The Feast of Yom Teruah
The Festival of Trumpets
Yom Teruah begins the seventh moon (month) of Yah’s heavenly calendar. Later in the month (Lev. 23:26-37), BYA will celebrate “Yom Kippur” (“Day of Atonement”) and “Sukkoth” (“Tabernacles”).
Ancient Israel was an agricultural-based society that had three main harvests: early spring (primarily barley); late spring (primarily wheat); and early fall (primarily fruits and vegetables). The Israelites were called upon to assemble and celebrate the three harvests with offerings, songs of praise and prayers of thanks to Elohim. YHVH ordained these annual feasts as spiritual symbols of His Plan for our Salvation, Betrothal and Marriage. They were also shadows of events fulfilled by Yahshuah and actions yet to come. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days, which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Messiah. (Col. 2:16-17)
For example, YHVH’s spring holy days: “HaBikkurim” (“The First Fruits”), “Pesach” (“Passover”) and “HaMatza” (“Unleavened Bread”) picture Yahshuah accomplishments on earth during His 1st coming. The summer feast of “Shavuot” (“Pentecost”) pictures the renewal of Yahshuah’s Church with the sending of the Holy Spirit.
The coming fall feast of Yom Teruah pictures the time just before Yahshuah’s triumphant final return as King of kings and Lord of lords. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, the moon shall not give her light, the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.” (Matt. 24:29)
Yahshuah speaks more about His second coming to earth. “Then the sign of the Son of man in heaven shall appear. Then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn. They shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. He will send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet. They will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matt. 24:30-31).
Today there is much disagreement about when Yom Teruah begins and ends. Jewish tradition follows a calendar that Hillel II established in the 4th century (around A. D. 350). His mathematical calculations of astronomical phenomena schedule the 1st day of the seventh moon in the autumn on the Jewish calendar. Those of the Jewish faith (living outside of Jerusalem) may also celebrate a second feast day called Rosh Hashanah Day 2.
According to scripture, this feast does not actually begin a new year. The Word instructs us that a new calendar year begins in spring. YHVH spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, “This month shall be to you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year to you.” (Exod. 12:2).
While some Christian denominations may acknowledge Yah’s Torah feasts, very few speak about Yom Teruah, and even fewer keep the feast. Even Messianic communities disagree on when to celebrate the feast. Some choose to follow the Jewish calculated date. Others like BYA keep the feast according to Yah’s heavenly signs. Elohim said,” Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.” (Gen. 1:14)
The uncertainty that surrounds the celebration of Yom Teruah is much like that surrounding Yahshuah’s second coming. His disciples were taught, “But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” (Matt. 24:36)
As prophetic signs of Yahshuah’s return become evident, BYA prepares to meet with Yahshuah on this feast day and every day of the year. There is no guarantee to our lifetime. So we prudently and obediently gather when Yah calls. We watch, pray, sing, offer praise and rejoice until we will join Yahshuah at His second coming. “Blessed is he who reads and they who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things that are written therein. For the time is at hand.” (Rev. 1:3)
One thing is certain: when Yahshuah returns (a picture of Yom Teruah) that day will be glorious for those blessed to be among the Bridal Party (ecclesia) of the Groom (Yahshuah). Sadly, not all will become and stay ready for this wedding feast. That holy (set apart, appointed) day of His return will be a bittersweet occasion, sort of like the apple/honey dips many eat during this festival.
Yahshuah teaches more of Yom Teruah and His second coming in a parable (Matt. 25:1-13). He describes a Bridegroom about to celebrate His wedding feast. He returns to gather ten virgin bridesmaids. Five of the maidens were wise. Their lamps filled with oil to give light (Torah). Their light was a spiritual sign that they knew the difference between clean and unclean, the distinction between holy and unholy. They kept the Sabbaths and holy feasts (“moedim”).
