Revival is a Mess

“Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.” (Pro 14:4 ESV)

     Revival is messy business. So many issues are bound to arise out of a movement of God. There is no coincidence that John Wesley prayed, “Lord, send revival without all the defects, but if this is not possible, send revival anyway. We must have revival.” (1) Wesley, knew all to well, that revival brings out issues. I think there is an obvious spiritual reason for it.

     The last thing that the devil and the demonic hordes of hell want is for revival to take place. Why? Because a true revival develops multitudes of people that remain faithful to God because of their experiences in revival. Revival raises up ministers for the Kingdom of God that have a lasting impact on the world. We could quote numerous sources from Azusa Street and the Toronto revival where this point is amply illustrated. (2) Nevertheless, revival changes people. It changes the most notorious sinners into saints, and it changes saints into anointed and powerful men and woman of God. Obviously, this is something that hell would like to avoid. Hence, it does all that it can to prevent it from occurring. Some of us may be experiencing this now, in this present time. We must, however, press on. Revival is going to come, so we must press on in prayer. ( Please see my post from last year about praying for revival. Many great revivals have been birthed in prayer, Red River, Azusa Street, and the Welsh revival.)

     Even after revival begins, hell does all that it can to destroy and stop it. Again, the historical references here are too numerous to list. We can begin with Clara Lum stealing William Seymour mailing list after his marriage. Prior to that, Evan Roberts was deceived by the Lewis-Penn couple and locked away for years ending the Welsh revival. The recent Brownsville, Florida revival was ended over division that originated from a so-called prophetess. Lastly, the events of the Lakeland revival with Todd Bentley are all obvious examples that the forces of hell move violently to stop revival. Therefore, we must be prepared.

     We must remain transparent with one another and maintain lines of communication. We must remain connected to each other in covenant relationships. We must have humility to allow God to control everything that is happening. We can not allow doctornal issues to separate unity of the Body. What matters most during revival is that people are experiencing the Presence of God in such profound ways that it changes who they are as individuals. Nothing should ever be done to hinder this work of the Holy Spirit. This is what matters most. We must be flexible to allow God to change our own religious paradigms. Revival happens when God works outside of the box of how we feel He should operate. We must be open to God doing things that make us somewhat uncomfortable without attempting to control or change what is happening. The Holy Spirit must have complete control to change any order of any service regardless of who the speaker or worship leader might be. We must never allow pride to justify harboring an area of sin.

     Humility, above all else, is key to revival. My dear friend, Brian Vandiver, had a wonderful experience where humility became a living entity to him. I believe this is huge. This is what is necessary for the continuing of revival. Humility and a spirit of repentance. Frank Bartelemann Of Azusa street once wrote that, “the depth of revival will be determined exactly by the depth of the sprit of repentance.”(3) We must be willing to be convicted about stuff and be able to confess that to each other without a fear of judgment or condemnation. Neither of which exist in the Kingdom of Christ. When the power of God shows up, it will change the saints. We must allow the presence of God to convict us and bring us to repentance about whatever issues might exist. Randy Clark, one of the leaders of the Toronto revival wrote, “Revival is not just abut power. It is not even primarily about power. More importantly, it is about love and humility. Are we willing to allow the Holy Spirit to do whatever it takes to break us of our pride, our need to control, out of self-seeing motives in ministry? Are we desperate enough for Him to let Him completely have His way in us.”(4) Revival has a transforming effect on people and transformation can get real ugly. Can we please remember that each of are human beings and are fallible. Let us operate out of a spirit of love, mercy, and grace.

      It is important to remember that persecution will follow revival. Again, there are too many historical examples to site. The Los Angeles Times blasted the Azusa Street revival. Fox news blasted the Lakeland Revival. In old days, drunken mockers would come to disrupt services. During revival, hell ramps up its efforts to instill in us the “fear of man” so as, to shut down the revival. We must not allow this to happen. It can be combated by being transparent about our fears and discussing them with one another and with God. Through our relationships with each other and with God, we can overcome them.

