erev shabbat service 3 September 2010 (24th of the 6th month)Blessed be YHWH our Elohim who has given us His Sabbath that we can rest in Him. Shabbat Shalom to you all! Praise YHWH that He has given us His appointed times to celebrate and keep that we may be awake and watchful for the good things to come! Tonight I want to stir your hearts with the excitement of what lies ahead in the coming weeks. Next week we will be entering in to the 7th month of our Creator’s calendar and we get to celebrate and rehearse according to His Torah His feasts. We have, earlier in the year, celebrated Passover and Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and Shavuot. Coming up we will be celebrating Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot – that is The Feast of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles. I want you all to realise today that we are commanded to keep His feasts, so it is not a suggestion but rather a call to obedience – obedience to His instructions, His Torah! Tonight I want to share with you more specifically on Yom Teruah or the Feast of Trumpets and my message is called, “Hear the Sound!”
We will be looking at a few Scriptures and definitions with the hope to give you a better understanding as to the application and meaning of the sound of Trumpets and the Shofar. Turn with me first to Bemidbar/Numbers 10:1-10 (Read).
From this passage we can see in part what the use of trumpets were for, which also carried with it great prophetic meaning. Moshe was told to make 2 silver trumpets, made from hammered/beaten steel which was to be used for the ‘gathering’ of the congregation and for breaking up camp. If one was blown then the leaders were to assemble; if both were blown then the entire assembly was to gather. It was to be used in battle against their enemies so that they would be remembered by YHWH and be saved and was to be blown at the appointed times.
These two silver trumpets symbolise for us refinement and redemption. The silver also carries a crisp, clear sound! The hammered trumpets tells us that the Father is moulding us through tests and affliction, as James tells us that we are to rejoice when we fall into various trials as our faith is being proved through endurance that we be perfect and complete not lacking anything (James 1:2-4).
The two silver trumpets also symbolise for us the two houses of Ephraim and Judah, refined through testing and redeemed by the Blood of Yahushua being ‘gathered’ to Him and in Zechariah 13:9 “And I shall bring the third into fire, and refine them as silver is refined, and try them as gold is tried. They shall call on My Name, and I shall answer them. I shall say, ‘This is My people,’ while they say, ‘YHWH is my Elohim.’ ”
YHWH, as a purifier of silver, will purify and refine us in order that we may present to Him offerings of righteousness!
In the Scriptures we see the sound of the trumpet or shofar or rams horn being used at the command of YHWH and I just want to share some with you, that you may begin to see the significance of this unique sounding that YHWH has both commanded us to carry out and to hear!
Shofar in the Scriptures:
• The Torah was given at Mount Sinai at the sound of the shofar, which we will look at shortly (Shemoth/Exodus 19:19)
• Yisra’ĕl conquered the enemy in the battle of Yeriḥo with the sound of the shofar (Yehoshua/Joshua 6:20)
• It sounds the coming of the Messiah (Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 9:14,16)
• It is blown at the time of the ingathering of the exiles (Yeshayahu/Isaiah 27:13)
• It was blown to signal assembly during war (Shophetim/Judges 3:27)
• The watchmen on the wall would sound the alarm, warning the people of attack by blowing the shofar (Yeḥezqĕl/Ezekiel 33:3)
• It is blown at the start of the Jubilee year (Wayyiqra/Leviticus 25:9)
• It is blown to remind us of the sovereignty of YHWH (Tehillim/Psalm 47:5)
• It is blown as a reminder of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac and YHWH’s provision of a ram as a substitute
• Blown to announce the appointed times and festivals and celebrate the New Moon (Bemidbar/Numbers 10:10 – Tehillim/Psalm 81:1-3))
• It is blown as a call to repentance (Yeshayahu/Isaiah 58:1)
• It is blown to usher in the Day of YHWH (Yo’ĕl/Joel 2:1)
• It is blown to sound Yahushua coming to take His Bride (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
• Used for the coronation of kings (Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 1:34,39)
These are just some of the many accounts we can see where the sound of the Trumpet or shofar is used in Scripture.
