Choose Life, Book of Life, and a 73 Nation Shofar Blowing

A shofar made from the horn of a Greater kudu

An animal horn trumpet.


The Temple Institute sent out the following:

“Choose life!”

(Deuteronomy 30:19)

Elul 27, 5779/September 27, 2019

“For this commandment which I command you this day, is not concealed from you, nor is it far away. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us and fetch it for us, to tell it to us, so that we can fulfill it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us and fetch it for us, to tell it to us, so that we can fulfill it?’ Rather,this thing is very close to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can fulfill it.” (Deuteronomy 30:11-14)

It’s easy! Following the path of Torah, living the commandments, binding one’s soul and fate to the G-d of Israel is easy! It doesn’t require the physical prowess of a Hercules, nor does it demand the philosophical insight of a Socrates. You don’t need to know much about history, and you don’t need to know much about biology. This is the message of this week’s Torah reading of Nitzavim, the final Torah reading of the outgoing year of 5779. The way of Torah is so within reach, so doable, so user friendly, it’s almost a no-brainer. …

 Temple Talk wishes its listeners, the people of Israel, and all the people of the world, a Sweet and Good New Year of 5780, may it bring good health, joy, peace, and blessings to all! Shana Tova! …

Rosh Hashana 5780: Its Observance In The Holy Temple & Its Message For The Entire World

Actually, although the Jews claim we are ending year 5779, that is actually off by about 200 years. For details watch Here is a link to the sermonette video: Jewish Year 5779 or 5990? and/or read Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?

What the Jews now call ‘Rosh Hashana,’ is a reference to the festival that God commands in Leviticus 23:23-24 for the blowing of trumpets.

The Feast of Trumpets begins after the setting of the sun on September 29th and runs through sunset on September 30th in 2019.

Since the Temple Institute mentioning choosing life, it may be of interest to note that the Jews associate the ‘Book of Life” which that day.

According to current Jewish tradition:

After Rosh Hashanah services, as the congregants leave the synagogue they say to each other… “May you be inscribed in the Book of Life“” (The Jewish Holiday of Rosh Hashanah. High Holy Days on the Net. accessed 9/21/16).

The prevalent practice among Ashkenazi Jews is “L’Shana Tova Ti’kateivu v’Tekhateimu,” “You should be written and sealed for a good year.” This is often shortened to simply “Shana Tova,” “a good year.” This greeting expresses a basic hope we all have on Rosh Hashanah — that we be inscribed in the Book of Life for another good year. Other greeting customs also use the metaphor of the Book of Life to convey the essence of the holiday, but use it in a different way.

Similar to the Ashkenazi custom, Kurdish Jews greet each other with a variation on this theme, saying: “T’kateiv b’sefer chaim tovim,” “You should be written in the book of good life.” Instead of focusing on a “good year,” the Kurdish greeting emphasizes a “good life.”

Rabbi Abraham Danzig, writing in 18th century Vilna, records his Rosh Hashanah greeting as “T’kateiv v’Tekhatem l’alter l’chaim tovim,” “You should be written and sealed immediately for a good life.” Rabbi Danzig references a midrash that tzaddikim, righteous people, are immediately written in the Book of Life. (Peltz M, Rabbi. What is in a Rosh Hashanah greeting? Haaretz, September 17, 2012. viewed 09/10/14)

Note: The term ‘midrash’ refers to Jewish interpretation of a commentary or scripture.

The following is from the Jewish Federation of North America:

There is a view put forth by the rabbis in the Talmud that the day of Rosh Hashanah coincides with the sixth day of creation, when humanity was created. According to this view, Rosh Hashanah becomes the birthday of all peoples, and of course, one celebrates a birthday.

