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" Let the Games Begin! "
    "Three times a year you shall keep a feast unto Me: [closing with]...the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in your produce from the field...the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year." (Ex23:14,16; 34:22)

    "Speak to the children of Israel, saying: In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a Sabbath observance, a memorial of SHOUTING WITH [trumpet] BLASTS, a holy convocation." (Le23:24)

    "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if you have become acquainted with understanding... when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God SHOUTED FOR JOY?" (Job38:4,7)

There is a saying among the Jews that Rosh Hashanah is the anniversary of God's creation of the earth back in Genesis ch1. That it is, if you will, the earth's "birthday".

I'm not sure where they get this, nor if that is the case. The words quoted above, for the 'third' annual feast, speak of the "end of the year" or the "turn of the year". Perhaps that is why? On the other hand, Passover was to be celebrated as the "beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you" (Ex12:2)

There certainly is a symbolism, in our northern hemisphere (where Israel is), of the end of the growing season. This Monday (9/29/08) is on the calendar as: "Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown" The other evening I had the last of this year's fresh garden corn. They predicted frost for another night, so I went and picked the remaining tomatoes, and no more cucumbers seem to be coming. The apples are picked and in the fridge's crisper. Grapes (the few there were) all picked. In PB's little world, it is the end of my yard's growing season. I've also stopped watering, and the lawn is getting into its end-of-year brown stage; and then it rains and greens up somewhat. Some leaves around the city are already turning to their fall colors. An area near Spokane, called "Greenbluff", is now into their 'harvest' season, where the public goes and pays to "pick-your-own" fruit. (Last year my neighbors gave me a couple of peaches they had picked there: Yummy! Juicy!)

(The first four elements of the first two annual feasts were fulfilled at Jesus' crucifixion, resurrection for Passover, and the start of the Church at Pentecost. The last three elements for Ingathering are yet to be fulfilled. And the 'next' in that squence is Trumpets. Thus, this writing, at this time. Although, we are not presuming to predict which 'year' the Lord will come.)

The "shouting with (trumpet) blasts" is often called "Feast of Trumpets"; even though the word "trumpet" is not actually in the Hebrew text. When God created the universe the angels "shouted for joy". Were there also some trumpet blasts? It doesn't say. But based on this, I wonder?

Trumpets are used for many things. For various occasions in Israel they would blow the Shofar. When announcements were proclaimed, they would blow the shofar or trumpets. When Israel traveled in the wilderness, they used the silver trumpets to give the signal. In our present world various things are announced and signaled with trumpets. Horse races, arrival of dignitaries at palaces or royal locations. There is nothing quite like the sound of many trumpets. One of my more enjoyable occasions was when I was with the Tudor Singers of Montreal years ago, and the Canadian Brass came and shared a joint concert with us. In that cathedral the sound just floats and fills the hall. Years ago the Ohman Brothers had an album "Glorious Sounds of Brass". (Chuck Ohman currently announces for Jack Van Impi's TV program; thus, if you've seen it, you might also have noticed how their theme music is a brass choir) Who isn't familiar with the "Bugler's Holiday". The Ohman's sound on that is cutting and razzle dazzle. Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops on the recording I have, the trumpets are more 'silky'. And Oh! the sounds of Wynton Marsalis playing Baroque classics!

The Feast of Ingathering had three elements: Trumpets, Atonement, and Booths. Atonement was a time when they were to "afflict [their] souls" (Le23:27) And as we see the "affliction" that will come upon the earth, there are "seven" trumpets in that context. And when the last three are to sound, it proclaims, "Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!" (Re8:13) And for Israel it is proclaimed, "Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; it is even the time of Jacob‘s trouble..." (Jer30:7)

The trumpets were blown on the "first day" of the month. Atonement was on the 10th day. What went on during those ten days? Before the seven trumpets sound, after the seventh seal, there is also a period of "silence" (Re8:1)

And finally is Feast of Booths. During the Millennium the nations will travel to Jerusalem to celebrate booths, "I will be their God. For they shall return to Me with their whole heart" (Jer24:7) And where Atonement (Yom Kippur) was to be with "affliction", Booths (Sukkot) was to be celebrated with joy: "and you shall rejoice before Jehovah your God for seven days" (Le23:40) because their sin has been atoned. They are now in right standing before God.

But the Trumpets are sounded to -announce- that it is about to begin; as everybody gets to their seats as the horses fuss around at the starting gates. Many races start with: On your Maaaarrrks! (silence) Get Seeeeet! (silence) BANG! (the starting gun) Aaaand... They'rrrre OoooFF! (borrowing from Spike Jones...who was Beetle Bum, anyway?)

