Then the seventh angel blew his 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 shall reign forever and ever.”[Revelation 11:15]
In the same way that the Lord Yeshua precisely fulfilled the spring Feasts of the LORD in His first coming, He will fulfill the remaining fall feasts at His second coming. The Lamb of God will return as the King of Glory to crush God’s enemies and establish His Kingdom on earth.
In my trumpets part one post, I discussed how the Israelites were to blow the trumpets on the first day of the seventh month, primarily as an annual reminder of when Yahweh appeared before Moses and the people at Sinai. As we will see, Sinai is the predominant typological event from the Old Testament that corresponds to the return of Christ to the earth. The LORD also prescribed other general occasions for the trumpets to be sounded in Israel — all of which have prophetic significance.
All in all, many of the prophetic passages of Scripture that describe the second coming of Christ and the Day of the LORD intentionally use identical language involving trumpet blasts, angelic battle cries, and loud shouts from heaven. As we will see, this is not by accident.
Old Testament Depictions of the Day of the LORD
Before I get to the obvious New Testament passages that correspond to the future fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets, I would like to examine a few prophetic passages from the Old Testament. These prophecies are concerning the great Day of the LORD, which always has been connected to the coming of Messiah the King at the end of the age to destroy the enemies of Israel.
“The great day of the LORD is near,[Zephaniah 1:14-16]
near and hastening fast;
the sound of the day of the LORD is bitter;
the mighty man cries aloud there.
A day of wrath is that day,
a day of distress and anguish,
a day of ruin and devastation,
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and thick darkness,
a day of trumpet blast and battle cry
against the fortified cities
and against the lofty battlements.
“Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming; it is near.”[Joel 2:1]
“Then the LORD will appear over them, and his arrow will go forth like lightning; the Lord GOD will sound the trumpet and will march forth in the whirlwinds of the south.[Zechariah 9:14]
The Prophetic Teachings of Yeshua
Beginning with the prophetic words of Yeshua Himself and working through the Apostles, it becomes very evident that the LORD established the Feast of Trumpets so that His people would rehearse each year the dramatic events of God’s future arrival to Zion. We must not forget that these appointed feasts are “holy convocations,” or practice runs in anticipation for the real thing.
As Jesus taught His disciples the details surrounding His second coming on the Mount of Olives, He used language that would have been very familiar to devout Jews who were anticipating the coming Kingdom of God.
“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 heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”[Matthew 24:29-31]
The “loud trumpet call” that Jesus referred to would have provoked several images in the minds of the disciples. First, the disciples would have remembered the LORD coming down in power and glory at Sinai. Just as Yahweh descended upon the earth at Sinai in flaming fire and thick clouds with trumpets blasting [Exodus 19], so Yeshua will return to the earth in like manner. Only this time, every eye will see Him coming and all the tribes of the earth will mourn at the sight of the Son of Man [see Revelation 1:7].
The Feast of Trumpets undoubtedly would have been in the minds of the disciples, as they had rehearsed this climatic event every year with the sounding of trumpets and with great shouts of joy in anticipation of the King of Glory. Jesus reinforces the imagery of the Feast of Trumpets by using language that uniquely corresponds to this holy day.
We must remember that the Feast of Trumpets was sometimes called the “Hidden Day” in Israel because it could only be determined by the sighting of the new moon on the first day of the seventh month. As the appointed time drew near, the people of Israel would wait and watch throughout all hours of the night to ensure that they did not miss the appearance, or “sign,” of the new moon.
Because of the uncertainty of when the first sign of the moon would appear, no one in Israel could know or predict the exact “day or the hour” when the Feast of Trumpets would arrive. Only the LORD in heaven had perfect knowledge of the precise day and hour.
Only in light of the Feast of Trumpets do the words of Jesus make sense. Unfortunately, many have misinterpreted His words to imply that the second coming could happen without notice at any moment, but that is NOT what Jesus was communicating at all. As a matter of fact if we read His words carefully, He is teaching the exact opposite.
