Incredible New Insight on the

Feast of Trumpets!

 

                                    Does the "Feast of Trumpets" portray the second

                                    coming of Jesus Christ?  Don't be too sure!  It is

                                    about time we took a closer look at this vital holy

                                    day of God!   Here is new understanding regarding

                                    this key annual holy day, and its REAL meaning!

 

                                                            William F. Dankenbring

 

            For many decades multiple thousands have been taught, and have taken for granted, the teaching that the Feast of Trumpets -- also known as Rosh Hashanah -- pictures the second coming of Jesus Christ to this earth to set up the Kingdom of God!  It seemed so clear -- doesn't this day picture the blowing of trumpets?  And doesn't Jesus Christ return at the sound of a great trumpet?  Therefore, by extension, doesn't this day portray the second coming of Christ at the blowing of the "last trumpet" (I Cor.15:51-52)? 

 

            Let's not just take this teaching for granted, and "assume" that it must be true.  For if we analyze it carefully, we should see immediately that there is something here that just doesn't "add up" right.  First of all, the holy day itself is not called the "Feast of the Great Trumpet," or "Feast of the LAST Trumpet."  Not at all!  Rather, it is named "The Feast of TRUMPETS" -- that is to say, the word trumpets is PLURAL!  This is the Feast of MANY "trumpets" -- not just the "last" trumpet!

 

            How many trumpets are going to be blown at the second coming of Jesus Christ?  According to the Word of God, just ONE trumpet is mentioned!  Notice it!

 

                                    "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice

                                            of the archangel, and with the TRUMPET OF GOD:  and the dead in Christ

                                            shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up

                                            together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:  and so shall we

                                            ever be with the Lord" (I Thess.4:16-17).

 

            Notice!  This verse does not say MANY trumpets are going to be blown when Christ returns -- but just ONE trumpet, the "trumpet of GOD"!  When the Messiah returns, there will be a loud NOISE -- the voice of the archangel -- and a SHOUT -- and also the loud TRUMPET BLAST of ONE TRUMPET! 

 

         The apostle Paul writes further about this colossal event, the return of Christ:

 

                                 "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, AT THE LAST TRUMPET:

                                            for the TRUMPET SHALL SOUND, and the dead shall be raised

                                            incorruptible, and WE SHALL BE CHANGED . . ." (I Cor.15:52).

 

            Notice further!  Not only does Jesus Christ return at the sounding of a single magnificent trumpet blast, but it will be the "LAST" trumpet!  Clearly, this implies that there will be many "trumpets" that will sound BEFORE this last trumpet call is signaled! 

 

         Jesus Christ Himself also described His second coming in these graphic words:

 

                                 "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven:  and then

                                            shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall SEE the Son of

                                            man coming IN THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN WITH POWER AND

                                            GREAT GLORY.  And he shall send his angels with the GREAT SOUND

                                            OF A TRUMPET, and they shall gather together his elect from the four

                                            winds, from one end of heaven to the other" (Matt.24:30-31).

 

            Isaiah wrote of this single, solitary trumpet peal.  He declared:

 

                                    "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall beat off from

                                                the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered

                                                one by one, O ye children of Israel.  And it shall come to pass in that day,

                                                that the GREAT TRUMPET shall be blown, and they shall come which were

                                                ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt,

                                                and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem" (Isa.27:12-13).

 

                Clearly Christ will return at the sound of one final great trumpet blast!  But the Feast of Trumpets is NOT the Feast of one great solitary trumpet blast -- it is the Feast of TRUMPETS -- PLURAL!  What, therefore, does it really signify? 

 

            Just what is the significance of the blowing of trumpets -- plural -- anyway?  Let's take another, closer look into this magnificent Holy Day of God, and see what it really pictures!

 

                                                    The Meaning of Trumpets

 

            The "Feast of Trumpets," in Hebrew, is Yom Teruah, and literally means "Day of Blowing," or "Memorial of blowing of trumpets."  We read in the book of Numbers, "And in the seventh month [Tishri], ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work:  it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you" (Num.29:1).  In the Septuagint, translated in the Greek language about 250 years before the time of Christ, the phrase used is hemera semasias, which literally means "a day of signaling."  Trumpets are blown to "signal" something.  But to signal what, in this case, are these "trumpets" blown for?

 

            In Leviticus, we also read:  "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation" (Lev.23:24).

