Lesson 6: Feast of Trumpets: War and Rescue
The Feast of Trumpets heralds the return of Jesus Christ to set up the Kingdom of God on the earth. His coming will signal the end of the prophesied terrible time of war and beginning of new life for Christ's followers.
Jesus Christ had dropped many hints about coming again and about a
new age to come in His Kingdom. But the disciples didn't understand
and wanted to know more. Finally they came to Him privately on the Mount
of Olives and asked: "What will be the sign of Your coming, and of the
end of the age?" (Matthew 24:3).
Here are excerpts from Jesus' far-reaching answer about the momentous
events surrounding His second coming:
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven,
and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
"Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all
the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man
coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
"And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they
will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of
heaven to the other" (Matthew 24:29-31).
Luke's account is rich with additional details of the terrifying time
that leads up to Christ's return, which is our only hope:
"But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its
desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains,
let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who
are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that
all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who
are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For
there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people.
And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive
into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the
times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
"And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars;
and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the
waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation
of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the
heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in
a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen,
look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near"
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What Does the Bible Say About Trumpets?
What is the fourth festival God commanded us to celebrate?
"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.'"
Leviticus 23:2 explains that all seven festivals are "feasts of the Lord,"
not just feasts for the nation of Israel. This "memorial of blowing of
trumpets" is what we call the Day or Feast of Trumpets today. God commands
us to rest from our work on this day and to assemble to worship and learn.
What did the use of trumpets signify in the Bible?
Numbers 10:3-4, 9-10
"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 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
"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
Trumpets could attract people's attention over long distances. They were
used to communicate important messages, to sound a warning (especially
of war) and to announce a festival.
Does God call on His people to give a warning like a trumpet?
"Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; tell
My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins."
"And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world
as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come."
In Ezekiel 33:1-9 God expanded on His expectations. He compared Ezekiel's
responsibility to a watchman, who was expected to blow the trumpet as
a warning of impending war. God's Church also feels the responsibility
to warn of the end-time wars and disasters God proclaims as punishment
of sins, and to announce the good news of Jesus Christ's return as King
of the Kingdom of God. This is the work we are striving to do through The
Good News, Beyond Today, World
News and Prophecy, these Free
Bible Study Guides and other tools.
What did Ezra and Nehemiah teach on the Feast of Trumpets?
Nehemiah 8:2-3, 8-9
So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women
and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh
month. Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of
the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and
those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive
to the Book of the Law...
So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave
the sense, and helped them to understand the reading. And Nehemiah,
who was the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who
taught the people said to all the people, "This day is holy to the Lord your
God; do not mourn nor weep." For all the people wept, when they
heard the words of the Law.
As we saw in Leviticus 23:24, the first day of the seventh month is the
Feast of Trumpets. As the people heard the law of God explained, they
understood where they had sinned and wept. They understood the blessings
that come from obeying and the curses that come from disobeying these
laws that God designed for our benefit (Deuteronomy 10:13; 28:1-68).
Sorrow and repentance are a natural consequence of many of the themes
associated with the Feast of Trumpets. But Ezra and Nehemiah encouraged
the people to celebrate and rejoice, because this Holy Day also reveals
the good news of the real solution to humanity's problems.
What Does the Feast of Trumpets Represent in God's Plan of Salvation?
What do the seven trumpets of Revelation signal?
So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to
sound. The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled
with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees
were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.
After this first trumpet come six more (see Revelation 8:8-12; 9:1, 13-14;
11:15). These seven trumpets signal end-time plagues that God will use
to bring humanity to its senses. See the lesson on "Armageddon
and the Day of the Lord" for a description of these trumpet plagues
and the destruction they cause.
Why does our longsuffering God finally bring this punishment on humanity?
Throughout history humanity has been almost continuously rebellious and
under the sway of the wicked one (1 John 5:19). Paul listed the growing
human tragedies and the perils of the end times, when men become "worse
and worse" (2 Timothy 3:1-5, 13).
Even in the midst of these seven trumpet plagues, the apostle John records
that the people "did not repent" (Revelation 9:21). It will take the full
force of God's controlled and loving wrath to bring people to the point
where they are ready to listen to and obey Him—for their own good!
What will the seventh or last trumpet signal?
Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven,
saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of
our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"
The return of Jesus Christ to set up the Kingdom of God on earth is truly
the most significant event associated with the blowing of the prophetic
trumpets. It heralds the most important news possible for this world bent
on self-destruction. It is truly "A
Turning Point in History"!
How close will humanity come to self-destruction?
"For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been
since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall
be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but
for the elect's sake those days will be shortened."
Jesus Christ promises to intervene just in time to rescue humanity from
Will people welcome Jesus Christ at His return?
And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered
together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His
Revelation 19:16 shows that the one on the horse is Jesus Christ, the
"KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS." Amazingly, Satan will have so deceived
humanity (Revelation 12:9) that they will attack the Messiah, the loving
God who wants to save them.
What else will happen at the "last trumpet"?
1 Corinthians 15:51-52
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 incorruptible,
and we shall be changed.
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 followers of Christ who have died will be raised from the dead, which
is known as the "first resurrection" (Revelation 20:5). Those who are
alive when Christ returns will also be changed from physical life to immortal
life. This is the hope God promises to all true Christians. They will
be given crowns of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8) and will serve with Jesus
Christ as kings and priests (Revelation 1:6; 20:6).
Who will the resurrected servants of Christ help as Christ begins
It shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set His hand again
the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left, from
Assyria and Egypt, from Pathros and Cush, from Elam and Shinar, from
Hamath and the islands of the sea. He will set up a banner for the nations,
and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed
of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
There are many prophecies of what will happen to the descendants of the 12
tribes of Israel. They will be taken captive in the Great
Tribulation, and after Christ's return His servants will gather
them together in the Holy Land. Isaiah 27:13 shows this will happen
at the sound of "the great trumpet." Jeremiah 16:14-15 shows this second
exodus will be even greater than the first Exodus of Israel from Egypt
in the time of Moses.
These downtrodden and devastated people will be in great need of physical,
emotional and especially spiritual comfort and help. This teaching and
serving will likely be one of the first jobs given to the resurrected
and changed followers of Jesus Christ. Will you prepare
now to be ready to help them and others in the Kingdom of God?
Our loving Savior and King ended His Olivet Prophecy with these words
of warning and encouragement:
"But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing,
drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.
For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the
whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted
worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand
before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:34-36).
Therefore, and Pray Always" and make a personal plan to include
watching and praying in your daily life, starting today!
Next Lesson: Atonement: Satan Bound, Humanity Freed!
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