Everything that God spoke to us through the Bible was meant to teach us Him and His truths. The feasts in the Old Testament represented the law, were shadows (pictures) of things to come, were visual aids/ teaching opportunities and were to point the people to Jesus.
Matthew 5:17 NKJV
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”
Romans 15:4 NKJV
“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”
Colossians 2:16-17 NKJV
“So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.”
The first of the fall feasts is Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashana means, literally, head of the year or first of the year. It is the Jewish New Year. It is also called the Feast of Trumpets. The Feast of Trumpets, points to the rapture , when the Messiah will appear in the heavens as a bridegroom coming for His bride, the church.
The feast of trumpets also points to spiritual warfare. As Christians we should put on the whole armor of God so that we can stand against the attacks of the enemy. Jesus is our armor because He defeated Satan.
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
Some Bible scholars feel that this feast will be fulfilled when Jesus returns to catch away His Bride (rapture), the church to celebrate the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in Heaven, then return to the earth seven years later on the Day of Atonement to establish His Kingdom beginning on the Feast of Tabernacles. The rapture is associated in scripture with the blowing of a loud trumpet.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 NKJV
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.”
1 Corinthians 15:52 NKJV
“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
The blowing of the trumpets is a sign of the return of Christ and a memorial of God’s grace to Abraham when He substituted a ram to be sacrificed instead of Isaac.
Genesis 22:1-14 NKJV
“Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together. Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
Isaac is a type of foreshadowing of Christ. Just as Abraham offered his son on the alter, God offered His Son on Calvary’s alter.
“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called,’ concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in figurative sense.”
Rosh Hashanah (the Feast of Trumpets) is observed in the Jewish month of Tishrei. The Feast of Trumpets requires a preparing of the spirit. Each person is to take time to look back in self-examination over the events and emotions of the previous year. To be part of the rapture of the church also requires a preparing of the spirit. You must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ to be the Bride of Christ.
Special prayers are recited during this festival. The prayers emphasize God’s mercy, benevolence and forgiveness. The prayers encourage us to reflect on our deeds. This is a time of offering forgiveness and seeking reconciliation with others. It is a time that people should awake and correct their ways.
During the Feast of Trumpets special services are held where the Scriptures are read and songs of redemption are sung. Psalm 93-100 are believed to have been composed for Rosh Hashanah.
The shofar is blown on Rosh Hashanah. The end of the shofar is curved and bent as a reminder to bend in respect of God. The shofar sounds something like a trumpet. Trumpets were used in giving signals of war. Jesus is the commander of the army of God. Jesus came, the first time, to defeat the work of Satan and the sin in men’s hearts. Jesus was triumphant over the enemy.
Colossians 2:15 NKJV
“Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”
The shofar makes several different sounds, each one has a different meaning.
*Tekiah-calls a man to search his heart, abandon his evil ways, and seek God’s forgiveness through repentance.
*Shevarim- it represents the sorrow that a person feels when they realize that they are wrong (that they are a sinner), and they desire to change their ways (to repent).
*Teruah-calls man to stand by the banner of the Lord.
*Tekiah Gedolah- represents the final invitation to sincere repentance and atonement (forgiveness).
The sound of the shofar is meant to:
*be a rousing call to repentance on the part of the individual.
*awaken everyone to make them remember the One and Only Creator
*remind the people to forsake evil ways
*draw men back to God
A popular observance during this holiday is eating apples dipped in honey, a symbol for a sweet new year. The following blessing is recited before the apples are eaten:
“Blessed are You, O Lord our God. King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the tree.”
A custom still widely observed is the ceremony of Tashlikh. During the ceremony you throw bread crumbs into a river, lake, or large body of water. This symbolically represents your sins being cast away from you.
Micah 7:19 NKJV
“He will again have compassion on us, and subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.”
Rosh Hashanah is about repentance, redemption, looking forward the coming of the Messiah, judgment, and creation.
Repentance is turning from sin to God; changing your mind concerning sin, God, and yourself. It means to “turn back” to God. Repentance, Teshuvah in Hebrew, literally means turning back to God.
During this feast, the people examine their lives. They judge themselves.
What have they done that God likes this past year? What have they done that God dislikes this past year? Prayers are offered up to God asking Him to write their name in the Book of Life.
Exodus 32 : 33 NKJV
“And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.’”
