The Last Trumpet
THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS
1Thes 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a
shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and
the dead in Christ shall rise first:
When did God provide a trumpet? In Gen 22:11-13 the Lord provides a Ram
with two horns. There were two types of trumpets in the Old Testament;
1) a metallic (usually silver) trumpet and 2)the shofar or ram's horn.
Gen 22:11-13 “And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven,
and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay
not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for
now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy
son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and
looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns:
and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt
offering in the stead of his son.” The Ram was perfect and had two
horns; Jewish tradition calls them the first and last trumpet. This ram
became the substitute for Isaac even as Jesus became the substitute for
us and provided life for us through His death.
1Cor 15:52 “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last
trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised
incorruptible, and we shall be changed”.
In Judaism, there are three named trumpets; the first, the last and the
Great trumpets. We must remember that the rapture is a calling of the
Lord’s people to Him; and not the announcement of a coming judgment.
These will be discussed below.
THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS
The Feast of Trumpets introduces the autumn festivals-representing the
culmination of the present age of man and the beginning of an
incredible time during which God will play a much more direct part in
The previous festivals constitute personal responses to the workings of
God in the people He calls and chooses. The Feast of Trumpets herald
the intervention of God in the affairs of humanity on a global basis.
This Holy Day represents a dramatic turning point in world history.
This particular festival also marks the beginning of the third and
final feast season (Exodus 23:14, Deuteronomy 16:16), which includes the
final four Holy Days of the year, Rosh HaShanah.
A special season known as 'Teshuvah' which in Hebrew means "to return
or repent", begins on the first day of the month of Elul and continues
40 days, ending with Yom Kippur. Thirty days into Teshuvah, on Tishrei
1, comes Rosh HaShanah. This begins a final ten-day period beginning on
Rosh HaShanah and ending on Yom Kippur. These are known as the High
Holy Days and as the Awesome Days. The Sabbath that falls within this
ten-day period is called 'Shabbat Shuvah', the Sabbath of Return. Five
days after Yom Kippur is 'Sukkot', the Feast of Tabernacles. Teshuvah
begins on Elul 1 and concludes on Tishrei 10, Yom Kippur. Each morning
during the 30 days of the month of Elul, the trumpet (shofar) or ram's
horn is blown to warn the people to repent and return to God.
God has always had a heart to warn people before He proclaims judgment.
God warned the people before the flood, and He warned Nineveh before it
was ruined. He does not want anyone to receive the wrath of His
judgment (Ezekiel 18:21-23, 30-32, Zephaniah 2:1-3).
The message from the first day of Elul to Rosh HaShanah is
clear: Repent before Rosh HaShanah. Don't wait until after Rosh
HaShanah, or you will find yourself in the Days of Awe.
The term "Rosh Hashanah" is not used in the Bible to discuss this
holiday. The Bible refers to the holiday as Yom Ha-Zikkaron (the day of
remembrance) or Yom Teruah (the day of the sounding of the shofar, or
the Day of the Awakening Blast). On Yom Teruah, the Day of the Sounding
of the Shofar, it is imperative for every person to hear the shofar.
Yom Teruah is the only festival that no man knows the day or the hour
in which it begins. This is due to the fact that it begins on the new
moon. The new moon was sanctified when two witnesses see the new moon
and attest to it before the Sanhedrin in the Temple. This
sanctification could happen during either of two days, depending on
when the witnesses come. Since no one knew when the witnesses would
come, no one knew when the Feast of Trumpets would start. On the 30th
of each month, the members of the High Court assembled in a courtyard in
Jerusalem, where they waited to receive the testimony of two reliable
witnesses. They then sanctified the new moon. The new moon is very
difficult to see on the first day because it can be seen only about
sunset, close to the sun, when the sun is traveling north. So, looking
for a very slim faint crescent moon, which is very close to the sun, is
a very difficult thing to do. If the moon's crescent was not seen on
the 30th day, the new moon was automatically celebrated on the 31st
day. For this reason, Yom Teruah is always celebrated for two days.
These two days are celebrated as though it is just one long day of
forty-eight hours. The reason that it is celebrated for two days is
because if they waited to start the celebration until after the new moon
had been sanctified, they would have missed half the celebration because
the new moon can only be sanctified during daylight hours and the Jewish
day would have started the sundown before (Jewish day is from sundown
to sundown). The command seems to be that we know the season, but not
the day or the hour (Matthew 24:32-36).
The Jewish calendar is based on three astronomical phenomena: the
rotation of the Earth about its axis (a day); the revolution of
the moon about the Earth (a month); and the revolution of the
Earth about the sun (a year). These three phenomena are
independent of each other, so there is no direct correlation
between them. On average, the moon revolves around the Earth in
about 29½ days. The Earth revolves around the sun in about 365¼
days, that is, about 12.4 lunar months.
Yom Teruah, or the Feast of Trumpets, is the only feast that we do not
know the day or the hour in which to keep it. Therefore, we have to be
on the alert and watch for it.