Nonetheless, according to this interpretation, the day on which humanity was created is the same day on which it sinned and was judged. Adam and Eve were formed, given life, ate of the forbidden fruit, called to account for this act, and consequently exiled from the Garden of Eden, all on the same day. These events can be thought of as the model upon which we learn many of the themes and theology for Rosh Hashanah. It is a day to celebrate our creation, but also a day of accounting and judgment for our actions. One of the consequences of Adam and Eve’s sin was the introduction of death or mortality into the world. The stakes are quite high in the original model and they remain equally high in the Jewish world’s approach to the day.

On Rosh Hashanah, we relate to God as the Ultimate Judge. The Book of Life is opened before the Divine Being and we become advocates for our personal inscription into this book. We review the choices we have made over the past year, our actions and our intentions, as we attempt to honestly evaluate ourselves. Ultimately we hope our names are inscribed in the Book of Life, an image that speaks clearly of securing our destinies in a positive way for the coming year. It is traditional to greet each other with the wish that the person be inscribed in the Book of Life for the coming year. It is significant that God’s decisions are influenced by each person’s actions and intentions.

Repentance is a key theme of Rosh Hashanah. While evaluating the past year, each person engages in avenues of repentant behavior that can affect the Divine decree. True repentance can take several forms, including recognition of error, intent to correct ourselves, and, if possible, acts of repentance to follow. These actions allow us to participate in and influence our own destinies.

With the model of Adam and Eve before us, we remember that the consequences of eating the forbidden fruit included exile from the Garden of Eden, toiling the earth for food, and the labor of bearing and raising children. Likewise, the destinies that God decrees for the coming year may include changes in livelihood, fertility, and family harmony. For example, whether or not we prosper financially in the coming year is included in the Divine decrees. This scenario may seem to raise questions of predetermination, i.e., if all is decided on Rosh Hashanah, then what difference do our actions make? However, the element of partnering in our destiny comes to the fore with the intention and action of repentance. The idea is not to simply live out the Divine decree, but to mitigate and ultimately change it in our favor. (Rosh Hashanah Theology and Themes. The Jewish Federation of North America. viewed 09/10/14)

(Note: The Bible does NOT teach that Adam and Eve sinned on the first day they were made–while commentators, Jewish and otherwise, sometimes have points, all should be careful to not rely on them above inspired scripture.)

Because they do not recognize that it is only the elect/firstborn that are raised at the last trumpet, the Jews are somewhat confused on this point. It is not totally clear how or when the Jews tied together the “Book of Life” and the Feast of Trumpets (a Talmud quote later in this article shows that they did some time ago), but they did.

From my reading in the Talmud, it appears that since many Jewish leaders believed that God created the world on the Feast of Trumpets (certain Jewish teachers taught that the creation was most likely in the Fall, rather than in the Spring because in Genesis 1:11 when God states, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit,” this would be the Fall, for that is when there is both grass and fruit on trees), that the Feast of Trumpets symbolized the beginning of creation, and hence by, inference, life.

The Talmud itself essentially concludes that the fact of the three different trumpet blasts in Numbers 10:1-10, represents three books, one of them being the Book of Life. However, it appears that more than three trumpet blasts are mentioned, so somehow they must be consolidating them.

As far as Jewish interpretation, notice also the following:

Book of Life

I heard the idea that during the High Holidays, God writes one’s name in a book. Where does this concept come from, and how can this concept bring meaning to the holidays for me?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

The Talmud . . . says that on Rosh Hashana, God inscribes everyone’s name into one of three books. The righteous go into the Book of Life, the evil go into the Book of Death, and those in-between have judgment suspended until Yom Kippur.

In actuality, the vast majority of us are neither totally good nor bad. We’re more like 50/50, so we have a few more days until Yom Kippur to tip the scales. That’s why the Code of Jewish Law recommends going out of our way to do extra mitzvot during this time. …

So to ensure getting into the Book of Life, we need something really dramatic. For example, someone who sincerely chooses to take on Jewish observance has a 1,000-ton weight going for him. The act of coming full circle to Torah is a rare type of decision that can transform you into a different person.

