Rosh Hashanah 5783 (2022-2023)
I. What Is Rosh Hashanah
1. Slain From Creation
I am here to get you ready to celebrate [RoshHa ShaNAH] – we pronounce as Rosh HaSHAnah]. The word Rosh means “the head or beginning of”. So, what is beginning?
The Answer is the First of 10 Reasons We Celebrate This Feast.
The 1st Reason We Celebrate This Feast: It’s the beginning of the New Biblical Year of 5783.
At nightfall Sunday evening September 25th, the Biblical Calendar flips to Tishrei 1.
Rosh Hashanah will continue until nightfall Monday September 26th.
You may be wondering, if Passover marks the start of a New Year in the Spring, how can now be the head of the year? Exodus 23:16 says, “…the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field.”
There is a symmetry in God’s unusual calendar: the Fall Festivals “mirror” the Spring Festivals and correspond to one another. So, there are two beginnings just like we are born, and born again.
We make a shout [teruah] to thank God because we are confident God will fulfill His promises to provide and prophetically, we are thanking Him for His redemption during the End of Days.
The Biblical Calendar is a little odd because it begins with creation, but it doesn’t start with Day 1 when God said, “Let There Be Light”.
The 2nd Reason We Celebrate This Feast: It’s When God Created Man. The 1st day of Tishrei (Rosh Hashanah) is Day 6 when God Created Man.
So, we are in Creation week right now.
Today is Elul 27 – Day 3 of creation. Wednesday (two days ago) was the anniversary of Day 1
Revelation 13:8 “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast–all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain [sphazo – sacrificed] from the creation of the world.” How was He slain at creation? There are several shadows, types, and symbolic pictures:
The 3rd Reason We Celebrate This Feast: It’s One of the Shadows and Types Jesus “Slain from the Creation of the World.”
SLAIN WAY 1 – When Adam was put to sleep (in Hebrew sleep is the same word for dead) God removed a rib from his side to form Eve, who would become Adam’s bride. What’s that a shadow of? Eve represents the church, who will become the bride of Christ, and on the cross 4,000 years later when Jesus was pierced by the spear, blood and water poured out of His side. “This is the one who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood…” 1 John 5:6
SLAIN WAY 2 – When God created the universe on Day 4, the stars, planets, sun and moon all tell the Gospel Story. There are several constellations that are altars, many sacrificial bull, ram, and lamb constellations. The Milky Way even represents the smoke rising from the altar. The story of Jesus as Redeemer was literally written in the heavens using the constellations when they were made.
SLAIN WAY 3 – The next time Jesus appears is the sacrifice of an animal to clothe or replace Adam and Eve’s glory. It’s the first official death after Adam and Eve’s spiritual death.
It’s probably just 10 days after their creation. The first Yom Kippur occurs.
Because of sin, now death has to occur, but God doesn’t desire to kill them.
So, God makes a sacrifice. He kills an animal and makes them coverings with its skin.
The Hebrew meaning or concept of that word covering is anointing (shekinah – Holy Spirit).
So, God restores their anointing. With what? The blood of that sacrifice.
Without shedding of blood there is no remission or removing of the sin.
And then God casts them out of the Garden to the east. On Yom Kippur there is an odd sacrifice.
- 2 goats. 1 is sacrificed for sin.
- 1 is sent into the wilderness as a scapegoat bearing the sin.
- Both goats are Jesus.
- An animal plays the part of the first goat.
- Adam and Eve are the second goat walking off into the wilderness never to return.
This is the next picture of Christ slain from the foundation of the world.
Jesus will be called the second Adam and so He is the first goat,
And on the Cross when He is slain outside the city, He the scapegoat.
I’m going to cover a lot of ground this morning but for the “Cliff Notes” version of this holiday:
It’s the Creation of the World / Specifically Man / It’s the Birth of Yeshua Jesus
The Trumpets Are About Enthroning Kings – Man Was Made to Rule – Jesus Will
It’s the End of the World – The Reward and Judgment of Man – Trumpets Are the Rapture and the Judgments of the Book of Revelation – They Are the Voice of God
It’s About Isaac and the Ram – Picture of Passover – Picture of the Cross
2. Naked & Cunning
The serpent is called cunning, and his words deceived them, so sin happened. In English, there is no connection between Adam and Eve being naked and the serpent being cunning. But it’s very different in Hebrew. There is a play on words in the two verses.
There are several words for “naked” in Hebrew:
[עָרוֹם – ʿārôm – aw-rome’] is the word used before sin
& [עֶרְוָה – ʿêrōm – ay-rome’] is used after sin.
The word “cunning” used to describe the serpent is a third variation [עָרוּם – ʿārûm – aw-room’], “to make naked, to uncover” – hence, “to be insolent, spiteful, cunning.”
All three words come from the exact same root [עָרַם – Ayin Resh Mem]
The three words just have different vowels. The first letter is an “aiyn” which means “eye”, which is significant because the word deals with something that is seen or unseen.
Genesis 2:25, “And they were both naked [ʿārôm- aw-rome’], the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”
Genesis 3:1, “Now the serpent was more cunning [ʿārûm aw-room’] than any beast of the field which Yehovah God had made.”
Man is naked [ʿārôm – aw-rome’]; the serpent is crafty [ʿārûm – aw-room’].
There is an intentional contrast. The guileless innocence of man has to face the enticing subtlety of the serpent.
[ʿārôm – aw-rome’] the word that’s used for naked before sin, doesn’t specifically mean to be unclothed. The man and woman were covered in God’s shekinah (light or glory) because God Himself was their covering…when it’s gone, they are naked in a different sense.
The word for naked before sin is used when someone takes off their mantle and goes clad only in their tunic. It’s used:
- when Saul prophesied before Samuel
- when Isaiah was told to walk naked
- and when Peter took off his clothes to jump in the sea to get to Jesus after the resurrection
The naked [ʿêrōm – ay-rome’], the word used after sin means utterly naked and helpless.
Deuteronomy 28:48, “Therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom Yehovah will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you.”
Ezekiel 16:39, “I will also give you into their hand, and they shall throw down your shrines and break down your high places. They shall also strip you of your clothes, take your beautiful jewelry, and leave you naked [ʿêrōm – ay-rome’] and bare [ʿeryâ – er-yaw’ – naked in shame].”
When Adam and Eve sinned, they placed themselves outside of God’s covering – and their eyes are called opened and their minds are called knowing – they find leaves to replace what they lost.
It’s not just that they were unclothed – they were clothed with shame – that wasn’t working.
In Genesis 3:5 the serpent says this, “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened [pāqaḥ – paw-kakh’], and you will be like God, knowing [yāḏaʿ – yaw-dah’ – it means to know by experience] good and evil.” Of course, they eat and…
Genesis 3:7, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened [pāqaḥ – paw-kakh’], and they knew that they were naked [ʿêrōm]; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.”
“Opened”: In the story of Hagar in Genesis 21:19, “Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink.” She’s overwhelmed and couldn’t see what was in front of her. It was there but her eyes needed to be enabled to see it.
So, looking back, what does it mean to be naked and unashamed?
- The Aramaic translations says, “they knew not what shame was…”
- “No sin in their nature, no guilt on their conscience, or wickedness in their hands or actions.”
- “They were naked, but yet they were not so. Their bodies were the clothing of their internal glory; and their internal glory was the clothing of their nakedness.”
We just looked in-depth at the words for “naked” in Hebrew:
[עָרוֹם – ʿārôm – aw-rome’] the word used before sin
& [עֶרְוָה – ʿêrōm – ay-rome’] the word used after sin.
There is a third word, “cunning” which is used to describe the serpent;
it is a third variation [עָרוּם – ʿārûm – aw-room’], it means:
“to make naked”, or to “uncover” – hence, “to be insolent, spiteful, cunning.”
All three words come from the exact same root [עָרַם – Ayin Resh Mem]
Both [עֶרְוָה – ʿêrōm – ay-rome’] the word used after sin, and [עָרוּם – ʿārûm – aw-room’], the word that means cunning have the same thing in common – they both have to be with being uncovered.
