THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS
Under the first covenant with national Israel, the Festival of Trumpets and the rituals requiring the blowing of trumpets on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis were an integral part of Israel's relationship with God. Today, under the New Covenant, the understanding of the prophetic messages of the Festival of Trumpets is very important to the children of God, because these messages look forward to a time when the children of God and the whole world will be involved in the final stages of God's plan for the salvation of humanity.
THE SILVER TRUMPETS
Moses was told to make two silver trumpets to use in carrying out his responsibilities as God's prophet and the civil and spiritual leader of Israel.
These trumpets were used to announce the movement of the camp, to call an assembly of the people, and to call for God's help in times of war. Additionally, they were to be used by the priesthood in the sacrificial worship system and blown in conjunction with the new moons, annual festivals, and observances, and they were sometimes used in times of war. See 1.Chron.15:24; 16:6; 2.Chron.13:12-14; 23:13; Num.10:9; 31:6.
Numbers 10:1-10 Paraphrased
"And God spoke to Moses, saying, Make two trumpets of silver for yourself. You shall make them of beaten work, and they shall be used for calling the congregation, and for causing the camps to pull up. And when they shall blow them, all the congregation shall gather themselves to you at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And if they blow with one, then the rulers, and the heads of the thousands of Israel, shall assemble. . . they shall blow an alarm for their journeys. And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for a never ending statute throughout your generations. And when you go into battle in your land against the foe distressing you, then you shall blow the trumpets; and you shall be remembered before the Lord your God, and you will be saved from your enemies" (vs.1-9).
The ram-horn trumpet (i.e., the shofar) was to be used in the worship and praise of God (Psa.81:1-3; 150:1-3), to make announcements (Isa.58:1), and in times of war (Josh.6:12-20).
The Blowing of Trumpets
"And in the day of your gladness, and in your appointed times and in your new moons, you shall blow the trumpets over the sacrifices of your peace offerings, and they shall be to you for a memorial before your God" (Num.10:10).
Verse 10 shows that trumpets were blown to announce the beginning of each new sacred month, the festival days, and the sacrificial peace offerings. It is important to note that trumpets were always to be blown in order to acknowledge that something pertaining to God or his worship system was taking place. For example, trumpets were always blown to announce the daily sacrifices, the Sabbath and its sacrifices, the New Moon and its sacrifices, and the annual festivals and their sacrifices.
The Festival of Trumpets
On the Festival of Trumpets, many trumpets were blown.
"The Lord said to Moses, Say to the Israelites: 'On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. Do no regular work, but present an offering made to the Lord by fire" (Lev.23:23-25 NIV).
Numbers 29:1-6 Paraphrased
"In the seventh month, on the first of the month you shall have a holy gathering; you shall do no work of service: it shall be a day of blowing the trumpets to you" (v1).
On the Feast of Trumpets, trumpets were to be blown throughout the day to announce each specific occasion: the daily morning and evening sacrifices, the New Moon and its sacrifices, and the Feast of Trumpets and its sacrifices. If the Feast of Trumpets fell on the Sabbath the trumpets would be blown separately to announce the Sabbath and its sacrifices:
"And you shall prepare a burnt offering for a sweet fragrance to the Lord; one young bullock, one ram, seven yearling lambs, perfect ones, And their food offering, flour mixed with oil, three tenths parts for the bullock, two tenths parts for the ram, and one tenth part for each of the seven lambs: And one kid of the goats, a sin offering to make atonement for you: Besides the burnt offering of the month, and its food offering, and the continual burnt offering, and its food offering, and their drink offerings, according to their ordinance for sweet fragrance, an offering made by fire to the Lord" (vs.2-6).
These additional sacrifices offered on the Feast of Trumpets show that it is a separate celebration from the other festivities which occur on the same day and it has a separate meaning and purpose for its celebration.
Praising and Rejoicing
"Sing aloud to God our strength: make a joyful noise to the God of Jacob. Take a psalm, and bring here the timbrel and pleasant harp with the psaltery. Blow upon the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed on our solemn feast day" (Psa.81:1-3 Para.). See also 2.Chron.5:1-14; Psa. 98:5-6; 150:1-4.
