom come. As it is in heaven, so shall it be on the earth. These are divine markers, Ezra, and they're bigger than just the event itself. So, Passover, again, Passover, first fruits, Shavuot or Pentecost, they had their fulfillment in the Exodus out of Egypt, in the first harvest feast, and then in the first harvest of wheat, which was an even bigger harvest. Remember, they're types, shadows of things yet to come that are bigger and that connect to the Messiah.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Is it a coincidence that Jesus dies as the Passover lamb at the very time that the Passover lambs are being sacrificed for the Passover...

Ezra Benjamin: The same hours.

Jonathan Bernis: Same hours. This is because it's a heavenly Marker of that which was to come. So, it's enlarged, it's fulfilled. You want to understand fulfilled - filled full.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: The cup is filled full now when Yeshua becomes the Passover lamb. They're connected. You can't separate the Passover Exodus and the killing of the lamb to cover the doorposts of the people of Israel from Jesus as the Lamb of God. They're interconnected - same day, same event.

Ezra Benjamin: So, it's fulfilled, but doesn't go away.

Jonathan Bernis: Doesn't go away. It's filled full. And then, Pentecost, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, is the first harvest of souls. All of this is interconnected.

Ezra Benjamin: So important. So important for you at home to understand.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, we have to come back to this. We have to take a quick break, but we'll be right back with more on the feast of trumpets. Don't go away.

Jonathan Bernis: I'm just so grateful to all of you that are supporting this ministry, both through prayers and your financial gifts. They make all the difference. I can't think of a better way to bless the Jewish people than to bring them the good news of their Messiah. Well, Ezra and I are talking today about the incredible symbolism in the scriptures surrounding the feasts, the appointed times of the Lord. And today, Ezra, we're celebrating Rosh Hashanah, or this week we're celebrating Yom Teruah, the feast of trumpets.

Ezra Benjamin: Right. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. Jonathan, we've talked about the spring feasts and the significance of those, fulfilled really in the first coming of Jesus, of Yeshua. But, what's the significance beyond the text of the fall feasts, like Rosh Hashanah...

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, very good. So, we were talking earlier about the spring feasts that are directly connected with the coming of the Messiah almost 2.000 years ago. Now we have a gap and we jump to the fall feasts, which we are beginning this week with Yom Teruah, or the feast of trumpets, also known as Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: And then followed by the day of atonement, Yom Kippur, and then finishing up with the feast of tabernacles. These feasts are, again, pointing to the future. They're connected with the return of the Messiah. So when Jesus returns it's in connection with the fall feasts, and these are God's appointed times. Again, remember Colossians. These aren't the events themselves, but what they point to in Christ, in Messiah, so they're very, very significant. This is God's calendar. If you want to be on God's timetable, if you want to understand God's calendar, God's day-timer, then you have to look at the moedim, the appointed times, the feasts of Israel.

Ezra Benjamin: Right. Jonathan, I know we say if you love someone, then you'll care about the things they care about, and for our audience at home, if you love the Lord, which we know you do, you want to care about the things that are important to him, especially these appointed times that he said are eternally important to him. And Jonathan, not just for our Jewish people, but for the audience listening at home, anyone who calls themselves by the name of the Lord.

Jonathan Bernis: That's right.

Ezra Benjamin: Now, why do these feasts matter so much, especially the fall feasts specifically? Why should these matter so much to Christians?

Jonathan Bernis: Well, because they're eternal. So, “on earth as it is in heaven.” that's part of “the Lord's prayer.” “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is.”

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Listen to this, now. We don't think enough about this, “as it is in heaven.” what's going on in heaven that should be brought to earth? What exists in heaven? A tabernacle exists in heaven. The blood of the Messiah is permanently in heaven, making atonement for our sins, past, present, and future. And, the appointed times of the Lord are eternal markers, historical markers that actually go outside time and space, that are a part of heaven. If we're bringing heaven to earth, then we go on God's timetable, and this is God's timetable.

Ezra Benjamin: So important, Jonathan. Now, Rosh Hashanah, or the feast of trumpets, what does this have to do, as you said, with the second coming of Jesus, of the return of the Messiah?

Jonathan Bernis: Well, let me clear up something that some people may be thinking. Yom Teruah, the feast of trumpets, Rosh Hashanah, what's this whole thing about? First of all, it's the Jewish new year, or the new year for Israel, because the rabbis did that, decided that later on. But if you look in scripture, this is Yom Teruah. Now, what's Yom Teruah? It's been translated as the feast of trumpets, but it's the day of blowing. It actually has nothing to do with trumpets, Ezra. It has to do with this little baby right here, this ram's horn, and maybe you've seen the large one, watching at home, the kudu. That's a later development and that's Sephardic, but it began with this, the ram's horn, which goes all the way back to the sacrifice of Isaac and the Lord providing himself a ram. That's part of this symbolism.

