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Appointed Times: The Fall Feasts

On that day there will be little doubt that there is a God or that He is King of kings and Lord of lords. When Yeshua takes up the throne, on that great day of rejoicing and blowing of the shofars, we shall all proclaim His sovereignty. From great antiquity, Rosh Hashanah speaks prophetically.


The Shofar

Isaiah 58:1 reads, “Cry loudly, do not hold back; Raise your voice like a shofar, And declare to My people their transgression and to the house of Jacob their sins.”

Yom Teruah, Rosh Hashanah announces repentance. One of the spiritual symbols of the shofar is that of repentance. When it is blown, the people realize that they are coming into the presence of the King. They realize their own uncleanness—that they are not worthy to stand before the righteous One.

While we stand cleansed by the blood of Yeshua, we sin. All too often, we gloss-over these sins, counting on the atonement of the resurrection to cover them, and it does. But this is not license to continue sinning. Nor does it grant us permission to treat sin lightly. “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2).

The annual blowing of the shofar reminds us to repent. Live in grace, but when we sin, repent—turn and go the other way—and make straight the ways of the Lord.


The Book of Life

Rosh Hashanah is also known as the Day of Repentance. It is held that on this day the Judge of all the earth opens up the Book of Life and those who are righteous have their names inscribed inside. Of those who are not righteous it is said, “May they be blotted out of the book of life, And may they not be recorded with the righteous” (Ps 69:28), a theme revisited in Luke 10:20; Rom 4:3; Rev 13:8; 17:8; 20:15.


The Days of Awe

The ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are called the “Days of Awe.” It is a deeply introspective time, seeking out the depths of your heart for misdeeds toward your fellow man and transgressions in thought or deed against God. They are days of repentance, when one attempts to right any wrongs he may have committed. It is a time to prepare for the coming day of Judgment, Yom Kippur.


Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur literally means the “Day of Atonement.” It was on this day, according to God’s decree that the Azazel, the scapegoat, was released into the wilderness carrying the sins of the nation with it. In the second temple period, it was lead to a high cliff and forced over the brink; it’s death signifying atonement for the people.

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Category: Biblical Studies, Winter 2000

About the Author: Kevin M. Williams, Litt.D., H.L.D. has served in Messianic ministries since 1987 and has written numerous articles and been a featured speaker at regional and international conferences on Messianic Judaism.

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