Of course, wherever you’re holding, it’s important to do as much as you can. Don’t gossip, show respect to your parents, eat kosher food. Whatever you can do, add to it. But what we’re really looking for is the mega-ton weights. Look for breakthroughs – the one major decision that can truly change you. (Book of Life. Ask the Rabbi. viewed 09/10/14)

So, basically Jews believe they need to be stricter about laws and traditions (the 613 mitzvots) so they can make it. But that is not what the Bible teaches.

The first biblical allusion to the Book of Life appears to be Exodus 32:32-34:

“Yet now, if You will forgive their sin–but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.”

And the LORD said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book. Now therefore, go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Behold, My Angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit for punishment, I will visit punishment upon them for their sin.”

Moses knew that he was mentioned in this book. It also appears from the above passage that God is speaking both about a book and a day of punishment.

The apparently same book is mentioned in Psalm 69:27-28 where both concepts are also discussed,

Charge them with crime upon crime; do not let them share in your salvation. May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous (NIV).

Furthermore, the same book may be mentioned in three other Psalms:

Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.” (Psalms 40:7-8, NKJV).

You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book? (Psalm 56:8, NKJV).

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them (Psalm 139:16, NKJV).

In Malachi 3:16 it states:

Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, And the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the LORD And who meditate on His name.

These verses show that those that fear the LORD are mentioned in a book, but those that are not righteous are not in it.

Christians who are inscribed in the Book of Life, will be born-again, at the resurrection which occurs with the seventh-trumpet mentioned in the Book of Revelation (watch also Trumpets and Being Born Again).

In Isaiah 27:13 it is written:

So it shall be in that day: The great trumpet will be blown; They will come, who are about to perish in the land of Assyria, And they who are outcasts in the land of Egypt, And shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.

These passages appear to be referring to the last trumpet-the one signalling the return of Christ and the establishing of the Kingdom of God.

Perhaps it should be mentioned that the type of trumpet involved with the Feast of Trumpets in the Old Testament, as well as with most alarms for battle and judgments is often the Hebrew term, showphar, more commonly spelled shofar. This type of trumpet is some type of animal horn (normally some type of ram).

This year:

Pastor Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries in Seattle, WA … has encouraged Christians around the world to blow the shofar as Rosh Hashana enters their time zone. …

This year, Blitz attracted the biggest group of participants ever. Over 700 people and organizations from 73 countries, from Albania to Zimbabwe, have pledged to blow the shofar on the first night of Rosh Hashana, which begins Sunday evening, September 29 at sunset.  …

Biltz, who calls himself, “a rebel in Christianity,” loyally follows the same calendar as the Jews. “I totally follow the Hillel calendar with the Jews. God gave the authority to them,” he said, referring to the rabbinically-fixed Jewish calendar that ensures that holidays fall in the correct Biblical season. 09/26/19

Mark Biltz is a Messianic Jew who has had various issues I have denounced (see Blood Moons, Eclipses, and Prophecy and see also Messianic Judaism Beliefs Differ from the Continuing Church of God).

While it certainly is fine to blow shofars on the Feast of Trumpets, the meaning of the day is something that many, including those who will blow the shofar miss.

And the meaning is also more than the Book of Life.

