The Sounding Of The Trumpets
by Bill Britton
Many people have been waiting with great anticipation to hear the sound of the Trumpet so that they might take their "flight to the sky." What part of the sky they are going to, no one seems to know. No one seems to know, either, whether we Americans will fly up and the Chinese Christians fly downward, or they will fly up and we fly down. Now if all of us on this earthen ball fly upward physically, then we will all be going in different directions in Godís great Universe. Now, please understand me... I in no way deny the Scriptures that tell us that Jesus is coming, that there will be a Trumpet, that we will ascend to Him, and that we will meet Him in the clouds... these things are all true, and we thank God for these wonderful Truths. But it is the traditional interpretations put on these Scriptures and the man-made church teachings about them that we differ with.
What Does the Bible Say?
The Bible says there is to be a blowing of Trumpets. Paul the Apostle knew this, and taught the early church the meaning of these trumpets. Paul knew it because it was taught in the Law, with which he was very familiar, having studied at the feet of Gamaliel. In fact, in Acts 26:22 Paul says that he preached nothing except what was found in the Law and the Prophets. Everything he preached about the Body of Christ, the Sons of God, the High Calling, etc., is found pictured in the Law and foretold by the Prophets. 1 Cor. 10:11 tells us that everything that happened to Israel in the Old Testament was for types and ensamples for us upon whom the ends of the world have come. So let us see what God gave Israel concerning the Trumpets...
Announcing the Feast Days
Israel had three major feasts during the year: 1. Passover, 2. Pentecost, 3. Tabernacles. The Feast of Passover was ordained to be a new beginning for Israel, and was in the first month in their dealings with God, though not the first month of the civil year. It was when the lamb was slain, the blood sprinkled on the door-post, and the people took their flight from Egypt. This, as you know, is a type of our salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ and His sacrifices on Calvary. Pentecost, meaning fiftieth, came fifty days later in the third month, the time of harvest. This was when God chose to pour out the Holy Ghost on the early church, signifying the formation of the Church, His Body. Now we know that these two types have been fulfilled, at Calvary and in the upper room on Pentecost, but what about this other great feast... Tabernacles? Has it been fulfilled? No. Are we just to ignore it? No. Is it to be fulfilled after death, in Heaven? No, not any more than the first two feasts. All of these feasts are to be fulfilled right here on this earth, in human vessels. So, let us look to the Bible and see if we can discover what God has for us in this Old Testament type...
The Seventh Month
Just as Passover, the beginning of a new day for Israel (and for us), was in the first month; and just as Pentecost, the time of fruit bearing and harvest, was in the third month (see what happened on the Third day of Creation, Gen. 1); now we find that Tabernacles is in the seventh month (which is the end of the civil year), signifying that it is the end of civil rule of the kingdoms or governments of this world, and a time of Rest prepared for His People. Now, the trumpets were sounded to announce each of the feasts (Num. 10:10), but there is a special significance in the sounding of the trumpets in the seventh month. It was dispensationally to announce the beginning of the seventh month, the day of the Lord, the day of His rest (Lev. 23:24). It alerted the people (those who heard the trumpets) to prepare for the time of soul searching and fiery sacrifice, and the great feast to follow. These things we will deal with in the next few messages on the "Feast of Tabernacles" series, but now we want to consider the trumpets, and the significance they had...
Make Thee Two Trumpets of Silver
In Numbers, chapter 10, "The Lord spake unto Moses saying, Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them;" Now, perhaps you want to think that God couldnít think of anything else to say, or saw that Israel had plenty of time and just wanted to make it harder for them... but as for me, I believe God has a good reason for each thing He said, and that there is a special meaning for each instruction He gave Moses. Why two trumpets? In the previous message on "The Two Witnesses", we showed how that the number two is symbolic of Christ in the fulness of His Body... for instance, Adam and his bride who came from his side; The Sun and Moon; the two rows of bread of the table of shew-bread in the tabernacle, and other examples showing forth the glory of Christ and His Body, two yet one body, "one new man" created in "Himself of twain." Notice how the two were made of one piece... this wonderfully shows how Christ identified Himself with His people, being one with them, as explained in Heb. 2:11... He and they "are all of one." So this great message of full salvation in this end of the Age is to be proclaimed in the power of the Spirit by a redeemed people (for silver is the metal of redemption, symbolizing that it is fallen man redeemed by their Saviour, not angels, who give forth this trumpet sound). And just as the two trumpets were beaten into perfect shape from the piece of silver, so must Christ and His Church be brought into perfection through much suffering. Heb. 2:10 says, "it became Him, ...in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain (author or originator) of their salvation perfect through sufferings." Heb. 5:8, "Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered." And just as He was perfected by the beating of the silver, so must His Body taste of the dame cup. This message will come through that Body of anointed saints who have gone through the fire and been "refined as silver is refined" (Zech. 13:9; Mal. 3:3). So, beloved, draw not back from the fire, but leap joyfully into it, for the Lord hath ordained it for thy profit, not that thou shouldst be consumed, but that thou should be perfected for His use. "Yea, thou shalt think that He reduceth thee to nothing, but it is only the dross, the hay, wood and stubble that burneth up with a great blaze and a great noise. For the silver doth simply melt before the Refiner, and floweth together to form one body that cannot be separated, but shall be formed into instruments for the glory of God! Complain not against that which the Lord doeth unto thee, attribute not His works unto the enemy, for, my beloved, the apple of mine eye, the enemy cannot touch thee nor work out his purposes in thee for all things work together for thy profit, and to bring thee into the likeness of Him who hath redeemed thee! So, rejoice in the midst of the fire, joyfully thrust the hay and stubble from thee and rejoice while it burneth, and so shalt thou be a sign unto the world, and I will speak unto them through thee, saith the Lord, thy God, and thy Redeemer." Hallelujah, Glory to His great Name!The Purpose of the Trumpets:
