Teruah: The release of spiritual power.

Teruah:  The release of spiritual power.

“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, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat.” (Joshua 6:5)

The Hebrew word “teruah” is the word translated as “shout”.  It’s meaning is difficult to convey into English because not only does it denote a human voice but also the sound from the “shofar”, or ram’s horn trumpet.  The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament defines it as, “The primary meaning is to raise a noise by shouting or with an instrument, especially a horn (Numbers 10:7) or the traditional ram’s horn, the shofar.” (1).  The noise that is transmitted is invisible.  It is a spiritual force similar to language.  One cannot see the sound because it is invisible, and because it is invisible and its  mode of communication is spiritual.  A good sense of the word, in our culture, occurs at sporting events when the favorite team scores, and “the crowd goes wild”.  They release shouts that transmit spiritual energy that can be sensed.  In the Kingdom of God, it is a “war cry” that releases the power of heaven and opens spiritual doors.

In the destruction of Jericho, God’s weapon of choice to destroy this great city was the “Teruah”.  We read, “So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat.  Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. (Joshua 6:20).The Teruah released in unity of the shofar and the human voice opened heaven and God crushed the enemy. ( Isaiah 64:1).  There are several other biblical examples of this action.

Abijah was king of Judah.  He went to war with Jerobaom the king of the Israel.  Jeroboam had set up idolatrous worship in the northern kingdom.  Abijah, being obedient to the commandments of the Lord, took the shofar into battle against the enemy. (Numbers 10:9).  He knew the power of the Teruah as a weapon of warfare.  We read, “And when Judah looked around, to their surprise the battle line was at both front and rear; and they cried out to the Lord,  and the priest sounded the trumpets.  Then the men of Judah gave a shout; and as the men of Judah shouted, it happened that God struck Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah.” (2 Chronicles 13:15-15).

A similar example exist in the book of I Samuel.  Israel goes to war with the Philistines.  When the ark of the Lord enters the camp, the Israelites release a “Teruah”.  This force strikes fear into the demonic realms and into the camp of the enemy.  We read, “And when the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp all Israel shouted so loudly that the earth shook.  Now when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, ‘What does the sound of the great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean?’  Then they understood that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp.  So the Philistines were afraid, for they said, ‘God has come into the camp!’  ‘And they said, ‘Woe to us!  Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods?  These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness.” (I Samuel 4:5-9).  The teruah opened heaven and the enemy perceived the entrance of a great power.

When we release a Teruah into our circumstances, we are inviting the armies of the Lord of Hosts to invade our situation.  We are also imitating God, who on occasion, releases a teruah Himself.  (see Joel 3:16, Hosea 11:10).  Todd Bentley explains, “Sometimes the Lord calls us to roar just as He does.  At God’s leading, we can release a roar by faith just as we would a victory shout.  A roar like this often releases holy indignation within our spirits, as a declaration to the enemy that ‘enough is enough!’  Roaring not only looses tied-up promises but it also tears down demonic principalities.  When we roar like a lion something happens in the spirit real.  Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, and sometimes He cause His Spirit to rise up on our hearts with a groan or a roar of judgment on principalities.” (2).  This roar that Bentley is referring to, in a Hebrew context, is a teruah.  Once this is released, it drives out the demonic and heralds in the angelic forces of the army of the Lord of Hosts.  The Bibles says, “When you go to war in your land against the enemy who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the LORD you God, and you will be saved from you enemies.” (Numbers 10:9).  Dominick Zangla explains further, “On one occasion, at the beginning of a congregational meeting, I struggled to blow the Teruah and only succeeded after three tries and the Spirit of God girding me up.  The cries that came for immediately were, ‘Did you feel the atmosphere change?’  Later three different women asked if I had continued to sound the shofar outside the building and how was I able to blow all those different notes!  I had not touched my shofar since the opening of the service,  I suddenly realized God had sent His angels to do battle on our behalf as He honored my call for help!  At the end of the meeting about 25 people raised their hands saying they had heard shofar sounds during the praise and worship.” (3)  This is a great example of the power in the Teruah.  In my personal experience, my wife and I have both felt like everything “got brighter” after blowing the shofar.  It is an instrument of breakthrough to victory!

