The Feast of Trumpets has very little directly written about it in Scripture. Here are the basic facts about this pivotal and holy day.
The Feast of Trumpets sounds a dire warning of war on the one hand and triumph for God and His saints on the other. Our goal is to be prepared for Christ's return.
Hardly anything is more dramatic than the blast of a trumpet. Alarm or warning is a primary function, and its other uses likewise culminate in the Feast of Trumpets.
The Feast of Trumpets is a memorial of blowing of trumpets, symbolizing the Day of the Lord, the real war to end all wars, when Christ will subdue the earth.
The Feast of Trumpets is a day to remember that God is King. But God's holy days are also forward-looking or anticipatory, and the Day of Trumpets is no exception.
When Jesus Christ returns, He will marshal an army of resurrected saints who will wage a just war against the Satan-inspired end-time rebellion.
One major incident involving the blowing of trumpets occurred at the outset of Israel's incursion into Canaan, when God brought down the walls of Jericho.
Our hope is founded on Jesus rising from the dead. If there is no resurrection, our faith is worthless; if Christ did not rise, we are still under condemnation.
The attitudes of II Timothy 3:1-5 are rampant now and should give us the urgent incentive to repent and overcome, preparing for Jesus Christ's return.
The world will learn that God judges—that He has the ultimate decision over everything. After Satan is bound, God will bring about seven reconcilements.
God spoke audibly to Moses and the people, intentionally testing their faithfulness, to instill the fear of the Lord in them, and to keep them from sin.
Throughout Israel's history, the trumpet blast has always meant the onset of war, death, and destruction, ushering in harsh correction for physical Israel.
Because the exact time of Christ's return is not known, we must always be ready, as though His return is imminent. Those not prepared will be blindsided.
We are on the threshold of the greatest period of testing ever to come upon mankind. We need a sense of hope and faith to stay focused on our calling.
If we go to the Feast with the goal of physically enjoying, we may lose out on both the spiritual and physical benefits. 'Going through the motions' defiles it.
Just because we keep God's feasts does not necessarily mean we are in sync with God's Law or intent. The Israelites kept the feasts in a carnal manner.
Peter's first sermon took place on the Day of Pentecost, yet his subject seems to 'fit' the Day of Trumpets. Here is how Pentecost and Trumpets relate.
When the fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets occurs, we will see God directly when Jesus Christ returns, an event which will get everyone's attention.
The Seventh Trumpet is a call to assemble, a call to battle, and announces the arrival of a new ruler, Jesus Christ, separating the wheat from the tares.
Only with the help of God's Holy Spirit are we able to fathom the dimensions of width, breadth, length, and depth of Jesus Christ's and the Father's love.
The references to trumpets suggest an announcement of a specific event or an alarm of what is to follow. Typically, the events themselves are figurative trumpet blasts.
The Day of Trumpets pictures God's corrective actions that He will take because of His people's and the world's disobedience. History has demonstrated recurring, disturbing Zeitgeists (spirit of the times) in which armed conflict has inspired hideous abominable viciousness in mankind that can't even be imagined. War has proven to be the ultimate distraction to growing into the image of God, catastrophically debilitating to every area of life, breaking a nation economically, warping its people psychologically, and destroying the social structure, infrastructure and the core spirit of the people. Because God absolutely hates war and what it has done to His people, He will correctively give them war fraught with more horror than anyone could imagine- a war the inhabitants of the earth will never forget- a war that will truly end all wars. The carnage at the Battle of Armageddon will be immense, with a lake extending 150 miles long consisting of three billion gallons of blood. In retrospect, this final conflict will cause mankind to remember what their desire to disobey God, and what their obsession go to to war has cost them. To those of us commemorating the Feast of Trumpets, it should sober us to the warning correctional side of this day and of the disciplinary side of God's Nature
In Exodus 19, there are 12 parallels with Christ's dramatic return illustrated in Matthew 24. All of these events will culminate in a blast of a trumpet.
After reconciliation, there can finally be a meeting of minds as we are fashioned into a new creation, invited to sit in heavenly places, created for good works.
The timing of the regathering of Israel is uncertain, but here are the Scriptural markers that narrow the time frame to a significant prophetic event.
The Feast of Trumpets memorializes God's deliverance of Israel beginning with Joseph, and looks forward to Christ's return when God will deliver His people.
The passages that describe Christ's return in power and glory contain the same detail: that He will come in, on, or with clouds. Here is the significance.
The Feast of Trumpets is like the opening salvo of the fall feasts, beginning with a blast of the trumpet or shofar, reminiscent of the event on Mount Sinai.
