REDISCOVERING THE HEBRAIC ROOTS OF THE EARLY
CHRISTIAN CHURCH, CIRCA A.D. 60
THE HIGH HOLY DAYS
The ten days between Yom Teruah
(the Feast of Trumpets)
Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement
The Days of Judgment
The ten High Holy Days that fall between Yom Teruah (the Feast of Trumpets) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) provide a prophetic picture of God’s program of final judgment at the end of the Age. The High Holy Days unfold the purpose and timing of the Lord’s end-time program in a very precise pattern. In this yearly cycle, God’s people were granted either temporal atonement or irrevocable judgment that "cuts you off from among your people." Like all the patterns of the Festival days, this was recognized as a rehearsal of the consummation of the Lord’s program of redemption for the world.
For the truly redeemed in Christ, there is no longer condemnation or the need for atonement because He is our Atonement However, the High Holly Days still provide important prophetic insight for believers today: not in a legalistic sense but in the sense that they demonstrate the Lord’s end-time program for the earth.
"The Feast of Trumpets represents God’s last call to repentance while the destiny of God’s people is being reviewed by the heavenly court during the antitypical ten days preceding the Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement typifies Christ’s final act of cleansing that will be accomplished at His coming when He will cleanse His people of their sin and punish the unrepentant." Samuele Bacchiocchi/ God’s Festivals in Scripture and History
JUDGMENT BEGINS AT THE HOUSE OF THE LORD
In the ancient Hebraic understanding, the High Holy Days are commanded by the Lord in Leviticus 23 and described by the prophets as the time when the Court in Heaven is seated and God’s judgment of mankind is passing from the throne of God. The biblical source for this comes from Daniel’s description of this magnificent heavenly court where the "books" [of life] are being reviewed by the Lord.
The High Holy Days begin by the blowing of trumpets on Yom Teruah (the Feast of Trumpets). The trumpets declare the solemn warning that the gates of heaven are open and that the Court in Heaven is in session. Though this Festival day is memorialized in practice every year, it was understood to be a "miqra" or a "rehearsal" of the time of final fulfilment yet to occur in the end-times. The sounding of the shofar was an urgent call to repentance and restoration to God in view of the judgment being conducted in the heavenly court during the High Holy Days.
"I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire;
A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.
THE COURT WAS SEATED, And the books were opened."
In fulfillment, the prophetic significance for the redeemed today is that the first of the High Holy Days - The Feast of Trumpets - defines the eschatology of the Lord’s program in executing His final judgment of all mankind that will occur at the thresh-hold of the Kingdom Age. One of the most prominent of these is the Hebraic precept that "judgment BEGINS at the House of the Lord".
"For the time has come for judgment to BEGIN at the House of God. And if it begins with us FIRST.....what will be the end of those who do not obey the Word of God?" 1 Peter 4:17:18
The source of Peter’s words was deeply rooted within the context of the High Holy Days: that judgment begins first with the people of God. For the covenant people of the Lord that are judged to be righteous, the reward of the "Natzal" awaits them. "Natzal" is a Hebrew word that means "the calling out or the plucking away of the nobles". Throughout Scripture, "the nobles" is the name the Lord uses for His righteous faithful remnant. In the Hebrew Bible, the Lord promises to "hide" His people - "His nobles" - during the Tribulation.
"Come, My people, enter your [bridal] chambers, and shut your doors behind you; HIDE YOURSELF, as it were, for a little moment, UNTIL THE INDIGNATION IS PAST. For behold, the LORD comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity;" Isaiah 26:21-22
(being taken away and hidden in the "cheder", the bridal-chamber, was the consummating act of the ancient Jewish wedding. Unless the bridegroom fulfilled the required "seven days in the bridal-chamber" with his bride, the marriage covenant was not considered to be consummated or fulfilled. In prophetic application, the Lord invites His bride to "hide in the bridal-chamber" prior to "the Indignation" - the Great Tribulation)
"Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together, O undesirable nation,
Before the decree is issued, Or the day passes like chaff, Before the Lord's fierce anger comes upon you, Before the Day of the Lord's Anger comes upon you!
Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that YOU WILL BE HIDDEN In the Day of the Lord's Anger."
"For in the Time of Trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His Tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock." Ps 27:5
(Revelation 15:5 speaks of the Tabernacle that is in Heaven)
"Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the Hour of Trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth."
This is the biblical reason why Yom Teruah (the Feast of Trumpets) was also historically called "the Day of Our Concealment." The scriptural precept of being "hidden" or "concealed" during the end-time Tribulation is the originating Hebraic foundation for understanding the resurrection and the "rapture" or "catching away" that Paul referred to in the New Testament. It is within this biblical context that he connects these events to the "the Last Trump" (the fulfilling Feast of Trumpets of this age).
