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FESTIVALS IN SCRIPTURE AND HISTORY VOLUME II: THE FALL FESTIVALS
IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
To know in advance the likely occurrence of important events which will impact on our lives is a burning human desire. To satisfy such a desire we listen daily to a host of forecasters who predict with more or less accuracy when to expect, for example, a snowstorm, a tornado, an eclipse, a lunar landing, an economic upturn or downturn, a stock market advance or decline, the end of a hostage crisis, or a war, etc. Advance knowledge of when to expect a major development can sometimes make the difference between success or failure, gain or loss, and, in some cases, life or death.
The most important event that will make the difference between life and death for every human being, is the Final Judgment. Thus it is not surprising that God gives us in the Bible advance warnings about this important event that will decide our destiny. In the previous chapter we noted that in the Old Testament times the approach of the final judgment was announced in advance by the blowing of trumpets on the first day (new moon) of the first six months. The blowing of trumpets served to warn the people to prepare themselves for the final judgment that would begin on the first day of the seventh month. The latter was known as the Feast of Trumpets, because on that day the shofar was blown in a massive way throughout the land to announce to the people that the Day of Judgment had arrived and they should prepare themselves to stand trial before the heavenly court.
In this chapter we examine the themes of the Feast of Trumpets as found especially in the book of Revelation. We shall see that the feast fulfills the same warning function in the New Testament. God has a heart to warn His people because He is not in the business to punish but to save. Sometimes His warning take the form of calamities so that people might repent before it is too late (Rev 9:20; 16:9).
Many today have difficulty to accept the idea of a divine final judgment that will decide the destiny of every human being. But the Scripture does not argue for the reality or necessity of a final judgment, it simply acknowledges its reality as a self-evident truth and warns us to prepare for it. The Feast of Trumpets fulfills this important warning function. The only way into the world to come is not through a gradual evolution but through a final judgment. The reality of the final judgment is as inescapable as death: "it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment" (Heb 9:27).
Paul asks rhetorically: "Do you suppose, O man, that . . . you will escape the judgment of God?" (Rom 2:3). The answer is never in doubt. The final judgment is such a self-evident and fundamental reality that it makes any present judgment of the conduct of fellow-believers inappropriate (Rom 14:10) and any judgment of a "human court" passed upon believers of relative value (1 Cor 4:3-4).
The necessity of a final judgment rests on the moral nature of God and on the moral order of His creation. Only by abrogating His moral nature and the moral order of His universe could God dispense with the final judgment. If God is a moral, just God, He must judge in a final, decisive way the moral conduct of all His rational creatures. Godís justice and mercy need a final outward judgment for their revelation and vindication. It is only the final judgment that will bring the conflict between good and evil to an end by disposing of evil in a decisive and permanent way. It is not surprising that such an important event is announced in Scripture by the blowing of trumpets.
Objectives of the Chapter. This chapter examines the doctrine of the doctrine of the final judgment in the context of the Feast of Trumpets in the New Testament. The study is divided into three parts according to its objectives. The first part examines some aspects of the continuity and discontinuity between the Old and New Testaments that were left out in our discussion of this issue in chapter 3 of the first volume of Godís Festivals in Scripture and History. Special attention will be given to the indications of the continued use of the Jewish calendar in the apostolic church.
The second part looks at the Feast of Trumpets in the New Testament. Special consideration will be given to the connection between the Feast of Trumpets and the seven trumpets of the book of Revelation. The study reveals striking similarities between the themes of the Feast of Trumpets and those of the seven trumpets. We shall see that the heavenly judgment typified by the Feast of Trumpets finds its antitypical fulfillment at the blowing of the seventh trumpet (Rev 11:15-18). Adventists refer to the heavenly judgment that proceeds Christís Return, as the "investigative judgment," to distinguish it from the executive judgment carried out by Christ at His coming.
The third part explores the broader Biblical base and theological implications of the pre-Advent judgment typified by the Feast of Trumpets. Our analysis will focus on significant passages which refer explicitly or implicitly to the judicial process that proceeds the Second Advent. To bring into focus the importance of the pre-Advent judgment typified by the Feast of Trumpets, we will reflect on the theological relevance of this doctrine for our Christian life today.
This study of the typological meaning and antitypical fulfillment of the Feasts of the Trumpets has important implications for the doctrinal positions of Sabbatarian churches in general and of the Seventh-day Adventist church in particular. Most Sabbatarian who observe the Feast of Trumpets believe that the feast represent Christís Return which is announced "with the sound of the trumpet of God" (1 Thess 4:16). This interpretation is not quite accurate because the typological function of the Feast of Trumpets is to announce the final judgment that precedes the Second Advent, and not the Christís Return per se.
This study is also relevant for the Seventh-day Adventist doctrine of the pre-Advent judgment which historically has been based largely on the typology of the Day of Atonment. Our study shows that the judgment process that preceeds the return of Christ cannot be based exclusively on the typology of the Day of Atonement, but must include also the typology of the Feast of Trumpets. The reason, as we shall see, is that Day of Atonement typifies the completion and not the inauguration of a judgment process. The latter began ten days earlier with the blowing of the trumpets on the first day of the seventh month.
This means that the typological base of the pre-Advent judgment should be broadened to include also the Feast of Trumpets. This would provide a coherent correspondence between the heavenly judgment typified by the Feast of Trumpets and the antitypical investigative judgment realized prior to Christís Return.
PART I: CONTINUITY AND DISCONTINUITY OF THE ANNUAL FEASTS
The lack of explicit instructions in the New Testament regarding the time and manner of observance of the Fall Feasts of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles, is often interpreted as proof of their termination with the death of Christ. It is widely assumed that the meaning and function of the annual feasts terminated at the Cross because they were associated with the sacrificial system of the temple which came to an end with the death of Jesus.
This prevailing view rests on the assumption that the coming of Christ brought about a radical discontinuity between the Old and New Testaments, Law and Grace, Judaism and Christianity. The abandonment of the Jewish religious Holy Days and the adoption of a new Christian liturgical calendar is seen by many as the most obvious evidence of this radical discontinuity.
Continuity Between Judaism and Christianity. This traditional understanding of Christian origins is grossly inaccurate and misleading. The New Testament recognizes that Christís coming brought about a certain discontinuity by fulfilling Old Testament typological institutions, but this discontinuity is never interpreted in terms of abrogation of the Mosaic law in general, or of Holy Days in particular. The meaning of the discontinuity is defined in the light of the sense of continuity in Godís plan of salvation that is evident in the New Testament.
In chapter 3 of the first volume of Godís Festivals in Scripture and History we discussed at some length the continuity between Judaism and Christianity that is present in the writings of Luke and Paul. We found that Luke, for examples, emphasizes the continuity between Judaism and Christianity in his portrayal of the apostolic church. Again and again he reports the mass conversion of thousands of Jews (Acts 2:41; 4:4; 5:14; 9:42; 12:24; 13:43; 14:1; 17:12; 21:20). To a modern reader, "conversion" implies a radical change in religious practices. This, however, was not the case with the earliest converts, because the "many thousands" of Jews who "believed" (Acts 21:20) did not view their acceptance of Jesus of Nazareth as their expected Messiah as representing a breaking away from their Jewish religion and a joining to a new religion, Christianity. They simply viewed themselves as "believing Jews."
Jews could be converted by the thousands, because their acceptance of Jesus of Nazareth as their expected Messiah did not entail a rejection of their religion, but the realization of their Messianic expectations. Luke describes the thousands of Jewish converts as "zealous for the law" (Acts 21:20). Paul is described in his speeches as a "Pharisee" (Acts 23:6) who believes everything written in the law and the prophets (Acts 24:14) and who has done nothing "against the law of the Jews, nor against the Temple" (Acts 25:8; and 28:17). To prove that he lived "in observance of the law," Paul agreed to undertake a ritual purification at the Temple (Acts 21:24-26) during his last visit to Jerusalem, about A. D. 58. It is evident that if Paul and the Jewish converts lived in the observance of the law, they could hardly have abandoned an important aspect of the law, namely, their religious calendar.
Continuity of the Jewish Religious Calendar. If the primitive Christian communities had abandoned the Jewish religious calendar, they would have been left with only two options. The first option would have been to adopt pagan calendar which named the days and the months after pagan deities and marked out the seasons by pagan rites.1 This option was rejected not only by Paul (Gal 4:10) but also by early Christian teachers (Fathers) who denounced as idolatry the adoption by Christians of the planetary week, which names its days after planetary gods, as well as the adoption of pagan feasts.2 It must be admitted that eventually most Christians did adopt not only the pagan planetary week but also the pagan seasonal feasts. This, however, is a later development that cannot be traced back to New Testament times.
The second option would have been for Christians to avoid time-keeping altogether. Some commentators uncritically assume this position by appealing to the Pauline notion of Christian freedom.3 Unfortunately they ignore that Paulís concept of Christian freedom did not entail the abandonment of the Jewish religious calendar and the adoption of an unstructured life-style without time-keeping.
Paulís time references clearly reflect his adoption of the Jewish religious calendar, though modified and transformed by the coming of Christ. For example, in 1 Corinthians 16:2 Paul recommends a fund-raising plan for the Jerusalem church consisting of laying aside at home some money kata mian sabbaton, that is, "every first day from the Sabbath." The fact that Paul refers to the first day of the week, not by the prevailing pagan name dies solisĖDay of the Sun, but by the Jewish designation "first day from the Sabbath," reveals that he taught his Gentile converts to regulate their lives by the Jewish calendar.
In his article "Pagan and Judeo-Christian Time-Keeping Schemes in Galatians 4:10 and Colossians 2:16," published in New Testament Studies (1996), Troy Martin rightly observes that "The references to time in Paulís First Epistle to the Corinthians exclusively reflect the adoption of a Jewish calendar. Even in a place like Corinth, Paul speaks of the first day from Sabbath (kata mian sabbaton; 1 Cor 16:2), and not of the day of the sun. He builds an elaborate argument based upon the festival of Passover and unleavened bread (1 Cor 5:6-8) in order to exhort the Corinthians, ĎLet us keep the festivalí (1 Cor 5:6-8). Although the temporal references in Paulís letters are sparse, 1 Corinthians provides strong evidence for the Pauline adoption of the Jewish practice that marked time by festivals and Sabbaths."4
The Christian adherance to the Jewish calendar is especially evident in the book of Acts. Repeatedly Paul proclaims the Gospel in synagogues and in the outdoor on the Sabbath (Acts 13:14, 44; 16:13; 17:2). In Troas, Paul speaks to the believers on the first day from Sabbath (mia ton sabbaton) (Acts 20:7). "The portrayal of Paul in Acts," as Troy Martin points out, "supplies clear evidence that Christians mark time by segments of festivals and Sabbaths."5
Concerning the feasts we are told that Paul sails from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread (Acts 20:6) and that he intends to arrive at Jerusalem by the feast of Pentecost. The Western and Byzantine text of Acts 18:21, which is accepted by the King James Version, reads: "But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return unto you again, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus" (KJV).
Paulís statement "I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem" is generally regarded as an addition of the Western and Byzantine texts, because it does not appear in other early manuscripts. This may well be the case, yet the fact remains that in two very early textual traditions Paul is portrayed as very eager to keep a festival in Jerusalem. Such an interpolation, if indeed it is one, reflect a concern to show Paulís eagerness to keep Jewish feasts, presumably to justify their observance within certain Christian churches.
It is difficult to tell for how long Christians continued to use the Jewish religious calendar. The Passover controversy of the late second century indicates that it was still widely used at that time. In A. D. 186 Pope Victor excommunicated the entire church in Asia Minor for observing Passover on the fourteenth of Nisan, rather than on Easter-Sunday. The continued use of the Jewish religious calendar is presupposed also by the sense of continuity between Judaism and Christianity that we find, for example, in Matthew, Hebrews and Revelation. To these books we want to briefly turn our attention.
Continuity in Matthew. In Matthew the major events of Christís life, such as the conception, the birth, the massacre of innocent children, the announcement of Christís ministry by John the Baptist, the baptism, etc., are all presented as the direct fulfillment of Messianic prophecies.
Not only the life, but also the teachings of Christ are presented as the continuation and confirmation of the Old Testament. The "golden rule" in Matthew 7:12 is presented as being in essence "the law and the prophets." In Matthew 22:40 the two great commandments are viewed as the basis upon which "depend all the law and the prophets." In Matthew 19:16-19, Jesus tells the rich young man who wanted to know what he should do to have eternal life, "keep the commandments." Then He proceeds to list five of them.
