Judgment Day: Day of the LORD is a day of awakening

Yom Teruah (Day of Blowing [Trumpets]) has a number of nicknames, such as Rosh haShanah (New Year). Regardless of what you call it, Yom Teruah has a special purpose in God’s calendar. It’s a day of remembrance, a day of gathering, a day of awakening and a day of offerings. But mostly, it’s the Judgment Day. It’s a day when the wicked are judged and the righteous are vindicated by the Mashiakh (Messiah).

Apostles Paul and Yokhanan wrote a lot about this day, as did the prophets. May your Judgment Day end on a sweet note!

Yom Teruah is the “Last Trump” apostle Paul discusses at length with the Thessalonians and Corinthians. It’s also a day of awakening, to wake people up from death (either spiritual or literal).

What are we remembering? We repeat this theme every year so we don’t forget.

“Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, “In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD.”‘” (Leviticus 23:23–25 NASB)

“’Now in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall also have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work. It will be to you a day for blowing trumpets. You shall offer a burnt offering as a soothing aroma to the LORD: one bull, one ram, and seven male lambs one year old without defect; also their grain offering, fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah for the bull, two-tenths for the ram, and one-tenth for each of the seven lambs. Offer one male goat for a sin offering, to make atonement for you, besides the burnt offering of the new moon and its grain offering, and the continual burnt offering and its grain offering, and their drink offerings, according to their ordinance, for a soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the LORD. Then on the tenth day of this seventh month you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall humble yourselves; you shall not do any work. You shall present a burnt offering to the LORD as a soothing aroma: one bull, one ram, seven male lambs one year old, having them without defect; and their grain offering, fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah for the bull, two-tenths for the one ram, a tenth for each of the seven lambs; one male goat for a sin offering, besides the sin offering of atonement and the continual burnt offering and its grain offering, and their drink offerings.’” (Numbers 29:1–11 NASB)

One bull, one ram, seven lambs and one goat. All holy days have a goat offering, except for the Shabbat. There’s a very good reason there’s no sin offering on Shabbat. On Shabbat, you are to show up regardless of whether you’re a sinner or not. On the other Holy Days, you have to be aware of your sin and be ready to have them covered. On the Shabbat you come weekly to be taught Torah so you slowly learn what sin is.

All the holy days are times of self-reflection and awareness of your relationship with God and your fellow man.

What is the meaning of these different animal sacrifices?

  • Bull is an offering of strength.
  • Ram is an offering of our speech and prophesy.
  • Lamb are an offering of celebration and worship.
  • Goat is an offering of innocence that takes away sin.

There were also grain, libation and oil offerings.

“We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come. Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.” (Hebrews 13:10–17 NASB)

What do we offer when we have no Temple? Praise and thanks. What are we to do with this? We are to do good and share it with others. We are doing good when we follow His instructions and share them with others.

Why a shofar (ram’s horn trumpet)? A shofar is used for many things:

  • Moving people, such as the camps in the wilderness.
  • Calling people
  • Going to war
  • Feast days
  • New moons
  • Day of gladness
  • Declaring victory
  • Inauguration of a king
  • Save from Enemies
  • Over burnt offerings

“The LORD spoke further to Moses, saying, ‘Make yourself two trumpets of silver, of hammered work you shall make them; and you shall use them for summoning the congregation and for having the camps set out. When both are blown, all the congregation shall gather themselves to you at the doorway of the tent of meeting. Yet if only one is blown, then the leaders, the heads of the divisions of Israel, shall assemble before you. But when you blow an alarm, the camps that are pitched on the east side shall set out. When you blow an alarm the second time, the camps that are pitched on the south side shall set out; an alarm is to be blown for them to set out. When convening the assembly, however, you shall blow without sounding an alarm. The priestly sons of Aaron, moreover, shall blow the trumpets; and this shall be for you a perpetual statute throughout your generations. When you go to war in your land against the adversary who attacks you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, that you may be remembered before the LORD your God, and be saved from your enemies. Also in the day of your gladness and in your appointed feasts, and on the first days of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be as a reminder of you before your God. I am the LORD your God.’” (Numbers 10:1–10 NASB)

However, in the second Temple period — from the time of Ezra and Nehemiah to about A.D. 70 — the priests blew three trumpets. Why?

On every New Moon, there were three trumpets blown. First a silver trumpet, second was a shofar, the third one was a second silver trumpet. A silver trumpet sounds very different from a shofar. There’s one holy day this was not done: Yom Teruah.

There were still three trumpets blown on Yom Teruah but they were in a was a different order. On Yom Teruah, the first blast was from a shofar, the second blast was from a silver trumpet, the third blast  was also from a shofar. The third blast on Yom Teruah was officially called “The Last Trump.” It was the longest blast a human could do before running out of air.