When Adam and Eve sinned, they placed themselves outside of God’s covering (shekinah). It’s not just that they were unclothed – they were clothed with shame – that was a problem – so they sewed together leaves to replace the covering they lost.
Likewise, the serpent (the one called Hêlēl – often translated as Lucifer – it means shining one or morning star) was created by God to be in one of the highest orders of angelic beings, a cherub. Ezekiel 28:14 tells us that, prior to his rebellion, Hêlēl was the “anointed cherub that covers”. We know him as satan; the word is a transliteration of the Hebrew [śātān], which is the word for “adversary”; one who “withstands”; and “accuser.” The loss of the shekinah for him meant going from covering to exposing. Ironically, the alternate meaning of helel (from yalel) is howling or wailing.
II Trumpets & Traditions
The celebration of Rosh Hashanah is filled with great foods, trumpets, and rest.
The greeting is Shanah Tovah [sha-NAH toe-VAH] which means a “good or happy year” (shanah is year and tovah is happy or good).
Rosh Hashanah ushers in the Ten Days of Awe [Yamim Nora’im], ending on Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement. Which is the most holy day of the Jewish year.
The name “Row-SHA ShaNAH” is not used in the Bible – we have only two verses with commands to celebrate this Feast – with very little instruction:
Numbers 29:1 “And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work. For you it is a day of blowing the trumpets. A Yom Teruah.”
Leviticus 23:24 says, “…In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a holy convocation, “a memorial of blowing of trumpets” [a zikhron teru’ah].”
[tᵊrûʿâ] is war-cry or battle-cry; an alarm or warning signal, a blast for marching; shout of joy
[zikhron] – means remember and mention. It’s the same word in Exodus 3:15 when God commands us to zikhron His name Yehovah.
Most translations put the word shofar (the ram’s horn) or trumpet as part of the name of this day.
But the closest actual name for this holiday would be Yom Teruah, which literally means “a day of shouting or blasting“, which the Jews feel means blasting the shofar and trumpets.
[teruah] is in the scriptures 36 times. Even though the rabbis focus on blowing the shofar 100 times on that day, there is a lot more to teruah than blowing a shofar.
The KJV translates Teruah as: shout (11x) and shouting (8x) [that’s a total of 19], alarm (6x), sound (3x), blowing (2x), joy (2x), misc (4x).
A few of those 36 teruah’s include:
Psalms 33:3 “Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise / shout of joy.”
Psalms 150:5 (KJV) “Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the crashing cymbals.”
Psalms 27:6 (KJV) “And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me: therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to Yehovah.” So, the sound of your praise is teruah!
Joshua 6:5 (KJV) “And it shall come to pass, when they make a long [blast] with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up every man straight before him.” So here it’s not the sound of the shofar blast but the loud shout.
When David celebrated with the ark, the scriptures say they used the shofar and they teruah. So, it mentions both shouting and sounding the shofar.
Teruah is referred to as crying: as a war-cry or battle-cry; an alarm or warning signal, and a blast for marching. Some of the sounds of the shofar can be very sad like mourning.
Teruah is also a shout of joy and of happiness.
Job 8:21 “He will yet fill your mouth with laughing, And your lips with rejoicing (teruah).”
The only passage in the Tanach (OT) of a celebration on the day of Yom Teruah is in Nehemiah when they first returned from captivity and rebuilt the walls and gates of Jerusalem and were read the law of Moses for the first time:
And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. And Ezra blessed Yehovah, the great God. Then all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped Yehovah with their faces to the ground. And Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to Yehovah your God; do not mourn nor weep.”
For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to Yehovah. Do not sorrow, for the joy of Yehovah is your strength.” So the Levites quieted all the people, saying, “Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved.” And all the people went their way to eat and drink, to send portions and rejoice greatly, because they understood the words that were declared to them.” Nehemiah 8
The shofar used for Yom Teruah was the horn of a wild goat.
The shofar is blown during the Yom Teruah service 100 times!
They are blown in a set pattern of 3 different sounds, blown 3 times each for a total of 9 blasts. This series of patterns is repeated 11 times for a total of 99 blasts.
The 100th blast is set apart and this is the blast that is known as the “Last Trump”!
God says in Leviticus 23 to have a “holy convocation commemorated with trumpet blasts.”
The 4TH Reason We Celebrate This Feast: The Feast of Trumpets Marks the End of the Summer Harvest & The End of the World.
It’s prophetic – as the church, we are in the midst of the great harvest just before the Day of Yehovah. The Feast of Trumpets is God’s wakeup call: We don’t have forever! The Day of Atonement is near when you stand before God.
The 5th Reason We Celebrate This Feast: The Shofar Itself Recalls the Binding of Isaac which occurred on Rosh Hashanah when a ram took Isaac’s place as an offering to God.
Genesis 22: 2,13 “He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” …And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.” It’s the first mention of love in the Bible. The ram is a Foreshadowing of Passover, and the Ultimate Passover Lamb – Yeshua Jesus on the Cross. And Abraham is a Foreshadowing of Yehovah – The Heavenly Father Who Would Willingly Sacrifice His Only Son.
4. The Voice Behind the Shofar
Shofars and trumpets in Scripture have many connotations – (they’re mentioned almost 80 times) for: summoning the tribes to the tabernacle, getting ready to up-tents and move on (this foreshadows the rapture), to inaugurate a new king, as a call to repentance, as a warning, as a battle cry, a victory shout, or the sound of rejoicing…
The 6th Reason We Celebrate This Feast: For the First Time Ever…The Voice of God was Heard. It’s the Climax of Creation Week. On Day One God Said, “Let There Be Light”.
His first words were [in English], “In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth.” In Hebrew there is quite a bit more revelation, “Bereshit [beh-reh-sheet] bara [buh-raw] Elohim [Aleph-Tav] ha-sha-ma-yim [ha-sha-ma-yeem] ve’et [vey-et] ha’aretz [ha-ah-retz].” The aleph-tav is always near the name of God and especially identifies the Messiah Yeshua/Jesus.
In English, the word voice can express a lot of things: sound: “she raised her voice”, ability “she lost her voice”, opinion “she had the dissenting voice”, a point of view “…she was the voice of the students”, grammar “the passive voice”, etc
In Hebrew, “voice” is [qôl], and that includes God’s voice. [qôl] is used for the sound of thunder, water, rain, a multitude, someone calling out, shouting, or even singing. [Quol] is also the word used for the sound of a shofar blast like the one heard on the Feast of Trumpets; it’s also the shofar that was heard on Mt Sinai at Pentecost.
If you remember, the shofar sounded on Sinai and there was thunder and lightning coming from the mountain which made the people tremble in fear and refuse to meet with God anymore.
The 7th Reason We Celebrate This Feast: Rosh Hashanah May Exist to Be a Reminder of His Voice at Sinai; And to Remind Them to Turn Their Attention Back to His VOICE.
Let’s go back to the beginning. We hear the voice [qôl] of God first at creation, then interacting with Adam, and then again when Adam and Eve sin. But this time we learn a bit more.
Genesis 3:8 tells us, “And they heard the voice [qôl] of Yehovah God walking in the garden in the cool of the day and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Yehovah God among the trees of the garden.” Notice, we have a voice walking in the cool of the day.
The phrase “in the cool”, is the Hebrew word “ruwach”. The English translators made an interesting decision choosing “cool of the day” there. It’s not wrong, but it may not be right either.
Ruwach is used nearly one hundred times for “wind”, and several hundred times for the “Holy Spirit”. In fact, Ruach HaKodesh is the most commonly used Hebrew name for the Holy Spirit.
So, if we adjust that translation a bit and read a little deeper, we have the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all coming to deal with the sin of Adam and Eve, to bring them out of hiding.
God’s voice is carried on the wind of the Holy Spirit through the Garden beckoning Adam and Eve to come out of hiding. They find judgment, but they also find His deep love for them.
