Posts Tagged ‘Yom Teruah’

Yom Teruah, 2020

I have celebrated the Feast of Trumpets in so many places over the years from Denver to Philadelphia to Chappell, Nebraska to Whitecourt, Alberta in campgrounds, backyards, churches at different lakes, rivers, and even large rain puddles, but I never expected to celebrate along the Kenai River in Alaska, never. But God.

Answered Prayer

The day before Yom Teruah the weather was horrendous in Cooper Landing with high winds and torrential rains. Kenai Lake looked like a churning ocean and I waited to see a whale breech out of the whitecaps. The Bible study women prayed for good weather for our celebration with hope and faith. We all rejoiced and praised Yeshua for what he gave us on Tishri 1 in Alaska, a phenomenal sunset.

Sunset, Kenai River, Alaska

In His faithfulness, God brought together a group of people to listen to and learn the sounds of the shofar as each of us prepare for the coming of Messiah Yeshua. In these days, it seems as though the signs of his return in clouds of glory is closer than ever and to know those shofar blasts is not only necessary, but have prophetic importance and vision. The tekiah calls his people together, the teruah convicts his people of their sins, the shevarim prepares them for war, and the tekiah gadolah, the final one, is a reminder of the one who is Immortal is returning with the shofar blast and will transform the saints from mortal to immortality.

““I will gather those of yours who grieve over the appointed feasts and bear the burden of reproach [because they cannot keep them]” (Zephaniah 3:18).

As Yeshua’s shadow looms over us we can see evidence of prophecies coming to pass – the separation of the sheep and goats – especially with the growing lawlessness around the world. Even in Isra’el the holy days were halted causing grief to everyone worldwide who understands the severity of such a decision even IF there is a pandemic. In these end times, we each have to choose whether to obey God’s commandments or man’s deceptions. We each have to choose whether to remain in the world or ‘come out from among them and be separate’ (2 Corinthians 6:17). We each have to choose to purify ourselves from all the burdens of sin that stain our wedding gowns and become a pure, spotless Bride for Messiah Yeshua.

Our day of remembering and blowing the shofar was filled with autumn leaves, young children, and a group of faithful believers who desire to understand the ‘appointed times’ of our God. The Ruach blew through a conche shell toward the north, south, east, and west to remind sleeping virgins to put oil in their lamps before the Bridegroom comes and closes the door.

Tekiah, Teruah, Shevarim, Tekiah Gadolah
Teaching by the Kenai River

Tashlich – Casting Away

No Feast of Trumpets would be complete without Tashlich or the ‘casting away’ of our sins. Everyone collected and threw stones into the turquoise river as a reminder that our sins through the blood of Messiah have been ‘cast’ into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19) and are as far away as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). The children, too, threw stones that had sins written on them: disobedience, jealousy, anger, envy, and idolatry. All the same sins that we adults should have been throwing into the depths of the sea along with guilt, lashon hara, and so much more with thanksgiving to Yeshua for taking on these burdens that can weigh on us like stones or heavy rocks.

L’Shana Tova 5781

Every ‘appointed time’ of Yahweh, except Yom Kippur, has food and fellowship. With Yom Teruah also being Rosh Hashana, the beginning of the civil new year for crowning kings, we had a lot of sweet food for a sweet new year. And, of course everyone learned some Hebrew by shouting ‘LaShana Tova!’

Chag Sameach, L’Shana Tova and Bo Mashiach Yeshua. Happy Holiday, Happy New Year and Come Messiah Yeshua!

©2020 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Revelation Chapter 3 – Sardis

Messianic Community of Sardis

Sardis was the capital of the Lydian Kingdom and part of the Persian Empire, modern-day Iraq and Turkey. It had a strong military presence and was situated on the major highway leading from the Aegean coast to the plains of Mesopotamia. It was located about 60 miles from the cities of Ephesus and Smyrna on the Pactolus River that flowed through the center of the city floating gold dust from Mount Tmolus. Sardinians learned how to separate gold from silver to create pure silver and pure gold. This purity of metals allowed them to mint gold and silver coins that were used as standard currency throughout the ancient world making Sardis a very wealthy city.

“To the angel of the Messianic Community in Sardis, write: ‘Here is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars: “I know what you are doing — you have a reputation for being alive, but in fact you are dead! Wake up, and strengthen what remains, before it dies too! For I have found what you are doing incomplete in the sight of my God. So remember what you received and heard, and obey it, and turn from your sin! For if you don’t wake up, I will come like a thief; and you don’t know at what moment I will come upon you. Nevertheless, you do have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes; and they will walk with me, clothed in white, because they are worthy. He who wins the victory will, like them, be dressed in white clothing; and I will not blot his name out of the Book of Life; in fact, I will acknowledge him individually before my Father and before his angels. Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities'” (Revelation 3:1-6). 