Richard Ritenbaugh, observing that God cautions His people about rejoicing over disaster, especially when an enemy falls, suggests that what goes around comes around (or Schadenfreude leads to Karma). God, at Genesis 49:23, prophesies that, before the time of Jacob's Trouble (Israel's Day of the Lord), a confederacy of gentile peoples (particularly the offspring of Ishmael and Esau—Psalm 83) will bring about the destruction of the nations of modern-day Israel, considering their people to be "the Great Satan." The Feast of Trumpets depicts the resolution of an intense end-time punishment of Israel, Jacob's Trouble, during which time Jacob's children suffer intense punishment at the hands of those greedy to claim the physical blessings God gave Jacob's offspring. Ecclesiastes 1:3-11 describes the cyclical nature of events, suggesting that mankind never learns from experience, and consequently relives experiences over and over. What has happened in the past prefigures what is happening now and what will have later. The horrendous time of Jacob's trouble (recorded in Jeremiah 30:4-15 and Matthew 24) describes the captivity, enslavement, and scattering of Israel allowed by God for correction (for example, for Israel's shabby treatment of the poor and Judah's willful corruption of God's Law) leading God to save a chastened remnant which ultimately the resurrected David will govern. Knowing that God will mete out severe punishment, God's called-out ones need to get serious about putting off sin and drawing close to God in humble obedience.
Love motivates the two intrinsic parts of God's holy character—goodness and severity, as He seeks to rescue humanity from the consequences of sin.
Bill Onisick points out that the Hebrew noun teruw'ah is a loud, resonating sound serving as 1.) an acclimation of joy and 2.) a cry of alarm (Psalm 81:1-5; 89:15; 47:4-7; Psalm 29). The trumpet sound is joyous to God's faithful but a terror to His enemies. Trumpet blasts preceded the fall of Jericho (likely on the anniversary of the Feast of Trumpets). Some scholars offer a compelling argument that Jesus was born on the Feast of Trumpets, the same day, according to Jewish tradition, that God created the world (Rosh Hashana) and the same day which prefigures the Marriage of the Lamb (Revelation 19:6-7), ushering in a blessed time when suffering and pain will come to an end, and when sorrow will be turned to joy (Revelation 21:1-2). To the reprobate world, the sound of teruw'ah represents terror and war, but to God's called-out ones it is a time to render praises of happiness and great joy.
Only the Father knows the precise time of Christ's return, but the message to all Christians is to be vigilant and busy overcoming that we may see Him in glory.
Richard Ritenbaugh explores the dynamics of choosing sides. The Feast of Trumpets is a Day of Decision, a time to determine whether we are on the Lord's side. This feast is a memorial of shouting or blowing the shofar, and trumpets were used in several ways in ancient Israel. The trumpet announced the arrival of a ruler, such as Joseph, who as a type of Christ, became a savior to his family. The Day of Trumpets signifies both liberation and ultimate elevation to rulership. Israel repeatedly followed a pattern of slavery and deliverance, determined by choosing sides—choosing to follow God and His laws and statutes or an idol. If we make the right choice, God leads us out of the bondage to sin to freedom and ultimately eternal life. If we make the wrong choice, we will reap the bitter consequences, as many of our forefathers in Israel did. Following the example of the sons of Levi, we need to loyally fulfill the role that to which God has called us.
What God puts us through is designed to reveal reality to us. Accepting His doctrine without looking for loopholes will keep us true.
David Grabbe warns us that the Day of the Lord will be a fearful time of judgement, darkness, and horror. The Scriptures provide no grounds for anyone to assume that God is on his side during this time; misguided self-assurance is the sole basis for the presumption that God will provide His people protection from every evil of this period. The ancient Israelites, as described by Amos, smugly believed that God was on their side because He was, in their minds, their birthright. They were blind to the fact that they practiced vast social and religious sins. Like the mainstream Protestants, they inculcated the doctrine of Eternal Security based on a fallacious belief in an unlimited credit line of grace. Many assume they have incurred God's favor because they have prospered, not realizing that God often blesses both the good and evil. Others think they have God's favor only because God has not yet punished them for their sins. Every passing day, these peoples' false sense of security and self-satisfaction grows. But God will not favor those who defile His covenant. The lack of immediate punishment springs from God's longsuffering and from His desire that we repent. Paul warns all of us not to assume that we stand, lest we fall. For that reason, God's called-out ones should not look eagerly for the Day of the Lord, but should instead humbly cultivate humility, perseverance, having poverty of spirit, beseeching God to protect us from the hour of trial.
If we would keep God's Feasts properly, we would be in sync with God's noble purpose for us, defending us from falling into apostasy and idolatry.
