Rabbi Schneider - The Feast of Trumpets: The Great Reminder
Baruch HaShem beloved. We are focusing today on one of the holiest days in God's calendar. It's called Yom Teruah, oftentimes referred to as the Feast of Trumpets. It's associated, I believe, with the return of Messiah, Yeshua HaMashiach. What we're going to do is go back to the early text. We're going to see what this holy day represented in its original historical context. And then we're going to be making application for our life today.
Let's begin by going to the book of Vayikra, the Book of Leviticus chapter 23. I'm going to begin reading now in the 23rd verse. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of the Lord, Baruch Hashem, bless His name, abides forever. Hear the Word of God. "Again the LORD, again Yahweh spoke to Moshe, to Moses, saying, 'speak to the sons of Israel saying, "in the seventh month on the first of the month, you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any laborious work, but you should present an offering by fire to the Lord"'".
Let's take a step back for a second and think about what we just read. First of all, the biblical name of this holy day is called the Feast of Prophets. It's a day of blowing. Yom Teruah, a day of trumpets. It's oftentimes referred to in traditional Judaism, as Rosh Hashanah, which has a very different meaning. The word "Rosh" means "head," "Hashanah," "the year". Because according to the rabbis' tradition, it was on this day, this day of trumpets that the Lord created the world. So Jewish people celebrate this day. And incorporated in their celebration is the concept that Rosh Hashanah or Yom Teruah is the anniversary of mankind-the day that God created man, the day that God created the world. But there's much more. Because this holy day begins what is called the ten days of awe.
What do I mean by the ten days of awe? The day from Yom Teruah or Rosh Hashanah that we just read about to Yom Kippur that falls on the holy calendar, ten days later, these ten days between these two holy days are called the Days of Awe. Why? Because Jewish people understand that on Yom Kippur, in ten days from Yom Teruah, God judges the world. This is rabbinic mindset. We're going to look at it through the lens of the New Testament in a moment. But I want you to understand the rabbinic tradition here. Because on Yom Kippur, the blood of the bull and the goat was brought into the Holy of Holies by the high priest of Israel.
Let me say it again. Israel understood that ten days from Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets the high priest of Israel would bring in the blood of a bull and a goat into the holy place called the Holy of Holies, which first existed in the tabernacle. And then later when the tabernacle was built into a permanent structure in Jerusalem, it was called the temple. But in the back of the tabernacle, and then later the temple, was a room called the Holy of Holies that housed the Ark of the Covenant. And inside the Ark of the Covenant were the Ten Commandments. And each year on Yom Kippur that high priest would bring in the blood of the bull and the goat and pour it on top of the Ark of Covenant, which is called the Mercy Seat. And when the Lord saw the blood poured upon the Mercy Seat, He would forgive the sins of Israel for their sin and transgression against the Ten Commandments, which were inside that Ark of the Covenant.
So the blood was poured on top of the Ark of the Covenant, and God saw the blood. And the Lord said in the book of Leviticus chapter 17:11 regarding this holy day called Yom Kippur, "The life of the flesh is in the blood. And I've given it to you on the altar," sayeth the Lord, "to make," listen, "an atonement for your soul. For it's the blood by reason of its life that makes atonement". So once again, as we take a step back, we're focusing right now on the Feast of Trumpets. But the Feast of Trumpets inaugurates the ten days called the ten days of awe leading up to Yom Kippur that is the day that God forgives the sins of his people. But Israel understood that in order for their sins to be forgiven, they had to repent. They couldn't just assume God would forgive them. They had to humble themselves before the Lord. That's why the Lord gave us instructions in the Torah, that on Yom Kippur, every soul must humble himself. And the soul that does not humble himself, the Lord said, will be cut off.
