The Biblical Fall Feasts – A Time of Trumpets, Tears, and Triumph

September 16, 2023

The Zadok calendar places these Biblical Fall Feasts — the Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Sukkot — in the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year. On the fourth day of this week (Wednesday), we will kick off this season of celebration with a day of Trumpets. Ten days later will be a day of humble reflection known as the Day of Atonement, followed by a week of joyous celebration and fellowship at Sukkot.

Before we summarize the significance of each festival, let us pause to reflect on a few important points regarding how we as disciples living in the 21st century should view our participation in these appointed times.

biblical fall feasts

Church or Ekklesia?

The Greek word ekklesia is used in several writings of the New Testament such as the book of Acts, 1 Corinthians, and 1 Peter. Most English translations have replaced ekklesia with the word church, which is unfortunate because it camouflages the term’s deeper meaning.

The word church denotes a gathering place set aside for worship amongst those of a particular denomination who agree on doctrine and styles of worship. The New Testament use of this word connotes any assembly of people. Following the Reformation, the term church was more or less a generalized umbrella term for either a place of worship, a body of believers collectively, or ecclesiastical authority.

Christian1 is a description that was first coined in the city of Antioch. This word identified those who were followers of Christ – the anointed one.

Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him back to Antioch. So for a full year they met together with the church and taught large numbers of people. The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch.

Acts 11: 25,26

However, instead of the word church, the descriptive term ekklesia elevates our understanding of the unique purpose of disciples of Messiah who identify and connect with the Torah from a Hebraic mindset.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, to proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

1 Peter 2:9

Now if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, you will be My treasured possession out of all the nations–for the whole earth is Mine.

Exodus 19:5

Remember, the collective books of the so-called New Testament did not exist during the time of the first apostles. The word church was never uttered by the apostles and early disciples. Followers of Yeshua were mostly known as the people of the Way — followers of the path of righteousness taught by Yeshua.

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. Because the gate is narrow and the way is hard pressed which leads to life, and there are few who find it

Matthew 7:13,14

And there will be a highway called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not travel it–only those who walk in the Way–and fools will not stray onto it.

Isaiah 35:8

The letters and writings that would eventually make up the New Testament had yet to be published in a Bible that was split into two parts called the Old and New Testaments. This publishing “line of demarcation” was artificially imposed on readers by Bible publishers.

According to Tomas Bokedal, associate professor at the University of Aberdeen:

The first New Testament books to be written down are reckoned to be the 13 that comprise Paul’s letters (circa 48-64 CE), probably beginning with 1 Thessalonians or Galatians. Then comes the Gospel of Mark (circa 60-75 CE). The remaining books – the other three Gospels, letters of Peter, John, and others as well as Revelation – were all added before or around the end of the first century. By the mid-to-late hundreds CE, major church libraries would have had copies of these, sometimes alongside other manuscripts later deemed apocrypha.

As followers of Yeshua and people of the Covenant who have been grafted into Israel (Yashar’el), we are expected to obey the terms of this eternal covenant. This means we should practice memorializing all appointed feast days as best we can.

The Biblical Fall Feasts

The Feast of Trumpets

On the first day of the seventh month, you are to hold a sacred assembly, and you must not do any regular work. This will be a day for you to sound the trumpets. Numbers 29:1

In the Old Testament, trumpets were used to call Yahuah’s people to war, announce victories won by Him, and declare the coming of the King. On the Day of the Lord, the trumpet sound believers hear will be a joyful noise that means resurrection. However, unbelievers will be terrorized by it since it will signal the coming of Yeshua with his great army of angels.

At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

Matthew 24:30,31

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must be clothedf with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.

1 Corinthians 15: 51-53

The Feast of Trumpets not only marks the beginning of the seventh month but it is a time for reflection, repentance, and anticipation of the future. In 1 Corinthians 15:51, the type of trumpet referred to was likely a silver trumpet. In Leviticus 23:24, the Israelites were instructed to use silver trumpets instead of shofars or ram’s horns. Silver trumpets were used for various ceremonial purposes throughout the year. They were blown to announce important events, such as the gathering of the congregation, the start of festivals, the calling of leaders, and even during times of war. the shofar had a unique sound and was seen as a call for repentance, awakening, or reflection. It was blown on specific set-apart days while the silver trumpets seemed to serve more general ceremonial purposes.

Yahuah said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say, ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly announced by trumpet blasts. You must not do any regular work, but you are to present an offering made by fire to the LORD.’ ”

Leviticus 23:23-25

This feast day is a Sabbath, so no servile work is to be done. On the GWDF Zadok calendar, the Feast of Trumpets happens this week on the fourth day (Wednesday). The countdown clocks for each appointed feast that follows are set to Central time (USA) based on the Zadok calendar.

Day of Atonement

Again YHWH said to Moses, “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. You shall hold a sacred assembly and humble yourselves, and present an offering made by fire to YHWH. Leviticus 23:26-27

The Day of Atonement is a Sabbath — a holy convocation or feast day. Although many who follow Judaism feel this is a time of fasting, there is no instruction given in the Bible for us to abstain from food. So, what does it mean to humble yourself if we do not follow the definition given in Isaiah 58?

