The Book of Life and the Feast of Trumpets?

By COGwriter

In the Continuing Church of God (CCOG), as well as many other Church of God (COG) groups which had origins in the old Worldwide Church of God, we keep various biblical holy days, including the Feast of Trumpets, called Rosh Hashanah by most Jews (two sermon videos of related interest would be The Last Trumpet and the Book of Life and The Trumpet Release). 'Messianic Jews' and some others also keep it.

The Feast of Trumpets is on October 3 in 2016, September 21 in 2017, September 10 in 2018, September 30 in 2019, September 19 in 2020, September 7 in 2012, September 26 in 2022, September 16 in 2023, and October 3 in 2024 (its observance begins the evening before the Roman calendar date and runs until sunset on the Roman calendar dates shown).

Does this Holy Day have any applications for Christians? Did the ancient Jewish teachers know something about this day that most who profess Christ do not seem to realize?

The Feast of Trumpets (called by Jews, Rosh Hoshanah) begins the evening of the first of day of the seventh month of the biblical calendar (a month that almost always begins in September on the Roman calendar--it is observed from sunset October 2-sunset October 3 in 2016; For more Holy Day dates check out Holy Day Calendar.

People in the COG have long kept it.

One COG leader, Herbert W. Armstrong, taught:

"AND THE Lord spake . . . saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath, a memorial [not a shadow] of blowing of trumpets, an HOLY CONVOCATION. Ye shall do no servile work therein . . ." (Leviticus 23:23-25).

Here is pictured to us that next blessed event in God's redemptive plan, when Christ shall COME again, in clouds with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God (I Thessalonians 4:14-17). It shall be "at the last trump for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall [all] be changed" (I Corinthians 15:52).

Unless Christ returns to resurrect the dead, we would never gain eternal life if there is no resurrection "then also those which are fallen asleep in Christ have perished" (I Corinthians 15:18).

Christ directly intervenes in world affairs at the seventh or the last trump (Revelation 11:15-19). A trumpet is a symbol of war. He comes in a time of worldwide war when the nation are angry! As soon as the work of gathering in the firstfruits (pictured by Pentecost) is completed at the end of this present age, then Christ will begin to set up again the tabernacle of David (Acts 15:16) to set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people (Isaiah 11:11) to search out and to find His lost sheep that the ministers of the churches have failed to search out and save during this period (Ezekiel 34:1-14).

Notice exactly when this takes place! "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they [Israel] shall come which were ready to perish...and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem" (Isaiah 27:13).

When will Israel be regathered? At the sound of the trump at the Second Coming of Christ. Because the churches have forgotten the Festival of Trumpets, many think that the return of a part of the Jews to the Holy Land and the setting up of a nation called Israel now is the fulfillment of this prophecy!

Christ's direct intervention in world affairs will be the next event in the plan of redemption. (Armstrong HW. Pagan Holidays- or God's Holy Days-Which?).

The Feast of Trumpets certainly points to the blowing of trumpets and the Bible shows a variety of prophetic events will accompany the blasts of various trumpets.

Is there any relevance between the Feast of Trumpets, the Book of Life, and Christianity? This article will attempt to address that issue.

The Old Testament and Feast of Trumpets

The Hebrew scriptures state:

2 The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts...

24 In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation (Leviticus 23:2,24, NKJV throughout except as noted).

1 'And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work. For you it is a day of blowing the trumpets. 2 You shall offer a burnt offering as a sweet aroma to the Lord: one young bull, one ram, and seven lambs in their first year, without blemish. 3 Their grain offering shall be fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah for the bull, two-tenths for the ram, 4 and one-tenth for each of the seven lambs; 5 also one kid of the goats as a sin offering, to make atonement for you; 6 besides the burnt offering with its grain offering for the New Moon, the regular burnt offering with its grain offering, and their drink offerings, according to their ordinance, as a sweet aroma, an offering made by fire to the Lord. (Numbers 29:1-6)

The blowing of the trumpets term is teruw'ah (Strong's #8643). The Jewish Bible translates that word as shofar there and a Tanakh version says it is a horn. In Psalm 81, the actual word shofar (Strong's #7782) is used:

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

This Psalm is traditionally considered for the Feast of Trumpets by Jews.

4 They also kept the Feast of Tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings in the number required by ordinance for each day. 5 Afterwards they offered the regular burnt offering, and those for New Moons and for all the appointed feasts of the Lord that were consecrated, and those of everyone who willingly offered a freewill offering to the Lord. 6 From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord, although the foundation of the temple of the Lord had not been laid. (Ezra 3:4-6)

(Note: Because animal sacrifices are past in Christ per Hebrews 10:3-10, we Christians do not offer those--we are to offer ourselves as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1). However traditionally an offering is taken up on this day consistent with what the Apostle Paul taught in 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, as well as Deuteronomy 16:16 as Ezra is tying the first day of the seventh month in with the Feast of Tabernacles.)

There is an inscription in the ruins on the area known as the Temple Mount that somewhat points to where the trumpets were usually blown in Jerusalem (for more details, see Place of Trumpeting in Jerusalem). In our household, we traditionally have had the youngest child blow a trumpet at the start of this Holy Day as well as throughout it.

The seventh month is called Ethanim in the Bible in 1 Kings 8:2:

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

This month is normally called Tishri by the Jews as that was the name used when they were in Babylonian captivity.

Te Feast of Trumpets is referred to as the first of Tishri in some Jewish literature.

Although the Jews now call it Rosh Hoshanah, that was probably not its original name:

"Rosh Hashana, which literally means head of the year" {it was} "not called Rosh Hashanah until Talmudic times" (Kramer, Amy J. Rosh Hashana Origins. Copyright © 1998-1999 Everything Jewish, Inc. http://www.everythingjewish.com/RoshH/RH_origins.htm 9/16/04).

(The time of the primary development of the Talmud was 70-500 A.D.)

Since the terms 'head' and 'year' are not in the Old Testament passages about it, it appears that the COG term for it (Feast of Trumpets) appears to be more biblically-based that the relatively-new Jewish term 'Rosh Hashanah' (which has numerous spellings).

According to current Jewish tradition:

After Rosh Hashanah services, as the congregants leave the synagogue they say to each other... "May you be inscribed in the Book of Life"" (The Jewish Holiday of Rosh Hashanah. High Holy Days on the Net. http://www.holidays.net/highholydays/rosh.htm accessed 9/21/16).

The prevalent practice among Ashkenazi Jews is “L’Shana Tova Ti’kateivu v’Tekhateimu,” “You should be written and sealed for a good year.” This is often shortened to simply “Shana Tova,” “a good year.” This greeting expresses a basic hope we all have on Rosh Hashanah — that we be inscribed in the Book of Life for another good year. Other greeting customs also use the metaphor of the Book of Life to convey the essence of the holiday, but use it in a different way.

Similar to the Ashkenazi custom, Kurdish Jews greet each other with a variation on this theme, saying: “T’kateiv b’sefer chaim tovim,” “You should be written in the book of good life.” Instead of focusing on a “good year,” the Kurdish greeting emphasizes a “good life.”

Rabbi Abraham Danzig, writing in 18th century Vilna, records his Rosh Hashanah greeting as “T’kateiv v’Tekhatem l’alter l’chaim tovim,” “You should be written and sealed immediately for a good life.” Rabbi Danzig references a midrash that tzaddikim, righteous people, are immediately written in the Book of Life. (Peltz M, Rabbi. What is in a Rosh Hashanah greeting? Haaretz, September 17, 2012. http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/rabbis-round-table/what-is-in-a-rosh-hashanah-greeting-1.465357 viewed 09/10/14)

Note: The term 'midrash' refers to Jewish interpretation of a commentary or scripture.

The following is from the Jewish Federation of North America:

There is a view put forth by the rabbis in the Talmud that the day of Rosh Hashanah coincides with the sixth day of creation, when humanity was created. According to this view, Rosh Hashanah becomes the birthday of all peoples, and of course, one celebrates a birthday.

