Message for the Feast of Trumpets


This year, as we celebrate the Feast of Trumpets (in 2003 celebrated on Saturday 27 September), let us look again at what the Bible says about this day and what it means.

Trumpets blowing

Turn to Leviticus 23:23–25,

"Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, saying: "In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord."’"

Here we see God commanding ancient Israel to keep the Feast of Trumpets as a Sabbath rest and a memorial with the blowing of trumpets.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary has this to say about the feast:

"The blowing of trumpets represented the preaching of the gospel, by which men are called to repent of sin, and to accept the salvation of Christ, which was signified by the Day of Atonement. Also it invited to rejoice in God, and become strangers and pilgrims on earth, which was denoted by the feast of Tabernacles, observed in the same month. At the beginning of the year, they were called by this sound of trumpet to shake off spiritual drowsiness, to search and try their ways, and to amend them. The Day of Atonement was the ninth day after this; thus they were awakened to prepare for that day, by sincere and serious repentance, that it might indeed be to them a Day of Atonement. The humbling of our souls for sin, and the making our peace with God, is work that requires the whole man, and the closest application of mind. On that day God spoke peace to his people, and to his saints; therefore they must lay aside all their worldly business, that they might the more clearly hear that voice of joy and gladness."

Matthew Henry talks of an awakening on this day, in preparation for the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles; as well as symbolising the preaching of the Gospel, through sound, blasting like a trumpet. The good news, of Christ’s return and humanity’s opportunity to be part of God’s Kingdom, is proclaimed and is a time of rejoicing.

Wesley’s Commentary has this to add:

"A Sabbath — Solemnised with the blowing of trumpets by the priests, not in a common way, as they did every first day of every month, but in an extraordinary manner, not only in Jerusalem, but in all the cities of Israel. They began to blow at sunrise, and continued blowing till sunset."

The trumpets were blown from sunrise to sunset, and throughout all of Israel. The Gospel today should be proclaimed all day everyday, to prepare people for the return of Jesus Christ, to make us awake and alert to what is happening in the world, and to keep us from falling asleep as we prepare for the end times, being with God and the world tomorrow.

Strong’s Concordance states that the word used for trumpets is teruah, H8643 — From H7321; clamour, that is, acclamation of joy or a battle cry; especially clangour of trumpets, as an alarum: - alarm, blow (-ing) (of, the) (trumpets), joy, jubilee, loud noise, rejoicing, shout (-ing), (high, joyful) sound (-ing). [Alarum means "an alarm signal or the mechanism to sound an alarm"]

The word for trumpets refers to something making a loud noise, and could refer to a shofar (ram’s horn) or other loud musical instrument that is blown.

An Alarm

In ancient Israel, God commanded the priests to make two silver trumpets to be used for sounding an alarm. Turn to Numbers 10:1–10

"And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Make two silver trumpets for yourself; you shall make them of hammered work; you shall use them for calling the congregation and for directing the movement of the camps. When they blow both of them, all the congregation shall gather before you at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. But if they blow only one, then the leaders, the heads of the divisions of Israel, shall gather to you. When you sound the advance, the camps that lie on the east side shall then begin their journey. When you sound the advance the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall begin their journey; they shall sound the call for them to begin their journeys. And when the assembly is to be gathered together, you shall blow, but not sound the advance. The sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow the trumpets; and these shall be to you as an ordinance forever throughout your generations.

When you go to war in your land against the enemy who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the Lord your God, and you will be saved from your enemies. Also in the day of your gladness, in your appointed feasts, and at the beginning of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be a memorial for you before your God: I am the Lord your God.’"

Today Christ is our High Priest, and this day of Trumpets represents Him blowing the trumpets to call us to His door, to listen to what He has to say. The whole congregation of Israel was to gather at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, today God wants His people to gather together on the Feast of Trumpets in His Church. The trumpets were also blown to sound an alarm to warn of impending war with an enemy. Today our main enemy is Satan, and he wars against us. Christ blows the trumpets today and wants us to listen, to be aware of what is going on in the world and what Satan is trying to do to disrupt us.

The trumpets were also blown on feast days, like today. On these feast days we must listen to God and what He has to say. The main message is the Gospel, which is that Christ will return, that we who have been given the Holy Spirit will be saved and marry Christ at His return to become a part of the Kingdom of God, to rule forever with our spiritual husband and as a part of the Father’s family.

In Revelation 1:10–11, the Apostle John wrote, "I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last.’" Here he identifies the voice of Christ as a trumpet.

The preaching of the Gospel is good news for mankind, and it also contains a warning, that if the peoples of the Earth do not repent, they will be punished in the great tribulation, which occurs just before Christ returns. Revelation 8 and 9 tell us of a time in the future when there will be seven trumpets blown, and some of those trumpets are associated with plagues and troubles on the world, but soon after the Great Tribulation comes to an end the seventh trumpet will sound and Christ will descend from heaven to the earth. Turn to 1 Thessalonians 4:16–17, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will 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."

The first six trumpets of Revelation announce various troubles to come on mankind, including religious deception, war, famine and disease; because of their sins and rebellion. When the trumpets are blown there will be warfare and destruction on the earth like never before. We should be listening to God now. The world won’t listen to God at this time, so they will suffer when the angels blow the trumpets in the end time.

God’s elect will see Christ at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, who are then caught up together with Christ in the cloud where they remain until the Day of the Lord, when "the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in his temple and there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail" (Revelation 11:19).

This is another reference to loud sounds at the time of Christ’s return.

A Wake Up Call

Another meaning of the Feast of Trumpets is that it can symbolise an extremely powerful "wake-up call" of some kind to God’s people — a loud and obvious miraculous event. Another possibility is a "wake-up call" to the world: a miracle televised by all the major news networks or maybe a divine voice speaking everywhere on Earth at the same time. An unusual earthquake, storm or volcano could also fit.

God’s voice may well be heard prior to Christ’s return, to wake up the Church, the world, and to prepare us for His return. The two witnesses will do a lot of preaching and speaking the words of God.

And at the time of Christ’s return will be the marriage of Christ and His Bride, the Church. After all the bad things that happen, a great and good thing will take place, after the seventh trumpet has sounded. Turn to Revelation 19:1–9,

"After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, ‘Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honour and power belong to the Lord our God! For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.’ Again they said, ‘Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!’ And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, ‘Amen! Alleluia!’ Then a voice came from the throne, saying, ‘Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!’

And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, ‘Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.’ And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

Then he said to me, ‘Write: "Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!"’ And he said to me, ‘These are the true sayings of God.’"

And so the children of God shall be with Christ, the husband, and God the Father, and in a family relationship that lasts for all eternity.

And in Psalm 98 we read about the blowing of trumpets and the return of Christ. And at this time what we should be doing, as we hear the voice of God, praising and singing to God:

Psalm 98

A Song of Praise to the Lord for His Salvation and Judgment

1 Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!

For He has done marvellous things;

His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.

2 The Lord has made known His salvation;

His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations.

3 He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

4 Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth;

Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.

5 Sing to the Lord with the harp,

With the harp and the sound of a psalm,

6 With trumpets and the sound of a horn;

Shout joyfully before the Lord, the King.

7 Let the sea roar, and all its fullness,

The world and those who dwell in it;

8 Let the rivers clap their hands;

Let the hills be joyful together before the Lord,

9 For He is coming to judge the earth.

With righteousness He shall judge the world,

And the peoples with equity.

© David King 2003