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The Case of the Missing Trumpets
Now that we’ve dispelled that myth, let’s take a look at the instructions that YHVH gave Moses regarding Yom Teruah. This will be from Young’s Literal Translation, which offers perhaps the best translation of this particular passage.
Lev 23:24-25 (YLT) “Speak unto the sons of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first of the month, ye have a sabbath, a memorial of shouting, a holy convocation; (25) ye do no servile work, and ye have brought near a fire-offering to Jehovah.”
One other place in Torah contains instructions for Yom Teruah, so let’s read that as well. From here on out—unless otherwise noted—we’ll be reading from the World English Bible.
Num 29:1 (WEB) “In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no regular work: it is a day of blowing of trumpets to you.”
Now, the Torah does command the Levites to blow trumpets over the offerings at the mo’ediym and the new moons...
Num 10:10 “Also in the day of your gladness, and in your set feasts, and in the beginnings of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be to you for a memorial before your God. I am Yahweh your God.”
Remembering the Future
This may be a bit surprising, but memorials aren’t always for us. Sometimes they are for God. To wit:
Lev 24:7 “You shall put pure frankincense on each row, that it may be to the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire to Yahweh.”
Exo 28:29 “Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment on his heart, when he goes into the holy place, for a memorial before Yahweh continually.”
There’s precedent for that. Every spring, Israel was required to present to YHVH the first sheaf of ripened barley on the Day of Firstfruits. That mo’ed seems to be about one thing—giving God back the first of what he’s provided—but, as it turns out, the Day of Firstfruits was actually about the resurrection of Yeshua. Messiah was raised from the grave at the very beginning of the Day of Firstfruits. That mo’ed, when it was initially given to Israel, was a memorial of something that hadn’t happened yet.
Amazingly, every one of the Spring mo’ediym was fulfilled at the end of Yeshua’s earthly ministry, and on the exact days that God had chosen centuries before. Those fulfillments began with crucifixion at Passover and ended with the Holy Spirit filling the saints on Shavuot, which we now call Pentecost.
For the purposes of this teaching, we don’t need to cover everything on that list of mo’ediym. However, in order to understand the meanings of Yom Teruah and the Day of Atonement, a.k.a. Yom Kippur, we do need to discuss the Time of Jacob’s Trouble and the Day of the Lord.
The Time of Jacob's Trouble
Jer 30:3-10 “ ‘For, behold, the days come,’ says Yahweh, ‘that I will reverse the captivity of my people Israel and Judah,’ says Yahweh. ‘I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they will possess it.’” (4) These are the words that Yahweh spoke concerning Israel and concerning Judah. (5) For Yahweh says: “We have heard a voice of trembling; a voice of fear, and not of peace. (6) Ask now, and see whether a man travails with child. Why do I see every man with his hands on his waist, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned pale? (7) Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it. It is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he will be saved out of it. (8) It will come to pass in that day, says Yahweh of Armies, that I will break his yoke from off your neck, and will burst your bonds. Strangers will no more make them their bondservants; (9) but they will serve Yahweh their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up to them. (10) Therefore don’t be afraid, O Jacob my servant, says Yahweh. Don’t be dismayed, Israel. For, behold, I will save you from afar, and save your offspring from the land of their captivity. Jacob will return, and will be quiet and at ease. No one will make him afraid.’”
The phrase The Time of Jacob’s Trouble originates in that passage we just read. God says that that day is great in an awful sense—that’s why he uses the word alas when he talks about The Time of Jacob’s Trouble. But he promises that Jacob will be saved out of it. He will not be entirely destroyed on that day of trouble. Let’s read more about that from the Book of Daniel:
Dan 12:1 “At that time Michael will stand up, the great prince who stands for the children of your people; and there will be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time. At that time your people will be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book.
Rev 12:7-12 There was war in the sky. Michael and his angels made war on the dragon. The dragon and his angels made war. (8) They didn’t prevail, neither was a place found for them any more in heaven. (9) The great dragon was thrown down, the old serpent, he who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him…. (12) Woe to the earth and to the sea, because the devil has gone down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has but a short time.”
Mat 24:15-21 “When, therefore, you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), (16) then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. (17) Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take out the things that are in his house. (18) Let him who is in the field not return back to get his clothes. (19) But woe to those who are with child and to nursing mothers in those days! (20) Pray that your flight will not be in the winter, nor on a Sabbath, (21) for then there will be great oppression, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever will be.
The Book of Revelation tells us quite a bit about the Mark of the Beast, and the beheadings, and the general persecution that will befall Christians and uncompromising Jews at the time that the Beast declares himself to be God and defiles the Temple. According to Yeshua’s own words, that time of horrible persecution post-AoD is the Great Tribulation, the worst time that will ever befall YHVH’s people.
Now, as I promised, let’s go to Isaiah 10, which tells us about the conclusion of the Great Tribulation.
