The Day of Trumpets is a key milestone in God’s revealed plan of salvation for humankind and an annual beacon for Christ’s prophesied return to earth. The command to observe the Day of Trumpets, “Yom Teruah” or “day of shouting” or “trumpeting” in Hebrew, is found in Leviticus 23:23-25. It’s important to focus in advance, on the meaning of this day.
Often, the modern Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, meaning the “head of the year,” is mistaken for the originally intended name and meaning of the Feast of Trumpets. Rosh Hashanah is not found in the Bible. It originates in Babylonian paganism with a festival called Akitu dedicated to the god Marduk. It was mixed in by the Jews exiled in Babylon because the date of the festival, 21st Adar, coincides with the date of the Day of Trumpets, the 1st day of the 7th month in the Hebrew calendar.
How, then, do we know that the Feast of Trumpets is related to Christ’s second coming? In ancient Israel, a trumpet or shofar was blown for a variety of reasons, to call an assembly for a festival or to gather the people together in the presence of the Lord. When God descended onto Mount Sinai and gave Israel the law, trumpets were blown to announce the arrival of God’s presence.
Trumpets were also sounded in alarm and to call troops to battle, at the coronation of a king, and to declare the Jubilee during which slaves were freed. Arrival, war, regime change, and liberation; all aspects of the prophesies pertaining to Christ’s second coming:
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first,” 1 Thessalonians 4:16, NKJV.
(For more prophecies, see also Zechariah 14:1-3 and Revelation 11:15.)
Equally compelling are the fulfilled prophecies pertaining to Christ’s first coming:
“…They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots” (Psalm 22:16-18).
The evidence is clear for those of us who believe that Bible prophecy is true. The four eye-witness accounts that detail Christ’s crucifixion make these prophecies profoundly clear. If we can understand these for what they are, then we shouldn’t be afraid to make the logical leap that other, future prophecies about Christ’s second coming are true:
“And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east.
And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two” (Zechariah 14:4)
Accurate predictions were fulfilled about Christ’s first coming. Therefore we can be confident that the fulfillment of Christ’s second coming is certain. Christ will return to earth in great glory amidst shouts and trumpets.
What are the ramifications of recognizing this truth? What does it require of us?
Christ’s return completes what is a prolonged period of violence and destruction. Those who are not following Christ, who are not obedient to God, are first abused by Satan and then punished by God. Billions will suffer and die. Accepting that reality requires a change in perspective. How we behave, and what we are at the time of Christ’s return, will affect our outcome (Luke 21:34-36). But more than our personal salvation, we have an obligation to have empathy for others and warn the world of what is coming:
“But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand,’” Ezekiel 33:6.
Those who are given the watch must preach that message to warn the world and especially the modern-day descendants of the house of Israel, who will bear the brunt of God’s correction. Many will not accept that warning, but some will. God wants to abbreviate the suffering that would otherwise be required to accomplish His purpose of the redemption and reconciliation of mankind to Himself.
For God’s people, the anticipation of the fulfillment of the Day of Trumpets and Christ’s return should be the driving force in our lives. It is the framework of our existence. Personal change is required of us, so that we may be able to deliver the vital warning to repent to those who will listen.