     There will also be different manifestations of the Spirit. We must be willing to accept this while praying for discernment to see where demonic spirits may be attempting to operate during a meeting. However, we must allow an environment that permit’s the unique expression of a person individuality and their relationship with God without prejudice. Frank Bartlemann writes, “But we can be cautious without being critical. We can be discerning without being destructive. Oh, let us have an open mind lest we be among those who cling to tradition and miss God.” (5)

     We must also take care of each other and watch for potential burnout. When revival fires are burning, people don’t get much sleep, and they tend to eat poorly. I remember Todd Bentley’s doctor telling him that he had the body of a sixty year old man, when Todd finished revival. We must watch each other and take care of each other. Roberts Liardon has some good advice in this arena, He writes, “Mature revivalist much learn to care for their physical bodies. You can live out of your spirit, operate in the anointing, and get the rest you need. If you don’t disaster is pending…A revivalist must know how to lead and rest in order to remain a vital instrument of God.” (6)

 Endnotes

1. Clark, Randy, There is More! Reclaiming the Power of Impartation, Global Awakening, Mechanicsburg, PA, 2006, page 123.

2.  Here the reader is referred to the above mentioned book by Randy Clark. Suffice it to say here that Heidi and Rolland Baker powerful movement in Mozambique has roots in the Toronto Revival. Secondly, the reader is referred to a book which is a collection of William Seymour’s newsletter that came from the Azusa Street revival: Hyatt, Eddie, (editor) Fire on the Earth, Creation House Publishing, 2006.

3. Bartlemann, Frank; Azusa Street; Whittaker House, New Kinsington, PA, 1982, page 19.

4. Clark, page 186.

5. Bartlemann, page 173.

6. Liardon, Roberts, God’s Generals, Whitaker House Publishing, New Kensington, PA, 1996, page 88-,89.

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Feast of Trumpets

“The Joy of the Lord will be your strength.”

The Feast of Trumpets or Yom Teruah, (see post on Teruah) (Tih-Ru-ah) in Hebrew, is the first feast that occurs in the Holy season of the fall festivals.  The feast of trumpets begins on the first day of the seventh month which corresponds to mid-September, early October timeframe.  It is the beginning of the holy days of the fall.  The seventh month, Tishri, contains three holy feasts.  The feast of trumpets being the first, followed nine days later by the Day of Atonement (or Yom Kippur).  Four days later the feast of Sukote (or Tabernacles) begins, which lasts seven days. (Sukote is the holy convocation, the last of the three annual pilgrimages where all the men in Israel were to go to Jerusalem to the Temple, the other two feast are Passover and Pentecost). The feast of Trumpets is the first of fall feasts and it is the day of unspeakable joy, a joy that is so great that it can‘t be put into words.

“Then the Lord spoke to Moses saying, “speak to the children of Israel saying; ‘in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a Sabbath rest, and memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.  You shall do no customary work on it and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.’”  (Lev 23-25).

The first day of the seventh month was determined by a lunar calendar.  This is a calendar based on the phases of the moon.  The moon over a 28-30 day period of time will wax, eventually come full, and wane until it becomes “new” meaning that it is at its first phase of appearance.  The seventh new moon of the year, would start the feast of the Trumpets.  Because the moons waxing and waning periods cannot be predicted with 100% accuracy but must be observed, the date will vary from year to year and the exact date is never “set in stone” (more on the significance of this in the prophetic section).  After the Lord tells us the day that the feast was to be celebrated on, God identifies the day as a Sabbath rest.  The word used  for “Sabbath-rest” is a different word than the word used to describe the regular Sabbath, or the end of the seven day work week.  The word used here is “Shabbathan” as opposed to “Shabbat.” What is intended by this word is that it is a day of rest, a holy-day.  No laborious work should be done on this day, we should take the day off and we should not labor on this day because it is no ordinary day.  It is a high holy day.  It is a day in which we celebrate the joy of the character of our God.  He is always love ( I John 3:16) and in response to this, we can always rejoice because of Him and His  great Love towards us.  He is good, all the time, and this is the day we are commanded to celebrate His Goodness and rejoice in our relationship with Him.
Because of who He is, we have unspeakable joy.  It flows from he throne of Heaven.  “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!  Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.  Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.  For the Lord is the great god, and the great King above all gods.” (Psalm 95: 1-3).  This joyful shouting over who He is, is the biblical precedent for the Feast.