Teruah means "an awakening blast". A theme associated with Rosh
HaShanah is the theme "to awake". Teruah is also translated as
"shout". The book of Isaiah, chapter 12, puts the shouting in the
context of the thousand-year reign of Jesus. The Messianic era and
shout is mentioned in Isaiah 44:23 and Zephaniah 3:14. The first coming
of Christ is associated with a shout in Zechariah 9:9. The ultimate
shout is the rapture in First Thessalonians 4:16-17.
Whether it is by the blast of a shofar or the force of a supernatural
shout, God's goal is to awaken us. "...Awake thou that sleepest, and
arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." -Ephesians
5:14. The book of Ephesians has many references to Rosh HaShanah and the
high Holy Days. For example, in Ephesians 4:30, being sealed unto the
day of redemption refers to Yom Kipur, the Day of Atonement. God gave
this festival to teach us that we will be judged on Rosh HaShanah and
will be sealed unto the closing of the gates on Yom Kippur
The theme of awakening from sleep is used throughout the Bible. It is
found in John 11:11, Romans 13:11, Daniel 12:1-2 and Psalm 78:65.
The shofar was also blown at the temple to begin the Sabbath each week.
There are two types of trumpets used in the Bible:
1. The silver trumpet
2. The shofar or ram's horn
Each Sabbath, two men with silver trumpets and a man with a shofar made
three trumpet blasts twice during the day. On Rosh HaShanah, it is
different. The shofar is the primary trumpet. On Rosh HaShanah, a
shofar delivers the first blast, a silver trumpet the second, and then
a shofar the third.
According to Leviticus 23:24 and Numbers 29:1, Rosh HaShanah is the day
of the blowing of the trumpets.
"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." -Leviticus 23:24
"And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have
an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of
blowing the trumpets unto you." -Numbers 29:1
The trumpet used for this purpose is the ram's horn, not trumpets made
of metal as in Numbers Chapter 10.
Another name for Rosh HaShanah is 'Yom HaDin', the Day of Judgment.
The righteous are separated and will be with God. This is known to
Bible believers as the rapture. The wicked will face the wrath of God
during the tribulation period.
The shofar blown on Rosh HaShanah is known as the last trump, which the
apostle Paul mentioned in First Thessalonians 4:16-17. At this time,
the believers in Christ will escape the tribulation on earth and will
be taken to Heaven in the rapture along with the righteous who had died
before this time.
The gates of Heaven are opened on Rosh HaShanah so the righteous nation
may enter (Isaiah 26:2, Psalm 118:19-20). Because the gates of Heaven
are understood to be open on Rosh HaShanah, this is further evidence
that the rapture of the believers in Christ will take place on Rosh
One of the reasons for blowing the shofar is to proclaim the resurrection
of the dead. The resurrection of the dead will take place on Rosh
HaShanah. In First Corinthians 15:52, the apostle Paul tells us that
the resurrection of the dead will be "at the last trump." Earlier in
First Corinthians 15:14, he wrote that without the Lord Jesus rising
from the dead, our faith is in vain.
We cannot go to the Book of Revelation and say that the voice of the
seventh angel (Revelation 11:15) is the last trump. In the first
century, the last trump (shofar) meant a specific day in the year. In
Judaism, there are three trumpets that have a name. They are the first
trump, the last trump, and the great trump. Each one of these trumpets
indicates a specific day in the Jewish year. The first trump is blown
on the Feast of Pentecost (Exodus 19:19). It proclaimed that God had
betrothed Himself to Israel. As mentioned earlier the last trump is
synonymous with Rosh HaShanah, according to Theodore Gaster in his book,
Festivals of the Jewish Year, in his chapter on Rosh HaShanah. Herman
Kieval also states the same thing in his book, The High Holy Days in the
chapter on the shofar. The great trumpet is blown on Yom Kippur, which
will herald the return of Jesus back to the earth (Matthew 24:31).
Rabbi Eliezer tells us in Pirkei Avot, that the left horn (first trump)
was blown on Mount Sinai, and its right horn (the last trump) will be
blown to herald the coming of the Lord for His Church. Isaiah 18:3 and
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 speak of the resurrection of the dead.
1Thessalonians chapter 5 continues with the day of the Lord and the
birth pangs of the Messiah. The festivals will, beyond a shadow of a
doubt, tell you that the resurrection of the dead precedes the time of
Jacob's trouble (the tribulation). 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 says that
the dead in Christ will rise first, and that the catching away of the
believers will immediately follow.
The term 'rapture' comes from the Greek word 'harpazo', which means "to
seize, catch away, catch up, pluck, pull, take by force" (1
Thessalonians 4;17). Isaiah 57:1-2 speaks clearly of the resurrection
of the dead, the taking of the believers, and the hiding of the
believers from the indignation (the tribulation). Zephaniah 1:14-18 and
2:2-3 tells about the terrible times during the day of the Lord, the
birth pangs of the Messiah, and issues a decree to repent and turn to
God before that day to be hid from that time. Psalm 27:5 says the
righteous will be hid in the time of trouble. Paul in 2 Thessalonians
2:1 tells us, "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord
Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him." The phrase
"gathering together" comes from the Greek word 'episunagoge', which
means "an assembly".
The Feast of Trumpets, through careful study depicts nothing less than
the return of Jesus Christ for His Church at the last trump, just
before God pours His wrath and judgment on a sinful and Christ rejecting