Nonetheless, according to this interpretation, the day on which humanity was created is the same day on which it sinned and was judged. Adam and Eve were formed, given life, ate of the forbidden fruit, called to account for this act, and consequently exiled from the Garden of Eden, all on the same day. These events can be thought of as the model upon which we learn many of the themes and theology for Rosh Hashanah. It is a day to celebrate our creation, but also a day of accounting and judgment for our actions. One of the consequences of Adam and Eve's sin was the introduction of death or mortality into the world. The stakes are quite high in the original model and they remain equally high in the Jewish world's approach to the day.

On Rosh Hashanah, we relate to God as the Ultimate Judge. The Book of Life is opened before the Divine Being and we become advocates for our personal inscription into this book. We review the choices we have made over the past year, our actions and our intentions, as we attempt to honestly evaluate ourselves. Ultimately we hope our names are inscribed in the Book of Life, an image that speaks clearly of securing our destinies in a positive way for the coming year. It is traditional to greet each other with the wish that the person be inscribed in the Book of Life for the coming year. It is significant that God's decisions are influenced by each person's actions and intentions.

Repentance is a key theme of Rosh Hashanah. While evaluating the past year, each person engages in avenues of repentant behavior that can affect the Divine decree. True repentance can take several forms, including recognition of error, intent to correct ourselves, and, if possible, acts of repentance to follow. These actions allow us to participate in and influence our own destinies.

With the model of Adam and Eve before us, we remember that the consequences of eating the forbidden fruit included exile from the Garden of Eden, toiling the earth for food, and the labor of bearing and raising children. Likewise, the destinies that God decrees for the coming year may include changes in livelihood, fertility, and family harmony. For example, whether or not we prosper financially in the coming year is included in the Divine decrees. This scenario may seem to raise questions of predetermination, i.e., if all is decided on Rosh Hashanah, then what difference do our actions make? However, the element of partnering in our destiny comes to the fore with the intention and action of repentance. The idea is not to simply live out the Divine decree, but to mitigate and ultimately change it in our favor. (Rosh Hashanah Theology and Themes. The Jewish Federation of North America. http://www.jewishfederations.org/page.aspx?id=46318 viewed 09/10/14)

(Note: The Bible does NOT teach that Adam and Eve sinned on the first day they were made--while commentators, Jewish and otherwise, sometimes have points, all should be careful to not rely on them above inspired scripture.)

Because they do not recognize that it is only the elect/firstborn that are raised at the last trumpet, the Jews are somewhat confused on this point. It is not totally clear how or when the Jews tied together the "Book of Life" and the Feast of Trumpets (a Talmud quote later in this article shows that they did some time ago), but they did.

From my reading in the Talmud, it appears that since many Jewish leaders believed that God created the world on the Feast of Trumpets (certain Jewish teachers taught that the creation was most likely in the Fall, rather than in the Spring because in Genesis 1:11 when God states, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit," this would be the Fall, for that is when there is both grass and fruit on trees), that the Feast of Trumpets symbolized the beginning of creation, and hence by, inference, life.

The Talmud itself essentially concludes that the fact of the three different trumpet blasts in Numbers 10:1-10, represents three books, one of them being the Book of Life. However, it appears that more than three trumpet blasts are mentioned, so somehow they must be consolidating them.

As far as Jewish interpreation, notice also the following:

Book of Life

I heard the idea that during the High Holidays, God writes one's name in a book. Where does this concept come from, and how can this concept bring meaning to the holidays for me?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

The Talmud . . . says that on Rosh Hashana, God inscribes everyone's name into one of three books. The righteous go into the Book of Life, the evil go into the Book of Death, and those in-between have judgment suspended until Yom Kippur.

In actuality, the vast majority of us are neither totally good nor bad. We're more like 50/50, so we have a few more days until Yom Kippur to tip the scales. That's why the Code of Jewish Law recommends going out of our way to do extra mitzvot during this time. ...

So to ensure getting into the Book of Life, we need something really dramatic. For example, someone who sincerely chooses to take on Jewish observance has a 1,000-ton weight going for him. The act of coming full circle to Torah is a rare type of decision that can transform you into a different person.

Of course, wherever you're holding, it's important to do as much as you can. Don't gossip, show respect to your parents, eat kosher food. Whatever you can do, add to it. But what we're really looking for is the mega-ton weights. Look for breakthroughs - the one major decision that can truly change you. (Book of Life. Ask the Rabbi. http://www.aish.com/atr/Book_of_Life.html viewed 09/10/14)

So, basically Jews believe they need to be stricter about laws and traditions (the 613 mitzvots) so they can make it. But that is not what the Bible teaches.

The first biblical allusion to the Book of Life appears to be Exodus 32:32-34:

"Yet now, if You will forgive their sin--but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written."

And the LORD said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book. Now therefore, go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Behold, My Angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit for punishment, I will visit punishment upon them for their sin."

Moses knew that he was mentioned in this book. It also appears from the above passage that God is speaking both about a book and a day of punishment.

The apparently same book is mentioned in Psalm 69:27-28 where both concepts are also discussed,

Charge them with crime upon crime; do not let them share in your salvation. May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous (NIV).

Furthermore, the same book may be mentioned in three other Psalms:

Then I said, "Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart." (Psalms 40:7-8, NKJV).

You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book? (Psalm 56:8, NKJV).

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them (Psalm 139:16, NKJV).

In Malachi 3:16 it states:

Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, And the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the LORD And who meditate on His name.

These verses show that those that fear the LORD are mentioned in a book, but those that are not righteous are not in it.

In Isaiah 27:13 it is written:

So it shall be in that day: The great trumpet will be blown; They will come, who are about to perish in the land of Assyria, And they who are outcasts in the land of Egypt, And shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.

These passages appear to be referring to the last trumpet-the one signalling the return of Christ and the establishing of the Kingdom of God.

Perhaps it should be mentioned that the type of trumpet involved with the Feast of Trumpets in the Old Testament, as well as with most alarms for battle and judgments is often the Hebrew term, showphar, more commonly spelled shofar. This type of trumpet is some type of animal horn (normally some type of ram).

Below is a statue of someone blowing a shofar:

Blowing of a Shofar

There are other trumpets mentioned in various verses such as a yowbel (in Exodus 19:13, which could be either silver or a ram's horn) and the frequently mentioned chatsotserah (Numbers 10:2, which was probably always metal) but they seemed to have more instrumental use, though sometimes they were also used for alarm.

Seventh Year of Land Rest and Debt Release

At the end of every seven years, there was a period of land rest and debt release that begin with the Feast of Trumpets.

The first day of the seventh month (Ethanim/Tishri) was considered the beginning of the civil year, similar to how the first month (Nisan) was considered to be the beginning of God's sacred year (cf. Exodus 12:2). The beginning of each month for ancient Israel was to be marked with the blowing of trumpets per Numbers 10:10.

Every seven years there was a rest for the land--starting with the first year they came in the land (2013 is the 'first year' for the Continuing Church of God to hold its own Feast of Trumpets)--and every seven years thereafter:

1 And the Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying, 2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a sabbath to the Lord. 3 Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit; 4 but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the Lord. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. 5 What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine, for it is a year of rest for the land. 6 And the sabbath produce of the land shall be food for you: for you, your male and female servants, your hired man, and the stranger who dwells with you, 7 for your livestock and the beasts that are in your land — all its produce shall be for food. (Leviticus 25:1-7)

10 "Six years you shall sow your land and gather in its produce, 11 but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave, the beasts of the field may eat. In like manner you shall do with your vineyard and your olive grove. (Exodus 23:10-11)

This was also the time of release of debts and was sometimes called the year of release:

1 "At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. 2 And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the Lord's release. 3 Of a foreigner you may require it; but you shall give up your claim to what is owed by your brother, 4 except when there may be no poor among you; for the Lord will greatly bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance — 5 only if you carefully obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe with care all these commandments which I command you today. 6 For the Lord your God will bless you just as He promised you; you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow; you shall reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over you. (Deuteronomy 15:1-6)

There were also other admonitions to not be stingy about lending to your brethren prior to the year of release:

7 "If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, 8 but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs. 9 Beware lest there be a wicked thought in your heart, saying, 'The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand,' and your eye be evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing, and he cry out to the Lord against you, and it become sin among you. 10 You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand. 11 For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, 'You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.' (Deuteronomy 15:7-11)

So, the Feast of Trumpets was showing that debt would be forgiven. Christians are to forgive debts as they want theirs forgiven per Jesus' words in Matthew 6:12 (Young's Literal Translation). And the law was to be read at the Feast of Tabernacles that year:

10 And Moses commanded them, saying: "At the end of every seven years, at the appointed time in the year of release, at the Feast of Tabernacles, 11 when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 12 Gather the people together, men and women and little ones, and the stranger who is within your gates, that they may hear and that they may learn to fear the Lord your God and carefully observe all the words of this law, 13 and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land which you cross the Jordan to possess." (Deuteronomy 31:10-13)

Also, slaves/bondservants that were brethren were to be granted their freedom that year of release if they wanted it (Deuteronomy 15:12-18). Thus, there seems to be a foretaste of the millennium here, which is a time when all will be better able to prosper (see also Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?).