The next thing mentioned is that it is a memorial of the blowing of trumpets.  The word “memorial” in Hebrew is the word zikron “zeek-roan,” (Strongs #2146) meaning a momentous event which is long to be remembered.   Avram Yehoshua writes,

“It means to remember, recollect, call to mind.  The Hebrew meaning for this word goes deeper than just “to remember”, in the typical sense of the word.  It  implies that the Israelite was to return to a time of “joy unspeakable’ and  enter into, remembering that he was to place himself back in the event, whether he was actually there or not.  I call it ‘a living remembrance’ this is a theological concept that is seen throughout the scriptures.  It allows both the ancient Israelite and us to participate in past and future salvation events with the very real help of the Spirit of Yeshua, King of Israel.  (1)

Hence, the intention behind the feast was to remember the great acts that God has done for us and to celebrate the positional inheritance that he has given us through His Son ( Ephesians 2:6).  Jesus has set us in the heavenly places with Him and raised us up to where He is in the spiritual realm.  Thus, it was His good pleasure to rejoice in saving humankind from the flesh, the world, and the devil.  He rejoiced over us and his is a cause of great rejoicing for us.  “Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!  The walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance.” (Psalm 89:15).  Clearly the “memorial”, the recollection on the holy-day, is for the believer to remember the times of being in slavery to sin (Egypt) and how God has delivered us into the land of promise (in Messiah).

The Teruah

It is interesting that after the word “memorial” is mentioned, the text states “it is to be a memorial of the blowing of the trumpets.”  So this “living remembrance” is also to be accompanied with the blowing of the trumpets.  Again, Yehoshua comments:

“The Hebrew noun for “blowing of the trumpets” is “Tih-Ru-Ah” and the interlinear translates it as “trumpet blast”… The Hebrew noun comes from the verb “Ru-ah” and means “to make a loud noise, to cry aloud as a weeping, to shout, in joy, or alarm or war, to sound a trumpet or, an alarm or to “shout for joy”… the ___ meaning is “to raise a noise” by shouting or with an instruments especially a horn or the traditional rams horn, the shofar…. The day will center around the exaltation of praise to God with various musical instruments and voices and not the tumult of war.”  (2)

Therefore, one can conclude that the day is a day of remembrance, a day of shouting for joy, a day of sounding of horns, a holy convocation (gathering) for us to come together and  remember the great acts of salvation that the Lord has done and that He has yet to do.

The Teruah (Joyful shout) when released by faith, in God who is our advocate and that he will act in our favor, release a powerful spiritual force.  Whether the Teruah is by the raising of the voice or the blowing of the shofar, it changes the spiritual atmosphere.  The spiritual realm because permeated and charged with the presence of God.  Joy form Heaven is released, and the enemies of the Lord are stricken with fear.  Prophetic and Healing evangelist Todd Bentley writes,

“Sometimes the Lord calls us to roar just as He does (Joel 3:16; Hosea 11:10).  At God’s leading, we can release a roar by faith just as we would a victory shout (Joshua 6:5).  A roar like this often release a 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 tear down demonic principalities.  When we roar like a lion, something happens in the spirit realm.  Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, and sometimes He causes his Spirit to rise up in our hearts with a groan or a roar of judgment on principalities.” (3).

This “roaring” that Bentley mentions, is the Hebrew concept of Teruah.  Let’s examine a biblical example.

In I Samuel Chapter 4, the ark of God is brought into the camp of Israel and they release a “great shout”.  This great shout has an effect on their enemies the Philistines.  Scripture states, “And 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 this 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, ’Woe to us!  Who will deliver us form the hand of these mighty gods?  These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness.” (I Samuel 4: 5-8) The great shout, the Teurah released in faith, had an effect on the enemy.  The release of the great shout coupled with faith that God is going to move in our favor, changes the spiritual climate.