1. The Calling of the Assembly
In Numbers, chapter 10, we find the purposes of the trumpets set forth, the use to which they are put. The first one is in verse two... "For the calling of the assembly." Verse 3 says: "When they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle..." Out of their various tribes came the inhabitants of Judah, Issachar, Dan, Levi, etc., until they were all one at the Door. Gathered together at the Door, to hear the voice of the Lord through His Prophet. And in this end of the Age, God is once again drawing His people together unto Christ, the Door, to hear His Prophet... that Anointed One that God is raising up to bear the Word of the Lord. Beloved, this is the hour of the fulness of time. It has finally come upon us. This is not time for pretty sermons and educational lectures... it is a time for Godís Prophet, the Anointed Body, to lift up his voice like a trumpet as Isaiah says (58:1), "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins." But so many will not hear, their ears are dull, they stay in their tents of captivity and refuse to "Come out of her, my people" (Rev. 18:4). So many seem unconcerned to the fact that God is calling His people together, to form His Body for a mighty work in the earth. They are more concerned that they receive their checks on time, and that they can stretch them to buy all the pretty things offered by the world. Once a week they take a trip to the church house to salve their consciences and to deaden their ears to the real call of God. To invite them to services in a home, a store building, or a tent is a disgraceful slam at their religious dignity.
But some are hearing, and the trumpets are sounding. And they come... out of their tribes, denominations, sectarian groups, "non-denominational fellowships", and doctrines that separate. Being brought into One by the sound of the Trumpet. Eph. 1:10 says that in the fulness of time He will gather together in one all things in Christ. The message is going forth through redeemed, anointed lips to lay aside that which is of man, that which separates the Body, and come to the Door. And when you leave the sectarian groups, leave your sectarian spirit there. There is no place for it in this Move of God. It may take the refinerís fire to bring this message forth, and to bring this thing about, but it shall be done, the Word of the Lord declares it!
2. The Journeyings of the Camp
God has a trumpet sound to send forth when it is time for His people to move on into new territory. Numbers 10:2 says, "or the journeying of the camps." It is a sad fact that different groups found themselves a little mountain, or kingdom, to their liking, and began going in circles around it. The Pentecostal movement got hold of something good 60 years ago, organized it into a denomination with a static theology, and has been going in circles ever since, getting nowhere. To prevent this from happening to Israel, God had a trumpet which meant to move on and follow the cloud and pillar of fire. Woe to that Israelite who decided that the little stream he had come to was sufficient for him and his little group and would not move on at the sound of the trumpet. For 1 Cor. 10:4 says that the rock which gave them their water followed Israel as they journeyed on through the wilderness. So, that one who stayed behind with his little stream and palm trees soon found that the Rock was gone, the stream dried up, and the palm trees withered. And he knew not which way to go to catch up with those who moved on. This is the sad condition of the denominations today. Each of them found a place in God to their liking, stopped, failed to hear the signal to move on, and now they find their living water gone, their stream of revelation dried up, and themselves going in circles trying to get blessings from what is now only a mud puddle. And talk about mud slinging... political campaigns canít hold a light to the churches of today. Thatís all they have, mud. Scandals, bitterness, jealousies, murmurings, backbitings, debates, and religious political maneuverings in high places. Their streams have dried up. They didnít hear, or didnít heed, the trumpets. But, thank God, there are those who heard, who heeded, and who did not have their tent stakes driven too deeply to pull up and move on. This place may look good, but when the trumpet sounds, you can rely on it that God has a better place ahead. Pentecost looked very good to me as a young man coming out of the dead denomination I was in. And I was right in the middle of Pentecost when the trumpet sounded again. Raised in the Headquarters city, a graduate of their Headquarters Bible School, being accepted as a writer for their various national publications, the fair-haired boy with a great future in the organization. But I heard the trumpets. And it sounded a chord deep within my heart, for I hungered desperately for more of God. I knew I had to move on. I though I could move on in God and still retain my position in the organization and the associations, but little did I know of the workings of the system of religious theology and ecclesiastical orders. But I learned. Many others have had the same experience as they heard and heeded the sound of the trumpet. However, there is still the danger today even for those who have "come out" that they will become satisfied, drive their stakes down, and not heed the next call. This is a never ending pilgrim journey through the wilderness, ever onward and upward to that cherished promised land of victory and rest. Many in so called "Latter Rain" have received prophecy, laying on of hands, ministries and gifts of the Spirit, and are now in the position where they are not moving on in God, afraid to journey further, not hearing the trumpet as it sounds loud and clear. But God has sworn that He will have a people who will enter Canaan, this much is established--will you be in it?