But for the first time, in Genesis 3:8, the man and woman flee from the voice of God. Adam is explaining why, “So he said, “I heard Your voice [qôl] in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
In one of the most tragic moments in all of time, instead of meeting with God for what may have been a normal meeting in the garden, the man and woman meet with the serpent and listen to his voice of lies instead of the voice of their creator.
A little later in Genesis 3:17 God reveals the fruit of that betrayal, “Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice [qôl] of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake;”
The Bible begins and ends with the Tree of Life – first in Eden, and then in paradise.
“The Tree of Life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month….” Revelation. 22:2.
“He made the moon to mark the appointed times” each month (Psalm 104:19).
Revelation 22:14 reads: “Blessed are those who do His commandments so that they may have access to the Tree of Life…”
We are not obligated or bound by any law of God to observe any special Feast Days, new moons, etc (except sabbaths). But Isaiah prophesied about life in the Millennial Kingdom: “It shall be that from one Rosh Chodesh to another, and from one Shabbat to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, declares Yehovah” (Isa. 66:23).
God’s calendar was instituted by Him, and the days have spiritual application to our lives as believers and as members of the house of Israel (Ephesians 2 says we have access by the blood of Jesus). “For through him we have both access by one Spirit to the Father. So then ye are no longer strangers and foreigners, but ye are fellow-citizens of the saints, and of the household of God, being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the corner-stone…”
Just because we aren’t commanded to observe these days, it is an honor and joy to get to celebrate with Yeshua Jesus, because it is His glory that is revealed in each of these special times.
Other Ways to Celebrate Rosh Hashanah:
Food: Eat apples dipped in honey and raisin bread dipped in honey. Eat honey for a sweet year. Eat fruit to have a fruitful year. Think Desserts!
Eat pomegranates – they have 613 seeds – there are 613 commandments in the bible.
Water: Casting Off
There is a custom called Tashlikh (tash-lick) based on Micah 7:16, “He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast [tashlikh] all our sins into the depths of the sea.”
God is a God of New Beginnings and Restoration.
Small pieces of bread are put in a pocket, and you empty your pockets in a stream, or collect pebbles from the bank and toss them in a stream to leave your past behind.
Just like on our Jan 1st New Year, you might make resolutions to change behaviors to avoid temptation or sin, pray and prepare for anything God shows you about the coming year.
5. The Call of The Shofar
In many ways, worship is paying attention to God, giving him our time and “putting our hearts” with him… Being present, engaged, and focused. We remember God’s worth and come towards Him to give Him the love and honor He is due.
But so often we busily read through Bible passages, and maybe think about it for a while, but are we thinking with God? Or separately from Him? Are we truly present with Him? Does he have our ear?
Are we inviting Him to speak, and giving him room and space to do so? Do you ask Him what is on His heart, or what He would like to express to you? Does He have your undivided attention in your times together? Are you gazing up at Him, or at your own issues, your own life?
The blast of the shofar reminds us to forget self and remember God, putting His agenda at the front of our minds. It’s also an opportunity to remember our own personal “Sinai” event, where God invited us into a covenant with Him and we said yes. The Hebrew root of the word shofar means to beautify…when we turn to God, we are made beautiful.
What Does the Voice of God Sound Like?
He warns us when we start to stray; whispers encouragement to us when we struggle; commands our enemies to flee; comforts us when we fail or lose someone dear; and even sings over the deepest parts of us in the good and bad times because life is hard, and he is familiar with our suffering. He does it with His presence, through words or even groans we can’t comprehend, and He does it in symbolic ways. The blast of the shofar is one of the more interesting symbols of His presence.
Since God speaks in different ways for different situations, the shofar has several distinct blasts:
T’ki’yah – In ancient Israel, one long sustained blast was a common reassuring sound that meant the watchmen guarding the city were on duty and all was well. It reminds us that God is constantly drawing us near so that we might receive His strength and comfort.
She’va’rim – Three consecutive blasts signaled some significant event – usually it meant good tidings. Likewise, God rejoices over us with singing and dancing. Most of us will never experience a crowd applauding us for our achievements on earth, but if we draw near to God in those moments, we will feel His deep affection. What so many of us are trying to get from “likes” on Facebook is available from the One who created and sustains everything.
T’ru’ah – Nine rapid bursts, was the sound of alarm. It meant you were under attack. We encounter that with the Holy Spirit – Ever feel your skin crawl during temptation or when danger was near?
Like Israel, we all need to be alarmed so that we become aware of sin that separates us from God. We need to know an enemy has drawn near. And we need to hear His voice reminding us of our need for atonement. When your spirit feels shaken within you, learn to respond to the sound of His alarm. We need to constantly pray, “lead us not into temptation but from deliver us from evil”.
The Last Trump
On Yom Teruah the shofar is blown 100 times in a set pattern of 3 different sounds, blown 3 times each for a total of 9 blasts. This series of patterns is repeated 11 times for a total of 99 blasts. The 100th blast is set apart and this is the blast that is known as the “Last Trump”!
Leviticus 23:24 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.” (Dress Rehearsal)
The Hebrew word for “blowing of trumpets” is “Teruah” a battle-cry, especially a clangor of trumpets, as an alarm. Why the alarm and the battle cry? It’s a dress rehearsal.
1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 “For Yehovah himself shall descend from heaven with a shout (teruah), with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (Referring to Psalm 47)
Revelation 11:15 “Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”
Psalm 47:5 “God is gone up with a shout, Yehovah with the sound of a trumpet. “
The Hebrew word for shout here is “Teruah”! And the word trumpet is “Shofar”.
Psalm 89:15 “Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound.”
Here the Hebrew word for “sound” is also “Teruah” which is why we want to hear and be able to know and discern the sound of the Shofar on Yom Teruah!
6. Flying & Fleeing
The 8th Reason We Celebrate This Feast: It’s The Rapture – God is a Thief in The Night
1 Thessalonians 5 – “The day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day.”
Rosh Hashanah is the only Feast Day that occurs in the Dark of a New Moon, not the Full Moon like at other Feasts so it’s dark and there is a sense of foreboding. The “dark” of the moon—the period between the disappearing crescent and the first crescent—is right at three days. The same period of time Jesus was in the grave.
Paul possibly plays on this idea that though it is dark outside, we have a light on inside us. Many “end times” scriptures mention this darkness.
Who is getting stolen?
The alive church on fire for Him.
To those who are serving, loving and wise.
The Bride of Christ
Who is the Thief leaving behind for judgment?
- The Dead church: Revelation 3:1-3
- The Lukewarm church: Revelation 3:14-17 / Revelation 16:15
- The Evil servant: Matthew 24:48-50
- The Foolish virgins: Matthew 25:11-13
- Those living in darkness: 1 Thessalonians 5
Rosh Hashanah begins what is known as the “10 Days of Awe” until Yom Kippur (the Day of Judgment). We know God will judge every man, woman, and child for every word, thought, and deed they have had. No one will miss their divine appointment.
As we gaze up to God and give Him our attention, we become more tuned in to His agenda. God has purposes and plans that He is rolling out in our days, and He is looking for those who will work with Him. We need to be seeking God’s face to hear His instructions to us and to understand His word to the world in these times. God is calling us to be His trumpet blowers in this world, conveying His message.
“For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle?” (1 Corinthians 14:8) The trumpet blast calls out. It’s a calling and an invitation. It’s a call to remember the God of Israel and an invitation to meet with Him.
There is still time for people to come to God in repentance, to be forgiven, embraced, and to be adopted into God’s loving family. Jesus commissioned us in Matthew 28:19 to make sure the whole world gets to hear this good news.
The time will come when a different kind of trumpet blast will be heard:
“Then Yehovah will be seen over them as His arrow flashes like lightning. Yehovah Elohim will blow the shofar and march in whirlwinds of the south.” (Zechariah 9:14)
One day the very last trumpet will sound, and everything will change forever.
