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

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).

Psalm 89:15-16

"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 [42] 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  [43] 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."

The Temple

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?

The Jubilee

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.

Ezekiel 33:1-6

"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 have—historically and presently—waited 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 3  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 3  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 changed—in 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 hand—a 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 waste—nothing 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.

Daniel

"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.

SUMMARY

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