Sound the horn! It is the turn of the year, and the day of the Lord is near! Day of Trumpets ushers in the final harvest and festival season of high Sabbaths with 4 of the 7 annual Sabbaths occurring in the seventh month of the year by God’s count. But what is the significance of this day, and how did it become Rosh Hashanah? It looks like pagan Babylonian influence has been at it again and the traditions of men have trumped the traditions of God as usual. Please forgive the unintentional pun in a season that is dominated by Trump and trumpets. But we are used to Babylonian redaction of our feasts are we not?
Growing up in America the beautiful we are culturally bred to believe our holidays are Holy Days, that they are somehow God’s special set aside days that are now almost universally observed and accepted by people of very diverse faith backgrounds. Everyone comes together at Christmas to spend time with family and friends. Ironically, a society that shows increasing antipathy to Christians, has lost no zeal when it comes to celebrating Christmas, participating in the shopping frenzy and honoring one another with gifts.
But what is God’s position on all this? Does God care? Aren’t all days the same? How can one day be holy? Does God even keep track of the days, and if so what days matter to Him? Are we really supposed to observe them?
In this secular year 2016 as we approach one of the days God has set aside for His people as a Sabbath rest, the Day of Trumpets, a holy day set for the first day of the seventh month [in the calendar that God established with Moses beginning with the first day of the first month being the first sliver or the new moon after the spring equinox] and a memorial that begins this year on Sunday evening October 2nd, we are compelled to contemplate this series of questions just listed.
These questions really should be important to God’s people as they endeavor to know God and walk in His ways. For others who do what is right in their own eyes, well that’s a different matter. Perhaps we better begin at the beginning to really uncover the matter. Surely, Christians would want to know God’s real thoughts on this
Genesis 1:14 lays a foundation for the cycles of time by which we count our days and years..
“Then God said, ‘Let there be luminaries in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years.'”
Very simply it is God who has created our local heavens with heavenly bodies to move in ways that create cycles of time which in turn set the the rhythms of our life. Ancient Chinese medicine and modern western medicine both confirm the importance of various cycles in the governance of our bodily functions and mental/emotional health.
Embedded within those cycles of time, which even include lengthy cycles such as the 26,000 year cycle in our journey through the galaxy, aka ‘the precession of the equinoxes,’ are days which the Lord has set apart and has granted special status. Even though we may only understand a small fragment of all that the Holy One has meant by this, or what He has put into these days we need to consider that He is the Creator and it is His creation.
“Speak to the sons of Israel, and say to them, ‘The Lord’s [YHWH’s] appointed times <moedim> which you shall proclaim as holy convocations — My appointed times are these: For six days work may be done; but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work; it is a sabbath to YHWH in all your dwellings. These are the appointed times of YHWH, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at the times appointed for them. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is YHWH’s Passover. (Lev. 23:1-5)
The remainder of chapter 23 details all of the days which the Lord proclaims as holy days. They are set aside for His people to come together and worship in a special way, to rest from the world and all of the business under the adversary’s kingdom — they are days of obligation.
Christendom has demonstrated in practice that they are willing to accept the substitute of the traditions of men, claiming that these holy days were for ‘the Jews’ and that Jesus has set them free to adapt their religious observation from their heart. But is that really consistent with what Jesus the Lord said Himself?
First of all, it was Jesus who spoke to Moses as the Logos, as confirmed by the apostle Peter’s profound revelation that it was the Spirit of Christ that spoke through the prophets (1Pe1:10-11). Paul confirmed this to the Corinthians, saying, “and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the Rock was Christ.” (1 Cor. 10:4) This Rock was the Jesus Christ who is “the same yesterday and today, and forever.” (Heb. 13:8) So this Lord Jesus who spoke with Moses is the same One who took on the form of a servant and spent 3 1/2 years with His disciples revealing to them the Father, manifesting His Name, and filling them with His knowledge and wisdom. He also gave them instructions they were to keep.
Were they to keep these appointed times which He gave to Moses? The voice of the Logos still speaks to us through the words of Luke.
And He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I shall never eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, Take this and share it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.” When He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.” And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” (Luke 22:15-20)
Is the Lord ambiguous in enjoining His disciples to do this, to keep the Passover, sharing it among ourselves as the blessed cup of the new covenant in His blood? No, he is not. His voice is unequivocal, and Paul likewise makes it clear that he received this tradition directly from the Lord (1Cor.11).
