Feast of Trumpets begins soon!

Louis was great, but I long to hear those angels…

This is just a quick greeting to all of those out there about to begin observing the Feast of Trumpets and the Fall Festivals of God! As He says in Leviticus 23:2, “these are My feasts,” and what a privilege to be invited to observe them!

More than being invited to observe the Holy Days, of course, but being granted to understand the Holy Days… That is a privilege beyond words.

I know that the Bible does not command us individually to blow a trumpet or shofar on the Feast of Trumpets–there were those set aside for that, unlike removing leaven during the Days of Unleavened Bread, which was the task of everyone–and perhaps it will be the task of those appointed ones again in the Millennium, when God reconstitutes the Levitical priesthood, under that of Melchizedek, for His purposes. But if you can blow one sometime that day or if you can listen to a recording of someone who knows how to do it really well, it is a fascinating, piercing sound!

I actually have a shofar app on my iPhone that I may attempt to play tomorrow during my sermon, though it’s a sad substitution for the real thing, methinks. Though it is still loud and piercing–just ask the poor deacon whose sermonette I interrupted four-or-so years ago by accidentally hitting the button while he was speaking. (If you’re reading this and you were there, I’m sure you remember!) He did so well: Just stood there calmly while I frantically fumbled around like an idiot with my phone trying to make it stop. Isn’t it amazing how when those times occur you can suddenly forget how in the world your phone works? Eventually he said very calmly to the crowd, “We’ll just pause for a moment until Mr. Smith is done.” Very nice. 🙂 One of my favorite Trumpets memories, ever.

For those interested, here’s a link to a YouTube video with some nice “shofaring”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jR20-0sy1Y (as always, caveat navita stans)

Have a wonderful and meaningful Fall Holy Day! And may all of us hear the seven angels and their trumpets very soon.

16 thoughts on “Feast of Trumpets begins soon!

  1. John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav)

    There’s a command performance by me toward the end of this little video clip… as I warned them, my lips weren’t warmed up and so it sounded as if the horn was still on the antelope and the antelope was being roasted alive on a skewer… 😀

    If I remember to bring it, likely I’ll play it before services… much better than here, I trust.

  2. TeapotTempest

    Wendy! You’ve got to listen to this guy. Maybe you could use this as the basis for special music later.
    Mr. Smith, now I don’t feel so embarrassed about my cell phone alert tone going off, and my phone was turned off! (Say, I wonder if they have the shofar blast as a phone ring option. Hmm).

  3. Chris Connelly

    While a shofar often gets top billing: Numbers 10 says the silver trumpets were to be blown on the beginning of months (new moons which Trumpets always is!) and on day of your gladness or “set feast days”. I shall be playing my silver trumpet on this day!

  4. Greetings, Mr. Connelly, and I’d blow mine too, if I was a trumpet man! 🙂

    Though the mention in Leviticus 23 does not specifically mention a shofar in connection to the Feast of Trumpets, the connection of the shofar to Trumpets is suggested in other places, such as Psalm 81:3 (KJV), “Blow up the trumpet (shofar) in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day,” and, as you mention, the Feast of Trumpets is the only feast day on the new moon (that is, first of the month). Perhaps this is one way in which the Feast of Trumpets stood out from the run-of-the-mill trumpet blowing on other month beginnings or Feast days.

    However, if I had a trumpet of any sort–silver, brass, or whatever–I would have blown one, too, and I am sure you were in good company yesterday! A friend of mine once made a pretty good shofar imitation with a paper towel tube–not the most dignified of media, perhaps, but it still sounded pretty good. 🙂

  5. John from Australia

    Mr Smith please elaborate on

    “God reconstitutes the Levitical priesthood, under that of Melchizedek”

    while there is a tightening of the holiness code of practice, the Levitical priests will still be manipulating the blood of animal sacrifices to make expiation so that sins may be forgiven and ritual impurity cleansed; and

    Eze 44:23 They are to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.

    It appears that in the Millennial Temple the sons of Zadok will be doing pretty much the same as they did, or should have done, in Solomon’s Temple.

  6. Howdy, again, John from Australia. I’m not sure what you want me to elaborate on, since you’ve elaborated quite well, yourself! 🙂 Ezekiel speaks of the Levitical priesthood’s and the sons of Zadok’s future service in the temple in the Millennium just as you say, though they will be doing so under Christ and the resurrected and reigning saints, hence the reference to Melchizedek. And though we know the sacrifices will not actually cause sins to be forgiven (since they never have, Heb. 10:4), they do have a role for ritually cleansing the flesh (Heb. 9:13), and will apparently be used for just that purpose — as well as serving once again as symbolic pictures of the need for forgiveness through Christ’s shed blood.