While five virgins were righteously prepared, five were foolish. These were not prepared to light their lamps in the darkness of the night (world). They even tried to buy oil as a last resort to join the wedding feast (Yah’s Kingdom). Yahshuah’s parable contains several lessons. One is critical. His disciples must embrace the spiritual purpose behind Yah’s festival every day, not just when these occur (annually). Coming to Yahshuah is not a last minute activity on a “to-do list.” Trying to do so will not meet with success.
Note well that all ten bridesmaids in the parable were asleep. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. (Matt. 25:5). Sleep symbolizes death. Many of them who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:2). The graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints who slept, arose (Matt. 27:52). Five bridesmaids prepared properly when they were awake (“alive”) for their Groom’s arrival in the night. Five wasted their time of life. (John 11:11-14; 1 Cor. 15:6; 1 Thess. 4:14-16 and 5:6-10)
This parable speaks of an ancient Israelite custom. A bride would await her betrothed’s arrival. He was away until he finished building their home on his father’s property. According to tradition, she listened for a shofar in the distance signaling her bridegroom approached. A prepared bride had her wedding dress laid out. Her lamp filled with oil was ready to light if his arrival was at night. Even when she slept, she was prepared to go when her Groom called.
The uncertainty of Yahshuah’s return is precisely why He told His disciples to be prepared at all times. “Therefore, watch! For you know not what hour your Lord comes.” (Matt. 24:42)
For BYA, Yom Teruah is like a wedding day rehearsal. In obeying Yah’s command to celebrate this feast, BYA prepares for Yahshuah’s wedding celebration with His gathered chosen ones. BYA embraces this opportunity to celebrate Yahshuah’s call to rehearse for His second coming.
Yom Teruah awakens BYA with Yah’s call to become a bride without spot and wrinkle, robed in a gown of righteousness (white) for Yahshuah’s return. So, we get appropriately attired (Torah obedient). Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he who watches and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame (Rev.16:15). We hear and accept Yah’s renewed covenant (wedding contract, i.e. ketuvah). We vow to be faithful to Yah. Let us be glad and rejoice. Give honor to Him. “The marriage of the Lamb is come and His wife has made herself ready. To her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white.” The fine linen is the righteousness of saints. He said to me, “Write! Blessed are they who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And He said to me, “These are the true sayings of Elohim.” (Rev. 19:7-9)
When our Messiah calls His bride (BYA) at Yom Teruah, we practice to be spiritually ready for His return. His call is to “Come out of the world!” We reply with loud shouts, shofars and song proclaiming to YAHUAH, “We have filled our oil lamps with the Holy Spirit. We are robed in righteousness. We are prepared for your marriage supper, O’ Lamb.” Indeed, as BYA gets ready for the wedding day of which only our Heavenly Father knows the time, we praise and thank Yah for delivering us from many false (Babylonian) religious systems.
Let us view Yom Teruah from another perspective. Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, you shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your Elohim. I am YAHUAH your Elohim. (Num. 10:10) Ancient Israelite priests used trumpets to gather the Israelites, move Israel’s camp, prepare for war, cry out to Yah for remembrance and deliverance and announce celebrations of new moons and YAHUAH’s feasts. (Num. 10:1-10)
As noted earlier, trumpets symbolize voices in scripture. “I was in the Spirit on Adonai’s day and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.” (Rev 1:10) “Cry loudly! Do not hold back! Raise your voice like a trumpet!” (Isaiah 58:1)
BYA is engaged in a spiritual war as it walks the path to Zion. This year’s Yom Teruah represents another step along the path of restoration and return to YAHUAH. The feast is hidden to some, under a label of Israel’s New Year with a celebration of sounding horns much like a New Year’s Eve party on Dec. 31. The real picture of Yom Teruah, however, comes in the shouts that announce our response to Yahshuah’s second coming.
As BYA returns to Torah’s ancient path by leaving behind the traditions of organized religions, we individually shout out, “I will, Yah!” Collectively, our identifying mark, like a wedding band, is faith in Yahshuah’s gospel message faithfully keeping Yah’s Torah no matter the cost. “The dragon was wroth with the woman and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of Elohim, and have the testimony of Yahshuah the Messiah.” (Rev. 12:17) “Here is the patience of the saints. Here are they who keep the commandments of Elohim and the faith of Yahshuah.” (Rev. 14:12) “Remember therefore how you have received and heard. Hold fast and repent. If therefore you shall not watch, I will come on you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come upon you.” (Rev. 3, 3).