Another biblical example regarding the releasing of a Teruah by faith is found in the book of Joshua.  The Bible states, “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.  And the people shall go up every man straight before him,”  (This passage cites the blowing of the shofar (ram’s horn) and the releasing of the “great shout” as Teruah. Thus, the precedent for the Feast of Trumpets.) After the Hebrews had marched around the city seven times for seven days, and upon completion of the seventh lap on the seventh day, God commands the armies the armies of Israel to release a Teruah that will destroy the walls of Jericho.  The bibles states, “So the people shouted when the priest blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and 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)  Clearly, God was teaching us something form this encounter at Jericho.  He could have destroyed the walls of that city anyway he wanted.  But, He chose to co-labor with Israel, and a Teruah, or great shout was His weapon of choice for that day.  It was released from a heart of faith in a Great God which changed the spiritual climate that brought the walls of the enemy crashing down and victory was achieved for God’s people.  The Teruah still has the same effect today.  Again Bentley,

“But suddenly I felt something like a deep groan and cramp in by belly, as though something was going to erupt. I had heard about some meetings where people would roar like lions, and I thought it ridiculous, but my heart won out, and all at once, it was as though a river came out of my mouth, and I fell to my knees and roared!  I fell under the power, and then Steve did!  His arm flew into the air, still holding the sandwich, the lettuce flying everywhere…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)

There is a reason why the Hebrews were commanded to carry the trumpets off to war (Numbers 10:9).  The Teruah is a weapon of spiritual warfare for God’s people.  Why?  Because the Teruah released thorough faith in our Mighty Warrior, destroys the walls of the enemy.  The same is true today when we sound the shofar as a Teruah.  Dominick Zangla writes,

“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 forth 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 sound during the praise and worship.” (5)

The Returning exiles get it right!

When Nehemiah and Ezra returned from exile to Jerusalem, they complete the great task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and restoring the worship of Yahveh according to the Torah.  When the fall feast days arrived, they had just completed this great assignment.  This is what scripture records of the Feast of Trumpets that they celebrated.

“So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month .  Then he read form it in the open square that was in form of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law…so they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading.  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 the LORD 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 “God your way, at the fat, drink the sweet and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to tour Lord,  do not sorrow for the joy of the Lord is your strength.  (Nehemiah 8:2,3,8,9,10 emphasis mine).

Notice that the first day of the seventh is the Feast of Trumpets (Lev 23).  The Nelson Study Bible has this commentary explains this section of scripture.

Once the people understood the Word of God, they wept.  They  had heard the high standard of the Law and recognized their low standing before the Lord, and were convicted.  Nehemiah, Ezra, and the Levites were undoubtedly glad to see the people’s conviction.  However, they urged the people to stop crying and reminded them that this day was holy to the Lord.  The first day of the seventh month was the Feast of Trumpets,  It was not a time to weep, but to celebrate the feast with eating, drinking, and sharing.  The joy of the Lord could refer to the joy that God has, but the context indicates that this is something the people also experienced.  The joy of the Lord is the joy that springs up in our hearts because of our relationship to the Lord.  It is a God-given gladness found when we are in communion with God.  When our goal is to know more about the Lord, the by-product is His joy.”  (6 emphasis mine).

What an amazing God were worship.  The ultimate aim our His relationship with us is for us to experience heaven.  If heaven has one characteristic, it is joy.  This joy flows from God to us when were are in communion with His Spirit.  This is a great source of joy, strength, safety, and security.  When we are connected to Him, what exists in heaven comes to us.  When we are connected to Him, it doesn’t really matter what takes place here in the physical realm.  We are tied to a source that separates us from the effects of the world upon us and the experience of this connection, is joy.  This is what the Feast of Trumpets, or joyful shouting, is all about.  A celebration of the joyful relationship that exists with us because of His Great love.

