Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
The Feast of Trumpets -- Future Enthronement of YEHOVAH God!
The main theme of the Feast of Trumpets is KINGSHIP! The blowing of trumpets was the sign that kings could then begin to rule -- see I Kings 1:34. Jewish authorities have long conceded this royal association with the Feast of Trumpets. Many scholars believe that in ancient Israel YEHOVAH was crowned annually at the "New Year feast of YEHOVAH." Clearly, the major theme of the Feast of Trumpets is that of enthronement of YEHOVAH God -- followed by the commencement of His reign on this earth.
by John D. Keyser
In the fall of the year, the High Holy Days begin. The first day of the seventh month is called "Rosh Hashanah," which means, literally, "the Head of the year." It is the first day of the first month of the Civil Calendar. It is also called the Feast of Trumpets, or "Blowing of Trumpets" (Leviticus 23:23). The shofar, or ram's horn, was blown to commemorate and inaugurate the day.
The Feast of Trumpets has a special relationship to the coming "Day of the LORD" in Bible prophecy. The "Day of the LORD," mentioned in many prophecies in the Old Testament, is the time when YEHOVAH God the Father will begin to intervene in world affairs, and to bring warnings and plagues upon the earth, because of the sins of mankind.
Blowing the Alarm
Hastings Bible Dictionary informs us that the instrument used on the Feast of Trumpets was the traditional ram's horn, known as the shofar. It also informs us, "Mostly it was the shofar that was used in war either as a signal either for assembly (Judges 3:27; II Samuel 20:1), attack or retreat (II Samuel 2:28)" (volume 4, p. 816, "Trumpet"). This authority continues, "The watchman blew the shofar to raise an alarm or to indicate impending danger (Amos 3:6, Jeremiah 6:1, Ezekiel 33:6), and Moore (on Judges 6:24) renders shofar by 'WAR HORN'".
The New Westminster Dictionary of the Bible adds this fascinating insight into the shofar, blown on the Day of Blowing:
"The sound of the shofar was audible at a great distance (Exo. 19:16, 19); and was well adapted to increase the noise of shouting (II Sam.6:15; Psalm 98:6), but was ill-suited to be played with harps and pipes in an orchestra. At the shout of the people and the blasts of the trumpets the walls of Jericho came tumbling down (Josh. 6:1-20). THE SHOFAR WAS USED IN WAR TO ASSEMBLE THE ARMY (Judges 3:27; 6:34; I Sam. 13:3), TO SOUND THE ATTACK (Job 39:24), TO SIGNAL THE CESSATION OF THE PURSUIT (II Sam. 2:28;18:16), and to announce the disbanding of the army (II Sam. 20:1, 22).
"WATCHMEN BLEW IT TO SOUND THE ALARM (Jer. 6:1; Amos 3:6). Its blast proclaimed the accession of the king (II Sam. 15:10; I Kings 1:34; II Kings 9:13), and the commencement of the year of jubilee (Lev. 25:9). The 1st day of the 7th month was celebrated by solemn rest from ordinary labor, a holy convocation, and the offering of special burnt offerings (Lev. 23:24; Num.29:1-6), because the day marked a recurring seventh portion of time. It was a day or memorial of blowing of trumpets, designed to bring the people into remembrance before the LORD. The Jewish tradition is doubtless correct which states that the trumpet used was the shofar (cf. Lev. 23:9)" (Trumpet, p. 959).
Notice that the shofar as an instrument is defined in the Bible as an instrument of WARNING and of ASSEMBLY, especially for a nation or its army. It was used to assemble a nation's armed forces for defense or war; it was blown to sound the "attack" call, much as the Cavalry's bugle in more recent times; and notice that it was used to SOUND THE ALARM, when a city or nation was threatened by an invading army or disaster of some kind.
In the book of Joel, we read: "BLOW YE THE TRUMPET in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain: let all of the inhabitants of the land [of Israel] tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; a day of darkness and of gloominess a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains" (Joel 2:1-2).
Here we see the REAL symbolism of trumpets! Trumpets are blown as an ALARM -- they signify a WARNING BLAST of impending danger, peril, calamity, destruction! They are a warning to GET READY -- GET PREPARED -- for the day of judgment is coming soon!
The Feast of Trumpets does not picture the day of "judgment." It pictures the blowing of trumpets, in ADVANCE of the day of judgment, and pictures YEHOVAH God's warning to His people Israel to repent of sins and to get ready to face the returning Messiah AND YEHOVAH God Himself -- KING of kings and LORD of lords! Thus, as the Jews have understood from time immemorial, the Feast of Trumpets pictures YEHOVAH's WARNING TO REPENT -- they are YEHOVAH God's FINAL CALL TO REPENTANCE FOR ISRAEL!
