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The Feast of Trumpets

(Yom Teruah or Day of Acclamation)

 

Today is the Feast of Trumpets. It is commanded by Lev 23:23-25. Let’s read it:

(Lev 23:23-25 NASB) Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, {24} "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'In the seventh month on the first of the month, you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. {25} 'You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD.'"

So, let’s discuss this yearly high-day - this day of joyful acclamation.

The seventh biblical month is commonly called by its Babylonian name, Tishri. The Hebrew name for the seventh month is Ethanim.

Being the first day of the month, it is also a new moon day. In fact, it is the only yearly High Day to fall on the first day of the biblical month.

In some translations the words “of trumpets” in verse 24 are in italics. That is because these words are not in the original text. They have been provided by the translators. So, verse 24 should read “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month, you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing, a holy convocation.’

“By blowing.” What does that mean? Let’s look at the word. The Hebrew word for “blowing” is “teru’ah,” Strongs’ number 8643, which means “a shout or blast of war, alarm, or joy.” The root of teruah is rua, Strongs’ number 7321, which means “to raise a shout or give a blast.”

The Tanakh says the following for verse 24: “Speak to the Israelite people thus: In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe complete rest, a sacred occasion commemorated with loud blasts.”

What are “loud blasts?” Let’s look at some scriptural examples.

Numbers 10:10 tells us to blow trumpets on the first day of each month.

(Num 10:10 NKJV) "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."

But, the word “trumpets”in this verse is a translation of the Hebrew word “chatsotsrah,” (Khats-o-tser-aw’) Strongs’ number 2689, which is described as a long metal tube with a flared end. Jewish tradition tells us that the shofar or ram’s horn, #7782, was blown on the Feast of Trumpets but Numbers 10:2,10 tells us that silver trumpets were blown, not ram’s horns.

Let’s look at another scripture which describes the use of the shofar or ram’s horn.

(Josh 6:1-5 NKJV) Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in. {2} And the LORD said to Joshua: "See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. {3} "You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days. {4} "And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams' horns [shofar] before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. {5} "It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet [shofar], that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him."

In verse 4, we are told that the priests shall blow what is translated as “trumpets” of rams’ horns from the Hebrew word “shofar,” Strongs’ number 7782. The same is true for verse 5, but in verse 5 we are told that the people should also shout with a great shout.

In Numbers 10 we see that the priests were commanded to make a loud noise with silver trumpets on God’s holy Feast days and on the New Moon days. In Leviticus 23:24 we see that the people were to make a loud noise by blowing (teruah or shouting); and in Joshua 6:4 and 5 that the priests were to make a loud noise by the blowing of rams’ horns while the people shouted.

Let’s look at another event about the people making a great shout.

(1 Sam 4:3-6 NKJV) And when the people had come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, "Why has the LORD defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD from Shiloh to us, that when it comes among us it may save us from the hand of our enemies." {4} So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from there the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, who dwells between the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. {5} And when the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp, all Israel shouted [ruwa, 7321, a joyful shout] so loudly that the earth shook. {6} Now when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, "What does the sound of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean?" Then they understood that the ark of the LORD had come into the camp.

The same type of joyful shouting occurred involving King David.

(2 Sam 6:12-15 NKJV) Now it was told King David, saying, "The LORD has blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God." So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with gladness. {13} And so it was, when those bearing the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, that he sacrificed oxen and fatted sheep. {14} Then David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. {15} So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting [teruah, 8643] and with the sound of the trumpet [shofar].

Later, the ark was again welcomed and celebrated with shouting and musical instruments.

(1 Chr 15:24-28 NKJV) Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, were to blow the trumpets before the ark of God; and Obed-Edom and Jehiah, doorkeepers for the ark. {25} So David, the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD from the house of Obed-Edom with joy. {26} And so it was, when God helped the Levites who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, that they offered seven bulls and seven rams. {27} David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, as were all the Levites who bore the ark, the singers, and Chenaniah the music master with the singers. David also wore a linen ephod.[a richly embroidered, priestly outer garment] {28} Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting [teruah, 8643] and with the sound of the horn [shofar], with trumpets [chats-o-tser-ah’] and with cymbals, making music with stringed instruments and harps.

In Psalms, David spoke of rejoicing before God with shouts of joy.

(Psa 33:3 NKJV) Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy [teruah].

(Psa 150:3 NKJV) Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet [shofar]; Praise Him with the lute and harp!

Teruah also applies to the alarm of war. In Jeremiah 4, the prophet speaks of the destruction of Jerusalem and here the alarm of war is again connected with the shofar.

