The Feast of Trumpets: A Mystery?
Mark the Fall Feasts 2017-2020 on your calendar!
After Pentecost there is a long dry summer, without any biblical feast. But in the autumn the first feast is the Feast of Trumpets. When the new moon becomes visible in Israel in September 2017 the feast will begin. At first glance it might seem that the Bible gives little explanation regarding this day of the awakening trumpet call, and perhaps it may always remain a mysterious day to the world around us. But what a day it will be when the heavenly Bridegroom comes for His Bride on this specific day on the calendar.
In Wake Up! we take an in depth look at three Spring Feasts: Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits. These feasts take place during the first month (Nisan) of the Hebrew calendar, which God established at the time of the exodus from Egypt. God intended these feasts to provide us with instructions and signs, and in addition, to serve as rehearsals for future events.
Now we know that these feasts didn’t merely serve to centralize Christ in the Old Testament, but when Jesus Christ came to this world, he also clarified the real meaning of these Spring Feasts. He fulfilled, on these calendar dates, the feasts that God had established, and He did this at specific times. Pentecost was fulfilled when God empowered the New Covenant (which had been announced to Israel by Jeremiah) by sending His Holy Spirit to engrave the Law of Christ into the hearts of the people. However, since that first day of Pentecost in Jerusalem, the Fall Feasts have yet to be fulfilled. Do we believe that God, Who has established His plan of salvation, will keep His word and fulfill these Fall Feasts, in His Son, at precisely the fore-appointed times of the earthly feast dates?
The next feast to be fulfilled is the Feast of Trumpets, which will take place on the first day of the month of Tishri. Tishri is the seventh Hebrew month and is in our Fall season. This feast can only be properly understood when we look at it in combination with the next Day of Atonement (Tishri 10) and the Feast of Tabernacles (Tishri 15). God put these feasts in this particular order so that we could see the sequence of His great plan of salvation. Where the Spring Feasts represent the first coming of Jesus Christ, the Fall Feasts represent His Second Coming at the end of a time period here on Earth that precedes the Millennium of Peace.
Let us turn the sequence around for a moment: The Feast of Tabernacles is the last Fall Feast and takes place at the end of the harvest time in Israel (a lovely shadow!). It represents the time when Jesus will establish His reign on Earth and He will be back among us as the King of kings. This event will be preceded by His Second Coming on the Mount of Olives. This Second Coming will in turn be preceded by the Great Day of Atonement because the true “Greatest” Day of Atonement will take place when the heavenly High Priest leaves His heavenly temple and every single eye will witness His arrival here.
Traditionally the Feast of Trumpets was celebrated when the new moon appeared in the sky, as that was the first day of the new month. This Fall moon in Israel is a small sliver that is only visible for a short time (late afternoon) before it disappears again. Israel didn’t have a set calendar, but a lunar calendar was established. It is the observatory calendar. If the moon wasn’t visible for a few days, people had to closely examine the sky in order to accurately determine when the sliver became visible again. “No one knew the exact day or hour” the Feast of Trumpets would begin. As soon as someone spotted the sliver of the moon, multiple witnesses were gathered to confirm the sighting to the Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin then announced the commencement with the call of the shofar (Yom Teruah), making the news known to all of Israel. It was also New Year’s Day on the civil calendar. Modern day Israel knows this day as New Year’s Day, or Rosh Hashanah. However, on the religious calendar, this is the Feast of Trumpets and the beginning of the seventh month.
This Feast of Trumpets has always been rather mysterious due to how God gave instructions in the Book of Leviticus. There God says this is a day of remembrance, a day of rest with a burnt offering to the Lord, and announced by a trumpet call (or the blowing of the shofar). Believers usually dress in white clothes, which they have already prepared, ready for the moment the trumpet sounds. All work ceases.
There are several interesting points: In ancient Israel people knew that the trumpet call had an important meaning. From these multiple meanings, we can find three important biblical themes central to the Feast of Trumpets:
- The marriage ceremony of the Messiah
- The resurrection of the dead
- The crowning of the King
According to tradition, a series of trumpet calls were sounded on this day, in a range of 100 different tones.  The last tone of the shofar was very long (the Tekia Gedolah) – it went on for as long as the person blowing the shofar could keep blowing. This Last Call is important for the Feast of Trumpets, just as the First Call is significant for the Feast of Weeks and the Great Call for the Return of Christ on the Day of Atonement. The Jewish people connected these three themes with this Feast of Trumpets, but this is also because it wasn’t yet possible to associate them with what we now know as the New Testament. But didn’t God tell Daniel knowledge would increase in the End Times.  Let this be the time as so much knowledge has been revealed in our days.
Paul was a highly educated Jew as well as an apostle, educated by the School of Gamaliel. He explained various mysteries during the course of his ministry. It was no coincidence that he connected the concept of the Final Trumpet Call with a future event, namely, the resurrection of those who had died in Christ. We can easily skim over this information as we read, but, this is the day that the Body of Christ will be raptured, which will precede His Second Coming and the start of the Millennium of Peace. Although the sequence of the fall feasts already gives us an indisputably clear pattern regarding God’s calendar, there is another indicating factor as well. The ancient Jewish wedding ritual exhibits the same clear pattern. After the bride and groom sign the Ketubah (see Ch. 6 in Wake Up!), thus beginning a first covenant with each other, the groom departs for a long period of time in order to furnish a bridal chamber in his father’s house and build a home for the two of them. Just as there was a long, dry period (in Israel in the natural) following Pentecost and lasting until the fall feasts, the bride goes through a period of not seeing her future husband. They are, however, still bound to one another through the Ketubah-covenant. When the bridal chamber and house are finished, the groom returns to get his bride. That always happens in the evening to ensure that the bride and groom can be back at the father’s house before midnight. There the wedding ceremony will take place and the marriage will be official.
The groom comes with a sort of carriage so that the bride’s feet do not touch the ground until she has reached the wedding location. The bride doesn’t know the exact time of her groom’s return, but as time goes by, she prepares and has her wedding clothing ready and her lamp full of oil, burning in the window. She is alert and selects ten of her closest unmarried female friends to stand watch with oil lamps and torches alongside the road. This provided light as back then there was no public lighting system for the roads. Just before the groom comes, there is a long call of the trumpet. From that moment on, things proceed rapidly. The groom comes with his entourage to fetch his bride. This is the first time the bride sees him again after a very long period of absence, just as the Feast of Trumpets will be the first feast to be fulfilled since Pentecost. Let’s be alert and pray in earnest expectation!
For those of you who would like to note the Feast of Trumpets in your earthly calendar:
|Start of *|
|Feast of Trumpets||21 Sept.||10 Sept.||30 Sept.|
|Day of Atonement||30 Sept.||19 Sept.||9 Okt.|
|Feast of Tabernacles||5 Okt.||24 Sept.||14 Okt.|
* Note: The start of the Feast of Trumpets has a set date on the Gregorian calendar, but on God’s (observatory) calendar it is dependent upon the appearance of the new moon. This also influences the starting dates of the following feasts. So stay watchful!
The “day” always begins on the evening of the preceding calendar date. We want to emphasize the pattern – and not the current calendar day in Israel – because in some years the current Jewish calendar deviates one month from the observatory calendar.
Emile-Andre Vanbeckevoort and Arno Lamm
 Hebrews 9:28
 Sometimes there were 40 tones, but there was always the sounding of the Last Trumpet.
 See Daniel 12:4
 1 Corinthians 15:51