“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1Thessalonians 4:13–18 NASB)

“Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” (1Corinthians 15:50–58 NASB)

Apostle Paul tells us the “Last Trump” is what calls us to God. It’s to call and awaken the people.

This day is also called the Day of the Lord. The Torah does talk much about the Day of the Lord. It’s a huge event; it’s a big deal. It’s a day of judgment.

How does God have memory? Moses tells us.

“On the next day Moses said to the people, “You yourselves have committed a great sin; and now I am going up to the LORD, perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” Then Moses returned to the LORD, and said, “Alas, this people has committed a great sin, and they have made a god of gold for themselves. “But now, if You will, forgive their sin — and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written!” The LORD said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.” (Exodus 32:30–33 NASB)

God writes down everything. What is so special about it? What book is Moses referencing here? It’s the Book of Life, a book that records who lives and who dies. One’s name is remove from this book if they sin against God. This is not the only book God has in his library, though.

“Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name. “They will be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.” (Malachi 3:16–18 NASB)

The book of remembrance records those who fear God. What does it mean to fear God? One who fears God is righteous. I believe the book of remembrance and the book of life are one and the same book.

“’To the angel of the church in Sardis write:   “He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.'” He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” (Revelation 3:1–6 NASB)

The Messiah is the one who holds the eraser. He is the editor of the Book of Life.

“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 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. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:11–15 NASB)

“I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow And the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire. A river of fire was flowing And coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; The court sat, And the books were opened.” (Daniel 7:9–10 NASB)

Are the ’10 days of awe’ biblical?

The days from Trumpets to Atonement are called the “10 days of Awe” and are there to determine how lenient God’s sentence will be upon you. We look to Messiah Yeshua to redeem us from the punishment we deserve.

Everyone has to have a sin offering, no matter how “good” you think you are. One can’t say “I lived a good life” as a way to enter God’s presence. If one refuses to accept the Messiah Yeshua, they are still in their sin. There is no other way to atone for it.

If today is a Day of Awakening, what are we being awakened to? God opens our eyes by speaking to our ears.

“So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder. The LORD came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. Then the LORD spoke to Moses, “Go down, warn the people, so that they do not break through to the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish. “Also let the priests who come near to the LORD consecrate themselves, or else the LORD will break out against them.” Moses said to the LORD, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for You warned us, saying, ‘Set bounds about the mountain and consecrate it.’” Then the LORD said to him, “Go down and come up again, you and Aaron with you; but do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the LORD, or He will break forth upon them.” So Moses went down to the people and told them.” (Exodus 19:16–25 NASB)

“All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance. Then they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die.” Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.” So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was.” (Exodus 20:18–21 NASB)

Hearing God’s voice in the sound of the trumpet was a Day of Awakening for the children of Israel.

The trumpet declares our transgressions. When we read the 10 Commandments, we read about what we are supposed to do, when we read them, we inevitably find our faults. It becomes a list of our transgressions.

“’Cry loudly, do not hold back; Raise your voice like a trumpet, And declare to My people their transgression And to the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek Me day by day and delight to know My ways, As a nation that has done righteousness And has not forsaken the ordinance of their God. They ask Me for just decisions, They delight in the nearness of God. “Why have we fasted and You do not see? Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not notice?” Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire, And drive hard all your workers. Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist. You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high. Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it for bowing one’s head like a reed And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the LORD? Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke?’” (Isaiah 58:1–6 NASB)

This self-awareness, provoked by reading and hearing God’s word is what leads us to a proper day of fasting. Trumpets lead us to reflect on what is a proper repentance and how to ask God for mercy.

“The dead shall rise, and those who are in the tombs shall be raised, and those who are in the earth shall rejoice; for the dew from you is healing to them, but the land of the impious shall fall.

Go, my people, enter your chambers; shut your door; hide yourselves for a little while until the wrath of the Lord has passed.

For look, the Lord from his holy place brings his wrath upon those who dwell on the earth; the earth will disclose its blood and will not cover the slain.” (Isaiah 26:19–21 New English Translation of the Septuagint)

When you are awakened, the dead are awakened too. The first thing they will see judgement, and a lot of it. That is what we expect when one is brought before God.

“Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; Awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago. Was it not You who cut Rahab in pieces, Who pierced the dragon? Was it not You who dried up the sea, The waters of the great deep; Who made the depths of the sea a pathway For the redeemed to cross over? So the ransomed of the LORD will return And come with joyful shouting to Zion, And everlasting joy will be on their heads. They will obtain gladness and joy, And sorrow and sighing will flee away.” (Isaiah 51:9–11 NASB)

Are you happy when you’re under judgment?

