Part Three of a Series

Last time, we had completed our study of the first four feasts of Israel, which brings us to the fifth feast, the Feast of Trumpets.


The scripture mentions trumpets ever since a ram was caught in the thicket by its horn (called a trumpet in biblical times), and spared Isaac’s life.  Isaac was an integral part of the Jewish lineage to Christ Himself.

Trumpets were sounded to signify different things at different occasions.  God seems to enjoy them.

God instructed Moses about trumpets on Mt. Sinai, in regard to our fifth feast.  (The number five in the Bible signifies grace… how appropriate!)

“Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, in the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall you have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing trumpets, an holy convocation” (Lev. 23:24).

We have skipped of a bit of time from Pentecost.  Our first three feasts occurred in the first month, normally in April, on the Jewish calendar.

Pentecost occurred at the early part of summer, usually in late May or early June.  Now we go over to the seventh month on the Jewish calendar, which occurs in the fall, in September.  This jump in time seems to represent the Church Age in God’s planning, since the trumpet unquestionably represents the Rapture of the Church.  Even though God instructed the gap in time, Israel did not foresee the two thousand plus years as the age of the Church.  When the Church departs, God will restart His timepiece (Israel).

The trumpet was the signal for the field workers to come into the Temple.  The high priest actually stood on the southwestern parapet of the Temple and blew the trumpet so that it could be heard in the surrounding fields.  AT THAT INSTANT, the faithful would stop harvesting even if there were more crops to bring in, and leave immediately.  (In the 1960’s, I had a dream of the Lord’s coming in the clouds, and my first fleeting thought was “Oh Lord, there is so much more to be done.”  Then I just got lost in His appearing.  I did not know anything about the feasts at that time, but even then He was teaching me about the Feast of Trumpets!)

The rapture is very closely associated with trumpets.

“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: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:16-17).

“Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, (11/100ths of a second), at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Cor. 15:51-52).

All the believers will be mysteriously changed and outfitted for immortality. (I read that the Scofield Memorial Church of Dallas has made good use of the phrase “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,” placing it on a sign in the church nursery.)

Trumpets, then, occurs on the seventh new moon of the year, a significant time for the conclusion of an age. The Church will be taken out of the world, and God will move on to the difficult fulfillment of the next and most sacred of Jewish feasts.


On the fearsome Day of Atonement, the Jew literally either lived or died, according to God’s will:

“Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord” (Lev. 23:27).

This was a day of confession and it still is.  Israel was to individually “afflict their souls” and be conscious of their national sin.  This was the day on which the High Priest of Israel entered the fearsome Holy of Holies, where God Himself dwelt (Lev. 16).  The high priest would make a sacrifice on his own behalf, and then a sacrifice on behalf of all the sins of all the Israelites.  It was a most solemn occasion, still treated as the highest of the holy days.  We might appreciate some of the difficult laws written right into Lev. 23, along with the punishments involved with this sacred day:

“And you shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God.  For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.  And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people” (Lev. 23:28-30).

For the slightest violation in terms of working that day (lifting something too heavy, waking too far), one could be cut off from his people, and thus no longer be chosen.  Further trips to the Temple would be unnecessary, as redemption would then be hopeless.  As to the confession time, God specified twenty-four hours:

“It shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath” (Lev. 23:32).

It seems a bit much to think about a twenty-four hour confession, but the Jews were confessing for an entire year.  We might even think it is too hard to stay awake for twenty-four hours, but if our salvation hung in the balance, we would try to make it.  Such were the blessings and curses of God’s own people.

There is nothing in the New Testament that fulfills the Day of Atonement.  This is the one feast which is not fulfilled by the Church, because the Church owes no atonement.  The Church is not innocent, of course, but it is exonerated.  Jesus paid off the sins of every one of us.  But these are Jewish feasts and each one is fulfilled for the Jews.  The Day of Atonement will be fulfilled in a wonderful way when the Lord returns at His second coming.  Zechariah beautifully pictured the reaction of Israel to the very sight of the King of the Jews returning:

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (Zech. 12:10).

“In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness” (Zech. 13:1).

How sorrowful Israel will feel indeed, in the presence of their King:

“And one shall say unto him… What are these wounds in thine hands?  Then he shall answer… Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends” (Zech. 13:6).

But the atonement will be accepted.  God will have at long last ended His separation from Israel, His original wife.  The book of Hosea details the adultery of Israel, in type, and her final redemption and purification. Paul’s words bear repeating:

“And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Romans 11:26).

