Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
The Feast of Trumpets -- Return and Enthronement of the Messiah!
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 Festival of Trumpets, or "Blowing of Trumpets" (Lev. 23:23). The shofar, or ram's horn, was blown to commemorate and inaugurate the day.
The Feast of Trumpets has a special relation 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 Sam. 20:1), attack or retreat (II Sam. 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, Jer. 6:1, Ezek. 33:6), and Moore (on Judges 6:24) renders shofar by 'WAR HORN'" (ibid.).
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 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 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!
The calls to repentance started back on the first day of Nisan. In the Bible YEHOVAH god gives us 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 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 and the return of Yeshua the Messiah 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 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 people 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 people 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 and his Messiah,
and he will rule forever and ever!"
"The Goyim [nations] raged.
But now your rage has come,
the time for the dead to be judged,
the time for rewarding your servants the prophets
and your holy people,
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 the Messiah's return and enthronement and soon-coming judgment. "There were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our LORD and his Messiah, and he will rule forever and ever!" (Rev. 11:15, ibid.).
These trumpets lead up to and picture the return of the Messiah! Thus the "Feast of Trumpets" pictures the commencement of the reign of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah and the return of the Messiah to judge the nations and YEHOVAH's people!
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 people 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 who also returns at the last trump.
The sound of the seventh or last trumpet will herald the descent of the Messiah from heaven to gather the faithful and judge the living and the dead:
For the Lord 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 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 return of the Messiah and "the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our LORD [YEHOVAH] and of his Christ, and he [YEHOVAH] 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 THE WORLD 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 Messiah's judgment of the world begins on Rosh Hashanah, and is finalized and sealed ten days later, on Yom Kippur, with the fates of the righteous and the wicked being decided. Judgment begins on Rosh Hashanah, and the world enters into a period of judgment -- but the actual judgment is set and finished on Yom Kippur. Therefore, the ten days from Rosh Hashanah are known as the Ten Days of Repentance, for during this time mankind is 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 Rosh Hashanah.
"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 Rosh Hashanah, which is ten days before Yom Kippur -- 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 (Num. 14). Because of their disobedience, YEHOVAH God punished them forty years, a year for a day (Num. 14:34).
Could this annual re-enactment of YEHOVAH's Plan through the high holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur constitute a prophetic indication that the final forty years of this "age" will be years when YEHOVAH God calls His people to repentance, years of growing peril and worldwide tribulation and agony? Could not the final "ten days" -- the "Days of Awe" -- between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur represent the FINAL TEN YEARS OF WARNING that YEHOVAH God will give His people, before the final JUDGMENT takes place -- which will occur at the coming of His representative, Yeshua the Messiah?
In other words, the judgment takes place on Yom Kippur -- but the final WARNING of that coming day of final judgment is symbolized by the "blowing of trumpets" of alarm and calling the people to repentance, on Rosh Hashanah!
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 the Messiah
The main theme of the Day 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 Day 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 Day 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, the major theme of the Day of Trumpets is that of enthronement and the commencement of Yeshua the Messiah's and YEHOVAH God's reigns 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, Rosh Hashanah -- 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 to REPENT and prepare for the return of the Messiah and the commencement of his reign on the day of the last trumpet -- the Day of Trumpets!
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 Day 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 the Messiah -- and it happens at the seventh (or last) trump in the Book of Revelation -- the Day of Trumpets.
The last trump in the seven months' series was always sounded on the New Moon day of Tishri -- the Feast of Trumpets! Continues Ernest L. Martin, "In New Testament parlance this surely shows the time of the coronation of Jesus, and it happens at the seventh (or last) trump in the Book of Revelation -- the Day of Trumpets" (The Star that Astonished the World, p. 199).
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 Day 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 in the day of Christ's coming, 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, as "the seventh angel sounded," Christ is proclaimed King Universal: "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 RETURN and enthronement of the Messiah.
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 Jews was when the dead were remembered; and the "Last Trump" of Paul the apostle was the time for the Messiah's return to 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'" (ibid., 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 Rev. 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 (Rev. 8-7), the seventh trumpet-plague of the "Day of the Lord," the time when the Messiah returns and is enthroned in preparation for 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 Rev. 8-9). They are a warning, sent by a loving God who doesn't desire to have to punish His people, 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 Yeshua the Messiah returns to earth to set up the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God in preparation for his Father's return (see Rev. 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" (Rev. 8:1-6).
These trumpet blasts of the heavenly "shofar" are WARNINGS FROM YEHOVAH GOD to the inhabitants of the earth, 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" (Rev. 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"; Chernobyl, in Russian, meaning "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" (Rev. 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'" (Rev. 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 shall reign forever and ever!'" (Rev. 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 Yeshua the Messiah and YEHOVAH God, at the end of 6,000 years of 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 (Gen. 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" (Rev. 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" (Rev. 8:13). These represent the final three rounds of WAR, culminating in the return of Yeshua the Messiah and 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" (Rev. 9:1-11). The head of this religious power is Satan the devil, working through the "angel of the bottomless pit" (v. 11). "Locusts," in the Bible, are a type of Assyrian and Babylonian soldiers (see Nahum 3:15). YEHOVAH God compares the soldiers -- the forces of Islam -- to "locusts," therefore. 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; Rev. 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" (Rev. 9:13). Notice! This woe will consist of a massive army from the EAST which will number 200,000,000 men! (Rev. 9:12-21). This huge army will undoubtedly consist of millions of soldiers from China and possibly India, and surrounding regions, including the Persians and Russians. This tremendous army, like the terrible hordes of Genghis Khan, will march westward, into Europe and the Middle East. These hordes come from "beyond Euphrates" (Rev. 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).
It is a fascinating fact, today, that the nation of China has an excess of men over women in the younger generation. Men outnumber women in that age group by 9 to 1 -- with an excess of almost 150,000,000 men! This fact is due to the Chinese governmental policy of limiting each family to having only one child. Since most Chinese families, by culture and tradition, desire to have a male offspring, someone who can take care of them in their old age, young girls babies are often aborted, or killed shortly after childbirth. Growing up lonely, frustrated, and miserable, these young men will become part of that huge army that will attack towards the West!
The "Third Woe" -- ARMAGEDDON!
At this point, after billions have already died in natural disasters and worldwide wars, the devil 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, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the 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..." (Rev. 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 Rev. 9:20-21 and Rev. 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 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 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 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, 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" (Rev. 11:15-18).
When Yeshua the Messiah appears, the final Judgment 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" (Rev. 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 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 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).
The awesome events soon to come upon this earth scientists and astronomers will be at a loss to explain. 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 mankind! 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 Yom Kippur and the Final Judgment which will occur at the arrival of Yeshua the Messiah on this feast day and the arrival of YEHOVAH God 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, 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 Pet. 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 Cor. 6:2).
Today, as in 31 A.D., when the Church first began, when Peter cried out to the Jews, so I cry out to the modern day descendants of Israel, and Judah, and the world population:
"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).
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Preparing the Way for the Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah!
Hope of Israel Ministries
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