Rev. Lubbers is a minister emeritus in the Protestant Reformed Churches.
(Note: The article of which this is a continuation appeared in the March 1, 1991 issue, pp. 261-263.)
“Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day. For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob. . . . I am the LORD thy God. . .” (Psalm 81:3ff.).
Our first essay on this subject ended with the promise that we would continue the discussion concerning a reference to Numbers 10:10: “Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginning of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the Lord (JEHOVAH) your God”!
These sacrifices would be finished for that particular feast-day in the Old Testament. And they would needs be re-enacted from age to age and from generation to generation until the time of reformation, when all the sacrifices and ceremonies of the law would be disannulled because of the weakness and un-profitableness thereof:. But there was an abiding significance in each one of these hundreds of thousands of sacrifices over which the priests had blown the trumpets of the ram’s horns. These all lay before God, Jehovah, the judge of heaven and earth, as believing, hoping Israel of God; they are to Israel as a memorial before their God.
In our former article we wrote that “the bringing of these sacrifices was no vain, empty show. It was a legal enactment before the face of God, who is the Judge of every sinner in the day when all the saints shall appear before Christ (II Cor. 6:10).” To this we now add that this enactment indicated that the terms of the covenant were such that Christ, the King Priest to come, is the “Surety” of a better testament (Heb. 7:22). This “memorial” was the content of the cup which was handed to Jesus in Gethsemane, which He was to drink to the last drop of His sacrificial sufferings on the Cross, which stood outside of the gate at the holy camp of Israel. Here Jesus in perfect obedience drank the cup of the wrath of Jehovah against all the sins of His people. Truly, the blowing of the trumpet in the temple in Jerusalem proclaimed loudly that a better day must come, and that this day would surely come, when the Immanuel Child, JESUS, would save His people from their sins!
What a “handwriting” there was against each of us before God, the righteous Judge. None of the sins and judgments of death and hell were truly removed at these feast days. But Psalm 40:6-9 trumpets not an uncertain sound. It trumpets from age to age that the Christ, the Messiah to come, is the “end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes” (Rom. 10:4;Matt. 5:17). Here in Psalm 40:6-9 Israel learned to look beyond these unacceptable sacrifices to the great voice of the better High Priest, who said “In the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” These words the believing saints in the Old Testament confessed on their appointed feast days, when the priests blew the trumpets upon their sacrifices.
These trumpets announced in faith that one day Christ would hear all these trumpet blasts, which cried and cried and cried for the one who could .and would blow the very “trump of God” and would say in a loud voice: “It is finished.” The time has come to silence the “memorial” of Israel before God. Romans 3:25, 26 tells us that at Calvary God set forth Christ Jesus “to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sinsthat are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and a justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
Here at Calvary we hear the trumpet blast fulfilled which God blew long and loud. Here the covenant words were truly sealed in the blood of the Iamb of God which carries away the sin of the world. But this trumpet at Calvary no priest after the order of Aaron can or need blow. It was the trump of God which was heard at Sinai by all the congregation, and they with Moses exceedingly feared and trembled. Here the trumpet blew at Calvary, and Satan and all the hosts of hell were made an open shame forever. Revelation 12:10 tells us that John heard “a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb. . . .”
Such was the fulfillment of the manifold trumpet blasts over Israel’s sacrifices by the priesthood of Aaron.
It was all fulfilled in the trumpet sound of God’s eternal approval of the High Priest after the order of Melchisedec, who blew the trumpet at the end of His sufferings in such a way that “behold, the veil in the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, and the earth did quake and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened . . . !” Here the trumpet sound of the Gospel gave no indefinite sound for it was loudly proclaimed that He was not merely the God of father Abraham but of “us also who believe, Jew and Gentile.” For He was delivered as a sacrifice for our transgression (Isaiah 53:5, 6, 10) but was raised because of Christ’s sinner-justifying justification!
Here, let all the trumpets sound!
“The solemn feast days” were a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob. And this law did not merely sound forth from Sinai’s fiery, lofty heights, but it is now the law which went forth in the latter day out of Zion (Isaiah 2:3b). For this law is the sweet, certain trumpet sound of the Gospel which is heard to the end of the earth, unto the isles of the sea!
Glad tidings of good things; the sure mercies of David fulfilled. Water without money and without price.
But there is more to be said concerning this blowing of the trumpet in the light of Scripture.