Yeshua sends the fifth messenger to Sardis where he reveals himself as the one who “has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars.”  The prophet Isaiah describes the seven-fold Spirit of Elohim that embodies the fullness of Messiah: “The Spirit of Adonai will rest on him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and power, the Spirit of knowledge and fearing Adonai –– he will be inspired by fearing Adonai” (Isaiah 11:1-2).

He has explained that the seven stars are the seven messengers guarding the communities. He repeats this phrase as a witness that he is the one sending the message, not the ‘star’ who is only the messenger.

The community in Sardis has a reputation for being alive, but is really dead.  Yeshua tells them to strengthen what little they still have or it will die too.  The Spirit of Elohim gives power to the life of the believer; it appears Sardis is missing that power.

Yeshua commands Sardis, “Wake Up!”  The Sardis community is sleep-walking and unaware of their complacent lifestyle (Ephesians 5:14). If they don’t wake up,  Yeshua will come like a ‘thief’ in a swift and stealthy manner, and they will miss his marriage feast.

The phrase ‘thief in the night’ symbolizes the snatching away of a bride from her home when the time for her wedding arrives. The bridegroom comes at an unknown time –– with his friends and loud noise –– to carry away his betrothed to the wedding chamber. Because his arrival time is unknown, the bride must be ready at all times for his appearance.

‘Thief in the night’ is a Hebrew idiom for Yom Teruah or the Feast of Trumpets because the ‘day and the hour’ for when this ‘appointed time’ begins is unknown. This agrees with Yeshua’s statement that no one knows the day or the hour” (Matthew 25:13). This second phrase also points to Yom Teruah, the next Biblical Feast to be fulfilled (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2).

The Feast of Trumpets is celebrated on a New Moon. In ancient times, when the New Moon was sighted by the high priest along with the testimony of two witnesses, the new month began. At this moment, all the Feast times and dates were determined. Yom Teruah began at the sighting of the New Moon with the blowing of shofars throughout the land of Isra’el.

In Matthew 25, Yeshua tells the Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids.  The Bridegroom takes a long time –– years, centuries, and millennia –– to arrive and the Bridesmaids fall asleep.  When they hear the loud voice of the Bridegroom, only five have oil in their lamps. The wise Bridesmaids trim their wicks, light their lamps, and go with the Bridegroom into the Bridal Chamber.  The other five are foolish because they did not prepare for the Bridegroom’s arrival. When they hear his voice, they have to run out and buy more oil. By the time they return, the door is shut, and they are excluded from the wedding feast.

The lamps in the parable are the Word of Elohim (Psalm 119:105). The Hebrew for ‘word’ in this verse is Torah. Specifically, each of the ten Bridesmaids have Torah to illuminate their path, but their desire to become a set-apart Bride determines whether or not they use it. Oil is symbolic of the Ruach Elohim and was used to anoint kings, priest, and now filled the lambs of the Bride of Messiah.

At a future Feast of Trumpets, the Bridegroom will come out of the heavens with a loud cry and a shofar blast to call forth his waiting and prepared Bride (1 Thessalonians 4:16). For those Bridesmaids who are unprepared, they will miss the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. This is the warning for Sardis. They must wake up, trim their wicks, and make sure their lamps are supplied with oil!

Hebrew Word Pictures

Torah – torah – תורה

Tav – Crossed Sticks means ‘sign’ or ‘covenant.’

Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

Resh – A Head means ‘highest authority.’

Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.

The Hebrew Word Picture for torah: the covenant sign binding to the highest authority revealed.

Oil – shemen – שמן

Shin – A Tooth means ‘consume’ or ‘destroy.’

Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ or ‘mighty.’

Nun – A Fish means ‘life.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for shemen: consume and destroy the chaos of life.

Spotted Wedding Garments

The works of the congregation in Sardis are incomplete in Elohim’s sight.  This is another allusion to these believers who have lamp of Torah, but are deficient in their obedience. They have forgotten what they heard and no longer obey the gospel of repentance and bearing fruit of that repentance. Yeshua compares their incomplete works to soiled clothing or spotted wedding gowns.

