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THE EIGHT RUDIMENTS OF CELEBRATION

THE EIGHT FEASTS OR FESTIVALS OF ISRAEL

The Feast Of Trumpets

Leviticus 23:23-25

(festiv6.doc)

        Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, approximately 2,000 years ago, every born again believer should be waiting on the trumpet of God to sound.  “For the Lord Himself will 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.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus shall we always be with the Lord.  Therefore comfort one another with these words.”  I can say with John, the apostle, “Even so, come Lord Jesus!”  It is a comfort to know that I will soon be gathered to be with Jesus.  Did you get that connection?  The trumpet of God and being caught up together in that great gathering of Christians with Jesus Christ.  We come now to the next festival on God’s calendar of events:  The Feast of Trumpets!!!

        I am preaching a nine message series on the rudiments, skills, or principles of celebration.

  God has been showing me that humanity needs celebration.

  He has been showing me that celebration is a very important part of the Christian life!

  He has been showing me that celebration is of special significance and importance to African-American Christians.

        Life is a struggle for everybody, no matter what your color or nationality, but for African-American people life is even more of a struggle because of the residual effects of slavery.  Therefore, it is important that we take a time out from the futility of the world and plug into the meaning of life, the dignity of life, and the vibrancy of life that is provided through a worship celebration.  The importance of celebration is illustrated in the Old Testament in Leviticus the 23rd chapter.

        My purpose in looking at celebration from various cultural perspectives is not to embarrass or alienate anyone, but to educate both Blacks and Whites about the similarities and differences between us.  We are an integrated church that is becoming more integrated.  Our church is becoming a microcosm of heaven, and I love it.  But we must learn to acknowledge, accept, and appreciate our similarities and our differences.

        Six messages ago, we began to deal with the eight feasts or festivals which God commanded Israel to celebrate.  These festivals were holy convocations, conventions, or celebrations which God invoked upon His people.  There is a major rudiment or skill which is taught in each festival, which will yield a principle that we can learn and apply to our own modern worship celebrations.

        In the first two messages, we covered the feast or festival of the Sabbath.  The major rudiment, skill, or principle of celebration that we covered was resting from our worldly labors.

        In the third message, we studied the festival of the Passover.  The major rudiment of celebration that we covered was remembering God’s redemption.

        In the fourth message, we studied the feast or festival of unleavened bread.  The major rudiment of celebration that we covered was removing all sin, worldliness, and filthiness of the flesh from our lives.  This is separation.

        In the fifth message, we studied the Feast of First Fruits.  The major rudiment of celebration that we covered was rendering sacrifice to thank God for His blessings.  This is consecration.

        In the last message, we studied the feast or festival of Pentecost.  The major rudiment of celebration that we covered was rejoicing over the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the harvest of the Church.

(That brings us to the next feast or festival.  Would you please look at the chart in the middle of your bulletin.)

        “The next feast on God’s calendar is the Feast of Trumpets.  “A long period of four months intervened between the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Trumpets, during which the harvest was gathered in.  There was no holy gathering of the people during these busy months.  No fresh subject of interest was introduced to occupy their thoughts, except the reaping of the fruits of that good land on which Jehovah’s eye and heart were ever resting.

        What is the application for us today?  Since the day of Pentecost, on which the Spirit of God descended, and the gathering up of a people from all nations into the Church¾the body of Christ¾has been going on, there has been no new operation of God’s hand.  The work of proclaiming the Gospel among, and the discipling of people of all nations has been going on ever since.”[1] Developing The Church is God’s divine purpose, plan, and goal for this dispensation.

        At the bottom of the page you will see a small caret and the words “The Church Age.”  This symbol and words are there to show us that the Church Age is interposed between the Feast of Pentecost and the Feast of Trumpets.  We are presently in the church age.  The church age is a parenthesis between the Feast of Pentecost and the Feast of Trumpets.  As such, the only festivals that we are to observe in this parenthesis is Baptism, The Lord’s Supper, and the weekly gathering together at church.


(Let's move on to consider the Feast of Trumpets, which is found in Leviticus 23:23-25.  Would you turn there with me please?  Would you follow along silently, as I read aloud for us?

       The next major rudiment of celebration, which is found in these verses, is the rudiment, skill, or principle of:)

VI.    REGATHERING.

"The seventh month was known as the Sabbatic month.”[2] "The nation of Israel was all `wrapped up' in sevens.

·        On the seventh day of the week was the Sabbath.

·        There are seven feasts of Jehovah (Not counting the weekly feast of the Sabbath).

·        Seven weeks after Firstfruits is Pentecost.

·        After seven years was the Sabbatical year.

·        Seven times seven--49 years--introduces the year of Jubilee.

