August 12, 2015

Second Coming Reflections, Part 1

Blow the Trumpet

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Fall is a great time for apple picking. By September the apples are ripe and ready for picking. Fall is the time when we celebrate the birth of the earth on the feast day of Rosh HaShanah, also called the Feast of Trumpets. God created all things in the first six days. On the third day He created the vegetation and fruit trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. On the fourth day God created the luminaries to give light, but also the Scriptures tell us that they were created for signs and for seasons, and for days and years; and God saw that it was good.

If you look at the creation account you will see that it says that it was evening then it was morning. The Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar, God's calendar from creation. By this God set up His Appointed Times like the Spring feasts and the Fall feasts and everything that God does He does during these Appointed times. God also created the Sabbath, another Appointed Time, and on the seventh day He rested and made it holy (Genesis 1).

Fall could have been the time when Adam and Eve picked a nice ripe apple off the wrong tree, the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and sinned. The result: they were cast out of the garden (Genesis 3). It was at this time that the first atonement took place; though it was just temporary, God sacrificed animals on their behalf and made garments from the hide to clothe them (Genesis 3:21). But God made a promise that one day He would send a redeemer and He did—He sent His only begotten Son, Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah, the Anointed One of God who came as our Passover Lamb and our sin offering. Yeshua's atoning work on the cross and the giving of His Holy Spirit is all remembered during the Spring Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Pentecost; but today we want to look at reflections of His second coming.

At His second coming, He will come as king and begin His kingdom here on earth and He will restore the earth again. When Yeshua (Jesus) comes back and begins His 1000 year reign in Jerusalem (Revelation 20:4-6), He will restore the earth back to the days of the garden of Eden. The Bible tells us that the lion will lay down with the lamb and the earth that has been groaning because of the sin of Adam and Eve will be restored. Man will till his garden and not get weeds. How great is that! The animals will not prey on other animals, but they will all eat the grass of the field. Man's relationship with God will be like that of the days when Adam walked with God in the cool of the evening. The knowledge of God will increase so that all will know God and see Him face to face (Isaiah 11:6-9, Jeremiah 31:12, Revelation 2:7, 22:1-3).

But the Messianic Age will not be for everyone—only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of Life. The Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur, follows Rosh HaShanah. It is a day that we are to take very seriously because we are to examine ourselves and fast and pray because it is the day that, when fulfilled, will determine whose name is written in the Lamb's book of life. No church or denomination will get your name written in the Lamb's Book of Life (Revelation 21:27). Only your relationship with God will determine this.

Yeshua said, "If you love Me then keep my commandments." Are we walking in those Commandments? Does our life bring glory to God? Are we walking as though we are a citizen of this world or a citizen of His kingdom? Are we washed in the blood of the Lamb or are we still knowingly sinning? What does our speech say about who we are? Do we curse God on one side of our mouth and bless Him on the other side?

Yom Kippur is the holiest time of the year because it causes us to reflect and repent. In fact, the forty days leading up to the day of Atonement are a time of reflection and repentance. Every day we say, "Awake, you who are sleepy, and ponder your deeds; remember your Creator and go to Him for forgiveness. Don't be like those who miss reality in their hunt after shadows, and waste your years in seeking after vain things which can neither profit nor deliver. Look well to your souls and consider your deeds; let each one of you forsake his evil ways and thoughts, and return unto the lord, so He may have mercy on you." We blow the shofar (ram's horn) because its blast is for the awakening of our soul; also the shofar was blown to announce the coming king and King Yeshua is coming back with the blast of the trumpet (Matthew 24:31, 1 Thessalonians 4:16).

Rosh HaShanah, or the Feast of Trumpets, is for the awakening of the soul. Today if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts like they did in the wilderness and provoked God and sinned and were not allowed to enter into the promised land (paraphrased from Hebrews 3:15).

Do you hear the sound of the trumpet? It's blowing to awaken your soul!

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