(Jer 4:15-19 NKJV) For a voice declares from Dan And proclaims affliction from Mount Ephraim: {16} "Make mention to the nations, Yes, proclaim against Jerusalem, That watchers come from a far country And raise their voice against the cities of Judah. {17} Like keepers of a field they are against her all around, Because she has been rebellious against Me," says the LORD. {18} "Your ways and your doings Have procured these things for you. This is your wickedness, Because it is bitter, Because it reaches to your heart." {19} O my soul, my soul! I am pained in my very heart! My heart makes a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, Because you have heard, O my soul, The sound of the trumpet [shofar], The alarm [teruah] of war. [Sounds like a prophesy for our day, especially in Libya and Egypt.]

In Jeremiah 49:2, the prophet again speaks of the alarm of war but this time he speaks of the future.

(Jer 49:2 NKJV) Therefore behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "That I will cause to be heard an alarm [teruah] of war In Rabbah [the capitol of modern-day Jordan] of the Ammonites; It shall be a desolate mound, And her villages shall be burned with fire. Then Israel shall take possession of his inheritance," says the LORD

In 1 Chron 13:8, we find the same word, chatsotserah, (khats-o-tser-aw’) was used for the silver trumpets, as was used to describe David’s and the people’s celebration at the arrival of the ark in Jerusalem.

(1 Chr 13:8 NKJV) Then David and all Israel played music before God with all their might, with singing, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on cymbals, and with [silver] trumpets.

Concerning the later history of the Feast of Trumpets, the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia states "The instrument to be used in the trumpeting is not specified in the Bible, but Jewish tradition decided in favor of the shofar and not the silver trumpet…"

In fact, we see by the time of David that Israel was already celebrating with both horns [shofars] and trumpets [chatsotsrah] together. We saw this displayed back in 1 Chron 15:28 where we read: "Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, and with sound of the horn [shofar], with trumpets [chatsotsrah], with loud-sounding cymbals, with harps and lyres."

We can also see that the shofar was used as a signal to announce the coronation of the new King Solomon during David’s last days.

(1 Ki 1:32-35 NASB) Then King David said, "Call to me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada." And they came into the king's presence. {33} And the king said to them, "Take with you the servants of your lord, and have my son Solomon ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon. {34} "And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there as king over Israel, and blow the trumpet [shofar] and say, 'Long live King Solomon!' {35} "Then you shall come up after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne and be king in my place; for I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and Judah."

In 2 Kings 11, we can see another example of trumpets being blown at the coronation of Judah’s King, Joash.

After the exile of Judah in Babylon for seventy years, God stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, king of Persia, to allow certain of the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. In Ezra 3, we can read about the rebuilding process and how they began to keep the feasts of the seventh month upon their return. I won’t take the time to read it now but I suggest you do.

(Ezra 3 NKJV) And when the seventh month had come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered together as one man to Jerusalem. {2} Then Jeshua the son of Jozadak and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and his brethren, arose and built the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings on it, as it is written in the Law of Moses the man of God. {3} Though fear had come upon them because of the people of those countries, they set the altar on its bases; and they offered burnt offerings on it to the LORD, both the morning and evening burnt offerings. {4} They also kept the Feast of Tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings in the number required by ordinance for each day. {5} Afterwards they offered the regular burnt offering, and those for New Moons and for all the appointed feasts of the LORD that were consecrated, and those of everyone who willingly offered a freewill offering to the LORD. {6} From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the LORD, although the foundation of the temple of the LORD had not been laid. {7} They also gave money to the masons and the carpenters, and food, drink, and oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre to bring cedar logs from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, according to the permission which they had from Cyrus king of Persia. {8} Now in the second month of the second year of their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the rest of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all those who had come out of the captivity to Jerusalem, began work and appointed the Levites from twenty years old and above to oversee the work of the house of the LORD. {9} Then Jeshua with his sons and brothers, Kadmiel with his sons, and the sons of Judah, arose as one to oversee those working on the house of God: the sons of Henadad with their sons and their brethren the Levites. {10} When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests stood in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the LORD, according to the ordinance of David king of Israel. {11} And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD: "For He is good, For His mercy endures forever toward Israel." Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. {12} But many of the priests and Levites and heads of the fathers' houses, old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes. Yet many shouted aloud for joy, {13} so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout [teruah] , and the sound was heard afar off.

