TISHRI FIRSTFRUITS

On September 26th this year, we begin the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar known as “Tishri.” Tishri is the first of the three months of the autumn season that produces a harvest. “Tishri” means “reflected light” and reveals God’s heart that His Bride would be a “reflection of His light.”

It is believed that Adam was created in the month of Tishri. The heart of God in creating man was given in His Covenant: “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen. 1:28). 

It is evident God’s desire from the beginning was to create man for “son ship” with Him to take dominion of the earth and multiply His goodness. This is a month set aside to reflect His glory seen through His people!

There will come a day when Jesus will return as King during this same month as the “last Adam” to restore the birthright (His name, dominion, blessings, land, and possessing the gates of the enemy) back to a people in “son ship with Him” (1 Cor. 15:45; Gen. 28). Why do I say that? Because Jesus will Himself fulfill the pattern established through the Fall Feasts just as He did in His first coming through the Spring Feasts. These Feasts reveals the blueprint of God’s plan of Redemption.

Jesus spoke in Matt. 25:13, “Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.”This scripture has led people to believe we will never know when Jesus is coming back, but in actuality, the Feasts reveal the month.  The day and hour were unknown to the Hebrews back in biblical days because they relied on the priests to spot the new moon to sound the alarm, and some days the weather prevented them from seeing. The new moon was never on the same day each month as well, so Jesus was telling us to be in a state of READINESS and have ears to hear!

This month is associated with the tribe of Ephraim, the youngest son of Joseph. Ephraim means; “Be fruitful and multiply.” Ephraim was born during Joseph’s reign as Pharaoh’s “governor.” At the time of his birth, Joseph was enjoying God’s redemption and great blessing after having suffered as a slave and a prisoner of Pharaoh’s. Therefore, Joseph said when he named Ephraim: “For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction” (Gen.41:52).

When Jacob was nearing his death, Joseph visits his dad with his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh. When Jacob saw them, he was strengthened by the Lord and prophesied over the boys that they would be grafted in to the Abrahamic Covenantal inheritance along with his own 12 sons (Gen. 48).

Remarkably, God gave Joseph’s sons a double portion of blessings that came with that covenant for the latter days, along with the ownership of the birthright. Even though Ephraim was the younger one, he was given the firstborn blessings instead of his brother Manasseh. “He shall be greater than he (his older brother Manasseh), and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.” (Genesis 48:19). God chose Ephraim and Manasseh to be a “reflected light” of the “Good News” to the four corners of the earth in the latter days. England and America have been fulfilling those prophetic words.

The prophetic blessing given to Joseph (which would now go to his two sons) was the crowning best! “Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well; His branches run over the wall.” In Genesis 49:22-26 and Deut. 33:13-17, God declares that the sons of Joseph would have hidden resources and rich heritage with God’s favor and blessing upon the land given with rain and produce. In addition, these two tribes would push the peoples to the ends of the earth. Joseph’s obedience to “walk with God” throughout all his hardships ends up paying off with great blessings for his sons!

Later in history, Joshua was raised up to be a great leader who was from the tribe of Ephraim.Because of his complete obedience to the Lord, God prospered everything he did. He is the one leader we read in the Bible who defeated every enemy and took possession of all the land. Obedience to the Lord without compromise is Ephraim’s key to seeing the great harvest of blessings.

The month of Tishri is God’s timing to complete/fulfill the Covenant He established with Abraham with the return of Jesus to the earth along with His Saints in “son ship” (Rev. 4,5).Even though it is a time of great celebration for those who are walking in faith and obedience with God, it is also a time of judgment for those Christians who are “lukewarm.”

“I know your works, that you are neither hot nor cold. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” (Rev. 3:15,16).

God’s appointed three of the seven feasts known as the Fall Feasts to be celebrated in this month. Jesus fulfilled the first four feast’s covenantal purpose of salvation, redemption, and provision through His death, resurrection, and sending of the Holy Spirit. The last three feasts, Jesus will fulfill upon His return in the month of Tishri as judge, conqueror and King.

Tishri is special because it is the only month that a Feast is appointed on “First fruits” which is called the Feast of Trumpets. When the Feast of Trumpets arrives each year on the first day of Tishri with the witness of the new moon, there is a “blowing of His trumpet” to signify God’s harvest season has begun (Lev. 23:24).

