Some Christian leaders warn that on or about Rosh Hashana (September 13, 2015) the U.S. economy will collapse, global disasters will result, and cataclysmic war against Israel will follow. At the outset, I must forthrightly say God has not told me that shattering life changes will occur in America or on a global level this coming month, this fall, this year or on any specific date.
But to be fair, He hasn't told me He won't change life, as the Western world knows it, in the near future either. In any case, the times are critical by most objective measures. And sin, which is intensifying rapidly on a global level, He must judge.
In prayerfully seeking Bible-based and Spirit-sensitive insight on the fall feast season from a Messianic Jewish perspective, here's the sum of what I've learned: God's gracious call to surrender more fully to Him is now urgent. If commotion about calendar convergence is what it takes for us to surrender to Him more fully, then that is what He'll use. Meanwhile, it is good that followers of Yeshua gain sensitivity to His calendar, the biblical calendar maintained faithfully by the Jewish people.
If you and I respond to God's call to surrender and something cataclysmic happens very soon, He will have prepared us. If we respond and nothing happens, He will still have had His way with us. We will still be better prepared for the future by being more conformed to the likeness of Yeshua.
In that spirit, I hope this article offers some clarity, biblical mooring and recalibration to believers who may be worried or troubled about the coming fall feasts.
5 'To-Dos' (Each begins with an "R" for ease in remembrance.)
1. Remember Who God is. To rightly engage with what God will do, we must first remember Who God is. Because He is holy and just, God judges sin. Because He is loving, He does what's best for us. Because He is merciful, He forgives when we turn to Him. Because He is sovereign, He's always in control. Because He's redemptive, He wants all humanity saved. Because He's victorious, He gives us peace. Because He's gracious, He provides what we need. Because He's covenant-keeping, He's passionately engaged with Israel. Our response to any future, major life change should derive from and reflect God's character (Exodus 3:13-14).
2. Remain in the Word. This point can't be overstated! Make time, if you don't have it, to abide in the cleansing vitality of God's Word. Humble yourself with fresh expectancy to be shown truth. From Scripture, God will prepare and empower you for whatever life brings, whenever (John 16:33).
3. Repent, personally. Ask the Holy Spirit to graciously reveal your own sin. And don't forget the sin of fearing the future! Not all, but many of the prophetic warnings about the fall feasts seem more fear-driven than divinely-driven. Focus less on personal survival and more on public revival. Humbly but boldly intercede for a nationwide spirit of repentance, that God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
4. Rejoice in the fall feasts. Rosh Hashana, known more accurately as the Feast of Trumpets or Day of Judgment, should be welcomed, not dreaded. The biblical name for the holiday is Yom Teruah, literally meaning Day of Blasting. It is a day to blow trumpets, awakening God's people from spiritual slumber. Yom Teruah sounds an alarm to prepare us for reckoning and judgment ten days later on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement or Day of Covering). It is God's gracious call to judge ourselves so that He needn't do so. As we turn to Him we rejoice in His righteous judgments that will restore all things. We rejoice in the atoning sacrifice of His Son, Messiah Yeshua. We celebrate His dwelling with us forever, foreshadowed in the Feast of Tabernacles five days later (1 Corinthians 11:31).
5. Readiness. Get re-filled daily with the Holy Spirit. Shift from a defensive posture to the offensive! You and I are in a joyful war for souls. When crisis shakes complacency, opportunity results. Be ready to give the reason for the hope that's in you. It's reasonable, by the way, for readiness to involve the natural as well as supernatural. It's good, if you can, to store a few essentials for your family and others in need. The goal is not to selfishly hoard but selflessly help. Exactly how to make ready on a tangible level varies from person to person and place to place. But in every instance, we're told to do all from love, even as God's love will enable us to stand firm to the end (Luke 17:33, Matthew 24:12-13).
Sandra Teplinsky has been in the Messianic Jewish ministry since 1979. She is president of Light of Zion, an outreach to Israel and the church based in Southern California and Jerusalem. She is an ordained minister and prophetic conference speaker, and has written several books and articles about Israel and the church.
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