The 9th Reason We Celebrate This Feast: It’s The Great and Terrible Day of Yehovah
“The Great Day of Yehovah Is Near —near and coming quickly. The cry on the day of Yehovah is bitter; the Mighty Warrior shouts his battle cry. That day will be a day of wrath—a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness—a day of trumpet [shofar] and alarm [teruah] against the fortified cities and against the corner towers.” (Zephaniah 1:14–16)
These days will one day be the Seven-Year Tribulation. When Jesus judges the Earth, the picture is vivid and horrific: Four Horses of war, murder, famine, and death. Not only does the earthquake, but the heavens quake with the sun, moon, and stars going dark.
And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
And it will just be getting started; trumpets will announce Plagues of Destruction and Bowls of Judgment. We are told of Jesus, “He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God…and the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for 184 miles.”
There is a great irony in Rosh Hashanah in that it celebrates the time of the creation of the universe and the total destruction of the universe.
Just as The Feast of Tabernacles follows the Days of Awe, so will the Devil be defeated and all God’s enemies completely defeated and judged, culminating in the Millennium, Final Judgment, and the New Heavens and Earth. We are invited to celebrate The Feast of Trumpets every year to make sure we are ready.
7. The 10 Days of Awe – A Preview
Leviticus 23 says “And Yehovah spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The Feasts of Yehovah, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My Feasts …which you shall proclaim at their appointed times” [In their seasons].
Time isn’t just flowing along randomly. We are on a journey to somewhere with a purpose. We are told to: “Set up signposts, make landmarks; set your heart toward the highway, the way in which you went. Turn back, O virgin of Israel, turn back to these your cities.” Jeremiah 31:21
These Feasts are markers on the road.
- The Sabbath Rest reminds us that Jesus is our rest – Are You Resting or Striving?
- The Feast of Unleavened Bread, Passover, & Feast of Firstfruits – Our Salvation from Sin
- The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) – He Empowers Us
- The Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) – He Is Our Father and The Breath Inside Us
- The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) – Judgment Is Coming – Obey – Proclaim
- The Feast of Tabernacles – He is preparing a place for us – The Best Is Yet to Come
The Feasts are a shadow of Christ;
The earthly Jewish temple was a shadow of the Temple in Heaven;
Jesus is that Temple, in the same way that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit here on earth.
We are the hands and feet of Jesus on the earth – so these Feasts are part of us.
These Feasts were given to the Jews so they could recognize Jesus as Messiah.
They all point to Jesus. Many Jews saw and followed Jesus, but the Jewish nation missed it.
Jesus revealed Himself to us Gentiles as well, which means these Feasts are also connected to us, they mark us with the fragrance of Jesus. Our daily lives are supposed to be an extension of the Feasts that points the Jews to Jesus.
The heart and message of these Feasts should always be alive in us because they are revealing Christ (or revelations of Him). The Feasts are living testimonies of what He did and is doing in us. They are more than history; they are the story.
Why should Christians observe Holy Days? If we are not under the Law (and we are not), then why rest on a Holy Day or treat it like a Sabbath? They are appointed days, set apart for repentance:
These are days God did something significant or will do something significant for our Salvation, so, it’s the wrong time for doing what we want or acts of self-righteousness. Resting honors God and shows we are not trying to do works of righteousness that will save us.
Today’s Feast of Trumpets kicks off the Ten Days of Awe which are days for us to repent and humble ourselves in His presence. Adam and Eve probably made it till Day 10 when they brought sin into the perfect world and were tossed out of the Garden. That’s probably Yom Kippur.
God had a plan to fix their sin, failure, and rebellion. He created Feasts to prepare the people for two things: His First and Second Coming. They mark the Beginning of the Tribulation, the Rapture and Second Coming. It reminds us to lift up our voices like a trumpet to bring in a harvest of souls.
The Jews obviously don’t celebrate the First coming of Jesus during the Feasts, but they do believe the Fall Feasts will mark the Judgment of the world. Rosh Hashanah is also called the Day of Remembrance & Day of Judgment. God is said to inscribe the fate of every person for the upcoming year in the Book of Life or the Book of Death.
If you remember, after Moses’ first visit to Sinai he broke the tablets of God’s law and had to meet with God to ask Him to forgive the people for the sin of the golden calf. It’s this conversation that we first hear about the book of Life. “Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin – but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.” And the Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.”
The Talmud or Oral Law states that three books of account are opened on Rosh Hashanah, where the fate of the wicked, the righteous, and a middle group are recorded. The names of the righteous are immediately inscribed in the Book of Life and they are sealed “to live”. The intermediate class is given ten days, until Yom Kippur, to reflect, repent, and become righteous; the wicked are “blotted out of the book of the living forever.”
The Ten Days of Awe are when they are to focus on their sins of the past year – how they violated God’s laws and injured other people. They are to confess their sins to God and seek to make things right with those they have hurt in hopes of influencing God’s final judgment Before their fate is sealed on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
Obviously with Jesus we have a much better deal: “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. We know that we have come to know Him if we keep His commands.”
1 John 2:1-3
As Christians, we are born again. Because of Jesus every day is our Day of Atonement.
We have a new destiny and a new eternity that are determined by our relationship with Jesus. As we repent of our sins and put our faith in Jesus, He saves us by grace through faith.
And because we still sin, we need an advocate. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
The Days of Awe are a wonderful picture of confession and repentance that leads to forgiveness which is available to us every day so we can live out the hope we have in Jesus.
These 10 days are all about focusing on our choices and how they determine our destiny.
Leviticus 10:11 “distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean”.
Every time we repent – we are turning around and turning away from a sin that we are committing. So, we are changing our destiny by changing our direction. These 10 days help set the course for our year – The choices we make and directions we choose. The 10 days are like a preview of the year ahead or a snapshot of trends. What you conquer now – impacts your entire year ahead – decisions count more now.
I’ll be back Tuesday October 4th to prepare you for Yom Kippur (which begins that evening) to teach in detail about that Awesome Day.
A Quick Preview: Yom Kippur is a day of total fasting, rest (absolutely no work), and prayer. It is the only holiday that fasting is explicitly commanded by Yehovah – “You shall afflict your souls” (afflict doesn’t mean to punish yourself but to humble yourself). The Jews wear white (or burial clothes) – to live all day as if they were dead (fasting). It’s humbling yourself before God and a reminder that you are mortal.
8. The Manger
The 10th Reason We Celebrate This Feast: 2,025 years ago, in 3 A.D. Rosh Hashanah was on September 11th, and I believe that was the date Jesus was born in a Bethlehem Field. I’ll show you why.
“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
We know they end up in the right place, but How did the shepherds find Jesus with only three vague clues: A Newborn Baby – “Swaddling Cloths” – & The Manger
A typical home in that time, had a dug-out area below the house where they kept the animals.
To find a specific place, you would need some kind of directions.
How did the shepherds find Jesus with such odd vague directions?
The Hebrew was, “You will find the Babe wrapped in “swaddling cloths”, lying in The Manger.” English translators chose to make it “A Manger”.
The shepherds of Bethlehem were in charge of raising sheep for the temple sacrifices.
Every lamb born there made its way to Jerusalem to be sacrificed.
According to the laws governing sacrifice, the sheep that were used for the offerings had to be:
- a one-year-old male sheep that had been outside for 365 days (one-year)
- the male sheep were offered as burnt offerings…the females as peace-offerings.
Since these sheep needed to remain outside, the shepherds were also outside
“That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep”.
The hills of Bethlehem were home to the thousands of lambs that were sacrificed in the Temple.
As a boy from Bethlehem, King David would likely have tended sheep in these very hills and sheep that were destined for the daily offerings or the feasts. These shepherds knew that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.
Where in Bethlehem?
Just northeast of the shepherd’s fields are the ruins of ancient Bethlehem Ephratah, near a place called Migdal Eder – near the tomb of Rachel. Genesis 35 and 48 say that Rachel was buried at, “Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.”