The saints who will resurrect to glory are those who obey Yah’s call to leave the false religious systems where pagan worship mixes with scriptural truth. I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (Rev. 18:4).
Resurrected saints will be those who follow Yah’s will and faithfully keep Yahshuah’s marital covenant. “Beloved, now are we the sons of Elohim, and it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:2) “But now Messiah is raised from the dead and became the first fruits of those who slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” (1 Cor. 15:20-21)
Yom Teruah awakens BYA’s conscience to consider the parable of the unprepared virgins and to avoid the mistakes of the invited guests who declined YAHUAH’s invitation to His Son’s feast. “The kingdom of heaven is like to a certain king, who made a marriage for his son, and sent his servants to call them who were invited to the wedding: and they would not come.” (Matt. 22:2-3) Indeed BYA is like Israelites returning from Babylon. When the seventh month was come and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem. (Ezra 3:1) “Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.” (Neh. 8:2) BYA shouts with joy much like the angels at the world’s creation. “When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:7). Did you RSVP to Yah’s invitation? What will be your wedding gift?
When Moses descended Mount Sinai the second time, his face shone with Yah’s glory. (Exodus 34:29). So it will be when the saints, who died in Yahshuah, come out of their burial plots, like Moses’ cleft in the rock. Therefore, “Messiah was once offered to bear the sins of many and to them who look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin to salvation.” (Heb. 9:28) The saints will resurrect in a glorified state (immortal bodies) to meet Yahshuah in the air. They will see and reflect Yah’s glory at His wedding feast (1Thes. 4:16–17).
So also is the resurrection of the dead. “It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” (1 Cor. 15:42-44) “Behold, I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep. But we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye at the last trump. For the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible. We shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption. This mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption and this mortal shall have put on immortality, and then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Cor. 15:51-54)
In summary, what does the Word compel BYA to do?
Be ready (Luke 12:40; 1 Thes. 5:2-8; Rev. 3:3).
Be obedient (Exod. 24:7; 2 Thes. 1:5-10)
Be witnesses (Ezk. 33:2-10; 1 Cor. 1:4-10; 1 Tim. 6:12-19)
Act with love (Amos 3:3-9; 1 Cor. 4:1-5)
I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth. Yes!” says the Spirit, “That they may rest from their labors and their works do follow them.” (Rev. 14:13) “Blessed are they that do His commandments that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter in through the gates into the city.” (Rev. 22:14)
Yom Teruah will begin with blowing shofars, shouts of joy and songs of praise and end with more trumpeting, shouting and singing. Join BYA as we close a glorious day when heaven and earth will shake as Yahshuah uplifts His saints. “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion! Sound an alarm in my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble! The day of YAHUAH comes! For it is nigh at hand” (Joel 2:1). “He will send his angels [Yah’s Messengers] with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matt. 24:31)
“Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection. On such the second death has no power. They shall be priests of Elohim and of Messiah, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:6)
Why does BYA rejoice and celebrate Yom Teruah? We rejoice that Yahshuah has fulfilled YHVH’s Salvation Plan. We celebrate that we are ready and willing witnesses to testify of our Messiah; that we are obedient to Yah’s will and Way; that we are committed to acting with love toward YAHUAH and our neighbors, that we know we are destined to rise in Yahshuah for His wedding Feast. Hallelu Yah!
Like many who celebrate Yom Teruah with trumpet sounds, BYA calls our brothers and sisters to gather for Messiah’s arrival. “It shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown. They shall come who were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship YAHUAH in the holy mount at Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 27:13)
Yom Teruah, the Day of Shouting, is our call to stand by Yah’s banner. Halleluyah! May Yah be with you and His grace with all, Elder Curt