The calls to repentance started back on the first day of Nisan. In the Bible YEHOVAH God gives those of us of Israel advance warnings about important events that will decide our destiny. Writes Samuele Bacchiocchi --
"...in the Old Testament times the approach of final judgment was announced IN ADVANCE by the blowing of trumpets on the first day (New Moon) of the first six months. The blowing of trumpets served to warn the people [of Israel] to prepare themselves for the FINAL judgment that would begin on the first day of the seventh month [Day or Feast of Trumpets]. The latter was known as the Feast of Trumpets, because on that day the SHOFAR was blown in a massive way throughout the land to announce to the people that the Day of Judgment had arrived and they should prepare themselves to stand trial..." (God's Festivals in Scripture and History, Part 2, p. 81).
The New Moon Festivals
According to Jon Paulien:
"The Feast of Trumpets is closely associated in Jewish thought with the new-moon festivals that were celebrated at the beginning of each month. Since the months of the year in the Jewish calendar are numbered beginning with Nisan, there is a sense in which the Feast of Trumpets comes as the climax of a seven-month series of mini-Feasts of Trumpets...the seven trumpets of Revelation probably represent the ongoing sequence of seven months with the seventh trumpet representing the Feast of Trumpets itself" (The Role of the Hebrew Cultus, Sanctuary, and the Temple in the Plot and Structure of the Book of Revelation. 1995, pp. 259-260).
Each of the Jewish months was officially introduced by the blowing of trumpets -- notice!
"...at the beginnings of your months, you shall blow the trumpet over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings..." (Numbers 10:10).
Since the festival year in which all the Mosaic festivals were found was SEVEN MONTHS LONG, the last month -- Tishri -- was the last month for a trumpet introduction. This is one of the reasons that the day was called "the Day of Trumpets." The last trump in the seven months' series was always sounded on this New Moon day. This made it the final trumpets' day -- notice Leviticus 23:24:
"Say to the people of Israel, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial PROCLAIMED WITH A BLAST OF TRUMPETS..."
Each of these New Moon trumpet blasts equates with the Hebrew months, as follows --
1) Nisan 1 -- first trumpet
2) Iyyar 1 -- second trumpet
3) Sivan 1 -- third trumpet
4) Tammuz 1 -- fourth trumpet
5) Ab 1 -- fifth trumpet
6) Elul 1 -- sixth trumpet
7) Tishri 1 -- Feast of Trumpets, seventh trumpet
The Feast of Trumpets, therefore, pictures YEHOVAH's seventh and final trumpet blast followed by His return to this earth. Notice Revelation 11:15 --
"Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, 'The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our LORD [YEHOVAH] and of His Christ, and He [YEHOVAH God] shall reign for ever and ever.'"
Days of Judgment
The blowing of trumpets at each of the New Moons -- starting at Nisan -- was understood as a day of judgment in miniature -- warning the people of Israel to prepare for the final judgment ushered in by the Feast of Trumpets. In other words, the blowing of the first six trumpets in Revelation warns the people of Israel to prepare for the final judgment inaugurated by the blowing of the seventh trumpet.
Notes Bacchiocchi --
"The plagues unleashed by the blowing of the first six trumpets are judgments of grace designed to lead people to repentance. This is clearly stated in Revelation 9:20, 21 where twice we are told that people 'did not repent,' in spite of the judgments that accompanied the blowing of the first six trumpets. Gerhard Friedrich notes that the judgments of the six trumpets are 'the final warnings of God, His summons to repentance'" (God's Festivals in Scripture and History, Part 2, p. 103).
In Revelation 11:15 and 18 we read --
"The seventh angel sounded his shofar, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying,
'The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our LORD [YEHOVAH] and His Messiah, and He [YEHOVAH God] will rule forever and ever!
'The Goyim [nations] raged. But now your rage has come, the time for the dead [of Israel] to be judged, the time for rewarding your servants the prophets and your holy people [those saints of Israel], those who stand in awe of your name, both small and great. It is also the time for destroying those who destroy the earth'" (Jewish New Testament).
It should be noted that the seventh trumpet (shofar) is depicted quite differently from the preceding six. While the blowing of the first six trumpets unleash warning judgments on the earth, the blowing of the seventh trumpet announces YEHOVAH God's enthronement followed by His return and soon-coming judgment. "There were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our LORD [YEHOVAH] and His Messiah, and He [YEHOVAH God] will rule forever and ever!" (Revelation 11:15, ibid.).
These trumpets lead up to and picture the enthronement and return of YEHOVAH God our Creator! Thus the "Feast of Trumpets" pictures the enthronement and the commencement of the reign of YEHOVAH God followed by His return to judge His people Israel!