Micah 4:8 “And you, O Tower of the Flock (in Hebrew, Migdal Eder [mig-dale e-dar]), the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, unto you shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.” Meaning, a king would be born at Migdal Eder to a girl from the line of David.
At the base of the Migdal Eder watchtower was a special birthing room called The Manger, for birthing these very special sacrificial lambs. The Angels declaration to the Bethlehem Shepherds could only mean “The Manger” at the base of the Tower of the Flock.
The shepherds were trained as children what was required for each sheep to be worthy of sacrifice. During lambing season, the sheep were brought to the watchtower from the fields. Being themselves under special rabbinical care, these priests would strictly maintain a ceremonially clean birthing place.
They would wrap the newborn lambs in Swaddling Clothes, to prevent them from thrashing about and harming themselves. It was their job to make sure that the animals weren’t damaged or blemished. After the lambs had calmed down, they could be inspected to make sure they were without spot or blemish.
Being “wrapped in swaddling clothes” would only be a significant clue if the angels were referring to a Passover Lamb.
Newborn babies had been wrapped in “swaddling cloths” long before the time of Jesus; it was common, so it was not a good clue unless it was “the cloths” used by the Shepherd Priests.
These shepherds weren’t random. They were notified by the angels because it was their calling to certify Passover lambs at birth.
Next, we have the phrase translated “No Room…”, which causes confusion.
“And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in the manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
Was there really No Room?
Is there any good reason a pregnant Jewish woman couldn’t stay in their family home during a High Feast Day? According to the Torah, when a woman had an issue of blood for any reason, like pregnancy, she was ritually unclean for that time and for seven days after.
“Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean….Anyone who touches anything she sits on will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening…A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days…”
She had to live separately so as not to defile the people in the household by her presence and definitely by a birth in the house. (Leviticus 15:19-23).
So “no room” actually means something very different. The Jews are very family oriented – they all live together. That story, translated that way, would be offensive anywhere. Would her family, who loved her, send her to give birth in a filthy stable of animals.
Prophecies about the Messiah tell us He “would be revealed from Migdal Eder”.
We don’t know the exact circumstances, but there is much more to the story.
9. The Inn & Here Come The Magi
The Inn – There is another verse that causes some confusion with the way it’s been translated. “And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in the manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
The word translated as “Inn” is Katalyma – ka-tall-e-mah – It means guest chamber not an inn.
- A Kataluma would have been a guest room in the family home in Bethlehem
that Mary and Joseph would stay in when they visited.
At least three times a year for the Feasts – like every other Jew
- Both Joseph and Mary were direct descendants of King David,
whose lineage and property went back to Boaz (who married Ruth).
- Boaz owned a home with a threshing floor in Bethlehem which, by right of inheritance, was handed down to succeeding generations
- Joseph was of David’s lineage through his son Solomon; Mary was of David’s lineage through his son Nathan (brother of Solomon). They’re both from the royal line
David was king of Israel around the year 1,000BC. His kingdom split in two after his son Solomon died, and eventually the ten northern tribes of Israel fell in 723BC and were taken to Assyria and most were never heard from again.
126 years later (597 BC) the southern kingdom of Judah (this was the tribe of David and eventually Jesus) was taken into captivity to Babylon by Assyrian King Nebuchadnezzar. After the fall of Babylon to the Persian King Cyrus the Great in 539 BC, many returned home to Jerusalem. But many did not return, and instead made a life in Babylon.
The Magi were a class of hereditary scholar-priests who first appear in Babylon.
They were magicians, enchanters, and astrologists. Throughout their history most of them never stopped practicing the occult. Even today, most are Zoroastrians.
But some did. Some followed the true Living God. And some still do. Why? How?
They were heavily influenced by some of the Jewish captives including Daniel and their history and faith was quite different.
- They were monotheistic (they believed in one God – like Israel)
- They had an altar which burned with a perpetual flame kindled by God from heaven.
- They had another altar where they offered blood sacrifices.
They lit the fire to burn the sacrifice with the flame off the perpetual altar.
- They ate the sacrifices (that’s unique to Passover).
- They had a hereditary priesthood (like the Levites).
All of those standards are found in only one place: The Torah of Moses
They are the rules of the Levites and Israelites – Given to them directly by God
The Bible says: King Nebuchadnezzar had a troubling dream and asked his astrologers and enchanters to tell him his dream and interpret its meaning.
“The astrologers answered the king, ‘There is not a man on earth who can do what the king asks! No king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer.’ What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among humans.” [They only had the occult – they were powerless]
God had anointed Daniel with the gift of interpreting dreams through the power of the Holy Spirit, and Daniel was able to describe and explain the king’s great prophetic dream.
Because of Daniel’s ability to interpret dreams and visions, he was appointed by Nebuchadnezzar and later by his son, Belshazzar, to be “chief of the magicians [master of the ‘Magi’], enchanters, astrologers, and diviners.” (Daniel 5:11).
Daniel didn’t enchant, do astrology, or divine, but he continued to lead the Magi, serving in the courts of the Medes (King Darius) and the Persians (King Cyrus).
When the decree of Cyrus came that the Jews could go back to Israel, the majority of the Jews never went back. They stayed in Babylon, intermingled, and intermarried. Some became rulers and some became Magi and retained their Jewish identity as the Tribe of Judah following the God of Israel.
The Magi continued to rise, and were consulted by kings and rulers, and tutors to nobles and princes. Darius the Great elevated the Magi over the state religion of Persia.
They became the supreme priestly caste of the Persian Empire and continued to be prominent during the subsequent Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanian periods.”
At the time of Christ, in the Parthian-Persian Empire the ruling house was called the Megistanes. It was composed of Magi. One of their jobs was the selection of a king.
At the time of Christ, they had just deposed their king so they were looking for a new king for the Eastern Empire who could lead them against Rome.
They had fought Rome twice in the previous fifty-years.
Matthew 2:1-3 “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled/disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.”
The visit of the Magi was not a visit from three guys on camels…they traveled with Persian cavalry. And the timing for war was bad for Rome. Both Herod and Caesar Augustus were old. Tiberius, the commander of the Roman army, had retired. So, Herod was troubled (the Greek means shaking).
10. They Waited 540 Years to Return
Most Christians know Jesus was not born on December 25th. This date was established by the Roman Catholic church around 360 A.D., when they held a special mass to honor Christ, while the pagan world celebrated Saturnalia, a feast honoring the birth of their sun god.
As the church grew in power and Roman deities faded away, the church kept the day, and it eventually became known as “Christ-Mass”. Mass has two meanings: Originally it meant the victim of a Sacrifice – Death. Eventually it meant to be sent on a mission. The mission of Jesus was His death. So, you can’t celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christ-mas without also focusing on His death.
Astronomy (studying the heavens) should cause us to worship God: “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man?” (Psalm 8:3, 4).
When we meet the Magi from Babylon, they are traveling to visit Christ, and they use prophetic scriptures, so we can assume they had been more influenced by Daniel, and less by the other Magi and astrologers of Babylon and were maybe even from the tribe of Judah.
The prophecies of Daniel include encounters with Gabriel and detailed visions of the life and death tof the Messiah. They would have learned from Daniel the precise time the Messiah was to arrive, and that He would be cut off or crucified. Other prophecies would have led them to study the stars for more details. “A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel.” (Numbers 24:17).
There is even a tradition throughout the Middle East that Daniel provided funds for the Magi and for gifts for them to carry to the Messiah upon his birth.
What star did the Magi likely see to recognize Jesus was to be born and when?
Let’s look at When? There was an interesting conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in 7 BC, and another one with Mars as a third planet in early 6 BC, but the planets were too far away from one another in both conjunctions to be considered a single ‘star.’ As for 5 BC and 4 BC, there was nothing of astronomical importance that would have caused anyone to journey to Jerusalem.
While nothing was happening in the skies in 4 BC, a lot was happening on earth.
Luke 1 tells us, “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth….So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.”