But more specifically tonight we are talking about Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets.
Teruah means ‘awakening blast’, ‘shout’, ‘alarm’, ‘call to awake’. The first coming of Yahushua on a donkey was with a shout and His second coming will be with an awakening blast! Ephesians 5:14 gives the call for those sleeping to wake up. And this theme of awakening from the sleep is used throughout Scripture:
Romans 13:11 “And do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for us to wake up from sleep, for now our deliverance is nearer than when we did believe.”
In Yeshayahu/Isaiah 59:1 the awakening call is associated with Messiah coming again, at the trumpet sound!
Yom Teruah is on the 1st of the 7th month according to the Creator’s time schedule, and it was this day that Yahushua said that no man knows the day or the hour, simply because it is all dependent upon the sighting of the renewed moon. The Torah teaches us a living calendar because we serve a living Elohim! When we follow the Torah we enter in to living according to a living and prophetic calendar and so become part of the life of Messiah and our timelines, values, thoughts and interests are focused on YHWH’s timeline and not our own man-made attempts to change His ordained time schedule! Daniel 7:25 tells us that the fourth beast would speak out against the Most High and wear out the set-apart ones of the Most High, and it intends or would attempt to change the appointed times or festivals and law. We know that is exactly what has happened, the institution of the Catholic Church by Constantine brought about these intended changes, that forsook keeping the feasts of YHWH and replacing them with Babylonian sun-worship feasts and they changed the law by making a Sun-day law to worship the Sun God Mithras and forbid any to keep YHWH’s Sabbath!
Changing the law amounts simply to lawlessness and that is what has happened to the church today – it is a lawless church – for it does not keep the law/ Torah of the Almighty and has instead replaced it with the traditions of men! You can read about the ‘lawless one’ and the lawlessness that would take over in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12, and how the ‘lawless one’ would set himself up as Elohim on the dwelling place of Elohim, showing himself as Elohim. This is none other than the work of Satan who through a false gospel that has set himself up in the hearts of men and women and is ruling and reigning in their lives ‘as’ Elohim and leading them astray through lawlessness, while performing many signs and wonders of falsehood! And those who do not love the Truth are sent a delusion by YHWH that they would believe the lie that has set itself up in their hearts. What is my point here? Man can attempt to change YHWH’s calendar and Torah and live by His own man-made standards thinking it is worship, but the reality is simply that no one can change YHWH’s appointed times and laws and any form of worship outside of true obedience to His Torah, no matter how sincere, is an abomination to Him! The Christian Church today through ‘Sun-day’ worship is practicing and teaching ‘lawlessness’ and its attempt at worship is an abomination before YHWH! Rabbinical Judaism too, with their ‘takanots’ and ‘ma’asim’ (additional laws and enactments) and their Talmud (Oral Torah), in attempted worship to the Creator is an abomination. We are to worship according to His Word and not the traditions and laws of men!!!
Yom Teruah is part of His calendar that many of us have only just begun to recognise and accept, as we begin to walk in and accept His calendar and appointed times and repent for the lies that were handed down to us, and Yom Teruah is certainly one day we do not want to miss, or rather be asleep in ignorance for! This day that we get to rehearse will be the day that will change the world as we know it for eternity! Yom Teruah is the Day of Great Blowing – the Alarm call that will announce the coming return of The Righteous King, Yahushua Messiah, and from that Day His government will be established with no end to His Universal Kingship!
He tells us that this day will come like a thief in the night and we are to be watchful, as children of the light, who are awake to His time schedule!
This day is a High Sabbath and it is a day where we are called to assemble and celebrate with the sounding of the shofar. I want to reiterate that this day He commands us to assemble; it is not a suggestion but a command!