If it is true that Rosh Hashanah is also the anniversary of creation, there was -JOY- at creation. But if Feast of Trumpets portends the coming doom of Jacob's Trouble of Atonement, and Israel's "affliction"; as with Creation is there anything joyful about it?

There are some other mentions of trumpets that I believe correspond.

    "For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a shouted command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the TRUMPET of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together at the same time with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord." (1Th4:16-17)

    "Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed; in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last TRUMPET. For the TRUMPET will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." (1Co15:51-52)

When Stephen was martyred, Jesus rose up from His throne at the Father's right hand. (Ac7:56) But at this future event, when the "dead in Christ" (the Church) and the Believers still alive at the moment are caught up to be with Christ, Jesus not only gets down off the throne, but also "descends from Heaven".

Now if the staircase where royalty comes down is flanked on either side with streamered fanfare trumpets, and the sound is glorious (there is no other sound quite like it, and just raises the goose bumps with tingling), can you imagine what the Heavenly trumpets sound like as Jesus, the Royalty from God's throne, comes down to make His grand "appearance". (2Tim4:1) And as the 'banquet is served', the steward, the archangel, raises his voice to -announce- the honored guests: those just raised from the dead, and those caught up alive. Those who have been "washed from our sins in His blood" (Rev1:5) Those "redeemed from the earth" (Rev14:3)

    "...and every eye will see Him...and all tribes of the earth will wail because of Him. Even so, Amen." (Rev1:7)
And so, if this resurrection is like that of the two witnesses, "And they ascended towards Heaven in a cloud, and THEIR ENEMIES SAW THEM." (Rev11:12) will not the Resurrection and Rapture be quite the grand event before the entire universe!

The trumpet sounds, announcing the appearing of Jesus Christ. The honored guests are summoned to be seated for the banquet, the "marriage supper of the Lamb" (Re19:9)

And now: Let the contest begin!

In reality, the 'contest' (between satan and God) has been going on for millennia. But now satan is cast down to the earth, and it is his final gasps as he tries to get in his last 'licks' at God, as he is in "great wrath" (Re12:12) And for a time it seems he is getting the upper hand as he "overcomes" the saints (Rev13:7) and 2/3 of Israel is killed (Zec13:8) and the rest run off to hiding (Re12:6,14, Mt24:15-21).

Sorry to be a bit 'gross' here, but this contest is like the old Roman colliseum, where it was a fight-to-the-death. Or if not to the death, sometimes the loser would be so-deformed, he was no longer recognizable. Like in the one case that history tells of the one who lost, and when he returned to his rural home, his own hometown people beat him up because they thought he was trying to impersonate the one they knew, that he no longer looked like. In this country in recent times they have a so-called "martial arts" form of "cage fighting" I see promoted on TV, and see the promos for it for the local Indian casinos. I can't stand to watch it, but flip quickly to another channel. Locked in a cage, and it seems to be, pretty much....anything goes. Until one is obviously bested, and the ref stops the fight.

Thus: Let the fight begin.

Yes, there is blood and gore. A lot of pain and suffering. But in this case, it is the final outworking of -justice-.

    "You are righteous, O Lord, the One who is and who was and who is to be, because You have judged these things, for they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink, for they are deserving. And I heard another out of the altar saying, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments." (Rev16:5-7)
Right now True Believers on this earth are surrounded by the great "cloud of witnesses". (Heb12:1) We are on the playing field, and the Heavenly stadium is filled with spectators. When the trumpet sounds, and we have been "raised from out of the midst" (2Th2:7) and seated as guests of honor as the "bride" of Jesus Christ, we are in the "box seats". Satan himself is now in the middle of the field, and as new Believers "call upon the name of the Lord", he mows them down in martyrdom because they refuse to bow to his image (Rev13:15); and Israel because... well... they're "Israel" the "pupil" of God's eye. (Zec2:8)

But finally, Enough-is-Enough! As sometimes happens in stadiums (especially soccer/football in Europe), the fans get upset with the way the contest is going, and upset with the "bad calls" of the referees. The fans get out of the stands and 'charge the field'.

    "For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem. And the city shall be captured, and the houses plundered, and the women ravished. And half the city shall go into captivity and the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. And Jehovah shall go forth and fight against those nations, like the day He fought in the day of battle. And His feet shall stand in that day on the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall split in two, from the east even to the west, a very great valley... And Jehovah my God shall come, and all the saints with You." (Zec14:2-5)
We who know the Lord are in -anticipation- of the coming of Jesus Christ to take us to Himself. And when we get to Heaven, or wherever Jesus will be during those next seven years, there will certainly be -joy- at being in His presence.

But that event for which we look forward with anticipation, the loud Shout and the Trumpet that heralds it, is not an occasion of joy for the world. It is an occasion of doom for them! Because...

    "unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be kept safe alive; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened." (Mt24:22)
How close are we?