The meaning as it relates to Jesus coming as King is that the shofar is blown as the “final trump” or warning before the Lord returns. A sign of this final trump will be that the dead in Christ (not all, but those chosen) will rise from the graves. (1 Thes.5:14-17).

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise FIRST” (1 Thes. 4:16).  

This is the first resurrection. The Bible talks about TWO resurrections and makes a distinction in Rev. 20 as the first resurrection is ONLY believers, and does not say ALL believers. The second resurrection does not happen until AFTER the Millennium reign.

“…and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the FIRST resurrection” (Rev. 20:4-6).

The Feast of Trumpets sounds off the harvest season as well.

The blessing we receive from God when we understand the meaning of the Feast of Trumpets, also known as “Yom Ha Teruah,” and the blowing of the trumpet (shofar) is found in Psalm 89:15, as it is written, “How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound [blast of the shofar]…” The shofar is the physical instrument that God instructed us to use to hear the sound to awake from spiritual slumber (1 Corinthians 15:46).

When it is God’s time to put into action His finale with the return of Jesus, those in Covenant with Him will recognize the sound of the trumpet. There will be significant events in the world that will signify the leading up to this trumpet and for those who have been practicing this dress rehearsal, the signs will be evident of God’s coming judgment of the nations and fulfillment of His coming.

God has always had a heart to warn people before He proclaims judgment. God warned the people before the Flood of Noah’s days. He warned Nineveh before it was to be ruined as well. The Ninevites repented, and it changed the outcome of judgment for them. 

God does not want anyone to receive the wrath of His judgment (Zephaniah 2:1-3; 33:1-7; 2 Peter 3:9). God is warning us today through world events that line up with the Word, the Blood Moons falling on the Feast days, and the prophets of today that He is bringing forth correction FIRST to the body of Christ: those in Covenant with Him.  Then He will deal with the nations that come against His people.

We are seeing that heaven and earth are coming together for this covenantal shift, and it will not be the end of the world as some people think. Jesus is coming to reign here, so the world will NOT be destroyed but redeemed. He is coming and all the earth shall be filled with His glory (Numbers 14:21).

Joel 2:15-19 lays the blueprint of the fall feasts:

“Blow the trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly; Gather the people, Sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, Gather the children and nursing babies; Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, and the bride from her dressing room. Let the priests, who minister to the Lord, Weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, “Spare Your people, O Lord, and do not give Your heritage to reproach, that the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, “Where is their God?’”

Then the Lord will be zealous for His land, and pity His people. The Lord will answer and say to His people, ”Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil, and you will be satisfied by them; I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.”

Joel 2 gives us the blueprint of the main purposes of the three Fall Feasts; blow the trumpet (Feast of Trumpets), fast and repent for those Christians who lack faith and obedience to the Lord (Day of Atonement), and celebrate dwelling in the fullness of His glory (Feast of Tabernacles)!

Until the actual year God chooses to blow the trumpet for the real deal, we are called to continue these “dress rehearsals” to get ready. The trumpet sounds the warning for us to examine our heart… Are you ready for His return? Is our nation ready for His return? He is coming back to judge the nations and for the great harvest of souls.

When Jesus looks at the gifts and talents that had been distributed to each of us individually, will He find us using them for His glory? This question leads then into the corporate calling: Are the gifts and talents of God’s people working together in unity to bring glory and honor to His name so that the world can see He is the only True God? Are we a people who are “bondservants” of Christ, willing to surrender all to take up the cross?

Finally, the big question arises: Is this nation in which we live fulfilling its covenant plan and giving of its gifts and talents to serve the nations to honor and glorify Him by abiding in His ways? The nations will be judged, and only as believers unite in Him can we fulfill that call of one nation under God. God’s people have to be linked together to see this come to pass. This is why God is raising up a remnant to equip and unify His army for the days ahead. And this remnant is going to arise and be seen!  

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, THEN I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14).

FEAST OF TRUMPETS – “Caught Up”

Now let’s briefly take a look at the words “caught up” in 1 Thes. 4:17. These words have produced the word “rapture” in the modern Christian theology, which isn’t in the Bible.  The Greek word for “caught up” means “harpazo,” which is translated “caught away or seized.”

