The Feast of Trumpets
By Sam Nadler
Speak to the sons of Israel saying, “In the seventh month on the first of the month, you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord” (Lev. 23:24, 25).
Growing up in Middle Village, Queens, NY, I can still remember hearing the trumpeting of the High Holy Days shofar (ram’s horn) that called us to assemble for worship. After coming to faith in Messiah Yeshua (Jesus’ name in Hebrew), I was delighted to see that the trumpet played such a significant role in Scripture. In fact, what is traditionally called Rosh HaShanah, or Jewish New Year, is called in Scripture Yom HaTeruah, which means The Day of the Blowing of the Trumpets.
Purpose of the Trumpet
There are essentially two types of trumpets mentioned in the Bible: the ram’s horn, and the silver trumpets. Trumpets are used in Scripture for many occasions and purposes: a call to assembly; a command for Israel to ‘move out’; a call to war; preparation for an announcement; a warning of judgement to come; or a call to celebration and worship.
Behold a Mystery!
Because so little is said about this feast in the Hebrew Scriptures, there has always been a sense of mystery regarding what the Feast of Trumpets refers to. The rabbis have looked to Israel’s past spiritual experiences for the answer. Some believe it refers to Exodus 19:16, where trumpets announced God’s descent on Mt. Sinai to give the Torah to Moses. Other rabbinical traditions teach the blowing of trumpets is a reminder of the shofarot (or ram’s horns) blown by Joshua and the Israelites at Jericho (Joshua 6); and also, the Feast of Trumpets is a reminder of the ram that Abraham sacrificed in place of his son Isaac (Genesis 22). Though these are reminders of God’s wonderful works in the past, Scripture reveals much more about this mysterious Feast of Trumpets. This feast doesn’t point us to the past, but to the future! Although resurrection is a concept taught throughout the Tanakh (see Dan. 12:2), there is an aspect of the resurrection heralded by the Feast of Trumpets: the mystery known as “The Rapture of the Body of Messiah.” It is a reminder that one day the trumpet of God will sound and we should always be ready to respond.
There are two portions of New Covenant Scripture that deal with this future event and in both we see the trumpet involved: “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised imperishable and we shall be changed…(1 Cor. 15:51, 52). Paul also writes: “For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Messiah shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thess. 4:13-18).
Our Gathering together Unto Him
The doctrine of the Rapture is often misunderstood, discounted, or denied altogether. But the Rapture is a consistent theme throughout the New Covenant and has a powerful moral impact upon the life of the believer and even a seeker. The Rapture is presented as imminent, but because no one knows the exact time of this future blowing of the trumpet, the Feast of Trumpets should motivate us to readiness and service, as we are “…looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Messiah Yeshua” (Titus 2:13). Remembering our ‘blessed hope’, we are motivated to live a godly life before the Lord. As John writes in his first letter, “Beloved, now we are children of God and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:2,3).
The Time of Jacob’s Trouble
The Trumpet of the Lord will not only be the call for believers to meet the Lord in the air, but the same Trumpet will be the catalyst for the last seven years of this present age, the period known as “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7). It is the period that our Lord Yeshua referred to when He said, “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall be. And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days shall be cut short” (Matt. 24:21,22).
If you can, imagine the sheer terror that people who are left behind will experience at the time of the Rapture. Suddenly, without any apparent warning, millions of people disappear from Planet Earth, in mid-sentence, mid-stride – loved ones, children, spouses, friends, co-workers, simply vanish. Chaos will ensue. It is into this resulting void the Scriptures warn that the ultimate false-messiah, the Anti-Christ, shall arise. “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God” (2 Thes. 2:3,4). This false messiah will oppose God, not overtly, but subtly, just as the serpent opposed the truth and deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden. The ‘Man of Sin’ will claim to be the true Messiah, promising peace he will deceive the entire world. As Daniel writes, he will “by peace destroy many” (Dan. 8:25), and lead this world in rebellion against God, down the road to sudden destruction.
This false savior will go into a yet-to-be-rebuilt temple in Jerusalem and declare himself to be God and declare all-out war against Israel! “…so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.” Regarding this, Yeshua said, “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains…” (Matt. 24:15,16).
The day is coming when man must reckon with his Maker. In God’s great love and patience, He bears long with us, “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God does, however, allow circumstances to get to a point in our lives where we have nowhere else to turn, but to Him. This will be Israel’s situation in the time yet to come (Joel 2:1,2, 12-15).
For Believers, Work While it is Day
As believers, we want Israel to return, not only to the land, but to the Lord. May we reach out to people today and seek to lead them to Messiah while there is time to believe now, before the day of wrath appears. As Yeshua said, we “must work the works of Him who sent Me, as long as it is day; night is coming, when no man can work” (John 9:4).
Will His Trumpet be for You?
If the trumpet of the Lord should sound, would you go to meet the Lord in the air? Or would you be left behind to face the most terrifying era in human history? If you’re not ready, won’t you, right now simply say “yes” to Yeshua? Let Him rescue you from your sins and allow Him to give you the joy and peace you’ve longed for all your life! We will be celebrating Rosh HaShanah – Sept. 29, 2019 @ 5:00 pm.