Sardis is told to remember what they have heard and obey it. If there was nothing to obey, this would be a foolish correction from Yeshua (Romans 10:16).  Even Kefa (Peter) confirms the gospel is about obedience (1 Peter 4:17). It is up to Sardis to repent, wash their robes, and be found spotless as they look forward to the coming Kingdom (2 Peter 3:14).

“Add guilt to their guilt, don’t let them enter your righteousness.Erase them from the book of life, let them not be written with the righteous” (Psalm 69:27-28).

Those in Sardis who don’t wash their soiled gowns will be ‘blotted out’ of the Book of Life.  The Hebrew word for ‘soiled’ is chaneph and means ‘profane.’ Profane means that one lives a secular, carnal life rather than a spiritual one. It also means to ‘make common’ the Word of Elohim. The Greek word for ‘soiled’ is moluno and means to ‘spiritually destroy the reputation of Messiah.’ These two words give a detailed view of the spiritual condition in Sardis. They live carnal, even profane lives that destroy the message of Yeshua. This behavior brings a severe judgment –– they will be blotted out of his Book of Life.

The The Hebrew word for ‘blotted out’ is machah and means to ‘wipe out, cancel or exterminate.’ To be ‘blotted out’ has a serious eternal consequence for choosing to not obey the message of Yeshua. At the final judgment, everyone is thrown into ‘the lake of fire and burning sulfur’ unless their name is written in the Book of Life. Those in Sardis who don’t give up their profane, carnal lifestyle will spend eternity in the outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth –– the place of greatest regret.

Sardis was not a ‘living’ part of the Body of Messiah.  They people were dead and needed to wake up or lose Eternity.  On the final Day of Atonement when books are opened, only those names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will enter the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:22-27).

“One of the elders asked me, “These people dressed in white robes … They have washed their robes and made them white with the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:13-14).

There are some followers of Yeshua in Sardis who have not soiled their wedding gowns. These people will walk with Yeshua clothed in white robes. They will receive fine, white linen bridal gowns to represent their righteous deeds (Revelation 19:7-8). Yeshua will call each righteous one by name and they will hear: “Well done good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21-24).

Those [in Sardis] who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit, Ruach haKodesh [the holy wind] is saying to the Messianic community.”

Yeshua uses these same words in the gospels when he speaks in parables, however, he doesn’t include the words, ‘what the Spirit says to the communities.’  One reason he taught in parables was so that people could ‘look but not see, and listen but not understand’ the message of the Kingdom (Isaiah 6:9-10, Luke 8:10).  Because he wanted his disciples to have a deeper understanding of the coming Kingdom, he explained the hidden meaning away from the crowds.

Yeshua spoke all of his parables before the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot when the ‘holy wind’ was poured out and the new covenant was instituted (Acts 2:2).  With the arrival of the new covenant, men and women who obey the message of Yeshua are given new hearts and a renewed spirit.  The Ruach haKodesh gives them ‘ears to hear what the Spirit is saying’ so they can obey His voice.

Yeshua doesn’t want this community to just ‘hear’ his message, but ‘listen’ to it.  His message was to be heard through spiritual ears that were fine-tuned to his voice, the voice of the Shepherd (Psalm 95:7-8, John 10:27-28)  His sheep were to ‘listen’ and ‘obey’ the message so they would be overcomers –– Isra’el –– and receive their eternal reward.

But you [Sardis], how blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear!” (Isaiah 6:9-10, Matthew 13:14-16). 

Revelation 3 – Messianic Community of Philadelphia

©2020 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.


In the Days of Nehemiah

“It was the first day of the seventh month” (Nehemiah 8:2).

This specific verse in Nehemiah sets the time for the events to follow as the ‘first day of the seventh month’ or Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets.  This ‘appointed time’ of God begins His season of the fall feasts which are about repentance, atonement and a vision of the coming Millennial Kingdom.

The events in Nehemiah 8 are not some random occurrences in the history of Israel.  They are a testimony to the restoration of the Feasts of Adonai to a people who had lived in exile for over 160 years.  Though there was a first wave of Jewish return to Jerusalem 70 years after being taken captive, Ezra and Nehemiah were in the second wave 90 years later.  It was during this time that the priests gathered the people together on the ‘first day of the seventh month’.

Yom Teruah 445 B.C.E.

A wooden platform was made on which Ezra, the priest,  stood and could be seen and heard by all of the men and women who came to listen to the reading of the Torah.  As he opened the Torah scroll, everyone stood.  Then Ezra blessed Adonai, the great God.  As the people answered with “Amen”,  they lifted up their hands, bowed their heads, and fell prostrate before Adonai with their faces to the ground. 