Indeed, all believers can be “caught up” in the Spirit with the Lord when His presence is amongst us and heaven’s reality seems to be larger than earth’s reality. But we can also be “seized” by the Lord when the Holy Spirit is calling us forth (trumpet/voice) and we draw ourselves toward Him in our hearts.  Moses gave us that example at Mt. Sinai when He went up into the thick cloud-like presence of God while the rest hid out of fear (Ex. 19:18-20).

When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, ‘Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die” (Ex. 20:18).

Whether we actually lift off the ground like Jesus did when He walked on water and was transported from the place He and the disciples were in the boat to the land across the sea,

“Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum.  And i was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them.  Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing.  So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid.  But He said to them, ‘It is I; do not be afraid.’  Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going” (John 6:16-21).

or translated like the disciple Phillip,

“Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.  But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea (Acts 8:39,40).

or we get “caught up” sitting in our living rooms worshipping and the fire, wind, and rain of the Holy Spirit “seizes our hearts,”

“I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven” (2 Cor. 12:2),

I really can’t say for certain, although all of those are possibilities. However, a cleansing and purification process must proceed any presentation of the “firstfruits remnant” who are redeemed from the earth and “caught up” before a Holy God (Rev. 14:1-5), which is why the LORD set the pattern with the Day Atonement and Feast of Tabernacles following Trumpets for a people He has chosen (Rev. 17:14).

I also know that the union with Christ is for the purpose of escorting the KING (Commander in Chief) to His kingdom here on the EARTH to reign….Not to go away with Him to stay in heaven.  

“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse.  And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True.  And in righteousness He judges and makes war…And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp work, that with it He should strike the nations.   And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron…” (Rev. 19:11,14-15).

Many misinterpret this “caught up” or rapture idea thinking we are to escape and live in heaven eternally and miss the “days of tribulation.”  But this contradicts the Disciples Prayer [called by many as the LORD’S Prayer], which IS THE BASIC BLUEPRINT OF GOD’S PLAN OF REDEMPTION (Matt. 6: 9-13).

“Thy kingdom COME, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).

God’s heart is to bring His kingdom to earth to rule, redeem, and multiply His goodness, not destroy it.  Anyone who has embraced the Lord’s sanctification process has NOT been trained by it to run away from the Lord’s battle, or to hide from the battle we are going to win.  This process trains us to follow our Commander in Chief!

God is also NOT taking Christians away so He can destroy the earth.  The earth will go through tribulation due to God’s judgment in correcting the choices believers and the non-believers have made to sin.  It will produce a “shaking” to break the evil strongholds and to set the captives free (Is. 24).  This will lead creation through a process that produces healing, life, and a revelation of His love. 

God and His army are coming so that the earth can be restored back to His glory through righteous leadership.  This is why the Bible says:

“creation eagerly waits for the revealing [unveiling, stepping forth, “catching up” of the sons of God”(Rom. 8:19).

Jesus informs us that the “last days,” before the Fall Feasts begin to go “live,” are going to be similar to the days of Noah. 

“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matt. 24:37).

Noah was never taken from the earth during the tribulation of his days. Noah was divinely protected through the flood of judgment.  It was Noah’s obedience to the Lord’s instructions to build an ark and share the news of repentance for 120 years prior to the flood that was a part of his “sanctification process.” Noah obeyed the Lord wholeheartedly.  Jesus captures the heart of Noah’s example when He said,

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38).

From the story of Lot, he was removed from Sodom, and taken to another city on the earth so he would be spared from the Lord’s judgment.  In both instances, the WICKED were removed from the earth, not the righteous.  

“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.  For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took THEM all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.  Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left (Matt. 24:37-40).

The “THEM” in the above Scripture was the WICKED, not the righteous!

The Lord even tells us in the Beatitudes in Matt 5:17 that the meek (gentle) will be blessed and inherit the earth, not be removed from it

Jesus is coming back to judge the nations, and there will be consequences for those who oppose Him. But God promises us protection, as He declared in Psalm 91, and showed us that same pattern of protection for His people in Egypt when the 10 plagues were released.

“And in that day, I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there, in order that you may know that I am the LORD in the midst of the land.  I will make a difference between My people and your people.  Tomorrow this sign shall be” (Ex. 9:22-23).

