FEAST OF TRUMPETS

Blow Ye the Trumpet, Blow!

 

 

NOTE:  This message requires a shofar (ram’s horn trumpet – about $35 mail order) and/or enough brass instruments or party horns for everyone in the group to have one.  (Get them at Wal-mart.)  Purchase Shofars and Accessories at CBD 

 

The shofar is to be blown at the beginning of the message.  Wherever there is the cue {blow}, the congregation blows their horns and shouts the slogan.  Please note to the congregation that this is not a celebration, but a “serious blowing (!) of the trumpet of judgment.”  This message is not meant to be any more than an introduction to the Feast for those who’ve not known of it.

 

PREVIEW Jewish Days by Francine Klagsbrun PREVIEW Theology in Hymns  Theresa Berger, 1780  Request Biblical Holidays

 

Genesis 22:1-18 “The Binding of Isaac”; Psalms 22; Matthew 24:29-31

 

We will never forget the Feast of Trumpets 2004.  A great trumpet passed through our village – a trumpet named Hurricane Ivan – reminding us of judgment and mercy for the next 18 months.

 

Introduction to the Feasts

   {Blow the shofar!}

   It’s the Feast of Trumpets, Yom Teruah, the fourth great Bible Holiday of the year.  (This is disputed, but will do for our purposes.)  We’re proud to have celebrated the previous Feasts required by the Almighty: Passover (April) and Pentecost (June). 

{Also, we keep the feast of Unleavened Bread every first Sunday of the month in our Communion Service (1 Corinthians 5:8).

That’s why we use the flat bread (unleavened wafer) in the communion instead of a regular loaf.  We’re proud in Yahshua because this year we’ve made a first attempt at more authenticity in our worship by being obedient to the will of Yahweh in regards to holy days. 

   If you’ve forgotten, his everlasting commandment to observe holy days is found in Leviticus 23, Numbers 29 and many other passages.  We know that the great patriarchs observed the Feasts, but did you know that Yahshua (aka Jesus), all his disciples, Paul the Apostle and the early believers throughout the world were obedient to keep them?  That’s why we’re proud without being pridefulproud to follow in the footsteps both of those who were looking for a Savior – and those who found him.  Unfortunately, much time has passed, and Christian traditions have replaced the clear instruction of Scripture.  So though what we celebrate may be uncomfortable for some (at least the first time), your Father in Heaven will especially bless you for fulfilling his command!  In fact, if you are reading this text – save it for the feast day (September 9 - 10, 2010) and you will have kept the Feast and received heavenly favor.

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Trumpets Speak in Scripture

   Trumpets speak loudly throughout Scripture.  In the first mention of a trumpet (Exodus 19:10ff), the children of Israel have vowed to Moses to follow the commandments of Yahweh, and therefore become the people of his hand.  In return, Yahweh proves himself to Moses’ children by descending on the mountain, so that all might ascend upward and enter into Yahweh’s ineffable presence. 

   {Blow the shofar!}

   It’s the loud blast of the trumpet that not only calls them to ascend to their Mighty One, but the trumpet also warns of certain death if they should venture off the path.  On account of this, the Feast of Trumpets was established as a perpetual remembrance of the Almighty’s presence, his commandments, his warnings and his judgments – especially his judgments.  This Feast is the Day of Judgment!  There is to be no work allowed; instead, it is a holiday for you.  The congregation (or family or individual) is called to worship and feast.  Many sacrifices were once required: a ram, a bull, seven lambs, a billygoat, flour and oil, and some drinks (Numbers 29:2ff). 

 

After all, Yom Teruah (the Day of Awe or Day of Blowing) is a feast!

     The trumpet continues to ring out through the Bible.  In the writings of the Hebrew prophets, the trumpet sounds the warning as the armies of vengeance approach; spreading the alarm so that the people might be ready to fight or to flee, and to remember the day of Yahweh’s wrath, which was sure to come, even upon them!  “Blow the trumpet in Zion!  Sound the alarm!” 

 

{Blow the shofar!} 

 

{Here you may interject your anthem, “Blow the Trumpet in Zion,” or

Listen, my children, and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five; Hardly a man is now alive

Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, “If the British march by land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch of the North Church tower as a signal light,--
One, if by land, and two, if by sea; and I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm.
}

 

   The last book of the Bible, the Hazon (Revelation), speaks of seven trumpets blown by the seven malachim (angels) of Yahweh, signifying seven great events of destruction and judgment poured out on the earth in response to the potent prayers of the saints, who, through the ages, had been sacrificed by those potentates who hated righteousness. 

The first six trumpet judgments: fire burning, water poisoned, meteorites falling, darkness day and night, and the assemblage of awesome weapons of mass destruction by demon-driven warmongers.  In the midst of unbearable tribulation, a final trumpet sounds the long, loud note (the Tekiah haGadol).