The themes of the Feast of Trumpets are evident in the seven trumpets of Revelation which serve to announce YEHOVAH's final judgment like the blowing of the shofar during the feast in Old Testament times. The blowing of the seven trumpets in Revelation corresponds to the blowing of trumpets at the seven New Moon festivals (Nisan-Tishri) in the Old Testament. Each new moon trumpet blowing was understood by the Israelites as a day of judgment in miniature -- which warned people to prepare for the final judgment ushered in by the Feast of Trumpets. Correspondingly, the blowing of the first six trumpets in Revelation warns the people of Israel to prepare for the final judgment inaugurated by the blowing of the seventh trumpet. This final judgment will be presided over by Yeshua the Messiah as the agent of his Father, YEHOVAH.
The sound of the seventh or last trumpet will herald the imminent descent of YEHOVAH God from heaven to gather the faithful and judge the living and the dead:
"For the LORD [YEHOVAH God] Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive..." (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).
"And he [the Messiah] commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that he [the Messiah] is the one ordained by [YEHOVAH] God to be the JUDGE OF THE LIVING AND THE DEAD" (Acts 10:42).
As the Jewish people have been taught for millennia, and they have it right, this day pictures the enthronement and imminent return of YEHOVAH God when "the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our LORD [YEHOVAH] and of His Christ, and He [YEHOVAH God] shall reign for ever and ever" (Revelation 11:15). The Feast of Trumpets begins the "Days of Repentance" or "Awe," leading up to the "Day of Atonement" -- or "Yom Kippur." These days are days of self-examination, and introspection -- days of reviewing our acts, works, deeds, thoughts, and words, of the past year -- and preparing ourselves, through repentance and confession of our sins, to meet YEHOVAH God Himself when He returns on a future first High Holy Day of the Feast of Tabernacles!
The "Days of Awe"
We read in Judaism by Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, concerning the Feast of Trumpets:
"Rosh Hashanah, the New Year, is the beginning of the annual cycle of the Jewish religious year. It falls on the first of the lunar month Tishri, when usually occurs in September. The TEN DAYS from Rosh Hashanah (literally, the 'head of the year') through Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) are known as the 'TEN DAYS OF REPENTANCE.' These are the most solemn days of the year, for this is the period in which, in the image of the tradition, ALL...IS JUDGED BEFORE GOD'S HEAVENLY THRONE. Nonetheless, solemn and serious as Rosh Hashanah is, it is not somber. It is the SEASON OF REPENTANCE -- and of the faith that God forgives the contrite heart" (p. 190).
According to the Jewish understanding, the period of YEHOVAH's judgment of Israel begins on the Feast of Trumpets, and is finalized and sealed ten days later, on the Day of Atonement, with the fates of the righteous and the wicked Israelites being decided. Judgment begins on the Feast of Trumpets, and YEHOVAH's people Israel enter into a period of judgment -- but the actual judgment is set and finished on the Day of Atonement. Therefore, the ten days from the Feast of Trumpets are known as the Ten Days of Repentance for, during this time, Israelites are encouraged to repent, and get right with YEHOVAH God, BEFORE the final "Judgment" is set!
In The Jewish Book of Why, we read that the entire period of introspection and self-examination actually begins during the month of Elul, thirty days prior to the Feast of Trumpets.
"Actually, the Days of Awe are much more than the ten day period from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur. They commence a full month before Rosh Hashana with the beginning of the month of Elul.
"In the synagogue, every Sabbath before the coming of the New Moon is a special Sabbath. But the Sabbath before the New Moon of Elul is very special, for from that day on, at every weekday morning service, the blasts of the shofar reverberate in the synagogue, reminding Jews that the most awesome holidays in the Jewish calendar are approaching" (The Jewish Book of Why, Alfred J. Kolatch, p. 221).
Thus the "count-down" really begins 30 days prior to the Feast of Trumpets, which is ten days before the Day of Atonement -- a total period of 40 days (symbolizing a "time of trial"). Israel's spies took forty days to spy out Canaan, and then returned with an "evil report" of the fearful forces lurking in wait to destroy the Israelites, causing the people to lose heart and faith (Numbers 14). Because of their disobedience, YEHOVAH God punished them forty years, a year for a day (Numbers 14:34).
Could this annual re-enactment of YEHOVAH's Plan through the high holy days of the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement constitute a prophetic indication that the final forty years of this "age" will be years when YEHOVAH God calls His people Israel to repentance -- years of growing peril and worldwide tribulation and agony? Could not the final "ten days" -- the "Days of Awe" -- between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement represent the FINAL TEN YEARS OF WARNING that YEHOVAH God will give His people Israel, before the final JUDGMENT takes place -- which will occur at the time of His return?
In other words, the judgment takes place on the Day of Atonement -- but the final WARNING of that coming day of final judgment is symbolized by the "blowing of trumpets" of alarm and calling the people of Israel to repentance, on the Feast of Trumpets!