Although Psalm 81 is motivational in concept, and it encourages people to forsake their evil ways, it also speaks of praising God with songs, psalms, and musical instruments (including trumpets) to show gratitude for his love and concern for them. Psalm 81 shows the Feast of Trumpets as a day of praising God with the blowing of trumpets (Please carefully study the entire psalm in order to understand the intent behind its writing).
"Blessed are the people knowing the joyful sound; O Lord they shall walk in the light of your face. They shall rejoice in your name always; and they are exalted in your righteousness."
The psalmist speaks of the blessings that will come to those who understand the meaning of the trumpet blast.
In the Torah notes, two noteworthy comments in regard to the meaning of sounding the trumpet on the Feast of Trumpets can be found:
"Do not other peoples know how to sound blasts? How many kinds of horns and trumpets they possess! But the verse means: Happy is the people who know how to evoke the favor of their Creator by means of the blast. For, when they blow the shofar, the Holy One arises from the throne of judgment and sits upon the throne of mercy; He is filled with compassion for them and transforms his quality of justice into the quality of mercy" (Rabbi Joasiah, Torah note  p.934).
Note what the rationalist Maimonides says as he considers the impact of the ceremony of the blowing of trumpets:
"The blowing of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah is an ordinance of Scripture [and must therefore be obeyed, if only for that reason]. But it also has a deeper meaning. It says to us: Awake, you slumberers, from your slumber, and rouse yourselves from your deep sleep. Search your deeds and turn you in repentance. Remember your Creator, you who forget truth because of the vanity of the hour, who go astray all through the year in pursuit of trifles which can neither profit nor save. Let every one of you forsake his wicked path and his evil purpose" (Torah note  p.934).
Psalm 150:1-6 Paraphrased
"Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet: praise him with the harp and lyre: Praise him with tambourine and dancing: Praise him with the strings and flute: praise him with the clash of cymbals: praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord."
After Solomon completed building the temple, there was a great dedication ceremony held on the Feast of Trumpets. During this ceremony, as the trumpets of praise sounded, the presence of God visibly entered the temple in the fire and cloud just as it had entered the tabernacle in the wilderness:
"It came to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Eternal; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Eternal, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endures forever; that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Eternal; So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Eternal had filled the house" (2.Chron.5:13-14 KJV).
THE EARLY CHURCH AND THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS
Although the Feast of Trumpets is not mentioned as being observed by the early Church, it is inconceivable that they would not have kept this day, especially since it is recorded that they observed the first day of the sacred month (i.e., the New Moon), and since the Feast of Trumpets falls on the first day of the seventh sacred month.
It is also evident that the apostles and writers of the New Testament knew about the relationship between the Feast of Trumpets and the prophetic events of the end of the age. This is evidenced by the fact that they recorded so many events that pertain to the end of the age and the blowing of trumpets to announce these events.
The nation of Israel under the first covenant no longer exists and the early Church must have observed the Festival of Trumpets as they did the other commanded observances and festivals; however, what are the lessons and meanings of the Feast of Trumpets for the elect of God today and the future?
THE PROPHETIC MESSAGES OF TRUMPETS
Although there are many important messages within the Festival of Trumpets, there is one central theme that becomes very clear as one makes an in-depth study of the use of trumpets throughout the Bible. Trumpets are used throughout the Bible to make announcements, particularly, announcements that herald the events surrounding the return of Jesus Christ, the first resurrection, and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. So, what are the prophetic messages that are heralded by trumpets?
On every forty-ninth Festival of Atonement, trumpets were sounded throughout Israel to announce the year of Jubilee/Liberty. All indebtedness was to be released, indentured or purchased servants were to be released from their debt and/or servitude, and all lands were to be returned to their rightful owner(s).
The three major things that were to take place in the year of Jubilee/Liberty are prophetic of the time when all of humanity will be released from spiritual bondage through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Isa.61:1-2; Lk.4:16-19) when he brings physical liberty to humanity through the Kingdom of God (Ezk.46:16-18).
"And you shall number seven Sabbaths of years to you, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven Sabbaths of years shall be to you forty and nine years. Then shall you cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall you make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land" (Lev.25:8-9 Para.).
It is no coincidence that the Feast of Trumpets occurs just before the Day of Atonement, which pictures the process that makes it possible for God to dwell with humanity, and the Festival of Shelters/Ingathering, which pictures God's great care and protection for his people and the great harvest of humanity into the Kingdom of God.
