The Feasts of the Lord--Part VI (6)

THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS
 

The Feast of Trumpets introduces the autumn festivals-representing the
culmination of the present age of man and the beginning of an incredible
time during which God will play a much more direct part in world events.
The previous festivals constitute personal responses to the workings of
God in the people He calls and chooses.  The Feast of Trumpets herald
the intervention of God in the affairs of humanity on a global basis.
This Holy Day represents a dramatic turning point in world history.

This particular festival also marks the beginning of the third and final
feast season (Exodus 23:14, Deuteronomy 16:16), which includes the final
four Holy Days of the year, Rosh HaShanah.
 

ROSH HASHANAH

A special season known as 'Teshuvah' which in Hebrew means "to return or
repent", begins on the first day of the month of Elul and continues 40
days, ending with Yom Kippur.  Thirty days into Teshuvah, on Tishrei 1,
comes Rosh HaShanah.  This begins a final ten-day period beginning on
Rosh HaShanah and ending on Yom Kippur.  These are known as the High
Holy Days and as the Awesome Days.  The sabbath that falls within this
ten-day period is called 'Shabbat Shuvah', the Sabbath of Return.  Five
days after Yom Kippur is 'Sukkot', the Feast of Tabernacles.  Teshuvah
begins on Elul 1 and concludes on Tishrei 10, Yom Kippur.  Each morning
during the 30 days of the month of Elul, the trumpet (shofar) or ram's
horn is blown to warn the people to repent and return to God.

God has always had a heart to warn people before He proclaims judgment.
God warned the people before the flood, and He warned Nineveh before it
was ruined.  He does not want anyone to receive the wrath of His
judgment (Ezekiel 18:21-23,30-32, Zephaniah 2:1-3).

The message from Elul 1 to Rosh HaShanah is clear:  Repent before Rosh
HaShanah.  Don't wait until after Rosh HaShanah, or you will find
yourself in the Days of Awe.

Rosh HaShanah is also referred to as 'Yom Teruah', the Day of the
Sounding of the Shofar, or the Day of the Awakening Blast.  On Yom
Teruah, the Day of the Sounding of the Shofar, it is imperative for
every person to hear the shofar.

Yom Teruah is the only festival that no man knows the day or the hour in
which it begins.  This is due to the fact that it begins on the new
moon.  The new moon was sanctified when two witnesses see the new moon
and attest to it before the Sanhedrin in the Temple.  This
sanctification could happen during either of two days, depending on when
the witnesses come.  Since no one knew when the witnesses would come, no
one knew when the Feast of Trumpets would start.  On the 30th of each
month, the members of the High Court assembled in a courtyard in
Jerusalem, where they waited to receive the testimony of two reliable
witnesses. They then sanctified the new moon.  The new moon is very
difficult to see on the first day because it can be seen only about
sunset, close to the sun, when the sun is traveling north.  So, looking
for a very slim faint crescent moon, which is very close to the sun, is
a very difficult thing to do.  If the moon's crescent was not seen on
the 30th day, the new moon was automatically celebrated on the 31st day.
For this reason, Yom Teruah is always celebrated for two days.  These
two days are celebrated as though it is just one long day of forty-eight
hours.  The reason that it is celebrated for two days is because if they
waited to start the celebration until after the new moon had been
sanctified, they would have missed half the celebration because the new
moon can only be snactified during daylight hours.  The command seems to
be that we know the season, but not the day or the hour (Matthew
24:32-36).

Yom Teruah, or the Feast of Trumpets, is the only feast that we do not
know the day or the hour in which to keep it.  Therefore, we have to be
on the alert and watch for it.

Teruah means "an awakening blast".  A theme associated with Rosh
HaShanah is the theme "to awake".  Teruah is also translated as "shout".
The book of Isaiah, capter 12, puts the shouting in the context of the
thousand-year reign of Jesus.  The Messianic era and shout is mentioned
in Isaiah 44:23 and Zephaniah 3:14.  The first coming of Christ is
associated with a shout in Zechariah 9:9.  The ultimate shout is the
rapture in First Thessalonians 4:16-17.

Whether it is by the blast of a shofar or the force of a supernatural
shout, God's goal is to awaken us.  "...Awake thou that sleepest, and
arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." -Ephesians 5:14.
The book of Ephesians has many references to Rosh HaShanah and the high
Holy Days.  For example, in Ephesians 4:30, being sealed unto the day of
redemption refers to Yom Kipur, the Day of Atonement.  God gave this
festival to teach us that we will be judged on Rosh HaShanah and will be
sealed unto the closing of the gates on Yom Kippur.  This will be
covered in that study later.

The theme of awakening from sleep is used throughout the Bible.  It is
found in John 11:11, Romans 13:11, Daniel 12:1-2 and Psalm 78:65.

