Enjoying Christ as the Feast of Trumpets
Christ our Living Hope!
What are you hoping for? A vacation? A new product from Amazon Prime? Health and wealth? A loving relationship?
The Feast of Trumpets, the fifth of the Jewish feasts of the Lord, is about our hope and expectation for the future. It portrays the greatest hope of all mankind---the triumphant return of our Great God and Savior, Christ Jesus to the earth! All other hopes are temporary, or even false.
In previous posts I have shown that Christ Jesus our Lord can be experienced as the Seven Feasts which are described in Leviticus 23, with each feast portraying a different aspect of Christ enjoyed by us today. The first four feasts show Christ experienced by us as our wonderful Savior (the Passover), our resurrected indwelling life (the Unleavened Bread), the ascended joy of our Father God (the First Fruits), and the outpoured Spirit of the Lord (the Pentecost). All of these four feasts occur in the early part of the year. They portray all of what Christ is to the church today.
The next feast, the Feast of Trumpets, occurs in the fall, about four months after Pentecost. Why the long delay between feasts? The four months of summer symbolize the age of the church. God’s people are likened to a cultivated field which takes time to grow unto a full crop (Matt 13:23; 1 Cor 3:9). Christ is working and praying for us until we all grow up into Him (Rom 8:34; Eph 4:15; Col 1:28), and become manifested as the many sons of God (Rom 8:19). How do we grow? By experiencing Him daily as the four feasts! Every day partake of Him as your Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Pentecost. You will surely grow! As Christ daily adds Himself to our soul, transmitting His virtues and nature into us, He produces in us a hope of the fulness of salvation, which involves being totally transformed into His image, and reigning with Him on the earth in the future Kingdom.
The Christian life is described as being faith, hope, and love (1 Cor 13:13). Hope alone refers to the unseen future (Rom 8:24). Our hope is nothing less than Christ Himself (Col 1:27; 1 Tim 1:1). The final three feasts are all experiences of Christ as our hope.
The Reality of the Trumpets
Let’s now examine this fifth feast, the feast of Trumpets:
23 Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord.’” (Lev 23)
This feast portrays Christ experienced in His Second Coming to the earth. The Jewish people call this feast the New Year, and someday indeed it will be. When Jesus returns to the earth, He will initiate the manifestation of His kingdom over the entire globe. It will be the New Year of the Kingdom. In their prayers the Jewish people say on this day (also called Rosh Hashanah—the Head of the Year), “all inhabitants of the world pass before G‑d like a flock of sheep,” and it is decreed in the heavenly court “who shall live, and who shall die ... who shall be impoverished and who shall be enriched; who shall fall and who shall rise.” (www.chabad.org)
Trumpets are crucial in the Bible. They are a signal to God’s people to gather together for Him. We read:
29 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 31 And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. (Matt 24)
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. (1 Cor 15)
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. (1 Thess 4)
Then the seventh angel sounded[the trumpet]; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” (Rev 11:15)
These verses show many future facts about Christ’s return to earth: 1) it will come after a period of tribulation on the earth; 2) Christ will appear in the clouds; 3) all believers will be gathered to Him; 4) we will all receive a resurrection body like His; 5) both the dead and living believers will be gathered to meet Him in the air; and 6) it will be the beginning of His Kingdom on the earth. All this is included in the Feast of Trumpets. The following Jewish Holy Day, the Day of Atonement, occurs ten days after the Feast of Trumpets. In the next message I will show that the Day of Atonement is the day of judgment for all believers who are gathered to Him at His coming. This judgment will determine the reward of the believers related to Christ’s 1,000 year reign on the earth.
Loving His Return: The Push and the Pull
I think the real significance for us today of the Feast of Trumpets is related to our daily hope. No person can live without hope. A hopeless person is a dead person. Our hope regulates us and sets our priorities every day. Our hope, if it is according to God, lifts up our heart despite any troubles or tragedies we may be going through. Our hope purifies our heart from false hopes that this misguided age constantly barrages our soul with. Our hope motivates and directs us to diligently seek Him and His righteousness (Matt 6:33), to seek our own growth in Christ and to shepherd others into the growth of Christ (Luke 12:41-42). A healthy believer in Christ has one hope---the hope of Christ’s return. It is NOT the hope of GOING to heaven. This too can be a false hope. It is the hope of Christ RETURNING TO EARTH and Him being GLORIFIED IN US, and we in Him (2 Thess 1:10; Col 1:27; 3:3-4).
The Feast of Trumpets embodies this hope. It is the harvest after a long period of growth. God the Father longs for this day more than us! He has been patiently sowing Himself into humanity, cultivating Christ in the hearts of dear people for 2,000 years, longing for many full-grown sons of God (Rom 8:18-25). From our perspective, our longing for His return has both a negative and a positive aspect, what I call a “push” and a “pull.”
The Push—longing for the end of evil
12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3)
In this chapter Peter details the growth of unrighteousness on earth. Every day, as we read about evil in the news, it should prompt us to long for His speedy return. Every time I read or hear of another human tragedy, I mournfully pray “Come quickly Lord! We need you! End this evil age and bring in your glorious Kingdom!”
Even the dead are longing for the return of the Lord, seeking vengeance (Rev 6:9-11). I read a book on martyrs that said over 69 million believers in Christ have been killed for their faith since Christ’s resurrection ("Jesus Freaks" by D.C. Talk) We know that vengeance is the Lord’s (Rom 12:19) and the dead in Christ anticipate His return.
The Pull---longing for the presence of the Lord
In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. (2 Tim 4:8)
This verse expressed the Apostle Paul’s last hopes. Out of our love for Christ’s return, as well as our love for those who have died in Christ, we long for the day of His coming. We miss Christ, and those who have died in Him. His coming is also our hope of presenting to Christ all those souls we have labored to help love the Lord and grow in Him (1 Thess 2:19; Col 1:27-28). The more we labor today to help others, the more hope will grow in our hearts.
The last verses of the entire Bible encourages us with His speedy return!
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen. (Rev 22)
Hymn: Longing for His Return
- Hymn: Since long ago at Bethany we parted
Christian hymns and spiritual songs with wonderful truths and music.}
Next: Christ the Day of Atonement
- Christ as the Day of Atonement
Christ's Second Coming will be either a reward or a loss to believers. The reality of the Day of Atonement reveals how Christians cannot lose their salvation, but can lose their reward of the Kingdom. Loving Him, being filled with Him, and ministerin