The Jubilee and Christ's Return
In the very beginning of Jesus' ministry, he spoke of the prophetic Jubilee when he quoted Isaiah's prophecy to announce that he was the long awaited Messiah (Lk.4:17-19). Jesus did bring liberty at that time, but it was not the liberty that the Jews sought. The liberty that Jesus brought was freedom from the penalty of sin through his teachings and his sacrifice. The liberty the Jews sought was liberty from their physical bondage as a captive people under the Roman empire and their restoration as a nation of free people.
Isaiah 61:1-6 KJV
"The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn" (vs.1-2).
It is important to note that, when Jesus announced that he was the Messiah by quoting Isaiah 61:1-2, he did not quote the last half of verse 2: ("And the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn."), because this portion of the prophecy would be fulfilled centuries later. Isaiah's prophecy not only spoke of the coming of the Messiah to restore national Israel but also of the time when Jesus would come to establish the Kingdom of God on earth and bring both physical and spiritual freedom to all of humanity.
"To appoint to them that mourn in Zion, to give to them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. They shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. But you shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: you shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall you boast yourselves" (vs.3-6).
Verses 3-6 concern national Israel's restoration after the cataclysmic events surrounding the day of the Lord in which Jesus Christ will come with the elect of God and his angelic army to conquer the earth. It is after the fulfillment of the prophetic events that are announced by the blowing of trumpets that national Israel will again become a nation under God's direction and the rest of Isaiah's prophecy will be fully understood.
Trumpets and the New Moon
The Feast of Trumpets is the only annual festival to occur on a New Moon. Because the Feast of Trumpets is to be observed on the first day of the seventh sacred month and the observance of the New Moon, which pictures fellowshipping with God, officially begins and ends a sacred month, it can be assumed that this feast also has something to do with beginnings and endings.
When the meaning of the Feast of Trumpets celebration is compared with the meaning of the New Moon, we can see how these separate observances compliment each other in their meanings.
It is almost certain that the Festival of Trumpets symbolizes a new beginning because of the many references to trumpets in the Book of Revelation. These references surround the return of Jesus Christ as the conquering King of kings. Jesus Christ's return will be the beginning of a whole new age and a new beginning for humanity, when he begins to rule the earth from Jerusalem.
The Numbers 1 and 7
Because it occurs on the first day of the seventh sacred month. The meaning of this festival encompasses both the prophetic and symbolic meanings of the New Moon and the numbers 1 and 7.
The symbolic meaning of the number 1 is unity and primacy, and the number 7 is symbolically and prophetically a number of termination, completeness, absolute or divine perfection, finality, and bringing to an end.
It is no accident that God placed the Feast of Trumpets 14 days before the beginning of the celebration of the end of the great fall harvest. The fall harvest prophetically celebrates the end of the spiritual harvest of humanity. If the number 14 is viewed as a doubling of the symbolic meanings of the number 7, it becomes clear that Feast of Trumpets has a special prophetic meaning that heralds a time when God will begin an intensified effort to bring humanity to spiritual perfection.
The Coming of God
When the Creator God who became Jesus Christ came to Mount Sinai to make an agreement with the Israelites and to reveal his plan for the salvation of humanity through them, he had this momentous event announced with the sounding of trumpets. The sounding of trumpets will again herald the coming of God (Jesus Christ), but this time he will come to reward the elect children of his Father, to conquer the earth, and to establish the Kingdom of God on the earth.
Exodus 19:16, 19-20 KJV
"And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightning, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled" (v16).
When God came to earth in his glory on Mount Sinai, the trumpets sounded, the earth quaked (vs.17-18), and those he had called to be his people trembled with fear. When he comes again in his glory, a similar thing will happen, only this time, it will not be his people who fear and tremble, it will be the nations of this world. See Rev.6:12-17; Rev.11:3-13.
"And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by a voice. And the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up" (vs.19-20).