Perhaps Matthewís most emphatic affirmation of continuity is found in the passage where Jesus affirms to have come not "to abolish" but "to fulfill" the law and the prophets (Matt 5:17-20). In the light of the antitheses of verses 21-48, "to fulfill" appears to mean "to clarify," "to explain" the meaning of the law and the prophets. Repeatedly in Matthew, Jesus acts as the supreme interpreter of the law who attacks external obedience and some of the rabbinical (Halakic) traditions (Matt 15:3-6; 9:13; 12:7; 23:1-39).
"To fulfill" could also refer to the prophetic realization of the law and prophets in the life and ministry of Christ. This would imply an element of discontinuity which has led some to conclude that the law and the prophets came to an end in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. This interpretation goes too far because verse 18 explicitly affirms that the law would be valid "till heaven and earth pass away." This expression clearly goes beyond the earthly ministry of Christ.
In the light of the foregoing considerations, we conclude that Matthew sees in Christ not the termination of the law and the prophets, but their realization and continuation. We might say that in Matthew the law and the prophets live on in Christ who realizes, clarifies and, in some cases, intensifies their teachings (Matt 5:21-22, 27-28). The Christological realization and continuation of the Old Testament law has significant implications for the New Testament understanding of how the Feasts of Israel relate to Christís first and second Advents. This Christological understanding is found especially in the books of Hebrews and Revelation.
Discontinuity in Hebrews. The book of Hebrews provides valuable insights into the manner in which the tension between continuity and discontinuity was being resolved in the New Testament times. The book suggests that the sense of continuity with the Old Testament was so profound that some Christians (Hellenistic Jews according to F. F. Bruce)6 actually returned to the practice of their "ancestral Jewish faith" and "Jewish Liturgy."7
To counteract the influence of Jewish sacrificial cultus, the author shows the superiority of Christ over the angels, Moses and the priesthood. The last of the three is discussed at great length in chapters 7 to 10, apparently because the Jewish sacrificial cultus still exercised a great attraction upon these Christians.
The author of Hebrews emphasizes the discontinuity brought about by the coming of Christ, when he says that "if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood" (7:11), there would have been no need for Christ to come. But because the priests, the sanctuary, and its services were "symbolic" (9:9; 8:5), they could not in themselves "perfect the conscience of the worshipper" (9:9). Consequently, it was necessary for Christ to come "once for all at the end of the age to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself" (9:26). The effect of Christís coming is described as "setting aside" (7:18), making "obsolete" (8:13), "abolishing" (10:9) all the Levitical services associated with the sanctuary.
Some have interpreted these affirmations as indicating a radical abrogation of the Old Testament law in general and of the Holy Days in particular.8 Such an interpretation ignores that the statements in question are found in chapters 7 to 10, which deal with the Levitical, sacrificial regulations. Though the author uses in these chapters the term "law" (10:1) and "covenant" (8:7, 8, 13), he mentions them with reference to the Levitical priesthood and services. It is in this context of the Levitical ministry, that they are declared "abolished" (10:9). But this declaration can hardly be taken as a blanket statement for the abrogation of the law in general.
Continuity in Hebrews. Note should be taken of the fact that Hebrews teaches not only discontinuity but also continuity. The latter is expressed in a variety of ways. There is continuity in the revelation which the same God "spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets" and now "in these last days has spoken to us by a Son" (1:1-2). There is continuity in the faithfulness and accomplishments of Moses and Christ (3:2-6).
There is continuity in the redemptive ministry offered typologically in the earthly sanctuary by priests and realistically in the heavenly sanctuary by Christ Himself (chs. 7, 8, 9, 10). By virtue of His death and resurrection, Christ became "a minister in the sanctuary and the true tent which is set up not by man but by the Lord" (Heb 8:2).
There is continuity in the cleansing of the Day of Atonement which is accomplished in the heavenly sanctuary by Christ with "better sacrifices" (Heb 9:23). "For Christ has entered, not into a sanctuary made with hands, a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf" (Heb 9:24). As the Israelites waited for the reappearance of the high priest on the Day of Atonement, so Christians await the return of Christ from the most holy of the heavenly sanctuary. There is continuity in faith and hope, as New Testament believers share in the faith and promises of the Old Testament worthies (chs. 11-12).
More specifically, there is continuity in the "sabbatismos"óa term used in a technical way by Plutarch, Justin, Epiphanius, Apostolic Constitutions to designate Sabbath observanceówhich "remains" (apoleipetai), literally "is left behind for the people of God" (Heb 4:9).9 It is noteworthy that while the author declares the Levitical priesthood and services as "abolished" (Heb 10:9), "obsolete" and "ready to vanish away" (Heb 8:13), he explicitly teaches that a "Sabbathkeeping is left behind for the people of God" (Heb 4:9).
The above examples show that Hebrews endeavors to clarify both the continuity and discontinuity brought about by the coming of Christ. The Levitical priesthood, the temple, and its services are proclaimed to be terminated by the coming of Christ, but other aspects of the law, such as "the Sabbath rest," are declared to be "left behind for the people of God" (4:9).
The continuation of the Sabbath as a faith response to Christ is indicative of how the Hebrew calendar had been transformed in the Christian community in the light of the Gospel. This transformation of the Hebrew calendar is evident especially for the Day of Atonment whose antitypical fulfillment is explained at great length in chapter 9. The fact that the author labors to show the correspondence between the annual purification of the earthly sanctuary with blood by the high priest and the purification of the heavenly sanctuary with "better sacrifices" (Heb 9:23) by Christ Himself, reveals that the Day of Atonment was still significant in the religious experience of that Christian church. It is evident that its meaning had been transformed by Christís atoning sacrifice.
George Buchanan rightly observes that "Christian and Jews have been slow in changing liturgy and worship patterns, and many Jewish practices continued into Christianity without analysis. The author of Hebrews argued strongly that Jesusí sacrifice made further sacrifices on the Day of Atonment unnecessary, but if the temple had not fallen, Jewish-Christians might have continued to share with Jews this sacrifice in Jerusalem. Faced with this new crisis [i. e., the destruction of the Temple], however, Christians found in the Book of Hebrews a justification for discontinuing this practice."10 There is no question that the destruction of the Temple in A. D. 70 caused not only the Jews and also the Christians to re-evaluate their observance of the Holy Days, since sacrifices could not longer be offered. But as the Jews developed a non-sacrificial observance of their religious calendar after the destruction of the Temple, so Christians transformed the Jewish calendar in the light of the Gospel.
In his book The Primitive Christian Calendar, Philip Carrington, Archibishop of Quebec, concurs with Buchanan when he writes: "The Epistle to the Hebrews makes use of the old Hebrew liturgical tradition as it has been transformed by the Christian gospel. It would be natural to ask whether it is not a megillah (or roll) for the Day of Atonement, the ritual of which it interprets in a Christian sense; Hebrews 12:22 is distinctly reminiscent of the ĎShofarotí [blowing of shophar] of Tishri 1 which is the Day of Trumpets."11
The passage in Hebrews to which Carrington refers speaks of the festal gathering of thousands of angels to which believers have come: "You have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men" (Heb 12:22-23, NIV).
The reference to "thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly" remind us of the judgment scene of Daniel 7:10, where "ten thousand times ten thousand" of angels stood before God when the judgment books were opened. The reference to the "names written in heaven" and to God as "the judge of all men," adds support to the possible connection between the festal gathering of angels and the Feast of Trumpets, because we have found in the previous chapter that the feast inaugurated the heavenly judgment which terminated ten days later on the Day of Atonement.
The Continuity of the Hebrew Calendar. The study of the literary structure of certain New Testament books has led scholars to conclude that the apostolic church adopted a Christianized form of the Old Testament religious calendar.
Philip Carrington finds indications of the observance of the Old Testament Feasts in the liturgical use of some New Testament books. For example, regarding the Corinthian epistles he wrote: "The rich liturgical material of the Corinthian epistles, which is closely connected with a gospel tradition, makes it perfectly evident that a Christianized form of the Hebrew Calendar was then in existence, so that it would have been possible and even quite natural for Mark to have arranged his gospel for the liturgical year with a view to having it read in the churches. This Christianized Calendar was of course merely a simplified form of the Hebrew Calendar as used by Jewish Christians in Palestine where the whole Christian tradition had received its primitive form. There is no reason to think that there ever was a form of Christianity anywhere which dispensed with this Calendar."12
It is significant that Carrington finds in New Testament books indications of a Christianized the Hebrew calendar. He goes as far as to say that " There is no reason to think that there ever was a form of Christianity anywhere which dispensed with this Calendar." This statement needs some clarification. Apparently what Carrington means is that Christianity never dispensed altogether with the Jewish religious calendar, because it gave to it new meaning and form. In time, however, the Jewish religious calendar was radically changed as a result of an interplay of social, political, and pagan factors which I have examined elsewhere.13
"In the Gospel of St. Mark," continues Carrington, "we found lections [Scripture readings] which we felt obliged to associate with the autumn solemnities of the New Year, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles."14 If Carringtonís conclusion is correct, it would support a Christianized observance of the Fall Feasts in the apostolic church.
Allusions to the Feasts in Revelation. In the Johannine literature, both the Gospel and the book of Revelation, we find the richest storehouse of references and allusions to the annual feasts. The Gospel of John is built on a system of three Passovers with an elaborate section based on the Feast of Tabernacles in chapters 7 and 8 in which Jesus makes his final appeal. We will examine the Gospel of John in chapter 7 in conjunction with the Feast of Tabernacles.
The typology of the ancient feasts of Israel is embedded in the book of Revelation. Carrington rightly points out that "The Revelation lives and moves in the color and order of the Temple liturgy glorified and transformed by the Christian gospel and by the superlative imagination of the author; it reflects the Christian worship of the ecclesia [church] of the time, and became the storehouse of liturgy and hymnology for the future. It is clear from both the Gospel and Revelation that the Feast of Tabernacles was a living tradition in Johannine circles; it provided a language which Christian prophecy and evangelism could use."15
Note that Carrington believes that the presence of the annual feasts in Revelation and Johnís Gospel "reflects the Christian worship of the ecclesia of the time."16 This view is held by several scholars.17 Leonard Thompson, for example, thinks that the allusions to the annual feasts in Revelation "reflect actual church life in the way he [John] interrelates cult and eschatology."18
Feasts in the Literary Structure of Revelation. Several studies of the literary structure of the book of Revelation find that the general outline of the book seem to follow the sequential order of the Old Testament festivals. In an article on "Sanctuary Typology," Richard Davidson wrote: "The overall structure of the book of Revelation may be seen to follow the sweep of salvation history as set forth in the OT festival typology. The general outline of Revelation appears to progress sequentially through the OT festivals."19
Jon Paulien follows and supports Davidsonís sequential order of the annual feasts in the book of Revelation. In an article on "Seals and Trumpets: some Current Discussions," Paulien wrote: "Striking is the evidence that the book of Revelation appears to be patterned also after the annual feasts of the Jewish year."20
In his classic study A Rebirth of Images, The Making of St. Johnís Apocalypse, Austin Farrer also finds the literary structure of Revelation based largely on the annual feasts, though his sequential order differs somewhat from that of Davidson and Paulien. Farrer wrote: "St. John does not see the scripture in what seems to us to be their Ďowní pattern, he sees them artificially arranged in the Jewish sacred calendar, with its feasts and its lessons."21
The above sample of testimonies suffice to show that several scholars recognize that the allusions to the annual feasts in Revelation reflects a Christianized form of their observance during apostolic time.
The Order of the Feasts in Revelation. Both Davidson and Paulien concur on the sequential order of the annual feasts found in the literary structure of the book of Revelation. Overall I find their insights very valuable, but I am not yet persuaded that the structural scheme of Revelation follows strictly the pattern of the annual feasts. My impression is that the alleged allusions to the Spring Feasts of Passover and Pentecost in Revelation 1 to 5, are too elusive to be decisive. On the other hand, the allusions to the Fall Feasts of Trumpets, Atonment and Tabernacle are more explicit and conclusive. Before making some specific comments, I will briefly summarize the order of the feasts as the two authors see them in the general outline of Revelation.