Normally, weeping under conviction of sin is the response that most preachers are looking for, but in this case, it was out of character for the day of unspeakable joy.  Sin is a serious matter and we never want to downplay how detrimental it is to our spiritual lives; however, if we only dwell on our sinful state, remain focused on our shortcomings, we will never embrace the fact, that a Great and Loving God, who is good and love all the time, rejoices over us and has done all that He could to redeem us.  This is a cause of unspeakable joy and it is what was commanded for the Feast.  The exiles understood this and refocused the people on the character of God and His commandments rather than their own sinfulness.  Dwelling on our own sinfulness and negating the joy of the relationship with God can have detrimental effects  Bill Johnson writes,

“The idea that the best response to conviction is getting depressed derives from wrong beliefs that blind us to the Holy Sprit’s purpose in exposing the places where we fall short of our high calling in Christ.  There is a place for tears in this process as we’re told that it is godly sorrow that leads us to repentance.  But when we have a wrong view of God as a legalistic father who is unhappy without every move, we distort what was supposed to lead us to an encounter with Him that brings transformation.  Instead many develop attitudes of somberness in a fleshy attempt to be holy.  Consequently, we’ve misunderstood and misappropriated the fullness of His grace, which does not merely forgive our sin, but empowers us to live like Him.” (7)

On the Feast of Trumpets, we are reminded that we should not only focus on our sinfulness in the light of His grace towards us and His ability to sanctify us and keep us from falling.  This is another great reason for joy.  He is more concerned about holiness and loving us than He is about judging and condemning us.  If He were only focused on judgment, Jesus would not have needed to die.

Worship of the Feast

The other passage of scripture that mentions the feast of trumpets is found in Numbers 29:1-6:

“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 it is a day of blowing trumpets.  You shall offer a burnt offering as a sweet aroma to the Lord; one young bull, one ram, and seven lambs in their first year without blemish.  Their grain offering shall be fine flour mixed with oil.  Three tenths of an ephah for the bull, two tenths for the ram, and one tenth for each of the seven lambs, also one kid of the goats as a sin offering to make atonement for you, besides the burnt offering with it’s grain offering for the new moon, the regular burnt offering with it’s grain offering, and their drink offering, according to their ordinances, as a sweet aroma, an offering made by fire to the Lord.”

Two particular offerings, the burnt offering and then the grain offering, are to be offered on the Feast of Trumpets.  God is telling us something about the worship for the day by commanding these two types of sacrifices  Regarding the burnt offering, the JF&B commentary states:

“it’s entire combustion indicated the self dedication of the offered.  His whole nature, his body and soul, as necessary to form a sacrifice acceptable to the Lord.”  (8)

So Yahveh commands that burnt offerings be lifted up on this day symbolically representing His desire for the worshipper to be totally devoted to Him.  The Lord desires and seeks worshippers who are dead to selfishness and who will worship in “Spirit and Truth.” (John 4: 24). This is a constant with the Lord and there is no better time for this type of worship than during the joyous celebration of the Feast of Trumpets.

The other offering that is to be offered in that day is the grain offering.  In Hebrew it is called minchah (min-khah) (Strongs # 4503) meaning an offering, gift, tribute, present, sacrifice, portion, or donation.  The minchah is primarily a religious offering but may also be a personal gift that one gives to his ruler.  The significance of God requiring a grain offering on the feast of trumpets is for the worshipper to recognize God  in his rightful place as deliverer, king and ruler, and that all power and authority has been given to Jesus. This offering acknowledges the roles of both the worshipper and God.  It recognizes that Yahveh is King and  the worshipper is the servant.  It is offered out of a heart that is motivated by love.  It is the joyful giver that offers an offering to God because of who God is, and because of their faith in Him.

Jewish Interpretation of the Day

The first day of every month was determined by the new moon.  At the sighting of the seventh new moon of the year the Feast of Trumpets was celebrated. “The new moon of the seventh month is like a Sabbath of new moon celebrations… Jewish tradition adopted the new moon of the seventh month as the start of the new year, Rosh Hashanah. (9)       Subsequently, the actual date of the feast will vary from year to year (more will come on the significance of this in the prophetic section).  The day was considered a “new year” in Jewish Tradition.  An ancient Mishnah Rosh HaSahanah 1:1  states:

“There are four New Years.  On the first of Nisan is the New year for Kings and for festivals (religious); on the first of Elul is the New Year for the tithe of animals–R. Eliezer and R. Simon say.  On the first of Tishri–on the first of Tishri is the New Year for the years, for Sabbatical Years, for Jubilee Years, for planting and for vegetables (civil); and on the first of Shevat is the new year the School of Hillel say, on the fifteenth there of. (10)