Sometimes, Christians are confused by a preaching that indicates that all the Jews will be saved anyway, and ask “Why witness to them now?”  This is an erroneous reading of Scripture, since only surviving Israel will be saved when the Lord returns.  A man who dies now before being saved, Jew or Gentile, cannot obtain salvation in the future, and we should note that it will be very difficult for little Israel to survive the tribulation in any great numbers.  The prophets lament that two-thirds of that nation shall perish at the hands of the Antichrist.


The prophetic picture becomes much brighter with the happy occasion of the seventh feast:

“Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord” (Lev. 23:34).

God wanted to celebrate the fact that He provided shelter for the Israelites in the wilderness:

“You shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Lev.23:42-43).

Each year on Tabernacles, the fifteenth day of the seventh month, or the seventh full moon of the year, devout Jews build little shelters outside their houses and worship in them.  In Jerusalem, a municipal shelter is provided near the Jaffa Gate for the whole of the city.

Tabernacles represent, of course, the Lord’s shelter in the world to come, His great Tabernacle to exist in Jerusalem during the Kingdom Age.  This seventh feast, commemorated faithfully by Jesus (John 7) is the one feast that we are assured will be an important part of kingdom worship:

“And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which come against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.

And if the families of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that comes not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles” (Zech. 14:16-19).

The Lord will establish His Tabernacle in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 37:26-27), and all the world will come every year to appear before the King and worship Him.  How fitting a conclusion to each festival year in the schedule of the feasts!


After looking over the feasts, it becomes very clear that God did a momentous thing here.  He forecast the entire career of the Messiah, the Jews, the Church, and even the other nations.  He foresaw the tribulation period in all its agony, the presence of the Jew and the Gentile together in the Church.  And even the detail of leaving the corners of the fields for sustenance for the poor, including His Son and His disciples.

He laid out the feasts in the calendar year in a manner that reflects in proportion the history of the Church, Indeed, those first three feasts, the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection occurred very close together.  Then there was the pause before the coming of the Holy Spirit.  And then the long pause before the big harvest, the Rapture of the Church.

The seven feasts reassure us about a pre-tribulation Rapture.  Surely the entire system would be wrecked if the Church were not to be rewarded at Trumpets, but would have to put in an unwarranted Day of Atonement with unbelieving Israel in the tribulation period.

We may also see God’s clever design shown in the earthly week-six feasts of work and the last one of rest.  It is rather like the creation week, in which God worked six days and then relaxed in His Tabernacle on the seventh.  The biblical history has indeed described some six thousand years, and if we are to foresee the kingdom, somewhere in the near future, then a logical one thousand year rest period is coming up.

It is possible that we can even pinpoint the day of the Antichrist’s blasphemy in the Temple at Jerusalem during the tribulation period.  Since we saw that the tribulation period ends on the Day of Atonement (the Second Coming), then it must have started seven years before on the Day of Atonement. Since the Day of Atonement is on the tenth day of the seventh month, and since the Antichrist comes exactly in the midst of the tribulation period (Daniel 9:27; Rev. 11:1-3), then the day of the blasphemy is at the exact 3 1/2 year point, or the tenth day of the first month in the forth year.  Is there something significant about the tenth day of the first month?  Well, that is four days before Passover, which is on the 14th, exactly four days before Passover (Exodus 12:3), in order that they examine the lamb for blemishes before sacrificing it on Passover day.

The Lord Himself appropriately observed this detail, riding the donkey into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, four days before Passover, so that the people might examine Him before choosing Him as their lamb.  Thus we see the Antichrist will make the perfect counterfeit, arriving at the Temple four days before Passover and presenting himself as Almighty God.  The way we discern the true God from a false one is that Jesus Christ rode the donkey in humility, and the Antichrist comes claiming that he is God incarnate!

Many other such intricate computations can be made from the schedule of the seven feasts, but they are not always successful.  People have tried to calculate the date of the Rapture, or the Kingdom, from the system, or tried to place historical events in perspective of the feasts.  It seems that either the Scriptures have yielded as yet too little to our poor scrutiny, or that such details are purposely concealed from us.

Nevertheless, a working knowledge of this marvelous prophetic system builds the faith of any Bible reader, and certainly of the believers in Jesus Christ.

God Bless You All,
Pastor Moser
November, 2005