The Feast of Trumpets, sometimes called Rosh HaShanah, or the Jewish New Year, is celebrated on the first day of the seventh month (Tishri), which occurs sometime in our September–October. Just as with the Feasts of Passover and Pentecost, Jews would go to Jerusalem. There would be a great blowing of the Shofar, the ram’s horn, by the priests on the wall of the Temple, and they would gather in Jerusalem to prepare for the important days ahead. It was a great convocation, a great coming together in Jerusalem.
Rosh HaShana, is the beginning of the Days of Awe, the ten days leading up to the Day of Atonement. In Rabbinic theology, it is during these ten days that God weighs every man in the balance — his good deeds versus his evil deeds. Then God determines whether or not the person will be permitted to live another year. Like all of the Seven Feasts of Israel, the Feast of Trumpets has a dual fulfillment. To the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, it has great prophetic significance. We are told in I Thessalonians 4:16, 17: "The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord." This event is known as the Rapture. It is the time when the Lord will come for His own. It is imminent, it might happen at any moment; it could happen today.
The Feast of Trumpets not only has reference to the Rapture of the Church, but also has a prophetic reference to Israel. In Isaiah 27:12 -13, the Lord promised Israel: "Ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel, and it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem."
There will be a time in the future when the Lord will blow a trumpet for Israel to be regathered back in the land, and so the fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets will have to do with not only the calling of the Church to its home in glory, but also calling the Jewish people back to their home in the Land of Israel. We are seeing the beginnings of this even now. When the Lord blows the trumpet, the migrations back to Israel will be on an even greater scale than they are now, and will be complete.
The Feast of Trumpets (Rosh HaShana, New Year), then, both looks back to the ancient days of Israel’s past, and looks ahead to our Redeemer’s return. The blowing of the trumpets signify the Rapture of the Church (composed of believing Jews and Gentiles of this age) to its home in Heaven, and the calling of Israel back to its home in the Promised Land. Are you listening?