The Feast of Trumpets

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Among the seven feasts in three times, the first of the autumn feasts is the Feast of Trumpets, followed by the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles. The representative feast of the autumn feasts is the Feast of Tabernacles. At the Feast of Trumpets, the Israelites blew the trumpets; they purified their hearts according to the regulations for the feast, and had time for repentance until the Day of Atonement.

Trumpets are musical instruments that add strength and vitality to a melody; they are used for various purposes, such as a bugle call announcing the morning and an alarm signaling war. For the Feast of Trumpets, they were used to announce the upcoming Day of Atonement and to urge people to repent. Why did God command the Israelites to blow the trumpets of repentance? In this age, what kind of trumpet should we blow and what sins should we repent for? Let us find the answers by studying the Feast of Trumpets.

The Origin of the Feast of Trumpets

Like the other annual feasts, the Feast of Trumpets also finds its origin in the work of Moses. After crossing the Red Sea, the Israelites reached the Desert of Sinai. Moses went up Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments, but as he did not come down from the mountain even after forty days, the Israelites thought he must have died. So they made a golden calf—an idol—as a god to lead them. Forgetting the grace and power of God, who had brought them out of Egypt and granted them freedom, they came to worship the golden calf. As a result, God’s anger burned against the Israelites.

After forty days, when Moses came down from the mountain with the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments, he saw the people dancing lewdly around the golden calf. He was so enraged at their idolatry that he threw down the tablets of the Ten Commandments, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. On that day, a war broke out in the camp, and about 3,000 people who had participated in idolatry were killed.

The Israelites realized they had forgotten the Almighty God and had turned away from His laws and commandments. They repented by stripping off their ornaments and praying earnestly to God. On the first day of the sixth month in the sacred calendar, God called Moses up the mountain again. After fasting another forty days, Moses received the Ten Commandments for a second time and came down from the mountain on the tenth day of the seventh month. God appointed the day Moses came down from the mountain as the Day of Atonement, and the first day of the seventh month—ten days before—as the Feast of Trumpets.

The LORD said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. Do no regular work, but present an offering made to the LORD by fire.’ ” Lev 23:23–25

“ ‘On the first day of the seventh month hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. It is a day for you to sound the trumpets. As an aroma pleasing to the LORD, prepare a burnt offering of one young bull, one ram and seven male lambs a year old, all without defect. With the bull prepare a grain offering of three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil; with the ram, two-tenths; and with each of the seven lambs, one-tenth. Include one male goat as a sin offering to make atonement for you. . . .’ ” Nu 29:1–6

The first day of the seventh month in the sacred calendar is the Feast of Trumpets, which was commemorated with trumpet blasts. The tenth day of the seventh month is the Day of Atonement, when the Israelites were forgiven of all their sins committed during the past year. The Israelites blew their trumpets of repentance in order to prepare for the Day of Atonement wholeheartedly, which would come ten days later. The trumpet blasts at the Feast of Trumpets urged God’s people to repent, purifying their hearts and revering God all the more, as the day of God’s promise to forgive their sins was approaching in ten days.

The Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement are inseparably linked, as are repentance and atonement. Therefore, we can receive God’s atoning grace only after achieving true repentance.

Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven Is Near

Jesus urged people to repent when He came to earth 2,000 years ago.

From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” Mt 4:17

The first thing we must do as the Kingdom of Heaven draws near is to repent. Those who do not truly repent cannot obey God’s will, and as a result, will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Sometimes, we hear the news about criminals who commit terrible crimes yet feel no remorse. Those who feel no guilt are unable to realize whether their actions are right or wrong. No matter how severely they are punished, they still do not repent; they cannot be rehabilitated. Spiritually, it is the same. Those who do not acknowledge their sins are unable to repent. Without repentance, they cannot have faith, obedience, or true love for God. Even though the Bible says, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances,” they cannot understand why they need to put these words into practice.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. 1 Jn 1:8–10

The Bible says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us”; we are indeed sinners. The verse above refers to the sins committed in Heaven before we put on the flesh. Jesus helped us realize that we are sinners by saying, “Repent.” He also explained about our sins and transgressions through the following parable:

Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ . . . the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. . . . When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. . . .” Lk 15:11–21

We can confirm the son’s heartfelt repentance by the fact that he returned to his father. The main point in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son is repentance.