Isa 10:20-25 It will come to pass in that day that the remnant of Israel, and those who have escaped from the house of Jacob will no more again lean on him who struck them, but shall lean on Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. (21) A remnant will return, even the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. (22) For though your people, Israel, are like the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. A destruction is determined, overflowing with righteousness. (23) For the Lord, Yahweh of Armies, will make a full end, and that determined, throughout all the earth. (24) Therefore the Lord, Yahweh of Armies, says “My people who dwell in Zion, don’t be afraid of the Assyrian, though he strike you with the rod, and lift up his staff against you, as Egypt did. (25) For yet a very little while, and the indignation against you will be accomplished, and my anger will be directed to his destruction.”
Isa 51:22-23 Thus says your Lord Yahweh, your God who pleads the cause of his people, “Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of staggering, even the bowl of the cup of my wrath. You will not drink it any more: (23) and I will put it into the hand of those who afflict you, who have said to your soul, ‘Bow down, that we may walk over you;’ and you have laid your back as the ground, like a street to those who walk over.”
So the climax of Jacob’s distress, and his supernatural rescue from the Beast, is what will happen at the end of the Age, when Yeshua shows up.
A Different Kind of Surprise
Most people immediately jump to the conclusion that the Rapture will be on the Day of Trumpets, because the apostle Paul said that the catching away of the saints will happen at the last trumpet. But hold up! We’ve already established that the Torah doesn’t say anything about trumpets related to Yom Teruah—it’s simply the Day of Shouting or Acclamation. Maybe the shouting is not about the Rapture, but about something that precedes it.
As an aside: I think it’s entirely possible that Yom Teruah was also the day that God laid the foundations of the earth, “when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job 38:7). It may have even been the day when Yeshua was conceived or born. However, the ultimate fulfillment of Yom Teruah can’t happen until the end of the Age, when it unfolds along with the other Fall mo’ediym.
Let’s go back to the Olivet Discourse to discover the exact order of events related to Messiah’s return:
Mat 24:29-31 But immediately after the oppression of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; (30) and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. Then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. (31) He will send out his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together his chosen ones from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.
Rev 6:12-17 I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became as blood. (13) The stars of the sky fell to the earth, like a fig tree dropping its unripe figs when it is shaken by a great wind. (14) The sky was removed like a scroll when it is rolled up. Every mountain and island were moved out of their places. (15) The kings of the earth, the princes, the commanding officers, the rich, the strong, and every slave and free person, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains. (16) They told the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, (17) for the great day of his wrath has come; and who is able to stand?”
Joel saw the same event in his visions:
Joe 2:30-31 I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood, fire, and pillars of smoke. (31) The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of Yahweh comes.
The Jews have given a name to the ten days between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur: they call them the Days of Awe. I don’t know how that term originated, but it’s quite prophetic. Consider the shock and awe that the world will feel when the heavens are completely altered and God turns on the holy equivalent of the bat signal. “Awesome” doesn’t really cut it.
Rev 1:7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, including those who pierced him. All the tribes of the earth will mourn over him. Even so, Amen.
Zec 12:10 I will pour on David’s house, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they will look to me whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and will grieve bitterly for him, as one grieves for his firstborn.
This is what Paul says about the “catching away,” or the Rapture:
1Th 4:16-17 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with God’s trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first, (17) 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. So we will be with the Lord forever.
Paul says somewhere else:
1Co 15:51-52 Behold, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, (52) in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.
The question remains: will the last trumpet be blown on Yom Teruah, or afterward? To answer that, we first need to talk about the two groups who will be saved on the Day of the Lord.
All Israel will be Saved
Isa 17:4-6 “It will happen in that day that the glory of Jacob will be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh will become lean. (5) It will be like when the harvester gathers the wheat, and his arm reaps the grain. Yes, it will be like when one gleans grain in the valley of Rephaim. (6) Yet gleanings will be left there, like the shaking of an olive tree, two or three olives in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outermost branches of a fruitful tree,” says Yahweh, the God of Israel.
Joe 2:32 It will happen that whoever will call on Yahweh’s name shall be saved; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, as Yahweh has said, and among the remnant, those whom Yahweh calls.
All of chapter seven occurs after the sixth seal but before the seventh seal. Therefore, the events of chapter seven are on the Day of the Lord, after the cosmos change and the nations mourn.
(Revelation as a whole is not chronological, but the individual sets of seven judgments do unfold chronologically.)
Rev 7:1-4 After this, I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth, or on the sea, or on any tree. (2) I saw another angel ascend from the sunrise, having the seal of the living God. He cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was given to harm the earth and the sea, (3) saying, “Don’t harm the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, until we have sealed the bondservants of our God on their foreheads!” (4) I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel.