I believe the sign of the “dead in Christ” rising from the graves, and the sound and sign of Christ and His army coming will cause an alarm to ALL Christians who will then mourn.  This is because the “fear of the Lord” will be upon us, and we will understand our frailty in the presence of the Lord and recognize our need to repent. This is also why the ten days following the Feast of Trumpets are called the “Ten Days of Awe,” as Christians will be in awe that the time is at hand for the Millennium reign to begin, which means judgment will begin in the house of the Lord.

“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God” (1 Peter 4:17)?

We will all be in a state of reflection:  Are we ready? Will we be like the 5 wise Virgins in the Parable of the 10 Virgins, who had oil? Or will we be like the 5 foolish Virgins who didn’t have oil and the door was shut, unable to join those chosen for the First resurrection (Matt. 25:1-13)?  These Fall Feast “dress rehearsals” each year helps us examine our hearts so we are ready.

“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (Matt. 25:13).

FEAST OF TRUMPETS – What happens when this Feast goes “LIVE?”

When describing the Feast of Trumpets, we can refer to the prophet Joel who said it best:

“Blow 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 is coming, For it is at hand” (Joel 2:1.)

The Feast of Trumpets is a “blast of the horn” that signals an awakening of God’s people to remembrance and readiness:

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold”(Psalm 18:2).

It is also an announcement that the King is coming to gather His army to wage war against the enemy and to establish His reign on earth:

“Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God”(Rev. 19:15).

These Fall Feasts are honored and celebrated as “dress rehearsals” so our hearts are in sync with the Lord’s redemption plan.  So what happens when the Feast of Trumpets goes “live” after the sound of the trumpet?

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.  And the dead in Christ will rise first (1 Thes. 4:16).

One of the most remarkable signs that will happen when this Feast is fulfilled is that the dead in Christ will rise from the grave.  Most Christians assume ALL those who are believers that have died will rise at this resurrection. But after studying Scriptures, a different pattern emerges as we define the purpose of the two resurrections the Bible refers to:

“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the FIRST resurrection.  Over such the SECOND death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:6).

The fact that the Scripture indicates there is a first resurrection mandate that there is a second. God has a trumpet call for two occasions, and it is clear from Rev. 20 that the FIRST is for those who will reign with Him during the Millennium.

Let’s go back in the Bible and find the purpose of the blowing of the silver trumpets and see how it ties into these two resurrections.  In Numbers 10, God instructed Moses to make two trumpets from hammered silver: 

“Make two silver trumpets for yourself; you shall make them of hammered work; you shall use them for calling the congregation and for directing the movement of the camps.  When they blow both of them, all the congregation shall gather before you at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.  But if they blow only one, then the leaders, the heads of the divisions of Israel, shall gather to you”(Numbers 10:2-4).

Notice that when the Lord said to blow ONE trumpet, He was calling forth the HEADS (those chosen for rulership) to the door of the tabernacle of meeting. But when the two trumpets were blown, it was to gather ALL.

1 Cor. 15:51,52 shares Scriptures that reveal some details of Christ’s return, and the unfolding events after the trumpet is sounded:

“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 incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

Notice the Scripture above doesn’t say trumpets.  This is because the purpose of this first resurrection is to call forth those who have been chosen as “heads” (first) to reign with Christ in the Millennium.   This is also confirmed in 1 Thes. 4:16. Both Scripture references say one trumpet is blown when the dead in Christ rise.  Therefore, all those who are dead in Christ won’t arise in this first resurrection (Rev. 20:6).  Those who remain dead will rise and get their glorified bodies in the second resurrection.

The word “head” is actually the definition for the Hebrew word “Rosh” which is the same word used to describe “firstfruits.”   

The Bible makes it clear that God has set aside a “firstfruits” remnant of 144,000 who are chosen to reign with Him in the Millennium. This number is symbolic as it follows the pattern of symbolism throughout the whole Book of Revelation, and using common sense, God will need more than 144,000 in the earth to help assist Him through the Millennium reign. The Bible does make clear that ALL aren’t chosen to reign with Him during this time.

“Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads”(Rev. 14:1).