In the first three chapters of Revelation Davidson and Paulien find indications of Passover themes in the strong concentration upon Christís death and resurrection (Rev 1:5, 17-18). Paulien notes also that "the searching scrutiny of the churches by Ďone like a son of maní reminds one of the Jewish householdís search for leaven just before Passover (Ex 12:19; 13:7)."22 He also sees Revelation 3:20 where Christ offers to dine with the believer who open the door of his heart, as a call for a Paschal "meal of mutual fellowship."23
In the next sanctuary scene of Revelation 4-5, Davidson and Paulien see in the vision of the throne the inauguration ceremony of the Lamb in the heavenly temple, an event which "is fittingly associated with Pentecost."24 Both authors associate the scroll in the hand of the Lamb (Rev 5:7-8) with the giving of the law on Mount Sinai, an event the Jews celebrated at Pentecost. "As the New Moses, the Lamb receives, as it were, the new Torah from God in Rev. 5."25
In the third major section of the seven trumpets (Rev 8-9,11), Davidson and Paulien see a reminder of "the seven monthly new moon feastivals which form a transition between the spring and fall feasts and climax in the ĎFeastí of Trumpets (Num 10:2, 10; 29:1)."26 They rightly view the seventh trumpet of Revelation as the antitypical fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets which inaugurated the judgment process that culminated on the Day of Atonement. Paulien wrote: "The Feast of Trumpets itself, falling on the first day of the seventh month (corresponding to the seventh trumpet) ushered in the time of judgment that led up to the Day of Atonement (cf. 11:18-19)."27
This understanding of the seventh trumpet as being the antitypical fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets that ushers in the time of judgment leading to the Day of Atonment, that is, the events leading to the return of Christ, is of crucial importance for Seventh-day Adventists. The reason is that historically we Adventists have developed the doctrine of the pre-Advent judgment out of the typology of the Day of Atonment, ignoring the typology of the Feast of the Trumpets. But our study of the typology of the Feast of Trumpets and of its antitypical fulfillment in the seventh trumpet of Revelation, suggests, as Paulien recognizes, that the pre-Advent judgment begins with the Feast of Trumpets and ends with the Day of Atonment. If this is true, and the evidence is compelling, it is necessary for our Seventh-day Adventist church to broaden the typological base of the pre-Advent judgment to include the Feast of Trumpets as well, in order to be consistent with festival typology. This question will be addressed more fully later in this chapter.
The Day of Atonement themes are first introduced, according to Davidson, in Revelation 11:19, which "ushers us into the Most Holy Place for the commencement of the antitypical holiest day of the cultic year, the day of atonement (Yom Kippur)."28 The seven great controversies scenes that follow until chapter 20 represent the outcome of the investigative and executive phases of the Day of Atonement.
Finally, the Feast of Tabernacles themes are found, according to Davidson and Paulien, in the final section of Revelation (chapter 21 and 22) which is couched with the imagery of tabernacles. God is "tabernacling" with His people (Rev 21:3). Water and light, which are the primary images of the feast, find their ultimate fulfillment in Revelation 22:1, 5, which speak of "the river of the water of life," and of God who "will be their light."29
Evaluation of the Order of the Feasts in Revelation. Davidson and Paulien are to be commended for alerting us to the rich festival typology found in the book of Revelation. The typological evidences for the Fall Feasts are in my view more explicit and conclusive than those for the Spring Feasts. The allusions which both authors detect in the first part of Revelation to the Spring Feasts seem to me to be too elusive to be conclusive.
The Passover themes are not self-evident in the first three chapters of Revelation. While it is true that there is "a strong concentration upon Christís death and resurrection" (Rev 1:17-18; 1:5),30 there is no reference to Christ as Lamb or to elements of a Paschal meal. Instead, Christ is referred to as Son of Man (Rev 1:13), a term associated by Daniel with the heavenly judgment (Dan 7:13-14).
The imagery of Christ offering to dine with the one who opens the door, suggests more a personal fellowship with the Savior than a Paschal "meal of mutual fellowship."31 There is no indication of collective communion typical of a Paschal meal. The pronoun is singular: "I will come in to him and eat with him" (Rev 3:20). "Christís intense scrutiny of the churches" 32 can hardly be associated with the search for leaven in the Jewish household, because the latter took place before Passover, while Revelation 1-3 presents Jesusí death and resurrection in the past. Moreover, the purpose of the "scrutiny" is not merely to seek for the leaven of sin, but primarily to reassure each church that Christ is fully aware ("I know" recurs seven times) of their works, tribulations, faith, love and service.
The Pentecost themes are largely derived from the assumption that the scroll in the hands of the Lamb (Rev 5:7-8) correspond to the book of the law Moses received on Mount Sinai at the time when, according to Jewish tradition, Pentecost was instituted. This assumption, as we shall see later in this chapter, is discredited by the nature of the scroll which seems to contain not the law as such but the destiny of mankind.
Fusion of Festival Typologies. What militates against an exact sequential order of the annual feasts in Revelation is also the fact that the typology of the feasts often overlaps. Davidson recognizes this fact when he says: "Each succeeding section of Revelation must not be expected to have exclusive reference to the corresponding festival."33
A good example of the fusion of festival typologies can be seen in the vision of the great multitude in Revelation 7:9-17 where John employs the themes of both Passover and Tabernacles. Austin Farrer offers this insightful analysis of the fusion of the two feasts: "That Revelation 7:9-17 is a paschal vision can hardly be disputed. The initial object of vision is a numberless multitude praising God and the Lamb, and dressed in white robes. It is explained that the white robes are white because they are washed in the blood of the Lamb, and that these are men who have come out of the great oppression, the new Egyptian bondage. There can be no hesitation about the predominant paschal character of the vision, and yet St. John cannot restrain himself from looking beyond Passover to the feast of Tabernacles. The saints carry palm branches, a characteristic Tabernacles ceremony. More explicit still are the words, ĎTherefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple, and he that sitteth upon the throne shall tabernacle over them,í as when they were in the wilderness-tabernacles and he spread his cloudy tabernacle over their heads. So canopied, and supplied with spring-water and manna, Ďthey shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, nor shall the sun strike them, nor any heat: for the Lamb in the midst of the throne shall shepherd them and lead them to water-springs of lifeíĖthe waters of life are a promise especially recalled and invoked at the tabernacles feast."34
The fusion of the typologies of Passover and Tabernacles in Revelation 7:9-17 is not surprising, because the two feasts typify the inauguration and consummation of redemption. The vision of the great multitude at the opening of the sixth seal offers to John a preview of the conclusion of redemption, which is the antitypical fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacle. The final celebration of the Feast is described more fully in the last two chapters of Revelation which are couched in the imagery of tabernacles. Since the celebration of the ultimate restoration (Feast of Tabernacles) is made possible by the redemption accomplished by Christ, the Paschal Lamb (Feast of Passover), the typologies of the two feasts can readily overlap in Revelation.
Whether the allusions to the annual feasts occur in Revelation according to the exact order of the calendar or in an overlapping, irregular way, the fact remains that they are present in the book. Ultimately this is what matters as far as the present investigation is concerned, because their presence suggests, as noted earlier, the observance of a Christianized form of the feasts in the apostolic church. John could hardly have profusely used the typologies of the annual feasts, if by the time of his writing at the end of the first century, their observance were a thing of the past. If that were the case, the many allusions to the feasts would have been incomprehensible to the readers of Revelation. It is more reasonable to believe that the many allusions to the annual feasts reflects, as several scholars recognize, a Christianized form of their observance.
Colossians 2:16 and the Annual Feasts. Paulís reference in Colossians 2:16 to "a festival or a new moon or a sabbath" is of special importance to our study of the use of the Jewish religious calendar in the apostolic church. The three words (festival, new moon, and sabbaths) represent a progressive and exhaustive enumeration of the Old Testament sacred times. These three terms occur in similar or reverse sequence, five times in the Septuagint and several times in other literature.35 In these passages these terms designate the sequential order of the sacred times of the Jewish religious calendar.
The festivals are the annual Holy Days celebrated in the spring and fall. The new moon is the monthly celebration of the first day of the month on which the trumpets were blown in ancient Israel to remind the people of the forthcoming Feast of Trumpets (Num 10:10; Ps 81:3). It was a day of special worship (1 Sam 20:5) on which work was suspended and additional sacrifices were offered (Num 29:11-14). The Sabbath obviously is the weekly Holy Day observed on the seventh day. It is evident that the three terms represent an enumeration of the sacred times of the Jewish calendar.
Paulís use of the specific name "new moon" (neomenia) in Colossians 2:16, instead of the generic name "month" (men) as used in Galatians 4:10, clearly shows that he is thinking about the sacred times of the Jewish and not of the pagan calendar. The mention of the "new moon" is relevant to our study of the Feast of Trumpets, since the two were ideologically connected. The blowing of the trumpets on the new moon served as a monthly reminder of the forthcoming Feast of Trumpets on which the trumpets were blown in a massive way to call the people to stand trial before God during the ten days preceding the Day of Atonment when their sins would be disposed in a final and permanent way.
Approval or Disapproval of Holy Days? The important question to consider at this point is whether Paul in Colossians 2:16 is approving or disapproving the observance of the sacred times of the Jewish calendar. Historically, as I have shown in my dissertation From Sabbath to Sunday,36 this text has been interpreted as a Pauline condemnation of the observance of Old Testament Holy Days. In spite of its antiquity and popularity, this interpretation is totally wrong, because in this passage Paul is warning the Colossians not against the observances of the five mentioned practices (eating, drinking, feasts, new moon, and Sabbaths), but against "anyone" (tis) who passes judgment on how to observe them.
Note should be taken of the fact that the judge who passes judgment is not Paul, but the Colossian false teachers who impose "regulations" (2:20) on how to observe these practices in order to achieve "rigor of devotion and self-abasement and severity to the body" (2:23).
D. R. De Lacey, writing in the symposium From Sabbath to Lordís Day, rightly comments: "The judge is likely to be a man of ascetic tendencies who objects to the Colossiansí eating and drinking. The most natural way of taking the rest of the passage is not that he also imposes a ritual of feast days, but rather that he objects to certain elements of such observation."37 Presumably the "judge," that is, the false teachers, wanted the community to observe these practices in a more ascetic way ("severity to the body"ó2:23, 21); to put it crudely, the false teachers wanted the Colossian believers to do less feasting and more fasting.
By warning against the right of the false teachers to "pass judgment" on how to observe Holy Days, Paul is challenging not the validity of the Holy Days as such, but the authority of the false teachers to legislate on the manner of their observance. The obvious implication is that Paul in this text is expressing not a condemnation but an approbation of the mentioned practices, which included Holy Days.
It is noteworthy that De Lacey reaches this conclusion in spite of his view that Paul did not expect Gentile converts to observe the Holy Days. He writes: "Here again (Col 2:16), then, it seems that Paul could happily countenance Sabbathkeeping . . . However, we interpret the situation, Paulís statement ĎLet no one pass judgement on you,í indicates that no stringent regulations are to be laid down over the use of festivals."38
Paulís warning against the stringent "regulations" of the false teachers can hardly be interpreted as a condemnation of Mosaic laws regarding food and festivals, since what the apostle condemns is not the teachings of Moses but the perverted use of them promoted by the Colossian false teachers. A precept is not nullified by the condemnation of its perversion.
Early Christians Observed Feasts and Sabbaths. It is most unfortunate that a faulty exegesis of Colossians 2:14-17 has for centuries mislead Christians into believing that the Sabbath and the Holy Days were nailed to the Cross. Fortunately recent research has exposed the fallacies of this traditional interpretation.