·        In Daniel 9, 7 times 70--490 years--describes God's prophetic plan for Israel.  And,

·        In the seventh month there were three very important feasts:  Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles."[3]

        As we have stated all along:  These festivals represent events on God's calendar.  "Trumpets, the day of atonement, and tabernacles or testimony, the second advent, and the millennium, are all in the future and are prophetic."[4]

        Whereas the meaning of the feasts and festivals so far has been mostly in the past, the meaning of this celebration was yet future.  The previous four feasts or festivals describe for us the past work that God has done.  This feast, and the ones following, describe what God will do in the future. “These remaining feasts all point forward to great events in the future, which God will yet bring to pass, both for His heavenly and His earthly people (Eph. 1:10).”[5]

        “These last three feasts, The Feast of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, and The Feast of Tabernacles, were all included in what was known as `tabernacles.'  This called for the final journey of the men of Israel to Jerusalem.  This last journey to Jerusalem, by all the able-bodied men, involved a stay of three weeks."[6]


        Remember that some of these feasts were for one day, and some of these feasts were for a number of days.  “Those feasts that were for a number of days point to the outcome of these acts, and their results in blessings to the people of God, whereas one-day feasts all point to certain acts of Jehovah’s hand, certain definite transactions of His, perfect and complete in themselves.”[7]  Although the Israelite men would stay at Jerusalem for three weeks, this is a one day feast.  The coming definite, perfect, complete transaction of Jehovah that is pointed to here is the regathering of Israel.

        The main characteristic of this particular feast was the blowing of trumpets.  Let me give you this next piece of information for future Jeopardy Shows.  Did you know that The most frequently named musical instrument in the Bible is the "Shophar" or ram's horn?  The “Shophar” (often translated “trumpet”) was a very prominent instrument in the culture and life of the nation of Israel.  It served as a signaling instrument in times of peace and war.  It was a part of their religious ceremonies and celebrations.  It became such a prominent part of life in Israel that it is the only ancient instrument still used in the synagogue today.  (Holman Bible Dictionary)

        Note that one of the major uses of the trumpet was for assembling, gathering, or regathering the people.  And this celebrative gathering, the Feast of Trumpets, was celebrated by the blowing of trumpets.  It was actually a celebration of regathering.  Celebration is facilitated by a gathering of 100 people or more!!!

        At the time of the institution of this feast, Israel was in the wilderness.  But God had predicted and knew that in the future Israel would enter the promised land, sin, and be scattered among the nations.  “We are told in Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26 about the scattering of the people of Israel.  Therefore, the Feast of Trumpets spoke prophetically of a time of gathering, when God would call His scattered people together."[8]

(We can now begin to see the various regatherings and gatherings that are prefigured in this one festival.)

        The first regathering is the literal regathering of Israel in her own land after the Babylonian captivity.  The Israelites celebrated, prophetically, God’s covenant promise to restore them to the land!!!


(This was the first regathering, but in Isaiah 11:11 and Jeremiah 16:14-15, Scripture speaks about a second restoration or regathering from the islands of the sea and from all countries.)

        This second restoration or regathering is already under way.  Although it is already under way, it will not be completed until the “times of the Gentiles” is fulfilled.  This would translate into the second coming of Jesus Christ.  This regathering of the nation of Israel will likewise be announced with the trumpet.

Matthew 24:29-31, “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken, and the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.  And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds from one end of the sky to the other.”

The fact of Israel officially becoming a nation in 1948 and the fact of her present and continuing regathering in her own land is a major prelude to the final gathering of Israel at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ¾when the great trumpet shall sound.  This ought to signal to us that the end is not far off!!!

(But there is another gathering that must take place before the regathering of Israel.  What gathering is that?  It is the gathering of the Church to her Bridegroom:  Jesus Christ!!!)

        "As far as the Church is concerned, there will be the sounding of a trumpet for us as well.  The Church is also a scattered people.  Some of God's people are on earth--scattered from one place to another--and some are in heaven.  Christ will assemble His people and take them to heaven.  Let me make it very clear that the Feast of Trumpets in its basic interpretation belongs to Israel.  But in its personal application, there is a message for us as Christians."[9]  Before Israel is regathered, Jesus is coming to gather His church, His body, His bride, unto Himself.  "The Feast of Trumpets speaks of the time when our Lord Jesus shall return and take us to be with Him."[10]

        This is what Easter is all about.  Jesus came and died upon a rugged cross, was buried in a borrowed tomb, and got up on the third day, so that we might one day be regathered to fellowship with Him and worship Him throughout eternity.  This regathering of the church is called “The Rapture.”

1 Corinthians 15:51-52, "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 imperishable, and we shall be changed."

1 Thessalonians 4:16, "For the Lord Himself will 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."

        We should come and celebrate, every Lord’s Day, the fact that Jesus will gather us¾His church¾in the rapture.  We should live our lives in this light, i.e. the light of eternity!!!

(Time will not allow us to cover, in detail, the uses of the shophar, so let’s rush on to some other trumpets that I want to cover briefly.)