In John, Jesus did however talk about a general resurrection in which ALL who were dead, both good and evil, will be raised at the same time and hear His voice – NOT just those who are “dead in Christ” as the previous Scriptures indicated.  

“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which ALL who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth-those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation”(John 5:28,29).

The above Scripture is a picture of the SECOND resurrection that includes both believers and unbelievers.

Looking at all these Scriptures, it is evident that the FIRST resurrection is NOT the time for the resurrection of salvation.  The first resurrection marks the time Jesus is coming back, gather the 144,000, and together, rule over the nations to secure and establish His governmental authority in the earth.  

The issue of salvation is the purpose of the SECOND resurrection, which is explained in Rev. 20.

“And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened.  And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life.  And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books [The Law].  

The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them.  And they were judged, each one according to his works.  

Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire.  This is the second death.  And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:12-15).

Taking all these scriptures into account, we can conclude that the sole purpose of the FIRST is to call forth those believers who are “rewarded” with the responsibility to reign with Christ for 1,000 years (Gen. 14:18-20; Heb. 7; Rev. 20:6).

When talking to the disciples about the rewards of leaving all to follow Him, Jesus said to them that they would be repaid at the “resurrection of the just.” 

“And you [disciples who gave ALL] will be blessed, because they [the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind] cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just (Luke 14:14).

We can further conclude that Christ is referring to the FIRST resurrection since there is no reference in this passage of the SECOND, and the “just” can ONLY signify believers since no one outside of faith in Christ alone are “just” (Rom. 5:1).

The reward given at the FIRST resurrection that Christ was referring to doesn’t equate to be a more “powerful or important position” in the body of Christ. That kind of thinking is what our world thinks, so it’s hard to grasp that this doesn’t mean a person chosen that is “special” or “better than” other Christians.

On the contrary, these who are rewarded are “bondservants of Christ” like our example of the Apostles Paul and Peter, who laid their lives down to serve Christ (Rom. 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1). 

“For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake” (2Cor. 4:5).

In humility of heart, these bondservants followed His voice out of obedience to serve and faithfully steward the talents God had given them. “Bondservants” of Christ have allowed the sanctification process to crucify their flesh so that they think and act like Christ. Christ can then entrust them with His authority of rulership, which is His reward:

“For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works” (Matt. 16:27).

In the letters to the 7 Churches in the Book of Revelation, God first praises and acknowledges each Church for the things they were doing well. But He goes on to chastise each Church in the areas they were in error or had veered off course. In every letter the Lord addresses, He states that those who had an ear to hear would be rewarded when He returned, for following His instruction.  These would be known as His “Overcomers;” the ones who embraced the sanctification process and were willing to go through the tribulations of their day. Here is a list of rewards for those who OVERCOME:

  1.  “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God”(Rev. 2:7).
  2. “…He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death” (Rev. 20:2:11).
  3. “…To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat.  And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it”(Rev. 2:17).
  4. “And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations- ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’- as I also have received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star”(Rev. 2:26-28).
  5. “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels”(Rev. 3:5).
  6. “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more.  I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the NEW Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God.  And I will write on him My new name”(Rev. 3:12).
  7. “To him who overcome, I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne”(Rev. 3:21).

If you read the entire chapters of Rev. 2 and 3, the Lord makes a distinction between Christians who will overcome, and those who don’t repent but continue following their own ways.  It is important to emphasize that becoming an “overcomer” has nothing to do with salvation, for the letters were addressed to ALL who were saved by grace.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (Eph. 2:8,9).

But Christ does lay out the rewards for those who overcome through this sanctification process.  They enter into the FIRST resurrection, while the others continue on with the sanctification process, or die, and must await until the SECOND resurrection.

In the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus shares what rewards, concerning the kingdom of heaven, have to do with rulership. The man traveling to a far country in this parable is symbolic of Jesus.  He gives to each servant (Christians) talents according to their ability to steward them until He comes back.  What does He say to the servant who gained from the talents given:

“…Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you RULER over many things.  Enter into the joy of the Lord” (Matt. 25:21).

Rulership is a product of faith, obedience, and the sacrifice of self. No one bi-passes this sanctification process.   Even Jesus Christ couldn’t bi-pass the process that led Him to the cross.  But there is a “firstfruits” remnant whose hearts will be ready first at the time of Christ’s return.