The feast became known as the New Year in the Jewish liturgical calendar.  It has thusly been termed Rosh Hashanah.  As Avram Yehoshua notes:

“In Judaism Yom Teruah is better known as Rosh HaShanah, or the new year.  On this day the ‘civil’ year in Judaism changes… In the Talmud, it is seen as the first day of creation but not all the ancient Rabbis considered it as such.  Seeing Yom TeRuah as the beginning of Gods creation is only Rabbinic tradition.”  (11)

The feast of Trumpets in modern Judaism does not celebrate it as a day of unspeakable joy, a day of worship and sounding of trumpets and feasting and of making a shout unto the Lord.  The Rabbis have corrupted the day and changed it into a mini day of atonement.  The day is seen as a solemn occasion, a day in which one should consider the sins of the past year and humble themselves.  It’s also a day when the prayer for blessings of the new year would be called upon then asked for.  The stone edition Tanach, commenting on this, states that “the shofar is a call to repentance.” (12) and perhaps the most respected and well renowned rabbi in Judaism, Maimonides, also known as Ramban, comments on the day saying:

“Awake you sleepers from your sleep and ponder over your deeds.  Remember your creator and return to him in contrition.  Be not of those who miss realities in their pursuit of shadows and waste their years in seeking after vain things which cannot profit or deliver.  Look well to your souls and consider your acts.  Forsake each of you his wrong ways and improper thoughts and return to God so that he may have mercy upon you.”  (13)

To further emphasize the point, the ten days from Yom Teruah to Yom Kippor are known in Judaism as “the days of awe” because one is compelled to look at their standing with Yahveh.

Certainly these are wonderful concepts, and there is definitely a theological place where one should consider their sins and repent/confess them before the Lord.  The time and  place for this, however, is on the Day of Atonement and not the Feast of Trumpets.  Yom TeRuah is biblically mandated to be a day of unspeakable joy with the blowing of the Shofar, the raising of the voice, the feasting and the calling to mind the great acts of salvation that Yahveh has done for us.  This was the error that Nehemiah, Ezra, and the Levites corrected when God’s chosen people returned from exile.  Presently, the Jewish people have lost sight of what the day is really about and focus more on their sinfulness and getting rid of sin in their own power, than on the Great Love and Compassion that God has for us.  Traditional Judaism has departed fro the concepts of the Feast found in the Torah.  The tragedy for the Jewish people is that they spend the day pining over their sin, hoping to secure God’s favor for the new year, and repenting of past sin. Again, this was the error of the returning exiles that the Jewish leadership of the day corrected.  It is time for the Jewish leadership of this day to do the same thing.  According to Torah, the feast is a day to rejoice in the mercy, grace, and the love that the Great God has toward us.  They miss the opportunity to experience God’s character which connects them to eternal joy.

Prophetic Outlook

The feast of Trumpets is symbolic of ushering in a time of great joy.  As was stated previously, Yom Teruah ushers in the holy season and a prophetic picture can be given to us by the three feasts in the seventh month.  What Yom Teruah prophetically symbolizes, is the return of Jesus.  There are two distinct places in scripture where this is noted.  Let us examine them each and discuss how they apply to the feast day.  The first is found in I Corinthians 15:52:

“in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

The importance of this passage, as it relates to the Feast, is noted on two points.  First, is the Greek word used is the passage.  This word is the word “atomos.”  Commenting on this word, the Spirit-Filled life Bible states:

“  Strong’s #823: Compare “atomizer” and atomic. Uncut, indivisible, undissected, infinitely small.  The word is a compound of a, “un” and temnos, “to cut in two.”   When used of time, it represents an extremely short unit of time, a flash, an instant, a unit of time that cannot be divided.  A second can be calibrated to one-tenth, one one-hundredth, and one one-thousandth of a second.  But how do you calibrate an atomic second?  Christ’s return will be in an atomic second.” (14)

Hence, we see that no one, neither the angels in heaven nor the Son, know the hour or the day of His return (Matt 24:36).  We are, therefore, commanded to “watch” and to “be ready”.  This is the same thing that takes place while waiting for the Feast of Trumpets.  The beginning of the seventh month takes place at the sighting of the new moon, the seventh New Moon of that year.  Nobody ever really knows the hour or the day when the New Moon will appear.  To be sure, we can see that the time is getting close by watching the phases of the moon, but we will not know the exact hour until it appears.  Likewise, we know the signs that Jesus gave us to mark His coming, but cannot know the exact day.  Therefore, we watch and we make ready for the Feast, and when it appears it will be a time of great rejoicing for the bride.