So forgiveness, atonement, through the shedding of blood is not something that God just automatically does without man's participation. Man has to humble himself and put himself in a posture of being able to receive God's forgiveness by recognizing his sin and his evil, and bowing before his maker and saying, "God forgive me". And when we see the blood that's shed, the animal that had to die, and later, God Himself clothed in the flesh that had a die, we realize how hideous, how horrendous, how serious evil and sin really is.
In next week's message, I'm going to talk about this as I speak more specifically about Yom Kippur and the need for you and I to come to grips with the reality of evil and our need for cleansing of evil and its consequences. But I want you to understand that Yom Teruah not only gets us ready for Yom Kippur. Yom Teruah, the day of blowing, again, also known as Rosh Hashanah is really ultimately about a reminder that the Creator is going to judge His creation, He's going to reveal Himself to the world, He's coming back.
Now let's go back to the first thing that I said in the message today. I said that the children of Israel were to blow the trumpet, and the trumpet was to remind them. Let's read about it in Leviticus 23:23. "Again, the LORD spoke to Moses saying, 'Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, "In the seventh month-this is the Hebrew month called Tishrei-in the seventh month on the first of the month, you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation"'". Notice what we just pulled out here. They are to rest and then they are to blow the trumpets. And the trumpets are to be a reminder. Listen again, "you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any laborious work, but you should present an offering by fire to the Lord".
Now what is curious here is we know we're to blow the trumpet and the trumpet is to be a reminder. But what is it that the blowing of the trumpet would remind us of? The text doesn't tell us here. But when we look deep into the Word of God to try to understand what this blowing of the trumpet could have reminded us of, it brings us back to the Torah. We're going to the book of Exodus now and we're going to the 19th chapter. What did that blowing of the trumpet remind Israel of? Hear the Word of God as I pick up in verse 18 of Exodus 19. "Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the Lord Yahweh descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. When the sound, get it now, when the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder".
So what did the Israelites hear? The whole mountain is on fire. The whole mountain is quaking. The whole mountain is covered in smoke. I mean, it's terrifying. It's overwhelming. I mean, it is overwhelming. They're overwhelmed by this. They're terrified. And then what happens? A trumpet starts blowing from heaven. "When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him with thunder. The LORD came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up".
This is a picture of the return of King Jesus. This is why the book of Thessalonians tells us in chapter 4 that the Lord Jesus, that Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus the Messiah, will descend again from heaven with the voice of the angel and the trump of God. Just as God descended on Mount Sinai with the trumpet, the trumpet grew louder and louder, it reached a crescendo of power, and then God descended in glory, so too Yeshua will be revealed from heaven as a cosmic heavenly divine shofar, the voice of God penetrates the earth's atmosphere through the sound of the shofar, once again, and Jesus is revealed. And then church, every eye will see Him. Even those who pierced Him. And the creator of the world will reveal Himself to His creation once again.
So every year we celebrate the Feast of Trumpets, Yom Teruah to remind ourselves that the Creator is going to reveal Himself to the world again, soon. Jesus is coming back for you and me soon. What the Lord desires is that every generation, every generation since Jesus is to live with the mindset and with an expectation that Yeshua HaMashiach will return in your lifetime and in my lifetime. Let me say it again. What is the Lord wanting from us? He's wanting you and I, beloved, to cultivate an expectation that Jesus will return in our lifetime. Put your hand over your heart with me, and just say out loud with me, "Jesus is coming back soon. Jesus is coming back for me".
Yeah. Beloved, you and I are to live our lives in this world with an expectation that Jesus will return in our lifetime. Of course, the Scripture writers write about this. They begin to mock, "Well, where is he then"? They began to say to Peter, "Where is He"? Peter said, "God is not mocked". A day with the Lord is like a thousand years to you. Jesus is coming back soon. And if you and I stop looking for Him like the five foolish virgins, when He does come back, we will not be ready.