Now let’s read the very next part of Revelation 7:
Rev 7:9-17 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could count, out of every nation and of all tribes, peoples, and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands. (10) They cried with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation be to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”.... One of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are arrayed in the white robes, who are they, and from where did they come?” (14) I told him, “My lord, you know.” He said to me, “These are those who came out of the great tribulation. They washed their robes, and made them white in the Lamb’s blood. (15) Therefore they are before the throne of God, they serve him day and night in his temple. He who sits on the throne will spread his tabernacle over them. (16) They will never be hungry, neither thirsty any more; neither will the sun beat on them, nor any heat; (17) for the Lamb who is in the middle of the throne shepherds them, and leads them to springs of life-giving waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Both of these groups have been rescued and redeemed in one sense or another. Is redemption a theme of Yom Teruah? No, but it is the theme of the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, which falls between Yom Teruah and Tabernacles.
The Meaning of Yom Kippur
We know for certain that Yeshua is our Passover lamb, because the apostle Paul wrote exactly that in 1 Cor. 5:7, and because the Gospels attest that Yeshua was executed at Passover. Messiah fulfilled the meaning of that mo’ed. Why, then, is it claimed that his death also fulfilled the Day of Atonement? We’re being taught that the Day of Atonement is about the cross, but the crucifixion didn’t happen on Yom Kippur.
At the same time, what’s not being taught is that YHVH commands a single trumpet blast on Yom Kippur every 49 years.
Lev 25:8-10 (WEB) “You shall count off seven Sabbaths of years, seven times seven years; and there shall be to you the days of seven Sabbaths of years, even forty-nine years. (9) Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land. (10) You shall make the fiftieth year holy, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee to you; and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family.”
That alone should blow our minds. Yeshua’s return will absolutely mark the beginning of redemption and renewal for Israel, so it only makes sense that his initial reappearance to gather his saints would occur on Yom Kippur, on a year that announces the Jubilee.
Speaking of Jubilee, the Book of Jubilees contains a neat history lesson about Yom Kippur. In chapter thirty-four we read:
Jub 34:12-19 And the sons of Jacob slaughtered a kid, and dipped the coat of Joseph in the blood, and sent (it) to Jacob their father on the tenth of the seventh month. (13) And he mourned all that night, for they had brought it to him in the evening, and he became feverish with mourning for his death, and he said: 'An evil beast hath devoured Joseph;’ and all the members of his house were grieving and mourning with him all that day…. (18) For this reason it is ordained for the children of Israel that they should afflict themselves on the tenth of the seventh month—on the day that the news which made him weep for Joseph came to Jacob his father- that they should make atonement for themselves thereon with a young goat on the tenth of the seventh month, once a year, for their sins; for they had grieved the affection of their father regarding Joseph his son. (19) And this day has been ordained that they should grieve thereon for their sins, and for all their transgressions and for all their errors, so that they might cleanse themselves on that day once a year.
There’s more we need to discuss about Yom Kippur. What’s the deal with the goats? Why is one for YHVH, and the other for Azazel?
Knowing that, we can properly understand the meaning of the scapegoat. On every Yom Kippur, the high priest would lay hands on the scapegoat, transferring the sins of Israel to it. Then the goat would be sent out into the desert to die:
Lev 16:10 (ESV) But the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel shall be presented alive before the LORD to make atonement over it, that it may be sent away into the wilderness to Azazel.
In biblical symbolism, goats are rebels. They look, sound, and smell a lot like sheep, but they’re more stubborn, coarse, and independent. The saints of Yah are compared to sheep, and Yeshua is called a lamb, never a goat. So why, on the Day of Atonement, would a goat be sacrificed to YHVH instead of a lamb? Is it not because our sinful flesh is symbolically killed on Yom Kippur? We must put to death the rebellious part of ourselves.
The Book of Jubilees says it clearly: the people of Israel are supposed to repent and turn from our errors on the Day of Atonement. As the apostle Paul puts it, “Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts” (Gal. 5:24).
Did you notice in that passage from Jubilees that the day on which we are to afflict ourselves is the day on which the news came to Jacob about Joseph’s supposed death? Not the day on which Joseph actually (purportedly) died, but the day on which it became known to Jacob that his son had died. The Day of Atonement is that day on which the apostate ethnically Hebrew people will finally understand the death suffered by the Son of Man.
The life of Joseph is a huge prophecy about the coming Messiah, with several dozens of foreshadows incorporated into his story. If Jacob mourned over Joseph, who was a stand-in for Yeshua in prophetic drama, then we’re meant to understand that Israel will mourn over Yeshua on a given day; and that day, according to the Book of Jubilees, is Yom Kippur.
Then, after the ten Days of Awe, on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), Yeshua will show up, and every eye will see him up above. He will come in the clouds to gather his saints at the sound of the jubilee trumpet, and when he does that, those who pierced him will look upon him. They will finally repent and believe in him (at least, many of them will). Those Hebrew people who do repent—one hundred forty-four thousand in total—whose names have been written in the Book of Life, will be sealed to make it through to the Millennium.
Blessed be the YHVH of Israel, and may his son come quickly. Amen.