King David chose 24 descendants of Aaron to lead 24 “divisions” of priests. They all came to Jerusalem and served as priests during the three major feasts Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles.
The rest of the year the divisions took turns serving for one week once every six months, always in the same order. The rotation began at the conclusion of Passover in March or April, depending on leap years.
The division of Abijah was the “eighth” division, so their first week of service would have been at the end of May in 4 BC, when the angel Gabriel appeared to Zacharias in the Jerusalem Temple and foretold the conception and birth of a son to be called John (the Baptist). In June, Zacharias’ priestly duties were done, and John the Baptist was conceived.
Six months later in December of 4 BC, Gabriel appeared to Mary in Nazareth and the conception of Jesus occurred probably during the Festival of Lights – Hanukkah.
Luke 1 also tells us that Mary traveled to Judea to see her cousin Elizabeth after her encounter with Gabriel. When she arrived, Elizabeth was already six months pregnant.
In March of 3 BC, John the Baptist was born at Passover to Zacharias and Elizabeth. We know John the Baptist was 6 months older than Jesus, so that puts Jesus’ birth in September.
After two uneventful years in the night skies, suddenly in 3 BC and 2 BC, the whole heavens burst forth with signs and wonders. The King planet Gad and the King star Regulus had three conjunctions.
In August of 3 BC, when Gad (also called Jupiter by that time) became visible above the eastern horizon as a morning star, it was seen by the Magi ‘in the rising.’ The bright new star appeared in the head of the constellation of Comah, who is the baby in the Virgin’s lap.
On August 12 of 3 BC, Gad came into conjunction with Meni (also called Venus by that time), as the morning star in the constellation of Ariel The Lion (the sign of Judah). The Virgin and Lion constellations are next to each other.
Jesus was born one month later on September 11th which was the 1st of Tishrei on Rosh Hashanah. It would take over a year for the Magi to arrive in Bethlehem.
We were given a bonus confirmation in Revelation 12 – A SIGN in Heaven
“A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth…She gave birth to a Son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to His throne.”
Since the Son will rule all the nations with an iron scepter, we know it’s Jesus and the mother is then Mary. This event with the sun and moon and crown never happened on earth, but it did in the heavens.
Since we know that verse is speaking of the birth of Jesus – If we can find a time when the sun, moon, planets, and key stars are in the positions mentioned in that verse, then it should tell up when He was born.
There are twelve signs of the Zodiac, so as the earth revolves about the sun, each sign is “clothed with the sun” for one twelfth of the year, or one month.
The Virgin constellation is the only “sign of a woman” that is located within the normal paths of the Sun and Moon along the ecliptic as they cross the heavens.
Up next, we’ll narrow the dates down to confirm the birthday of Jesus.
11. The Seed Zera Arrives
We know the great sign in heaven was speaking about Jesus being born to Mary. To determine when, He would have to be born when Bethulah the Virgin was clothed with the sun, and that happens every year around September.
Specifically, in the year 3 BC, the position of the Sun, as described in Revelation 12 could only have occurred August 27 through September 15.
Meanwhile the Moon crosses the Virgin constellation every day and is under her feet each evening.
In the year 3 B.C., the Sun and Moon were in the proper positions only one time, September 11th, beginning at 6:15pm and lasted until 7:45pm. As the New Moon appeared it signaled the beginning of a new lunar month on Tishri 1.
So, according to the Revelation 12 signs, Jesus was born between sunset and moonset on September 11th, 3 B.C. On Rosh Hashanah (the Feast of Trumpets).
Interestingly, “the enthronement Psalms” in which Yahweh reigns (47, 93, 96-99), were a part of the liturgy of the ancient synagogues on this date.
Adam and Eve were created on Rosh Hashanah. It makes sense that Jesus, the second Adam, who was the Creator would be born then as well.
It was the day God re-created the world: “By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry”. Genesis 8:13
Jesus was 30 years old at the time of His baptism. Luke tied this event to the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar (which was in 27-28 AD). This would then place the birth of Christ in 3 BC.
We can also conclude that Jesus’ birth was not on the Feast of Tabernacles or on Passover, as some have proposed. Both the Feast of Tabernacles and Passover occur in the middle of lunar months when the moon is full; therefore, there can be no new moon, as required by Revelation 12:1-6.
The Romans also give us some clues. Jesus could not have been born during any one of the three Pilgrim Feasts: Passover/Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, or Tabernacles. These were times when all Jewish men in Israel were required by the Law to be in Jerusalem.
The Romans would not have selected any of the three primary festival seasons for a census in Israel, in order to increase compliance by the Jews. Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem, not to Jerusalem at the time of His birth!
The Caesars – 3 BC and 2 BC was a period for celebrating the glory of Rome.
2 BC was the 750th year of the founding of Rome.
Caesar Augustus celebrated his 25th year as Emperor in 2 BC, counted from the time he was proclaimed “Augustus” in 27 BC.
On February 5th of 2 BC Augustus was awarded his most prestigious title: Pater Patriae (Father of the Country).
This award confirms the chronology of Jesus’ birth because a decree went out from Augustus that the entire Roman people were required to register their oath of allegiance to in the year prior to the award, which was 3 BC.
When Did the Magi Arrive to See Jesus?
Matthew 2:9 “. . . the star they had seen in the East went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.”
Planets are sometimes called “wandering stars,” and may appear to be standing when compared to the backdrop of the stars, due to the rotation of the earth (that’s called retrogression).
Now remember, we are in B.C, before Year 0, so the numbers get smaller as time passes. Jesus was born in September of 3 BC. Then at the end of 2 BC (about 15 months after His birth), the King Planet Gad appeared at its ordinary time for retrogression, directly over Bethlehem on December 25th. Just before dawn.
The planet stopped while in the middle of the constellation of Bethulah the Virgin – middle meaning the abdomen, where a woman carries a child in pregnancy.
It remained stationary for about six days.
Why those 6 days? What was happening? The 8-day festival called Hanukkah.
The Magi arrived during Hanukkah in 2 B.C., right at the time we now celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas.
Herod probably had no idea that these Magi were Jews, or that they were probably from the tribe of Judah, and so were likely related to Jesus.
When they got to Bethlehem, they worshiped Jesus. They saw more than just a king.
They recognized the Messiah they had heard about from the time of Daniel.
But the vast number of Jews in Israel were unaware.
Luke 2 tells us the Magi never returned to Herod and that led to a serious reaction:
Matthew 2:16 “Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.”
Obviously, he didn’t want to take any chances of the Magi returning later when the child grew up and crowning him king. The Magi then disappeared back into Persia.
Many of them have added all kinds of strange beliefs, but many are now Christians as a result of that journey 2000 years ago.
The descendants of the Magi now live in Eastern Turkey and Syria and are called Kurds.
IV. 5783 / Prophecy
12. Peh (80)
Each year for Rosh Hashanah I like to give you a prophetic picture of the coming year. God speaks constantly, and prophetically from His Biblical Calendar. We need to be in sync with His times and seasons. His Biblical Calendar helps us interpret the things He’s veiled.
Isaiah 50:4 tells us, “Yehovah Elohim has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned.”
Notice that it’s not our mind or intellect He is awakening, but our ear, which requires nearness and intimacy with Him. And more importantly, we need to respond to His voice so He can wake us up.
In Matthew 10, Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of His day for their inability to see prophetically, “You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”
1 Chronicles 12:23, 32 give us a unique perspective on the prophetic gift being applied to times and season, “Now these were the numbers of the divisions that were equipped for war, and came to David at Hebron” they included “the sons of Issachar” who were called mighty men of valor “who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do…”
When God spoke everything into existence during creation, He created building blocks – a Hebrew alphabet of 22 letters which also double as numbers. They are predictive markers which cause us to turn aside to look, like Moses did at the burning bush, so that we hear God’s directing voice. We can’t judge what God is doing by what we see in the natural realm.
In nearly every book of the Bible, God uses numbers and word-pictures as a story beneath the story and a thread that is woven from beginning to end.