This year of release was apparently recorded as being observed in the Book of Nehemiah:

1 Now all the people gathered together as one man in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded Israel. 2 So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month. 3 Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. (Nehemiah 8:1-3)

28 Now the rest of the people — the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the Nethinim, and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the Law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, everyone who had knowledge and understanding — 29 these joined with their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse and an oath to walk in God's Law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our Lord, and His ordinances and His statutes: 30 We would not give our daughters as wives to the peoples of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons; 31 if the peoples of the land brought wares or any grain to sell on the Sabbath day, we would not buy it from them on the Sabbath, or on a holy day; and we would forego the seventh year's produce and the exacting of every debt. (Nehemiah 10:28-31)

Ezra and Nehemiah restored some of what the children of Israel lost; we in the Continuing Church of God are restoring much of what the COG has lost.

Here is what one Protestant commentary mentions about the seventh year of release, followed by comments in the Jewish Encyclopedia:

The law of Moses laid a great deal of stress upon the sabbath, the sanctification of which was the earliest and most ancient of all divine institutions, designed for the keeping up of the knowledge and worship of the Creator among men; that law not only revived the observance of the weekly sabbath, but, for the further advancement of the honour of them, added the institution of a sabbatical year: In the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, v. 4. And hence the Jews collect that vulgar tradition that after the world has stood six thousand years (a thousand years being to God as one day) it shall cease, and the eternal sabbath shall succeed—a weak foundation on which to build the fixing of that day and hour which it is God's prerogative to know. This sabbatical year began in September, at the end of harvest, the seventh month of their ecclesiastical year: (Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, Leviticus 25:1-7. PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.)

The duration of the shemittah year was from autumn to autumn, beginning with New-Year's Day; but as a precaution against any infringement of the Law, the Rabbis extended the time and prohibited sowing and planting thirty days before Rosh ha-Shanah. (SABBATICAL YEAR AND JUBILEE. Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12967-sabbatical-year-and-jubilee viewed 08/07/13):

Note: I never accepted Harbinger author Jonathan Kahn's belief that the Shemitah was from Trumpets 2014 to Trumpets 2015 (and denounced him for his inaccuracies there; e.g. 6000 years up and Jesus to return in 2016?).

In modern times, Jews consider that Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the civil year, and thus that would be consistent with the seven year land rest beginning on the first day of the month of Tishri, the day Christians of the Church of God tend to call the Feast of Trumpets. 2013 may or may not have been such a year (see also The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time to Learn the Law). The following suggests that it may have been as Josiah's reign was believed to have began in 641 BC (641-18= 623 BC; which could make the next Jubilee year 2028, which is theoretically possible; to see a non-COG source also points to 2028 for the Jubilee go to The Day of Atonement--Its Christian Significance):

The First and the Second Temple, the Talmud says, were destroyed "on the closing of the Sabbatical year" ("Moẓa'e Shebi'it"). The sixteenth jubilee occurred in the eighteenth year of Josiah, who reigned thirty-one years; the remaining thirteen years of his reign, together with the eleven years of those of Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin and the eleven years of that of Zedekiah (II Kings xxv.), fix the first exilic year as the thirty-sixth year of the jubilee cycle, or the twenty-fifth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin, or fourteen years from the destruction of the Holy City ('Ar. and 'Ab. Zarah l.c.; see Rashi ad loc.). (SABBATICAL YEAR AND JUBILEE. Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12967-sabbatical-year-and-jubilee viewed 08/10/13)

The eighteenth year of Josiah's reign is mentioned in 2 Kings 22 & 23, and though it discusses keeping the law it does not specifically record that a Jubilee was kept.

While one or more Jewish calculations seem to possibly support 2013 as the official year of release for all, there are many other calculations that differ, so this is not completely certain. Since the Jews have certain errors in the calculation of years (Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?), and many other sources come up with differing dates, this cannot currently accepted with certainty. What is certain is that God says that the law should be read every seven years at the Feast of Tabernacles and this is what happened at Continuing Church of God Feast of Tabernacles' Sites in 2013. Am I completely certain 2013 must have been the 'Shemitah' year? Well while that can be debated, I am certain that not proclaiming the year of release and reading the law every seven years is wrong, and 2013 seemed consistent with God's timing, and it very well may been. This is expected again at the Feast of Tabernacles in 2020 (see also The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time to Learn the Law).

Irrespective of which calendar year is the seventh year, Christians who observe the year of release do not plant gardens during that year (since there is debate on which year is the correct one, many base this period upon their baptism year) and forgive other Christians of financial and other debts, if any. Some add other practices.

It may be of interest to note that although many of those in the Church of God base third tithe year calculations on this seven year cycle, and farmers have been encouraged to keep the land sabbath every seven years, the idea to teach the law every seven years as the Bible teaches to do at the Feast of Tabernacles (Deuteronomy 31:10-13) or proclaim the year of release (Deuteronomy 31:10) has been overlooked and is something that almost none do. Although some accept that non-biblical tradition, we in the Continuing Church of God do not. We are striving to fulfill what the Bible teaches and proclaim it.

As far as a release goes, it appears that it is at the last trumpet when the Anglo-descendant captives of Assyria will be released per Isaiah 27:13 (see also Will the Anglo-Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves?).

The Bible is clear that the good news is that Jesus will return with the sound of a trumpet (1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16) and call for the return of the Anglo-peoples and others who were made slaves. Christ will establish His millennial kingdom and the world, including the Anglo-peoples, will be able to live in peace and prosperity.

Thus, there appear to be are multiple releases that the Feast of Trumpets seems to be referring to.

Some Jewish Practices in the 21st Century

While the Christian view of the Feast of Trumpets has to do with prophetic judgments, the Book of Life, and the return of Jesus Christ, Judaism has a variety of views and traditions about it (other than the Book of Life and those previously mentioned).

Here are some:

1. During Rosh Hashanah, majority of time is spent in the synagogue, a Jewish or Samaritan house of prayer, as no work is allowed on Rosh Hashanah.

2. One of the major synagogue rituals for Rosh Hashanah is the blowing of the "shofar."...

3. According to legends, Rosh Hashanah was the day when Adam was created out of clay. It was also the birthday of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

4. Unlike other holidays in Jewish faith, Rosh Hashanah does not involve fasting... On Rosh Hashanah, many Jews follow a custom called "tashlich" (casting off), in which they walk to a river or stream and symbolically cast off their sins committed during the previous year by throwing pieces of bread into the water. http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/379347/20120831/rosh-hashanah-2012-jewish-new-year-september.htm

Some of the above are facts, while others are traditions, which may or may not correct, but I thought might be of interest to some readers. Perhaps it should be noted that although the Bible is not clear about the date that Adam was created, connecting all-the-dots shows that Jesus was most likely born in the Fall. After the Apostle Paul mentions that "first Adam," he refers to Jesus as the "last Adam" in 1 Corinthians 15:45 and a few verses later he mentions the last trumpet (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). Again, that is not proof that Adam was created on the Feast of Trumpets, but may suggest a possible connection.

The fact that some Jews symbolically cast off their sins through going to the water, sounds a bit like spiritual debt release as well as almost touching on baptism.