Moses went up the mountain to meet with God. It was there that God gave him the ten commandments. While Moses was on the mountain, the people grew tired of waiting. They made themselves a golden calf to worship. The wrath of God grew against them. Moses asks that his name be “blotted out of the book” if God will not forgive the sins of the people.
Exodus 32:31-32 NKJV
“Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin- but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.”
Deuteronomy 9:13-14 NKJV
“Furthermore the Lord spoke to me, saying, ‘I have seen this people and indeed they are a stiff-necked people. Let Me alone, that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under the heaven; and I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they.”
Several places in the Bible make reference to sins being blotted out, to names being blotted out, and to names being written in the Book of Life.
Psalm 69:28 NKJV
“Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.”
2 Kings 14:27 NKJV
“And the Lord did not say the He would blot out the name of Israel from under the heaven; but He saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash.”
Psalm 9:5 NKJV
“You have rebuked the nations, You have destroyed the wicked; You have blotted out their name forever and ever.”
Philippians 4:3 NKJV
“And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.”
Revelation 3:5 NKJV
“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”
Revelation 20:12 NKJV
“And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.”
Revelation 20:15 NKJV
“And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Revelation 21:27 NKJV
“But there by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”
Our prayer should be that of David.
Psalms 51:1-2 NKJV
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”
Redemption is gaining back from another something that you have owned before. To buy back for the purpose of setting free from obligation, bondage, or danger. Redemption is salvation from sin, death, and the wrath of God by Christ’s sacrifice.
Psalms 107:2 NKJV
“Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy”
John 8:36 NKJV
“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
Galatians 3:13 NKJV
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.”).”
Romans 3:24 NKJV
“Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”
III. Second Coming Of Christ
At the end of the Great Tribulation, Jesus will return to earth. Jesus’ feet will stand on the Mount of Olives near Jerusalem. He will defeat the antichrist and throw Satan into a bottomless pit for 1000 years. Jesus will reign over the earth for 1000 years (millennial reign).
“And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two….”
IV. Judgment – judge yourself so that God doesn’t have to.
When the millennial reign is over, Satan will again be loosed on earth for a short period of time. He will gather an army to fight against Christ. Christ will defeat this army and Satan. The earth will be destroyed by fire and sinners will be judged (Great White Throne Judgment). Those who died as sinners will be resurrected (removed from hell), to stand before God to be judged for what they did, or did not do, while they were here on earth.
Every person whose name is not found in the Book of Life will be thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is described several times in the Bible. It is an eternal fire that never goes out. It is black and dark and the constant torment has no end, it never stops. The lake of fire will be a place of extreme suffering, where a person will always remember everything he has done or known, and will always regret not choosing to follow Jesus Christ.
Revelation 20:11-15 NKJV
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was no place found for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”
V. Creation – one day God will create the world anew.
After the final judgment, God promised a new heaven and a new earth. Christ will give His millennial kingdom to God the Father, The Supreme Ruler.
1 Corinthians 15:24 NKJV
“Then the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.”
All Christians will live with God forever in a beautiful new universe.
God will wipe every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death or pain.
The Holy City, the New Jerusalem, will come down from heaven and will shine with the glory of God.
2 Peter 3:13 NKJV
“Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”
The city will be made of gold and will be decorated with precious jewels. Down the middle of the city will flow the river of life, and on each side of the river will grow trees of life. The throne of God will be in the city, and people will worship God forever and ever.
Heaven will be far better than we can imagine. As we draw close to God here on earth, we can experience the same wonderful presence of God that we will experience when we stand before His throne.
Revelation 21:1-2 NKJV
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
According to Acts chapter 15, we do not have to keep the laws of the feasts. But, by doing so we will gain a greater appreciation for God and all that He has done for us. When you participate in these special times you have a wonderful opportunity to point others to Jesus Christ and to teach about God’s plan of redemption.
As you study the fall feasts you will see prophetic events (the rapture of the church, the second coming of Christ and the millennium reign of Christ) in a new light.
In order to participate in the rapture, you must repent, turn away from sin and toward God, through the blood of Jesus Christ. Then you will be redeemed. When the Messiah, Jesus Christ, comes again you will be changed and ready for the judgment, before the world is created anew.
God loves every person and sent His Son so that everyone could be spared punishment. However, He cannot and will not allow sin to go unpunished. There is everlasting punishment for all who have not accepted God’s way of salvation. Salvation only comes through Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Everyone who accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and their Savior will have everlasting life in a new heaven and new earth. They will live forever in the presence of God.