Trumpets: First, Last, and Great
There is much to learn about the “trumpets” in the Bible. To begin with, let’s see if we can get a picture of the first trumpet, the last trumpet, and the great trumpet.
Early Jewish writers identified a difference between these three trumpets (first, last, and great) and the time to which they occur inside the Jewish calendar.
The first trumpet is blown on the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost). See Exodus 19:19 as Moses ascended into Mt. Sinai to receive the “Ten commandments”. This is generally recognized as the sixth day of the third month on the Jewish calendar, the month Sivan and always occurs on the 7th day of the week on the 364-day calendar of the Essenes of the Dead Sea scrolls. It is calculated as the 50th day of “counting the omer” with the Feast of First-fruits on Nisan 16 (the second day of the sign of Jonah).
The last trumpet was blown on Rosh Hashanah which is the first day of the seventh month (Tishri) and is generally recognized as the feast of trumpets (plural). This reference to plural is important. See Lev. 23:24 – (KJV) “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying “In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets (plural), a holy convocation.” Because this day is the only Jewish feast that is at the beginning of a lunar month and dependent upon the appearance of the moon (with a monthly cycle of about 29.5 days per lunar cycle).
It is recognized as the feast “that nobody knows the day or hour” in which it will occur because the start of the month is not determined until the moon appears with its first visible sliver. We see this also in Num. 29:1 (KJV) “And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have a holy convocation, ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you.”
We also read about this in the fall of the walls of Jericho, where on the seventh day of marching around Jericho, on the last circuit as they entered the promised land, the “seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns; and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up.” (Joshua 6:4-5)
The great trumpet is blown on Yom Kippur, the 10th day of the seventh month. This is the day of judgment and points to the return of the Messiah back to earth. At Matthew 24:31 we read “and he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
Next, each of these trumpets had meaning when you study the Roman, Jewish, and Greek armies in their ancient times. The “first trumpet” signals that a man was to start his watch on guard duty. The “last trumpet” signaled that his time on guard duty was over, and it was time for the warrior to go home. So to speak, before the last trumpet sounds, the warrior is continuously watching to be on guard. In Paul’s day, the reference to “last trumpet” was understood as military terminology. Such last trumpet is referenced in the new testament as follows:
1 Cor. 15:52 (KJV) “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
1 Thes. 4:16 (KJV) “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first”.
The resurrection, also described as a rapture by many, is set to occur at the last trumpet on Rosh Hoshana which is a “day or hour that nobody knows”.
The “great trumpet” occurs on Yom Kippur, the time of the final jubilee (Lev. 25:9) and the day of judgement. Rev. 14:6-8 provides insight: “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. Saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgement is come; and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” This tells us pretty clearly that Babylon is destroyed on Yom Kippur as the angel announcing “follows” the announcement of the “hour of his judgement”.
Now it is clear that we are in a spiritual war. We can see this clearly referred to:
2 Cor. 10:3-4 says “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds”.
And in Eph. 6:10-12, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For
we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
The final picture to paint now is about this “spiritual warfare”.
The “first trumpet” would be sounded based upon these pictures at Shavuot or Pentecost. This spiritual war may very well have begun when the first sign of reversal of the “Tower of Babel” began and the Holy Ghost was given for the first time in Acts 2:4 as all those from different regions of the multitude “heard them speak in his own language”. The spiritual war began in opposition to the “Tower of Babel”.
The “last trumpet” will occur soon on a Rosh Hoshana at the blowing of the trumpets on the Feast of Trumpets of 1 Cor. 15:52 and 1 Thes. 4:16 when the dead have been resurrected and the mystery of God is finished (Rev. 10:7) and death has been overcome. This signals that the spiritual war is over, and the warriors can go home, the battle is finally over as Christ takes the crown as King of Kings to the blowing of the trumpets which announce “the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord; and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” (Rev.
Then ten days later, on Yom Kippur is the final judgment after “the ten days of awe” starting on Rosh Hoshana with the blowing of the “great trumpet” beginning the forgiveness of debts of the Jubilee.
My book “THE WATCHMAN’S TIMEPIECE” describes this final wind up of this age.
We see that mankind became so reprobate before the flood that the spirit of the Almighty could not always strive with man and He repented that He had made man (Genesis 6:6). Then it is provided in Genesis 6:1-3 “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair: and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the Lord said, ‘My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh; yet his days shall be 120 years’.”
These “Nephilim” (aka “watchers”) born of the rebellious angels who took the daughters of men as wives were destroyed in the flood and became the demonic spiritual forces and principalities in high places which we war against. They are powerful and rule with Satan in this world until Christ returns to redeem and take his kingdom back and it will be done on earth as in heaven. Their final destruction comes in one day (Rev. 18:8) on Rosh Hoshana and in one hour of that day (Rev. 18:17), all of the riches of the world built upon debt will be erased by the forgiveness of debts of the Great Jubilee.
In Rev. 18:22-23 we see that final destruction of Babylon as “no craftsman of whatsoever craft (“techne” from which we get technology) shall be found anymore” referring to witchcraft and demonic forces, and “by thy sorceries (“pharmakeia”) were all nations deceived”. These two evil forces destroyed with Babylon run our world today but will be destroyed in the age to come because we have been deceived by them.