 

            The Feast of Trumpets fell on the first day of the seventh month, which was the first day of the civil calendar.  Thus it came to be called "Rosh Hashanah," the "Head of the year."  Because it fell on a new moon, and is the only annual Holy Feast of God that does so, it is also called the "Feast of the New Moon." 

 

            Unger's Bible Dictionary tells us how this Feast was observed in ancient times:

 

                        "This day was observed as a feast day, in the strict sense, by resting from all work,

                                and as a memorial of blowing of horns, by a holy convocation.  In later times, while

                                the drink offering of the sacrifice was being poured out, the priests and Levites

                                chanted Psalm 81, while at the evening sacrifice they sang Psalm 29.  Throughout

                                the day trumpets were blown at Jerusalem from morning to evening.  In the temple

                                it was done even on a Sabbath, but not outside its walls" (p.350).

 

                Notice carefully that trumpets were blown all day long, from morning to evening -- many trumpets!  Says Peloubet's Bible Dictionary, "Instead of the mere blowing of the trumpets of the temple at the time of the offering of the sacrifices, it was 'a day of blowing of trumpets'" (p.707).

 

            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 6:34) 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 39:24-25), 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.25:9)" (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.

 

            What does this have to do with the trumpets that are blown on the "Day of Blowing," the Feast of Trumpets?  Before addressing that question, let us notice what the Jews have to say about the Festival of Rosh Hashanah.

 

                                                    The Jewish View of Rosh Hashanah

 

            We read in Judaism by Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, concerning this high holy day:

 

                        "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 God'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 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.13-14).  Because of their disobedience, God punished them forty years, a year for a day (Num.14:34). 

 

            Could this annual re-enactment of God'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 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 God will give His people, before the final JUDGMENT takes place -- which will occur at the coming of 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).

 

                Of course the day of Yom Kippur, or Day of Atonement, is considered as the "most sacred day in the Jewish calendar."  Why is this?  Although modern Jewish people do not understand it, this day represents the day of the coming of the Messiah -- Jesus Christ -- who will JUDGE the nations when He returns! 

 

            As the apostle Paul put it so plainly:  ". . . the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:  who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall COME to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day" (II Thess.1:7-10).

 

            The blowing of the shofar is an intimate part of this period picturing preparation to meet God, and to undergo His judgment.  Its most important uses, described in the Bible, were "to intimidate the enemy, to declare war, and to call the populace to assembly" (Jewish Book of Why, p.225).  Originally, the shofar was blown a short blast every New Moon, marking the beginning of a new month.  But on the New Moon of the seventh month, Tishri 1, the "Feast of Trumpets," prolonged alarm blasts were sounded.  Obviously, these were to herald a warning to the people, that the time has come to PREPARE TO BE JUDGED BY THE KING MESSIAH!

 

            These long alarm blasts on the shofar marked the beginning of a special period of time -- the Ten Days of Awe -- which culminate in the final judgment of Yom Kippur, which occurs at the return of Christ the Messiah!

 

            The shofar is blown every morning of every day of the month of Elul, preceding Rosh Hashanah.  This is followed by 100 blasts upon the shofar on Rosh Hashanah itself!  At this point, the urgency of the final judgment looms menacingly near, ominously close at hand -- and there is no longer any time left to "fool around."  It is time to "get serious"!

 

            Says Rabbi Irving Greenberg, in The Jewish Way:  Living the Holidays,

 

                        "The liturgical highlight of Rosh Hashanah is the shofar blowing.  The shofar is

                                sounded repeatedly throughout the service, a total of ONE HUNDRED BLASTS

                                in the traditional synagogue" (p.194).

 

                The theme of the ten days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur is "repentance."  Says Rabbi Greenberg,

 

                        "'"Seek God when God is readily found," these are the ten days from Rosh Hashanah

                                to Yom Kippur.'  In Kabbalistic terms, this Talmudic teaching means that God is

                                somehow closer during the High Holy Days.  More rationalistically, it means that people

                                are more apt to turn to God thanks to the mood of this period.  In the face of death and

                                trial, many self-deceptions fall away" (p.202). 

 

                Repentance is the major theme, beginning with Rosh Hashanah, the Day of Blowing.  The blowing of the trumpets is a fantastic, incredible call to each individual to repentance, self-examination, regret for sins committed, and a firm rejection of the sins committed, and finally a firm resolution or resolve not to continue committing those sins any longer.