THE TRUMPET AS A WARNING
Before the end of this age and the return of Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords, a great warning will go out to the children of Abraham, the peoples of Israel who are scattered throughout the nations, and the people of Judah (i.e., the Jewish people). This warning message is a call to turn to God and repent of sin, in order to avoid the wrath of God, when he punishes humanity for their great wickedness and their rebellion against him and his ways. It is during this time that people will receive the greatest warning to repent since the time of Christ and the apostles:
"Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins" (Isa.58:1 KJV).
In this verse, the voices of those God will send with the warning message of repentance are analogous to the sounding of trumpets.
"Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:" (vs.1-2 KJV).
"If when he sees the sword come upon the land, and he blows the trumpet, and warns the people; Then whosoever hears the sound of the trumpet, and does not pay attention to the warning; if the sword comes, and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that pays attention to the warning shall deliver his life" (vs.3-5 Para.).
Here, the trumpet symbolizes the warning messages of the watchman. God will send out this trumpet warning. However, it is the responsibility of those who are warned to respond in a positive manner or suffer the consequences. See also Jer.51:1-10.
Joel 2:1-2, 11-15
As in the prophecy of Ezekiel, the blast of a trumpet is symbolic of a message, which warns of impending disaster and appeals for the wicked to repent:
"Blow you the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord comes, for it is near at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there has not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations" (vs.1-2 KJV).
Joel foretells the time when the people who inhabit Jerusalem will be given a message to repent and a warning of the horror and destruction that will surround the imminent return of Jesus Christ to conquer the earth:
"And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executes his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?" (v11 KJV).
"Therefore, says the Lord, Turn you even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn to the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repents him of the evil. Who knows if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering to the Lord your God?" (vs.12-14 Para.).
"Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly" (v15 KJV).
The Messiah Returns
Throughout both the Old and New Testaments, there are many references to the coming of the Messiah to reward the elect of God and establish the government of God on the earth, in order to bring peace and prosperity to humanity.
Although most Bible scholars and students agree that the return of Christ is one of the central themes of the Bible, there is much disagreement about the exact timing of this great event. The Jews havehistorically and presentlywaited for the Messiah's first arrival, while most who profess Christianity await the Messiah's second coming and others anticipate a second and a third coming.
A close review of each reference concerning the first resurrection and the coming of Christ to reward the elect of God and establish the Kingdom of God on earth will reveal two distinct and different events. First, he will return to gather the elect for their change to immortality, and shortly thereafter, he will return again to conquer the earth and establish the Kingdom of God.
These two enormous events within God's plan for the salvation of humanity will come to pass within the framework of a carefully planned and executed warning and witness to the world. This warning and witness will be sent forth in the context of destructive natural and supernatural punishments upon the earth and its inhabitants. Most people who study the Bible know this period as the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord. This is a time of enormous pain and agony for humanity, and it is the setting in which the primary prophetic meaning of the Feast of Trumpets will be fulfilled.
Trumpets Herald Christ's Return
Trumpets are often used in the Bible narrative as heralds of great trouble, war, and destruction. The climactic war between Jesus Christ, the nations of this world, and the evil spirits who control these nations (Rev.19:11-16) is one of the major events that will be announced by trumpets, and it is one of the major events pictured and celebrated by the Feast of Trumpets.
After Jesus told his disciples about the future destruction of the temple, they came to him privately to find out when this would happen and when the end of the age would come. In Matthew 24:27, 29-30, he gives them a very clear answer concerning the events that would occur before and during his return:
"For as the lightning comes forth from the east and shines as far as the west; so also will be the coming of the Son of man" (v27 Para.).
Jesus paints a vivid picture of one of the cataclysmic celestial events that will precede and accompany his return. Lightning is not a silent or inconspicuous occurrence; it is always accompanied by thunder, which is very noticeable.
"And immediately after the affliction of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give her light, and the stars will fall from the heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken: And then the sign of the Son of man will appear in the heavens, and then all the tribes of the land will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and much glory" (vs.29-30). Rev.8:12.
Every person alive on earth at that time will be aware of the awesome events that will occur in the heavens. Most of these people will be terrified and fear for their lives, because they will think that Christ is either returning to destroy them or the world is coming to an end. The magnitude of these events that will accompany Christ's return will be far from secret or silent; they will be terrifying to those without God's protection.