The question is: Did the trump of God also blow at the occasion of Jesus’ glorious ascension into heaven? For in I Timothy 3:16 we read “received up in glory.” Surely this means more than that Jesus’ ascension ended in His sitting at God’s right hand. Yes, it means that too, as is evident from Hebrews 1:3, 4. For not only did He sit down on the right hand of the Majesty on high, but also as the Firstborn Son of God He was made so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. But the exaltation from Olives’ heights, the passing through the heavens, was in itself a most glorious mystery. He went up very gloriously. Fact is that it was as glorious as will be His return upon the clouds of heaven in the last day. For the Son of man shall come in all His glory (Matt. 25:31). He shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels. He shall then come as the judge of the nations.
Now when we turn to Psalm 47:5 we read that God is gone up with a shout, the LORD (Jehovah) with the sound of a trumpet. If Jesus will return in like manner as the disciples saw Him leave on the cloud of glory, shall He then not return with the sound of the trumpet? Such is indeed the clear statement of the Scriptures.
The trumpet sound shall accompany Jesus’ return from heaven. Thus we read the most comforting word of God in I Corinthians 15:51, 52: “Behold, I shew 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed.” Furthermore, we read in I Thessalonians 4:16, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.”
God went up in Jesus Christ most gloriously. It was with the sound of the trumpet. Now this speaks volumes, does it not? It means that this will be the call of the dead from the grave. For all that are in the grave shall hear the voice (the trumpet voice) of the Son of man and shall rise. Yes, they shall come forth from the grave – they who have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they who have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation (John 5:28, 29). This is truly a marvelous authority given unto the Son. And this is accompanied by the blowing of the trump of God. For the just it is the call to enter into the heavenly Canaan, even as Israel in Joshua’s days occupied the land of promise by the sound of the sevenfold trumpets which were blown by the priests, as they walked about Jericho. Thus also we shall inherit the kingdom of God and forever be with the Lord, our glorious King of kings, and Lord of lords, in the new creation. And the wicked shall be cast out of the land forever.
Yes, it will be the trump of God. This trump will be heard in the kingly, almighty shout of God calling all heaven to attention that the great Day of the Lord has come.
Is it too farfetched to conclude that also in Christ’s ascension there was the voice of the trump of God, and the glory accorded to Christ, the author of eternal salvation, who is acclaimed in heaven by God Himself to the joy of all the angels in heaven? Once all the angels of God were summoned to sing the victorious song, “Glory to God in the highest heavens, and peace on earth to the men of God’s eternal, sovereign good pleasure.” For the same Christ, who went up with a shout, with the sound of the trumpet shall thus return. And this is all connected with the feast of trumpets when all the trumpets were sounded upon the promissory sacrifices, as a remembrance to Israel with God.
What about the entire New Testament era, when all shall see the Son of man coming in His glory, as testified the humbled Christ standing before the Jewish council to be condemned to be delivered to Pontius Pilate? All through the New Testament both the evil and the righteous see the Lord sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven (Matt. 26:64). This we see in the gathering of the church by Christ who told His disciples “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end (consummation) of the world, Amen” (Matt. 28:20). But this is also seen in the judgments which come upon the nations, from Jesus, who has the right to take the book from Him who sits upon the throne. This is the book with the seven seals, the seven trumpets and the seven vials full of the wrath of God.
Yes, there are seven trumpets too. And these all lead to the overthrowing of the power of the beast; and to the eternal glory of the saints. Ever the trumpets are blowing from the temple of God. Shall these trumpets cease being blown in heaven’s glory unto all eternity; the endless ages to come?
It is a good question. And here I cannot quote a text. But the endless Psalms will then be fulfilled in Christ, the chief Musician, in the triumphant trumpet sound in the glorified church, which is the fullness of Him that fills all in all. Shall these saints, who sing the “new song” need to be astonished to sing, as this is done in Psalm 150:1-6? Most spontaneously shall they break forth as a mighty throng, as the sound of many waters. Hear them sing, as angels never did or shall.
They are praising God in the sanctuary, which is His dwelling place, in the Spirit, as this is built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets. And of this, Jesus is the chief Cornerstone laid in Zion.
They praise God for His mighty acts, according to His excellent greatness.
Hear that trumpet sound, mingled with psaltery and harp, with the timbrel in the holy dance, and the beautiful strains of the organ and the sweet stringed instruments.
And the whole earth joined in. Amen. Yes, Amen.