Martin Collins, referring to the complex prophecies of Daniel 11 and 12, suggests that much of the interpretation of many parts of this prophetic passage, except for the fulfilled prophecy in Daniel 11:2-39, has not emerged clearly, and has been subject to speculative distortion. The exploits of Alexander the Great, his four generals, Antiochus Epiphanes, and Judas Maccabees are recorded in this narrative, providing types for future events. The detailed fulfillment of prophecy indicates that the Bible is God's Book and that He is able to keep His promises in perpetuity. The prophecies yet to be fulfilled do not contain enough geopolitical data to make clear distinctions possible at this time, but the context of the prophesied events provides instructions how the end-time saints should live their lives, in order to make their calling and election sure. God gives the saints wisdom because they fear and keep His commandments. Several types of the abomination of desolation have occurred in history, including the desecration of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes and the Roman legions. The latter fulfillment has not yet occurred, but the responsibility of God's called-out ones is purification in the backdrop of a hopelessly corrupt society, having abundant knowledge but virtually no understanding. Without the knowledge of God, civilization automatically spirals downward, given over to reprobate and debased minds. Thankfully, the over-riding theme of Daniel is the replacement of these debased systems of mankind with God's righteous government. The prophecies of Daniel should motivate God's saints to a life of purification and overcoming, glorifying God in the process, reflecting God as the moon reflects the sun, enabling the world to see a clear reflection of God.
God's people do a disservice to the cause of truth when they allow the media-hype to trigger a false hope about Jesus Christ's return being imminent.
Repentance and conversion leading to transforming into Christ's image depend on change. Christianity is a force for personal change, leading to universal change.
Richard Ritenbaugh focuses on the critical need for the Millennium and the means by which God will bring it about. The Millennium will come about because Christ is faithful to rescue mankind from its own stupidity, putting an end to sin and rebellion (Revelation 19:11). This great battle will be the entry into the Millennium, when a remnant of Israel, humbled through the Great Tribulation, will be comforted (Zephaniah 3:11-13) and accept the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31) coached by the firstfruits (Isaiah 30:20). God's way will radiate out from Zion (Micah 4:2) until it covers the whole earth as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14). God's Spirit will be readily available (Joel 2:28). The spirit is the key to the Millennium, enabling people to live the wisdom of God and making the earth arable, bountiful, and safe (Isaiah 35:1-10; Amos 9:13).
Each depiction of the Sixth Seal also shows God's involvement with physical Israelites. John's vision precedes a glimpse of 144,000 of the tribes of Israel.
John Ritenbaugh notes that labor-saving technology seems to have had the effect of separating us from each other and making us indifferent to things that should be important to us, such as family intimacy and preparing for God's Kingdom. Trumpets, a pivotal holy day and an event that looks backwards and forwards, is a holy convocation and an axle in which the whole plan of God turns. The sixth century axial period (BCE) saw the destruction of major empires, and the establishment of new empires. When these empires run their course, the government of God will put an end to all worldly empires. We currently live in the axial period between the demise of the corrupt human governments and the establishment of God's government. The Day of the Lord is prophesied to be a time of gloom and darkness, but much of modern Israel will not adhere to God's warning. The devastation currently suffered by Gentile nations will crescendo until it is Israel's turn to face the consequences of its sins. Israel's indifference to God's warning will net them an extremely startling, unpleasant shock to the nervous system. We are admonished to be alert as a sentry both to things going on around us and in our own lives, making a correct judgment about the proper decisions for our lives. We cannot become distracted, but must love Christ's appearing. Our circumspect and alert attitude toward His appearing will influence our wise and watchful conduct.
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the economic impact of presidential trips, indicates that the local economies in the wake of the visit virtually implode. The preparatory work of preparing the way for Christ's first coming was comparatively low budget, in comparison to the extravagance of Israel's leaders. It was more efficient, however, because God Almighty had coordinated the events. The preparation for Christ's second coming will be far more elaborate, a series of events which will turn humanity on its ear. Because of its intractability, the earth will require considerable softening up through earth-shaking events consisting of the seven trumpet plagues, symbolized by the Feast of Trumpets. Just as God is preparing vessels for mercy and destruction, God is also working to see that His people are prepared, clearing out any obstacles for us, saving the remnant that He has chosen. God is planning to finish the work, even cutting it short for the sake of the elect. God dots every I and crosses every "t."God has a process and blueprint, planning to make all of us look like Christ; He always finishes what He starts. Are we making our own preparations as co-workers with Him or are we the clay questioning the Potter? We must refrain from murmuring or complaining as we work out our salvation, continuing to build character when no one is looking, being totally harmless and without blame, radiating moral purity. Our looking for the appearing of our Lord is not a static activity, but consists of getting rid of sin, and replacing it with righteousness, integrity, and self control, with great reverence for God. O
In this sobering message, John Ritenbaugh warns us about our attitude or our perception of the greatest axial period (turning point) that will ever take place on this earth. We need to be sober and alert, realizing that we don't have an infinitude of time to prepare for Christ's second coming. We cannot allow ourselves to become surfeited with the world's distractions, being lulled off to sleep as the foolish virgins, wasting our precious time. We need to exercise steadfast faithfulness, exercising vigilance as we approach the Day of the Lord in order that we don't let it take us by surprise. Living righteously on a continuous basis will put us in the right attitude, keeping us prepared for this event, causing us to properly have love for His appearing. Sorrow, fear, anguish, and dread characterize those who are unprepared.