There has never been a time of trouble, war, and destruction like the one pictured by the Feast of Trumpets, and all life would be eradicated from the earth, if it were not for the establishment of the Kingdom of God, which will bring lasting peace and prosperity to the earth. Indeed, this event is the second major meaning of the Festival of Trumpets; it is a celebration of the future establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth.
The Book of Revelation and Trumpets
Within the Book of Revelation, almost all of the events concerning the Day of the Lord, which will come upon the earth are revealed. These events will all be announced with a blast of a trumpet (a literal trumpet blown by a messenger of God) or a symbolic trumpet (the voice of a messenger of God).
The Two Witnesses
One of the major events that will occur just 3½ days before the first resurrection is the death of the two witnesses of God who will be proclaiming God's warning message of repentance and punishment from Jerusalem:
"And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days, dressed in sackcloth" (Rev.11:3 KJV).
These two men will preach the good news about Jesus Christ and foretell his coming to conquer the earth and establish the Kingdom of God for about 3½ years. Before they are to be killed, they will foretell many of the cataclysmic events at the end of the age:
"And when they complete their witness, the beast who comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and will overcome them, and will kill them. And their bodies will be on the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, [i.e., Jerusalem] . . . where our Lord was crucified" (Rev.11:7-8 Para.).
The First Resurrection Begins
"And after three and a half days, a spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell on those who watch over them. And they heard a great voice out of heaven saying to them, Come up here. And they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies saw them. And in that hour a great earthquake occurred, and the tenth part of the city fell. . . and the rest became terrified, and gave glory to the God of heaven" (Rev.11:11-13 KJV).
The resurrection of these two men will begin the resurrection of the dead in Christ. From this point in time forward, the awesome events that accompany the first return of Christ will begin to occur in rapid succession:
The Trumpet Announcement
As clouds begin to gather around Jerusalem and lightning and thunder pierce the sky, an angelic trumpeter will announce the first resurrection and the return of Jesus Christ to gather the elect of God from the earth. As Jesus enters the earth's atmosphere in his glorified form, the elements will begin to disintegrate under the power of his presence. The air will become supercharged with electricity, and lightning, thunder, fire, and smoke will fill the sky as his angels collect the elect of God:
"And then the sign of the Son of man will appear in the heavens: and then all the tribes of the land will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and much glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other" (Matt.24:30-31 Para.). See also Isa.43:5-7; Mk.13:24-27; 14:62; Rev.1:7.
The Elect Rise to Meet Christ
At the mighty blast of the trumpet, the dead in Christ will rise to meet him in the air; then, shortly thereafter, the elect who are alive will rise into the heavens:
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1.Thes.4:16-17 KJV). See also 2.Thes.2:1-8.
"At that time two will be out in the field; the one is taken away, and the one is left. Two women grinding at the mill; one is taken, and one is left" (Matt.24:40-41 Para.).
The Change to Immortality
The mighty blast of the trumpet preceding the first resurrection will also herald the change to eternal and immortal life for the elect of God who are alive on earth.
"Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changedin a flash, 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" (1.Cor.15:51-52 NIV). See also verses 49-58.
As the elect rise into the sky, they will be instantly changed into glorified spirit-beings and begin to shine with the brightness and power of the stars. At the instant of their change, the very power of their presence will rip the atmosphere apart, dissolving its basic elements. Blinding light, thunder, and clouds will fill the sky. The noise of this awesome event will be almost unbearable to the human ear, as sonic booms and explosions fill the sky. The sights and sounds of this awesome event will put terror in the hearts of everyone who sees and hears it. To many, it will seem as if the world is coming to an end.
Christ and the Elect Disappear
"Because you kept the word of my patience, I will keep you from the hour of trial which is going to come on all the habitable world in order to try those dwelling on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly: hold what you have, that no one take your crown" (Rev.3:10-11 KJV).
Jesus promises that, between the time of his first return to gather the elect and his second return as the Conquering Kings of kings, he will keep the elect from the final plagues of the day of the Lord. But, how will Jesus protect the elect from these final plagues?
After the first resurrection, the elect of all ages will become immortal spirit-beings and they will have been taken to heaven with Christ. Moreover, Because they will no longer be human and they will no longer be on earth, they will be protected from God's wrath.