Here is more information on shofars and the Jewish view of this day (note the links will allow you to hear the actually blowing of shofar blasts):

A shofar is an instrument made from the horn of a ram or other kosher animal. It was used in ancient Israel to announce the New Moon (Rosh Chodesh) and call people together. It was also blown on Rosh Hashanah ... signifying both the need to wake up to the call to repentance, and in connection with the portion read on the second day of Rosh Hashanah, the Binding of Isaac (Genesis, chapter 22) in which Abraham sacrifices a ram in place of his son, Isaac.

Today, the shofar is featured most prominently in the Rosh Hashanah morning services. It is considered a commandment to hear the shofar blown.

Before the shofar is blown a special blessing is said:

RoshHashanna_Blessing_1.gif (6616 bytes)

I praise God, who is King and Ruler over all,
who commanded us to hear the sound of the shofar.

There are four different shofar blasts:

The Tekiah: the "blast," one long blast with a clear tone. Click to hear it!

The Shevarim: a "broken," sighing sound of three short calls. Click to hear it!

The Teruah: the "alarm," a rapid series of nine or more very short notes. Click to hear it!

The Tekiah Gedolah: "the great Tekiah," a single unbroken blast, held as long as possible. Click to hear it!

There is a great deal of symbolism tied in with the legal requirements for what constitutes a proper shofar. The shofar of Rosh Hashanah, whose purpose it is to rouse the Divine in the listener, may not be constructed of an artificial instrument. It must be an instrument in its natural form and naturally hollow, through whom sound is produced by human breath, which God breathes into human beings. This pure, and natural sound, symbolizes the lives it calls Jews to lead. What is more, the most desirable shofar is the bent horn of a ram. The ram reminds one of Abraham's willing sacrifice of that which was most precious to him. The curve in the horn mirrors the contrition of the one who repents. (http://www.templesanjose.org/JudaismInfo/faq/shofar.htm viewed 09/19/14)

So, the Jews do realize that the shofar is intended to get people's attention and that people need to repent.

Jews tend to blow it 100 times:

Question:

Why do we blow the shofar so many times on Rosh Hashanah?

Answer:

There are different customs as to how many times the shofar is blown on Rosh Hashanah. In most communities, the shofar is blown one hundred times. http://www.chabad.org/holidays/JewishNewYear/template_cdo/aid/746659/jewish/Why-do-we-blow-the-shofar-so-many-times.htm viewed 09/19/14

It has become a widespread custom to sound the shofar one hundred times on Rosh Hashanah - including tekiot, shevarim and teruot. These hundred sounds are considered symbolic of the one hundred and one letters contained in the lament of Sisera's mother as she awaited her son's return from the battlefield as recorded in the Song of Devorah (Judges, 4).

Although Jews normally blow a shofar 100 times, that is a tradition and not biblical command. http://www.chabad.org/holidays/JewishNewYear/template_cdo/aid/4387/jewish/100-Sounds.htm viewed 09/19/14

Some Jewish Points and CCOG Comments on the First Day of the Seventh Month

Let’s look at seven points from an article titled The Rosh Hashanah Guide for the Perplexed, 2014 (September 24, 2014. http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/09/24/the-rosh-hashanah-guide-for-the-perplexed-2014/) which is intended to give an explanation to Jews about the current Jewish meaning of the day.

Here is Jewish point one:

1. Rosh Hashanah is a universal, stock-taking, renewal, and hopeful holiday, celebrated on the 6th‎ day of The Creation, which produced the first human being, Adam.

The Bible states that on the first day of the seventh month on the biblical calendar, there will be “a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation” (Leviticus 23:23-24).  The idea that this coincides with the sixth day of creation is a view put forth by certain rabbis in the Talmud.  The Talmud is basically a book of traditions written between 70 – 500 A.D.

Certain Jewish teachers taught that the creation was most likely in the Fall, rather than in the Spring, because in Genesis 1:11 when God states, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit,” this would be the Fall, for that is when there is both grass and fruit on trees. The creation probably was in the Fall, but Genesis 1:3-4 more likely was the first day of the seventh month as it is called the first day than when humans were created (Genesis 1:24-31), but that seventh month designation is not certain from the Bible.

Here is Jewish point two:

2.  Rosh means, in Hebrew, ”beginning,” “first,” “head,” “chief.” The Hebrew spelling of Rosh (ראש) is the root of the Hebrew word for Genesis (בראשית), which is the first word in the Bible.

While that is interesting, as mentioned earlier, it should be understood that the day was not called Rosh Hoshanah by the Jews until Talmudic times.  The term ‘Rosh’  is not used in the scriptures that specifically mention the festival on the first day of the seventh month, and the term is an interpretation of Jewish tradition.

Notice a few scriptures:

2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts. … 23 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. (Leviticus 23:12, 23-24)

Since Leviticus 23:2 states it lists God’s feasts, and the one that begins on the first day of the seventh month is a feast for the memorial of blowing trumpets, we in the Continuing Church of God believe that the name Feast of Trumpets better conveys the name than the later adopted Jewish term Rosh Hoshanah.

Here is Jewish point three:

3.  Rosh Hashanah is celebrated at the beginning of the Hebrew month of Tishrei, which means beginning/Genesis in ancient Akkadian.The Hebrew spelling of Tishrei (תשרי) is included in the spelling of Genesis (בראשית).

It is correct that the Feast of Trumpets is to be observed starting at the beginning of the seventh month of the biblical calendar that the the Jews now call Tishri/Tishrei.  As mentioned earlier, in the Bible the month has a different name, Ethanim. (1 Kings 8:2)

It should be noted that the months in the Bible can have different names. The first month is called Abib (cf. Exodus 12:2; 13:4) and Nisan (Esther 3:7) in the Hebrew scriptures. Renaming the seventh month probably came from a Talmudic tradition.

Here is Jewish point four:

4.  Rosh Hashanah is also referred to as “Ha’rat Olam” (the pregnancy of the world), and its prayers highlight motherhood, optimism, and the pregnancies of Sarah and Rachel, the Matriarchs, and Hannah, who gave birth to Isaac, Joseph and Benjamin, and the Prophet Samuel respectively.

While it is likely that the world was created in the seventh month, calling the day the “pregnancy of the world” is a Jewish tradition. The Bible does not refer to it as a time of motherhood.

Here is Jewish point five:

5.  Rosh Hashanah underlines human fallibility, humility, soul-searching, responsibility (as a precondition to the realization of opportunity), renewal/rebirth, memory (lessons of history), and the need for systematic education.

Humans are fallible and in need of humility, repentance (Acts 2:38; 17:30), and learning the truth (cf. John 8:31-32; 2 Peter 3:18).

Here is Jewish point six:

6. The Shofar (ritual horn) is blown on Rosh Hashanah as a wake-up call to mend human behavior. Rosh Hashanah is also called “Yom Te’roo’ah” (the day of blowing the Shofar). Shofar (שופר) is a derivative of the Hebrew word for enhancement/improvement (שפור), which is constantly expected of human beings. It requires humility, symbolized by the Shofar, which is bent and is not supposed to be decorated.

As mentioned before a shofar is often blown on this day.  Notice the following:

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

The Hebrew word for shofar is the one translated as “trumpet” in Psalm 81:3.  The idea that it is a naturally bent horn and that humans need improvement is an interesting one that is consistent with the truth.

Here is Jewish point seven:

7. The pomegranate – one of the seven species blessing the Land of Israel – features during Rosh Hashanah meals and in a key blessing on Rosh Hashanah: “May you be credited with as many rewards as the seeds of the pomegranate.” The pomegranate becomes ripe on time for Rosh Hashanah and contains – genetically - 613 seeds, which is the number of Jewish statutes (of Moses).

There are two different points to make here. The first is about a possible connection between pomegranates and trumpets. Notice the following which mention the pomegranate tree and the blowing of a trumpet:

12 The vine has dried up,
And the fig tree has withered;
The pomegranate tree,
The palm tree also,
And the apple tree —
All the trees of the field are withered;
Surely joy has withered away from the sons of men.

13 Gird yourselves and lament, you priests;
Wail, you who minister before the altar;
Come, lie all night in sackcloth,
You who minister to my God;
For the grain offering and the drink offering
Are withheld from the house of your God.
14 Consecrate a fast,
Call a sacred assembly;
Gather the elders
And all the inhabitants of the land
Into the house of the Lord your God,
And cry out to the Lord.