Ezra Benjamin: Wow! So when we hear feast of trumpets, our audience at home shouldn't be thinking of a brass orchestra instrument that's somehow being blown in heaven.

Jonathan Bernis: No, they should be thinking of this. Now, this is polished up, this is beautiful, handcrafted in Israel, but just the actual ram's horn itself, which is very simple, hollowed out, and makes a great sound. Let me play it.

Ezra Benjamin: Wow. It's a startling sound, Jonathan.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, and this again, on earth as it is in heaven. This is a heavenly instrument. This is a heavenly symbol, again connecting back to the Lord providing himself a ram. But, literally what we're celebrating this week, which is part of God's eternal calendar - this is a marker, okay? Is the day of the shofar, or the day of the shofarot. It's the day of the blowing of the shofar. So, there's something supernatural. There's something divine. There's something heavenly about the ram's horn, and the blowing of the ram's horn and what that sound produces and what it means. Keep this in mind also. We live in a visible world, but the greater reality is the unseen. The greater reality is the unseen. We don't fight against flesh and blood, but principalities and powers.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: When we are operating in faith, we're trying to bring into the natural that which is unseen.

Ezra Benjamin: To bring to earth that which exists in heaven.

Jonathan Bernis: That's right. Or, we're calling that which is not yet visible as though it were, and as a result, it becomes visible. That's the opposite of logic. Logic is I'll see it, I'll believe it when I see it. Faith says I'll see it when I believe it.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Did you all get that? Faith is I'll see it when I believe it, not I'll believe it when I see it.

Ezra Benjamin: So, it's maybe what Paul's saying in Romans 12, “don't be conformed to the pattern of this world,” which is I'll believe it when I see it, “but be transformed,” and believe it to see it.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, so this is a heavenly... Exactly right, Ezra. This is a heavenly experience, a day set aside when we blow the ram's horn, and what we're doing is a few things. We're calling people to worship, the beginning of the fall feasts, and we're also sending out, I believe, a sound that is a heavenly sound going into the heavenlies, and either summons the presence of God or confounds the enemy.

Ezra Benjamin: So, not a sound to be taken lightly, not something to do just ‘cause you want to blow the shofar. There's a very significant noise.

Jonathan Bernis: Exactly. There's set times where we blow the shofar. “blow the shofar in Zion! Sound the alarm on my holy mountain” isn't a praise thing, isn't a praise song. It's a wake up call.

Ezra Benjamin: Wow!

Jonathan Bernis: It is a wake up call. It is time to wake up.

Ezra Benjamin: But what are we waking up to, Jonathan? I mean, our Jewish people or those listening at home would hear the blast of the trumpet, of the shofar. What are we waking up to?

Jonathan Bernis: I think there's a whole list of things we're waking up to. One, we're waking up to the season we live in, and we're in the last days. I truly believe we're in the last days, and I think we need to wake up. The Bible says, “I don't want you to be ignorant of these mysteries” repeatedly, that certain things are happening today that the Lord wants us to participate in and not say, “well, that doesn't concern me.”

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: So, we wake up to the times we live. We wake up to our condition, Ezra. We wake up. “wake you who are asleep.” we wake up to the reality of a spiritual battle that we're in, right? So, we're waking up to our condition. What is our relationship with the Lord? What is our real situation, because we're sojourners in this land. This isn't our home. And then, we're waking up to the reality of spiritual warfare, that the enemy is at work, but “greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world.”

Ezra Benjamin: Amen.

Jonathan Bernis: There's a lot of things that we need to wake up to, and then we're actually summoning the presence of the Lord when we blow the shofar.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: We're summoning, and it's not to be taken lightly. This isn't something you just walk around blowing all the time, this is a sacred instrument.

Ezra Benjamin: Right, not just for fun. It's not the dinner bell, so to speak.

Jonathan Bernis: It's not the dinner bell, but what it represents is just so significant. It's for every believer. Everyone who loves the Lord needs to understand his calendar.

Ezra Benjamin: So important. So important for you at home.

Jonathan Bernis: I've got to blow this again. Listen to this, because as I do, I believe the Spirit of God is going to touch you. You may be going through - whatever you're going through, just receive God's provision. I feel that. We've got to take a short break. We'll be right back with our “Ask the Rabbi” segment, so stay with us.