As stated previously, voice is the medium to release the teruah.  Evangelist Todd Bentley gives an example, “But suddenly I felt something like a deep groan and cramp in my belly, as though something was going to erupt.  I had heard about some meeting s where people would roar like lions, and I thought it ridiculous, but my hears said, ‘Do it…do it!’ and my mind said ‘Don’t!’  But my heart won out, and all at once, it was as thought a river came out of my mouth, and I fell to my knees and roared!  I fell under the power, and the Steve did!  His arm flew into the air, still holding the sandwich, the lettuce flying everywhere.  Now picture Steve-the humble, soft spoken-nice guy who’s hardly ever noticed, now turned old time, turn-or-burn revivalist!  Even his voice gained an attention-getting edge, ‘IF YOU DON’T CHANGE YOUR WAYS, YOU WILL GO TO HELL!’ he yelled at the top of his lungs.  Well, the spirit of fear hit that place, I’ll tell you.  The clerk and his friends dove behind the counter, cowering.  Finally, the clerk stood and pointed over the counter with one finger shaking and said, ‘Is….is that your God?’” (4)  That is how the teruah works.

If we can raise a teruah and open heaven from here on earth, than God can do the same thing from heaven.  In fact, we read in scripture that when Jesus returns, it will be accompanied by a Great Teruah.  The Bible describes the event as such, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God…” (I Thessalonians 4:16).

Furthermore, God is so impressed with the Teruah, He ordained an entire feast day solely devoted to spending the day worshiping Him with Teruah’s.  The Feast of Trumpets is the first fall feast day and is a day of joyfully worshipping God with shouts of victory, triumph, and adoration.  The Bible says, “Sing aloud to God our strength; Make a joyful shout to the God of Jacob. Raise a song and strike the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the lute.  Blow the trumpet at the time of the New moon, at the full moon, on our solemn feast day.  For this is a statute for Israel, a law of the God of Jacob.  This He established in Joseph as a testimony.” (Psalm 81:1-4).

In the history of revival, we also see the joyful shout used to open heavens and birth revival. At the beginning of the Red River Revival (which sparked the second Great Awakening in America), we read the report of a minister who used a teruah, unbeknownst to him, to begin the revival.  John McGee was a Methodist preacher attending the communion service at the Red River congregation.  At the end of the service. A solemn presence came over the congregation and McGee stood to make a final appeal to the lost.  He writes, “I exhorted them to let the Lord Omnipotent reign in their hearts and submit to Him, and their souls should live.  Many broke silence.  The woman in the east end of the house shouted tremendously.  I left the pulpit to go to her…Several spoke to me:  ‘You know these people.  Presbyterians are much for order, they will not bear this confusion, go back and be quiet.’  I turned to go back, and was near falling, the power of God was strong upon me.  I turned again and losing sight of the fear of man, I went through the house exhorting with all possible ecstasy and energy.” (5)  When McGee turned around to look over the church, he states that, “the floor was covered with the slain; their screams for mercy pierced the heavens.” (6)  It was the shout, that opened the heavens and began a revival that shook the nation.

Endnotes

1.  Harris, R. Laird; Archer, Gleason L; Waltke, Bruce K.; The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament; Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL, 1980. Page 839.

2.  Bentley, Todd, The Reality of the Supernatural World, Destiny Image Publishers, Shippensburg, PA 2008, page 79.

3.  Zangla, Dominick, Jewish Roots, Part One, Shofar and Prayer Shawl; Messianic Vision Press, Brunswick, GA 1998, page 7.

4.  Bentley, Todd, Journey Into the Miraculous; Destiny Image Publishers, Shippensburg, PA, 2008, page 150.

5.  Marshall, Peter, Manual, David, From Sea to Shining Sea, Revell Cp, Old Tappan New Jersey, 1986, page 62.

6.  Ibid

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