But what Christ Jesus did was to modify the sacraments because of the New Covenant. The context for Passover had changed. The Lord, the maker of heaven and earth, moved Passover to the deeper spiritual reality of deliverance from sin and death, as the Lamb of God, slain from the foundations of the world, redeeming His first born sons, all those born from above. Bread and wine taken into the door of one’s body temple on the night He was betrayed replaces lambs slain and blood painted on doorposts. The physical has moved to the spiritual.
And yet who in Christendom really keeps the Passover as the Lord moved it from remembering His deliverance out of slavery in Egypt, to being about His deliverance from sin and death? We are commanded to do this until it is fulfilled, and Jesus tells us when this Passover will be fulfilled — when the kingdom of God comes.
Hebraic roots people confer with rabbis, some Messianic, and more often than not celebrate the Passover out of Egypt, neglecting the Lord’s Supper which He instituted; and He did not establish it for a weekly occurrence, but to be kept on the night He was betrayed. With the exception of an unknown number of sabbatarian disciples of Jesus, who keep the feasts as He ordained, Christendom is busy like Pharisees, observing the traditions of men. To what end? That of being comfortable with the world? Can you make peace with the world and follow Christ? No you cannot. It would make you an enemy of Christ.
Now as we come near to the “turn of the year,” celebrated as Rosh Hashanah [ ‘head of the year’ ] in Jewish congregations, but known in scripture as Yom Teruah [ literally, ‘Day of Blasts’ ], Day of Trumpets, we are on even more tenuous ground. A lot of Hebrew Roots people and sacred name folks do keep this holiday. But what are they commemorating? And now we have, at long last, gotten down to the real core of this post. I would suggest that very few know what God intended us to commemorate and why it is such a Holy Day. It’s observation is relatively simple, at least it was in the days of the Temple of Solomon. Today, with no physical temple, end time disciples will need to shape the celebration according to the meaning as we get very near to the spiritual fulfillment and reason for this ‘memorial’ to the Lord. So first we will have to look at the prophecy contained in Day of Trumpets by applying our key of knowledge, so we can enter in (cf. Luke 11:52).
What a tremendous loss for Christians to not even understand why the Lord established this ‘appointed time’ for His people, what they were to commemorate in advance of its occurrence, something so tremendous that it marked the turn of the year, and the approach to the ‘Day of Coverings,’ the fall harvest and ‘Feast of Tabernacles,’ and finally ‘The Last Great Day.” But what does it represent prophetically?
Take a look at the very brief presentation of this high Sabbath in Leviticus.
Again YHWH spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month, you shall have a Sabbath rest, a memorial [reminder] by blowing [of trumpets], a holy convocation. You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to YHWH. (Lev. 23:23-25)
Now one can find a more detailed description of the actual celebration at Numbers 29, but the real elegance in Leviticus is in the simplicity which will become more apparent when we get to actually looking at how we may design our holy convocation, in these days when we have no sacrifices, except the daily, Christ, our covering, the grain offering of our lives. However, to commemorate what the Lord intended us to remember, we must look through the mist of what is lost to time and memory, and absorb the symbols of the sacrifices in the depth of what they point to in spiritual realities. For that we will delve into the fractal expansion of Leviticus 23:23-25 which we find in the first six verses of Numbers 29. This fractal development shows more detail and we will save that for later.
For now it is enough to ask: what are we to commemorate in this memorial? The answer to that question may surprise many readers.
Today, we must search out the matter, because it is a matter of prophecy. If we do not, then it is simply a hollow observance, and how can we come to the Lord ignorant of what He has given us? We are to appear before the Lord for His festivals, but not to come before Him empty handed.
The meaning of Trumpets can only be grasped in its context within the calendar year as God established it, and where it lies in the sequence of High Sabbaths and Feast Days. As we examine that and look to the spiritual harvest of souls in the time of the end, we can see the Lord’s purpose. Of the 7 high Sabbaths 4 occur in the 7th month, which means that the turn of the year, and the final time of the greater harvest of Judea are most significant when it comes to shedding understanding on the Lord’s harvest of the seeds that He sowed.