  7. I very much enjoyed the clip of John Wheeler blowing the shofar. I had never seen one of those in action before. (And it’s kind of scary how much he looks like my brother).

    I just might try the paper towel tube next time around. Or maybe one of those really loud air horns they use at sporting events… “bah,BAH!”. Hope that would be okay.

  8. John from Australia

    Mr Smith this response is somewhat long, but I want to understand what you are saying.

    You write:

    “And though we know the sacrifices will not actually cause sins to be forgiven (since they never have, Heb. 10:4), they do have a role for ritually cleansing the flesh (Heb. 9:13), and will apparently be used for just that purpose”

    While the author of Hebrew does say:

    … it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins (Heb 10:4);

    but what does God say in Leviticus 4?

    If the community sins a bull is sacrificed for its blood and the blood is sprinkled seven times before the altar of incense, which is front of the curtain, and daubed on its horns, and the rest of the blood was disposed of by pouring it out at the base of the altar of burnt offering. With the conclusion of the ritual activity Lev 4:20b reads:

    “and the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them.”

    So the blood of the bull was required to expiate the sin and then God forgave the community for that sin.

    When a ruler sins a goat is sacrificed for its blood and the blood is daubed on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and the rest of the blood is disposed of at the base of that altar.

    With the conclusion of the ritual activity Lev 4:26b reads:
    “and the priest shall make an atonement for him as concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him.”

    So the blood of bulls and goats is required to expiate for sins so that God can forgive.

    Trespass/reparations offerings also provided for atonement and forgiveness.

    Eze 40:39 And in the porch of the gate were two tables on this side, and two tables on that side, to slay thereon the burnt offering and the sin offering and the trespass offering.

    In regard to an aspect of a reparation offering:

    Lev 6:2 If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbour;
    Lev 6:3 Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein:

    So the soul who has sinned is required to make a reparation and bring a reparation offering so that the blood of the ram may be dashed against the sides the altar of burnt offering, etc.

    With the conclusion of the ritual activity Lev 6:7 reads:

    “And the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD: and it shall be forgiven him for any thing of all that he hath done in trespassing therein.”

    So the blood of a ram is required to expiate a sin so that the soul shall be forgiven of that sin.

    The forgiveness of sin and cleansing from ritual impurity throughout the year was the first stage of atonement;

    Lev 16:30 For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.

    the second stage was on the Day of Purgation when the people were cleansed from their sins.

    Heb 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:

    The blood of the priests’ bull and the blood of the congregation’s goat cleansed not only the sanctuary and the outer altar, and reconsecrated the latter, but also cleansed the children of Israel.

    But they did not cleanse the conscience.

    So Mr Smith when you also write:

    “ they do have a role for ritually cleansing the flesh (Heb. 9:13), and will apparently be used for just that purpose.”

    Do you mean that sins will be expiated by animal blood and forgiven by God and that ritual impurity will be expiated by animal blood and cleansed by God during the Millennium? So under the Old, so in the New/Renewed Covenant?

  9. Howdy, John from Australia. My apologies that this will be brief, but with our impending departure tomorrow and busy schedule through the Feast, time is at a premium for us. If any further elaboration is needed, maybe Mr. John Wheeler would like to comment, as this sort of stuff is something he is fond of, I believe.

    Thankfully, it really is, it seems to me, a straightforward matter.

    • Paul (or, if you like, the author of Hebrews) makes it clear in Hebrews 9 & 10 (the entire chapters should be read) what the animal sacrifices could and could not accomplish.
    • The OT verses say what they say, certainly, but we should understand what they say as we are taught in Hebrews.
    • What is that? That the sacrifices can make one ritually “cleansed” and “forgiven” but do not truly accomplish spiritual cleaning and forgiveness, available only through Christ, and that they are meant to picture as a reminder that true need.
    • Consequently, the sacrifices described in a Millennial context by Ezekiel can be generally expected to fulfill the same purposes: physical, ritual “cleansing” and “forgiveness” and “sanctification” but only as a picture of the need for true cleansing, forgiveness, and sanctification.