At this point, there will be no humans on earth with the spirit of God, and the period of time known as the 7 last plagues will be about to begin. During this time of trial, which will only last a comparatively short time, the messengers of God will announce and pour out the final trumpet plagues upon an unrepentant humanity.
It is during this period of time that the most horrible and devastating plagues will be announced and sent forth by the sounding of trumpets.
The Final Trumpets Sound
The trumpets that sound will announce the great anguish and suffering that will befall humanity. Humans by the billions will die in terrible agony; the earth's waters will be turned to poison; life in the sea will die; the earth will be scorched with intense heat, which together with the preceding trumpet plagues, will reduce the human population on earth to a fraction of what it was before God's wrath was poured out. After this horror, the very last trumpet will sound to announce that the Kingdom of God has arrived to bring unparalleled peace and prosperity to humanity.
Revelation 8:1-2, 6-13 KJV
"And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels [messengers] which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets" (vs.1-2).
After the first return of Christ to gather the elect of God and the opening of the seventh seal, there will be a very short period of time in which no plagues are sent forth upon the earth. During this time, the messengers of God will prepare to announce the last cataclysmic events that will occur just before the return of Jesus Christ as Conquering King.
"And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound" (v6).
"The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up" (v7).
"And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed" (vs.8-9).
"And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter" (vs.10-11).
"And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise" (v12).
"And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhibitors of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound" (v13).
After the heavenly signs that will have been announced by the sounding of the fourth trumpet are finished, an angel will foretell the devastation that will be announced by the next three trumpet blasts.
Revelation 9:1-10 KJV
"And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key to the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power" (vs.1-3).
"And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when it strikes a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. . . And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months" (vs.4-10).
"And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates" (Rev.9:13-14 KJV).
The Devastation Cut Short
Because all of the righteous will have been taken from the earth and only the unrighteous will remain, what will keep God from destroying the earth and the rest of humanity?
"For there will be great affliction, such as has not happened from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever will be. And except those days are cut short, no flesh would be saved: but on account of the elect, those days will be shortened" (Matt.24:21-22 KJV).
Jesus says it is for the elect's sake that all of humanity is not destroyed. But why? The answer is that God will keep the promises that he made to the patriarchs and the elect concerning their inheritance, their descendants, their rulership, and the future plans that the Father and Jesus Christ have for the rest of humanity.
Christ Returns to Make War
"The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe comes quickly. And the seventh angel trumpeted; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world become our Lords, even of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever" (Rev.11:14-15 KJV). See Rev.12:5; 19:15; 20:4-6.
After the final plagues are poured out upon the earth, Jesus will return with the elect of God to conquer the beast power and the false prophet and to establish the Kingdom of God:
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God" (Rev.19:11-13 KJV).
"Now prophesy against them with all these words, and say to them, The Lord shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar over his dwelling place; he answers with a shout, like those who tread out the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. A roaring will go to the ends of the earth; for the Lord has a controversy with the nations, he will enter into judgment with all flesh; he will give the wicked to the sword, declares the Lord" (Jer.25:30-31 Para.). See also Mal.3:2-3; 4:1; Amos 9:1-4; Oba.vs.15-16.
This is the time foretold by Jesus and his prophets when he will come as a conquering king to establish the headquarters of his earthly government in Jerusalem:
"And the Lord shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south" (Zech.9:14 KJV).
Between Christ's first return to gather the elect and his second return as Conquering King, his armies in heaven will be preparing to invade and conquer the earth. These armies will include the righteous of all ages who will have become immortal spirit-beings in the Family of God.
The governments of this world will be unhappy to discover that Jesus Christ is returning to establish the Kingdom of God upon the earth because they know that he will not allow their evil rule to continue. When they hear this news, they will amass a great army to fight off this invasion from Jesus Christ and his armies.
"These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful" (Rev.17:14).
When Jesus returns as the Conquering King, the elect of God will accompany him as a part of his vast spirit army:
"And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God" (Rev.19:14-15 KJV). See also Rev.2:26-27; 19:8.
"And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him" (Jude 14-15 KJV).
"Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at handa day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army comes, such as never was of old nor ever will be in ages to come. Before them fire devours, behind them a flame blazes. Before them the land is like the garden of Eden, behind them, a desert wastenothing escapes them. . . like a crackling fire consuming stubble. . . At the sight of them nations are in anguish; every face turns pale. . . Before them the earth shakes, the sky trembles, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine. The Lord thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty are those who obey his command. The day of the Lord is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it?" (Joel 2:1-11 NIV). See also Amos 1:2.