The parable describes our sin simply as the act of squandering the father’s wealth. However, the Bible teaches that we committed grievous sins in the angelic world. We were angels in Heaven, but our hearts became so proud on account of our overflowing splendor that we sinned and were cast down to this earth (Eze 28:11–17; Isa 14:4–15). Our sins are so grave that we are deserving of death (Ro 6:23).

While living in this world, we only pursued the desires of the flesh without realizing the severity of our sins committed in Heaven; we were like the prodigal son in the parable. When the son repented, he was reminded of his parents’ love, and he finally returned home. Likewise, when we repent, we can realize the grace and love of Father and Mother, who forgive our sins and welcome us with open arms, and go back to our heavenly home.

God Is Pleased With Those Who Repent

Through the Feast of Trumpets, we should correctly understand the will of God who urges us to repent. Only when we repent can we truly love and honor God, as we make our way to the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. Nevertheless, if we have been oblivious to our sins and have not fully obeyed God’s will, we must repent of all our sins from now on. God is greatly pleased when the souls who were destined to die truly repent and receive salvation.

“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ . . . ‘. . . we had to celebrate and be glad, . . .’ ” Lk 15:22–32

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Lk 15:3–7

Father and Mother are waiting for Their children to repent and come to Them, opening wide the gates of Heaven for them. We should understand the heart of our Heavenly Parents and completely repent of our sins.

Christ Who Forgave Our Sins

Christ paid for our sins with His precious blood and sacrificed Himself until we were set free. He died on the cross to atone for our sins which were like scarlet. In this way, He redeemed us from our inevitable fate—eternal death.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned. . . . Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come. . . . For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. Ro 5:12–19

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! . . . Php 2:5–11

After Jesus earnestly prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me,” He suffered excruciating pain. Since He knew He had to go through this process to atone for the sins of His children, He was obedient to the will of God, even to the point of death, bearing our sins according to the prophecies of the Bible. Through His sacrifice on the cross, He freed all mankind from the chains of sin and led them to the path of salvation.

Christ came to earth to seek and save His children; He forgave all our sins through His precious blood of atonement. So, we must not be entangled in sin any longer. True repentance is to never commit the same sin again. As the people of Zion, let us throw away all our sinful habits, take off our old self, and put on the new self, since we have been raised with Christ. The good deeds of God’s people who put on the new self are described as fine linen worn by the Wife of the Lamb (Rev 19:6–8).

We must first repent in order to lead the world to repentance. If we have fully understood God’s sacrifice, we need to reflect on our lives and completely repent of our sins and transgressions. Confessing all our sins to God, let us live holy and godly lives according to His pleasing will.

Let Us Blow the Trumpet of Repentance Toward the World

The Feast of Trumpets in the Old Testament, when the Israelites blew trumpets in preparation for the Day of Atonement, shows us what kind of trumpet we should blow in this age. We, who are living in the last age of the gospel, should blow the trumpet of repentance toward the whole world. God has given us the Feast of Trumpets because He wants us to repent of our sins and also blow the trumpet of repentance toward all people.

The prophet Jonah ran away from God, but as soon as he repented, he blew the trumpet of repentance loudly and led over 120,00 people in the city of Nineveh to repentance. Peter denied Jesus, but after he repented, he preached the gospel of Christ and led 3,000 people to repentance in a single day. We, too, should repent with a contrite heart and lead people on the path to salvation by blowing the trumpet of repentance toward the whole world.

This trumpet heralds the good news: “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. So, let’s go to Heaven, after being redeemed from all our sins.” Those who hear the trumpet sound and repent can come to God to receive the forgiveness of sins. The Feast of Trumpets has such a great spiritual significance for us.

In the history of the Bible, we can see that there was victory after the trumpet sounded. When Gideon and his 300 warriors blew the trumpets, they were able to defeat the vast Midianite army of 135,000 men. When Joshua’s army marched around the city of Jericho seven times and blew the trumpets, the walls of the city collapsed. They only relied on God and did as He commanded. Despite not knowing what was going to happen, they proceeded with faith, believing that God would surely give them victory.

It is the same with the gospel trumpet that we must blow in this age—the Age of the Holy Spirit. Blowing the trumpet will surely bring us victory. Should we just hold the trumpet of the gospel without blowing it aloud? Let us repent with all our hearts, blowing the gospel trumpet clearly and loudly toward all people throughout the world, so that we can stand spotless and blameless before God when we enter the Kingdom of Heaven.