The shofar was also blown at the temple to begin the sabbath each week.
There are two types of trumpets used in the Bible:

1.  The silver trumpet
2.  The shofar or ram's horn

Each sabbath, two men with silver trumpets and a man with a shofar made
three trumpet blasts twice during the day.  On Rosh HaShanah, it is
different.  The shofar is the primary trumpet.  On Rosh HaShanah, a
shofar delivers the first blast, a silver trumpet the second, and then a
shofar the third.

According to Leviticus 23:24 and Numbers 29:1, Rosh HaShanah is the day
of the blowing of the trumpets.

"Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, in the seventh month, in the
first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing
of trumpets, an holy convocation." -Leviticus 23:24

"And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have
an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing
the trumpets unto you." -Numbers 29:1

The trumpet used for this purpose is the ram's horn, not trumpets made
of metal as in Numbers Chapter 10.

Another name for Rosh HaShanah is 'Yom HaDin', the Day of Judgment.  The
righteous are separated and will be with God.  This is known to Bible
believers as the rapture.  The wicked will face the wrath of God during
the tribulation period.

The shofar blown on Rosh HaShanah is known as the last trump, which the
apostle Paul mentioned in First Thessalonians 4:16-17.  At this time,
the believers in Christ will escape the tribulation on earth and will be
taken to Heaven in the rapture along with the righteous who had died
before this time.

The gates of Heaven are opened on Rosh HaShanah so the righteous nation
may enter (Isaiah 26:2, Psalm 118:19-20).  Because the gates of Heaven
are understood to be open on Rosh HaShanah, this is further evidence
that the rapture of the believers in Christ will take place on Rosh
HaShanah.

One of the reasons for blowing the shofar is to proclaim the
resurrection of the dead.  The resurrection of the dead will take place
on Rosh HaShanah.  In First Corinthians 15:52, the apostle Paul tells us
that the resurrection of the dead will be "at the last trump."  Earlier
in First Corinthians 15:14, he wrote that without the Lord Jesus rising
from the dead, our faith is in vain.

We cannot go to the Book of Revelation and say that the voice of the
seventh angel (Revelation 11:15) is the last trump.  In the first
century, the last trump (shofar) meant a specific day in the year.  In
Judaism, there are three trumpets that have a name.  They are the first
trump, the last trump, and the great trump.  Each one of these trumpets
indicates a specific day in the Jewish year.  The first trump is blown
on the Feast of Pentecost (Exodus 19:19).  It proclaimed that God had
betrothed Himself to Israel.  The last trump is synonymous with Rosh
HaShanah, according to Theodore Gaster in his book, Festivals of the
Jewish Year, in his chapter on Rosh HaShanah.  Herman Kieval also states
the same thing in his book, The High Holy Days in the chapter on the
shofar.  The great trumpet is blown on Yom Kippur, which will herald the
return of Jesus back to the earth (Matthew 24:31).

The first and last trump relate to the two horns of the ram, which
according to Jewish tradition, was caught in the thicket on Mount Moriah
when Abraham was ready to slay Isaac and offer him up as a burnt
offering.  This ram became the substitute for Isaac even as Jesus became
the substitute for us and provided life for us through His death.

Rabbi Eliezer tells us in Pirkei Avot, that the left horn (first trump)
was blown on Mount Sinai, and its right horn (the last trump) will be
blown to herald the coming of the Lord for His Church.  Isaiah 18:3 and
First Thessalonians 4:13-18 speak of the resurrection of the dead.
First Thessalonians chapter 5 continues with the day of the Lord and the
birthpangs of the Messiah.  The festivals will, beyond a shadow of a
doubt, tell you that the resurrection of the dead precedes the time of
Jacob's trouble (the tribulation).  First Thessalonians 4:16-17 says
that the dead in Christ will rise first, and that the catching away of
the belivers will immediately follow.

The term 'rapture' comes from the Greek word 'harpazo', which means "to
seize, catch away, catch up, pluck, pull, take by force"
(1 Thessalonians 4;17).  Isaiah 57:1-2 speaks clearly of the
resurrection of the dead, the taking of the believers, and the hiding of
the believers from the indignation (the tribulation).  Zephaniah 1:14-18
and 2:2-3 tells about the terrible times during the day of the Lord, the
birthpangs of the Messiah, and issues a decree to repent and turn to God
before that day to be hid from that time.  Psalm 27:5 says the righteous
will be hid in the time of trouble.  Paul in Second Thessalonians 2:1
tells us, "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus
Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him."  The phrase "gathering
together" comes from the Greek word 'episunagoge', which means "an
assembly".

The Feast of Trumpets, through careful study depicts nothing less than
the return of Jesus Christ for His Church at the last trump, just before
God pours His wrath and judgment on a sinful and Christ rejecting world.

The Feasts of the Lord--Part VII

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