A most recent example is the article cited earlier "Pagan and Judeo-Christian Time-keeping Schemes in Galatians 4:10 and Colossians 2:16," by Troy Martin, Professor at Saint Xavier University in Chicago. The article appeared in the 1996 Spring issue of New Testament Studies, a respected scholarly journal. Martin wrote: "This essay provides evidence that the Pauline community at Colossae, not the opponents, practiced the temporal schemes outlined by Col 2:16. . . . This investigation into the function of the list in Col 2:16 indicates that the Colossians Christians, not their critics, participate in a religious calendar that includes festivals, new moons, and Sabbaths."39
Martin rightly points out that "The adoption of the Jewish religious calendar by Paul and his communities does not necessarily mean that they also practice Jewish religious rituals. Following the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 CE, the Jewish temporal system remains intact even when the Jews are no longer able to offer the prescribed sacrifices. Furthermore, the Gentile adoption of Sabbath observance that Josephus reports does not involve the concomitant adoption of all the Jewish rituals. Even if Paul and his communities adopt the Jewish religious calendar, they may either practice, modify, or reject the Jewish religious rituals associated with it. The type of religious rituals practiced by Paul and his communities is a separate issue from the recognition that they adopted a Jewish liturgical calendar."40
Martin reaches the same conclusions in an earlier essay on Colossians 2:17 published in the Journal of Biblical Literature, where he wrote: "The preceding grammatical and syntactical investigation of the clause to de soma tou Christou [but the body is of Christ] in Colossians 2:17 suggests that the practices mentioned in 2:16 are those of the Colossians Christians and not the opponents. . . . Although the observance of neomenia [new moon] is less certain, early Christians observe both feasts and sabbaths."41
Comparison of Colossians 2:16 and Galatians 4:10. A significant contribution of Martinís research is his analysis of the difference between the time-keeping scheme found in Galatians 4:10 ("days, and months, and seasons, and years") and that found in Colossians 2:16 ("a festivals or a new moon or Sabbaths"). Martin shows that while the list in Colossians 2:16 is unquestionably Jewish because the temporal categories of festival, new moon and Sabbaths are characteristic of the Jewish religious calendar, the list in Galatians 4:10 "describes a pagan calendar unacceptable to Paul and his communities."42
Martin reaches this conclusion by examining, not only the time structure of pagan calendars,43 but especially the immediate context where Paul condemns the Galatiansí attempt to return to their pagan practices (Gal 4:8-9) by reverting to the use of their pagan calendar. "As the immediate context clearly states, Paul is worried that he has labored for the Galatians in vain since they have returned to their former pagan life as evidenced by their renewed preconversion reckoning of time. Because of its association with idolatry and false deities, marking time according to this pagan scheme is tantamount to rejecting Paulís Gospel and the one and only true God it proclaims (4:8-9). Galatians 4:10, therefore, stipulates that when the Galatians accepted Paulís Gospel with its aversion to idolatry (4:8), they discarded their pagan method of reckoning time. . . . A comparison of these lists demonstrates that the Gentile conversion to Paulís gospel involves rejection of idolatrous pagan temporal schemes in favor of the Jewish liturgical calendar."44
The conclusion of Martin that the Gentilesí conversion to the Gospel involved the rejection of their pagan calendar built upon the idolatrous worship of many gods, and the adoption of the Jewish religious calendar which had been transformed by Christís coming, represents in my view a significant breakthrough in our understanding of the continuity between Judaism and Christianity. Let us hope that these recent scholarly studies will contribute to put to rest the prevailing mistaken assumption that the apostolic church broke away immediately and radically from Judaism in general and from the Jewish religious calendar in particular.
PART II: THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS
The Feast of Trumpets, as already noted, is not explicitly found in the New Testament. What we find instead are the themes associated with this feast, especially in the book of Revelation. In fact 14 of the 23 New Testament occurrences of the noun "salpinxĖtrumpet" and of the verb "salpizoĖto sound the trumpet," appear in Revelation 8-11, the passage dealing with the seven trumpets. This is not surprising because the typology of the Feasts of Trumpets, as we shall see, finds its antitypical fulfillment especially in the seven trumpets.
The same hold true for the Fall Feasts of Atonment and Tabernacles, both of which are clearly alluded to in Revelation. The reason the imagery of the Fall Feasts is present especially in Revelation is to be found in the fact that these feasts typify the consummation of redemption which is the focus of the book. Furthermore, since the entire book of Revelation has a comprehensive sanctuary setting with a rich sanctuary festival typology, one would expect to find in it more allusions to the feasts than in other books of the New Testament.45
Trumpets and the Parousia. Before focusing our attention on the correlation between the Feast of Trumpets and the seven trumpets of Revelation, we shall briefly consider four other occurrences of trumpet in conjunction with the classic passages dealing with the Second Coming.
In Matthew 24:31 Jesus says: "And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." The angels that gather the elect do not blow the trumpet, rather, they are accompanied by "a loud trumpet call" which is sent by the Son of Man to raise the dead and to translate the living saints. This function of the trumpet call is explained in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52: "Lo! 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 imperishable, and we shall be changed."
The trumpet that is blown at the Second Advent is rightly called "the last trumpetĖeschate salpiggi," because it heralds the consummation of redemption with the resurrection or translation of believers. The sound of the last trumpet is most likely the very voice of Christ, because Jesus said: "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth" (John 5:28-29). The trumpet is associated with the voice of Christ also in Revelation 1:10 where John hears "a loud voice like a trumpet," which is identified as the voice of the glorified Son of Man (Rev 1:12-13).
"The trumpet of God" is also mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 where we find he most vivid description of the Second Advent in the Bible: "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangelís call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord."
The Lord here descends from heaven with a shout of command, the voice of the archangel, and the trumpet of God. These three sounds which are essentially one sound which brings back to life the dead in Christ and transform the living righteous. This outcome of the trumpet sound which accompanies Christís coming, reminds us of the "remembrance" function of the Feast of Trumpets.
We noted in the previous chapter that the blowing of the shofar on the Feast of Trumpets served the purpose not only of reminding the people to repent of their sins, but also of reminding God to be merciful toward His people (Num 10:9,10). The last trumpet which accompanies Christ at His Return, proves that God has not forgotten His people in the graves and in distress on earth. He remembers them by delivering them from sin, sorrow and death. In a sense this is the antitypical fulfillment of the judgment inaugurated on the Feast of Trumpets and terminated on the Day of Atonment. The latter is the day when Christ "will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him" (Heb 9:28).
The judgment nature of the "loud trumpet call" which accompanies Christís coming is evident in the immediate context of Matthew 24:31, which describes the cosmic signs of the final judgment executed by Christ at His coming. These signs include the darkening of the sun and moon, the falling of the stars and the shaking of the earth (Matt 24:29). All these signs are frequently associated in the Old Testament with the Day of the Lord (Jer 4:23-27; Ez 32:7-8; Hag 2:6-9; Is 13:9-13; Joel 2:28-32). Thus the "loud trumpet call" of Matthew 24:31 is clearly in the same judgment context of the Old Testament texts related to the Day of the Lord. We can see in the Scripture a common thread associated with the trumpet sound.
Day of Atonment and Parousia. From a typological perspective, however, the loud trumpet call that accompanies Christís Return, represents more the antitypical fulfillment of the Day of Atonment than of the Feast of Trumpets as such. The reason is that the Feast of Trumpets represents the inauguration of the pre-Advent judgment, while the Day of Atonment typifies its termination which results in the final disposition of sin. Jesus comes not to institute the judgment typified by the Feast of the Trumpets but to execute the judgment foreshadowed by the Day of Atonment. Christ comes to eliminate sin in a final and permanent way, as typified by the cleansing ritual of the Day of Atonment.
This finality of the elimination of sin was expressed on the Day of Atonment through the blasting of the ramís horn to inaugurate the Jubilee year celebration of new beginnings. "Then you shall send abroad the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of atonment you shall send abroad the trumpet throughout your land" (Lev 25:9). The liberation and restoration of the Jubilee Year was ushered by a loud trumpet blowing throughout the land. This served to remind the people of the cleansing and new moral beginning granted them by God on the Day of Atonement.
This typological meaning of the blasting of the trumpet on the Day of Atonment helps us to understand why the imagery of the Jubileeís trumpet blast is used in the Scripture to describe both the messianic ingathering of the exiles (Is 27:13; Zech 9:9-14) and the Return of Christ (Matt 24:31; 1 Thess 4:16; 1 Cor 15:52). Thus, the trumpet blast that accompanies Christís Return represents more the antitypical fulfillment of the Day of Atonment than of the Feast of Trumpets. Christ comes to accomplish the elimination of sin and the inauguration of a new order, events typified by the ritual of the Day of Atonment.
The Worship Setting of the Seven Trumpets. The themes of the Feast of Trumpets are more evident in the seven trumpets of Revelation than in the trumpet blast that accompanies Christís Return. The temple worship setting of the seven trumpets already suggests a possible connection with the Feast of Trumpets. It is important to remember, as Jon Paulien points out, that "the entire book of Revelation is placed in a setting that is based on the Old Testament tabernacle and temple cultus. Preceding each major section of the book is a sanctuary scene."46
The general setting of the seven trumpets is the offering of the incense at the golden altar of the Holy Place (Rev 8:3-5). But with the blowing of the seventh trumpet there is a movement from the Holy to the Most Holy place where the ark of the covenant is seen (Rev 11:19). This is an obvious allusion to the liturgy of the Day of Atonment when the High Priest ministered before the ark of the covenant. The transition from the Holy to the Most Holy Place suggests a movement from the typology of the Feast of Trumpets to that of the Day of Atonment. This will become clearer when we look at the thematic development of the seven trumpets.
We have seen in the previous chapter that the blowing of the shofar on the Feast of Trumpets served the purpose not only of reminding the people to repent of their sins, but also of reminding God to be merciful toward His people (Num 10:9-10). These themes are found in the seven trumpets which are introduced in Revelation 8:3-5 in the setting of the offering of incense at the golden altar together with the prayers of the saints. The response to their prayers is the casting down of the censer and the blowing of the trumpets.
The seven trumpets are unleashed in answer to the prayers of the saints. This means that the vision of the angel casting the censer filled with fire upon the earth (Rev 8:5) and of the seven angels readying themselves to blow the seven trumpets, conveys a simple truth, already expressed in the prayer of the souls of the martyrs under the altar (Rev 6:9-11), namely, that Godís judgment is a response to the prayers of the saints. In Revelation the censer of prayer becomes the censer of judgment.
Jon Paulien brings out this important point, saying: "This is a remarkable parallel to Numbers 10:8-10. There the sounding of a trumpet was understood as an act of prayer reminding God of His covenant with His people. Godís response would be to deliver them militarily and cultically. In Revelation the trumpets are unleashed by the prayers of the saints and signal Godís response to those prayers. This strong thematic parallel with Numbers 10 argues that the trumpets in Revelation 8-11 are to be understood in relation to worship and prayer as is the case in much of the Old Testament."47
This understanding of the seven trumpets as a divine response to the prayers of the saints, helps us appreciate their connection with the Feast of Trumpets, the feast when the shofar was blown throughout the land to remind God to be merciful toward His people. Furthermore, this understanding of judgment as a divine response to the prayers of the saints reveals the positive function of judgment, namely, a method for the divine vindication of believers, rather than merely a scheme for the divine retribution of sinners.
Seven Trumpets and the Feast of Trumpets. The worship setting of the seven trumpets suggests their possible connection with the Feast of Trumpets in other ways also. The association of the number seven with trumpets reminds us of the seven New Moon festivals, each of which was accompanied by the blowing of trumpets to remind the people of the forthcoming Feast of Trumpets. Thus, the seven trumpets could represent the seven new moons from the beginning of the religious year to the first day of the seventh month. The blowing of trumpets at each new moon was an anticipated Feast of Trumpets that served to remind people to prepared for the day of judgment that would be inaugurated by the massive blowing of trumpets at the new moon of the seventh month.
Jon Paulien brings out clearly the connection between the seven trumpets of Revelation and the new-moons festivals, saying: "The Feast of Trumpets is closely associated in Jewish thought with the new-moon festivals that were celebrated at the beginning of each month. Since the month of the year in the Jewish calendar are numbered beginning with Nisan, there is a sense in which the Feast of Trumpets comes as the climax of a seven-month series of mini-Feast of Trumpets. The festival, in principle then, covers the span between the spring and fall festivals. If John is familiar with Jewish thinking in these matters, and we have already seen abundant evidence that he is, the seven trumpets of Revelation probably represent the ongoing sequence of seven months with the seventh trumpet representing the Feast of Trumpets itself. It is, interestingly, within the seven trumpet (Rev 11:18) that we find the first explicit use of judgment terminology in Revelation. In Jewish thought the seventh-month Feast of Trumpets ushered in the time of judgment that led up to the Day of Atonment (cf. 11:18, 19). Correspondingly, from Revelation 11:19 to near the end of the book there is an increasing focus on judgment."48
Paulienís comment is significant, not only because it recognizes a possible correlation between the seven trumpets of Revelation and the seven new-moon festivals, but also because it acknowledges that the seventh trumpet in Revelation, like the Feast of Trumpets in Jewish thought, ushers in the time of judgment that leads up to the Day of Atonment. This is an important observation because in Adventist thought the time of judgment has generally been ushered in by the cleansing of the sanctuary on the Day of Atonment. This view is not quite correct because we noted in the previous chapter that the time of judgment actually began with the massive blowing of trumpets on the first day of the seventh months, Rosh Hashanah, and terminated ten days later on the Day of Atonment with the final disposition of sin.
