The Feast of Trumpets is the fourth of seven annual festivals of God picturing His master plan for reproducing Himself. You will recall from the previous ministudies in this series that God uses the spring and fall agricultural harvests of Palestine as symbolic types of His spiritual "harvests" of mankind. God intends His spring festivals to illustrate to His Church every year that all those He has called to become His Spirit-begotten children since Christ's first coming are now the "firstfruits" (Jas. 1:18), the relatively small beginning of His eventual spiritual harvest of all mankind into His universe-ruling Family. Then in the fall, the festivals of the much larger autumn harvest season picture God's calling of the rest of the billions of humanity to salvation and sonship in His glorious Family after Christ's return. God begins His annual festivals with the Passover. As we observe this solemn occasion every year, we are reminded that Christ's Passover sacrifice (I Cor. 5:7) paid the penalty of our sins (Rom. 6:23). Next, the Feast of Unleavened Bread reminds us of our continual need to put the "leaven" of sin (I Cor. 5:8) from our lives and to obey God. Then the day of Pentecost, the final spring festival, is observed as a memorial of God's sending forth of His Spirit (Acts 2) to spiritually beget and strengthen the firstfruits of God's plan. But the firstfruits cannot be reaped into God's Family unless they are "born again" (John 3:3-8) — resurrected and changed into spirit. And that resurrection will not occur until Jesus Christ comes again, which brings us to the fourth festival. The Feast of Trumpets portrays a pivotal event in God's plan. It not only pictures the coming of Christ to resurrect the firstfruits from the dead, it also pictures the terrible time of world war just ahead and the intervention of Jesus Christ to save the living from total annihilation and to establish the Kingdom of God on earth. Let's understand exactly how this festival fits into God's great master plan. 1. When is the fourth annual festival to be observed? Lev. 23:23-25. Is this another annual Sabbath of rest from one's regular work? Verses 24-25. Are God's people commanded to meet together before Him on th is Holy Day? Verse 24. The number seven in God's plan signifies completion and perfection. The seventh month of God's calendar contains the final four festivals, picturing the completion of God's great master plan for mankind. The festival that falls on the first day of this month marks the beginning of the final events in God's plan. 2. Was this festival to be a memorial of blowing of trumpets? Verse 24. It is from this ceremony that the Feast of Trumpets draws its name. There is a great deal of symbolic meaning tied in with the blowing of these trumpets, especially with regard to the end time in which we're living. 3. Were trumpets blown to announce God's solemn feasts, as well as call God's people to assemble? Num. 10:1-3, 10. Was the trumpet also blown as an alarm of invading armies and impending warfare? Verse 9, Jer. 4:19-20, Ezek. 33:2-6. Trumpets were used as an alarm of war. This terrifying sound filled the people of ancient Israel with fear, because they knew the horror of war was imminent. It is this warning of war that sets apart the Feast of Trumpets from God's other Holy Days. 4. Who was commissioned by God to blow these trumpets? Num. 10:8. God's priests in the Old Testament were the sons of Aaron. Only they were to blow the trumpets. Today, Jesus Christ is our spiritual High Priest (Heb. 6:20). Therefore God's New Testament ministry is not required to blow trumpets on this feast day. 5. Has God commanded His "watchmen" — His ministers — to warn people of their sins? Ezek. 33:7-9. Are they to lift up their voices like trumpets? Isa. 58:1. 6. Was there to be a Work in these last days that would be preaching a special message to the world? Matt. 24:14. What is that message? Same verse. 7. When did Jesus say that God's coming Kingdom would be established — wasn't it in a time of world war? Verses 3, 6-8, Luke 21:31. Would man at this time have the power to destroy all human life from the face of the earth? Matt. 24:21-22. The trumpet warning of world war is being sounded today! God's faithful ministers are preaching the good news of the coming government of God, to be set up on earth at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. At the same time, they are warning the world that before God's government is restored, there must first come wars and rumors of wars as Jesus prophesied, ending in the most terrifying warfare this world has ever experienced. 8. What does the book of Revelation have to say regarding the blowing of supernatural trumpets shortly before the return of Jesus Christ? Rev. 8:1-2, 6. The seventh seal, which covered the scroll or book of Revelation (Rev. 5:1-2), disclosed seven angels with seven trumpets representing seven consecutive colossal world events. These are to be physical punishments from God as warnings to the nations not to go further into national and personal sins. The last three trumpet plagues (also called "woes") specifically picture three phases of catastrophic world war. At the third stage mankind will be saved from extinction by the Second Coming of Jesus Christ! (For a detailed explanation of these trumpets and other events in Revelation, write for a free copy of The Book of Revelation Unveiled at Last!) 9. Will those who turn to God be protected from these trumpet plagues? Rev. 3:10, 7:2-3, 12:6, 14. Is it for the sake of these "elect" that Christ will intervene in world affairs to cut short the time of great age-end trouble and rescue mankind from nuclear annihilation? Matt. 24:22. The "elect" of God include the firstfruits of His great master plan. They are the ones God has called out of this world to be among the firstfruits harvest of the divine Family He is creating. 10. Did Jesus promise to send His angels to gather His elect at the blast of a great trumpet? Verses 30-31. Is the sounding of this trumpet the time of the resurrection of the dead in Christ? I Thess. 4:16-17, I Cor. 15:51-52, Rev. 11:15, 18. Is this trumpet the seventh and final one of the seven introduced in Revelation 8? I Cor. 15:52. 11. What will those in the first resurrection then do? Rev. 20:6. God's Festival of Trumpets is both a solemn day and a time of rejoicing. On the one hand, it pictures terrifying world events culminating in warfare that will threaten the extinction of all life on this planet. But, on the other hand, to those firstfruits who have voluntarily placed themselves under the government of God in God's Church now, this is also a day of great rejoicing. At the sound of the seventh trumpet, when Jesus Christ returns, the saints — the firstfruits of God's plan — will be born into the Family of God! God will then have reaped the smaller spiritual harvest of human beings into His Family. They will then begin to help Christ rule the earth and reap the much greater spiritual harvest during and after the Millennium. The last three festivals, to be covered in the final three studies of this series, picture the details of how this will be accomplished.