Think about the difference between King Saul and King David.  Both kings served the Lord.  Both weren’t perfect leaders, nor perfectly obeyed the Lord’s commandments.  But Saul never fully surrendered his heart to the Lord. Instead, he was led more by his own ambitions, needs, and pride. David, however, was on his knees asking for the Lord’s help. David was not perfect by any means, but he was one in whom God could entrust with His anointing of rulership.  

Kingships “rewards” are a product of our choices whether we lean into God’s voice as Moses did, in obedience to His commandments, or run away and do our own thing.  Those who have learned obedience by the things they suffer will find their reward, as Christ did (Heb. 5:8).

“And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with Me, to give to every man according to his work” (Rev. 22:12).

FEAST OF TRUMPETS – Difference between the blast of the shofar and trumpet

In the Old Testament, when the seventh month of the Hebrew year arrived, the customary ram’s horn was blown to signify the sliver of the moon was spotted in the sky, which happens to be the darkest night of the month. 

The shofar was blown to announce Firstfruits, and served as a reminder and the time to honor God as the One who provides and honors His covenant, inspiring a response of thankfulness to the Lord (Ex. 23:19).  It was also a reminder to the Children of Israel of the event when God stopped Abraham from offering up Isaac as a sacrifice and instead supplied the ram from which the shofar was made (Gen. 22:13,14).

“Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a ticket by its horns.  So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.  And Abraham called the name o the place, “The-LORD-Will-Provide; and it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided”(Gen. 22:13-14).

This then became the sound to begin preparations for the monthly “Firstfruits.” 

At sundown, the commencement of the holy convocation of the Feast of Trumpets, the silver trumpet was blown to sound off the beginning of the harvest season. 

“Speak to the children of Israel, saying; ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month (Firstfruits), you shall have a Sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation” (Lev. 23:24; also found in Numbers 29:1-6).

On this “appointed” day, there were two separate types of horns signifying two events that were happening at the same time.  The ram’s horn was made from the horn of an animal, which is the shofar.  The other “horn” was made by man from silver – the trumpet.  Both the man-made trumpet and God- made shofar unite as ONE on this day of REMEMBRANCE, READINESS, and RESURRECTION.

The silver trumpet blown at sundown was to awaken to a memorial.. of what?

The Lord instructed the children of Israel to always remember the sound of the trumpet as it related to events that transpired at Mt. Sinai.  What event during that time was significant to Trumpets?

To answer that question, we have to go back to Ex. 19:5, when God proposes to the children of Israel to be His “special treasure” above all other people. The people responded in verse 8 and said “We do.”  God instructs Moses on how He wants the “marriage ceremony” to go and it happened like this:

“Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain, and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled (Ex. 19:16).  

Moses brought the people (bride) out to meet God (Ex. 19:17).

“Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire….And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice.  THEN the LORD came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain.  And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up” (Ex. 19:18-20).

Jesus shares a prophetic proclamation of the future event that will take place when He returns. The same symbolism of the thundering’s and lightnings are given; the thunder of HIs glory flashing from the east to the west as He comes with the desire to join His Bride:

“For as the lightning comes form the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matt. 24:27).

God wanted His people to always remember the Covenant of Marriage then, so we will understand how the Covenant is redeemed up ahead through Christ.  As the children of Israel waited at the base of Mt. Sinai and the Lord descended and came down to the people in the form of a cloud, lightning, thundering, fire and VOICE, it was a moment of matrimony. (I wish I could have been there!)

When Moses went up the mountain by himself afterwards, it was symbolic of Christ ascending and presenting Himself as the “Firstfruits.” 

“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep…..But each one in his own order:  Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming” (1Cor. 15:20,23).

We too anticipate the time when we will be able to follow Christ’s example and be able to go before the throne in heaven and come back to earth in a glorified body.  The Feast of Trumpets marks the beginning of the fulfillment of that promise of resurrection, followed by another “wedding ceremony” of the Bride (Church) with the Groom (Christ).

It is worth noting that in Deut. 4:25-40, we get an account of how the children of Israel responded to the voice of God. They trembled out of fear, hid, and asked Moses to stand before them.

In Ex. 20:19-21 it says:

“Then they said to Moses, ‘You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.’  And Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear, for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may no sin.’  So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was.”