What have we learned about the Feast of Trumpets so far? We’ve seen that it might be more properly termed the Feast of Teruah, heralding Christ’s return. The Teruah, the loud shout, was produced by the voices of the people, by the sons of Aaron with the silver trumpets and, over time, with the shofars. We’ve seen examples showing that the shouts were produced by the people as a sign of joy and to herald the arrival of a new King. Teruah was and will also be a warning of war. Let’s see if we can shed any more light on the meaning of the day from the scriptures and prophecies of the New Testament.

In the New Testament, the Greek word for trumpet is Strongs’ # 4536, salpigx (sal’pinx), and it means a trumpet. In Hebrews 12:18, Paul speaks of the opportunity and obligation we have in the New Testament church. He says that what in the Old Testament was a foreshadow of things to come, is now the reality of what awaits God’s chosen people. Were last Thursday’s attack on the US by Libyan Moslems a foreshadow?

(Heb 12:18-29 NKJV) For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, {19} and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. {20} (For they could not endure what was commanded: "And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow." {21} And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, "I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.") {22} But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, {23} to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, {24} to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. {25} See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, {26} whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven." {27} Now this, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. {28} Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. {29} For our God is a consuming fire.

Paul also spoke of God’s power shaking the earth and heaven. That is the warning of the feast of trumpets: It’s the war that lies ahead of us during the fearful “Day of the Lord..” In Matthew 24, Jesus gives us an overview of what will happen during those days.

(Mat 24:3-31 NKJV) Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" {4} And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you. {5} "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. {6} "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. {7} "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. {8} "All these are the beginning of sorrows. {9} "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. {10} "And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. {11} "Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. {12} "And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. {13} "But he who endures to the end shall be saved. {14} "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. {15} "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), {16} "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. {17} "Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. {18} "And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. {19} "But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! {20} "And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. {21} "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. {22} "And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened. {23} "Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!' do not believe it. {24} "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. {25} "See, I have told you beforehand. {26} "Therefore if they say to you, 'Look, He is in the desert!' do not go out; or 'Look, He is in the inner rooms!' do not believe it. {27} "For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. {28} "For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together. {29} "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. {30} "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. {31} "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.

In 1 Cor 15:51, Paul also explains the sequence of events surrounding the heralding of Messiah’s return.

(1 Cor 15:51-52 NKJV) Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed; {52} 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.

In 1 Thessalonians 4:13, Paul continues to comfort us concerning both the fate of Christians who have died in faith and the return of our Lord. In fact, this is the only place in the New Testament where a certain Greek word for shout is used. It is Strongs’ #2752, keleuma (kel’-yoo-mah), and it means a shout of command. It comes from a root word, meaning to command.

(1 Th 4:13-18 NKJV) But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. {14} For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. {15} For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. {16} 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. {17} 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. {18} Therefore comfort one another with these words.

We already have an example in Old Testament scripture foreshadowing the coronation of our returning king. Do you remember how David put Solomon on his mule and proclaimed him king to his subjects? In Mark 11:7, we see how Christ was received as a king when he entered Jerusalem, shortly before his execution.

(Mark 11:7-10 NKJV) Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and He sat on it. {8} And many spread their clothes on the road, and others cut down leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road. {9} Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: "Hosanna! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!' {10} Blessed is the kingdom of our father David That comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"

As you can tell, the circumstances did not exactly match the coronation of Solomon. It was missing the anointing, the crown, and the trumpets because it only foreshadowed Christ’s real coronation that was yet to come.

Before that coronation, however, God’s patience with the evil in this world runs out. From Daniel 12 to Matthew 24 to many other scriptures in both the Old Testament as well as the New Testament, both we and the world have been given ample warning of the day of reckoning to come. God will determine the time for His judgment to be executed upon the earth. In the Old Testament, the time is known as the Day of the Lord. It is a time of fear and trembling, a day we all hope to somehow escape. One of the songs in our hymnal speaks of this time from the book of Joel.

(Joel 2:1-15 NKJV) Blow the trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; For the day of the LORD is coming, For it is at hand: {2} A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. A people come, great and strong, The like of whom has never been; Nor will there ever be any such after them, Even for many successive generations. {3} A fire devours before them, And behind them a flame burns; The land is like the Garden of Eden before them, And behind them a desolate wilderness; Surely nothing shall escape them. {4} Their appearance is like the appearance of horses; And like swift steeds, so they run. {5} With a noise like chariots Over mountaintops they leap, Like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble, Like a strong people set in battle array. {6} Before them the people writhe in pain; All faces are drained of color. {7} They run like mighty men, They climb the wall like men of war; Every one marches in formation, And they do not break ranks. {8} They do not push one another; Every one marches in his own column. Though they lunge between the weapons, They are not cut down. {9} They run to and fro in the city, They run on the wall; They climb into the houses, They enter at the windows like a thief. {10} The earth quakes before them, The heavens tremble; The sun and moon grow dark, And the stars diminish their brightness. {11} The LORD gives voice before His army, For His camp is very great; For strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; Who can endure it? {12} "Now, therefore," says the LORD, "Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning." {13} So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm. {14} Who knows if He will turn and relent, And leave a blessing behind Him; A grain offering and a drink offering For the LORD your God? {15} Blow the trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly;

Let’s continue in Joel 3:9.