15 Alas for the day!
For the day of the Lord is at hand;
It shall come as destruction from the Almighty. (Joel 1:12-15)

1 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:
2 A day of darkness and gloominess,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,
Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. (Joel 2:1-2)

Notice that the pomegranate tree is referred to in Joel 1:12 in a destructive time, and that the trumpet (from the Hebrew word for Shofar) is telling of the time of the day of the Lord (see also When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? What is the Day of the Lord?).  So, it could be said that there seems to be a type of connection.

But what about the 613 seeds of pomegranates?

Notice what one Jewish rabbi wrote:

Misconception: According to rabbinic tradition, a pomegranate (rimon) has 613 seeds.

Fact: The pomegranate is used in rabbinic tradition as an example of a fruit that contains many seeds, but not necessarily 613. …

The misconception about the pomegranate having 613 seeds is widespread, but its source is readily apparent. In a discussion on the meaning of seeing the fruit in a dream, the gemara in Berachot4 explains that “seeing small ones portends business being as fruitful as a pomegranate, while seeing large ones means that business will multiply like pomegranates. If, in the dream, the pomegranates are split open, if the dreamer is a scholar he may hope to learn more Torah … while if he is unlearned, he can hope to perform mitzvot ….” Drawing upon a verse in Shir HaShirim (4:3; 6:7), the gemara concludes by stating that even “the empty ones among the Jews are full of mitzvot like a pomegranate [is full of seeds].”5 Many misread this gemara to mean that there are precisely 613 seeds in a pomegranate, as there are 613 mitzvot. It should be clear, however, that the gemara uses pomegranates to imply an abundance. In fact, the very name “pomegranate” is derived from Latin’s “pomum” (apple) and “granatus” (seeded), alluding to the fruit’s many seeds. (Zivotofsky A. What’s the Truth about … Pomegranate Seeds? Jewish Action, September 20, 2008.  http://www.ou.org/jewish_action/09/2008/whats_the_truth_about_pomegranate_seeds/

So, there are not normally 613 seeds in a pomegranate.

What about the so-called 613 Jewish statutes of Moses?

As it turns out, many of them are NOT statutes that God inspired Moses to write.  Instead, they were developed by a Jewish rabbi and based upon various traditions, many of which were not adopted from the Bible.  See also Which Laws were Superceded? Which Remain?  What about the 613 mitzvot?  Moses did NOT write all of the 613 statutes that Jews and certain others believe they need to keep.

Anyway, as far as the Feast of Trumpets goes, some of the Jewish points are accurate, some have a scriptural connection, and some others are based more upon tradition than biblical truth.

We in the Continuing Church of God are Christian. And while we believe that the Bible and church history enjoin the observance of the Feast of Trumpets on true believers, we are not Messianic Jews (many of which claim believe that they should keep the 613 mitzvot) nor do we fully share the views of the Jews on this Holy Day.

We, unlike the Jews, also accept the New Testament as scripture, which means some of our understanding of this day comes from the New Testament, hence we have a better understanding of this day and how it fits in with God’s plan of salvation.

In the New Testament, the Bible shows that during the time period known as the Day of the Lord that there will be seven trumpets blown.  And the last one, the seventh one, announces the return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the saints, and meeting Jesus in the air:

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed —  52 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. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Corinthians 15:50-54)

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 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. 17 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 we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.  (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18)

Those are points that the Jewish interpretation of this Holy Day seem to miss.  As Christians, we can draw comfort from the words of the New Testament, while we appreciate that there is a tie to the Old Testament.

The New Testament and the Return of Jesus

Some Jewish traditions about the meaning of the Feast of Trumpets have similarities to what the New Testament seems to teach about it, though there are limits as this article has shown.

In addition to discussing the Book of Life on that Day, Jewish tradition says Rosh Hashana:

"Rosh Hashana...is the Day of Judgement...It is the Day of Shofar Blowing..." (The Jewish Holiday of Rosh Hashanah. High Holy Days on the Net. http://www.holidays.net/highholydays/rosh.htm verified 9/12/07).

The New Testament frequently mentions the blowing of trumpets (though it does not clearly appear to distinguish between shofar trumpets and other trumpets)--though shofars are probably the type most likely being referred to when prophetic matters of judgment are involved.

Jesus taught:

29 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31).

This is similar to what Paul taught:

16 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. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

So both Jesus and Paul taught that the saints would be gathered when a particular trumpet sound goes forth. And that Jesus will come with a trumpet blast, and that was AFTER the great tribulation begins (Matthew 24:21), hence the pre-tribulation rapturists are in error as far as when Jesus returns. (For details and many scriptures why those rapturists are wrong, check out the article Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected?).

Which trumpet?

The last trumpet:

52 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. ...

58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:52, 58).

Because this is referring to the last trumpet, scripture clearly does not support the concept of a pre-tribulation rapture, like many evangelicals believe in. This last trumpet shows that TRUE CHRISTIANS WILL WIN. They will put on immortality as they are the ones written in the Book of Life!

Although his writings are not part of the New Testament, Polycarp was a disciple of the Apostle John and looked forward to the fulfillment of this trumpet as he wrote:

Wherefore, girding up your loins," "serve the Lord in fear" and truth, as those who have forsaken the vain, empty talk and error of the multitude, and "believed in Him who raised up our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, and gave Him glory," and a throne at His right hand. To Him all things" in heaven and on earth are subject. Him every spirit serves. He comes as the Judge of the living and the dead. His blood will God require of those who do not believe in Him. But He who raised Him up from the dead will raise up us also, if we do His will, and walk in His commandments, and love what He loved (Polycarp. Letter to the Philippians, chapter II. Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1 as edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885.)

Let's go back a little earlier in 1 Corinthians:

12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up — if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. (1 Corinthians 15:12-27)

This resurrection to life happens at the last trumpet in 1 Corinthians 15:52. This is apparently the seventh trumpet in Revelation 11:15:

15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"

So, Jesus will return with the sound of a trumpet. And we know this is a trumpet because it is the seventh as it is part of the sequence that is discussed in Revelation 8:

1 When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. 3 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. 6 So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. 7 The first angel sounded ... (Revelation 8:1-6)

So, it is clear Jesus returns with a trumpet.

Now what about Jesus' statement in Matthew?

36 But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only...44...for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Matthew 24:36,44)

We do not know when this final trumpet will be blown yet, but it will be to announce Jesus' return.

Some believe that because of similarities in some of the scriptures read at Jewish weddings and Rosh Hoshana, etc. that this is additional proof that Jesus will return on Rosh Hoshanah (some have suggested that Rosh Hoshanah itself signifies the "day and hour no one knows"), but which specific year, no one who currently lives in the flesh seems to know for certain. Nor is that day certain, and may not be likely.

Whose Names are in the Book of Life?

Does the New Testament teach whose names are in the Book of Life?

Yes it does.

Jesus taught:

18 And He said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven." (Luke 10:18-20)

So, true followers of Jesus have their names listed somewhere in heaven. And that somewhere is in the Book of Life.

Paul writes:

3 And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life (Philippians 4:3).

Notice also:

22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect (Hebrews 12:22-23).

John recorded that Jesus taught:

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 (Revelation 3:5).

Thus, it is the saints are the ones who are written in the Book of Life. And the saints are those that are resurrected at the last trumpet.

Other passages in the Book of Revelation mention that those that worship the beast (13:1,8;17:8), those that are involved with abominations (21:27), and those who take away words from Revelation (22:19), will NOT be among those whose names are written in the Book of Life.

The Book of Revelation has Many Trumpets Blown

The Book of Revelation clearly teaches that seven trumpets will be blown (8:2), punishment comes upon those who are not protected by God (9:4), and then God’s kingdom and judgment will come (11:15-18; 15:1-8; 16:1-21).

