The Feasts of Jehovah administered through the nation of Israel provide a chronological summary of the entire Word of God. Understanding what these Feasts represent can provide additional awareness of things to come.
The Sabbath refers back to God’s rest after His creation. The Passover Feast and the Feast of Unleavened Bread illustrate Calvary. The Feast of Firstfruits signifies the resurrection of Christ. The Feast of Pentecost embodies the coming of the Holy Spirit.
The Feast of Trumpets characterizes the regathering of Israel. The Day of Atonement foreshadows the time when a remnant of Israel will repent and acknowledge Jesus Christ as their Messiah. Finally, the Feast of Tabernacles represents Israel enjoying the millennial reign of Christ.
After the Feast of Weeks—or Pentecost—there was a long interval lasting 4 months before the next feast—the Feast of Trumpets—began. This span of time may represent the present Church Age during which we eagerly await our Savior while going on about the mission work of His Spiritual harvest.
The Feast of Trumpets—also known as Rosh Hashanah—means “head of the year” in Hebrew. To begin the Feast of Trumpets in ancient Israel—a trumpet was blown to signify the end of the harvest year. Jesus referred to the mission field of the Church as a harvest:
“Then He said to them, ‘The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest’” (Luke 10:2).
At the sound of the trumpets on the first day of the month at the Feast of Trumpets—a solemn time of preparation for the Day of Atonement followed. The prophet Joel associated this time with the coming of the Day of the Lord:
“Blow the trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; For the day of the LORD is coming, For it is at hand” (Joel 2:1).
During the Day of Atonement which follows the Feast of Trumpets—God commanded that no work should be done. This was a time of fasting and prayer. The only person active on this Day was the high priest. This of course signifies that all of the work for our salvation was performed by our High Priest—the Lord Jesus Christ:
“Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work’” (John 4:34).
“I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4).
The Lord Jesus Christ has already worked the works of our salvation that only He could perform for us:
“But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7).
During the current (Church) Age of Grace—God’s gracious Holy Spirit leads those who want to be with God to accept His free offer of salvation through repentance, confession, and belief in the perfect sacrifice of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ—for all sin—and His resurrection from the grave. This will then result in those believers being with the Lord in heaven while His Tribulation judgment is being poured out on the earth.
In some cases, those who reject a Pre-Trib Rapture also reject the idea of God’s judgment. The two go hand in hand—those who hate the idea of being judged also hate the idea of God’s judgment. It seems there are many who don’t truly understand how easy it is to avoid God’s Tribulation judgment—targeted toward those who hate Him and reject His free offer of salvation.
During the Tribulation, God will judge those who truly don’t want to be with Him—those who reject His love and return it with their hatred. He will also reach out one final time to those who have thus far not accepted His free offer of salvation—to those who will achieve victory through the power of Christ by not worshiping the Antichrist or his image, and by not receiving his mark (Revelation 20:4).
There is a different judgment for those who currently believe and love God. The Judgment Seat of Christ which takes place after the Rapture is a judgment to determine rewards of service—not to determine salvation—when each believer “will receive a reward according to his own labor” (1 Corinthians 3:8).
The Apostle John represented the Church at the Rapture when Jesus instantly translated his spirit into heaven at the sound of a trumpet, preceding the judgment of the Tribulation:
“After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.’ Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne” (Revelation 4:1-2).
The Apostle Paul taught that the sound of a trumpet will also announce the Rapture of the Church:
“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 incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (I Corinthians 15:51-52).
The last trumpet is the last trumpet that the Church will hear before being removed from the earth. Israel and the rest of the world will hear more trumpets during the Tribulation. The “last” trumpet may also represent the last trumpet of the final Spiritual harvest of the Church Age:
“Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors” (John 4:35-38).
After the first trumpet of the Feast of Trumpets—a 10-day period followed—which was a time of self-examination and repentance leading up to the Day of Atonement. This time period during the Feast of Trumpets may represent a span of time to take place after the Rapture of the Church and before the 70th week of Daniel begins.
The Day of Atonement was a solemn time of fasting and prayer. If the Day of Atonement represents the time of the Tribulation, then the Feast of Tabernacles which follows represents the time of rejoicing during the millennial reign of Christ:
“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4).
Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!