(Joel 3:9-16 NKJV) Proclaim this among the nations: "Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, Let all the men of war draw near, Let them come up. {10} Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, 'I am strong.'" {11} Assemble and come, all you nations, And gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O LORD. {12} "Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations. {13} Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; For the winepress is full, The vats overflow; For their wickedness is great." {14} Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. {15} The sun and moon will grow dark, And the stars will diminish their brightness. {16} The LORD also will roar from Zion, And utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake; But the LORD will be a shelter for His people, And the strength of the children of Israel.

Truly, the time of God’s vengeance as well as the time of God’s judgment is coming upon the earth. That time is announced and heralded by the sounding of trumpets.

Most people think the wrath and judgment of God are just concepts portraying the mean, angry, harsh, and unforgiving God of the Old Testament. Nothing could be further from the truth. God is consistent. He lives by the same standards and judges by the same standards He did thousands and even millions of years ago. As the Day of the Lord is announced with trumpet blasts in the book of Joel, the seven stages of the same time of God’s judgment are each announced with a trumpet blast in the book of Revelation.

(Rev 8 NKJV) When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. {2} And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. {3} Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. {4} And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand. {5} Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. {6} So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. {7} 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. {8} Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. {9} And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. {10} Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. {11} The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter. {12} Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night. {13} And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, "Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!"

(Rev 9 NKJV) Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. {2} And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. {3} Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. {4} They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. {5} And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. {6} In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them. {7} The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. {8} They had hair like women's hair, and their teeth were like lions' teeth. {9} And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. {10} They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months. {11} And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon. {12} One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things. {13} Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, {14} saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates." {15} So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind.

Notice that the killer of one third of the earth is from the area of the Euphrates River. So is Syria and Iraq. Nuclear Iran is only about ten miles away in places.

{16} Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. {17} And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. {18} By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed; by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths. {19} For their power is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm. {20} But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. {21} And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

Let’s continue in Revelation 11:15.

(Rev 11:15-17 NKJV) 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!" [Not just a thousand years] {16} And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, {17} saying: "We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.

We can get a glimpse of the future coronation by looking at the heavenly picture in scripture. Daniel shows us, in vision, the interrelationship between the Father and the Son.

(Dan 7:9-14 NKJV) "I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire; {10} A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened. {11} "I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame. {12} "As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. {13} "I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. {14} Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.

We can fill in even more details from the New Testament through the visions given to the Apostle John in the book of Revelation.

(Rev 19:1-9 NKJV) After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! {2} "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." {3} Again they said, "Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!" {4} And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, "Amen! Alleluia!" {5} Then a voice came from the throne, saying, "Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!" {6} 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! {7} "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." {8} 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. {9} 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."

Focus, for a minute, on verses eight and nine: “And it was given to her [the bride] to clothe herself in fine linen, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints” and “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” So here we have two important features of the Lamb’s wedding: the bride and the invited guests. We know that the bride of the Lamb will be the saints because it says so: “The fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” We don’t know much, however, about the invited guests but we can learn more by focusing on their clothing. The parable given by Jesus in Matthew 22:2 explains it in detail.

(Mat 22:2-14 NKJV) "The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, {3} "and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. {4} "Again, he sent out other servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited, "See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding."' {5} "But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. {6} "And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. {7} "But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. {8} "Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. {9} 'Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.' {10} "So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. {11} "But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment.

Notice that! Even though those in the second group of invited guests were indiscriminately chosen from people on the main highways, there were certain standards expected of them. They were expected to be wearing appropriate “wedding clothes.” In this parable, we see the example is talking about physical attire but we just read in Revelation that the bride’s physical clothes of “fine linen” had spiritual interpretation that was, in reality, “righteous acts.” Can’t we see that the physical “wedding clothes” expected of the invited guest would, similarly, portray the standards expected of the guests? Let’s continue in verse 12.

{12} "So he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?' [without righteousness] And he was speechless. {13} "Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' {14} "For many are called, but few are chosen." [He was called but not chosen.]

Remember verse 14. “For many are called but few are chosen.”

