Feast of Trumpets
The blowing of trumpets is a sign of the return of Messiah and memorial of God’s grace to Abraham when He substituted a ram to be sacrificed instead of Isaac (Gen. 22). Isaac is a type of foreshadowing of Messiah Yeshua. Just as Abraham offered his son on the altar, God offered His son on Moriah’s altar. Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 11:17-19 says:
“By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.”
Both Isaac’s and Messiah’s births were miracles. Both were obedient to the point of sacrifice.
Trumpets were used in giving signals of war. Yeshua is the commander of the army of God. The Hebrew people were looking for a deliverer who would defeat the Roman army. Yeshua came, the first time, to defeat the work of Satan and the sin in men’s hearts. And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it (Col. 2:15).
In the same way this Holy Day speaks to the Believer about spiritual warfare.
Put on the whole amour of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Because of this take unto you the whole amour of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Yeshua is our armor because He defeated Satan. When we put on Messiah we will triumph over evil forces. (Eph. 6:11-13)
The Feast of Trumpets can be a very special time for believers in Messiah. Our sins are not forgiven just when we “believe.” James 2:19 says:
“You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devil also believes, and trembles.”
To be forgiven, we must have a repentant heart. We must come in submission to our Heavenly father, asking for forgiveness, knowing that He will forgive us, as a father forgives his child. That forgiveness which we seek has been guaranteed–bought and paid for by Yeshua’s atoning sacrifice on the tree.
The Feast of Trumpets is a major festival. The three major festivals are Passover, Pentecost and Feast of Trumpets. We know Passover represents the sacrifice of Messiah, and Pentecost represents the coming of the Holy Spirit, so it stands to reason that the Feast of Trumpets represents a very special time.
The trumpet was the signal for the field workers to come into the Temple. The high priest actually stood on the southwestern parapet of the Temple and blew the trumpet so it could be heard in the surrounding fields. At that instant the faithful would stop harvesting, even if there were more crops to bring in, and leave immediately for worship service. On Rosh Hashanah, a series of one hundred trumpet blasts is sounded to announce the setting up of the eternal court, with the trumpets heralding God as the all-seeing, all-knowing Judge of the Universe. Jewish tradition says that this court date is to find out who are righteous and have their names in the Book of Life through the Messiah. All other people are a mixture of good and bad, and God in His mercy will delay their court date for a period of time to allow them to try and prepare a proper defense. The second court date is on Yom Kippur.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Messiah shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thess. 4:16-17)
It is possible that Rosh Hashanah will be fulfilled when the Messiah comes on the clouds, the dead in Messiah rise to meet the Lord in the air, and those who are alive are changed in an instant in the blinking of an eye to an eternal, immortal body. All of those whose names are in the Lamb’s Book of Life have open and shut cases and are righteous, not by their own deeds, but by the blood of the Lamb.
Rabbis have taught that after being resurrected on the Feast of Trumpets, the righteous would enter the chupah (wedding canopy) to spend seven years while the “day of trouble” (tribulation), the seven years of judgment occurs on earth. By examining an ancient Jewish wedding, we can more clearly see the picture of the union of the Messianic Community (the bride) with the Messiah.
When a man in ancient Israel married, he went to the bride’s house with a “bride price” and made a contract (covenant) with the girl’s father. If the father accepted the man and his bride price, the man would pour a glass of wine. If the girl drank it, it would indicate that she accepted the man’s proposal and they were betrothed. The man would go away and prepare a wedding chamber for his bride. When the man’s father deemed that the wedding chamber was ready, usually one to two years later, the man would return to the bride’s house and “steal” her away “like a thief in the night” at an hour when no one would suspect. He would take her to the wedding chamber for seven days. During this time, the groom’s father would hold a party to announce the marriage. At the end of the seventh day, the married couple would emerge from the chamber and partake of the marriage supper.
The ancient Jewish wedding is a picture of Yeshua the Bridegroom and His bride, the body of Messiah. The contract (covenant) was sealed at the Last Passover when Yeshua shared the covenant cup with His disciples.
And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many. (Mark 14:24)
Yeshua, in speaking to the Disciples after the last Passover said the same words that any Jewish man would tell his betrothed.
In my father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:2-3)
And, of course, Yeshua paid the “bride price” with His life. The marriage of the Believers to Yeshua is described in several Bible texts.
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. (Rev. 19:7-8)
The Jewish wedding ceremony is another beautiful shadow of Messiah’s return.
Teshuvah and Days of Awe
The forty-day season called Teshuvah (return or repentance) starts thirty days before the Feast of Trumpets, and is a shadow of God’s prophetic plan. The entire ten days from the first day of the Feast of Trumpets through the Day of Atonement are known as the Days of Repentance or Days of Awe. The days between may be a picture of the tribulation. The days between the Feast of the Trumpets and Day of Atonement reflect the seven-year period of Jacob’s Trouble. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it (Jer. 30:7). One theory divides the days as follows:
- The thirty days of the month of Elul —the body of Messiah
- The Day of the Feast of Trumpets—the Rapture
- The days between the Feast of Trumpets and Day of Atonement—Tribulation
- The Day of Atonement—the Second Coming
For thirty days the shofar is blown every morning in the Synagogue to remind the people that the holy days are approaching, in order that they may prepare themselves. Their preparation consists of confessing their sins and seeking forgiveness along with a change in life, if needed. The Jews’ earnest prayer is that their names may be written in the Book of Life. This might represent the period before the rapture—calling people to repentance. One’s name is written in the Book of Life only when he or she has a repentant heart and comes in submission to our Heavenly Father, asking for forgiveness through Yeshua’s death and resurrection.
Coronation of Yeshua, Our King
Jewish eschatology teaches that on the Day of Atonement after six thousand years are complete, the Day of the Lord will come. On that day the shofar will sound, the righteous will be resurrected and will attend the coronation of the King. According to Jewish eschatology, the gates of heaven are opened on Rosh Hashanah and closed on Yom Kippur. This brings us to the book of Revelation, chapter 3:7-11. Note the two words here that relate to Rosh Hashanah: open door (as the gates of heaven are opened on Rosh Hashanah) and crown (as in a coronation).
And to the angel of the Congregation’s in Philadelphia write; These things say he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that opens, and no man shuts; and shuts, and no man opens; I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept my word, and have not denied my name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept the word of my patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you have, that no man take thy crown. (Rev. 3:7-11)
Daniel 7:9-14 also speaks of the Messiah returning to reign as king.
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit… thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened [The Day of Judgment]. I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man [Jesus] came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
In Revelation, chapters 8 through 10, the seven trumpets and the “Mystery of God” are revealed at the final blast:
And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And swear by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. (Rev.10:5-7)
Remember, whatever theory you believe, you should have joyful expectations (Titus 2:13) and be patiently waiting in obedience (1 Cor. 1:7, 1 Tim. 6:14). Celebrate Rosh Hashanah by teaching about repentance, renewing your heart toward God, and looking forward to the Second Coming of our Lord!