 

   {Blow the shofar here – a long blast!}

 

   This great trumpet will put an end to the depravity, destruction and demolition of the earth.  World war is in full swing; the machines of death go suddenly silent as though an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) weapon disarmed all electronic devices.  There are loud voices from the sky after the trumpet, crying,

 

“The nations of the world has become the Nation of our Elohim and of his Savior, and he will reign h'olam va-ed.”  Amein.  {Repeat this out loud.)

 

I don’t know if you’re aware of it, but our world has been at war for over a hundred years.  Surely, six trumpets of Yahweh have blown.  Have you heard them?  Most are deaf to these trumpets, but some have heard and responded by turning back to the Elohim of Avraham, Yitschak, Ya'aqov, and Yahshua. 

 

(“Repentance” means “changing the mind” or “turning back.”  Turning back to what?  To the righteous ordinances and holidays that your heavenly Father commanded us to observe in all our generations.  The Hebrew term for this “turning back” is “teshuvah.”)

 

The Seventh Trumpet

   Now the malach is bringing the seventh trumpet to his lips.  For as in the time of the Exodus, “the Commander of Hosts (armies)” is coming down the mountain, putting an end to the folly of iniquity, exalting the righteous, judging the wicked, and ruling the whole world, now without end, Amein.

 

   {Say it aloud: “World without end. Amein.”} 

 

   If you haven’t heard the first six trumpets, you’d best tune your ears to the “spirit in the sky” – behold, watch and wait and pray and get ready.  Those who have been judged already are those who are ready.  Those who are not ready will stand judgment, “For the great day of his wrath is come, and who will be able to stand” (Revelation 6:17).

 

   The Apostle tells us a little more about what the seventh trumpet call will mean to those who are able to stand, in two famous passages.  In the first, he tells us that though the seventh trumpet is the final judgment of the earth, it will mean the end of death and the beginning of resurrection.

 

1 Corinthians 15:51.  Look, I'm telling you a secret. We will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed,   52.  in a moment, in an eye's blink, in the last trumpet (salpiggi, sal-pin-ghi); for it will herald (salpisei, sal-pi-say), and the dead will wake up uncorrupted, and we will be transformed.  

   {Shout: “Death is swallowed up in victory!” and blow your trumpet.}

 

   In the second passage, Paul admonishes those who are listening for the trumpet to take comfort for those loved ones who’ve gone on before.

1 Thessalonians 4:16. Yahshua himself will descend from the sky with a cry of command, with the head malach’s call, and with the sound of the trumpet of Yahweh.  The dead in Messiah will rise first;  17.  then we who are alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet Yahshua; and so we will always be with him."

 

   {Blow your trumpet and shout:  “Comfort one another with these words!”} 

   Many of us have felt this kind of comfort in these evil days of judgment.  It is a strong, compassionate consolation – but it comes at a gigantic price.  And the trumpet also reminds us of that.

 

The Shofar – Reminiscent of “The Binding of Isaac”

   Although silver trumpets were used in worship, the ram’s horn, or shofar, is preferred because

  • it’s sound conveys the agony of Sarah’s loud, painful cry upon learning of the sacrifice of her only son, and

  • it was the ram’s horn that held the animal fast in the thicket, providing Abraham a more reasonable sacrifice, and conveying the mercy of the Almighty. 

And it’s on this account that Genesis 22, the story of “The Binding of Isaac,” is read on Feast of Trumpets (along with other passages). 

   Francine Klagsbrun, in her wonderful book Jewish Days, describes what’s behind “The Binding of Isaac” in these words:

Some commentators have seen it as a lesson to the ancient Hebrews – in the most graphic form possible – to refrain from human sacrifice, a practice common among neighboring peoples.  The Bible itself gives no such indication.  It portrays the episode only as a supreme test of Abraham’s faith.  ... Though Elohim surely knew the outcome of that test, its purpose was to demonstrate to the nations of the world the worthiness of the father of the Hebrew people.

   It is an extreme test, a cruel one actually.  Critics have wondered why Abraham did not protest it or plead to save his son’s life as he had pleaded earlier for the lives of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah.  However, Abraham’s readiness to follow El’s command, and Isaac’s willingness to give up his life, acquired merit for both of them that would forever benefit their descendants.  Time and time again, [the Feast of Trumpets] calls upon YHWH to remember the deeds of Abraham and Isaac and apply them on behalf of all the people of Israel.

The great promise to sprout outward from “The Binding of Isaac” is found in

Genesis 22:15.  And the malach of Yahweh called to Abraham from heaven,  16.  and said, “ I have sworn, because you have not withheld your son, your only son,  17.  I will indeed bless you, and I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and as the sand on the seashore. ... 18.  and by your descendants will all the nations of the earth bless themselves, because you have obeyed my voice.” 