Similar to this theme, The Jewish Book of Why states:
"Rosh Hashanah, in its lengthy morning services (from two to seven hours, depending on the congregation), stresses the concept of 'return to God,' who in His mercy is willing to receive the penitent, forgive his sins, and offer him an opportunity to begin the New Year with a clean slate. According to Jewish tradition, God's decision is not made in haste.
"The gates of repentance remain open until the Day of Atonement, at which time the FINAL DECREE is established: 'Who will live and who will die; who will be serene and who will be disturbed; who will be poor and who will be rich; who will be humbled and who will be exalted.'
"Yom Kippur is popularly considered the most sacred day in the Jewish calendar...Its five services, beginning with the Kol Nidre service and ending twenty-four hours later with the Neila service, bring to an end the Days of Awe. After the Neila ('the closing of the gates') service, the shofar is sounded and the congregation leaves to face another year" (p. 222).
The Enthronement of YEHOVAH God
The main theme of the Feast of Trumpets is KINGSHIP! The blowing of trumpets was the sign that kings could then begin to rule -- see I Kings 1:34. Jewish authorities have long conceded this royal association with the Feast of Trumpets. The Jewish historian Theodor H. Gaster states: "The Sovereignty of God is a dominant theme of the occasion [and] it is one of the cardinal features of New Year's Day" (Festivals of the Jewish Year, p. 115).
The main thrust of the synagogue services for the Feast of Trumpets in early Judaism was the fact that YEHOVAH God rules over all and that He is the King of kings. On this day it was common to quote Zechariah 14:16 -- "Then every one that survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD [YEHOVAH] of hosts, and to keep the feast of booths." Many scholars believe that in ancient Israel YEHOVAH was crowned annually at the "New Year feast of YEHOVAH." Clearly then, the major theme of the Feast of Trumpets is that of enthronement and the commencement of YEHOVAH God's reign on this earth.
The angelic "trumpets" blown on the "Day of the LORD" are the spine-tingling fulfillment of the "trumpets" which were blown on the seven New Moon days leading up to, and including, the Feast of Trumpets -- the Jewish "new year" -- also called "Yom Teruah" -- the Day of Blowing," meaning the blowing of the shofar. These trumpet plagues are warnings from YEHOVAH God for His people Israel to REPENT and prepare for the commencement of His reign over the world and His return on the first High Day of the Feast of Tabernacles!
Writes Ernest L. Martin:
"This was the EXACT DAY that many of the ancient kings and rulers of Judah reckoned as their inauguration day of rule. This procedure was followed consistently in the time of Solomon, Jeremiah, and Ezra. The Day of Trumpets was acknowledged as the time for counting the years of their kingly rule. Indeed, it was customary that the final ceremony in the coronation of kings was THE BLOWING OF TRUMPETS. For Solomon: "Blow ye the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon" (I Kings 1:34). For Jehu: "And blew with trumpets, saying, Jehu is king" (II Kings 9:13). At the enthronement of Jehoash: "The people of the land rejoiced, and blew with trumpets" (II Kings 11:11)" (The Star that Astonshed the World, ASK Publications (Portland, OR, 1991) p. 198).
The Feast of Trumpets was the time for the start of the seventh month (Tishri) and the time for the "last trump" for introducing festival months. In the language of the New Testament, this clearly shows the time of the coronation of YEHOVAH God -- and it happens at the seventh (or last) trump in the Book of Revelation -- the Feast of Trumpets.
The last trump in the seven months' series was always sounded on the New Moon day of Tishri -- the Feast of Trumpets!
The Bible clearly shows that the blowing of trumpets was the SIGN that kings could then begin to rule -- see I Kings 1:34; II Kings 9:13 and II Kings 11:11. The Jewish religious authorities have long acknowledged this ROYAL IMPORT to the Feast of Trumpets. Alfred Edersheim, in his work on the Temple, observes that
"As of old the sound of the trumpet summoned the congregation before the LORD at the door of the Tabernacle, so 'His elect' shall be summoned by the sound of the trumpet...and not only the living, but those also who had 'slept' -- 'the dead in Christ.' Similarly, the heavenly hosts are marshaled to the war of successive judgments [starting on Nisan 1], till...'The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our LORD, and of His Christ, and He shall reign for ever and ever'" (The Temple, p. 291).
The central theme of the Feast of Trumpets is clearly that of the future enthronement and APPEARANCE of YEHOVAH God.
Biblical "Memorial Day"
According to Ernest Martin --
"The early Jews also recognized that the Day of Trumpets was a memorial day for considering those who had died. It was not a simple type of 'Memorial Day' that we moderns are accustomed to. Gaster said it was a symbolic time when 'the dead return to rejoin their descendants at the beginning of the year.' Such a day was a time when Israel would rally to the call of God for the INAUGURATION OF GOD'S KINGDOM ON EARTH. Gaster says this was the time (the Day of Trumpets) which became "a symbol of the Last Trump" (Ernest L. Martin: The Star that Astonished the World, p. 199).