I don't know about you, but I don't need anybody to convince me that Yeshua is coming back soon. I mean, the signs are everywhere. I know they've been saying this for years, but it's like no other time in the history of the world right now. Certainly, like nothing I've experienced in my lifetime. The chaos in the world is unbelievable. The violence, the hatred, the confusion, the poison all around us. It's terrible. It's at the place, beloved, of no return. See, when they began to ask Jesus about His return and when He would come back, Yeshua in the book of Matthew quoted Daniel. They asked Jesus, "Tell us, when will be the sign of your coming, and at the end of the age"? You know what Jesus did? He said, "As the prophet Daniel spoke".
Now when we go to the book of Daniel, we find this tremendous revelation that was given to Daniel. Then the Holy Spirit said to Daniel, after this Holy Spirit gave him the revelation, He said, "Seal up the book, for no one will understand the revelation that I just gave you until the end of the age. Until it's time". In other words, the revelation that Daniel received wasn't to be understood in Daniel's lifetime. But now, we understand it because we're living in the time that Yeshua is about to return. Daniel said there will be a time in the earth where information technology would have overtaken the world. We're living in that time. Young children don't even know how to play outside anymore. They'd rather play inside on their computers than they would play outside in the trees and with the animals and in nature.
Daniel said, "Before the Lord reveals Himself to the world," he said, "knowledge will have greatly increased and people will be traveling to and fro". He saw jet airline travel. We're living right in the midst of this. But not only that, beloved. The breakdown of the family, gender identity confusion, the division in politics, the breakdown of respect for authority, the breakdown of the family unit. All these things that are happening in the Western world and beginning to sweep the entire planet are irreversible. And it's all setting the stage for Yeshua to come back. You see, the problem in the culture today is mankind has invented a different god. They invented a god whose morality they define. In other words, God's Word is no longer the basis of people's morality today. Instead, what society has done is they cast aside God's Word for a different morality.
A morality that includes everybody, includes everything, includes every type of behavior, where tolerance is the new religion and nothing is any more deemed wrong. It is mass confusion. It's a mass deception. And Jesus is getting ready to come back. In fact, Daniel said that before Yeshua would return, he said, "Sin would have to reach a climax. And when sin reaches a climax," Daniel explained, "man would lose his moral compass". So we would no longer be able to have the discernment to know the difference between right and wrong. And in this world stage where mankind has lost his moral compass, no longer having a discernment of absolute morality, it's in that climate, Daniel said, that an anti-Messiah would emerge. Somebody would emerge in human history, that the public, that the masses would believe is like an embodiment of godliness. And they would be so deceived that they would follow this one off the cliff, and at the very end, Jesus Christ, the true Messiah will reveal Himself to the world once again. This is the feast of trumpets. Jesus is getting ready to come back. He's getting ready to come back for you and for me.
Now, I want you to consider carefully what I'm about to say. I was recently in Colorado. We met a lost soul there. We could just see he was a lost soul by the way he started talking. We met him fishing one day. He started talking this defeatist language. You could tell the guy really needed help. We tried to reach out to him in the love of God. I said, "What do you think of Jesus"? He started cursing. I'm going to say something beloved that's so terrible. I hate to even say it. But he said... this is so terrible to say it... he said he'd rather burn in hell than have Jesus die for his sins. You see, he had invented a morality in his own mind that he thought was superior to Jesus. He thought his concept of everything is good, he thought his concept of tolerance, he thought his concept of all paths lead to the same place. He thought that was more godly than Jesus.
But Jesus said this: "Will the Son of Man find faith when He returns to earth? Straight and narrow," our Messiah said, "is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it. Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say, will seek to enter and not be able". Beloved, Jesus is coming back. And this world is not our home. We're not on planet earth to vacation. We're here to get ready to meet Him. And you and I are going to meet Him soon, face to face. And our job right now is to get ready. This is a training ground. This is a proving ground. This is a place to love Him, to put Him first, and obey Him. It's only one life that we're on in this planet, and it'll soon be passed and only what's done for Christ will last. Let's get ready. Jesus is coming back for you.