The blowing of trumpets at each New Moon was understood as a day of judgment in miniature, warning people to prepare for the final judgment ushered in by the Feast of Trumpets. Correspondingly, the blowing of the first six trumpets in Revelation warns people to prepare for the final judgment inaugurated by the blowing of the seventh trumpet. Richard Davidson also notes this correlation, saying: "Just as the Feast of Trumpets (also called Rosh Hashannah, the Jewish New Year), summoned ancient Israel to prepare for the coming judgment, Yom Kippur, so the trumpets of Revelation especially highlight the approach of the antitypical Yom Kippur."49
Support for this interpretation is provided first of all by the warning function of the first six trumpets. The plagues unleashed by the blowing of the first six trumpets are judgments of grace designed to lead people to repentance. This is clearly stated in Revelation 9:20, 21 where twice we are told that people "did not repent," in spite of the judgments that accompanied the blowing of the first sixth trumpets. Gerhard Friedrich notes that the judgments of the six trumpets are "the final warning of God, His summons to repentance. . . . That these penal judgments are at root judgment of grace is emphasized in Revelation 9:20-21. The aim of God in sending the plagues is that men should be converted from idolatry. They are meant to drive men to repentance before it is too late."50
The first six trumpet judgments are a warning to beware of the final judgment which is explicitly announced at the blowing of the seventh trumpet (Rev 11:18). God is not in the business of punishing but of saving. Consequently He warns people through both calamities and preaching to repent before it is too late. The trumpet judgments become a call to repentance when they are combined with oral warnings, or, we might say, with the preaching of the Gospel. A good example is found in Ezekiel 33:2-4: "Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman; and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people; then if any one who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and did not take warning."
The warning function of the first six trumpets is indicated also by the partial character of the plagues they unleash. The plagues are limited territorially because they fall on thirds of the earth (Rev 8:7, 9, 11, 13). They are also limited temporally because they are allowed to torture mankind for only "five months" (Rev 9:5). By contrast, the seven bowl plagues fall upon all the earth (Rev 16:1, 2, 3, 4, 8). They are called the seven "last" plagues because they represent the final, end-time manifestation of Godís wrath. The trumpets, on the other hand, are a series of judgments that lead up to the final judgment, which is announced with the blowing of the seventh trumpet, the antitypical Feast of Trumpets.
The Seventh Trumpet and the Judgment. The seventh trumpet is unique because it announces the consummation of redemption. The angel informs John that at the sounding of the seventh trumpet "there should be no more delay . . . the mystery of God, as he announced to his servants the prophets, should be fulfilled" (Rev 10:6-7). "What the angel announces," as Eldon Ladd explains, "is that there will be no more time intervening before the coming end. The consummation will no longer be delayed."51 The reason is that the seventh trumpet is the antitypical Feast of Trumpets which ushers in the final judgment whose outcome is the rewarding of the righteous and the retribution of the ungodly at the coming of Christ.
"Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ĎThe kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever. . . . The nations raged, but thy wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, for rewarding thy servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear thy name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth" (Rev 11:15, 18).
It is noteworthy that the announcement of the judgment is followed by the opening of the most Holy Place of the heavenly temple where the ark of the covenant is seen (Rev 11:19). This is a clear allusion to the Day of Atonment which finds its antitypical fulfillment in the coming of Christ as indicated by the manifestation of the cosmic signs of the End. "There were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail" (Rev 11:19; cf. Rev 16:18; 6:12-14). The association of the cosmic signs of the End with the ritual of the Day of Atonment, suggests that Christís coming represents the antitypical fulfillment of the disposition of sin typified by the Day of Atonment. This topic will be examined in chapter five.
It is important to note that the seventh trumpet is depicted very differently from the preceding six ones. While the blowing of the first six trumpets unleash warning judgments on the earth, the blowing of the seventh trumpet announces Godís enthronement and judgment that transpire in heaven. "There were loud voices in heaven, saying: ĎThe kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and everí" (Rev 11:15). Then the twenty-four elders mentioned in chapters 4 and 5 fall down in worship and sing a song which contains three major themes.
The first theme is the celebration of Godís enthronement: "We give thanks to thee, Lord God Almighty, who art and wast, that thou hast taken thy great power and began to reign" (Rev 11:17). This reminds us of the blowing of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah which was seen, as we noted in the previous chapter, as a symbol of Godís enthronement. The themes of judgment and kingship are closely related, because the king was enthroned to judge over his people.
The second theme is the announcement of Godís judgment and the visitation of His wrath to establish His gracious rule in the world: "The nations raged, but thy wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged" (Rev 11:18). This reminds of the judgment that was announced by the blowing of trumpets on Rosh Hashanah. The judgment was redemptive for the penitent people and punitive for unrepenting sinners.
The third theme is the outcome of the judgment manifested in the rewarding of the righteous and the destroying of the ungodly. "[The time has come] for rewarding thy servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear thy name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth" (Rev 11:18). This points to execution of the final judgment at Christís coming, which represents the antitypical Day of Atonment In fact the announcement of the judgment is followed immediately by the opening of the Most Holy place in heaven where the ark of the covenant is seen (Rev 11:19). We noted earlier that this is a clear allusion to the Day of Atonment which finds its antitypical fulfillment in the coming of Christ as indicated by the manifestation of the cosmic signs of the End (Rev 11:19).
The thematic development of the seven trumpets reveals a movement from the warning judgment messages on this earth in conjunction with the blowing of the first six trumpets, to the announcement of Godís enthronement and the inauguration of His heavenly judgment at the blowing of the seventh trumpet. The same movement can be seen in the blowing of the trumpets during the seven new moons of the Hebrew religious calendar. During the new moons of the first six months the trumpets were blown to warn the people about the forthcoming judgment, but on the new moon of the seventh month the trumpets were blown to announce the inauguration of the heavenly judgment. These thematic similarities suggest that the seven trumpets represent the antitypical fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets.
The Seventh Trumpet and Daniel 7:9-14. The connection between the judgment theme of the Feast of Trumpets and the seven trumpets, can also be seen by comparing the themes of the seventh trumpet mentioned above with those of judgment scene of Daniel 7:9-28. The two reveal striking similarities. The first theme in Daniel 7 is like that of the seventh trumpet, namely, Godís enthronement: "As I looked, thrones were placed and one that was ancient of days took his seat" (Dan 7:9). In Revelation the twenty-four elders praise God because He has "began to reign" (Rev 11:17).
The second theme in Daniel 7 is similar to that of the seventh trumpet, namely, a heavenly judgment: "the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened" (Dan 7:10). In Revelation it says that "the time [has come] for the dead to be judged" (Rev 11:18) and "the dead were judged by what was written in the books" (Rev 20:12).
The third theme in Daniel 7 resembles that of the seventh trumpet, namely, the vindication of the saints and destruction of the ungodly powers: "And as I looked the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. . . . Judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints received the kingdom" (Dan 7:11, 22). In Revelation it says that the time has come "for rewarding thy servants . . . and for destroying the destroyers of the earth" (Rev 11:18).
These three themes are followed in Daniel 7 by the coming of the Son of Man to establish His everlasting kingdom (Dan 7:13-14). The corresponding event in the seventh trumpet is the opening of the Most Holy place in heaven which unleashes the cosmic signs associated with the Second Advent (Rev 11:19).
The striking similarities between the themes of the seventh trumpet and those of Daniel 7 suggests that both visions focus on the judgment in heaven that precedes the Return of Christ. The pre-Advent judgment typified by the Feast of Trumpets is fulfilled in the judgment visions of Daniel 7:9-14 and Revelation 11:17-18.
. In the previous chapter we noted how the Feast of Trumpets was understood in Old Testament times as the beginning of a heavenly judgment in which the destiny of every human being was decided. The purpose of the judgment was not only punitive but also redemptive. We found that the blowing of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah had a dual function. On the one hand, it called the people to repent in view of the ten days of judgment that began on that day and, on the other hand, it reassured them that they would be remembered with favor by God.
In many ways the seven trumpets fulfill the same function. On the one hand, the first six trumpets unleash judgments that are designed to call people to repent (Rev 9:20-21). On the other hand, the seventh trumpet reassures believers that God will remember them in the day of judgment, by rewarding them and punishing the ungodly.
Feast of Trumpets and Three Angelsí Messages. The judgment themes of the Feast of Trumpets can be seen also in the three angelsí messages of Revelation 14. These messages are Godís final warnings, trumpet-calls to mankind. Just as the Jews announced the beginning of the judgment on the Feast of Trumpets by a massive blowing of the shofar, so the first angel announces the arrival of the time of judgment with a "loud voice," saying: "Fear God and give glory to him for the hour of his judgment has come" (Rev 14:7).
The second angel proclaims Godís judgment upon Babylon: "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great" (Rev 14:8). Babylon is symbol of the false worship promoted by the false trinity, the dragon, the beast and false prophet (Rev 16:13).
The third angel warns people about Godís punitive judgment upon any one who "worships the beast and his image" (Rev 14:9). These three judgment messages are followed by the coming of the Son of Man for the harvest of the earth. The sequential order is instructive. Just as the judgment announced by the Feast of Trumpets was followed by the final cleansing of the believers and the punishment of the unbelievers on the Day of Atonment, so the judgment announced by the three angels is followed by the salvation of believers (represented by the harvest of the wheatóRev 14:14-16), and punishment of unbeliever (typified by the harvest of the grapes thrown in the wine press of Godís wrathóRev 14:17-20) on the day of Christís coming.
The timing of the three angelsí judgment messages is significant. They come, as noted by John A. Bollier, between the end of the first two series of judgments (seven seals and seven trumpetsóRev 6 to 13) and beginning of the last series of judgments (seven plagues, punishment of Babylon, of the beast, the false prophet, Satan and the wickedóRev 15 to 20).52 What this means is that the heavenly judgment begins before the outpouring of the seven last plagues, which terminate with the Coming of Christ (Rev 16:15).
The Pre-Advent nature of the three angelsí judgment-messages is indicated also by the fact that they precede the vision of the two harvests reaped by Christ at His Coming. The fact that the announcement about the beginning of the judgment is made before Christ comes "for the harvest of the earth" (14:15), suggests that this is the Pre-Advent phase of the final judgment. This is a time when not only an evaluative judgment is conducted in heaven, but also Godís last trumpet call to repentance is sounded upon the earth.
Just as in the typical Levitical system the trumpets were blown during the ten days preceding the Day of Atonement to call the people to repent and stand trial before the heavenly court, so in the antitypical service an angel calls with "a loud voice" upon mankind to repent and worship God because "the hour of his judgment has come" (Rev 14:7). Also, just as the investigative judgment of the Feast of Trumpets was followed by the executive judgment of the Day of Atonment, so the investigative judgment announced by the three angels is followed by the executive judgment of the Day of Christís coming for the harvest of the earth. The correspondence between the typological meaning of the Feasts of Trumpets/Day of Atonment, and their antitypical fulfillment in Revelation 14, can hardly be missed.
Assurance of Divine Vindication. In our study of the Feast of Trumpets in the Old Testament we found that the blowing of the shofar had a dual function. On the one hand it called the people to repent in view of the judgment that began on Rosh Hashanah, and on the other hand it reassured the people that they would be remembered with favor by God.
In Revelation this message of reassurance of divine vindication is expressed in a unique way. Each of the three judgment visions of Revelation 14, 15, and 19, is preceded by a vision of the redeemed singing before the throne of God. The function of the introductory visions of the redeemed singing before the throne of God is to offer to believers reassurance of divine vindication on the day of judgment. The message seems to be: "Do not be afraid of the coming judgment. Look the redeemed are already singing!"
In Revelation 14 the judgment messages of the three angels are preceded by the vision of 144,000 singing "a new song before the throne" (Rev 14:3). In Revelation 15 the judgment of the seven last plagues and of Babylon (Rev 16 to 18), is introduced by the vision of the redeemed standing upon "what appeared to be a sea of glass" singing "the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb" (Rev 15:2-3). Incidentally the theme of the song is the praise of Godís justice for His "judgments have been revealed" (Rev 15:4). Godís judgment are revealed during the antitypical Feast of Trumpets when the books are opened so that heavenly beings could verify the justice of divine judgments (Dan 7:9-10).
The judgment to be executed by Christ at His coming is also introduced in Revelation 19 by "a great multitude in heaven" (Rev 19:1) crying for joy and praising God "for his judgments are true and just" (Rev 19:3) and "for the marriage of the Lamb has come" (Rev 19:7). The fact that the three judgment visions of Revelation 14, 15, and 19 are introduced by a vision of the redeemed singing songs of triumph and praise, suggests that God gives a preview of the outcome of the judgment, to reassure His people that His judgment is not a scheme of divine retribution but a reassurance of divine vindication. To put it differently, the judgment is not merely a moral deterrent, but a moral stimulant to live "chaste," "spotless" lives (Rev 14:4-5) in the expectation to "follow the Lamb wherever he goes" (Rev 14:4).
