The Biblical Fall Festivals
By Pastor Melinda Bauman
Worldwide Great Commission Fellowship
This year Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets) is Mon. Sept. 14, Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is Wed. Sept. 23 and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) is Mon. Sept. 28
The Lunar Eclipse Blood Moon will take place late Sun. night Sept. 27 @ 11:00 pm
The total lunar eclipse is visible for most of North America after sunset Sept. 27
In the Bible, there are seven festivals, or feast days, which God commanded the children of Israel to observe. Four of the festivals occur in the springtime, and three of them are in the fall. The fall time festivals usually occur in the month of September. They are called Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Rosh Hashanah is also known as the Feast of Trumpets, Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement, and Sukkot is the Feast of Tabernacles. Today we will learn about the fall festivals. Even though these festivals are considered Jewish holidays, it is important for Christians to understand them.
The first five books of the Bible are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. These are known as the books of the Law, or the Torah. The Biblical holidays are outlined in the Torah, especially in Leviticus. The first fall holiday is called Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah is Hebrew for “new year”, or start of the year. So Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. This starts a 10 day period known as the days of awe, which leads to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. During the days of awe, the Jewish people repent of their sins in preparation for Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is the most solemn and holy day on the Jewish calendar. On this day, Jews ask God for forgiveness of their sins.
Rosh Hashanah is also known as the Feast of Trumpets. On this day, a horn or shofar is blown to call the Jews to prayer. In Leviticus 23:24 – 25 it says,
24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying , In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holyconvocation. 25 Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
In the Bible, a blowing horn or trumpet had a meaning. It can be a call to battle, or a call to attention. It is a blast meant to wake people up.
In the book of Joel, the blowing trumpet is associated with the day of the Lord, which is the second coming of Jesus Christ. In Joel 2:1 it says,
1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;
At the second coming, Jesus will destroy the wicked. It is their day of death and destruction. At this time Jesus will also set up His throne on the earth, and reign from Jerusalem. The Bible says that when the Lord Jesus returns, He will cause the dead to rise. This is known as the first resurrection, the resurrection of the dead. Those who are living will also be caught up to meet Jesus in the air.
During Rosh Hashanah, or the Feast of Trumpets, a trumpet is blown. The Hebrew word for trumpet is the shofar. When the trumpet sounds, the resurrection of the dead, and the catching away of the living will occur. This event is known in Christianity as the rapture. In the New Testament, the second coming of Jesus, or the rapture, will be accompanied by a trumpet blast. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 18 it says,
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant , brethren, concerning them which are asleep , that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe thatJesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together withthem in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Judaism believes in the resurrection and the coming of the Messiah. One of the differences between Judaism and Christianity is that Christians believe the Messiah has already come. Jesus came once, but He said that He will come again. Since the Jews did not believe Jesus is the Messiah, they are still looking for His coming.
Rosh Hashanah begins a 10 day period of repentance and turning to God. At the end of these days is Yom Kippur, which is the Day of Atonement. This is when God atones for the sins of Israel. In the Old Testament, Yom Kippur was observed once a year. This is when the high priest would take animal blood and sprinkle it on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant in the temple. This is why Jesus died on the cross and shed His own blood. He sacrificed Himself, because His blood is sufficient to take away the sins of the whole world. All we have to do is receive this wonderful gift of salvation.
To better understand Yom Kippur, it is necessary to study the Jewish temple and the Levitical priesthood in the Old Testament. The temple was a building in Jerusalem where animal sacrifices were made to God. It was the place where the Jews came to worship God. The temple was made of different rooms and contained various pieces of furniture. The people who ministered in the temple and carried out the sacrifices to God were called the priests. The priesthood came from the tribe of Levi, and the first priest was Aaron. In Exodus 40: 12 – 15 it says,
12 And thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and wash them with water. 13 And thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him, and sanctify him; that he may minister unto me in the priest's office. 14 And thou shalt bring his sons, and clothe them with coats: 15 And thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office: for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations.
The temple consisted of an outer court and an inner court. In the outer court was the altar, where animals were sacrificed to God. The purpose for sacrificing animals was to obtain atonement for sins committed. In the inner court was a building called the holy place. This building contained three different pieces of furniture. It had a table of shewbread, which was unleavened bread, an altar of incense, and a golden candlestick.
The priests would go into the holy place, but they were not permitted to go into a room called the holy of holies. This room was separated from the holy place by a thick curtain, called a veil. Inside the holy of holies was the ark of the covenant, which represented the presence of God. The ark of the covenant was a piece of furniture which contained Aaron’s rod that budded, the ten commandments and a pot of manna. On top of the ark of the covenant was the mercy seat, and the ark was surrounded by two angels with their wings touching.
The only person allowed to go into the holy of holies was the high priest, and he went there once a year. This day was called the Day of Atonement. In the New Testament, Jesus is called the great High Priest. In Hebrews 5:1 – 5 it says,
1 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: 2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. 3 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. 4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. 5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee.
When Jesus was crucified and died on the cross, something happened in the temple. The veil in the temple which separated the holy place from the holy of holies was torn in two. When the blood of Jesus was shed, His blood was offered as a sacrifice on the mercy seat, which takes away our sins. Since Jesus is the great High Priest, He sprinkled His own blood on the mercy seat. This is the final sacrifice needed, so the Day of Atonement is no longer necessary.
Because of the sacrifice of Jesus, we now have direct access to the presence of God. Jesus paid the price once and for all and He made it possible for us to approach God directly. When we accept Jesus into our lives and ask for forgiveness, His blood washes away our sins. For this reason, the veil separating us from God is no longer necessary! Because of what Jesus did for us, we can go beyond the veil. In Hebrews 4: 14 – 16 it says,
14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Yom Kippur is a time of self-examination, of repentance, and getting our hearts right with God. God has great love for Israel , and He has not forgotten the Jewish people. Let’s pray: Lord Jesus, we thank you for Your love for the Jewish people. We know that one day soon you will come again, and we look forward to your coming. Thank you for paying the price on the cross for our salvation. We no longer have to offer animal sacrifices, because You became the final sacrifice. You paid the price for our sins once and for all on the cross. Your shed blood washes away our sins. We pray for the salvation of the Jewish people. Lord Jesus, help them to see and understand that you are the Messiah, the Savior. We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Melinda Bauman was filled with the Holy Spirit in a Pentecostal church in 1990. At that time she felt the call of God on her life. In 2003 she began holding weekly Bible studies out of a coffeehouse in Euclid, then in Wickliffe. In 2005 she obtained a Pentecostal minister's license, and began holding monthly revival church services. The purpose of the services was to demonstrate the spiritual gifts and power of God to the church. Different speakers who operated in the prophetic, healing and deliverance ministered at these services. Melinda began to pray about obtaining a building and starting a church, which would be called "Worldwide Great Commission Fellowship". God provided a building in Eastlake, and the first church service was held in April 2007. The goal of the church is to fulfill the Great Commission (Mark 16:15) by spreading the gospel message of salvation, healing and deliverance through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Here at WGCF, we are contending and believing God for REVIVAL in Cleveland. In addition to conducting weekly Sunday morning services and Tuesday evening Bible study, we host special events such as: Revival Services, Prophetic Meetings, Healing Services, Deliverances Services, Training and Equipping Schools, and Conferences.
The best way to keep up to date is to look on our website: www.worldwidegcf.com