The "Last Trump" of the early Judahites was when the dead were remembered; and the "Last Trump" of Paul the apostle was the time for YEHOVAH God's imminent appearance on this earth and the resurrection of the dead -- see I Corinthians 15:52 and I Thessalonians 4:16.
It was also believed that "the majority belief of Jewish elders (which still dominates the services of the synagogues) was that the Day of Trumpets was the memorial day that commemorated the beginning of the world. Authorized opinion prevailed that the first of Tishri was the first day of Genesis 1:1-5. It 'came to be regarded as the birthday of the world.'" It was even more than an anniversary of the physical creation. The Jewish historian Theodor H. Gaster states: "Judaism regards New Year's Day not merely as an anniversary of creation -- but more importantly -- as a RENEWAL of it. This is when the world is reborn" (pp. 197-198).
The Trumpet Plagues
During the "Day of the LORD" -- a "day" equals a "year" in fulfillment, so this "Day of the LORD" will most likely last about one literal year -- YEHOVAH God Himself will begin to "judge" the nations and send plagues upon the earth. These plagues will be introduced by seven trumpets which will be blown by angels, introducing seven plagues which will be poured out on the world (see Revelation 8-9). Notice -- there are many trumpets blown -- each one being a "call to repentance," as it were -- and a warning that YEHOVAH God is sending another plague upon the earth! There are six trumpet plagues announced.
The Feast of Trumpets represents the day of TRUMPETS, which pictures the last trumpet BLOWN in the book of Revelation (Revelation 8-7), the seventh trumpet-plague of the "Day of the LORD" -- the time when YEHOVAH God is enthroned in preparation for His return and the Judgment Day. The "trumpets" are warning blasts, a call to repentance, and a warning of impending calamities. Each trumpet blast, starting on Nisan 1, will be accompanied by a divinely sent PLAGUE to convince mankind that YEHOVAH God means business! (see Revelation 8-9). They are a warning, sent by a loving God who doesn't desire to have to punish His people Israel, but who will not put up with sin and rebellion any longer. The "trumpets" -- plural -- lead up to the soon-coming JUDGMENT, which will occur when YEHOVAH God arrives on this earth to set up His Kingdom in preparation for the judgment of His people Israel presided over by the Messiah (see Revelation 11:15-19).
According to the book of Revelation, the soon-coming "Day of the LORD" will be divided up into "seven trumpets" -- seven angels will blow seven trumpet blasts, and these will introduce seven calamitous plagues that YEHOVAH God will send on the earth. The apostle John writes:
"And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given SEVEN TRUMPETS...And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound" (Revelation 8:1-6).
These trumpet blasts of the heavenly shofar are WARNINGS FROM YEHOVAH GOD to His people Israel, that the time has come to REPENT of their sins and iniquities -- or suffer the dire consequences! Notice! The first four of these angelic trumpet blasts will be followed by physical calamities, or incredible, intense catastrophes of "nature" gone amok. Notice these first four plagues of "nature":
NISAN 1: "The first angel sounded, and there followed hail [meteor showers] and fire [burning, sizzling meteorites] mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
IYYAR 1: "And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of ships were destroyed" (Revelation 8:7-9).
SIVAN 1: "And the third angel sounded, and there FELL A GREAT STAR FROM HEAVEN, burning as it were a LAMP [a fiery asteroid from outer space, or a giant comet!], and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; and the name of the star is called Wormwood ["bitterness"]: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter [polluted and poisonous].
TAMMUZ 1: "And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise" (Revelation 8:10-12).
AB 1: "Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth. And to him was given the key to the bottomless pit."
ELUL 1: "Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, 'Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates'" (Revelation 9:1-14).
TISHRI 1: "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 [YEHOVAH God] shall reign forever and ever!'" (Revelation 11:15).
Here, in graphic description, is a prophecy of natural disasters prophesied to overwhelm the earth in the year immediately preceding the coming of YEHOVAH God, at the end of 6,000 years of Adamic man's misrule of planet earth! Mankind will be punished with natural disasters, because he has polluted, spoiled, desecrated, and destroyed much of the pristine natural environment which YEHOVAH created him to rule over and nourish and protect (Genesis 1:26-28; Isaiah 45:18; 24:4-6, 16). Because of these grievous sins against the environment, and the natural world, YEHOVAH God will "destroy them which destroy the earth" (Revelation 11:18).
The Final Three "Woes"
The last three of these trumpet plagues -- numbers 5, 6, and 7 -- are also known as the "three woes" (Revelation 8:13). These represent the final three rounds of WAR, culminating in the return of YEHOVAH God to settle the issue of who will rule the earth once and for all!