The important point is that the fulfillment of the "Last Trump" becomes the prophetic marker that simultaneously triggers the resurrection and the "catching away" that will set the rest of God’s end-time plan into motion. The Lord has demonstrated in Scripture and prophecy that it is His intent to remove His faithful remnant prior to the Tribulation because the atoning sacrifice of Christ has removed the condemnation of sin from the redeemed.
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and SHALL NOT COME INTO JUDGMENT, but has passed from death into life." John 5:25
The wedding parables in the New Testament reflect this pattern of removing the righteous saints prior to final judgment: beginning with His House, the "Church". In the parable of the Ten Virgins, half of the spiritual "virgins" have been "filled" or prepared by the Holy Spirit and the other half have not. The half who are submitted and prepared by the Holy Spirit are deemed "righteous" at His coming and are taken away to the bridal chamber that He has prepared for them in Heaven.
"Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!'
Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.and the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'
But the wise answered, saying, 'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.'
"And while they went to buy, the BRIDEGROOM CAME, and THOSE WHO WERE READY went in with him to the wedding; and THE DOOR WAS SHUT.
Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!'
But he answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I DO NOT KNOW YOU.'
Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming." Matthew 25: 1-11
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
"Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'
"And then I will declare to them, 'I NEVER KNEW YOU; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' [are without the "Law"...in the Hebraic context - Torahless] Matthew 7:21-23
"Then He answered and said to them... 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me. 'But in vain do they worship me, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.'" Matt 15:9 (Isa 29:13)
THE SEVEN DAYS OF SOUL AFFLICTION - THERE IS YET TIME FOR REDEMPTION
(The prophetic type of the Great Tribulation)
What about those who have not been judged "righteous" and have not been "caught away" to the Bridal-chamber prepared in Heaven at the Last Trump? The Bible tells us that this group will comprise most of the earth’s population. For them, the remaining High Holy Days demonstrate the Lord’s profound mercy and grace prior to executing final judgment. For the
unredeemed who are left after the "Last Trump", there is yet time for redemption.
This is described as a sabbatical week of "soul affliction". The Lord refers to these days as "soul affliction" because of the severe consequence and finality in obeying or disobeying God. It is the Lord’s final warning that the pre-requisite for redemption must be repentance that leads to cleansing and restoration to God.
"For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people." Lev 23:27-29
In it’s prophetic sense, the period of seven days of soul affliction is a type of the seven years of Tribulation at the end of the Age. The Lord provides this season of grace for those who would abandon their rebellion and be restored to Him in repentance. But this window of grace will end on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, when final judgment and cleansing will prepare the earth for the Messianic Kingdom Age.
THE DAY OF ATONEMENT:
FINAL JUDGMENT OR REDEMPTION
In the typology of the High Holy Days, the Lord reminds the unredeemed world every year that there is yet coming a day of final judgment. God’s ultimate purpose in the message of the High Holy Days is the cleansing of His people that leads to redemption, new beginnings and restoration to Him. That is why Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, was also historically called "the Day of Redemption".
"The Day of Atonement was a gracious day each year when all the Israelites could experience a new beginning by being cleansed from their sins and restored to fellowship with their Maker. "On this day shall atonement be made for you, to cleanse you from all your sins. You shall be clean before the Lord (Lev 16:30). What a marvelous provision God made for His people to experience an annual cleansing and a new beginning through His atonement!
This was truly the Gospel in type which finds its antitypical fulfillment through Christ’s atoning sacrifice. "Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has passed away, behold, the new has come" (2 Co 5:17) The ultimate fulfillment of the precious promise of the Day of Atonement will be realized at Christ’s Return when He disposes of sins and makes all things new." Samuele Bacchiocchi/ God’s Festivals in Scripture and History
"Like all of Biblical Judaism, the festivals in some way teach us about the Messiah. Leviticus twenty-three is one of the key chapters for unlocking the entire Bible. If one can obtain a good working knowledge of the festivals, then he will in his possession God’s blueprint for mankind." Joseph Good, The Messianic Kingdom to Come
“Like Israel of old, we Christians need the reassurance of the Day of Atonement: the reassurance of God’s provision for the cleansing of sins and the restoration to fellowship with Him through Christ’s atoning sacrifice. At a time when many are experiencing the crushing isolation of sin, the Day of Atonement has a message of hope. It reassures Christians that Christ will soon appear the second time, as did the High Priest on the Day of Atonement, to punish unbelievers, to bind Satan, to cleanse believers and restore them to an relationship with Him. Such a hope gives us reason to encourage “one another, and all the more as [we] see the Day drawing near” (Heb 10:25).
The fact that the feasts typify the unfolding redemptive history and help us to experience in the present the reality of salvation and the joyous anticipation of the world to come indicates that they are still relevant and helpful for the spiritual life of God’s people today.” Samuele Bacchiocchi/ God’s Festivals in Scripture and History
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