 

            This time of WARNING has begun!  The apostle Paul thundered to the Athenians, "Forasmuch as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.  And the times of this ignorance God winked at, but now commandeth all men every where to REPENT:  because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will JUDGE the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained" (Acts 17:29-31).

 

                                                        The "Crisis at the Close"

 

            We are now living in the "crisis at the end" of this age of mankind (Dan.12:4, Moffatt translation).  This is the time of the "crisis at the close" (verse 9).  This is an age of awesome peril and frightening threats to the survival of mankind (II Tim.3:1). 

 

            In a detailed prophecy of the events which will occur on the earth, just prior to His Second Coming, Jesus Christ told His disciples, "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:  and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.  All these are the BEGINNING of sorrows" (Matt.24:7-8).  These things have already begun to happen, and on a stepped up scale!

 

            Jesus Christ foretold incredible upsets of the weather and the natural order.  He declared:  "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring:  Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth:  for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.   And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory" (Luke 21:25-27). 

 

            These things have already begun to come to pass, with increasing frequency and crescendoing severity.

 

            Following on the heels of these natural disasters, Jesus foretold widespread religious deception, apostasy, and persecution upon the true followers of Christ (Matt.24:9-11).  Many false prophets and religious leaders would rise up, deceiving the many -- charismatic leaders, religious Neanderthals, and autocratic leaders impressed with their own vanity and ego.  This has happened.  Jesus added, "And because iniquity shall abound" -- wickedness, lawlessness, pornography, obscenity, cursing, gang violence, immorality, humanism -- "the love of many shall wax cold.  But he that shall endure unto the

END, the same shall be saved" (Matt.24:11-13).

 

            The apostle Paul also spoke of this horrible, mind-bending, spine-twisting time of sheer terror coming upon the earth.  He wrote, "This know also, that in the LAST DAYS PERILOUS TIMES  shall come upon the earth.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God:  Having a FORM of godliness, but denying the power thereof:  from such turn away [have nothing to do with them!]" (II Tim.3:1-5).

 

                                            Coming:  GREAT TRIBULATION

 

            Jesus went on to say, in His famous Mount Olivet prophecy, "For then shall be GREAT TRIBULATION [distress, suffering, travail, WAR], such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.  And except those days should be shortened, there should NO FLESH BE SAVED [alive]:  but for the elect's sake, those days shall be shortened" (Matt.24:21-22).

 

            The gospel of Mark warns:  "For in those days shall be AFFLICTION, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be" (Mark 13:19).  Luke records:  "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with ARMIES, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.  Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them which are in the countries enter thereinto.  For these be the DAYS OF VENGEANCE, that all things that are written may be fulfilled.  But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days!  for there shall be GREAT DISTRESS in the land, and WRATH upon this people.  And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations:  and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Luke 21:20-24).

 

            Moffatt, in his translation, calls this period of time "the CRISIS at the CLOSE" (Daniel 12:4, 9).   Daniel prophesied, "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people:  and there shall be a TIME OF TROUBLE, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time; and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book" (Dan.12:1).

 

            Looking into the future, into our day, the prophet Jeremiah foretold of this same indescribable, unique, incredible time!  He wrote:  "Alas!  for that day is great, so that none is like it:  it is even the time of JACOB'S TROUBLE; but he shall be saved out of it" (Jer.30:7).        

 

                                                            "The Day of the LORD"

 

            The prophet Haggai was inspired of God to write, "For thus saith the LORD 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 God, which the Jews are even now prepared to rebuild in Jerusalem!] with glory, saith the LORD of hosts" (Haggai 2:6-7).

 

            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 firestorms of nuclear war (verses 2-10) erupting on the earth.  He then calls out to God'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 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).

 

            Friends, 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 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 GLOOM-

                                INESS, 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: 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 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 the long-awaited Messiah, Jesus Christ, to rule the nations, awesome events are predicted and projected in the prophecies of the Scriptures.  They are symbolized or referred to as "angelic TRUMPET plagues"!  Notice!

 

                                       The Blowing of SEVEN Awesome "Trumpets"

 

            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 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 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":

 

                        "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.

 

                                "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).

 

                        "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].

 

                                "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 dark-

                                ened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise" (Rev.8:10-12).

 

                Here, in graphic description, is a prophecy of natural disasters prophesied to overwhelm the earth in the year immediately preceding the coming of the Messiah, 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 God 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, God will "destroy them which destroy the earth" (Rev.11:18).