Looking forward in time from the revelation of ‘appointed times’ given to Moses, there are only a few times that involve the blowing of trumpets. First, there is the blowing of trumpets on 7 days, circling Jericho with the last day being a recapitulation with 7 circuits of the city with trumpets blown each time (Joshua 6). This physical event contains the right elements and numbers but is still a physical shadow of a coming spiritual reality. Certainly Joshua [translated Iesou in the Septuagint] is a figure who like Christ, leads the faithful into the ‘promised land.’
A similar triumph occurs with Gideon over the Midianites in Judges, with his 300 chosen men with trumpets, and empty pitchers containing torches. This part of Israel’s history likewise shows what the King of Kings can do with a remnant, and we will visit this prophetic event in another posting. But this, as in the time of Joshua and Jericho, are events of war and not of harvest.
Returning to Numbers 29 as the expanded blueprint, the larger fractal representation of ‘the turn of the year,’ the reader of scripture is guided to see Trumpets in the context of the final days of the harvest of God’s vineyard, His people, and of course, the fire that goes before Him at His coming (Ps. 97:3). And here it is that the knowledge of God is lost in antiquity. The stewards of the oracles of God, the House of Jacob, did not conserve the knowledge of God.
Did this not prompt Jesus to say to the Pharisees, “Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.” (Luke 11:52) Of course, people cannot enter into His rest, because they do not know Him, nor do they know His ways, and why He has ordained these things for His people. And so they remain outside of His fellowship.
Looking to the future, the real days leading to the final harvest [Succoth] the disciple can behold the time of the trumpets. And Solomon’s dedication of the temple provides a very telling foreshadowing, complete with trumpets. (2 Chr. 5:12-14) Pay careful note: the ark of the covenant of YHWH has been brought to its place in the inner sanctuary of the house, the holy of holies, under the wings of the cherubim. (2 Chr. 5:7) Solomon makes a beautiful prayer of dedication, looking ahead to the future of the House of Israel.
“As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord‘s house.” (2 Chr. 7:1-2)
Bearing in mind the fractal scaling of the 7th month, and the 7 end time years of tribulation, there are 7 trumpets that together compose the 7th seal on the scroll which the Lamb opens. The time period encompassed by the 7 angels blowing their trumpets fills chapters 8 through 11 in Revelation. Of the first 6 trumpets, 5 blast with an accompaniment of fire and smoke, while 1 [the fourth trumpet] brings forth a darkening of a third of the sun, moon, and stars. There is great burning of the earth with these blasts, and 3 plagues of the 6th trumpet kill one third of mankind, viz. by fire and smoke and brimstone (Rev. 9:18).
Finally, comes the last trump, accompanied by voices in heaven declaring: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” (Rev. 11:15)
It is here at last that we find the treasure, the reason for His memorial day, and is it not a fitting one? What the Lord established for this feast day is to commemorate the sacrifice of the wicked by fire, a burnt offering, including the burning of all that is wicked within our own hearts (Num. 29:4), and a sin offering (Num. 29:5), the clearing away of iniquity which Daniel prophesied in the 70 weeks prophesy. And with this removal of iniquity in the House of Israel, then may the kingdom be established in righteousness (Prov. 25:5).
And what sign do we see of the Lord in heaven to accompany this great announcement?
And the sanctuary of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His sanctuary, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm. (Rev. 11:19, cf. 2 Chr. 5:7 et al.)
Is this not the sign of the son of Man seen in Heaven? The 7 trumpets begin and end with lightning and thunder and an earthquake. It is the announcement, the shaking of the earth to let the inhabitants know that the son of Man is coming on clouds of great glory. He is the ‘ark of the covenant,’ the one containing the manna, the 10 Living Words, and the ‘rod of Aaron.’
So how ought we celebrate this High Sabbath day which commemorates the taking of the kingdom of this world from the adversary and handing it to Christ Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords? The Lord is now King in His temple, even though the adversary will come as the counterfeit proclaiming he is the Christ. The Lord, as the ark of the covenant now reigns with His elect, and all those sacrificed for Him. What is to be our celebration of these greater spiritual realities?
Disciples may want to look to the minutia given in Numbers 29, which show the detail of the offerings; A bull for the man of lawlessness and His minions, a Ram for the false prophet and those who believe him, 7 unblemished lambs for the 7 congregations, many of whom will be sacrificed during the Affliction, and 1 goat for a sin offering for the adversary who is being sacrificed through the destruction of his servants. Perhaps another posting will go into more depth here, for one can debate the fine points of what God was revealing through the law of the offerings. But we are in a different time now, and we can trust that the knowledge of the Lord which was shown through those sacrifices, was for the wise servants of that time, things which Moses and David knew. What is key is the burnt offering, which means the burning away, the purification of the old beast nature. For those with the pure nature of lambs, they are the Lord’s little lambs, and they will complete the full number of the sacrifice.