Notice the following about Israel, trumpets, and the need for the trumpet warnings today:

The Bible shows that during Israel's later history, which was heavily punctuated with conflicts and rebellion, trumpets continued to be used as warning devices, to call to arms or as preludes to important messages — always to mark an event of tremendous import to the whole nation. God used the prophets, among them Isaiah, Ezekiel, Hosea and Joel, to warn Israel about punishments He would bring upon them for their constant rebellion against His laws. These prophets were to use their voices like trumpets to blare their warnings to God's people.

Notice, for example, God's instruction to Isaiah: "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins" (Isa. 58:1). See also Hosea 5:8 and Joel 2:1. Portions of the prophets' warnings were fulfilled, in type, by ancient Israel's captivity. Yet many of these prophecies are dual, having both ancient and modern fulfillments. Such is the case with the message of the prophet Ezekiel. God set Ezekiel as a watchman to Israel. Ezekiel, through his message, symbolically blew a trumpet of warning to God's people (Ezek. 33:1-7).

Ezekiel's warning, however, did not reach the house of Israel, because they had already gone into captivity! Ezekiel's visions of Israel's impending destruction were given "in the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity" (Ezek. 1:2). Jehoiachin went into captivity in 597 B.C., or about 125 years after the removal, to Assyria, of the last of the northern tribes, which occurred from 721-718 B.C. If Ezekiel's message did not reach ancient Israel — could not have reached them — for whom was it intended?

God's warning through Ezekiel was intended for the modern descendants of the ancient Israel — the peoples of the United States, Britain and, in general, northwestern Europe today! ... they are identified in Bible prophecy ... Ezekiel's message is reaching the modern Israelites. God has set a modern-day watchman to thunder to our peoples the impending consequences of their sins. (Kackos G. The Feast of Trumpets and YOUR Future. Good News, August 1982)

We in the Continuing Church of God are working to perform as that modern-day watchman today. We boldly tell of sins of society and how world events are aligning with properly understood prophecy--which we also explain (see the free online booklet Where is the True Christian Church Today? and/or the article The Laodicean Church Era).

Many trumpets are blown in the Book of Revelation, and a lot were to be blown on the Feast of Trumpets (Leviticus 23:24)--hopefully many can see the connection.

But the most important, in a sense, could be the last, the seventh one as it pictures the resurrection of the Christians.

The coming Kingdom of God is some of what Jesus wants His servants to proclaim now and then the end will come (Matthew 24:14).

Did Early Christians Observe the Feast of Trumpets?

Although the observance of the Feast of Trumpets was not specified as such in the New Testament, in addition to teaching about what it meant, both Jesus and the Apostle Paul kept it.

The Bible teaches that Jesus kept the Law and did not sin (Hebrews 4:15), hence He kept all the Fall Holy Days including the Feast of Trumpets.

Perhaps it should be noted that the Apostle Paul must have observed the Feast of Trumpets after his conversion to Christianity.

Notice some statements from the Apostle Paul:

17...Men and brethren, though I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers (Acts 28:17)

4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. (Philippians 3:4-6)

Since Paul kept the customs of his people, he, too, kept all the Fall Holy Days including the Feast of Trumpets. If not, he could not have made that statement which is in Acts 28:17 nor the one being blameless in the law in Philippians 3:4-6.

Some may wonder if after the time of Paul, whether early Christians observed the Feast of Trumpets. And the answer is yes, the faithful Christians did. And they did in Gentile-dominated areas.

For example, the Catholic, Orthodox, and Church of God Saint Polycarp of Smyrna kept the Fall Holy Days:

I will give the narration in order, thus coming down to the history of the blessed Polycarp… So also he pursued the reading of the Scriptures from childhood to old age, himself reading in church; and he recommended it to others, saying that the reading of the law and the prophets was the forerunner of grace, preparing and making straight the ways of the Lord, that is the hearts, which are like tablets whereon certain harsh beliefs and conceptions that were written before perfect knowledge came, are through the inculcation of the Old Testament, and the correct interpretation following thereupon, first smoothed and levelled, that, when the Holy Spirit comes as a pen, the grace and joy of the voice of the Gospel and of the doctrine of the immortal and heavenly Christ may be inscribed on them. And he said that they could not otherwise receive the impression of the seal which is given by baptism and engrave and exhibit the form conveyed in it, unless the wax were first softened and filled the deep parts. So also he thought that the hearts of the hearers ought to be softened and yield to the impress of the Word. For he said that it unfolded and opened, like closed doors, the minds of recent comers; and accordingly the prophet was bidden by God, Cry out mightily and spare not, Raise thy voice as a trumpet. What must one say, when even He that was gentler than all men so appeals and cries out at the feast of Tabernacles? For it is written; And on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried saying, If any man thirsteth, let him come to Me and drink. (Pionius, Life of Polycarp (1889) from J. B. Lightfoot, The Apostolic Fathers, vol. 3.2, pp.488-506.)

Polycarp, according to the above, seems to have endorsed the Fall Holy Day season which begins with the Feast of Trumpets, includes the Feast of Tabernacles, and ends on The Last Great Day.

A late first/early second century document called the Didache teaches:

16:6 And "then shall appear the signs" of the truth. First the sign spread out in Heaven, then the sign of the sound of the trumpet, and thirdly the resurrection of the dead: 7 but not of all the dead, but as it was said, "The Lord shall come and all his saints with him." 8 Then shall the world "see the Lord coming on the clouds of Heaven." (Didache. Translation by K.Lake. In Apostolic Fathers, Kirsopp Lake, 1912 (Loeb Classical Library))

While that does not prove the Feast of Trumpets must have been observed, at least part of the message was.

In Asia Minor, it is recorded that late into the fourth century, John Chrysostom condemned professors of Christ who observed the Feast of Trumpets:

The festivals of the pitiful and miserable Jews are soon to march upon us one after the other and in quick succession: the feast of Trumpets, the feast of Tabernacles, the fasts. There are many in our ranks who say they think as we do. Yet some of these are going to watch the festivals and others will join the Jews in keeping their feasts and observing their fasts. I wish to drive this perverse custom from the Church right now…If the Jewish ceremonies are venerable and great, ours are lies…Does God hate their festivals and do you share in them? He did not say this or that festival, but all of them together. (John Chrysostom. Homily I Against the Jews I:5;VI:5;VII:2. Preached at Antioch, Syria in the Fall of 387 AD. Medieval Sourcebook: Saint John Chrysostom (c.347-407) : Eight Homilies Against the Jews. Fordham University. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/chrysostom-jews6.html 12/10/05).

The wicked and unclean fast of the Jews is now at our doors. Thought it is a fast, do not wonder that I have called it unclean…But now that the devil summons your wives to the feast of the Trumpets and they turn a ready ear to this call, you do not restrain them. You let them entangle themselves in accusations of ungodliness, you let them be dragged off into licentious ways. (John Chrysostom. Homily II Against the Jews I:1; III:4. Preached at Antioch, Syria on Sunday, September 5, 387 A.D.).

Now, while many of John Chrysostom's arguments are in error, the fact is that he would not have given at least two messages related to it if none who professed Christ did not observe the Feast of Trumpets and the other Fall Holy Days. (For more on John Chrysostum himself, please check out the article John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople and Antisemite.)

An article of related interest (which explains more of John Chrysostom's arguments/comments) would be Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days?

Additionally, comments by Jerome and Epiphanius near that time concerning the Nazarene Christians would also seem to support that those who kept the Holy Days, such as the Feast of Trumpets, were located in several areas at that time (see Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes?).

Furthermore, notice that the Sabbath-keepers in Transylvania in the 1500s (and probably later) kept the Fall Holy Days such as the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Trumpets (called Day of Remembrance below):

The Sabbatarians viewed themselves as converted Gentiles..They held to the biblical holidays...The Day of Atonement was a day of fasting, although they emphasized that pentinence is more easily acheived by a peaceful and quiet meditation on the law and one's life than by fasting. The Day of Remembrance (New Year, which they celebrated in the Fall of the year) was the day on which they thanked God especially for the creation of the universe. (Liechty D. Sabbatarianism in the Sixteenth Century. Andrews University Press, Berrien Springs (MI), 1993, pp. 61-62)

People attempting to be faithful to the Bible have observed the Feast of Trumpets and we in the the Continuing Church of God continue to do so in the 21st century.

The 'Intermediate' Are in Another Book?

