Books Shall Be Opened
Maybe your family is one of those whose mother saved everything you did in school. She has every one of your school pictures and all of your artwork. Maybe she even saved every one of your report cards. There is nothing like bringing out the photobooks and remembering all those good old days. It’s nice to remember. Well, this is what God does. He records everything good and bad that we have done and one day He is going to open those books and we are going to stand before Him while it is all read to us, as it is said in 2 Corinthians 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” And again in Romans 14:12, “So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.” Also, Revelation 20:12 tells us about that day: “And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.” Yeshua/Jesus says this even about our every word: “The good man brings good things out of his good store of treasure, and the evil man brings evil things out of his evil store of treasure. But I tell you that men will give an account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:35-37).
WOW, that’s not quite like looking at what mom has saved for us! We have been taught that when we stand before God He will say to us that we are saved because of Yeshua. That is true, but Scripture does tell us that those books will give an account of everything good and bad, and that we will be recompensed for our deeds, good or bad. He also says that we will be judged by our words. It shows us how important it is that we examine ourselves daily. 1 Corinthians 11:31-32 says this: “Now if we judged ourselves properly, we would not come under judgment. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.” Our loving Father wants to be able to open those books and see only good things about us, but to do that we must repent of our sins now. We must let God show us those deeds done in the flesh that need to not only be repented of, but changed in our lives. Now is the time so that when those books are opened God can say, "Well done good and faithful servant." Now is the time to apply the shed blood of Yeshua to those sins, those deeds, those words. This is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This is the work that God is continually doing in our lives. This is why we celebrate the Fall Feasts. This is God’s way of telling us to take that time to get it right now.
We want to take just a brief look at these Appointed Times of God. The Fall Feasts are called the Season of Repentance. We are going to look at the first feast called Rosh HaShanah.
Rosh HaShanah is also known as the Feast of Trumpets. Thirty days before Rosh HaShanah is a time where we are to consider our deeds. Here is that idea of examining ourselves, judging ourselves to see if we are in Messiah. 2 Corinthians 13:5 tells us, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” Also in 2 Peter 1:10-11, “So, dear brothers, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen, and then you will never stumble or fall away. And God will open wide the gates of heaven for you to enter into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” We can not take for granted such a great salvation, for Hebrews 2:1-3 tells us: “For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” This is why celebrating and remembering this feast is so important because it reminds us that Yeshua is coming back and so the trumpet is sounding to ask this question: Have you made your garments white?
Yom Kippur, also called the Day of Atonement, is next, and this feast day is all about our names being written in the Lamb's Book of Life. It is the holiest day on the calendar. From Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur is ten days, and they are called the Days of Awe. These are solemn days leading up to Yom Kippur. Why? Because if your name is not written in the Lamb's Book of Life, you will not have eternal life. This day symbolizes the closing of the gates of heaven. This day represents the day of judgment. On this day we fast and pray and seek God. We can not take anything for granted.
As believers we think that Yeshua paid our debt and now we have our ticket to heaven, but is this what His parables tell us? Matthew 25:1-13 tells us about those who were prepared and those who were not. They were all virgins. They were all there waiting. The difference was 5 were prepared and 5 were not. What happened to those who were not prepared and had to go and buy oil? “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”
When Yeshua compared the kingdom to a wedding feast, He told the story of a king who invited guests to a wedding banquet in Matthew 22:1-14. His servants returned and told the king that the people were too busy to attend. So the king tells them to go to the streets. “‘So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless. Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
There are so many more Scriptures, but what we see in all of them is that people who thought they were entering in did not, even those who thought they would by telling Him, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name?” But He tells them, “I know you not.” Or, “If you don’t forgive, then I can not forgive you.” Or, “If you are ashamed of Me then I will be ashamed of you before My Father.” We can not take our salvation for granted. We must examine ourselves and repent of our sins, as small as they may seem to you. We must allow the Holy Spirit to change us.
Yom Kippur is definitely for believers. We must take this day and humbly come before God, with thanksgiving for the shed blood of Yeshua, but also we must be holy because He is holy. We must be light, because He is light. We must make our garments white, for the Scriptures tell us, “Then one of the elders addressed me: ‘These in white robes,’ he asked, ‘who are they, and where have they come from?’ ‘Sir,’ I answered, ‘you know.’ So he replied, ‘These are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason, they are before the throne of God and serve Him day and night in His temple; and the One seated on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them’” (Revelation 7:14).
Are you ready to have the books opened? Do you think that maybe a dress rehearsal might help? Then consider keeping God’s Appointed Times of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, because what follows these two is the Feast of Tabernacles, Sukkot, and that is quite a celebration: the wedding feast and our eternal life with our Messiah.