Posted by: Michael Stevenson on Sat, Apr 23, 2011
NEXT on the Christian calendar is the observance of the Feast of Trumpets—the first festival of the autumn harvest festivals—one which represents the culmination of the present age of man’s rule on earth and the beginning of an awesome time period during which God is going to play a much more direct part in all the events of the world. Indeed, this festival, an annual Sabbath—shows to us the intervention of God in world affairs on a global scale. The Feast of Trumpets shows to us a very dramatic turning point in the history of the world!
This festival further goes on to mark the beginning of the third and final feast season (Exodus 23:14; Deuteronomy 16:16), which includes the final four Holy Days of the year.
The Return of Jesus Christ Is Pictured
This feast shows nothing less than the very soon return of Jesus Christ to earth so that He can establish the Kingdom of God! The book of Revelation gives us knowledge of a sequence of events which will be heralded by angels who will sound a series of trumpets. The seventh angel will sound the last trumpet which will signal that “the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ”—Revelation 11:15, NIV. The Bible goes on to detail that at this time, Jesus will finally return to the earth. Of all the prophetic events of the Bible, this one surely heralds the most awesome news possible for this sin-filled world of which there is currently no peace and happiness!
The Feat of Trumpets further marks for us the very real and soon to come fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah returning to rule as King and a king within the line of David who is going to sit on the throne of Israel and whom will rule with power and authority over all the nations of this world. The concept of a Messiah who will come to conquer was on the minds of the apostles shortly after His resurrection. When He had appeared to them in those early days, they had asked him “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”—Acts 1:6.
Even during His earthly ministry, when Jesus was on trial, Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea had questioned Him and Jesus had said that He had not come to rule at this time. He said “My kingdom is not of this world,” Jesus had said, “If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” Pilate then asked, “Are You a king then?” Jesus in return answered “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth”—John 18:36-37.
After His resurrection, the apostles had anticipated the fulfilling of Jesus’ promise. They had been fully aware of the messianic prophecies such that of Isaiah’s when it says to us that “the government shall be upon his shoulder…of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end”—Isaiah 9:6-7.
In answer to the apostles’ question as to whether He would soon establish the Kingdom of God, Jesus told them it was not for them to know the times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority (Acts 1:7). Rather, he told them to focus upon preaching the Good News to all the world. Later, in due time, the apostles then realized that Christ’s second coming was not necessarily in their lifetime. Numerous scriptures tell us that the saints eagerly looked forward to His return—just as we do today!
But, Why the Symbols of Trumpets?
The excitement in the Church of God regarding this Holy day is found within the very awesome events which is found in the symbolism of this feast. Ancient Israel kept it with a “sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts”—Leviticus 23:24, NIV.
The word trumpet actually doesn’t really appear in this verse—rather, it is a phrase that translates a single word from the Hebrew of teruah, which means a loud, resounding noise—a great shout or blaring, or an awaking blast. This was the sound of a “trumpet”—but was not that of a metal, musical type of which also was used by the Israelites. The God’s Word Translation has rendered this phrase as “a holy assembled announced by the blowing of ram’s horns.” In that day, there was a hallowed out animal horn that was known as a shofar, this was then used to communicate important messages.
Such horns which blaring an alarm such as a modern air-raid siren or a tornado warning siren tells us that impending danger is near. For example, it might announce an approaching army so that the people could prepare. The prophet Jeremiah has said “O my soul, my soul! I am pained in my very heart! My heart makes a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because you have heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet [shofar], the alarm of war”—Jeremiah 4:19—compare this with Amos 3:6.
This ties in with the events of the Day of the Lord—that final year before Jesus returns—that will usher in the return of Jesus Christ which will be greatly cataclysmic, announced, as already mentioned, with the angels who will be blowing their trumpets (Revelation 8:9; compare this with Zephaniah 1:14-16).
With the ability to be able to transmit sound over great distances, trumpets in the ancient times had were very excellent instruments for getting the attention of people. God even had used the sound of shofar to announce His meeting with Israel when He came to Mount Sinai to speak the Ten Commandments (Exodus 19:16). Further, the shofar was used during times of coronation of royalty (1 Kings 1:34, 39), and we have seen that Christ will assume His rulership over the earth at the sounding of the last trumpet. In connection with the Feast of Trumpets, we read that “Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon…on our solemn feast day”—Psalm 81:3.
Strengthening the Meaning of Trumpets
The writers of the New Testament further had revealed for us more understanding of the very importance of the blowing of trumpets. Paul described the return of Jesus Christ by saying that “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air”—1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.