Jonathan Bernis: Well, now I'm going to answer some great questions sent in by you, our viewers. We have quite a few today, so let's get to it, and I want to invite you to write to us. One of your questions may be read in an upcoming show. So, here we go.

Ezra Benjamin: Let's dive right in, Jonathan. Kim from Alexandria, Louisiana asks this. “I have a friend who is Jewish and not a believer. He celebrates Rosh Hashanah every year as a time of renewal. Is there a way I can celebrate with him and reveal Yeshua through our celebration together?”

Jonathan Bernis: Kim, I'm glad you asked that question. All of the appointed times, read Leviticus 23 - all of them point to the Messiah. And so, you can use them as opportunities to share your faith in Yeshua and to show him, and we have great materials we want to get into your hands, materials that will help you to connect the Messiah with his observances. So, he'll celebrate the feast of the blowing of the trumpet, the new year. You can help him to understand how this is fulfilled in the person of Yeshua. Have a Passover Seder in your home. Build a booth and invite him to have a dinner in your booth at sukkot. There's so many things that you can do to connect his Messiah with your faith, and it'll become his faith, too. Great question, Kim! We'll be praying for you. Let us know how we can help you in the future.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen. Jonathan, the next question is from Crystal in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She asks, “is the trumpet mentioned in the Old Testament the same thing as the shofar, or were they different in some way?”

Jonathan Bernis: Crystal, Yom Teruah, which is the day of the sounding, literally, or this noise, is connected to the shofar. It's connected to the ram's horn. For other Jewish communities, to the kudu, to the big horn. It's not connected to trumpets. So, it is connected to the shofar, to the ram's horn, but there's also the blowing of silver trumpets that's connected to the year of jubilee. I won't go into any more detail on that, but there's silver trumpets, there's shofar, the blowing of the shofar. The appointed time is the blowing of the shofar, and that's done in synagogues, both traditional and Messianic, all around the world. Good question.

Ezra Benjamin: Great question. Stacy from Houston asks this. “Rosh Hashanah Marks the beginning of the high holy days. Is it true that the earth was created during this time?”

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, Stacy, that's a really interesting question. There's nothing in the Bible that connects the creation of the world to Rosh Hashanah or Yom Teruah, actually, other than the rabbis. It was the rabbis that determined long ago, I can't tell you exactly when, that the first day of the seventh month, which is what we're celebrating this week, is the memorial of God's creation of the world, the seventh, but it really is the seventh month. The first celebration, or the first observance or appointed day, is in the month of Nisan, which is the celebration of Passover. That's where it all begins, but according to the rabbis, it's the first day of the seventh month that Marks the memorial of creation, and that's observed today in Judaism, but there's no biblical record of that being the case. Good question.

Ezra Benjamin: A great question!

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, great questions today.

Ezra Benjamin: Here's another great question, Jonathan. Mitchell from Orange County, California asks, “revelation mentions that the return of the Messiah will be announced with a trumpet. Do you think that Yeshua will return on Rosh Hashanah?”

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, Mitchell, that's... I've already stepped out, actually, and I'll step out in next week's program and tell you what I believe. I don't believe that he'll come back on Rosh Hashanah. I believe that Rosh Hashanah or Yom Teruah, the blowing of the shofar, begins the process of the gathering together, the final redemption of the world, which involves the outpouring of judgment on the earth. There's trumpets that are blown in heaven that release judgment. There's also a trumpet that sounds in heaven to gather the elect together to meet the Lord in the air, and then there is the national repentance of Israel and the return of the Messiah. That involves the three fall feasts, beginning with Yom Teruah, then the day of atonement, which we'll talk about next week, and finally the end gathering, the final end gathering of Sukkot, or the feast of tabernacles. Really great question. I have lots of great materials on that, but we can't...

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah, I think we're out of time, Jonathan. We should pray for our audience.

Jonathan Bernis: We do. We want to take a moment. This is an important moment. This week is an important moment. It's an appointed time of the Lord to draw you to him, to release blessing in your life, and we speak that blessing over your life now. So, Ezra, if you'll just join with me, we bless you in the name of Yeshua and we declare over you... Shalom, the Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord turn his face towards you and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, his presence, and give you his peace.

Ezra Benjamin: Amen.

Jonathan Bernis: In the name of sar shalom, the Prince of Peace. Hey, if you have prayer needs or you'd like more information about our ministry, you can log on to our website, Just know as we close that God loves you and so do we, and remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. The Bible says, “they shall prosper that love thee.” so, pray for Israel and the Jewish people this week. Until next time, this is Jonathan Bernis with Ezra Benjamin, saying shalom and God bless you.
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