Feast of Trumpets and the Seven Plagues. The judgment theme of the Feast of Trumpets is present also in the description of the seven last plagues. The function of the seven last plagues is similar to that of the seven trumpets, namely, to call mankind to repent before it is too late. This is indicated by the negative response to the plagues: "they did not repent and give him glory" (Rev 16:9; cf. v. 11). Just as God called upon the Israelites at the Feast of Trumpets to repent through the massive blowing of trumpets, so He will call people to repent at the End through the manifestation of unprecedented calamities.
With the seventh and last plague "a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, ĎIt is done!" (Rev 16:17). This announcement is followed by the usual cataclysmic signs of Christís coming: lightning, peals of thunder, great earthquake, fleeing of islands and mountains (Rev 16:18-21; cf. 6:12-17; 11:19). This follows the pattern we have already found in Revelation, namely, a judgment process that culminates with Christís coming to punish the ungodly and save the faithful. This is the pattern typified by the judgment process of the Feasts of Trumpets which culminated on the Day of Atonment when the High Priest appeared to reveal Godís saving and punitive judgments.
The foregoing discussion has shown that though the Feast of Trumpets is not explicitly mentioned in the New Testament, its judgment theme is evident especially in the book of Revelation. This is not surprising, since the theme of judgment is central both to the typology of the Feast of Trumpets and to the book of Revelation.
PART III: THE PRE-ADVENT PHASE
Our study of the Feast of Trumpets in the Old and New Testaments, has shown that a fundamental function of the feast is to call people to prepare for the heavenly judgment that reveals the destiny of mankind. We refer to this judgment process as the pre-Advent judgment, because typologically and antitypically it precedes the Second Advent.
The questions we wish to address in the last part of this chapter are: Is the doctrine of the pre-Advent judgment derived solely from the typology of the Feast of Trumpets or from a broad Biblical base? How important is this doctrine for our overall understanding of the plan of salvation? How relevant is this doctrine for our Christian life today?
Historically little or no attention has been given to the judicial process which precedes and follows the Advent judgment. The focus has been primarily on the final judgment executed by Christ at his coming. Even this aspect has been viewed largely as Leonardo Da Vinciís Universal Judgment of the Systine Chapel, where Christ manifests His vengeance by inflicting punishment upon the wicked. A contributing factor to this prevailing misunderstanding has been the failure to understand the unfolding of redemptive history as typified by the Biblical feasts. Our study of the Feast of Trumpets has shown that the investigative phase of the final judgment takes place in heaven before Christ comes to execute such judgment.
Reality More Important than Modality. It must be admitted that the Bible speaks more of the fact than of the phases of the final judgment. The reason is that from a Biblical perspective the reality of the final judgment is more important than its modality. This observation applies to other Biblical truths such as the resurrection. For example, no attempt is made by Christ or by most of the New Testament writers to differentiate between the resurrection of believers at the time of Christís Coming and the resurrection of unbelievers at the end of the millennium.
Jesus speaks of "the hour" that is coming "when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment" (John 5:28-29). In this statement Christ presents the resurrection of the "good" doers and that of the evildoers as taking place contemporaneously (cf. Matt 25:32; Luke 11:32). Yet John the Revelator distinguishes between the two resurrections by placing the former at the beginning of the millennium and the latter after "the thousand years were ended" (Rev 20:4-5).
To a scientific modern mind, those two statements stand in open contradiction. Yet Biblical writers had no difficulty in reconciling the two statements because for them the reality was more important than the modality of the resurrection.
The same principle applies to the Biblical references to the final judgment. In most cases the concern is to emphasize the reality and finality of the event rather than its modality. Yet as in the case of the resurrection, there are Biblical passages which suggest a pre-Advent phase of the final judgment. We have found this doctrine embedded in the typology of the Feast of Trumpets. Now we wish to explore the broader Biblical support for this doctrine.
1. The Pre-Advent Judgment in the Teaching of Jesus
The Notion of Reward. The notion of a pre-Advent judgment is an underlying assumption of much of Jesusí teachings. Such a notion is implied even in those numerous passages where the technical terms for judgment are not used. Jesus often spoke about receiving or missing Godís reward (Matt 6:1; cf. 6:2, 4, 5, 16, 18; 10:41, 42; Mark 9:41; Luke 6:23, 35), which implies a previous evaluative judgment.
The time for assigning rewards or retribution is clearly given as the Second Advent: "For the Son of man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done" (Matt 16:27; cf. 25:31-32). In this and similar statements, the Second Advent is perceived as the time for the assignment of rewards or punishments, and not for the evaluation of what each person deserves. We may reasonably assume that the evaluative process that determines such decision takes place before the Advent.
Some may wish to argue that there is no need for God to investigate the deeds and attitudes of each person to determine what they deserve, because He already knows it all. This is true for God obviously does not need to seek for lacking information about His creatures. Yet, Jesus and other Biblical writers speak of a judgment that will investigate not only deeds, but also words: "I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter" (Matt 12:36). The purpose of this investigation, as we shall see, is not to enable God to ascertain the truth about each person, but rather to expose and disclose this truth to His moral universe.
Dead Resurrected Already Judged. The destiny of each human being is obviously decided before Christ comes to call forth "those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment" (John 5:28-29). The resurrection to life or to condemnation represents Christís executive judgment which presupposes the termination of the evaluative judgment. In this text Christ indicates that people will be resurrected not to be judged but already judged. If those who are resurrected to eternal life or death were still to be judged, we would have an incongruous situation whereby the results of the judgment would be meted out before the convening of the judgment itself.
The Notion of Separation. The idea of the separation that will take place at the Coming of Christ between the saved and the unsaved also presupposes a Pre-Advent judgment. Jesus describes this Advent separation in a variety of ways. He compares it to the separation that takes place at harvest time between the wheat and the weeds. Note that the reapers are simply told: "Gather the weeds . . . gather the wheat" (Matt 13:30). There will be no need for them to ascertain which is the wheat and which is the weeds because by harvest time the distinction between the two has already been established.
A dramatic reference to the Advent separation is found in the Olivet Discourse where Jesus, speaking of the day of "the coming of the Son of man," says: "Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left" (Matt 24:40-41). The sudden separation between the saved and the unsaved presupposes a previous determination of their respective destinies.
The Advent separation is also compared by Christ to a shepherd who "separates the sheep from the goats," by placing the former at the right hand and the latter at the left (Matt 25:32-33). In a similar fashion Christ "will say to those at his right hand, ĎCome, . . . inherit the kingdom . . .í" and "to those at his left hand, ĎDepart from me, . . . into the eternal fireí" (Matt 25:34, 41).
Some have interpreted the description of the gathering of all the nations before Christ (Matt 25:32) as representing a universal investigative judgment conducted at the time of Christís Return. The description, however, contains only Christís invitation and condemnation (Come, . . . Depart . . .) with the respective explanation ("For I was hungry and you gave me food" or "you gave me no food"), but not an investigation of who did or did not act compassionately. The judicial process that led to this determination is presupposed as having already occurred.
The Wedding Garment. A pre-Advent evaluation process is also presupposed in Christís parable of "a king who gave a marriage feast for his son" (Matt 22:2). When the original guests refused to come to the marriage feast, the wedding invitation was extended to as many as could be found and "so the wedding hall was filled with guests" (vv. 3-10). The king went to a great deal of expense not only in extending the invitation but also, according to custom, in supplying to each guest a beautiful robe to wear for the occasion. "But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment" (Matt 22:11).
Evidently the king examined the guests before the marriage feast began. In Revelation 19, the coming of Christ is compared to the "marriage of the Lamb" (vv. 7, 17). The consistency of this imagery suggests that the marriage feast of Matthew 22 is an allusion to the celebration that will accompany the Second Advent. The Church, espoused to Christ by faith (Eph 5:32), waits, as in the parable of the Ten Virgins, for the Coming of the Heavenly Groom to celebrate the marriage feast. If this interpretation is correct, then the examination by the king of the wedding guests before the celebration of the marriage feast would represent an evaluation process that will take place before the Coming of Christ.
Ellen White offers this interpretation when she writes: "In the parable of Matthew 22 the same figure of the marriage is introduced, and the investigative judgment is clearly represented as taking place before marriage. Previous to the wedding the king comes in to see the guests, to see if all are attired in the wedding garment, the spotless robe of character washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb . . . This work of examination of character, of determining who are prepared for the kingdom of God, is that of the investigative judgment, the closing work in the sanctuary above."53
This brief survey indicates that the idea of a Pre-Advent evaluative judgment is an underlying assumption in much of Jesusí teaching about the judgment. The themes of reward, accountability, and separation presupposes a Pre-Advent judicial investigation that determines who is "accounted worthy" to attain to the resurrection of life and who to the resurrection of condemnation (Luke 20:35; John 5:28-29). .
2. The Pre-Advent Judgment in Paulís Writings
Like Christ, Paul emphasizes the certainty and inevitability of the final judgment, rather than its modality. He writes that "we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God; . . . So each of us shall give account of himself to God" (Rom 14:10-12; cf. 2 Cor 5:10; Acts 17:31).
No explicit explanation is given by Paul regarding the time of this universal accountability before the judgment seat of God. Yet, in several places Paul suggests that the evaluative phase of the final judgment precedes the coming of Christ. In Romans 2:5, Paul describes the Second Advent as the time "when Godís righteous judgment will be revealed."54 This revelation will consist of the executive act of Christ who will give "eternal life" to "those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality" and "wrath and fury" to "those who are factious and do not obey the truth" (Rom 2:7-8).
This revelation of "Godís righteous judgment" presupposes some prior process of investigation that determines who is to receive the gift of eternal life and who "the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord" (2 Thess 1:8-9).
Judgment Precedes Appearance of Christ. The same inference can be drawn from Paulís charge to Timothy,: "I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word, . . ." (2 Tim 4:1-2).
William Barclay notes the significance of the sequential order of the charge: (1) Judgment, (2) Appearance, (3) Kingdom. This sequence, he points out, reflects the logical progression that leads to the consummation of salvation-history.55 Christís judgment of the living and the dead is followed by His appearance which will usher in His eternal Kingdom. Note also that if the dead are judged while still dead, such judgment must precede the Advent judgment when the resurrection to eternal life or eternal death takes place.
3. Pre-Advent Judgment in the Book of Revelation
The theme of judgment is central in Revelation because it represents Godís method of finally overcoming the opposition of evil to Himself and His people. The martyrs who cry for judgment (Rev 6:10) are reassured that God will shortly vindicate them. When finally the redeemed stand beside the sea of glass they sing: "O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are thy ways, . . . for they judgments have been revealed" (15:3-4).
The emphasis on the centrality and finality of Godís judgment in Revelation overshadows the concern to differentiate between its phases: pre-Advent, Advent, post-Advent judgment. Yet these distinctions are not altogether absent. We have found allusions to the pre-Advent judgment in the announcement of the judgment at the blowing of the seventh trumpet (Rev 11: 18). An indication of the post-Advent judgment can be seen in the reference to the "judgment [that] was committed" to those who share "in the first resurrection" (Rev 20:4, 6).
Evidently this phase of the judgment is conducted after the Advent since its participants shared in the first resurrection associated with Christís Return. Thus, the Book of Revelation implicitly recognizes certain distinct phases of the final judgment.
The Announcement of Judgment. A portrayal of the pre-Advent judgment is found in Revelation 14. This chapter contains three distinct visions, each introduced by the phrase: "Then I looked . . ." (Rev 14:1, 6, 14). The first vision present the 144,000 singing the song of triumph before Godís throne (Rev 14:3). They are said to be the "first fruits" of the redeemed (Rev 14:4). This vision introduces the next two visions, the first of which announces Godís judgment (14:6-13) and the second of which describes its execution (14:14-20).We noted earlier that the function of the introductory vision is to offer to believers the assurance of divine vindication on the day of the judgment.
The second vision describes three angels flying in mid-heaven, proclaiming three judgment messages. The first angel declares with a loud voice: "Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgment has come; and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the fountains of water" (14:7). The loud voice proclamation reminds us of the massive trumpet blowing at the Feast of Trumpets to warn every one that the day of judgment had come. The second angel announces Godís judgment upon Babylon (14:8) and the third warns people about Godís judgment upon those who worship the beast and its image (14:9-11).