How is it possible to be happy when you’re on trial? It’s only a joy when the judge declares you “not guilty.” Until the verdict is rendered, the day of judgement is an emotional ordeal.

“In that day the LORD will start His threshing from the flowing stream of the Euphrates to the brook of Egypt, and you will be gathered up one by one, O sons of Israel. It will come about also in that day that a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were perishing in the land of Assyria and who were scattered in the land of Egypt will come and worship the LORD in the holy mountain at Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 27:12–13 NASB)

When you are fully aware of what you have done, yet you are declared “not guilty,” that is when the celebration begins, in the presence of the Judge who vindicated you.

“’At that time,’ declares the LORD, ‘I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people.’ Thus says the LORD, ‘The people who survived the sword Found grace in the wilderness — Israel, when it went to find its rest.’ The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness. Again I will build you and you will be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel! Again you will take up your tambourines, And go forth to the dances of the merrymakers. Again you will plant vineyards On the hills of Samaria; The planters will plant And will enjoy them. For there will be a day when watchmen On the hills of Ephraim call out, “Arise, and let us go up to Zion, To the LORD our God.”‘ For thus says the LORD, ‘Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, And shout among the chief of the nations; Proclaim, give praise and say, “O LORD, save Your people, The remnant of Israel.” Behold, I am bringing them from the north country, And I will gather them from the remote parts of the earth, Among them the blind and the lame, The woman with child and she who is in labor with child, together; A great company, they will return here.  With weeping they will come, And by supplication I will lead them; I will make them walk by streams of waters, On a straight path in which they will not stumble; For I am a father to Israel, And Ephraim is My firstborn.’” (Jeremiah 31:1–9 NASB)

“Rejoice, O daughter Sion! Proclaim, O daughter Ierousalem! Be glad, and be delighted with your whole heart, O daughter Ierousalem!  The Lord has taken away your injustices; he has redeemed you from the hand of your enemies. The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall see disaster no more.  At that time the Lord will say to Ierousalem: Courage, O Sion; do not let your hands grow weak.  The Lord your God is in you; a mighty one will save you; he will bring gladness to you and renew you in his affection, and he will be glad over you with delight as on a day of a feast.  And I will gather those who are shattered. Alas, who took up a reproach against her?  Behold, I will act in you for your sake in that time, says the Lord, and I will save her who has been thrust out and her who has been rejected; I will welcome and make them objects of boasting and renowned in all the earth. And they will be ashamed in that time, when I do well with you and in the time when I accept you; for I will make you renowned and objects of boasting among all the peoples of the earth, when I return your captivity before you, says the Lord.” (Zephaniah 3:14–20 New English Translation of the Septuagint)

The awakening is physical and spiritual. It is a process that all will experience.

What does the judgment actually look like? Not everyone will celebrate. It’s not convenient and easy to keep the commandments.

Most countries treat those who keep Torah with contempt, even putting them through prison, torture and death. It’s only in Western countries that Torah observers are largely tolerated. However, even in Western nations, Torah keepers may experience some inconvenience and “shame” when they walk in Torah.

In the Day of Judgment, God will turn the tables on those nations who treated God’s people with contempt. Those who persecuted God’s people are now made aware of the shame and contempt they heaped on God’s people. On the Day of Judgment, the nations are shamed while God’s people are vindicated. The nations will be given a heaping dose of humility. He brings the nations down and lifts His people up.

“BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’ I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet, saying, ‘Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.’ Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lamp-stands; and in the middle of the lamp-stands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength. When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things. As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lamp-stands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lamp-stands are the seven churches.’” (Revelation 1:7–20 NASB)

Isn’t ‘the Lord’s Day’ a day of the week?

John was in vision on the Day of the Lord, aka Yom Teruah, not on a Sunday or a weekly Shabbat. The reason I believe that is that most of the book of Revelation are prophetic recollections about the Final Judgement, aka Judgement Day.

When the nations receive their judgment, they will not send the people of God away like the Egyptians sent away the children of Israel at the Exodus. They will not shoo them away in contempt and horror. On Judgement Day, the nations will send God’s people away with praise and honor.

“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7:1–6 NASB)

God is the judge. What is the difference between judgement and discernment? It’s the difference between criticism and understanding. A judge passes a sentence and enforces correction. Discernment is knowing what is right and wrong and choosing the right.

Judgment is not ours to give, it’s ours to receive. If our judgment is harsher than His, we can be in a lot of trouble on the day of judgment. Yom Teruah is a day for us to open our eyes about our spiritual condition and to call on God’s mercy for our shortcomings.

Summary: Tammy. 

Banner photo: Darkness falls over Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo by Marcelo Gerpe/Freeimages.com via Creative Commons License.

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