        When the Children of Israel were wandering through the wilderness, Jehovah God instructed Moses to make two trumpets of hammered silver.  These two trumpets were used on five occasions:

1.      they were used to assemble or gather the people,

2.      they were used to signal the advance of the camp,

3.      they were used as an alarm that they were going to war,

4.      they were used to announce the spiritual demands of worship, and

5.      they were used to announce the joyful freedom of jubilee.[11]

So, there were four basic purposes of the trumpets were to:

1.      assemble the people,

2.      advance the people,

3.      alarm the people, or

4.      announce to the people.

"The trumpets were God's method of communication.  They were God's telephone, God's radio, God's newspaper."[12]  To find out what was going on, all they needed to do was be alert to the trumpets.

(I would like to make some application of the two trumpets of silver to our particular dispensation.)

        "In a similar way God has given to His church the two trumpets of the Old and New Testament which make up His Word.  Through these Testaments He makes known His will and His purposes to all mankind.

        As the trumpets were made of silver so the great theme of the Bible is redemption.

        The two trumpets represent the sweet, clear sound of the gospel.  As the trumpets were of one piece so there is a oneness, an entirety, a harmony, in the whole of God's Word."[13]

        "Trumpets are heralds.  They make declarations, but not of themselves.  It requires living men with breath in their lungs to take up the trumpets and blow.

        Having become living people through the work of the cross, having separated ourselves unto the work of the Lord, and having been filled with the fullness of His Spirit and thereby empowered, we now take up these testaments, and in the power of His Spirit, declare the Word of the living God with a clear ringing testimony."[14]

        "Cry loud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet..."

"Our job is to be out helping bring in the sheaves.  Are you a part of the harvest crew today?"[15]

        It is interesting to note that rest was a part of this festival.  The Jews shall rest at the throne of David, with Jesus ruling from that great throne, after the Second Coming.

        We, Christians, shall rest at the feet of Jesus after the Rapture.

        As was stated in the first message, "These festivals make up God's calendar."[16]

·        God began His calendar with the shedding of blood during the Passover.

·        After salvation came remembering God’s redemption.

·        After salvation comes sanctification or separation by removing the leaven of sin.

·        After sanctification comes consecration to God through rendering sacrifice, and

·        After consecration comes rejoicing over the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

·        The next great event on God’s calendar is the regathering of Israel.  But before that occurs, Jesus is going to gather up His church unto Him in heaven. Until then, we are reminded of the coming regathering through the trumpeting of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the eschatology connected thereto.

        So, I pray that you can see the importance of celebration to humanity, to the Children of Israel, to the New Testament local church, and to African American Christians in particular.  I pray that you see the importance of celebrating what God has done for us.  I pray that you will become familiar with the rudiments of celebration, which are resting from worldly labors, remembering God's deliverance, removing sin, the flesh, and the world from our midst, rendering sacrifice to God for His spiritual and physical blessings unto us, rejoicing because of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and being reminded of the gathering of the Church and regathering of Israel through the trumpeting of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Christian eschatology.

Celebration adds vibrancy to life!

Celebration adds meaning to life!!

Celebration adds dignity to life!!!

O come and magnify the Lord with me in joyous celebration through giving, singing, teaching, preaching, praise, etc., with reverence, awe, excitement, festivity, and thanksgiving!!!

(Now is the day of Salvation.  Come to Jesus, now!)

Invitation

Call to Discipleship


----

[1]John Ritchie, Feasts Of Jehovah, Kregal Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1982, p. 53.

[2] C. W. Slemming, Thus Shalt Thou Serve, Christian Literature Crusade, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, 1974, p. 118.

[3] Warren W. Wiersbe, Be God's Guest, Back to the Bible, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1982, p. 68.

[4] C. W. Slemming, Thus Shalt Thou Serve, Christian Literature Crusade, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, 1974, p. 122.

[5]John Ritchie, Feasts Of Jehovah, Kregal Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1982, p. 56.

[6] C. W. Slemming, Thus Shalt Thou Serve, Christian Literature Crusade, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, 1974, p. 118.

[7]John Ritchie, Feasts Of Jehovah, Kregal Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1982, pp. 33-34.

[8] Warren W. Wiersbe, Be God's Guest, Back to the Bible, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1982, p. 69.

[9] Warren W. Wiersbe, Be God's Guest, Back to the Bible, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1982, pp. 72-73.

[10] Warren W. Wiersbe, Be God's Guest, Back to the Bible, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1982, p. 69.

[11] C. W. Slemming, Thus Shalt Thou Serve, Christian Literature Crusade, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, 1974, pp. 119-121.

[12] Warren W. Wiersbe, Be God's Guest, Back to the Bible, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1982, p. 70.

[13] C. W. Slemming, Thus Shalt Thou Serve, Christian Literature Crusade, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, 1974, p. 119.

[14] C. W. Slemming, Thus Shalt Thou Serve, Christian Literature Crusade, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, 1974, p. 125.

[15] Warren W. Wiersbe, Be God's Guest, Back to the Bible, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1982, p. 68.

[16] Warren W. Wiersbe, Be God's Guest, Back to the Bible, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1982, p. 7.

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