Notice! In Revelation 9, the "fifth angel sounded," and the first "woe" followed -- "locusts" which utilize chemical warfare, "tormenting mankind" for five months" (Revelation 9:1-11). The head of this religious power is Satan the devil, working through the "angel of the bottomless pit" (v. 11). The prophet Joel symbolically described an invading, attacking army as a swarm of locusts. YEHOVAH God therefore, through Joel, compares the soldiers -- the forces of Islam -- to "locusts." Any large, invading army might be compared to a swarm of locusts, but the Arabs and Muhammed have a unique connection to the locust: "In the Bedoween romance Antar, the locust is introduced as the national emblem of the Ishmaelites [one of the ancestors of the Arabs]. And it is a remarkable coincidence that Muslim tradition speaks of locusts having dropped into the hands of Muhammed, bearing on their wings this inscription -- 'We are the army of the Great God."' But these are peculiar locusts -- they use chemical and biological weapons to "torment" mankind. In appearance, these soldiers are described as "women" (Nahum 3:13; Revelation 9:8).
This world religious power will inflict awesome calamities everywhere.
Following hard on the heels of this "trumpet plague," John writes, "the sixth angel sounded," followed by the "second woe" (Revelation 9:13). Notice! This woe will consist of a massive army which will number 200,000,000 men! (Revelation 9:12-21). This huge army will undoubtedly consist of millions of soldiers from Islamic Turkey and the Islamic hordes of Europe! This tremendous army, like the terrible hordes of Genghis Khan, will march into the Middle East. These hordes come from "beyond Euphrates" (Revelation 9:14-15; 16:12). They will slay the third part of men -- about 2 billion human beings will likely die in the horrendous world war to follow (v. 15).
I should mention here that there is some difference of opinion regarding the Greek words that are translated 200,000,000 in most Bibles. The largest number named in Ancient Greek was a myriad myriad and Archimedes of Syracuse used this quantity as the basis for a numeration system of large powers of ten, which he needed to count grains of sand, see The Sand Reckoner. The Barnes' Notes on the New Testament comments as follows:
"Verse 16. And the number of the army of the horsemen. It is to be observed here that the strength of the army seemed to be cavalry. In the former plagues there is no distinct mention of horsemen; but here that which struck the beholder was the immense and unparalleled number of horsemen.
"Were two hundred thousand thousand. A thousand thousand are a million, and consequently the number here referred to would be two hundred millions. This would be a larger army than was ever assembled, and it cannot be supposed that it is to be taken literally. That it would be a very large host -- so large that it would not readily be numbered -- is clear. The expression in the original, while it naturally conveys the idea of an immense number, would seem also to refer to some peculiarity in the manner of reckoning them. The language is, two myriads of myriads -- duo muriadev muriadwn. The myriad was ten thousand. The idea would seem to be this. John saw an immense host of cavalry. They appeared to be divided into large bodies that were in some degree separate, and that might be reckoned by ten thousands. Of these different squadrons there were many, and to express their great and unusual number he said that there seemed to be myriads of them -- two myriads of myriads, or twice ten thousand myriads. The army thus would seem to be immense; an army, as we should say, to be reckoned by tens of thousands.
"And I heard the number of them. They were so numerous that he did not pretend to be able to estimate the number himself, for it was beyond his power of computation; but he heard it stated in these round numbers, that there were "two myriads of myriads" of them."
Regardless of the exact number, the inference here is that John is describing a huge number of horsemen about to cross the Euphrates River and descend into the Middle East for the final battle of Armageddon.
It is a fascinating fact, today, that the continent of Europe is rapidly becoming Islamic due to unlimited immigration and simple demographics! In the opinion of Bassam Tibi, an academic of Syrian origins who lives in Germany, Europeans are facing a stark alternative: “Either Islam gets Europeanized, or Europe gets Islamized.” Going still farther, the eminent historian Bernard Lewis has speculated that the clash may well be over by the end of this century, at which time, if present demographic trends continue, Europe itself will be Muslim. Some demographers believe this could occur by the year 2050!
If that is the case, or is becoming the case, is it any wonder that some Europeans are switching sides, so as to be on the winning one? The sheer élan and cultural confidence displayed by Islamist spokesmen may have something to do with the fact that every year, thousands of people all over Europe convert to Islam. Some of these converts, from Britain, France, and Germany, taking the direct route from words to action, have gone on to play a disproportionate role in terrorism and Islamist militancy. The Bible strongly warns about converting to this satanic religion -- notice!
"If anyone worships the [Islamic] beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand [arm], he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God..." (Revelation 14:9-10).
This refers to the Arabic writing across the head and arm bands of the Islamic jihadists, which is "the name of Allah" -- called the "bismillah" in Arabic. (See our article, The REAL "Mark of the Beast"!). The Beast from the land in Revelation 13 is Islam and this Beast's prophet is Mohammed. Islamic jihadists do everything in "the name of allah". The Book of Revelation says that his number is his name. Notice Revelation 13:17:
"And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name".
