Hebrew Name:
Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashanah

English Name:
Feast of Trumpets

Associated Scriptures:
Leviticus 23:23-25
Psalms 69:28
Ecclesiastes 11:1
Luke 10:20
Philippians 4:3
1 Corinthians 15:51-52
Hebrews 12:23
Revelation 3:5; ch. 8-11; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12-15; 21:27

First Covenant Application:
Preparation for Yom Kippur; reconciliation, forgiveness

New Covenant Application:
same as First Covenant, but with emphasis on Great Tribulation, Messiah's return, and Great White Throne Judgment (final Yom Kippur)

Ultimate Fulfillment:
the wrath of God poured out in Revelation 8-11 followed by the 'rapture' of the people of God who went through the Great Tribulation; the Battle of Armageddon, and the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ

The Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashanah)

High Holy Day
Worship (Burnt) Offering

L'Shana Tovah!  Yom Teruah, or Rosh Hashanah as it is far more popularly called by modern Talmudic Jews, is the observance of the Jewish New Year.  This festival is celebrated much like the New Year holidays of other cultures, marked by optimism for the future, a letting go of the past, etc.   It is traditional to greet each other by saying, "May your name be written in the Book of Life for another year!"  According to Jewish tradition, the Book of Life is opened at Yom Kippur, and God judges righteousness by whose names are written therein; therefore, Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashanah represents one last chance before Yom Kippur to get things right with God and your neighbor. 

In conjuction with this theme is also the tradition of ‘casting your bread on the waters’ taken from Ecclesiastes 11, where one asks forgiveness for sin and symbolically throws it off.  It is a time of reconciliation, and many Jews seek to make restitution for any debts they owe, both financial and moral.

At its first mention of this appointed time, the Scriptures call this day Yom HaTeruah, the Day of Blowing [by Trumpets].  The actual prescription in the Torah doesn’t really say much about this feast’s significance:

Leviticus 23:23-25 The LORD said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. Do no regular work, but present an offering made to the LORD by fire.’”

The rest of the Scriptures illuminate this feast for us quite well, however.  Throughout the Tanakh (“Old” Testament), trumpets are used as both instruments of war and celebration.  In war, they were used both to warn and to rally.  In celebration, they were a call to worship.

The Book of Revelation (chapters 8-11) shows the ultimate fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets: the wrath of God is unfolded against the evil of this age as seven angels blow their trumpets one by one, unleashing devastation on the earth.  This is to serve a warning to the earth’s inhabitants that the Final Judgment of Yom Kippur is imminent (Christians call this the Great White Throne Judgment, where the Book of Life will be opened, and any whose name is not found there is thrown into the lake of fire).  Jesus was speaking about the Book of Life in Luke 10 when He received the joyous reports from His disciples as they came back from kingdom ministry.  Those of us who know Jesus can be assured that our names are written in the Book of Life—not just for a year, but etched in the permanent ink of Christ's blood.

As the last trumpet of God's wrath is blown, a phenomenon will occur called the Rapture.  Many Evangelical Christians think this is a time when believers will be caught up into the air and simply vanish away into heaven, but in reality what will happen is that our bodies will be glorified as Jesus’ body was after His resurrection (I Cor. 15:51-52).  The fact that we will ‘always be with the LORD’ (I Thess. 4:16-18) is to say that, from this point forward, His physical presence will be with us:  Jesus will bodily descend at this point and begin His 1000-year reign physically on the earth, and those who had not died before the time of Tribulation will reign with Him from the Third Temple in Jerusalem.

I personally believe that we are coming very close to the fulfillment of Rosh Hashanah.  Even if we are not, it is a great time of shaking, a clarion call for repentance.  This is really what Rosh Hashanah is about.  God is calling us to worship Him and celebrate His presence, to look to our Redeemer and rally to His cause.  At the same time, he is also calling us to wage a war of liberation against the sin nature that oppresses both ourselves and others by calling forth the deliverance and freedom He has provided on the cross, as well as committing to partner with the Holy Spirit in the changing of our nature from self-worship to God-worship. This advances the kingdom of God against the kingdom of darkness.  Finally, we are to sound the warning of His imminent return, offering to others the same grace we have been given while there is still time.