The Kingdom of God Comes to Earth
"This is what the Lord says: 'I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the Lord Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain" (Zech.8:3 NIV). See also vs.4-7; ch.14:1-21.
"And his feet shall stand in that day on the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall divide from its middle, from the east to the west, a very great valley, and half of the mountain shall move toward the north, and half toward the south. . . and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with him" (Zech.14:4-5 KJV). See also Hag.2:6-7.
"And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever" (Dan.2:44 KJV). See also Dan.2:1-44.
A New Beginning
Shortly after the first resurrection and the devastation of the last trumpet plagues, Jesus will return to the earth with the elect of God who will have become immortal spirit-beings. Jesus will come to rule the inhabitants of earth and bring peace, so that the plan for the salvation of humanity can go forward, unimpeded by evil spirits who had ruled the earth prior to Christ coming. See 2.Cor.4:4; Rev.12:9.
Isaiah 2:2-4 KJV
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it" (v2).
Here, the government of God is symbolized by a mountain that will be above all others:
"And many people shall go and say, Come you, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (v3).
When all the earth finally comes under the rule of the Family of God, the earth will be at peace. During this time of peace, the nations of the world will come to Jerusalem to learn the ways of God:
"And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (v4). See also Isa.9:6-7; Mic.4:1-3; Lk.1:32-33.
The Gathering of National Israel
Another major event that will be announced with a trumpet blast is the gathering of National Israel out of the nations where God has scattered them because of their sins against him:
"And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and you shall be gathered one by one, O you children of Israel. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem" (Isa.27:12-13 KJV). See also Jer.23:1-9; 29:10-14; 50:18-20; Ezk.34:11-16.
The Creator God originally brought the Israelites out of Egypt because he had a special purpose for their existence as a nation. The Israelites were called to be a nation of priests who would represent God and his plan for the salvation of humanity to the world as they practiced living their lives in accordance with his laws. After Christ's return, the descendants of Israel will be brought to the land of their inheritance, where they will be formed into a world power to fulfill their national destiny.
Although the Feast of Trumpets foretells much death and destruction, it is to be a joyous celebration, because out of the terrible events that are announced by the sounding of the trumpets of death, destruction, and war will come the trumpet announcement that signals the return of Jesus Christ to rule the earth.
With Christ's return and the establishment of the Kingdom of God, humanity will enter into a time of unparalleled peace and prosperity in which they will be given an opportunity to know and love God the Father and Jesus Christ.
The celebration of the Feast of Trumpets and its prophetic fulfillment should be especially looked forward to by the elect of God, because, when the final prophetic fulfillment of this festival comes, they will have been changed into immortal beings and received their rewards for faithful service to the Father. Moreover, they will have begun their participation in his plan to offer salvation to the rest of humanity.
A Message of Encouragement
"And so I would say to you who are suffering, God will give you rest along with us when the Lord Jesus appears suddenly from Heaven in flaming fire with his mighty angels, bringing judgment on those who do not wish to know God, and who refuse to accept his plan to save them through our Lord Jesus Christ. They will be punished with everlasting destruction, forever separated from the Lord, never to see the glory of his power, . . . but you will be among those praising him, because you have believed what you were told about him" (2.Thes.1:7-10 Para.).
The Old Celebration
Under the first agreement with national Israel, the Feast of Trumpets was celebrated with great joy. It was a day to praise God with song and musical instruments, a day of thanksgiving for the many blessings that God had provided, and a day to reflect upon the many meanings of trumpets as they related to benefits for Israel.
The Celebration Today
Under the New Covenant, the elect of God should be aware of the horror that is about to befall humanity, and that this terrible time in human history will quickly be replaced with a time of hope and joy.
The Festival of Trumpets is now a day to reflect on the soon coming Kingdom of God and the role that the elect will have as immortal sons of God. Moreover, it is a time to thank and praise the Father for the great and wonderful opportunity that he has offered us to participate in the times and events that herald a new beginning for humanity.
By B. L. Cocherell, file b5w57