The Beast from the sea in Revelation 13 is the leader of those nations or peoples controlled by the Vatican and, in order for Catholicism to survive in a continent under the control of Islam, the Vatican will have to have some sort of liaison with the dominant Islamic power. The fact is, the Vatican has been forging ties with Islam for decades! With the combination of Islamic and Catholic forces it is easy to see that an immense army could be assembled.
The "Third Woe" -- ARMAGEDDON!
At this point, after billions have already died in natural disasters and worldwide wars, Satan and his demons will bring all the armies of the earth together, for one final "battle" -- to fight against YEHOVAH God at His return! John writes:
"And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon [Satan], and out of the mouth of the [Catholic] beast, and out of the mouth of the [Islamic] false prophet. For they are the spirits of demons, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth, and of the whole world, TO GATHER THEM TO THE BATTLE OF THAT GREAT DAY OF [YEHOVAH] GOD ALMIGHTY....
"And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue, ARMAGEDDON..." (Revelation 16:13-16).
Armageddon! Finally, it will happen. The battle of the ages -- the final conflict -- the final awesome battle between good and evil! All the world will be gathered together to resist YEHOVAH God. All nations will fight against Him, thinking that He is an "invader from outer space," some "alien intelligence" seeking to overthrow the earth!
"Aliens Attack," the world's headlines will shriek. "Alien Monsters from the Cosmos Launch Campaign to Subdue the Earth," news reports will cry out on worldwide television and in the mass media!
Is it any wonder, then, that the DAY OF JUDGMENT is soon coming?
Despite these severe warnings, and massive judgment strokes, however, the vast majority of people will not repent of their sins (see Revelation 9:20-21 and Revelation 16:11, 21). Six powerful angelic trumpets of Revelation will be blown, calling the nations to repent. They will refuse. They will gather at Armageddon -- Har Megiddo -- to fight YEHOVAH God when He returns from heaven!
The plagues unleashed by the blowing of the first six trumpets are judgments of grace primarily designed to lead the people of Israel to repentance. This is clearly stated in Revelation 9:20-21 where twice we are told that people "did not repent," in spite of the judgments that accompanied the blowing of the first six trumpets. Gerhard Friedrich notes that the judgments of the six trumpets are "the final warning of God, His summons to repentance....That these penal judgments are at root judgment of grace is emphasized in Revelation 9:20-21. The aim of God in sending the plagues is that men should be converted from idolatry. They are meant to drive men to repentance before it is too late" ("Salpinx," Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, vol. VII, p. 87).
At that moment, the seventh angel will sound His trumpet -- a final call to repentance. The great shofar will be blown on the Feast of Trumpets -- and the final judgment of Israel will commence.
"And the SEVENTH ANGEL SOUNDED; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our LORD [YEHOVAH] , and of his Christ; and he [YEHOVAH] shall reign for ever and ever... And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead [Israelites], that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth" (Revelation 11:15-18).
When YEHOVAH God appears, the final Judgment of Israel will take place. All the "preliminaries" will be finished. John declares: "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" (Revelation 10:7).
"The Day of the LORD"
The prophet Haggai was inspired of YEHOVAH God to write, "For thus saith the LORD [YEHOVAH] of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will SHAKE THE HEAVENS, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land: And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations [the much-awaited Messiah!] shall come: and I will fill this house [the end-time Temple of YEHOVAH which the Messiah will build in Jerusalem -- see Zechariah 6:12-13] with [My Shekinah] glory, saith the LORD [YEHOVAH] of hosts" (Haggai 2:6-7).
YEHOVAH God Himself will descend from heaven in His Shekinah Glory form to "fill [His] house with with glory" -- this will occur on the first holy day of the Feast of Tabernacles! Edersheim records that "according to Jewish tradition, the pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night [the Shekinah Glory of YEHOVAH God] had first appeared to Israel on the 15th of Tishri, the first day of the feast....[and] we know that the dedication of Solomon's Temple and the DESCENT OF THE SHECHINAH took place at this feast" (The Temple, p. 286).
For more information, see our article, A New Look at the Deep Meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles!
The prophet Joel declares, "BLOW ye the TRUMPET in Zion, SOUND AN ALARM in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand" (Joel 2:1). Joel goes on to describe the terrible events (verses 2-10) erupting on the earth. He then calls out to YEHOVAH's Israelite people, "For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? Therefore also now, saith the LORD, TURN YE EVEN TO ME WITH ALL YOUR HEART, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and TURN unto the LORD [YEHOVAH] your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth Him of the evil. Who knoweth if He will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind Him...BLOW THE TRUMPET in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly..." (Joel 2:11-15).
