Jonathan Bernis - What Rosh Hashanah Means For You
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: The fall feasts are not 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". 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: 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, and 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 gonna 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, our religious festival, our 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. The shabbat is more than the shabbat, 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 it hap, 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, 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 that i... 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, of he 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 feast 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, the 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 on the Jewish calendar?
Jonathan Bernis: And I wanna 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.
Ezra Benjamin: Okay.
Jonathan Bernis: 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. It's very applicable in the United States and Europe more than any other countries of the world. 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 the Messiah, the first coming of Christ which he fulfills in his death, his resurrection on first fruits, and then pours out, 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, whose appointing them and are they still appointed or was that for our people 2.000 years ago.
Jonathan Bernis: This is, God appoints these times. These are our 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, Pentecost. They have 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 their types, shadows of things yet to come that are bigger and that connect to the Messiah. Is it a coincidence that Jesus dies as the Passover lamb at the very time that the Passover lambs are beings sacrificed for the Passover.
Ezra Benjamin: Same hours.
Jonathan Bernis: Same hours, this is because it's a heavenly Marker of that which was to come so it's now becomes, it's enlarged, it's fulfilled. You wanna understand fulfilled, fill full. 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 doorpost of the people of Israel from Jesus is 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 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 am 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 feast, 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 feast 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 feast like Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Jonathan Bernis: We were talking earlier about the spring feasts that are directly connected with the coming of the Messiah.
Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.
Jonathan Bernis: Almost 2.000 years ago. Now, we have a gap, and we jump to the fall feast which we are beginning this week with Yom Teruah or the feast of trumpets, also known as Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, 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 wanna 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: 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 wanna 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, they're in, "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," 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, our eternal markers, historical markers that actually go outside time and space that are 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.
Jonathan Bernis: 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?
Ezra Benjamin: 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 that, or the new year for Israel because the rabbis 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 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.
Jonathan Bernis: 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.
Ezra Benjamin: 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.
Jonathan Bernis: Wow, it's a startling sound, Jonathan.
Ezra Benjamin: Yeah, and this is a heavenly, 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 shofarot. It's 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".
Jonathan Bernis: Right.
Ezra Benjamin: When we are operating in faith, we're trying to bring into the natural that which is unseen, right?
Jonathan Bernis: To bring to earth that which exists in heaven.
Ezra Benjamin: That's right. Or we're calling that which is not yet visible as though it were, and as a result, it becomes visible. It's the opposite of logic. Logic is "I'll believe it when I see it". Faith says, "I'll see it when I believe it". Do y'all get that? Faith is "I'll see it when I believe it," not "I'll believe it when I see it".
Jonathan Bernis: 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.
Ezra Benjamin: 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.
Jonathan Bernis: So, not a sound to be taken lightly, not something to do just 'cause you wanna blow the shofar. It's a very significant noise.
Ezra Benjamin: There're 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.
Jonathan Bernis: It's a wake-up call. 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". But certain things are happening today that the Lord wants us to participate in and not say, "Well, that doesn't concern me". So we wake up to times we live, we wake up to our condition, Ezra, 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's our real situation because we're soul journers in this life, what if 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. 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. We're summoning, and it's not to be taken lightly, this isn't just something you walk around blowing all the time, this is a sacred instrument.
Ezra Benjamin: Not just for fun, it's not the dinner bell so to speak.
Jonathan Bernis: No, 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, it's so important for you at home.
Jonathan Bernis: I gotta blow this again, listen to this because as I do I believe the Spirit of God is gonna touch you. You may be going through, whatever you're going through just receive God's provision. Ah, I feel that. We're gonna 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 gonna 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 wanna 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 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 Krystal 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: Krystal, 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 point of 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. 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: You know, Mitchell, that's, I've already stepped out, actually, 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 yon teruah, the blowing of the shofar, begins the process of the gathering together, the final redemption of the world which involves the outpouring of judgement on the earth. There's trumpets that are blowing in heaven that release judgement. There's also a trumpet that sounds in heaven to gather the elect together to meet the Lord in the air, and the 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 ingathering, the final ingathering of Sukkot in the feast of tabernacles. Really great question. I have lots of great materials on that, but we can't.
Ezra Benjamin: Yeah, we're out of time, Jonathan. We should pray for our audience.
Jonathan Bernis: We do. We wanna 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 declare over you shalom, the Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord turn his face towards you and be gracious onto you, the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, his presence, and give you his peace.
Ezra Benjamin: Amen.
Jonathan Bernis: In them 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 onto our website, jewishvoice.tv. 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. Till next time, this is Jonathan Bernis with Ezra Benjamin saying shalom, and God bless you.