Right now, and for the past how-many? years, America has been the world's financial leader. (We helped "bail out" Japan, Mexico, etc when they were in similar circumstances) Although, some say the real financial power is wielded in London. Regarding the current crisis they are speaking in terms of $700 Billion to a Trillion. How much money is that? For some visual aides in understanding the incomprehensibility of such staggering amounts, on Thursday there was a good little piece by Dave Daubenmire, "Monopoly Money" at [link] What does a Trillion dollars look like? How long would it take to count it? Even though I don't understand (have never studied) high finance, I've been listening to some of the 'experts' that appear on Public TV, and from the BBC, etc. As of this writing, it seems the experts are saying that, even if this highly publicized "bail-out" happens, that we are yet only "half-way" through the current problems. Wednesday evening President Bush in his prime time speech kept repeating the mantra about restoring and maintaining the "flow of credit". Why don't they call it what it is, "flow of DEBT". Like one of this nation's founding fathers was quoted as having said about: Don't incur more debt to pay off debts. But I suspect this has been the long-term plan since way-back-when? So entrenched is the concept that Star Trek Next Generation did not use money (such an 'antiquated' concept!); they had "credit" points.

Credit, by practical definition is where you take possession of something, but don't pay for it...now. Payment is 'deferred'. Thus, when you take possession, you have just put yourself "in debt". Some like to juggle things, paying off one credit card with another credit card. But they are still IN DEBT by the same amount, plus interest!

So, the money brokers want to "bail out" the economy by extending MORE CREDIT, to pay off the defaulted loans, caused by actions during the Clinton administration: lowering of standards against "higher risk" home buyers, etc. In the name of socialized Political correctness, etc. (In the world of finance, it takes about that many years for the effects of actions/causes to be fully realized.) And this country is now already in debt, for other reasons, to the tune of nearly 10 Trillion dollars.

Let's consider a moment: What are the two primary characteristics of the coming 70th week, as given in Biblical prophecy? Well, perhaps three? 1) Religion: bowing to the image, 2) Economy: the (worldwide) "mark" of the beast necessary for all transactions, 3) Attempt to annihilate Israel.

Iran's Ahmadi-nut-job pretty much embodies and represents #3. Rome and the emerging church are #1, and when the Church is raptured out, it will be as nothing for those remaining to quickly complete the union. But until now #2 hasn't -quite- been ready, in place. A lot of technology being developed to embody and accomodate the "mark"; but not yet the "need" for it. What would bring on the "mark" quite like a total global financial melt-down, and some -person- to emerge as a "messianic" savior to foist upon the world the "solution" to 'bail-out' the global economy.

Again: How close are we?

If we are only (as some say) "half-way" through the current "crisis", where will it end up? Where's the 'bottom'? Will they implement a "bail-out", and will that fail? Is the crisis real or contrived? (since it involves the "flow" of 'nothing'; paper and binary computer data)

And if relatively 'minor' events like hurricanes, earthquakes, somebody's pontification about this or that, cause the stock markets to jump and dive... What will the grand descent of Jesus Christ, with the fanfare of trumpets, and the calling up of the Church do?

For "we who believe" (Heb4:3) the grand trumpet heralded event is for Glory and Praise and everlasting joy in God's Holy Presence.

But for the world (like Israel at Sinai Ex19:16), the trumpets will be a time of shuddering, terror and fear; portending doom. (Rev6:16)

So....

Let finances collapse! (Re6:5-6) Let the storms come and wash civilization away! How about some more earthquakes. Time for super-volcano Yellowstone to erupt? (Joel2:30)(they say it's long overdue) Let the sun go into convulsions and "scorch men with fire" (Re16:8) Yes, flip earth's magnetic field! Some asteroids and comets. (Re6:13) Outbreaks of disease and pestilence. Start killing off sinful humanity right and left! (Re6,9) Unleash those nukes. (Zec14:12) Worship the earth and "mother nature". (Rom1:25) Indulge your lusts! Fulfill your obligations to the dragon, the serpent of old (Re12:9)...and share in his judgments! (Mt25:41, Re20:10,15)

Oh, yeah....

HEY YOU! FROM THE EMERGING CHURCH! who used to castigate Christ's Beloved as being Judgmental and filled with Hate Speech! YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT, I'M TALKIN' TO YOU! Here they are, seated with honor. Come! you from satan's [c]hurch! "bow the knee" before them! and realize that Jesus Christ, whom you do not know, "has loved" them. (Rev3:9) He purchased them with His own blood. (Rev1:5, Ac20:28) Amen! Amen!

So as the trumpet is sounded, Jesus comes down from Heaven, and the Redeemed are seated... it is JUDGMENT TIME!

Let the final games begin!

Even so, Amen! (Re1:7)


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