In the hour of the resurrection of the 2 witnesses (Rev. 11:11) there is a great earthquake and “7000 names of men killed in the earthquake.” (Rev. 11:13) Why are the names mentioned? These are some who Jesus will confess by name before the Father. They are part of His sacrifice. This would appear to be the end of the sacrifice and the grain offering as foretold in Daniel 9:27, for we are at mid-week, 1260 days into the final Messianic week of the 70 week prophecy. As this day portends the end of the days of Elijah [and Moses] could it be that these 7000 signify the spiritual fulfillment of the words of the Lord to Elijah (1Ki19:18) regarding the 7000 who have not bent the knee to Baal? It seems reasonable, but this is a question for another time, and another exploration of the time of the Affliction.
Now we are in the time of the end, approaching the harvest. There is no temple, so there is no longer a burnt offering. We are the living sacrifice, to present ourselves holy to the Lord. Do we need to blow trumpets? The same Hebrew word, Teruah, can mean ‘shoutings.’ So we are to make a joyful noise, we may want to blow a ram’s horn, the Shofar. It is for the Elect, the chosen ones, to help shape this celebration in the days that lead to the day of the Lord, when the kingdom becomes His.
And the great apostle Paul emphasized the importance of keeping the new moons, Sabbaths, and feasts, all of the “appointed times,” for in writing to pagan converts he told them not to be concerned by those who might judge them for observing these holy days (Col. 2:16-19). After all, the pagans had their own holy days, which are good enough for everyone else, why not for these followers of Jesus? In many ways, western civilization has mirrored this attitude in criticizing followers of Jesus for the very same thing, following the Lord in the ways He walked and in keeping the holy days he set aside as appointments to be with Him. He is Lord of the Sabbath and set that time aside and sanctified it so we would be with Him during a holy time. But the essence of all these Sabbaths, all 72 of them, weekly Sabbaths, new moons, and High Sabbaths including Feast Days, is to honor the reality behind them.
Therefore let no no one judge you in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or new moon or Sabbath days — things which are a shadow of what is to come; but the body [is] of Christ. (Col. 2:17)
The statement is not only enigmatic but has been so troubling to Christendom as to allow lawlessness to gain a greater foothold through the antinomian theology that uses this verse to put the nail in the coffin of sabbath observance. To reiterate that stated above, this is not written to followers of Judaism, but to a congregation mostly composed of Christian converts who may be new to Sabbaths and feast days. He is delivering to them the mystery that these festivals are the shadow cast by Christ, with His body being the reality or substance behind them. Therefore, they are testimony to His advent and glories as He delivers the world from darkness and death.
And as one of the High Sabbaths, the Day of Trumpets fits within this template as being a shadow of Christ who is to come. It is a shadow of His completion of the temple in Heaven and the sacrifices that go with it and of His installation as King of kings, just as there were great trumpets and fanfare with the installation of Solomon as king and the completion of the temple with the ark and the Shekinah glory filling the House of the Lord. And so should it be a Sabbath for that day that the Ark of the Covenant appears in the heavenly temple.
We are to do no work. We are to keep the day holy, it is a sabbath to YHWH. We are to have a convocation, even if only 2 or 3 can gather in the name of the Lord. In the name of Jesus Christ we can gather and sing, make a joyful noise, and look ahead in joy to the day when the kingdom becomes His. Music, scripture, fellowship in love and worship, these are the hallmarks of the Day of Trumpets. As well, we should prepare ourselves for the next feast, Yom Kipporim, which is a day to humble ourselves, to fast and keep a day of offering. So on Trumpets disciples should be mindful of offering up anything that is not holy, that is of the world, that must be swept away before His Holiness; that which has no part in His kingdom.
In this way we will not come empty handed but offering for the burnt offering all that must needs be burned away. This is the great Day that launches the 7th month and ushers in the final part of the harvest days. Let us rejoice now for the day of the Lord is near. As Joel proclaimed, and is the header for this site:
Blow a horn in Zion and sound an alarm on my Holy Mountain, For the Day of the Lord is coming, Surely it is near. – Joel 2:1
And so may it be.