Friday, September 18, 2009
**In This Issue**
- The Fall Feasts of
the Lord - Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
What Does the Bible Say About...?
Welcome to the
Reflections Newsletter from Reflect His Glory. RHG is a co-ministry
with Creation Science Ministries. Feel free to send this to your relatives
Fall Feasts of the Lord Rosh Hashanah & Yom
This month Jewish
communities throughout the world will celebrate
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
literally means "head of the year" and
commemorates the anniversary of the creation of
the world. It is
celebrated on the first day of the month of
Tishri. This year, Rosh Hashanah
begins at sundown on
September 18th and
ends at nightfall on September
Rosh Hashanah is often referred to as the
beginning of the Jewish New Year.
Hebrew month of Nissan, in which Passover is
celebrated, is the first month of the Jewish
Religious calendar. Rosh
Hashanah is actually only one of four symbolic
Jewish new year celebrations. The
concept of having multiple new years may seem
strange, but keep in mind that in America we
celebrate the New Year in January and the new
school year in August and/or
businesses often have a fiscal year that does
not coincide with the beginning of the calendar
year (for example October 1st marks the
beginning of the fiscal year for the US
The commandment to observe Rosh Hashanah is
found in Leviticus 23:23-25:
"And the Lord spoke to
Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel,
saying, In the seventh month, in the first day
of the month, shall you
have a Sabbath, a
memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy
shall do no servile work therein: but
you shall offer an
offering made by fire to the LORD.'"
It is also mentioned in Numbers 29:1:
"And in the seventh month, on the first day of
the month, You shall
have an holy convocation; you
shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing
the trumpets to you."
One of the central features of Rosh Hashanah is
the Shofar. The
Shofar is an instrument made from a ram's horn
that sounds somewhat like a trumpet.
In the Bible,
Rosh Hashanah is referred to as Yom Teruah, the
day of the sounding of the
known as the Feast of Trumpets. The
often representative of Abraham offering Isaac
to God as a sacrifice on Mount
Moriah, found in
Genesis 22. It
was then that God provided Abraham with a ram,
caught by its horns in a thicket, as a
substitute for Isaac.
Rosh Hashanah is a time of both celebration and
is a time of spiritual renewal through prayer
and deep personal reflection leading up to Yom
Kippur, the Day of Atonement, on the 10th day of
Tishri, found in
Leviticus 23:26-28. Rosh
Hashanah is when the Jewish people recognize God
as King and Judge over all living things.
On Rosh Hashanah the creation of
the world is celebrated,
"God saw every thing that
He had made, and, behold, it was very
1:31 KJV ER
The vast majority of Christians are unfamiliar
with most of the traditional Jewish holidays.
Yet they hold
great spiritual and prophetic significance.
In Colossians 2:16-17 it says:
"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in
drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the
new moon, or of the Sabbath
which are a shadow of things to come."
Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is perhaps the most important
holiday of the Jewish year. Yom Kippur is
observed on the 10th of Tishri. This year Yom
Kippur begins at sunset, on
September 27th and ends at nightfall
on September 28th. Yom
Kippur is considered the holiest and most solemn day of the year.
It is a day of repentance and reconciliation. Yom
Kippur is a Sabbath day. Therefore most Jews
refrain from working and will attend synagogue services. It
is also traditionally a day of fasting.
It was on this day, the only day
that the High Priest was able to enter the Holy of Holies, and then only after
elaborate ceremonial washings, offerings, and associated rituals.
This was also the day that two goats were
selected, one for an offering and one as the "scapegoat." As
many aspects of the feasts were prophetic, the scapegoat is also Messianic.
The ceremonial acts that were to be carried out
by the High Priest on Yom Kippur are described in Leviticus 16,
also Exodus 30:10; Leviticus 23:27-31, 25:9; and
Numbers 29:7-11. Since the
destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D., the God-centered observances of the
Torah have unfortunately been replaced with a
man-centered, good works system of appeasement through prayer, charity, and
Yom Kippur traditionally ends with one long note of the Shofar.
The significance of the ram's horn is traditionally rooted in
Genesis 22, mentioned above, where
God commanded Abraham:
your son, your only son
Isaac, whom you love, and get you
into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of
the mountains which I will tell you of."
Abraham is called upon by God to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, as a test of his
faith. After God halts the sacrifice at the last
minute, Abraham spies a ram trapped by his horns in a nearby thicket and offers
the animal instead as a sacrifice.
It is interesting to note that the first instance in which the word "love"
appears in scripture is when God commanded Abraham to
sacrifice "your only son Isaac, whom
you love." Compare the
commandment God gave to Abraham with John 3:16:
so loved the world, that He gave His
only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in
Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Woven throughout the Old Testament feasts is the foreshadowing of Godís plan for
the redemption of mankind. Those of us who have
placed our trust in Christ Jesus are able to
enter behind the veil and stand in the Holy of Holies. We
have forgiveness because of the sacrificial death of Christ
Jesus on the cross.
Rosh Hashanah is a time of forgiveness and new beginnings. Please
take a moment during this most holy of days to reflect on all of these things,
examine your heart before God, spend time in
prayer and repent of any un-confessed sin in your
L'shanah tovah tikatev v'taihatem... Which, in Hebrew, means,
"May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year."
What Does the Bible Say About...?
In this section of the
Reflections Newsletter we answer questions that have been asked.
If you have a question that you would like ask, and do not mind having
printed in the newsletter, (your name will not be mentioned), feel free to
send your question in an email to me at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course, you may call me
anytime by phone at 801.302-1111.
The question for this issue is, "Why
did Jesus say Heaven and Earth would pass away, but His words would not?
I thought Heaven was forever."
This statement occurs in the Olivet Discourse and is stated three times; in Matthew 24:35, Mark 13:31 and Luke 21:33. There are two interpretations that theologians have given for it, and both have much validity.
Many believe that at the end of the Millennium, and after the Great White Throne Judgment, God will form both a new Heaven and a new Earth. This can be found in 2 Peter 3:10-13 and Revelation 21:1. It is reasoned that the present Heaven has been tainted by sin; first by Lucifer's rebellion, and after, by his (Satan's) continued access to Heaven, to accuse the brethren (Job 1:6 and 2:1, and Revelation 12:10). Therefore, Heaven must be destroyed and a new Heaven formed.
Others believe and take the position that the past events in Heaven, as outlined above, do not necessitate the formation of a new Heaven, as God's holiness neutralizes any sin that may have been there by Satan's presence. Therefore, when the Scriptures speak of the creation of a new "Heaven," they are speaking of the atmospheric heavens, the sky that surrounds the Earth. Given this interpretation, they feel that Christ Jesus' words in this passage were relative, in that even if both Heaven and Earth would pass away, His words would endure. It is a testimony to the eternal importance of His teaching in relation to any element of creation.
**MEMORY VERSE OF THE
Speak to the children of
Israel, and say to them, Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which
you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these
are My feasts.
23:2 KJV ER
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