The Last Call to Repentance. The third vision portrays dramatically the execution of the final judgment by Christ at His Coming by means of the imagery of the harvest (Rev 14:14-20). It is noteworthy that the harvest of the earth is preceded by the announcement that "the hour of his judgment has come" (Rev 14:7). This announcement is designated as the "eternal gospel" (Rev 14:6). This means that the time of judgment that precedes the execution of the final judgment at Christís Coming is not a time of no return, but rather the time when God sounds the last trumpet call to repentance. The pre-Advent judgments in Revelation, as aptly stated by John A. Bollier, "are educative in purpose rather than vindictive or retributive. They are meant to bring both the church and the world to repentance."56
The Timing of the Judgment. The pre-Advent nature of the first angelís judgment-message is indicated by the fact that it precedes the third vision of the same chapter which describes the two harvests reaped by Christ at His Coming. The first is the harvest of the grain which represents the gathering of the righteous into Godís Kingdom (Rev 14:14-16). The second is the harvest of the grapes which refers to the vintage of Godís wrath manifested in the condemnation of the wicked (Rev 14:17-20).
The fact that the announcement about the beginning of the judgment is made before Christ comes "for the harvest of the earth" (Rev 14:15) suggests that this is the pre-Advent phase of the final judgment. This is a time when not only an evaluative judgment is conducted in heaven, but also Godís last call to repentance is given on this earth.
As in the typical Feast of Trumpets there was a massive blowing of trumpets ten days before the Day of Atonement to call the people to repentance during the pre-Atonement judgment, so in the antitypical service an angel announces with loud voice that "the hour of his judgment has come" and calls upon mankind to repent and worship God during the pre-Advent judgment which is followed by the Advent harvest.
4. Pre-Advent Judgment in the Book of Daniel
Earlier we saw the striking similarity between the themes of the judgment scene of Daniel 7 and those of the seventh trumpet (Rev 11:15-19). We found that both of them reflect the themes of the Feast of Trumpets. At this time we want to take a closer look at Danielís judgment vision because it sheds light on the nature and timing of the pre-Advent judgment. The chapter is structured in three parts and each of them climaxes with a court scene in heaven around the throne of "the Ancient of Days."
In the first part (Dan 7:1-14) Daniel describes a vision in which he saw an unfolding of historical powers symbolized by the successive arising out of the sea of four great beasts, each different from the other. Daniel is astonished by the dreadfulness of the fourth beast out of which arises a persecuting power represented by a little horn with "eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things" (Dan 7:8).
While observing the little horn, Danielís gaze shifts heavenward where he sees the dazzling appearance of the Ancient of Days seated on His throne: "a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment and the books were opened" (Dan 7:9-10). While viewing this celestial tribunal, Danielís gaze shifts back momentarily earthward, where he sees Godís judgment being visited upon the insolent despot and the beasts (Dan 7:11-12).
Then Danielís gaze shifts back again to heaven where he sees "a son of man" coming to "the Ancient of Days" to receive His eternal dominion and Kingdom "which shall not pass away" (Dan 7:13-14). It is noteworthy that the celestial judgment in this first scene begins after the appearance of the insolent Little Horn, and before the Coming of the Son of Man to receive the eternal Kingdom. Thus the sequence of events clearly indicates that the heavenly judgment described in verses 9-10 precedes the Coming of Christ to establish Godís eternal kingdom.
The Explanation of the Vision. In the second part of the chapter (Dan 7:15-22), Daniel asks for and receives the explanation of the meaning of the four beasts. He is told that the four beasts represent four kings, the last of which will give rise to a power which will make war against "the saints" (Dan 7:21). The persecution of the saints by this despotic power will continue "until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints received the kingdom" (Dan 7:22).
This second part adds some details to the judgment scene of vv. 9-10, by explaining that the judgment concerns both the persecuting power and the persecuted saints. The outcome of the judgment is the reception of the kingdom by the saints. Here, as in the first court scene, the heavenly judgment is a process that precedes the establishment of Godís Kingdom.
In the third part of the chapter (Dan 7:23-28), the angel returns and gives to Daniel an additional explanation about the terrible fourth beast (Dan 7:23-24) and especially about the powerful apostate "little horn" who will endeavor to "wear out the saints of the Most High, and . . . to change the times and the law" (Dan 7:25).
The climax of this vision, as in the previous two, is again the heavenly court which sits "in judgment," condemns the godless tyrant and divests him of all power (Dan 7:26). These heavenly judicial proceedings result in the giving of the eternal kingdom "to the people of the saints of the Most High" (Dan 7:27).
Time of the Judgment. We noted that each of the three parts of Daniel 7 climaxes with the scene of a heavenly judgment and in each instance this judgment stands in historical sequence after the war against the saints by the despotic little horn and before the Coming of Christ to establish Godís eternal kingdom.
The complete historical sequence runs as follows: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, ten horns, apostate horn, judgment, Coming of the Son of Man, establishment of Godís eternal Kingdom. This sequence indicates that the judgment is not an executive act carried out on this earth at the time of Christís Return, but the evaluative process conducted in heaven before myriads of heavenly beings prior to the Second Advent.
In the previous chapter we found that Jews have identified the heavenly judgment of Daniel 7 with the Feast of Trumpets, because they understood the blowing of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah as signaling the opening of the books by the heavenly court who would decide the destiny of every person during the next ten days. The decision of the heavenly court was revealed on the Day of Atonment when the High Priest appeared at the end of the ritual to communicate the divine verdict of cleansing and restoration for the penitents and punishment for the impenitent (Lev 23:29).
On a similar fashion the outcome of the judicial process described in Daniel 7 is the complete destruction of Godís enemies ("destroyed to the end"óDan 7:26) and the reception of the "everlasting kingdom" by "the people of the saints of the Most High" (7:27). The finality of this outcome indicates that this is the executive judgment typified by the Day of Atonment.
5. The Theological Significance of the Final Judgment
Our study of the pre-Advent phase of the final judgment typified by the Feast of Trumpets raises some important questions. What does this doctrine tells us about Godís nature, His relationship to the universe, the outcome of the conflict between good and evil, the value of human life and actions, our attitude toward God, and our view of ourselves? We will attempt to such questions by considering the major theological implications of the doctrine of the final judgment, both in its pre-Advent and Advent phases.
A Transcendent Moral Order. The final judgment points first of all to the existence of a transcendent moral order in the universe. It tells us that there is a supreme Moral Arbiter in this universe who is working out His eternal purposes. This message has tremendous significance in our time when disorder, hate, immorality, wars, and senseless destruction of human life and property prevail. The message of the judgment reassures us that the eternal destiny of each individual and of the world as a whole is not in the hands of some mad, blind forces, but in the hands of our Almighty God. "Heís got the whole world in His Hands." The scroll of human destiny rests safely in the hands of the Lamb (Rev 5:7).
The pre-Advent judgment conducted around Godís throne, in the presence of myriads of beings and on the basis of a perfect record of each individual, tells us that there is a moral order governing this universe, an order to which each individual is ultimately accountable. Those who think they have fooled everybody and every system will be surprised to discover that they never fooled God. The judgment will disclose all their deeds and punish them accordingly.
The pre-Advent judgment constantly reminds us that we cannot flaunt Godís moral principles with impunity because "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body" (2 Cor 5:10). This reality makes all our actions, decisions, and choices significant because they have both immediate and ultimate consequences.
Substance to our Faith. The final judgment gives substance to our faith by reminding us that our relationship to God, the Moral Ruler of the Universe, is based not merely on the profession but on the practice of our faith. At the final judgment, Christ will invite into His kingdom "not every one who says to me, ĎLord, Lord,í . . . but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven" (Matt 7:21).
"Works" are the criteria of the final judgment because they substantiate faith. Salvation is a divine gift that brings upon us a divine claim "to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:12-13).
What all of this means is that our day-by-day round of thoughts, words, deeds, and attitudes counts for eternity. When the records will be examined in the pre-Advent judgment, our daily living will reveal what kind of persons we have been. Have we lived self-centered lives ignoring Godís moral principles, or God-centered lives reflecting His moral values?
Just as the Jews in Old Testament times, so mankind today needs to hear the trumpet call to stand trial before God during the antitypical feast of Trumpets. This has never been a popular message. When governor Felix invited Paul to speak to him, the Apostle used the opportunity to talk not about the social unrest in Palestine or the political situation in the Empire, but rather "about justice and self-control and future judgment" (Acts 24:25).
The three are interrelated because it is the final judgment that reveals if a person has lived justly and temperately. "Felix was alarmed" by the thought of a future judgment, but he chose to ignore it. Many today, like Felix, would rather not hear about the trumpet call of the final judgment, preferring instead to live under the false assumption that they will never have to give account for their immoral behavior.
A Revelation of Individual Worth. The mention of "books" where our thoughts, attitudes, and actions are recorded and examined before the heavenly court, indicates that God places great value on each individual person. In a society where people are often regarded as cogs in a machine, numbers in a computer, it is reassuring to know that God places a transcendent significance on our personal identity. He has written the name of each believer "before the foundation of the world in the book of life" (Rev 13:8).
The importance which God attaches to each person extends to the single decisions and actions. The judgment teaches us that nothing we do is worthless or inconsequential in the sight of God. Even the "careless word" (Matt 12:36) is considered in the pre-Advent judgment. A reason is that careless, thoughtless talk is often a most accurate reflection of our inner self. Moreover, "idle talk" may sometimes have even a greater impact on others than "serious talk." Thus, every thought, word, and action is potentially determinative of our destiny.
The far-reaching inclusiveness of the final judgment is awesome. Yet at the same time the thought that all we do, think, and say matters in Godís sight makes our life worth living. The fact that even the most insignificant action, such as the giving of a cup of cold water (Matt 10:42; 25:35-40), will not go unnoticed gives a sense of dignity, of importance to all that we do, think, and say.
Sometimes it seems that even our highest motives and best efforts are misunderstood. The judgment gives us courage to face human misunderstanding and criticism, with the reassurance that God understands and takes notice of all our overt and covert actions. Nothing is ignored in the sight of God and everything will receive due consideration in the final judgment.
A Vindication of Godís Justice and Mercy. Why does the Bible speak of a judgment process that precedes and that follows the coming of Christ? Does God need a judicial process to gather information necessary to execute a just universal judgment? Obviously not. After all, God is the Author of the books which are used in His final judgment. The heavenly records represent not the acquisition on the part of God of new knowledge, but the revelation of old knowledge to moral intelligences.
One of the most telling evidences that God is not seeking new information through an investigative judgment is the post-Advent judgment of the unsaved. This judgment is designed to enable redeemed humanity to understand more fully Godís justice in not saving the unrighteous. The very fact that the lost have no part in the first resurrection of believers (Rev 20:5) indicates that God has already decided their destiny.
Yet, before their final destruction at the end of the millennium, God offers redeemed humanity the opportunity to examine the record of their lives to understand the justice of His judgment. It is noteworthy that both before rewarding believers with eternal salvation and before punishing unbelievers with eternal destruction, God invites His moral creatures to evaluate the basis of His judgment.
God is not on Trial. In a sense the ones who are "on trial" in the investigative phases of the final judgment are not the saved or the unsaved, but God Himself. It is Godís justice and mercy manifested in His decision to save some and condemn others that is being judged by moral intelligences. But why should God submit His judgments to the scrutiny of His created beings? Obviously, God is not morally obligated to go "on trial" before the universe. First, He has no moral debt toward His creatures. He has no confession to make as to possible defects in the making of the universe or of human beings. Nor has God any admission to make as to possible unfairness in His administration of the universe.
Second, God has no external obligation because He is the Sovereign Ruler who has freely created and redeemed His creatures. As He has freely created the universe, so He could freely dissolve it, starting all over again, without being in default toward anyone. Third, even if heavenly or human beings should find some fault in Godís creation or administrationóan absurd hypothesisóthey could not dethrone God and enthrone another God in His place.
Whether the universe accepts or rejects the justice of Godís government and judgments, this does not affect His Sovereignty. God would still be the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe. What is in jeopardy is not the eternal security of God but that of moral beings in the universe. Thus, fundamentally the one who is on trial is not God, but the moral universe.
God is on Trial. Yet there is a sense in which God is "on trial" before His moral universe. For several reasons God is willing and expected to give an account of His creative, redemptive, and punitive activities. First, God has chosen to operate on the principle of freedom of choice. God has granted His moral creatures the freedom to choose between His love and justice and Satanís hostility and injustice. Not only has God granted this freedom of choice, but He also invites His moral beings to exercise this freedom by examining His moral principles and His judicial actions.