Today, we have had Christ make a way for the Lord’s voice to be heard again through the Holy Spirit. Believers are faced with the same choice now that the children of Israel had: to draw near to His voice as Moses did, or hide and have another stand in the gap and become the voice of God (religious leaders).

I am certainly not saying it’s not important to hear what religious leaders have to share.  But we should not lean on them first to hear the Lord for our own lives, or think religious leaders are the only ones who hear from the Lord.

We also learn from this blueprint in Exodus that believers who draw near to the Lord’s voice and His presence, as did Moses, will be “caught up” to meet God in the “air” and come back with Him to reign in the Millennium.

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and dine with him, and he with Me.  To him who overcomes, I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches”(Rev. 3:20-22).

The Trumpet signals to the Bride to awaken because the Groom has determined it is time to for the ceremony of union to begin.  Have you noticed that the angels in the book of Revelation use trumpets, not shofars, to sound the alarm?  Those who hear and are ready will run towards the Lord.  Those who aren’t will want to hide.  The Day of Atonement that follows after the Feast of Trumpets sifts this all out.

FEAST OF TRUMPETS – Overall Meaning

The Fall Feasts of the LORD begin this year at sundown on September 26th. They begin with the Feast of Trumpets:

“Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon, At the full moon, on our solemn feast day.  For this is a statute for Israel, a law of the God of Jacob”(Psalm 81:3,4).

So what is the significance of the Feast of Trumpets? The literal Hebrew translation is “a memorial of blasts.” In Hebrew, this Feast is called “Yom Teruah.”  Yom means day, but Teruah doesn’t mean trumpets.  It means a shout or blast of war, alarm or joy. So literally translated, this is a Feast that is a “Day of Blasting or Shouting.”

The Feast of Trumpets is the ONLY Feast that is celebrated on Firstfruits, tying its meaning with “firsts” and making this day the “granddaddy” of all Firstfruits celebrations. It is believed by Biblical historians that Adam was born on this day. It has also been known by the Jews as the “Anniversary of Creation.”

The Feast of Trumpets is celebrated in the Hebrew month of Tishrei. Tishrei was originally recognized as the first month of the calendar the Hebrews followed, due to the epic beginnings just described. 

However, in God’s master plan for redemption, He needed to create a separate, but intimate, calendar with the people He was in covenant with so that they could become His SIGN, to the nations, that He was the One True God.  

This special covenant calendar was purposed to establish a pattern, purpose, timing, and union with God that set the Israelites apart from all other nations.  But it also was a witness of the sign of the “Coming One” (Jesus), as God would use the calendar to fulfill His prophetic promises.

It’s worth mentioning again that the Hebrew Covenant Calendar was created when God spoke to Moses and Aaron in Ex. 12:2:

“This month (Abib/Nisan) shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first of the year to you” (Ex. 12:2). God followed this commandment with His instructions for Passover.  Afterwards, He declared, “So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations.  You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance”(Ex. 12:14).

Later on when the children of Israel arrived at Mt. Sinai, God gave instruction for all 7 Feasts after He sealed His Covenant with them and set them apart from all the other nations. The month of Tishrei was now changed to be the seventh month in the Hebrew calendar, and the first day of the harvest (blessed) season and the month in which all the Fall Feasts were celebrated.

“Therefore, all the men of Israel assembled with King Solomon at the feast in the month of Ethanim (Tishrei), which is the seventh month” (1 Kings 8:2).

There is much confusion today as to when the Hebrew Covenant calendar starts because the Jews today emphasize celebrating the beginning of their civil year in the month of Tishrei. Today, Jews celebrate the first day of Tishrei as Rosh Hashanah; translated as “the ‘head/first’ of the year.”   But if God said that Abib/Nisan was to be the first of the year, why are the two months still recognized as first?

To find the answers as to why this is, we can go back to Biblical history when the twelve tribes of Israel were split into two kingdoms after King Solomon’s reign (1 Kings 11).  Subsequently, the Israelites were divided into the Southern Kingdom, also known as the House of Judah; and Northern Kingdom, also known as the House of Israel (1 Kings 11). The House of Judah consisted of the two tribes, one being the tribe of Judah where the Jews originated, and the other the tribe of Benjamin (so that David My servant would have a light in Jerusalem when the Messiah) (1 King 11:36).