From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates …
But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only …
Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.[Matthew 24:32-33, 36, 42-44]
Notice that Jesus, using the exact “Feast of Trumpets” language, is teaching His followers to be watchful, ready, and prepared for His return. He clearly says that those paying attention will be able to recognize the signs leading up to His return and therefore will know when His second coming is near, “even at the very gates.”
Like the anticipation of the new moon appearing on the horizon, we are to wait and watch for the appearance of His coming. We may not know the exact hour or even the day, but WE WILL KNOW WHEN HIS RETURN IS CLOSE AT HAND! If we are willing to stay awake and pay careful attention to the signs, we will not be caught sleeping like the rest of the world in darkness, but we will be prepared to meet Jesus in hopeful expectation.
The Prophetic Teachings of Paul
The Apostle Paul builds on the teachings of Jesus and uses the same language to describe the “glorious appearing of our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ” [Titus 2:13]. As you will see, the trumpets again play a prominent role in Paul’s prophecies.
“For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power … I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 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 shall be changed.”[1 Corinthians 15:21-24, 50-52]
Immediately one can see that Paul is connecting the coming of the Lord with the “last trumpet“, which was the longest and loudest trumpet blast during the culmination of the Feast of Trumpets. Paul also corresponds the sounding of the last trumpet with three simultaneous events.
- The Return of Jesus at the end of the age
- The Resurrection of the righteous
- The Rapture of the church
Paul provides even more detail in his letter to the Thessalonians.
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”[1 Thessalonians 4:13-18]
Again, Paul’s language draws on two primary sources — Moses and Jesus. This description is almost identical both to the appearance of Yahweh on Mount Sinai and to the words of Jesus on the Mount of Olives. Paul is prophetically illustration the events surrounding the second coming of the Lord.
Like at Sinai, the Lord will descend from heaven in a cloud and flaming fire [see 2 Thessalonians 1:8] with the battle cries and shouts from heaven and the blast of the trumpet of God! He is coming back to the earth in the same way He left [Acts 1:11].
Paul also draws from the language of Jesus, who described the great gathering together of His elect from all over the earth at His return [Matthew 24:31]. Just like the trumpet blasts were to summon the children of Israel to gather together before the LORD, we too will be caught up together at the last trump to meet King Jesus as He is descending to the earth in power and great glory. Here again we see the trumpet of God connected to the simultaneous Return of Christ, Resurrection of the dead and Rapture of the church.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ
So much more could be said about the future fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets and the Return of Jesus Christ. But for the sake of time, I would like to at least mention the testimony of Jesus to the Apostle John concerning the final apocalypse — or revelation — of the Lord.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ remains one of the most mysterious and misinterpreted books in all of holy Scripture. I do believe that the key to understanding Revelation is to read the 7 seals, trumpets and bowls — not in strict chronological order — but rather as partially overlapping and culminating together at the coming of Jesus and the battle of Armageddon.
For example, the 6-7th seals, 7th trumpet and 7th bowl all are describing the same event — the return of King Jesus. All three culminate with similar Sinai language as well, further validating that they are referring to the same event.
- 7th Seal — “there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake” [Revelation 8:5]
- 7th Trumpet (Last Trump) — “there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail” [Revelation 11:19]
- 7th Bowl — “The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake” [Revelation 16:17-18]
It only makes sense to harmonize the overlapping descriptions and understand them as the same event. There is only one second coming of Jesus Christ to earth — not multiple, but there are at least five different descriptions of the return of Jesus in the book of Revelation [Revelation 6:12-17, Rev 11:15-19, Rev 14:14-20, Rev 16:15-21, Rev 19:11-21].
Obviously Jesus doesn’t return five separate times! These are all depicting the same event from different perspectives. For the sake of our study today, let’s finish by looking at the 7th Trumpet, or Last Trump, in Revelation 11.
At the blowing of the 7th Trumpet, the kingdoms of the earth become the kingdom of Christ, as He begins to reign. The Lord pours out his final judgement in wrath upon His enemies and rewards the saints who are to inherit the kingdom.
Then the seventh angel blew his 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 shall reign forever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying,
“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.” Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.[Revelation 11:15-19]