    I hope this helps. Thankfully, Hebrews 9 & 10 make the matter plain. If there is any confusion, it seems to be indicated in how you begin your comment: “While the author of Hebrews does say… but what does God say…” There is no need for a “While” and “but” and, fundamentally, the author of both books is the same One. It is the same God who inspired the words of both Hebrews and Leviticus, and they should be understood together, not in opposition. Hebrews is nonsensical without the background of Leviticus, and Leviticus is misunderstood without the divinely revealed explanation in Hebrews (cf. 2 Cor. 3:14-16).

    Ack! I’ve spent more thime than I should, but, still, I hope it is helpful.

  10. John from Australia

    Thanks Mr Smith,

    I just wanted to know if you believed that animal sacrifices will be needed for atonement and forgiveness of sin in the New Covenant; though you say “forgiveness” you do not qualify it with “of sin”.

    You write:

    “but only as a picture of the need for true cleansing, forgiveness, and sanctification”.

    While there is the picture element, there is also another very important function:

    Eze 43:7 He said: “Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place for the soles of my feet. This is where I will live among the Israelites forever.

    If the Temple is not regularly cleaned of sin and ritual impurity Christ will not be able to “live” in it; if He had to depart then the Covenant would be over.

    You write:

    “There is no need for a “While” and “but” and, fundamentally, the author of both books is the same One.”

    While I agree with that, I used it to help define the argument because too many people misunderstand the author of Hebrews, for example:

    some people think that, there is no more need for the efficacy of animal sacrifices based on Hebrew 10:18; and there has been a change in the priesthood – but in regard to the sons of Zadok they swerved in Solomon’s temple and they will serve in the Millennial Temple.

    Also if you took Hebrews 9:2-4 by itself then it would be accepted that the altar of incense was in the most holy place; which it was not.

    Thanks John

  11. Howdy, one more time, John from Australia.

    First, I did not qualify “forgiveness” because I see nothing else for which forgiveness is necessary. Yet, no, I do not believe that animal sacrifices are necessary for the forgiveness of sin — not at all. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is necessary and sufficient. Animal sacrifices can not truly purchase forgiveness of sin — however, they can play an ordained role in ritual cleanliness and forgiveness while pointing to the larger reality. Hebrews makes this abundantly clear and adds understanding to what is being said in Leviticus, Ezekiel, and elsewhere.

    And in the Millennial temple, which will be a “house of prayer for all nations” there will surely come many from all peoples of the world to learn and to be taught before they have accepted the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on their behalf. For them, a ritual cleansing and forgiveness will be necessary (and will, additionally, help them learn the point) for them to be able to be on sacred ground, and animal sacrifices properly serve this purpose. Yet the sins of those individuals will not truly and fully be forgiven through those sacrifices nor their consciences truly and fully cleansed. But, ritually cleansed, they will be able to learn there from the One who can make such things truly so.

    As for Hebrews 9:2-4 being taken “by itself”, I don’t see how that is relevant, unless you’re simply saying that we read all the verses relevant to a topic and not just one passage, which is an approach we live by in the Church (Isa. 28:9-10), and with which I would agree. Of course it should not be understood “by itself,” just as the scriptures in Leviticus and Ezekiel should not be taken “by themselves.” They must be understood in a manner consistent with Hebrews and vice versa. Sin is not truly and fully forgiven through animal sacrifice, period. It is “forgiven” in a manner that satisfies the ritualistic demands of the flesh until the true forgiveness has come. However, the presence and availability of perfect and true forgiveness through Christ’s sacrifice does not remove the need in the future for ritual cleansing, as well, when all the world, converted or otherwise, begin coming to Jerusalem to worship and learn (Isa. 66:23). (And by the way, the censer was taken behind the curtain where the ark was by the high priest on the Day of Atonement, which the accompanying verses — e.g., v.6, vv.11-12 — demonstrate was, indeed, the context of Paul’s statements. The golden censer was, in that sense, as unique as the ark, being of a special category of temple instruments to pass through the veil.)

    Thanks for the chance to ensure that this has been made clear.

  12. John from Australia

    Thanks Mr Smith for defining you position;

    we will have to agree to disagree on some points;

    Happy Feast

    Regards John

  13. Norbert

    When it comes to the ceremonial aspect within scriptures and the part they play, the events that happenned between the Cornelius’ house and the apostle Peter make for an interesting comparison. God gave the holy spirit first and afterward Peter realised that they needed to be baptised.

    In my view it’s about an order of dependence. Forgiveness of sins is God’s perogative first and foremost no matter how many times a ceremony is performed. Otherwise there would be no men creeping in unawares and Christ’s parable about the wheat and tares would have no significance.

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