In the New American Standard version, there is another instance of the word translated “shout.” It is, however, a different Greek word with a slightly different meaning. It is Strongs’ number 2906, kraugay and it means an outcry. Its root is from a word meaning to cry out.

Matthew 25 details the parable of the ten virgins. For many years, we’ve heard the warning expounded from this parable and have been told to be diligent to be on guard in order to avoid missing out by spiritually sleeping on the job and not being filled with God’s Holy Spirit. That’s true. We should take warning from this parable but there’s more to the parable than just a warning. Let’s read it. To gain the whole sense of the parable, we’ll start at the beginning in Matthew 25.

(Mat 25:1-13 NASB) "Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went out to meet the bridegroom. {2} "And five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. {3} "For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, {4} but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. {5} "Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. {6} "But at midnight there was a shout, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' {7} "Then all those virgins rose, and trimmed their lamps. {8} "And the foolish said to the prudent, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' {9} "But the prudent answered, saying, 'No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.' {10} "And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. {11} "And later the other virgins also came, saying, 'Lord, lord, open up for us.' {12} "But he answered and said, 'Truly I say to you, I do not know you.' {13} "Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.

The parable of the ten virgins is all about a wedding feast. Speaking to the Church of God at Corinth in 2 Corinthians 11:2, Paul identifies the two parties involved in the coming spiritual marriage.

(2 Cor 11:2 NKJV) For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

At His return to earth, Jesus Christ is to be married to the Church of God and those “virgins” found to be worthy for admittance to the wedding feast. He will be announced with a “shout or outcry” but note that not all of the “virgins” originally called to the feast will be counted as worthy to be admitted to the feast. Remember, the answer given to half of the ten virgins is “I do not know you.”

Our righteous redeemer is committed to dispense the glorious government of His great Father in heaven. With his chosen servants, the saints, he will rule the entire world by the Father’s standards with fairness and equity for all. We can get a glimpse of that righteous government in Isaiah 42.

(Isa 42:1-14 NKJV) "Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. {2} He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. {3} A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth. {4} He will not fail nor be discouraged, Till He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands shall wait for His law." {5} Thus says God the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, Who gives breath to the people on it, And spirit to those who walk on it: {6} "I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, And will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the Gentiles, {7} To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the prison, Those who sit in darkness from the prison house. {8} I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images. {9} Behold, the former things have come to pass, And new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them." {10} Sing to the LORD a new song, And His praise from the ends of the earth, You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, You coastlands and you inhabitants of them! {11} Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voice, The villages that Kedar inhabits. Let the inhabitants of Sela sing, Let them shout from the top of the mountains. {12} Let them give glory to the LORD, And declare His praise in the coastlands. {13} The LORD shall go forth like a mighty man; He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war. He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud; He shall prevail against His enemies. {14} "I have held My peace a long time, I have been still and restrained Myself. Now I will cry like a woman in labor, I will pant and gasp at once.

In conclusion, the Day of Trumpets shows in many ways that there is much in store for us. In one sense, Yom Teruah, the Day of Trumpets, is a somber day of warning and an alarm to prepare for the coming World War of the Day of the Lord. At the same time, however, it is a day of joyful shouts of praise to our Great Father because he is sending our Messiah and King back to earth to rule the world in peace forever. That is the good News or gospel of the kingdom of God. At Christ’s return, all the “virgins” of the Church of God, both the living as well as the resurrected saints, will be joined to the Messiah and will rule with him in God’s government on earth.

We just read in Matthew 25:13, “Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.” In Matthew 24:36, Christ stated to his disciples that no one except the Father knows his actual day of return.

(Mat 24:36 NKJV) "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.

Did you get that? Just think how great our Father is. There is not one other spiritual being in heaven who knows the day and hour of Christ’s return to earth. Even Jesus doesn’t know the exact time of his return. The decision is in the hands of our righteous Father, God Most High. What great power and insight our Father has!

Whether Christ’s return is actually going to be on the day of the Feast of Trumpets, or on some other day, only the Father knows for sure. The memorial of Yom Teruah, pictured by the Day of Trumpets, is the same, however.

Today is a day to celebrate. “Go, eat of the fat [things], drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord [Adonai]. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD [Yahweh] is your strength.”

So, make a joyful noise to God, the Father of all, and shout, shout, shout with joy - for the king returns!

 

 

 

Sermon given by Wayne Bedwell

5 September 2013

with attribution to Hebrew Roots Magazine and Philip Edwards

 

 

Copyright 2013, Wayne Bedwell

 

 

 

 

 

       Church of God Most High 

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