A literal ram provides Abraham a sacrifice to take the place of Isaac; four hundred years later, a literal lamb is used for all of the sacrifices of Passover, but from then on, the lamb also becomes a “prophetic picture” that speaks of Yeshua Jesus who gives His life on the cross on Passover 1,500 years later. Likewise, the Holy Spirit is seen as a dove, oil, water, and wind.
The Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters. Each has five different prophetic attributes: Numbers have layers of revelation that help us see Yeshua (Jesus). The word itself has multiple meanings. Each letter that makes up the word has unique meanings. Its sound provides revelation. Its pictographs or signs can provide multiple meaning
Yom Teruah begins Sunday evening September 26th, as we transition from the year 5782 to 5783. What do those numbers mean?
The millennium and century, 5700, mean, “May It Be The Year Of…”.
So, studying the 80 (peh) and 3 (gimel) can provide clarity on this year’s God-breathed characteristics – what the year “is of” or about. When we begin a New Biblical Year, we literally step onto a new path with opportunities and dilemmas for each of us to choose between.
Several years ago, as we began 5780, we stepped into the decade of the 80’s.
80 is the letter peh which means mouth.
The next year was 5781. So, we added the letter 1 (aleph) to peh. Since God is One, aleph has a lot to do with the first person of the Godhead, the Father.
The next year was 5782. So, we added the letter 2 (bet), which spoke of Yeshua Jesus, the second person of the Godhead.
This year is 5783. So, we added the letter 3 (gim-el), which speaks of the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodosh) is the third person of the Godhead. So, we will be talking about Him a lot today.
First, let’s re-examine peh (80) and then add gimel (3) to determine the prophetic significance of the year ahead? What should we expect to see in 83? What should we do to be in the plan of God?
80 – Peh (pay) – The pictograph looks like a mouth so Peh means mouth, breath, and speech. It is about the power of agreement or declaration
The meaning of Hebrew letters comes from the first time they are used in Scriptures. The first use of peh in the Torah was Genesis 4:11, “Now you are cursed because of the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.”
The ground was cursed at Adam and Eve’s sin. Genesis 3:17 says, “Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice [quol] of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake;”
In Genesis 4, Cain is cursed because of that cursed ground that opened its mouth to receive Abel’s blood from Cain’s hand.
So, the 1st use of mouth (peh) in the Torah deals with murder, curses, death, and the grave.
Looking back on 5780 and 2020, we saw the mouth:
Thru breath carry a deadly disease,
The mouth speaking in accusation and protest bring terrible destruction.
Some masks brought safety or benefits
Other masks simply veiled faces, which emboldened people to whatever they wanted, especially bad, like rioting, stealing, and killing, all works of the devil.
Murder, curses, death, and the grave were all companions of ours in the past few years of [peh], thanks to those who, like Cain, did not weigh the cost of their words or actions.
The word Face is Paniym (pah-neem). God wants to be “face to face” with us and to seek His face, where He can bless us. He will even look away to avoid harming us till we seek Him.
“For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, and like a young lion to the house of Judah. I, even I, will tear them and go away; I will take them away, and no one shall rescue. I will return again to My place till they acknowledge their offense. Then they will seek My face; in their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.” Hosea 5:14-15
Next, we will focus on gimel and then add it to peh to see what the year ahead holds next.
13. The Gimel of the Holy Spirit
The numerical value of Gimmel is 3. The number 3 speaks of perfection or completeness
Just how important is the number three?
- The Godhead is made up of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit: complete and perfect.
- God is called “omni” or “all” because everything about God is perfect and complete.
- Many aspects of creation are in 3’s:
- time is past present, future;
- Human ability is in thought, word, and deed;
- There are three types of matter: animal, vegetable, and mineral.
- The Tabernacle and Temple (which were designed by what was in already in heaven)
had three divisions: the outer court, the holy place (inner court) and the most holy place.
- The Ark of the Covenant had three objects: (gold jar of manna, Aaron’s budded staff, the tablets with the Commandments)
- There were three Pilgrimage Feasts (Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles).
- God’s name Yehovah comes from three words: Hayah (He who was); Hoveh (He who is), and Yih’yeh (He who will be or who is to come) (Revelation 1:4).
- There were three fathers of Israel: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
- Jonah was in the belly of the great fish three days
- Satan tempted Jesus three times in the wilderness
- Peter denied Jesus three times
- Jesus repeats the phrase “feed my sheep” to Peter three times to restore him
- Jesus was crucified beginning at the third hour of Passover.
- Jesus goes back to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane three times
- Three woes are called out by an eagle in revelation, foreshadowing terrible judgment
- Jesus was in the grave three days – Jesus rose after three days.
In Jewish culture, three days past the time of death indicated they were truly dead. Therefore, Jesus truly conquered death by not rising until the third day.
You can’t focus on one aspect of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit without focusing on all 3.
But the Holy Spirit (who is the 3 of the Trinity’s “3 in 1” aspect) is the primary focus of our study and prophetic look at 5783 and gimel.
We can’t believe rightly in God without believing in the Trinity – the fact that they are one and all equal and therefore all God indeed. Not believing in the Trinity is what makes Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses cults – not Christians. It is also what makes Judaism incomplete.
Judaism does not believe in a Trinity of Father, Son & Holy Spirit, which is why the teachers of the Law reacted so strongly / murderously when Jesus claimed to be God and One with God.
The doctrine of the Trinity is not plainly revealed in the Old Testament, but it is absolutely everywhere when you are aware of its truth and are looking for it. We can’t rightly understand the significance of the Hebrew number 3 / gimel without grasping that truth.
Genesis 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth.” The name Elohim (which means strong or mighty) is plural but joined with a singular verb (when elohim refers to false gods it takes a plural verb).
When Elohim speaks of the Living God, it’s always used with a singular verb. It is clear that God is both singular and plural, which is the doctrine of the Trinity – “within the nature of the one God there are three eternal persons.”
The plural name with the singular verb is an anomaly which suggests the unity of the Godhead. So, in Genesis 1:1 we have the first indication of the Trinity, but the primary point of this verse is simply that God is One (as opposed to the many gods of false religions).
Isaiah 54:5 tells us, “For your Maker is your husband, Yehovah Tsebaoth (of hosts) is His name; the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.”
The word Maker [ʿāśâ – aw-saw’] is also plural in Hebrew, and we know it’s speaking of Yeshua Jesus because He is our Bridegroom – so it’s a second plural word that speaks of God.
Listen to Isaiah 48:16-17, “Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, I was there. And now Adonay Yehovah (the Father) and His Ruach (the Holy Spirit) Have sent Me (obviously Yeshua Jesus).”
Thus says Yehovah, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel (again obviously Yeshua Jesus): “I am Yehovah your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way you should go.”
There is just no way to read that apart from it being the three Persons of the Trinity.
The doctrine of the Trinity was left for the New Testament, but the Trinity is foreshadowed throughout the Old Testament.
In Genesis 1:2 the Person of the Spirit is introduced: “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” PRESENCE
“The Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel.” WISDOM
“Then the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you (Saul), and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.” PROPHECY & TRANSFORMATION
“I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” THE POWER TO OBEY
“But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.” POWER
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things…” UNDERSTANDING
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me…” ABILITY TO WITNESS
14. The Year 5783 – Peh Gimel
So, what does 5783 or peh gimel hold for us in the year ahead?
Pilgrimage – Movement
The modern pictograph of gimel looks like an upside-down capital “Y”,
a high-heeled shoe, or a foot (which speaks of progression – someone walking).
Gimel speaks of pilgrimage – that we can be led by the Spirit.
Gimel (as a 3) is between two other number:
[bet] (2 – which means tent) and [dalet] (4 – which means house)
So, gimel shows movement and progression – from a tent to a house.