This is talking about the return of YEHOVAH God Himself to Jerusalem and to His Temple! This is pictured in Ezekiel 43:2, 4-5, 7 --
"And behold, the [Shekinah] glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east [from the Mount of Olives]...And the [Shekinah] glory of the LORD [YEHOVAH] came into the Temple by way of the gate which faces toward the east...And He said to me, "Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever" (NKJ).
We are LIVING IN the end-time "Days of Awe"! We are living in the very days depicted by the "Ten Days of Repentance"!
Have you yet come to real, genuine, heartfelt repentance?
Notice! The prophet Joel says of this coming "Day of the LORD" -- "Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a DESTRUCTION from the Almighty shall it come" (Joel 1:15).
The prophet Zephaniah also prophesies of this coming "Day of the LORD":
"The great day of the LORD [YEHOVAH] is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a DAY OF WRATH, A DAY OF TROUBLE AND DISTRESS, A DAY OF WASTENESS AND DESOLATION, A DAY OF DARKNESS AND GLOOMINESS, A DAY OF CLOUDS AND THICK DARKNESS.
"A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD [YEHOVAH]: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the DAY OF THE LORD'S [YEHOVAH's] WRATH; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land" (Zephaniah 1:14-18).
Scientists and astronomers will be at a loss to explain the awesome events soon to come upon this earth. It will stretch, break, and overwhelm all their most cherished theories.
The prophet Joel goes on:
"And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turn into darkness, and the moon into blood, BEFORE the great and the terrible DAY OF THE LORD come" (Joel 2:30-31).
During this final "day" -- or year -- of man's rule of planet earth, which will end with the coming of YEHOVAH God Himself to rule the nations, awesome events are predicted and projected in the prophecies of the Scriptures.
The REAL MEANING of the "Feast of TRUMPETS"
The "Feast of Trumpets" pictures the many TRUMPETS that will be blown in the "DAY OF THE LORD," and the accompanying plagues and judgments which a loving God will send upon a rebellious and stubborn Israelite people! However, it also pictures the warnings YEHOVAH God is giving His people today, as He begins pouring out His plagues and wrath upon a disobedient and rebellious planet!
The "Feast of Trumpets" or "Yom Teruah" -- the "Day of Blowing" -- pictures in graphic, detailed symbols, this very time in which we are living! This holy day of YEHOVAH God pictures this "time of the end" -- this period Moffatt calls "the crisis at the close." It pictures vividly YEHOVAH's beginning PUNISHMENTS and JUDGMENTS that are now falling on this evil, sin-sick world! It pictures this final ten year span leading up to the Day of Atonement and the Final Judgment which will occur shortly after the enthronement of YEHOVAH God on the Feast of Trumpets and His arrival on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles!
We are living in this TIME OF AWE -- this season of REPENTANCE -- this time of divine WARNING, symbolized by the trumpet's blast, the shrill cry of the shofar! And the call of YEHOVAH God goes out to everyone who has an ear to hear:
"For the time is come that JUDGMENT MUST BEGIN AT THE HOUSE OF GOD: and if it first begin at us [of Israel], what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" (I Peter 4:17-18).
Almighty YEHOVAH God says to this present generation:
"I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: BEHOLD, NOW IS THE ACCEPTED TIME; BEHOLD, NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION" (II Corinthians 6:2).
Today, as in 31 A.D., when the Church first began, when Peter cried out to the Judahites, so I cry out to the modern day descendants of Israel, and Judah -- the white Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian peoples of the world.
"REPENT ye therefore, and BE CONVERTED, that your SINS may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the LORD" (Acts 3:19). "SAVE YOURSELVES from this untoward generation" (Acts 2:41). "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: REPENT YE, and BELIEVE the gospel" (Mark 1:15).
"Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!" (Amos 4:12).
Bacchiocchi, Samuele, 1996. God's Festivals in Scripture and History, Part 2 -- The Fall Festivals. Berrien Springs, MI: Biblical Perspectives.
Barnes, Albert, 1962. Barnes' Notes on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.
Edersheim, Alfred, 1992. The Temple, Its Ministry and Services. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Gaster, Theodor H., 1955. Festivals of the Jewish Year. Sloane.
Gehman, Henry Snyder, 1970. New Westminster Dictionary of the Bible. Westminster Press.
Hastings, James, 1994. Hastings Bible Dictionary.
Hertzberg, Rabbi Arthur, 1962. Judaism. New York: George Braziller Publisher.
Kolatch, Alfred J., 1981. The Jewish Book of Why. Middle Village, New York: Jonathan David Publishers, Inc.
Martin, Ernest L., 1991. The Star that Astonished the World. Portland, OR: ASK Publications.
Paulien, Jon, 1995. The Role of the Hebrew Cultus, Sanctuary, and the Temple in the Plot and Structure of the Book of Revelation. Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press.
Kittel, Gerhard, 1964. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Stern, David H., 1994. Jewish New Testament. Clarksville, MD: Jewish New Testament Publications.
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Preparing the Way for the Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah!
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