Yom Teruah is also known as Zichran Teruah, where Zichran is sometimes translated as ‘memorial’ and also carries the meaning of ‘mentioning’ – and it is used in reference to speaking the name of YHWH. The ‘mentioning shout’ as a day of the gathering of the faithful at the shout of His Trumpet sound! Yahushua said to the people that we would not see Him again until we say, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of YHWH”. Yom Teruah is a time where bothe Ephraim and Yehuḏah will come together and cry out to the Name of YHWH and at the Trumpet blast on Yom Teruah there will be a ready Bride who calls on His Name!
This is a day for us to ingest His Word, lift our voices in song and blow the shofar and make preparation for His coming, for this day confirms to us the full assurance that YHWH has made an appointment with His people.
Mark 13:33 “Take heed, watch and pray, for you do not know when the time is.”
This day is a call to watch unto prayer.
Yom Teruah is a special day, a memorial Sabbath, a special day of significance designed to bring the faithful into remembrance of the Almighty! A time to remember His very Torah given to us at Mount Sinai – at the sound of the Shofar!
In looking forward with great expectation of what is to come, it helps us to look back to gain greater insight as to events that will soon take place. At Mount Sinai the shofar was exceedingly strong:
Shemoth/Exodus 19:16 “And it came to be, on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain. And a voice of a shofar was very strong, and all the people who were in the camp, trembled.”
Shemoth/Exodus 19:19 “And when a voice of the shofar sounded long and became very strong, Moshe spoke, and Elohim answered him by voice.”
The sound of the shofar was strong and sounded long – this was a call to gathering the entire assembly to hear the Torah from YHWH and so the shofar sound we hear on Yom Teruah ought to also remind us of our acceptance of the Torah and our obligations to walk in it. The shofar sound is also a battle cry and on Yom Teruah it is a battle cry to wage war against our inner enemy – those evil inclinations, the passions of the flesh, bitterness, anger, rage and everything that hinders and entangles us!
At Mount Sinai the sound of the Shofar was used to usher in the voice of YHWH giving His Ten Commandments and a world-wide warning is scheduled for the future when YHWH Himself will blow the Trumpet, signalling the events scheduled for the close of this age and announce the second coming of the Messiah, where the first resurrection will take place.
YHWH instructed Moshe is Shemoth/Exodus 19:13 that when the trumpet ‘sounds long’ then the people could come near the mountain. The term ‘sounds long’ is the Hebrew word ‘mashak’, which means, ‘to draw out’, and also means, ‘a drawing out of something such as a hand, bow, sound (as from a horn) or time’.
This is very significant as the picture of ‘a drawing out of the hand’ points to the outstretched working arm of YHWH – Yahushua Messiah our Redeemer and Saviour. Moshe’s name also means ‘to draw out’ and reflects the foreshadow of the deliverance of YHWH’s people from slavery through His drawn out hand – the Living Torah!
The word massiach or messiah comes from the word, ‘masach’ which means ‘to smear’ or ‘anointed’, and we know that ointments were made from the oils to heal the sick and oils were smeared also on the heads of individuals who are being given the office of a prophet, priest or king, as a sign of authority.
So, ‘mashak, means the drawing out of something such as a sound from a horn! And how were kings anointed in biblical times?
Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 1:34 “And there Tsaḏoq the priest and Nathan the prophet shall anoint him sovereign over Yisra’ĕl. And blow the horn, and say, ‘Let Sovereign Shelomoh live!’"
Shemuʼĕl Aleph/1 Samuel 16:1 “And YHWH said to Shemuʼĕl, “How long are you going to mourn for Sha’ul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Yisra’ĕl? Fill your horn with oil, and go, I am sending you to Yishai the Bĕyth Leḥemite. For I have seen among his sons a sovereign for Myself.”
Kings were anointed by the blowing of the shofar and the very oil used for the anointing came from the shofar!