   {Blow your trumpet and shout:  “I / We will do as the Almighty has commanded!”} 

Now whether you’re an Israelite or not, the promise is that you’ll be blessed through the descendant(s) of Isaac, who chose to die a sacrifice rather than to live in disobedience to Yahweh.  That descendant of Isaac through whom you receive your greatest beatitude today had the very same decision to make as Isaac; that is, whether to be sacrificed or not, but with a much different outcome.  

 

While Isaac Was Spared, Yahshua Was Not

   Of course, I’m talking about Yahshua son of Maryah, great grandson of Isaac.  He too, like Isaac, was bound, but not by a righteous Abraham, but by sinners and murderers – those who called themselves his kinfolk but were not (Revelation 2:9).  Judas, Pilate, priests and elders – those who either knew him, should have known him, or should have known better.  Like Isaac, they all bound him and beat him, yet Yahshua still could have escaped had he so chosen.

John 10:18.  “No one takes my life from me (he cried), but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father.” 

   {Blow your trumpet and shout:  “No one took his life!”} 

   As the captive was approaching his destiny as King, there were no trumpets on the Via Dolorosa that day – only the crow of a cock.  As he was tied to the execution stake at Skull Place, there was no ram caught in the thicket by the horn.  Even as the cold steel pierced him, there was no kindly Abraham, only the wails of a horrified mother, who, like those of Sarah, pierced the air like the shofar.

   {Blow your trumpet and shout, “Behold your son!  Behold your mother!”}

 

The Trumpet Means His Return and the Reconciliation of the World

   Yahweh spared Isaac so as to bless Abraham and his kin.  Yet Yahweh couldn’t spare his son and, at the same time, bless your hide many, many generations later.  Too much in the world had already gone awry by then.  Beasts had arisen (Daniel 7:3).  Desolations were decreed (Daniel 9:26).  Men had corrupted the whole of creation; they had polluted worship beyond repentance.  Something radical and unthinkable had to be done to set the cosmos back on course; all evil had to be destroyed.  If Abraham loved, Yahweh loved all the more.  If Maryah grieved, Yahweh grieved all the more.  But Yahweh had a greater love to consider; a love that required one final sacrifice; not a bull or a goat or a ram in a thicket, but an ultimate sacrifice that could bring ultimate atonement to all of creation.

   {Blow your trumpet and shout, “For YAH loved the world!”}

John 3:16.  For YAH so loved the world that he gave his unique Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  17.  For YAH sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.  18.  He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already. 

   Yes, this Yahshua died for the love of the likes of you.  And Jerusalem was judged and made desolate by the very hands of those who crucified him.   And the world is being judged still, every hour of every day, and every inhabitant therein.

Sinners, turn: why will you die?  Your Creator asks you why. 
YH, who did your being give, gave Himself, that you might live;

Why, you thankless creatures, why, will you cross His love, and die?
YH, who did your souls retrieve, died Himself that you might live.

Will you let Him die in vain?  Crucify your King again? 
Turn, He cries, ye sinners turn; by His life your Master swore;

He would have you turn and live, He would all the world receive;
he hath not one soul passed by; why will you resolve to die?
 

(Charles Wesley, 1771)

 

Is the Trumpet Blowing for You?

   {Blow the shofar.}

   My friend, in the usual Feast of Trumpets worship service, the shofar is blown a hundred times.  You’ve now blown and perhaps heard hundreds of trumpets.  These boisterous warning calls are warning you, “He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already” (John 3:18).  ¿When the final trumpet sounds in the next week or so, will you be among those whom the malachim of the four corners of the earth will gather from the winds, from one end of the earth to the other?  Or will you be like chaff, subject to judgment, reliant on your own puff and stuff to see you through.  Do you really think you’ll be able to make your case before Saint Peter at the pearly gates?  Do you swallow the rapture deception hook, line and sinker?  Forget that nonsense.  Sinner, you have no case unless you make his case your case.  “Whosoever loves me will keep my commandments” (John 14:15)!  Yahweh loves you and so do I.  Please, believe the Gospel, and live!

   Then you may boldly sing right along with our forefather in the faith,

Blow ye the trumpet, blow! The gladly solemn sound, let all the nations know, To earth’s remotest bound:

{sing} The year of jubilee is come! The year of jubilee is come! Return, ye ransomed sinners, home.

Yahshu, our great high priest, hath full atonement made; ye weary spirits, rest; ye mournful souls, be glad.

{sing} The year of jubilee is come! The year of jubilee is come!  Return, ye ransomed sinners, home.

Ye slaves of sin and hell, your liberty receive, and safe in Yahshua dwell, and blest in Yahshua live:

{sing} The year of jubilee is come! The year of jubilee is come!  Return, ye ransomed sinners, home.

{Blow your trumpet and shout, “The Year of Jubilee Has Come!”}

Today, a hundred trumpets blow for you.  May

“The news of heavenly grace save you from wrath unto your Savior’s face

(C. Wesley, 1750).  Amein.

Jackson Snyder, September 25, 2003, upd. September 20, 2006, upd. August 14, 2010