Jews teach that there are three books related to judgment and have tied them in with the Feast of Trumpets:

The story told by R. Kruspedai in the name of R. Johanan, that "on New Year's Day books are opened," etc., is taken from the Boraitha which teaches: "Three books are opened on the day of judgment." This Boraitha, however, does not refer to the New Year's day, but to the day of final resurrection, as explained by Rashi, and that R. Kruspedai quotes his story in the name of R. Johanan proves nothing; for in many instances where teachers were desirous of adding weight to their opinions, they would quote some great teacher as their authority. R. Johanan himself permitted this method. (Tractate Rosh Hashana: Introduction. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Talmud/introrh.html viewed 09/10/14)

The term Boraitha (normally spelled Baraita) refers to an external source which tends to be a tannaite tradition not incorporated in the Mishnah. Probably from an unknown writing by a rabbi--some believe that they came from teachings from private and/or preparatory schools as opposed to the more formal Jewish academies.

The Jewish Talmud itself teaches:

R. Kruspedai said in the name of R. Johanan: Three books are opened [in heaven] on New Year, one for the thoroughly wicked, one for the thoroughly righteous, and one for the intermediate. The thoroughly righteous are forthwith inscribed definitively in the book of life; the thoroughly wicked are forthwith inscribed definitively in the book of death; the doom of the intermediate is suspended from New Year till the Day of Atonement; if they deserve well, they are inscribed in the book of life; if they do not deserve well, they are inscribed in the book of death.

Said R. Abin, What text tells us this? — Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous. ‘Let them be blotted out from the book — this refers to the book of the wicked. ‘Of life — this is the book of the righteous. ‘And not be written with the righteous’ — this is the book of the intermediate.

R. Nahman b. Isaac derives it from here: And if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written, ‘Blot me, I pray thee’ — this is the book of the wicked. ‘Out of thy book’ — this is the book of the righteous. ‘Which thou has written’ — this is the book of the intermediate. It has been taught: Beth Shammai say, There will be three groups at the Day of Judgment — one of thoroughly righteous, one of thoroughly wicked, and one of intermediate. The thoroughly righteous will forthwith be inscribed definitively as entitled to everlasting life; the thoroughly wicked will forthwith be inscribed definitively as doomed to Gehinnom, as it says. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life and some to reproaches and everlasting abhorrence. The intermediate will go down to Gehinnom 17b and squeal and rise again, as it says, And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried. They shall call on my name and I will answer them.

Of them, too, Hannah said, The Lord killeth and maketh alive, he bringeth down to the grave and bringeth up. Beth Hillel, however, say: He that abounds in grace inclines [the scales] towards grace, and of them David said, I love that the Lord should hear my voice and my supplication, and on their behalf David composed the whole of the passage, I was brought low and he saved me. Wrongdoers of Israel who sin with their body and wrongdoers of the Gentiles who sin with their body go down to Gehinnom and are punished there for twelve months. After twelve months their body is consumed and their soul is burnt and the wind scatters them under the soles of the feet of the righteous as it says, And ye shall tread down the wicked, and they shall be as ashes under the soles of your feet. But as for the minim and the informers and the scoffers, who rejected the Torah and denied the resurrection of the dead, and those who abandoned the ways of the community, and those who ‘spread their terror in the land of the living’, and who sinned and made the masses sin, like Jeroboam the son of Nebat and his fellows — these will go down to Gehinnom and be punished there for all generations, as it says, And they shall go forth and look upon the carcasses of the men that have rebelled against me etc. Gehinnom will be consumed but they will not be consumed, as it says, and their form shall wear away the nether world. Why all this? Because they laid hands on the habitation [zebul], as it says, that there be no habitation [zebul] for Him, and zebul signifies the Temple, as it says, I have surely built thee a house of habitation [zebul].

Of them Hannah said, They that strive with the Lord shall be broken to pieces. R. Isaac b. Abin said: And their faces shall be black like the sides of a pot. Raba added: Among them are the most handsome of the inhabitants of Mahuza, and they shall be called ‘sons of Gehinnom’" (Talmud - Mas. Rosh HaShana 16b, 17a. (Babylonian Talmud, Book 2: Tracts Erubin, Shekalim, Rosh Hashana, tr. by Michael L. Rodkinson, [1918], p. 26. http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/t02/ros03.htm#page_36 viewed 09/10/14)). Note: 'R." stands for "rabbi" above.

Both the Bible (the COG position) and Jewish tradition state that the righteous have their names written in the Book of Life and that they will apparently be rewarded on Tishri 1 (presuming that is the day of the seventh and last trumpet of Bible prophecy).

The Bible (and the COG) agrees with the Jewish position that others will be also have their names in it later: Revelation 20:11-15:

11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 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. 13 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. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

Jewish tradition also teaches that those that are not truly wicked (the intermediate) will not be saved or destroyed at that time, but that they will have a ten day period until the Day of Atonement (which they call Yom Kippur) for judgment.

While this time of judgment is mentioned in Revelation 20:11-15, the COG position has tended to be that those who have not rejected God (blasphemed the Holy Spirit), will have an opportunity for salvation later, the period of which may last 100 years (Isaiah 65:20, and is discussed more in the article Hope of Salvation), and that this is shown by the last Holy Day, the Last Great Day, which happens on the twenty-second day of Tishri.

Revelation 20:4-5 states:

4 "Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection."

Because of this, the COG position is (and has been) that there is at least 1,000 years between when the righteous (those whose names are now written in the Book of Life) and the others being resurrected, thus the New Testament disagrees with the Jewish idea that the wicked are handled on the same Feast of Trumpets that the righteous are (it also disagrees with the 10 day position for those the Jews called 'intermediate'--not righteous, not wicked).

Actually, one of the most significant ways that the COGs differ from the Protestant world is that the COG's believe that nearly all will be saved and that the biblical holy days (which Protestants tend to teach are done away) picture this. (More information is found in the article, Hope of Salvation: How the COGs Differ From Protestantism.) Those who do not observe God's Holy Days simply do not fully understand God's plan of salvation.

Herbert W. Armstrong wrote,

This eighth day, technically a separate feast, is called "the last day, that great day of the feast" (John 7:37). What does this final holy day represent? Notice what Jesus preached about on that day: "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink . . . out of his belly [innermost being] shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive . . .)" (John 7:37-39).

This was Jesus' sermon giving the meaning of the last great day!

Now turn to Revelation 20. After the Millennium, what happens? A resurrection! The dead stand before God. This couldn't include true Christians today, as they will appear before the judgment seat when Christ returns...

Pictures the Day of Judgment

This is that judgment day mentioned in Matthew 10:15. It is a time when Gentiles who died in ignorance will be given an opportunity to receive salvation. Ezekiel 16:53-55 makes this very plain. Even those in Israel who died in their sins will be given their first opportunity to understand the truth of God and His way (Ezekiel 37). The prophet wrote that God would pour out His Spirit on those resurrected (verse 14). This is precisely the salvation that Jesus mentioned in His sermon on that great day of the feast in the autumn of AD 30. This eighth day, which immediately follows the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles, pictures the completion of the plan of redemption. It is just prior to the new heaven and the new earth. All parents and children, young and old will be resurrected. Notice that the "book of life" typifying salvation is opened (Revelation 20:12).

Revelation presents the final view of the "judgment day" as the present material heaven and earth are perishing and the faithful are receiving their eternal reward at the throne of Christ. The wicked those who disobey are seen perishing in the lake of fire! What a marvelous plan! All will have an equal opportunity" (Armstrong HW. Pagan Holidays- or God's Holy Days-Which?).

Perhaps I should mention that Jewish tradition specifically suggests that all the wicked are punished on the first of Tishri, which is not quite what the COG's teach. The COG's teach that the wicked are destroyed at the 'second death' (20:14-15) which is after the white throne judgment, and also that the wicked on the earth will endure the trumpet plagues.

However, since this feast is a memorial of the blowing of trumpets (Leviticus 23:24), seven trumpets will be blown in the future (Revelation 8:2), and most of them will bring destruction and punishment to those not sealed by God, it is conceivable that Jewish tradition has properly understood at least the physical side of punishment related to the Feast of Trumpets. Though, apparently not the ultimate punishment of the wicked (which even if it occurs later on a first day of Tishri), it will not occur within a thousand years of the first day of Tishri that the seventh trumpet symbolizes.

