Each of God’s seven Holy Days builds on the others, and represents an important step in God’s Master Plan to reproduce Himself and enlarge His family. The Feast of Trumpets is a pivotal step that pictures important events lying just ahead.
Imagine possible news headlines after this Holy Day: “Jesus Christ Returns at the Sound of the Last Trumpet!”; “Mankind Saved from Annihilation by its Creator!”; “New World Order—The Kingdom of God Established”; “New Government Posts—Appointed by Christ, Filled by the Resurrected Saints”; “The Weak Dumbfound the World’s Elite—Appointed to Key Positions.” Such headlines should inspire God’s people to learn how these events will come to pass.
Let’s learn how the Feast of Trumpets fits into God’s Plan.
(1) Where do we find the command to keep the Feast of Trumpets? Leviticus 23:24-25. Is this day also considered an annual Sabbath, a rest from regular work? Verses 24-25. Are we commanded to assemble together on this day before God? Verse 24.
As is the case with all of God’s Holy Days, the Feast of Trumpets is an annual Sabbath. God requires us to rest from our normal responsibilities and assemble before Him. It opens the fall Holy Day season, beginning on the first day of the seventh month of God’s sacred calendar. The number seven in God’s Plan depicts perfection and completion, and this seventh month contains the four fall festivals that picture the completion of God’s Plan of salvation.
It is from this ceremony of the blowing of trumpets that the Feast of Trumpets draws its name. The blowing of trumpets has great symbolic meaning, especially for the time in which we live—the end of 6,000 years of man’s attempt to rule himself.
(3) What significance did trumpets have to the Israelites? What trumpets were blown on God’s Holy Days? Numbers 10:1-3, 10. Which trumpets were blown to sound the alarm before war? Verse 9; Jeremiah 4:19-21.
Trumpets were used often in the nation of Israel. The sound of a trumpet could call for an assembly of the congregation, direct the movement of the camps, or announce the beginning of months or appointed feasts, and to mobilize the army. Silver trumpets were generally used for these reasons, producing unique notes identifying the action to be taken.
In the Jewish Talmud, under the article “Rosh Hashanah” (the Jewish name for this day), it is noted that a ram’s horn (or shofar) was used on this Feast day (Mishnah 26b). In contrast with the musical sound of the silver trumpets, the shofar produced piercing blasts that symbolized an alarm of impending attack or war.
The warning of war, pictured by a memorial of blowing trumpets, separates this Festival from God’s other Holy Days.
(4) Whom did God commission to blow these trumpets? Numbers 10:8.
God instructed that only the sons of Aaron, the Levitical Priesthood, had the authority to blow these trumpets. Today, since Jesus Christ is our High Priest (Heb. 6:20), God’s ministry is not required to literally blow trumpets.
(5) Whose responsibility is it to blow the warning trumpet today? Has God commanded His “watchman” to warn people of their sins? Ezekiel 33:7-9. Is the watchman to lift up his voice like a trumpet? Isaiah 58:1.
As watchmen (Jer. 6:17), the true Church of God carries out this grave responsibility of warning by publishing a vast and exhaustive library of literature on the largest biblical website in history.
(6) What is also to be announced alongside this warning? Matthew 24:14.
In addition to the warning, we are preaching the good news of the coming kingdom of God, which is prophesied to be published in all nations (Mark 13:10). God’s true Church is doing His Work in these latter days, reaching every nation on earth through the powerful tool of the Internet!
(7) Will those who heed the trumpet warning and repent be protected from the time ahead? Revelation 3:10; 7:2-3; 12:6, 14. Will Christ cut time short and save mankind from utter destruction for the “elect’s sake”? Matthew 24:22.
God will protect the “elect”—those He has called out from this world. They will be among the firstfruits of God’s divine family.
(8) Will many receive God’s warning as a “lovely song”? Ezekiel 33:32.
Many will hear the warning, as well as the promise of God’s coming kingdom. But to them, it will only be an interesting “thought” or “point of view.”
Even though mankind refuses to listen to God’s warning, prophesied events continue to unfold. First God will show signs in heaven (Rev. 6:12-13), yet the world will not repent (vs. 15-17). As a result, God will begin the Day of the Lord.
(10) How do the first four trumpets affect the earth? Does God, in His mercy, affect only one third of mankind? Revelation 8:7-12.
Each trumpet plague will affect part of man’s physical environment. First, plant life will be affected—the primary food source. Second, the seas will be affected—another source of food. Third, water will be affected—without which life cannot exist. And fourth, light is to be affected. While each plague affects one third of humanity, God will still leave space for mankind to repent and change its ways before He pours out His full wrath.
(11) Do the next two trumpets bring all-out war to the earth? Revelation 9.
These two trumpets are the first and second woes mentioned in Revelation 8:13, consisting of great wars between the Beast power (Rev. 9:11) and the men of the east (9:14-16). The eastern powers are to be given authority to kill a third of mankind! In first-century wording, we see chemical warfare described in verses 5 and 6, battle tanks and helicopters in verses 7 to 10, and 17 to 19. Yet, verses 20 and 21 show that mankind still will not repent.
(12) What is announced at the sound of the seventh trumpet (seven being the number of completion)? Revelation 11:15. What other important event occurs at the sounding of the final trumpet? I Corinthians 15:52; I Thessalonians 4:16-17.
Finally, at the sound of the seventh trumpet, the kingdom of God is announced, the saints are resurrected, and those saints who are alive are changed into God-beings.
With humanity unrepentant, God pours out His full wrath. He first destroys Satan’s religious system, which dominates the Beast power. Then, in the next four plagues, all water turns to blood. Man is no longer protected from the sun, and darkness will fall upon part of the earth. Note that at this point all sea life dies.
The sixth bowl involves preparation for the final battle of a stubborn mankind against Christ and His saints (vs. 14). This battle will end in utter defeat for the rebellious human army (19:17-21). The last bowl is the greatest earthquake the world has ever seen, completely changing the face of the earth! Every island and mountain is moved. In verse 17, as the last bowl is poured out, a great voice in heaven announces, “It is done!”
The Feast of Trumpets is both a solemn day and a time of rejoicing. It memorializes God’s punishment on a rebellious mankind and the most important moment in the history of the universe—the establishment of God’s government on the earth by Jesus Christ.