The return of Messiah in scripture is heralded, always, by the blowing of the Trumpet or Shofar.  Again, this is the prophetic fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets:
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.  And the dead in Christ will rise first.” (I Thessalonians 4:16 )
It would appear from this passage, the Lord Himself will be raising a “Teruah” on that great day as well.  Again, this releases a spiritual force.  Additionally, Yeshua describes the gathering of the elect with the blast of a Trumpet:
“And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:31).
Again, the gathering of the elect sounded with the trumpet blast.  It will be the final fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets when the Lord’s Shofar is sounded and He has taken off His priestly robes, put on His Kingly robes, and fulfilled the final prophecies concerning Him.

It will be at this point when the thousand year reign will begin, which is symbolic of the ten days between Yom Teruah and the Day of Atonement.  Satan will also be dealt with on the day that Yeshua returns.  After the thousand year reign would come the day of judgment which would be symbolic of the day of Atonement, the great white throne judgment as is mentioned in Rev 20.  Then four days after the day of Atonement would be the start of the Feast of the Tabernacles, symbolic of the new heavens and the new Jerusalem being established, and in fact Yahveh will now be tabernaceling among us.  As Isaiah says in the 66th chapter, “from new moon to new moon and from Sabbath to Sabbath we will worship before the Lord our God.”  After the tabernacleing and the setting up will come the wedding feast.  Traditionally, Jewish weddings lasted for seven days and tabernacles is a feast of seven days.  The eighth day would begin our life eternity with Yeshua.  Thus it is evident in the holy convocations, the rehearsals of ancient Israel, that one can see the eventual and prophetic fulfillment of the final acts of Messiah Yeshua.

One of the great travesties in the church is the loss of these feast days.  They are so rich in symbolism and teaching, not to mention the fact that they are commanded by God to observe, “throughout our generations.”  Let us, therefore, keep the feast of the Shofar, with great joy and remembrance of how much Yeshua has done in our lives.  Let us remember how He brought us out of the land of slavery to sin and set us free to live a life according to His Holy Standards.  Let us keep the feast with joy unspeakable, with one eye on the sky, watching and waiting on the day, when Jesus will fulfill the Feast of the Shofar.

Endnotes

1.  Avram Yehoshua, “Yom Teruah”, The Seed of Abraham Ministries,  http://www.seedofabraham.net.  Page:  1.

2.  Ibid.

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

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

5.  Dominick Zangla, Jewish Roots, Part One, Shofar and Prayer Shawl, Brunswick, GA MV Press, 1998, page 7.

6.  Earl Radmacher (general editor), The Nelson Study Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishing, Nashville TN, 1997, page 798.

7.  Bill Johnson, Strengthen Yourself in the Lord,  Destiny Image Publishers, Shippensburg PA, 2008, page 136.

8.   Jamieson, Robert, Fausset, A. R. , Brown, David;  Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary,     Henerickson Publishers, Inc., Peabody, Mass.  2002; page 499.

9. Berlin, Adele; Zvi Brettler, Marc. (Editors), The New Jewish Study Bible, Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York, 2004.  Page:  342.

10.   Rabbis Nosson Scherman and Meir Zlotowitz, Artscroll Mishnah Series, seder Moed III, Mesorah Publications, ltd.  Brooklyn New York, 1997, page 3.

11.  Yehoshua, page 17.

12. Nosson Sherman, (Editor), The Stone Edition Tanach, Artscroll Series, Mesorah Publishers. Ltd., Brooklyn, New York, 2003, page:  304.

13.  Good, Joseph, “Rosh HaShanah and the Messianic Kingdom to Come”, Hatikva Ministries, copyright    1989, 4th printing July 1991, page 51.

14. Hayford, Jack, , The Spirit filled Life Bible,  Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville TN, 1991.  Page (1745).

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