The frightful Trumpet Plagues are coming on the world because of the breaking of covenants on the part of people who should have known better.
John Ritenbaugh quotes several notable figures who spoke about a New World Order which would be ushered in to allegedly 'stabilize' a defunct order out of control. The New World Order will face oblivion as events of the Feast of Trumpets unfold. The blowing of trumpets symbolizes alarm, the morning and evening prayers of the saints, a memorial of some great event, and the calling of assembly. We are to be warned by the current events as though they were actual trumpet blasts. 6000 years have shown that mankind cannot govern itself. Satan is trying to destroy modern Israel. The greater Church of God (as well with Fundamental churches) is clearly not in sync with the agenda of the New World Order and will be a target of the Beast, standing out like the proverbial sore thumb. We need to have our commitment and conviction anchored in God's law. God has to know whether we will be loyal. The tests we are going through now are working to prepare us for God's kingdom.
The story of Joseph offers lessons and encouragement regarding God's dealings with men during the time of the Feast of Trumpets.
Some of us, facing the stress of the times, may simply be going through the motions but losing every vestige of faith. We must strengthen our convictions.
The fall holy days picture various judgments by God, bringing about liberty, reconciliation, regathering, and restoration.
Richard Ritenbaugh contrasts the true view of the afterlife with the prevailing Protestant view as reported by patheos.com, stating that at the end time, God will judge between the righteous and unrighteous, consigning the righteous to a blissful heaven or a tormenting hell. In both Protestantism and Roman Catholicism, there is a total lack of ideas as to what we will be doing in the afterlife. People are more apt to believe the traditions than the truths of scripture. After the conclusion of the Feast of Tabernacles, the people left their booths and returned to their permanent homes on the Last Great Day. The following day a holy assembly was again called focusing upon the time of judgment, a time our temporary existence is exchanged for a permanent one. The Last Great Day represents changelessness, endurance, or eternity, a time when all mankind's destinies will be set in stone; everyone will be judged and will cease being transitory and will have their fates permanently sealed. The general resurrection or the Great White Throne Judgment will occur right after the Millennium. Jesus Christ will have gathered His first fruits from their graves or transformed in the twinkling of an eye at His coming. The saints will then become the sons of God, totally composed of spirit, no longer subject to death. Like our Elder Brother Jesus Christ, we will attain spiritual son-ship (membership in the God family) through resurrection from the dead, following the same process that Christ began. We have hope of the resurrection because Christ went through the resurrection. The promises in the Beatitudes are that we shall see God as sons of God, inheriting the new heavens and earth, the kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven, shining as luminous suns. The saints are going to be glorified as God at Jesus Christ's second coming, well before the general resurrection, serving in God's kin
God is absolutely justified in what He decides regarding the judgment and punishment of us all. However, He is merciful and always rewards righteousness.
God wants us to remember when we were called out of bondage into virtue, when He gave us the power of His Holy Spirit to do what ancient Israel could not.
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on the Year of Release which falls on the Feast of Trumpets, relates that the Year of Release has ushered in major historical events, such as the September 11th attack and two financial collapses in 2001 and 2008. The Year of Release reminds us that God gives land as a gift to mankind to produce wealth. God is the Owner; we are the tenant as long as we exercise responsibility to dress and keep it. The Year of Release cancels, drops, and remits debts. The land continues to be God's. This year reminds us that God is the Creator, and we must trust God for sustenance every day. Man does not hold land in perpetuity, but only under the Eternal's trust. We own nothing until God entrusts us with His spiritual gifts. The Year of Release is a time lenders should forgive debts, mirroring God's forgiving our sins. The ancient Israelites had a difficult time forgiving debt. When we left spiritual Egypt, we were on death row, but all our sins were forgiven and the penalty dropped. The land Sabbath is a type of the weekly Sabbath wherein the land is given time to regenerate and restore its fertility. There was to be no sowing, no reaping, no pruning, and no storing, but the farmer, the animal, and the poor could glean the produce. The seventh year was also the time to release those who had fallen into servitude for monetary ineptitude.
Here are the foundational principles to keep in mind in observing the Feasts of God throughout the year.
If we do not keep God's holy days, we will deprive ourselves of the knowledge of God's purpose. Jesus and the first century church observed and upheld these days.
C.S. Lewis once wrote, 'Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.' In light of human nature, this is very true.
We tend to forget how different holy days and their offerings were under the Old Covenant as compared to the New. However, the important part of giving offerings remains the same!
Leviticus 23 not only reveals God's holy days—it also provides, in symbol form, a detailed schematic of God's plan!