“Amen” has a very interesting root history.  It comes from the Hebrew word aman meaning ‘to nourish, support, make sure and strong’.   The word emunah or faithfulness also has its root in aman.   The Jewish sages say that amen is an acronym for el melek ne’eman or “God is a faithful King’.  According to Revelation 3:14, Yeshua is the “the amen, the faithful and true witness … he is the faithful King.”   What the people said  as they were about to hear the Torah was “God is a faithful King!”

Days of Awe and Repentance

The Levites had the responsibility to explain Torah to the people.  After being in a foreign country for several generations, they needed to translate the Hebrew so that the ‘Persian’ Jews would  understand the words being read.  When they heard the  instructions that Adonai gave them through Moshe, the people began to weep. 

Repentance or making teshuvah, ‘turning back to God,’ is central to the fall ‘appointed times.’   After hearing the words of Torah for the first time standing in Jerusalem, the people wept.  They grieved.  They understood they had lost the very essence of their national heritage and had not lived accordingly.

Ezra, along with the rest of the Levites, told them not to weep, not to be sad for this day was ‘set apart to Adonai their God.’  It was His ‘appointed time.’ They were told to go out, eat rich food, drink sweet drinks, and give portions to those who couldn’t provide for themselves.  Even today sweet foods are eaten on Feast of Trumpets with apples and honey being the traditional foods.

How sweet to my tongue is your promise, truly sweeter than honey in my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103).

Mouth of God

Yeshua said “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every Word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).  What does the mouth or ‘voice of God’ sound like?

Ram's Horn Shofar

When John was exiled on the island of Patmos, he has a revelation of Messiah.  He says,  “I came to be, in the Spirit, on the Day of Adonai; and I heard behind me a loud voice, like a shofar ….”   The voice of Adonai sounded like the blowing of a shofar.  A shofar or ram’s horn is blown on the Feast of Trumpets.  Obviously, it is only when breath goes through the shofar that it is able to create a sound.  Being vessels of Adonai’s Spirit, it is taught that the ‘breath of God’ blows through a shofar when it sounds.  

John heard the voice that sounded like a shofar on the Day of the LORD.  This is in reference to the events surrounding the coming Messianic Era and a time of judgment, not the first day of the week.  The events for the Day of Adonai will begin on ‘the first day of the seventh month’ or Yom Teruah.

Pool of Siloam

The Spring of Living Water


The original city of Jerusalem had very different boundaries than modern-day Jerusalem.  In fact, remnants of the city are found in what is known as the City of David.  Within the ‘older’ city of Jerusalem, the Water Gate led down to the Gihon Spring which was located in the Kidron Valley.  This spring was the main source of water for the Pool of Siloam.   The priests would go to the Pool of Siloam to collect the water for each day’s water libation ceremony during the Feast of Tabernacles.  During this event, they would pour water over the Altar.  On the last and greatest day of this Feast, Yeshua stood and cried out:

“If anyone is thirsty, let him keep coming to me and drinking! Whoever puts his trust in me, as the Scripture says, rivers of living water will flow from his inmost being!” (John 7:37-39).

As the people gathered at the Water Gate, it is symbolic of the pathway to the living water of the Word of God.  With the reading of the Torah by Ezra, the Jewish people had been ‘washed in the water of the Word’ and began preparing themselves to be a pure and holy bride (Ephesians 5:25-26).   

Building Sukkot

On the second day,  the heads of the clans of the people joined the Levites and Ezra to study the words of the Torah again.  They found that Adonai had ordered that the people of Israel were to live in booths or sukkot during the ‘appointed time’ in the seventh month. They were to announce the festival of Sukkot in all of their cities and in Jerusalem.  

“Go out to the mountains, and collect branches of olives, wild olives, myrtles, palms, and other leafy trees to make sukkot, as prescribed” (Nehemiah 8:15).

Olive Tree

In Jeremiah 11:16, God calls Israel an olive tree. In Romans 11,  Sha’ul speaks about branches of olives and wild olives that make up the Olive Tree of Israel.    The natural branches represent the 12 Tribes of Israel  and the wild branches the nations that join with them.  Both receive the same living water of the Word through the same spiritual root.   Though both branches will continue to produce either natural olives or wild olives, they both produce olives.

Myrtle trees are considered an evergreen and are very hardy.   They produce a purplish-black berry called the mursins.  This fruit can be dried then ground and used as a flavoring.  It is one of the four leafy trees bound together for Sukkot that over time have been given the symbolism of ‘good smell, but no taste,’ like a person who has ‘good deeds, but does not study the Torah.’