After being in captivity, the House of Judah adopted some Babylonian ways, and added them to their Jewish traditions.  One of those changes was the “resurrection” of importance of the Jewish Civil year again in the first and second century because of the writings that were compiled in what is known as the “Mishnah.” Sometime between the finality of the writing of the Torah by Ezra, and the creation and codification of the Mishnah, the autumn Civil Calendar New Year regained acceptance by the Jews, and its relevance was incorporated into the Feast of Trumpets celebration.  The Hebraic Covenant calendar, which God created for His covenantal purpose and celebration, was not intertwined with the calendar the Lord had separated His people out of.  The first of Tishrei took on a double meaning, which makes is confusing. 

The Northern Kingdom (House of Israel), made up of the remaining ten tribes, originally kept the Ecclesiastical (Priest) year that God commanded them to follow in Ex. 12 as well…. Somewhat.  But over time, after the House of Israel was captured by the Assyrians and scattered all over the nations, their heritage, name, blueprint of Covenant (including following the Hebrew Covenant Calendar), was altered or omitted because they forgot they were God’s people, even though God promises He would never forget them.  

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb?  Surely, they (House of Israel) may forget, yet I will not forget you” (Is. 49:15).

“Forgetting” was a part of the chastisement of God, which is why when Jesus speaks of his original mission for the disciples:

 “These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying, ‘Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans.  But go rather to the lost tribes of Israel’” (Matt. 10:5,6).  

By the time the Mishnah was created in Babylon, and its writings adopted as ” Jewish tradition,” the House of Israel was long gone, having scattered through the Caucasian mountains, into Europe and the “isles” (which was later known as Great Britain.) 

Technically, both calendars are correct, because both calendars exist.  But God commanded Moses and His chosen nation to follow His new calendar in Exodus 12, and for those wanting to recognize, honor, and be a SIGN of the redemption process that God has determined, honoring the Hebrew Covenant Calendar should continue to trump any calendar, including the Gregorian calendar most of our world today recognizes.

The school calendar versus Gregorian calendar is a parallel example of two calendars followed during the same time, but the Gregorian begins on January 1st, while the school calendar starts in September.  The Gregorian calendar is the one the world follows, while the school calendar is for a specified people who are signed up for education, which is their focus. 

Because the Jews returned to honoring the Jewish Civil calendar with their Feast celebration, it brought about confusion that continues to exist today when celebrating the Feast of Trumpets. This is perhaps one reason why the Jews couldn’t see and accept Christ as the Savior when He began His ministry, because the adoption of honoring the two calendars caused them to anticipate a conquering king FIRST rather a sacrificial lamb.  

God created the Covenant Calendar in Ex. 12 to “set apart” His Covenant promises of how Christ would become our High Priest FIRST, and our King of kings second when He returned to the earth.  If we keep our focus on God’s purpose in creating this calendar, we will not be confused or blinded with God’s prophetic timing of redemption.

“…You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; For You were slain and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation. And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:9,10).

So let’s now get back to the simplicity of the purpose of the Feast of Trumpets, which is to awaken us with a blast of the trumpet.  What are we awaking to?

The trumpet has many significant meanings in the Bible.  

The trumpet was blown to signal war against the adversary (Josh. 6:5; Jer. 51:27; 1 Cor. 14:8) 

“When you go to war in your land against the enemy who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the Lord your God, and you will be saved from your enemies (Numbers 10:9).

It was also used to announce the king (2 Kings 9:13; 11:14).

“Then Zadok the priest took a horn of oil from the tabernacle and anointed Solomon.  And they blew the horn, and all the people said, “Long live King Solomon!” (1 Kings 1:39).

The trumpet was the sound to wake up the Church (Rev. 1:10).

“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet.”

All of these reasons (and there are many more) of why the trumpet is used are all united together on the Feast of Trumpets. This “dress rehearsal” shares it’s purpose of becoming the signal (/sign/proclamation/alarm/shout) to awaken us, to announce war against the adversary, to announce the return of the King, and to summon God’s people who are IN covenant with Him.  And when this Feast goes “LIVE,” it will mark the beginning of the Millennium.