 

                                                      When Will It All Happen?

 

            When will these awesome plagues be poured out on our hapless planet and its rebellious inhabitants?  When will a massive asteroid such as science calls a "Doomsday Asteroid" strike our planet?  When will these incredible prophecies be fulfilled?

 

            Although we cannot state with absolute certainty, the indication from Biblical prophecy and Biblical evidence, is that the 6,000 years from Adam and Eve should be counted from the time they sinned, and were expelled from the Garden of Eden.  That's when the countdown began.  The book of Jubilees tells us that this occurred seven years after their original creation in 4004 B.C.  Thus we have:

 

                         4004 B.C.                     6000     years                         2003 A.D.

                             -7                            -3997 B.C.                                  +1  

                         3997 B.C.                     2003 A.D.                              2004 A.D.

                                                         

            Since there is no year "zero," we must make an adjustment when counting from B.C. to  A.D. dating or vice versa.  When we normally count years, we count inclusively, but when we subtract one number from another, it is like exclusive counting.  Therefore, we must add "1" year to our computation to arrive at the correct year.  It is strange that even so-called "academics" don't seem to be aware of this problem, or how it works, and therefore get confused and mislead the public when they go from B.C. to A.D. dating!

 

            This information strongly suggests that the end of 6,000 years is 2004 A.D.  At this point, Daniel’s 70th week (Dan..9:27) – a final period of seven years – could begin, counting down to the coming of the Messiah!  Or, that final “countdown” could be TEN YEARS – from 2004 to 2014 – represented by the ten “days” from the Feast of Trumpets till Yom Kippur – counting a symbolical “day” for a year in actual fulfillment!   Or, we could count simply an additional 3 years from 2004 till 2007-8, if the 6,000 years represents the year of Messiah’s return, and if we have to “add in” the 3 years of Christ’s ministry, when He represented the ‘Kingdom of God” while He was on earth!

 

            When, then, will all these things happen?  No one knows the day or the hour – only God the Father! (Matthew 24:36).

 

                                                     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 WORLD WAR, culminating in the return of Christ 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 World Empire is Satan the devil, working through the "Beast" (v.11).  "Locusts," in the Bible, are a type of Assyrian and Babylonian soldiers (see Nahum 3:17-18).  God compares the soldiers -- the military -- of this final World Government 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.9:8-10).

 

            This world power will inflict awesome calamities everywhere -- it is the "king of the north" (compare Daniel 11:40-45). 

 

            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 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 Jesus Christ 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 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!  We read about the assembling of the armies of the world, in a final rallying cry for mankind to oppose the rule of God, in the book of Revelation:

 

                        "And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received

                                no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. 

                                These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

                                These shall MAKE WAR with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them:

                                for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings:  and they that are with him are

                                called, and chosen, and faithful" (Rev.17:12-14).

 

                These "ten kings" represent ten regions of the earth.  They will give their power to the "Beast" for just "ONE HOUR" -- prophetically speaking.  Jesus Christ said that there are "twelve hours in a day" (John 11:9), and there are 12 months in a year, so "one hour" evidently equals ONE MONTH in being fulfilled! 

 

            Thus this final "alliance" refers to a final union of the world -- a final form of the "New World Order" -- which will, apparently under the auspices of the United Nations, FIGHT AGAINST CHRIST!  All the world will be gathered together to resist Him.  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 the Messiah when He returns from heaven! 

 

            At that moment, the seventh angel will sound His trumpet -- a final call to repentance.  The great shofar will be blown on the great Jubilee on the Day of Atonement -- and the final judgment will take place. 

 

                        "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, and of his Christ; and he 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 Christ returns, 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).

 

                        "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse:  and he that sat upon him                                 

                                was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth JUDGE and make

                                WAR.  His eyes were a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he

                                had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  And he was clothed with a

                                vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.  And the armies

                                which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white

                                and clean.  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite

                                the nations:  and he shall rule them with a rod of iron:  and he treadeth the wine-

                                press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God" (Rev.19:11-16). 

 

            This is the awesome judgment pictured by the final shofar -- the great trumpet -- blown on the Day of Atonement, which finishes the "Days of Awe" and completes the "High Holy Days." 

 

                               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 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 God pictures this "time of the end" -- this period Moffatt calls "the crisis at the close."  It pictures vividly God'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 second coming of Jesus Christ! 

 

            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 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 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 30 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 2:40). 

                                "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).