Middle Eastern Myrtle

The prophet Zechariah lived during the time between the first and second returning remnants.  He has a vision of God, angels, and horsemen standing in the midst of a myrtle tree.  This vision was given to reinforce God’s promise that the exiles who returned to Jerusalem would be prosperous.  For the Jewish people of Zechariah’s time to prosper, they would need to repent and serve the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, rebuild the Temple, and learn Torah.  In the days of Nehemiah and Yom Teruah, the repentance had begun. 

“Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and there my house will be rebuilt. And the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem,’ declares the LORD  Almighty” (Zechariah 1:16).

Palm Tree

Palms, or lulav in Hebrew,  were also part of the branches collected to make a sukkah.  It is known for its uprightness, fruit and its beauty.  The Jewish sages say that the palm tree, which has taste but no smell, can be compared to a person who studies Torah, but has no fruit of good works. 

The first mention of palm trees in Scripture is when the Israelites camp at the oasis of Elim during their trek in the wilderness.  It is during the Feast  of Tabernacles that palm branches are waved signifying the coming Messianic Era. This is why palm branches were waved when Yeshua entered Jerusalem during the Passover season.  The people believed that the kingdom of God had arrived; however, it was the wrong ‘appointed time’ and season.    In Revelation 7:9, multitudes from every tribe and nation will be waving palm branches and giving glory to the King of Kings.  Today, the lulav is a special binding of three species of branches along with an etrog (a type of citrus fruit).  It is used to worship Adonai during Sukkot and reminds everyone that one day the nations of the world will gather in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:16). 

images-1

The people went out from the city, collected branches from specific trees and made sukkot for themselves on the roofs of their homes, in their courtyards, in the Temple courts, and in the open spaces by the Water Gate and the Efrayim Gate. The entire community of those who had returned from the exile made sukkot and lived in them for the commanded eight days.   They had not done this since the days of Joshua and they celebrated Sukkot with great joy.  They also read the Torah every day from the first day until the last day of the ‘appointed time.’

In Our Day

The Feast of  Trumpets begins on the first day of the seventh month and Sukkot begins on the fourteenth day. On our Gregorian calendar, these fall festivals occur in our months of September/October.   They are a vision of the coming Kingdom of God when Israel, the natural branches of the Olive Tree will gather in Jerusalem along with the nations, the wild branches of the Olive Tree, to worship the King of Kings.  Everyone will wave olive, palm, and myrtle branches for they will not just study Torah, they will bear the righteous fruit of the etrog.

The Jews in the days of Nehemiah prepared for this coming Kingdom by repenting and returning to the Torah of God and celebrated the ‘appointed times’ on their commanded days.  As wild olives, we can also embrace the vision of the coming Kingdom millennia later in the say way: repenting and turning back to God, learning Torah,  and proclaiming the ‘appointed times’ to those who stand by the Water Gate desiring spiritual nourishment from the spring of living water.  Amen. “Yeshua is the faithful King.”  

©2016 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 

Let’s Throw Stones – Tashlich

“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance?  You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.  You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19).

“Because his mercy toward those who fear him is as far above earth as heaven. He has removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west. Just as a father has compassion on his children, the LORD has compassion on those who fear him” (Psalm 103:11-13).

Into the Depths of the Sea

Tashlich comes from the Hebrew word meaning ‘to cast.’ After the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed and there could be no atonement for Israel on Yom Kippur, a tradition of ‘casting stones’ was created. The tradition involves filling your pockets with small pebbles or stones symbolizing the sins that you have committed either willfully or unknowingly over the past year. They can be little pebbles or larger rocks depending your view of that sin against God. The gathered stones are placed into your pockets as a reminder that sin hinders and becomes a burden when it remains unconfessed. As you take each stone from your pocket and throw it into ‘living water,’ a body of water where fish are able to live, confess each sin and repent from it.

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also for give you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14).

Tashlich is also the perfect time for us to right the wrongs we have done to others; it is the perfect time to forgive. Yeshua says that we are to forgive a brother or sister seventy times seven; forgiving those who have offended us whether it’s 490 times or 490,000 times. Confessing sins and asking forgiveness frees us to live with a clear conscience with our family, friends, and acquaintances. It also brings healing to our souls. As we throw stones into the body of water, we can ‘cast away’ all offenses that we may have committed and forgive those sins committed against us so we can be restored to one another in the Body of Messiah.

©2011 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this blog post,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.