Second, God has chosen to operate on the principle of love and not of coercion. It was love that motivated God to create a universe of free moral beings who could be the recipients of His love and who could in perfect freedom reciprocate His love. It was love that motivated God to redeem mankind by entering into the limitations, suffering, and death of human flesh in order to provide moral beings with the greatest incentive to choose His love rather than Satanís hostility. It is love that motivates God to submit the records of His judgments to the scrutiny of the moral universe, so that His love and justice may be fully understood and accepted.
Love can render this universe eternally secure only if it becomes grounded on unquestionable trust. An attitude of trust and loyalty cannot be demanded, it must be freely given. It is only when we have had occasion to see the integrity, fairness, and trustworthiness of a person that we develop an attitude of trust toward such a person. A vital function of the pre- and post-Advent judgments is to provide an opportunity to the moral beings of the universe to deepen their trust in God by verifying, validating, and vindicating the justice of His judgments.
This trust is expressed by the redeemedórepresented in Revelation as standing beside a sea of glassósinging: "Great and wonderful are thy deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are they ways, O King of the ages! Who shall not fear and glorify they name, O Lord? For thou alone art holy. All nations shall come and worship thee, for they judgments have been revealed" (Rev 15:3-4).
It is noteworthy that the reason given for the universal acclamation of the greatness, justice, and truthfulness of God is the fact that His "judgments have been revealed" (Rev 15:4). Ellen G. White aptly comments in this regard: "Every question of truth and error in the long-standing controversy will then have been made plain. In the judgment of the universe, God will stand clear of blame for the existence or continuance of evil."57
The revelation of the justice of Godís judgment is in a sense also a vindication of the redeemed. We noted in the previous chapter that this was an important function of the Feast of Trumpets, namely, to reassure the people that God will remember and vindicate them on the day of judgment. The same truth is expressed in the vision of Daniel 7, where the Ancient of Days pronounces "judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom" (Dan 7:22, NIV).
A Basis for Hope and Confidence. The Biblical view of the final judgment as the decisive and final triumph of Godís justice, manifested in the vindication and salvation of believers and in the condemnation and destruction of unbelievers, is an event to be anticipated with solemnity and joy. We have found that this was the mood of the celebration of the Feast of Trumpets. The Jews viewed the ten days before the Day of Atonment with solemnity (Days of Awe) because their eternal destiny was being decided by the heavenly court. They also looked upon this period with joy because it represented for them their final vindication and salvation.
The pre-Advent judgment announced by the Feast of the Trumpets does not destroy our joy and assurance of salvation because it is not a scheme or retribution, but a revelation of our standing before God as we are found to be in Christ. "Who shall bring any charge against Godís elect?" asks Paul. "It is God who justifies; who is to condemn?" (Rom 8:33-34). As our records are opened in heaven during the antitypical Feast of Trumpets, we have nothing to fear because our Mediator stands for us. Essentially, this judgment is the outworking of the message of the Gospel which contains the Good News that God not only justifies penitent sinners in this present life, but also vindicates them on the day of His judgment by giving them the reward of eternal life.
The close connection between the Gospel and the final judgment is clearly expressed by Paul when he speaks of the "day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus" (Rom 2:16). The judgment is according to the Gospel in the sense that it is part of the gracious provision of salvation through Jesus Christ who offers us forgiveness of our sins in this present life and vindication of our forgiven sins in the final judgment. Thus the Christian can " have confidence for the day of judgment" (1 John 4:17). This confidence rests on the assurance that Christ "is able to keep [us] from falling" in this present life and "to present [us] without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing" on the Day of His judgment (Jude 24). Thus, for Godís people, the announcement of the final judgment by the Feast of Trumpets represents the revelation of their faith and love for Christ and their vindication before the angelic host. It represents the coming of better days when Christ will soon appear, like the High Priest on the Day of Atonment, to reveal the truth about them.
Conclusion. The Feast of Trumpets in the Old and New Testaments reveals that God is not in the business to punish but to save. He uses attention-catching methods to warn and lead His people to repentance before executing His judgments. By means of the annual trumpets blasting, He summoned His people in Old Testament times to repent and amend their lives in view of the judgment going on in heaven. The same clarion call is sounded today to mankind by the flying angel of Revelation, who proclaims with a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgment has come" (Rev 14:7).
Christians today, like Godís people in ancient times, need to hear the annual trumpet-call of the Feast of Trumpets to stand trial before God and seek for His cleansing grace. After all, Christians too need to be reminded periodically that "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body" (2 Cor 5:10). The Feast of Trumpets provides a much needed annual wake up call to prepare oneself to stand before Godís judgment by repenting and forsaking sinful ways.
The Feast of Trumpets reminds us annually that the heavenly court will soon close the books and Christ will come to cleanse the faithful, to punish the wicked, and to bind Satan (Azazel) before destroying him "in the lake of fire" (Rev 20:10). This reassuring message inspires us to live godly lives with joy, confidence, and hope while "awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).
NOTES ON CHAPTER III
1. For examples, see E. J. Bickerman, Chronology of the Ancient World (Ithaca, New York, 1968), pp. 20, 50, 59.
2. For a discussion of the frequent condemnations by the Fathers of the Christian adoption of pagan feasts and of the planetary week, see Samuele Bacchiocchi, From Sabbath to Sunday, A Historical Investigation of the Rise of Sunday Observance in Early Christianity (Rome, Italy, 1977), pp. 252-253.
3. Norbert Hugedé, Commentaire de lí Épître aux Colossiens (Geneve, 1968), p. 143; Adolf Schlatter, Die Briefe an die Galater, Epheser, Kolosser und Philemon (Stuttgart, 1963), p. 285.
4. Troy Martin, "Pagan and Judeo-Christian Time-keeping Schemes in Galatians 4:10 and Colossians 2:16,) New Testament Studies 42 (1996), pp. 108-109.
5. Ibid., p. 109.
6. F. F. Bruce, "Hebrews" Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, 1978), vol. 3, p. 87.
7. For a brief discussion, see Bruce M. Metzger, The New Testament, Its Background, Growth, and Content (Nashville, 1965), p. 249.
8. See, for example, A. T. Lincoln, "From Sabbath to Lordís Day: A Biblical and Theological Perspective," in From Sabbath to Lordís Day; A Biblical, Historical, and Theological Investigation, ed. Donald A. Carson (Grand Rapids, 1982), p. 376.
9. Plutarch, De Superstitione 3 (Moralia 166A); Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho 23, 3; Epiphanius, Adversus Haereses 30, 2, 2; Apostolic Constitutions 2, 36, 7. A. T. Lincoln admits that "in each of these places the term denotes the observance or celebration of the Sabbath. This usage corresponds to the Septuagint usage of the cognate verb sabbatizo (cf. Ex 16:30; Lev 23:32; 26:34f.; 2 Chron 36:21), which also has reference to Sabbath observance. Thus the writer to the Hebrews is saying that since the time of Joshua, an observance of Sabbath rest has been outstanding" ("Sabbath Rest and Eschatology in the New Testament" in From Sabbath to Lordís Day (note 3), p. 213.
10. George Wesley Buchanan, "Worship, Feasts and Ceremonies in the Early Jewish-Christian Church," New Testament Studies 26 (1980), p. 281. A similar comment by the same author is found in To the Hebrews (Garden City, 1972), p. 266.
11. Philip Carrington, the Primitive Christian Calendar (Cambridge University Press, 1952), pp. 43-44.
12. Ibid., p. 43.
13. My discussion of the factors which contributed to the change of Biblical Holy Days is found in the first volume of Godís Festivals in Scripture and History, pp. 98-110. A fuller treatment is found in my dissertation From Sabbath to Sunday pp. 159-164, 198-207.
14. Philip Carrington (note 11), p. 44.
17. See for example, M. D. Goulder, "The Apocalypse as an Annual Cycle of Prophecy," New Testament Studies 27 (1981), pp. 342-367; J. A. Draper, "The Heavenly Feast of Tabernacles: Revelation 7:1-17," Journal for the Study of the New Testament 19 (1983), pp. 133-147; R. J. McKelvey, The New Temple: The Church in the New Testament (London, 1969), pp. 155-178; Hakan Ulfgard, Feast and future: Revelation 7:9-17 and the Feast of Tabernacles, Coniectanea Biblical, New Testament Series, vol. 22 (Lund, 1989); D. T. Niles, As seeing the Invisible (New York, 1961), pp.100-119.
18. Leonard Thompson, "Cult and Eschatology in the Apocalypse of John," The Journal of Religion 49(1969), p. 343.
19. Richard M. Davidson, "Sanctuary Typology," Symposium on Revelation, Frank B. Holbrook, ed., (Silver Springs, Maryland, 1992, Biblical Research Institute, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists), vol. 1, p. 121.
20. Jon Paulien, "Seals and Trumpets: Some Current Discussions," Symposium on Revelation, Frank B. Holbrook, ed., (Silver Springs, Maryland, 1992, Biblical Research Institute, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists), vol. 1, p.191.
21. Austin Farrer, A Rebirth of Images. The Making of St. Johnís Apocalypse (Glouchester, Massachussetts, 1970), p. 8. Contrary to Davidson and Paulien who believe that Revelation open with Passover, Farrer believes that the opening scenes of chapter 1-3 refer to the feast of Dedication, known also as the feast of lamps (Ibid., p. 94).
22. Jon Paulien, "The Role of the Hebrew Cultus, Sanctuary, and the Temple in the Plot and Structure of the Book of Revelation," Andrews University Seminary Studies, vol. 33 (1995), p. 258.
26. Richard M. Davidson (note 19), p. 123.
27. Jon Paulien (note 20), p. 191.
28. Ibid. Davidson expresses a similar view. See note 14, p. 123.
29. See, Richard M. Davidson (note 19), pp. 124-125; Jon Paulien (note 14), p. 191.
30. Richard M. Davidson (note 18), p. 121.
31. Jon Paulien (note 20), p. 258.
33. Richard M. Davidson (note 18), p. 121.
34. Austin Farrer (note 20), pp.114-115.
35. See in the Septuagint, 2 Chron 2:4; 31:33; Neh 10:33; Ez 45:17; Hosea 2:11. See also Jubilees 1:14; Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho 8:4; Jerusalem Berachot 3:11.
36. See, Samuele Bacchiocchi, From Sabbath to Sunday: A Historical Investigation of the Rise of Sunday Observance in Early Christianity (Rome, 1977), pp. 339-343.
37. D. R. De Lacey, "The Sabbath/Sunday Question and the Law in the Pauline Corpus," From Sabbath to Lordís Day: A Biblical, Historical, and Theological Investigation, ed. Donald A. Carson (Grand Rapids, 1982), p. 182.
38. Ibid., emphasis supplied.
39. Troy Martin (note 4), p. 111.
40. Ibid., pp. 110-111.
41. Troy Martin, "But Let Everyone Discern the Body of Christ (Colossians 2:17)," Journal of Biblical Literature 114/2 (1995), p. 255.
42. Troy Martin (note 4), p. 119.
43. For a discussion of the pagan calendar, see also E. J. Bickerman (note 1), pp. 70-79.
44. Troy Martin (note 4), pp. 117, 119.
45. For a discussion of the typology of the sanctuary and of the annual feasts in the book of Revelation, see Richard M. Davidson (note 19), pp. 11-130; Jon Paulien (note 20), pp. 186-192.
46. Jon Paulien, Decoding Revelationís Trumpets (Berrien Springs, Michigan, Andrews University Press, 1987), p. 223.
47. Ibid., p. 223.
48. Jon Paulien (note 22), pp. 259-260.
49. Richard M. Davidson (note 18), p. 123.
50. Gerhard Friedrich, "Salpinx," Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. Gerhard Friedrich (Grand Rapids, 1971), vol. VII, p. 87.
51. George Eldon Ladd, A Commentary on the Revelation of John (Grand Rapids, 1972), p. 144.
52. John A. Bollier, "Judgment in the Apocalypse," Interpretation (January, 1953), p. 22.
53. Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan (Mountain View, California, 1950), p. 428.
54. Emphasis supplied.
55. William Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon (Philadelphia, 1960), pp. 232-234.
56. John A. Bollier, "Judgment in the Apocalypse," Interpretation (January, 1953), p. 18.
57. Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages (Mountain View, California, 1940), p. 58.