Trumpets are warnings for things that will come to pass. And there are seven prophesied trumpet blasts in the Book of Revelation that will greatly impact and change the entire planet (for some details, watch Trumpets and Jesus’ Return).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The Book of Life and the Feast of Trumpets? Are they related? Is so how? If not, where not? What does the Feast of Trumpets, which the Jews call Rosh Hashanah, help teach? Related sermon videos include: The Last Trumpet and the Book of Life and The Trumpet Release. The article has links to hear shofar blasts.
Feast of Trumpets: Why Should You Keep It? What does the Bible say? What does this festival picture? A related sermon is available: Seven Trumpets: Jesus Returns.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2027 or 20xx? There is also a video titled 6000 Years: When will God’s Kingdom Come? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.
Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days? The ‘Fall’ Holy Days come every year in September and/or October on the Roman calendar. Some call them Jewish holidays, but they were kept by Jesus, the apostles, and their early faithful followers. Should you keep them? What does the Bible teach? What do records of church history teach? What does the Bible teach about the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day? Here is a link to a related sermon: Should Christians keep the Fall Biblical Holy Days?
The Book of Life and the Feast of Trumpets? Are they related? Is so how? If not, where not? What does the Feast of Trumpets, which the Jews call Rosh Hashanah, help teach? Related sermon videos include: The Last Trumpet and the Book of Life and The Trumpet Release. The article has links to hear shofar blasts. they related?
Offertory: Blowing the Trumpet
Why should there be an offertory on the Feast of Trumpets. What does the Bible teach? How is the ‘trumpet’ being blown now? How is the Continuing Church of God reaching the world with the gospel of the kingdom? Do those in the Church of God also need to pay attention to the trumpet? Shofar blowing is also heard in this video. Here is a link to the: Donation page of the Continuing Church of God, which includes the ability to use PayPal.
The Trumpet Release This is a sermon focused on the Feast of Trumpets for 2013. What is the Feast of Trumpets? How can this be part of God’s plan of salvation? Why do the Jews refer to it as Rosh Hashanah? What is the seventh year of release? Should it be restored and proclaimed? Did early Christians keep the Feast of Trumpets? Why should any one keep it now? What will happen with the seven trumpets of Revelation? Why do many not understand aspects of it?
Messianic Judaism Beliefs Differ from the Continuing Church of God Both groups keep the seventh-day Sabbath, but have important differences in doctrines and practices. Here is a link to a related sermon: Messianic Jewish Beliefs.
Which Laws were Superceded? Which Remain? What about the Ten Commandments? What about the 613 regulations (called 613 Mitzvot) in the Old Testament? Which were ‘done away’?
How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Where the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long?
Questions and Answers from Genesis Many wonder about certain early events that this article discusses.
Proof Jesus is the Messiah This free book has over 200 Hebrew prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus. Plus, His arrival was consistent with specific prophecies and even Jewish interpretations of prophecy. Here are links to seven related sermons: Proof Jesus is the Messiah, Prophecies of Jesus’ birth, timing, and death, Jesus’ prophesied divinity, 200+ OT prophecies Jesus filled; Plus prophecies He made, Why Don’t Jews Accept Jesus?, Daniel 9, Jews, and Jesus, and Facts and Atheists’ Delusions About Jesus. Plus the links to two sermonettes: Luke’s census: Any historical evidence? and Muslims believe Jesus is the Messiah, but … These videos cover nearly all of the book, plus have some information not in the book.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2019, 2020, or 2021? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2018 o 2019? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter and newer video is: Might the Great Tribulation start in 2019?
The Times of the Gentiles Has there been more than one time of the Gentiles? Are we in it now or in the time of Anglo-America? What will the final time of the Gentiles be like? A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.

The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance The Jews call it Yom Kippur, Christians “The Day of Atonement.” Does it have any relevance for Christians today? What is the Jubilee? Is fasting healthy? Here is a link to a sermon: Day of Atonement: How Jesus fulfilled His part for the Atonement. Here is a link to a related article in the Spanish language: El Día de Expiación –Su significado cristiano.
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians? Is this pilgrimage holy day still valid? Does it teach anything relevant for today’s Christians? What is the Last Great Day? What do these days teach? A related sermon video is Feast of Tabernacles from Israel.
Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2019 This is information on the Feast of Tabernacles’ sites for the Continuing Church of God in 2019. Services will begin the evening of October 13th and run through (including the Last Great Day) October 21st in 2019.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? Do you know what the Catholic Church says were the original Christian holy days? Was Christmas among them? Is December 25th Jesus’ birthday or that of the sun god? Here is a link to a related sermon: What do Catholic and other scholars teach about Christmas?

Get news like the above sent to you on a daily basis

Your email will not be shared. You may unsubscribe at anytime.