Why am I telling you all this? Well, because this is so exciting – from the root word of mashak, which means to draw out, comes the meaning of gravity or heavy. And at the drawn out sound of the shofar we can see the prophetic picture of Yahushua who came as the Outstretched Arm of YHWH and took the weight or gravity of sin upon Himself and He tell us that He will ‘draw’ all men unto Himself! The Trumpet sound is a declaration of the Messiah!
At Mount Sinai the nation heard the shofar and the 10 Words spoken by the voice of YHWH but first had to cleanse themselves and gather on the third day at the foot of the mountain to receive the covenant of marriage. It is His very commands that cleanse us and beautify us and make us ready for His second coming. The shofar was sounded before YHWH spoke and reminds us that we are to listen to His voice and do what He tells us in His Word, so that we can bear fruit, which is the good works we have been created for – that is to walk in righteousness, guarding to do all His commands!
In a typical Hebrew marriage there are two phases or steps in the marriage; there is firstly the contract or ‘ketubah’ and then the ‘gathering’. At the acceptance of the marriage proposal, which would be seen by the bride accepting the cup of wine offered by the groom, a bride price is negotiated and a contract is drawn up outlining the conditions of the marriage contract, with blessings and curses, with each party receiving a copy – pretty similar to today when people get married – they either enter in to an out of community of in community of property contract. In the Hebrew marriage at this first stage, which we would call the engagement, is seen as legally being married even though the two parties do not yet stay together, and the bride or bridegroom cannot get out of the marriage except through divorce as a result of adultery. The first stage is announced by the sound of a shofar, known as the first shofar. The bride-groom goes to prepare a room for his bride while the bride must make herself ready for the wedding feast. She does not know when her groom will come but must be ready and kept spotless. The second stage in the marriage, called the gathering, is when the groom comes to fetch his bride and take her to the house or room he has prepared for her at his father’s house. It is only when the father sees that both the bride is ready and the dwelling place the groom has prepared is ready that he then announces with the sound of a shofar that the gathering can take place and the groom can go and lift up and take his bride, this is known as the last shofar. The bride had to be ready having her lamp full of oil, and when she heard the sound of the shofar she must be ready with lamp lit to show the groom that she is still waiting faithfully for him. If she was not at home the wedding would be cancelled and if she did not have oil in her lamp the wedding was cancelled!!!
Yahushua is the groom and we are His Bride. He has paid the Bride price in full with Blood and has sealed the ketubah/marriage covenant and has gone to prepare a place for us. And now we eagerly await his return with our lamps filled with oil and burning brightly is this dark world showing we are betrothed, clothed in righteousness and keeping our garments spotless by walking in obedience to the Torah, our marriage contract! Yahushua, our Righteous King is coming, and He is coming at the sound of the ‘second shofar’ to come and ‘lift up’ and ‘take’ His Bride to the very place he has prepared for us – the New Yerushalayim, where we will tabernacle with Him!
1 Thessalonians 4: 16-18 “Because the Master Himself shall come down from heaven with a shout, with the voice of a chief messenger, and with the trumpet of Elohim, and the dead in Messiah shall rise first. 17 Then we, the living who are left over, shall be caught away together with them in the clouds to meet the Master in the air – and so we shall always be with the Master. 18 so, then, encourage one another with these words.”
Notice here in this passage the words ‘caught away’ – in Hebrew this is known as the ‘lakach’ and ‘nissuim’ – taken and lifted up. The Bride will be taken and lifted up by the Bridegroom and so the second part of the marriage will take place when Messiah comes again and lift us up and takes us with Him to the great Wedding Feast. He is coming for His Bride who has made herself ready – He is not coming for part of His Bride – then coming for the rest – He is coming for His ready Bride! And this is not the ‘rapture’ – it is Yahushua coming to lift up and take His Bride to be with Him and dwell with Him in the New Yerushalayim which is coming down here.
