Hebrew Roots/Holy Days/Trumpets/Preparation for the Feast
PREPARATION FOR YOM TERUAH
The preparation for Yom Teruah (feast of Trumpets) begins with the commencement of the month of Elul, thirty days before the event. This is a time of soul-searching and self-examination against the holiness of Almighty God in anticipation of the yearly event of standing before Him at Yom Teruah at His judgement seat as though facing the final judgement which will determine our eternal destiny. It is a thirty-day restitution period.
On one Yom Teruah, the yearly event will be the final accounting for the end of the age, when the shofars will blow and herald the beginning of the Great Tribulation. Of that day and hour, no man knows, as Yom Teruah comes without warning. Where each believer stands at that time spiritually, will determine whether they will go through the Tribulation or be accounted worthy to escape it and stand before the Son of Man. (Luke 21:28-36)
This preparation time could be likened to the parable of the ten virgins trimming their wicks so their testimony would be clear and pure, to shine brightly in the midnight hour when the Bridegroom comes (Matthew 25: 1-13). "Watch, therefore, for you know not the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming." (v.31)
The standard which Yahweh God requires of us is complete holiness and that is based on the fact that every provision has been made for that to be possible, through the perfect and complete sacrifice of Y'shua, His Son. "His divine power has given unto us ALL things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which are given to us EXCEEDINGLY GREAT AND PRECIOUS PROMISES, THAT THROUGH THESE YOU MAY BE PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1: 3-4
Sin is falling short of God's righteous standard of holiness. The overt acts of sin in what we say and do, are a consequence of us living below the level of His righteousness. For this we need to repent. See 1 John 1: 8 & 9.
Only His standard of righteousness is acceptable and comparing ourselves against the standard of our religious environment and/or excusing ourselves or commending ourselves against the standards of those with whom we associate is not a reliable measuring stick with which to examine ourselves. Only the Word of God gives us Yahweh God's righteous standard. It is the mirror into which we must look to see our spiritual reflection. James 1:21-27
Our sins are not forgiven just because we “believe” in Him (see James 2:19) To be forgiven, we must have a repentant heart and come in submission to our Heavenly father, asking for forgiveness, knowing that He will forgive us, as a father forgives his child. That forgiveness which we seek has been guaranteed to us, it has been bought and paid for by Y'shua’s atoning sacrifice on the tree. As we search ourselves, and heed the call to repentance, we know by faith in the shed blood of Y'shua, that our sins have been forgiven, and we have “peace with God” (Romans 5: 1, 6-9). We know also that we have fellowship with God the Father and Y'shua His Son through the sacrifice of our Messiah, and through His being our High Priest in heaven, who ever lives to make intercession for us! (I John 1:2-3; Hebrews 4:14-16).
Repentance (teshuvah) is a gift from Yahweh and involves four basic steps:
- Forsaking the sin (Proverbs 28:13).
- Regretting the breach in your relationship with God and others (Psalm 51).
- Confessing the truth and making amends with others you have harmed (1 John 1:9; James 5:16, Matthew 5:23-4).
- Accepting the future and moving forward in your relationship with Yahweh (Philippians 3:13-14; 1 John 1:9).
"Seek Yahweh while He is to be found, Call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts. Let him return to Yahweh, Who has compassion on him, And to our God, For He pardons much." Isaiah 55: 6-7
The month of Elul is understood to be the time of Bridal preparation and the name of the month is said to be an acronym of ani l'dodi v'dodi li, “I am my Beloved's and my Beloved is mine,” a quote from Song of Solomon 6: 3. it is a time of preparing one's spiritual garments and adornment ready for the anticipated marriage union.
It has become a custom to prayerfully recite Psalm 27 during the period of the sixth month until after Sukkot. Apart from cleansing our lives from sin, it is a time of strengthening and deepening our relationship with Yahweh God.
EXAMINING OUR LIVES
Y'shua gave us the summation of the Father's commandments in his quotation from Deuteronomy 6: 4-5: "'Hear, O Israel, Yahweh our God, Yahweh is one. And you shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength'. This is the first commandment. And the second like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself'. There is no commandment greater than these." Mark 12:29-31
This is the sum total of all the commandments, for if we love Yahweh our God with all our being, then we will be living according to His righteous standards and we will love our neighbour who is made in His image, as ourselves. If we take this as the measuring rod with which to measure ourselves, we will have God's standard to live by.
Breaking it down into itemised sections to examine our lives by it, we have "loving Yahweh our God" with --
- "all your heart" - our heart is the seat of our affections, so this means all our affections centered in Him. We must ask ourselves the question, is our heart fully centered in Him? Are there other things which claim our affections? Do these things have a place of importance or priority over our dedication to Him? The real test of it is, could you be content if all else was taken away from you -- family, friends, possessions, source of income? See Philippians 4:11-13
- "all your soul" - our soul involves our personality. Does everything in our personality reflect a love for Yahweh God? Or are there personality traits which His smile of approval would not rest upon? If we love Him we will desire to be like Him. Children always emulate their parents' characteristics. How much more does a bride seek to be beautiful in the eyes of her intended? Does everything within us reflect the beauty of Y'shua? See Psalm 96: 7-9
- "with all your mind" - our mind involves all our ideas as well as everything which occupies our thoughts on a daily basis. Are our minds the deposit box for the temptations of the enemy or are they a repository for the mind of the Spirit? Have our minds been renewed by the Word of God, so that the thoughts we think are in agreement with His Word? See Philippians 4: 4-9.
- "with all your strength" - our 'strength' relates to our abilities and the energy which drives our interests in life.
Do we love Yahweh with ALL our strength? Are ALL our energies in life directed toward serving Him, in everything we do, even in the mundane things of life? Are they done with a heart motive toward Him, to glorify Him? Or do we have some interests of our own, things which we have judged as legitimate ways to spend our (?) time and energy which we have not consecrated to Him? See Colossians 3:16-17
- How do we measure up?
We have an Advocate with the Father, Y'shua the Messiah, the righteous One, if we come humbly and sincerely and acknowledge our sins before Him with a desire for reconciliation and a change in our lifestyle. 1 John 1: 5-9
THE WAY OF REPENTANCE
If we are setting our lives in order for the first time, we will need to begin with our personal relationship with the Father in our times of prayer and devotion with Him and establish our hearts in submission before Him and His requirements of us. Our repentance will firstly need to be for sins of omission before Him echoing the pleas of David in Psalm 51, particularly verses 10-13; 1-2; 6-9.
Set times aside for study and meditation of His Word to develop your spiritual relationship with Father God and renew your mind. Seek to know what He would require of you to put your life in order. Ask Him to search your heart to see if there be any wicked way in you of which you are not aware, for we can be self-deceived and blind to our iniquities. Be diligent in seeking His face. See Jeremiah 17: 9-10; Psalm 139:23-24
Begin to obey His Word and also any personal direction He gives you regarding reconciliation or restitution with those you may have wronged in the past and begin doing good deeds to others according to your ability to do so.
It is customary to seek reconciliation and forgiveness from all persons whom one might have offended in the preceding year. Forgiveness and relinquishment of any vows made to God or man also needs to be sought, so that one can begin the new year with a clean slate before both God and man.
The ten commands in Deuteronomy 5: 6-21 are a good basis for an indepth search of one's life particularly in the light of the application Y'shua gave it in Matthew 5:17-7:27.
"We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body" 2 Corinthians 5:10