3. Preparation for War
Joel says (chapter 2), "Blow ye 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 cometh, for it is nigh at hand." Numbers 10:9 says that the trumpets are also to sound an alarm for war, and that the Lord will remember them, and give them victory. Paul recognized this when he admonished the church to put on the whole armour of God in Ephesians 6. There was no protection for the back to them that ran, and no wings with which to fly away. But enough armour to win the victory against the greatest foe, even against principalities and powers in the heavens. But so many are not giving forth the message to prepare their people for the great battle ahead in the day of the Lord. Preachers are preaching "peace, peace, times are good, our property values and our membership are growing, and some sweet morning when the trumpet sounds we will fly away to a home somewhere in the sky." God gave a strong indictment against these false prophets in chapter 13 of Ezekiel, verse 4: "O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord." He said that because these preachers seduced His people, saying "peace" and there was no peace, therefore God would deal with them strongly. Why? Because they have failed to warn Godís people of the days ahead, that they might put on the whole armour of God.
This day of battle, the day of the Lord, is not a time for Godís Army to fly to the sky, much as some would like to. Some long for this day who are not ready for it, and hear what the prophet Amos says in 5:18... "Woe unto you that desire the Day of the Lord! To what end is it for you? The day of the Lord is darkness and not light." And in Joel 2:1-2: "...the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand; A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains, a great people and a strong..." And Joel goes on to describe the Army of the Lord. Verse 11: "And the Lord shall utter His voice before His Army; for His camp is very great; for he is strong that executeth His Word; for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?" Notice in verse 2 that the Day of Tribulation and Darkness to the wicked shall be as the morning spread upon the mountains to the saints in Christ Jesus, the day of their greatest victory. Yes, it is a day of the shining forth of Godís power and glory to those who have prepared for it. 1 Thess. 5:9 says that "God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain (full) salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ." In verse 2 you will see that Paul is talking about the Day of the Lord, commonly called the great Tribulation. In verse 8 we have a helmet and a breastplate, but no wings. Yes, this is the day to stand and fight. Not a physical warfare. For our weapons are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. All hell trembles when it hears of this great Army, small in number, but mighty through God. This time God shall shake not only the earth, but also heaven (Heb. 12:26), until Satanís throne shall topple and fall, and the Sons of God shall regain what Adam lost in the garden, yea and much more as they go on in an illimitable God. "Look and behold, my people, and see man who has been trampled under foot of his enemy, who has been tormented and defeated, as he rises up in His God and overcomes. Yea, and they shall say Who is this that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners? ...behold, it is the Lordís beloved, it is the One whom Satan feareth, it is the One for whom the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain to bring forth. Yea, he cometh with the sound of the trumpet, and with the banner of His God over him, for victory is his, and none shall stop him. Courage is in his heart, and the sword of the Lord in his hand. He shall wound and he shall heal, he shall judge with righteous judgment, and that which can be shaken shall be shaken, and that which cannot be shaken shall remain, and it shall be mine, saith God, and shall be my temple in that hour when I inhabit my people."
4. Celebration of the Feasts
There is to be corn and wine aplenty for these who overcome. Numbers 10:10 tells us that the fourth use of the trumpets is to announce the feasts, the times of rejoicing. And now the Feast of Tabernacles is nigh at hand. Send the message forth, God has riches for those who dare to believe and accept His bountiful supply. Joel 2:21-26 tells of the riches of His restored land. And in the first month (the first month in the civil year, the seventh month of the religious year) "the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil." In Exodus 23:16 and 34:22 we see that the feast of ingathering, or the feast of Tabernacles, which was the 7th month, was the end of the civil or agricultural year, and the start of a new day or new year. We see in Lev. 25:9 that the year of Jubilee began in the seventh month, at the Feast of Tabernacles. So, it is at the Feast of Tabernacles that Joelís prophecy will be fulfilled in its entirety. Pentecost was only the first-fruits of it, and Paul knew this, as he bring out in Romans 8:23. Look up and rejoice, saints of God, for the time of our deliverance is at hand. God is restoring all that was lost in the fall. The barns shall be full, great shall be the feasting in the days ahead.
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