1 Corinthians 15:51-52 “See, I speak a secret to you: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
We are to be awake and when he comes we better be ‘at home’ so to speak, meaning in our rightful place in Him walking in His ways faithfully busy about His business and not outside where the murderers and idolaters and drunkards are and we are to have our lamps lit and full of oil.
This feast celebrates the time when His Bride will be ‘gathered’ together, calling out His Bride out of the nations and part of being called out is to be cleansed and washed in His Word in order that we are able to stand before Him.
At Mount Sinai, at the first shofar, the nation of Yisra’ĕl could only come to the foot of the Mountain, and now at the second or last shofar we will be taken up to be with Him as He sets His foot down on the Mount of Olives and we will be able to go up to the Mountain of YHWH!!!
Just as they had to be cleansed and prepared to hear His voice at Sinai, so too do we have to prepare ourselves and make ourselves ready that when the Trumpet sounds, He will find us faithfully waiting for His return.
His Word does not return void, and at Mount Sinai His voice went out with the Words of His covenant, His Marriage Contract – hear the sound and stay faithful to Him as he is coming for a ready bride!
Looking forward to this feast we can also look in at our own lives and see if there is any spot or blemish that has spoiled our wedding garments – the fine linen that is our righteousness, and if so then come to Him and be cleansed that we may not be found asleep and without oil.
Yom Teruah is also known as Teshuva, which means repentance, so as we look to Yom Teruah – the Alarm or Awakening Blast, let us realise this call to repentance and turn in total obedience to our maker following His Torah that makes us ready as a Bride adorned in righteousness!
I just want to make it very clear that Yom Teruah is not ‘Rosh Hashanah’ which means ‘New Year’ as Rabbinical Judaism teaches – it is the 1st of the 7th month and the celebration of Rosh Hashanah at this time is simply a rabbinical practice that was taken from the period of Babylonian captivity. YHWH clearly instructed Moshe when Yisra’ĕl came out of Mitsrayim (Egypt) that that month was to be the beginning of the year for them. The month we celebrate the Passover meal is the first month of the Biblical calendar, known as the month of Aviv, for we look for the renewed moon and the ripening of the barley – to see whether it is aviv (ripe) or not. Yom Teruah is the beginning of the 7th month also known as Tishrei. Let us be very careful in our pursuit of Truth not to get caught up in rabbinical precedents and man-made laws that intend to or try and attempt to change YHWH’s instructions. Let us also not be led astray by the deception and lie that the church teaches in regard to ‘the rapture’ of the church, and that we are supposedly in the ‘church age’ which according to doctrines of man is between Pentecost and Trumpets and that the ‘church’ will be raptured before the tribulation where YHWH will sort out the ‘Jews’. This is a lie. We, His Bride – that is Yisra’ĕl – that is the combined Bride of the two houses of Ephraim and Yehuḏah are living between the first and the last shofar, we are in our betrothal period, awaiting the Bridegroom to come and lift up and take His Bride to His prepared place! This is the time for the Bride to make herself ready and not be found asleep at Yom Teruah, at the Awakening Blast where heaven and earth will shake and He will come to embrace His Bride! May our lamps be full and lit showing the world that we are betrothed and ready, spotless and without blemish, eagerly awaiting our groom!!! Yom Teruah we get to rehearse, we get to truly rehearse the good things that are to come, may we be kept pure and holy, not spoiling our fine linen!
Let me finish with the Torah instruction of Yom Teruah and may we be obedient to His voice!
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:24-25 “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, saying, ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you have a rest, a remembrance of blowing of trumpets, a set-apart gathering. 25 ‘You do no servile work, and you shall bring an offering made by fire to YHWH.’ ”
Let us all be watchful this coming week as we look for the sighting of the first sliver of the new moon and be ready to gather and sound the shofar of rejoicing and declaration that we have a Saviour and a Bridegroom that is coming for us.
And may we truly let this be a Day of Shouting His Praise!
See you all for Yom Teruah!