The Great Gatherings of God
“Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation’” (Lev. 23:24).
Though we don’t want to overly speculate about numbers in the Bible, the Scriptures clearly instill the number seven with symbolism. For example, in the creation account we read that “God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it,” making the seventh day to be the Sabbath (Gen. 2:2-3; Ex. 20:8-11). Seven times, God said His creation was “good” (Gen. 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31).
The Scriptures conclude with seven beatitudes in the final book of Revelation (1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7; 22:14). We learn that the number seven in the Scriptures generally refers to completeness, fullness, or perfection. To highlight that seven symbolizes completion, in Hebrew the word for “seven” is the same word for “vow”, sheva.
In a sense, when you make a vow, you make a “seven,” dedicating it to completion. For example, Abraham had seven lambs as the symbol of the vow of witness with Abimelech. They called the well and area around it Beer Sheva, which can mean either “well of seven” or “well of vow” (Gen. 21:27-32).
“In Him you have been made complete”
Again, in the Tabernacle and Temple offerings there were seven lambs for the monthly offerings, seven for the Passover offering, seven for the Shavuot offering, seven for the Trumpets offering, and seven for the Yom Kippur offering (Lev. 3:18, Num. 28:11, 19, 21, 27, 29; 29:2, 4, 8, 10).
Then there were fourteen lambs – a double seven – for each day of Sukkot, and seven on the eighth day of Sukkot (Num. 29:13, 36). Without seven, the offerings would be incomplete. Is it any surprise that “in Him you have been made complete” (Col. 2:10)?
Completing & Restoring
God’s redemptive program has the last of the seven feasts concluding in the seventh month, as His unalterable vow to completely redeem His lost humanity. Just as the Spring Festivals pictured the establishment of our salvation in Messiah and our sanctification in the Holy Spirit, so the three Fall Feasts are God’s “final rally,” concluding His work of gathering His people to Himself.
In this issue let’s review the Feast of Trumpets and Day of Atonement. The Feast of Trumpets (also known as Rosh HaShanah) finds significance in the last trumpet that gathers the body of Messiah to be with Him.
The Day of Atonement marks Israel’s repentance that gathers the people of Israel in national revival to their God. The Feast of Tabernacles gathers the nations of the world as the completed harvest of God. What sin has destroyed, God’s grace in Messiah can restore to its original purpose.
Invite a friend and gather with us!
God concludes His redemptive program in Messiah in the seventh month (Etanim) by bringing humanity back into its original state of enduring permanence with Himself. By Messiah’s completed work we see the seventh month as a time when God completes His redemption plan:
. The gathering of the Body – Feast of Trumpets
. The gathering of the nation of Israel – Day of Atonement
. The gathering of all nations – Feast of Booths
If we have trusted in His Passover salvation, we’re ready for Him, restored to Him, and ruled by Him. Let’s be mindful of this season to reach out and share His message while we still can. Invite a friend and gather with us for special services celebrating these great Fall Festivals!
The Day of Trumpets, Yom HaTeruah, literally means “the day of blasting,” (Lev. 23:23-25) commonly called Rosh HaShanah or the Jewish New Year. Why is that? When the Jewish people came out of Babylonian captivity, they adopted the Babylonian civil New Year as their own. So, even though it falls on the first day of the seventh month, it is called New Year’s Day.
Because there is very little Biblical information on this feast, Jewish tradition teaches that this mysterious Feast of Trumpets recalls the ram’s horns Joshua and the Israelites used at Jericho, and of the ram that Abraham sacrificed in place of Isaac.
Right now, we must be ready to be with the Lord
Scripture notes a time when Israel is gathered back to the land by the” blowing of the great ram’s horn” (Isa. 27:13), and in the New Covenant Paul explains this mystery as a time when all believers will be gathered to Messiah (1 Cor. 15:51, 52; 1 Thess. 4:16-18).
Since none of us know the exact time of this future “blowing of the trumpet,” the Feast of Trumpets should motivate us to readiness and service. Remembering “our blessed hope” (Titus 2:13), we want people to believe now, before the day of wrath appears (1 Thess 1:10; 5:9). Right now, we must be ready to be with the Lord (Rev. 22:7, 12, 21).
The next feast is Yom Kippur, or the day of Atonement. In Jewish tradition, this day is for Jewish individuals to ‘get right’ with God. Biblically, it was a day for Israel to be restored to God as a servant nation (Lev. 16 and 23:26-32). Prophetically, it points to the time when Israel as a nation will be gathered to Messiah Yeshua.
In that day, the great confession of national Israel will be lamented, “All we like sheep have gone astray, each one has turned to his own way, but the Lord has laid on Him (Messiah) the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). And in that day the natural branches will be grafted back into “their own olive tree,” and “thus all Israel will be saved!” (Romans 11:23-26).
The Day of Atonement reminds us that this national gathering of Israel is coming. Let us be hopeful and be sharing Messiah especially to the Jewish people and equally to the Gentiles. Let us not be merely religious, but truly restored to the Lord ourselves. May you be encouraged by learning more about God’s redemptive plan portrayed through the Fall Festivals.
Join Hope of Israel, September 25, 2022 at 5:00 PM for Erev Rosh HaShana and September 26th at 10:30 AM for Rosh HaShanah Day! Visit hopeofisrael.info for more details!