“The Trumpet shall sound!” (1 Cor.15:52)
Forty years ago today, which on the Hebrew Calendar was Iyar 28th, 1967, the Israeli DefenceForces entered and captured the City of Jerusalem, and for the first time since AD 70, it became a Jewish City. On the Gentile Calendar it was June 7th 1967. My wife and I remember the day with its excitement and prophetic import. We listened to all the newscasts about the “Six Day War”, and rejoiced when the Jews regained much of their ancient inheritance. It was also the beginning of a new phase in our Christian lives, which by the end of the year had brought us into the experience of the Baptism of the Spirit. That was in November 1967. We almost felt as though the second coming of our Lord was just round the corner, and many others felt just the same.
We have been privileged today to listen to the actual sounds recorded at the time, as the troops entered Jerusalem, and we heard a triumphant Brigadier General Shlomo Goren, later to become the Chief Rabbi of Israel, as he recited the memorial prayer and sounded the shofar, as Israeli soldiers wept with sorrow over their comrades killed in combat. It brought back memories, especially as we heard the sound of the Trumpet, the Shofar, which was always sounded on important occasions in Israel. If any of our readers wish to hear this recording, please let us know. We obtained the recording from Jim Bramlett.
Yes, the Shofar shall sound! That is one of the repeated items connected with the day of resurrection. Reference is found to it as shown above, also in I Thess.4, and in the Gospels. And so it is more than appropriate for us to concentrate on this today, the 40th Anniversary of the taking of Jerusalem. But we must first of all ask whether we expect to hear this trumpet when it sounds? In our previous studies we showed that the “last trumpet” sounds and is connected with the seven last plagues. Has anyone heard any of the previous trumpets sounding? The answer is clearly in the negative. These happenings recorded in Revelation are spiritual and heavenly, and we are at our wits end to know and understand much of what is written. John said, “blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein, for the season is at hand.” (Rev.1:3) I’m personally glad that he didn’t say “blessed are those who understand what is written.” We can all read his narrative, and accordingly obtain a blessing, but explanations of the contents are legion, and often self-contradictory, far-fetched, and sometimes quite ludicrous.
Believers are writing about their expectation that we have entered the final year before resurrection occurs. We have seen several on the Internet. Although this has happened before, and come to nothing, it causes us to pause and realise that there must be a “still small voice” telling us we should be ready, watching, and waiting for the return of the Bridegroom. In the parable of the 10 virgins, we read that about midnight a cry went out, “Behold, the Bridegroom comes!” In other words, we must expect a sense of nearness to grow and develop amongst all those “who love His appearing”, and whose lives reflect His ways, His character, and His vision of the future. Perhaps this is equivalent to the sound of a trumpet, unheard by the majority, but creating a distinct sound on the inner ear of the spirit.
I don’t expect to hear a literal trumpet sounding in the heavens. Neither do I expect to see an Archangel appear in the sky. To the Lord these are spiritual realities that He inaugurates and triggers off by His word of command, but they are on a higher dimensional plane, and hidden from us. Let it be sufficient to know that when this word of command goes forth, the resurrection we are waiting for will surely come about. When it does, we shall be in a better position to see and hear that which is now hidden from us. We shall be translated into a higher dimensional body, with its ability to do many things that are impossible now.
As a reminder, Paul tells us that resurrection will occur when “the fulness of the Gentiles has come in,” in other words, when God has obtained the fulness of His elect members in His Church. As Jews and Gentiles, young and old, male and female, barbarian, bond or free, we shall make up His elect company, and when this is complete, the word of command will go forth. This higher dimensional church will then be made ready to govern the rest of the world during the Kingdom of God.
In the next part we shall look at other statements connected with the moment of resurrection, to see how some of them are figurative language, and others, like the sounding of the trumpet, are on a higher plane.