Further, Paul spoke of the day when the firstfruits pictured by Pentecost will be raised from the dead to immortal life. We read that “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed”—1 Corinthians 15:52. Thus, this awakening blast of this final trumpet will cause the dead who are righteous to come forth from their sleep.
While the Feast of Trumpets is not mentioned by name within the New Testament, we do have no valid reason for ever thinking that this Holy Day is not to be kept in our day. In fact, the very early Church had used the Hebrew scriptures for their foundation for doctrine (2 Timothy 3:16). Like the Ten Commandments (James 2:10-11), each of God’s feasts is important and each one relates to the other—thus their meanings tie in together for giving us a perfect picture of the overall plan of redemption. As we keep them all, we can further understand God’s awesome plan that He has for all of mankind as it unfolds before us. We should therefore never choose to ignore some of the Holy Days while keeping the others.
Jesus’ Own Prophetic Teaching
In Matthew, we read the account of how the apostles, toward the end of the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ, asked Him regarding the end of this present age. We read that “Now as he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
The prophet Daniel had spoken concerning the coming of the Kingdom of God and how the saints would inherit this Kingdom (Daniel 2:44; 7:18). Just like the disciples, however, Daniel did not at all understand just when the Kingdom would actually come forth.
Jesus, in response to His disciples’ questions, laid out for them a series of fourteen events which would lead up to the very return of Jesus Christ. He had mentioned to them that there would be religious deception, wars, famines, diseases, earthquakes and other events (Matthew 24:4-13). He then characterized the time of His return as a time of great hatred and lawlessness. In this, Jesus had said that “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come”—v.14.
Revelation Gives Us More Information!
Later on, Jesus Christ gave us more information concerning this awesome turning point in history. Within the Book of Revelation, we find that it is actually Jesus Christ who is the one that did the revealing of this book (Revelation 1:1). Here, Jesus repeated through John the Apostle the same events that He had talked of to His disciples decades earlier. Now, however, Jesus is using symbols of a series of seal in which He would open up one by one (Revelation 6).
After this, at the very start of the wrath of God’s anger against the nations which are all disobedient, seven plagues would then be poured out upon all the sinning world, with a trumpet blast that would announce each one, as we have seen (Revelation 8-9). Finally, God will then send two “witnesses” or “prophets” who will then proclaim His truth to a rebellious world (Revelation 11). Such prophetic witness is compared to a trumpet which has warned (Isaiah 58:1). However, the society which is godless, will reject these two servants of God and will kill them (vs.7-10).
These events will set the stage for the seventh angel to sound forth his trumpet and Jesus Christ’s return will then begin the rule of His government over all the earth (Revelation 11:15).
Of this same scenario, Matthew 24 reveals to us that “immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other”—Matthew 24:29-31.
Great Events to Take Place at Jesus’ Return!
Incredibly, when Jesus returns to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, the nations will then have gathered together to fight Him (Zechariah 14:1-4). Revelation 19:19 tells us that “And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him [Jesus Christ] who sat on the horse and against His army.”
Why would anyone ever want to fight against the very Messiah? The armies are going to seek to destroy Christ because Satan has deceived the whole of the world (Revelation 12:9). The devil’s influence will inspire the nations of the earth to go and fight against Jesus Christ when He returns to establish the Kingdom of God.
Also, at this time of His return, His faithful will be raised from the dead to immortality. We read that this will be the “first resurrection”—Revelation 20:5 and it is further a “better resurrection”—Hebrews 11:35. This change to immortality is the hope of the Christians in this present age and was also the hope of the early Christians in the New Testament Church of God—those who all know and understand God’s awesome plan of redemption.
In Romans, we have Paul who shows to us this awesome and glorious resurrection being a deliverance from bondage. “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God…because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God…And not only they, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body”—Romans 8:19, 21, 23.
We then see that even though there are great and horrible events which await, the good news is that God is going to actually intervene to save mankind and will guide mankind into His awesome way of living—a wonderful truth that is pictured with the plan of redemption as we learn through each of the Holy Days.
What starts off with Jesus’ atoning sacrifice gets much better as we go through depicting the awesome realities of which are revealed to us through the Holy Days. Jesus Christ save His people through His sacrifice and then finally, we will find that we are brought into the Kingdom of God. This is the most wonderful, inspiring meaning of the Feast of Trumpets—that Jesus Christ will return. Christ taught for His people to pray to the Father saying that “Thy Kingdom come”—Matthew 6:10, KJV. How urgently we need the answer to this wonderful and awesome prayer!
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