The answer can be found in Jubilees 34 which gives the origin of this day of Atonement — the 10th day of the 7th month. After Joseph had been sold into slavery by his 10 brothers, they deceived their father Jacob by showing him Joseph’s bloody coat. Upon hearing the news of his son’s (presumed) death, Jacob’s entire household went into mourning. Bilhah and his daughter Dinah died during this time as well.

And he mourned for Joseph one year, and did not cease, for he said “Let me go down to the grave mourning for my son.” For this reason it is ordained for the children of Israel that they should afflict themselves on the tenth of the seventh month — on the day that the news which made him weep for Joseph came to Jacob his father — that they should make atonement for themselves thereon with a young goat on the tenth of the seventh month, once a year, for their sins; for they had grieved the affection of their father regarding Joseph his son. And this day hath been ordained that they should grieve thereon for their sins, and for all their transgressions and for all their errors, so that they might cleanse themselves on that day once a year.

Jubilees 34: 22-25

The affliction of the soul is mourning over sin. Symbolically Joseph would be Yeshua and we are the guilty brothers. However, Yeshua shows great compassion toward us and will not only resurrect us to eternal life but ultimately bring us into the goodly land of the Kingdom to come.

On this day you are not to do any work, for it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the LORD your God. If anyone does not humble himself on this day, he must be cut off from his people. I will destroy from among his people anyone who does any work on this day.You are not to do any work at all. This is a permanent statute for the generations to come, wherever you live. It will be a Sabbath of complete rest for you, and you shall humble yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to keep your Sabbath.”

Leviticus 23:28-32

Sukkot/Feast of Tabernacles

And YHWH said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say, ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the Feast of Tabernacles to YHWH begins, and it continues for seven days. Leviticus 23:33-34

In just over two weeks, we will gather for Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles.

On the first day there shall be a sacred assembly. You must not do any regular work. For seven days you are to present an offering made by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you are to hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made by fire to the LORD. It is a solemn assembly; you must not do any regular work.

Leviticus 23: 35-36

On the first day there shall be a sacred assembly. You must not do any regular work. For seven days you are to present an offering made by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you are to hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made by fire to the LORD. It is a solemn assembly; you must not do any regular work.

Leviticus 23: 35-36

After his brothers had gone up to the festival, the he also went up, not openly but secretly.

John 7:10

Sukkot is symbolic of life in the Kingdom — and beyond — when we will literally tabernacle with Yahuah, his son Yeshua, the righteous angels, and all the redeemed. We will finally be able to fulfill our calling as kings and priests under the sovereign rule of YHWH and his son Yeshua.

The 8th day of Sukkot — also called Addition — symbolizes the end of sin, the emptying of Sheol, and the destruction of the wicked. This day was commissioned by Jacob and ordained by the Father after he had bestowed the priesthood on Levi during Sukkot.

And in those days Rachel became pregnant with her son Benjamin. And Jacob counted his sons from him upwards and Levi fell to the portion of the Lord, and his father clothed him in the garments of the priesthood and filled his hands. And on the fifteenth of this month, he brought to the altar fourteen oxen from amongst the cattle, and twenty-eight rams, and forty-nine sheep, and seven lambs, and twenty-one kids of the goats as a burnt-offering, inconsequence of the vow which he had vowed that he would give a tenth, with their fruit-offering, and their drink offerings.

Jubilees 32:3-6

It was also during this time that Jacob’s name was changed to Israel.2 He was told that he would die peacefully in Egypt3 and be buried with honor in the Promised Land, alongside his father Isaac, and grandfather Abraham.

And he celebrated there yet another day, and he sacrificed thereon according to all that he sacrificed on the former days, and called its name ‘Addition’, for this day was added and the former days he called ‘The Feast’. And thus it was manifested that it should be, and it is written on the heavenly tablets: wherefore it was revealed to him that he should celebrate it, and add it to the seven days of the feast. And its name was called ‘Addition‘, because it was recorded amongst the days of the feast days, according to the number of the days of the year.

Jubilees 32:26-29
DAYS
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As you know, some members of the GWDF community will be gathering in Texas to memorialize Sukkot. We will pray, praise, and wave palm branches. Some of us will sleep in tents and all will fellowship around Yah’s word under the stars. We will share meals, pray for each other, and love one another as we memorialize this glorious feast week.

We pray blessings on everyone who will be gathering together — wherever you are in the world — to memorialize these wonderful feast days. Shalom!


FOOTNOTES

1 The name was first given to the worshippers of Yeshua by the Gentiles (nations). From the second century Justin Martyr onward the term was accepted by them as a title of honor. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon: a Christian, a follower of Christ.

2 Compare Jubilees 32 with Genesis 35.

3 Read Genesis 48 and 49

Brenda Ross
Brenda Ross

Brenda Ross is a co-author of the book, “The Gospel Worth Dying For.” She is a former major market radio and television broadcaster who has served as Single’s Ministry Director at one of Houston’s Memorial Drive-area churches, a Jews for Jesus staff volunteer, and participated in mission outreach activities in Costa Rica, Mexico, and China. Urban mission experience includes volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity and catering to the homeless in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district.

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