The seven trumpets in Revelation are essentially sounding during the day of the Lord and Jesus is prophesied to return on the last one (cf. Revelation 11:15; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52).

Since this article is discussing the Book of Life as well as the Feast of Trumpet, here are the last two passages of the Bible discussing the Book of Life:

1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband . . . 22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. NKJV . (Revelation 21:1-2, 22-27)

18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. I Am Coming Quickly 20 He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming quickly." Revelation 22:18-20)

The Feast of Tabernacles helps picture Jesus' return and the Book of Life is something all should want to be written in.

Continuing Church of God Statement of Beliefs on the Feast of Trumpets

In its Statement of Beliefs , the Continuing Church of God states:

The Feast of Trumpets helps picture the blowing of the seven trumpets in the Book of Revelation announcing events taking place during the 'Day of the Lord' (Revelation 8,9,11:15-18; 15:1-8; 16:1-21; 19:1-20). The last trumpet signals the resurrection of the saints, “For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52) “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 Thessalonians 4:16)  Every seven years, a year of land-rest and debt release begins with this Holy Day (Leviticus 25:1-7; Deuteronomy 15:7-11).

Thus, because of its New Testament fulfillements, the Feast of Trumpets is something that should be highly relevant for Christians. Jesus is coming on the seventh trump. In spite of this, a least one fourth century leader, who had antisemetic tendencies, condemned this day and other Fall Holy Days (see article Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days?)--however, the Bible itself shows that the Feast of Trumpets is important for Christians.

The Feast of Trumpets From A Greco-Roman Catholic

Although he did not truly observe it, the fourth century Catholic Bishop Ambrose of Milan understood something about the Bible and the Feast of Trumpets as he wrote:

105. But it is now time, I think, to speak of the trumpets since my discourse is nearing its end, that the trumpet may also be the sign of the finishing of my address. We read of seven trumpets in the Revelation of John, which seven angels received. And there you read that when the seventh angel sounded his trumpet, there was a great voice from heaven, saying: “The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our God and of His Christ, and He shall reign for ever and ever.”. The word trumpet is also used for a voice, as you read: “Behold a door opened in heaven, and the first voice which I heard, as of a trumpet speaking with me and saying, Come up hither, and I will show thee the things which must come to pass.”We read also: “Blow up the trumpet at the beginning of the month [the new moon]”;and again elsewhere: “Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet.”

106. Therefore we ought with all our power to observe what is the signification of the trumpets, lest, accepting them, like old women, as part of the story, we should be in danger if we were to think things unworthy of spiritual teaching, or not befitting the dignity of the Scriptures. For when we read that our warfare is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual hosts of wickedness, which are in high places,we ought not to think of weapons of the flesh, but of such as are mighty before God. It is not enough that one see the trumpet or hear its sound, unless one understands the signification of the sound. For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, how shall one prepare himself for war?. Wherefore it is important that we understand the meaning of the voice of the trumpet, lest we seem barbarians, when we either hear or utter trumpet-sounds of this sort. And therefore when we speak, let us pray that the Holy Spirit would interpret them to us.

107. Let us, then, investigate what we read in the Old Testament concerning the kinds of trumpets, considering that those festivals which were enjoined on the Jews by the Law are the shadow of joys above and of heavenly festivals. For here is the shadow, there the truth. Let us endeavour to attain to the truth by means of the shadow. Of which truth the figure is expressed in this manner, where we read that the Lord said to Moses: “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, shall be a rest unto you, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, it shall be called holy unto you. Ye shall not do any servile work, and ye shall kindle a whole burnt-offering unto the Lord.” And in the Book of Numbers: “The Lord spake unto Moses, saying: Make thee two trumpets of beaten work, of silver shalt thou make them, and they shall be to thee for calling the assembly and for the journeying of the camp. And thou shalt blow with them, and all the congregation shall be gathered together at the door of the tabernacle of witness. But if thou blow with one trumpet, all the princes and leaders of Israel shall come to thee; and ye shall blow a signal with the trumpet the first time, and they shall move the camp forward, and place it on the east. And ye shall blow a signal with the trumpet the second time, and they shall move the camp forward, and place it towards Libanus. And ye shall blow a signal with the trumpet the third time, and they shall move the camp forward, which shall be placed towards the north [Boream]. And ye shall blow a signal with the trumpet the fourth time, and they shall move the camp forward, which shall be placed towards the north [Aquilonem]. They shall blow a signal with the trumpet when they move forward. And when ye shall gather together the assembly, blow with the trumpet, but not the signal. And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets, and it shall be for you a statute for ever throughout your generations. But if ye shall go out to war into your own land, against the adversaries who resist you, ye shall sound a signal with the trumpets and ye shall be remembered before the Lord, and have deliverance from your dead. Also in the days of your gladness, and on your feast days, and on your new moons, ye shall blow with the trumpets, and at your whole burnt sacrifices and at your peace-offerings, and it shall be for you for your memorial before the Lord, saith the Lord.”

Let us, then, seek the body of Christ which the voice of the Father, from heaven, as it were the last trumpet, has shown to you at the time when the Jews said that it thundered; the body of Christ, which again the last trump shall reveal; for “the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven at the voice of the Archangel, and at the trump of God, and they that are dead in Christ shall rise again;” for “where the body is, there too are the eagles,” where the body of Christ is, there is the truth. The seventh trumpet, then, seems to signify the sabbath of the week...Therefore the shadow of the future rest is figured in time in the days, months, and years of this world... and therefore the children of Israel are commanded by Moses, that in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, a rest should be established for all at the “memorial of the trumpets;” and that no servile work should be done, but a sacrifice be offered to God, because that at the end of the week, as it were the sabbath of the world, spiritual and not bodily work is required of us. (Ambrose of Milan. Book II. On the Belief in the Resurrection, sections105-107, 108. A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church: Socrates, Sozomenus: Church histories. Schaff P, Wace H, editors. Christian literature Company, 1896 Original from the University of Virginia Digitized Nov 11, 2008).

Ambrose also believed that God would offer salvation to all (see Hope of Salvation). Actually, those who wish to base their doctrines on Sola Scriptura may wish to read the article Universal Salvation? There are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the True Doctrine of Apocatastasis.

Concluding Comments on the Feast of Trumpets

The Feast of Trumpets is important and should be considered to be highly relevant for those who profess Christ. The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus will come with the sound of a trumpet blast (Matthew 24:30-31; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17), and calls that the "last trump" (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). Those that do not observe the biblical holy days, simply cannot properly understand biblical prophecy, and many who call themselves evangelicals have accepted a pre-tribulation rapture theory that cannot occur, as 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 cannot occur until the last trumpet is blown (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).

The Bible does support the view that those currently listed in the Book of Life will be resurrected at the last trumpet (1 Corinthians 15:51-52), which is pictured by the Feast of Trumpets (that occurs on Tishri 1).

And although it differs from certain Jewish traditions, in that the Book of Life is also mentioned as being related to the Last Great Day (Tishri 22), the Bible does agree with those traditions that say that at least a type of physical judgment (the trumpet plagues of Revelation) will be upon those that do not have their names written in the Book of Life (watch also the video sermon Feast of Trumpets and the Book of Life).

It is interesting, that even without having the benefit of relying on the New Testament, some of those Jewish teachers who all kept the biblical Holy Days listed in Leviticus 23, do seem to have a better picture (though blurred in major ways) of God's plan of salvation than those who allegedly believe in the New Testament, but who fail to observe those days.

Early professors of Christ, even in Gentile regions, observed the Feast of Trumpets. We faithful in the Continuing Church of God still do so to this day.

Those of us in the Continuing Church of God are blessed as we believe the New Testament and observe the biblical Holy Days--thus we can have a more accurate (cf. Acts 18:26) understanding of what God's plan truly is.

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B. Thiel, The Book of Life and Rosh Hoshanah (the Feast of Trumpets)? www.cogwriter.com 2004/2005/2006/2007/2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/2015/2016 0925

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