L'Shanah Tovah! -- "For a good year!" Here we stand, at the threshold of the new year (5779). The shofars will be blown to herald this year and celebrate Rosh Hashanah--the head of the year. Leviticus 23:24-25 explains that on the first day of the seventh month we are to have a day of rest and a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. This day is also called "Yom Teru'ah" or the "Day of Blowing." It begins a 10-day period called the Days of Awe that ends with Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), a day of fasting and prayer and a time to get right with the Lord. God's intention for this season is that we are awakened to seek Him wholeheartedly.
For believers in Yeshua, the fall feasts prophecy the Lord's second coming. Colossians 2:17 says that they are a shadow of Messiah. When Messiah returns He will "come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God..." (1 Thessalonians 4:16) The new year is a reminder that God will do a new thing and that one day He will return to the blast of the shofar to gather His bride unto Himself. It is a reminder that we need to be prepared as the Bride of Christ. The shofar blast is also a call for repentance of God's people. It is a time for us to reflect on life and return to the Lord.
The fall feasts always occur in the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar, Tishrei. Sevens are important in God's Kingdom. "By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so, on the seventh day He rested from all His work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done." (Genesis 2:2-3) God ordained that Tishrei would be a holy month and a month of rest. Seven signifies completion, fullness and perfection. The fall feasts are meant for us to return to God to experience His glory. I believe that when we honor God's appointed feasts we set ourselves up to encounter His glory.
Prophets are already weighing in on the significance of the year 5779. Prophet and evangelist, Doug Addison, reminds us that during the Days of Awe the heavens are much more open for dreams and visions and heavenly encounters. For those who have had things lost or stolen over the past seven years, he says that this is the season of repayment and justice. He says there is a strong breakthrough anointing for us. "One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their king will pass through before them, the Lord at their head." (Micah 2:13) Curt Landry, a Messianic Rabbi who lives and ministers in Israel, believes that the year will be one of exponential growth for the Kingdom of God. He says, "The number nine symbolizes both judgment and divine completeness. Our Messiah died at the ninth hour of the day (3:00 p.m.), representing the judgment of hell, death, and the grave. However, it is also written that it was the ninth hour of the day when Cornelius, a Roman Centurion, was instructed in a vision to contact the Apostle Peter and become the first recorded Gentile to convert and become born again.” (Acts 10:1-3) Landry believes this will be a year of great possibilities and of realigning with God's purposes and ways.
I am remembering that nine is the number of the Holy Spirit and the fruits of the Spirit. Isn't it interesting that Tishrei is associated with the tribe of Ephraim which means double fruit? I believe we should be embracing everything that God has for us in this season. When Jesus came to earth He was called the "Firstfruit" of God. Jesus and Holy Spirit were demonstrations of the Spring and Summer feasts. One day Messiah will return to gather us together for the grandest celebration we can imagine. God Himself will "bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ." (Ephesians 1:10) Then we will have the completion of the fall feasts.
In view of all of this, we should live according to 1 John 3:2-3. "...We know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure." Will we be ready when He returns? Be awakened! This is a new day! "Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until He comes and showers righteousness on you." (Hosea 10:12)
Joan E. Mathias