The most common Hebrew words in the scriptures that feature gimel mean:
Remove or Move away, but also at times Gather. This may seem contradictory,
until it’s put in the context of harvesting (where removing something is the same as gathering it). Don’t be afraid of change – even big changes –
This is the year for movement from one thing to the next thing.
The ancient pictograph of gimel was the shape of a camel.
There are Positive and Negative Aspects.
The Hebrew word for ‘camel’ is גמל gamal and it means ‘to be lifted up’.
When a person sits on a camel, they are lifted up due to its height.
The root of the word for pride is גאה ge’ey and it means to lift up one’s strength, to increase, to be exalted, and arrogance. All six Hebrew words for pride begin with Gimmel.
On the positive side – Gimel means to produce, and to reward (or to “deal bountifully”).
Camels are the pack animals of the desert because they have great endurance and can store up water for very long stretches of time during long dry journeys. Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Pray for the release of God’s provision to do His will.
Presence of the Holy Spirit & Greatness
The primary way to determine the meaning of a Hebrew letter is to examine the first time the letter appears in Scripture. Gimmel first appears in Genesis 1:16 “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.”
The word great is [gadol]. So, since this is the first appearance of gimel, its primary meaning is greatness. That’s a reminder: Don’t aim too low. Stay in the light of God’s presence.
Someone will rule the night – but this is the year of ruling in the day.
The Holy Spirit plays the most significant role of what’s coming.
At the very beginning: “the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”
Gabriel described the conception of Jesus like this, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you…”
Gibbor means Mighty, Hero or Warrior, and Strong. David’s Mighty men
While He is always drawing us closer, the level of intimacy, power, and miracles will be more pronounced. We must be willing to let Him shine the light of His presence on “all” of our life (even the parts we try to keep hidden in darkness) and reorganize our life so that it can conform to His agenda.
Provision & Redemption
Gemul means “a justified repayment”, or “the giving of reward and punishment”
This speaks of blessings (like justice, repayment, benefits); and it speaks of curses
(like retribution, vengeance, revenge, payback, reprisal, reckoning.
The Holy Spirit will supply with great sufficiency for His people despite the presence of a dry environment, bad economy, or any other external situation. The Holy Spirit will answer prayers in profound ways so humble yourself and press into His presence!
Gimel means to produce, to reward, and to deal bountifully.
Christians will have a chance to live in a profoundly different world and set of circumstances than the lost and rebellious. It will be a very enlightening time for obedient Christians. Think of the Israelites in Goshen or think of the promises of Isaiah 60 and Psalm 91.
Ga’al means redeem. “For your Maker is your husband…and your Redeemer [Go’el] is the Holy One of Israel.”
Go’el is a Kinsman Redeemer. Don’t give up hope on yourself or others, or God’s promises.
Circumstances often scream “be very afraid”, which is the response of the world, but those who have drawn near to God will feel an uncommon peace and faith despite all that they see and all that they face. Consider prayer as important as air or water to your soul.
15. The Other Side of Gimel
Remember, camels have a good and a bad symbolic aspect. The Hebrew word for ‘camel’ is גמל gamal and it means ‘to be lifted up’. When a person sits on a camel, they are lifted up due to its height. The root of the word for pride is גאה ge’ey and it means to lift up one’s strength, to increase, to be exalted, and arrogant. All six Hebrew words for pride begin with Gimmel.
The story of Rachel is key this year. The beloved girl who Jacob worked a total of 14 years to marry, is not buried with him at Hebron. She is buried right where she died giving birth to Benjamin, alongside the road by Bethlehem Ephrath, 14 miles from Hebron. There is a story there.
After Jacob worked 20 years for her father, it was time for their family to leave, and they did during the night. But while packing, Rachel stole her father Laban’s precious household idols. Laban chases them, catches them, and confronts them; Jacob knew nothing about it and said: “With whomever you find your gods, they shall not live.” It turns out Rachel, who was probably pregnant and therefore unclean, had put the idols in her camel’s saddle, and sat on them. And she said to her father, “I cannot rise before you, for the manner of women is with me.” And he searched everywhere else but did not find the household idols.” Genesis 31:28-35
The idols in question were an abomination called teraphim – They were mummified heads of their ancestors and people would talk to them and supposedly they would talk back. Essentially, they were inhabited by demons. Sadly, they were not uncommon (David’s wife Mical, the daughter of King Saul, had them).
While Rachel’s lies and treachery worked, she hadn’t counted on the curse from Jacob, “With whomever you find your gods, they shall not live.” At this point Jacob wrestles with God and meets Esau and reconciles with him, God changed Jacob’s name to Israel and then they arrive at their destination and apparently Jacob found the idols, “And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments…and Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree which was by Shechem.”
“Then they journeyed from Bethel. And when there was but a little distance to go to Ephrath, Rachel labored in childbirth, and she had hard labor. And so it was, as her soul was departing (for she died), that she called his name Ben-Oni (son of my sorrow); but his father called him Benjamin (son of my right hand). So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). And Jacob set a pillar on her grave.” Genesis 35:1-4,16-20
Jacob wrestled with a pre-incarnate Jesus who changed his name and heart so much that he gave his fortune to Esau. But Rachel was still hoping to hear from dead skulls. Her lonely grave (not far from where her destiny was in Hebron) is a reminder that those who hold on to their father’s sins will forfeit the inheritance that God has set apart for them.
One of the more disturbing things about this story is that Rachel, who obsessed over these talking dead skulls was venerated after she died by many Jews in the same way Mary is venerated to many Catholics. People started praying to Rachel, and when the Jews were taken into captivity, they stacked stones on her grave for her to remember them and pray for them.
Don’t misfocus your affections on money, things, your image, unfulfilled desires, or what you think you deserve. Don’t put your hope on what scheming, manipulation, or traditions can provide. Don’t lie. Watch what you say and the curses that come out of your mouth. Pray to God – not dead people.
Camels or Rope
Matthew 19:24 “And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
The Aramaic word for ‘camel’ is written identically to the word for ‘rope.’ A mistranslated word occurred due to the translator’s limitations when the original Aramaic scrolls were being transferred into Greek. When the ancient Syriac New Testament was translated into English it provided lots of insights into idioms unique to the Aramaic. It should be translated, “…it is easier for a rope to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Comfortable traditions and false expectations can be very disruptive. They can cause us to miss clear directives and warnings from the Holy Spirit. Be watchful for walking in the errors of others this year.
1 Kings 17 tells the story of Elijah raising a child from the dead. “And Elijah stretched himself out on the child three times, and cried out to the Yehovah and said, “O Yehovah my God, I pray, let this child’s soul come back to him. Then Yehovah heard the voice of Elijah, and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived.”
This is the first resurrection recorded in scripture. No one had ever seen a dead person raised to life again. But Elijah prays and listens to the Holy Spirit and stretches himself out on the body of the dead child three times.
First, believe God for the impossible. God wants to answer our prayer. Scripture says that “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours.” He was righteous before God. He prayed earnestly and God heard and answered his prayer.
Somehow, Elijah was able to not allow the sight of death affect his faith. We can’t allow the sight of what we are facing to affect our faith either. If you feel like your prayer is being stretched, press in and trust that God is stretching you so you can reach further.
Psalm 119 is an acrostic that is separated into 22 sections; each section is titled with a letter of the alphabet; each section has 8 verses. The first word of each verse begins with gimel.
The 8 verses in the acrostic under the letter gimel hint at things that are provided and removed.
17 [gə-mōl] Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.
18 [gal-‘ê-nay] Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.
19 [gêr’ā-nō-ḵî] I am a stranger in the earth; Do not hide Your commandments from me.
20 [gā-rə-sāh] My soul breaks with longing for Your judgments at all times.
21 [gā-‘ar-tā] You rebuke the proud—the cursed, who stray from Your commandments.
22 [gal] Remove from me reproach and contempt, for I have kept Your testimonies.
23 [gam] Princes also sit and speak against me, but Your servant meditates on Your statutes.
24 [gam] Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.
Don’t be sidetracked with what even great people say –
God’s testimonies are the best counselors.