Prophecy Article
Expanded Internet Edition - July 20, 1998 

What to Expect on
the Day of Trumpets in 1998

By Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D., 1998

Dear Reader: In reading this Report, please do yourself and me a favor. To understand the prophetic implications of this research, it is essential that this Prophetic Report be read from beginning to end without skipping any paragraph. Read every section carefully and in the arrangement in which I have placed them. Each section builds the case for what to expect from God on this coming Day of Trumpets. If you do not accept my suggestion and you go to the end to discover what my conclusions are, your curiosity will provide you only with the opinions of Ernest L. Martin. On the other hand, if you read the research from start to finish (without skipping any section), you will become aware of God’s opinion (whose opinion is the only one that counts) as shown in the teachings of the Scriptures. With thanks and gratitude, Ernest L. Martin

Dear Associates and Students of A.S.K.

The Day of Trumpets for this year (1998) marks the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Jesus. The evidence that proves this has been presented in my book The Star that Astonished the World. In this year of 1998 this Hebrew festival will begin at sundown on Sunday, September 20th. That 24-hour day (from sundown Sunday to sundown Monday) is the 2000th BIRTHDAY for Jesus. This very fact makes it a significant day in the history of the world. Recognizing this as true, what kind of celebration does God the Father have in mind for that day? This will not be difficult to determine if we look at the whole of the biblical account. This means that if we hope to understand this matter properly, we must be aware of what God has done in the past (as well as what He prophesies for our day) regarding the important symbolic activities surrounding this or any other Day of Trumpets. There are many things to take into consideration in evaluating this matter. We need to ask if God will repeat many outstanding events of the past that happened on (or associated with) the Day of Trumpets? In order to deal with these matters in an intelligent manner, we should be aware of the prophetic teaching and symbolism associated with this holy day as shown in the Holy Scriptures. Once we become educated in these teachings, then we will be able to discover the prophetic basis that the Day of Trumpets presents to those of us who are the Children of God, as well as to those who are ordinary human beings who are not professing Christians.

The Day of Trumpets

In the Hebrew part of the Holy Scriptures that we call the Old Testament, the Day of Trumpets is rendered as Rosh Ha-Shanah. That day is the beginning of the Seventh Month of the Hebrew Calendar if the ecclesiastical manner of determining the beginning of the years is used (that is, starting the year in the springtime sector of the seasons). Conversely, if one would number the months from what the Hebrews call the civil manner (which type of calendar the Hebrews used prior to the period of Moses), the Day of Trumpets then becomes the initial day of the First Month (that is, starting the year in the autumn sector of the seasons). The two types of years can be favorably compared to our ordinary year and that which business executives call the fiscal year. The calendars in both usages happen to be the same, but they reckon the beginning of the year from different months within the year. Whether one uses the ecclesiastical method for reckoning the beginning of the Hebrew year (spring to spring) or the civil (or royal) method (autumn to autumn), the Day of Trumpets always occurs near the end of summer — which of course is also near the beginning of the autumn season.

This Hebrew Calendar that God used in the Holy Scriptures is a Lunar/Solar calendar (it combines the motions of both the Moon and the Sun in determining the length of the year). Since the Lunar year of twelve months is just over 354 and 1/3 days in length, and the Solar year is just about 365 and 1/4 days in length, yet when the Lunar and Solar years are combined over a period of nineteen years (the two reckonings will become harmonious in their positions among the fixed stars — with only two hours of time separating them). This harmonization results in each nineteen year period having twelve years in which there are twelve months in each year, and seven years in which there are thirteen months in each year. For theological reasons, the Day of Trumpets was never permitted to occur on three weekdays (Sunday, Wednesday or Friday). To account for these theological necessities, the early designers of the Hebrew calendar (under the authority of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish Supreme Court) resorted to having six different year lengths within the standard sequence of years (353, 354, 355 days if there were twelve months in the year or 383, 384, 385 days if there were thirteen months). [The Hebrew Calendar is a very sophisticated piece of work that shows great engineering precision. It combines religious, social and astronomical data into a harmonious amalgam that is marvelous to behold. For a full discussion on how to figure the Hebrew calendar with all its variations, I have written a report of 30 pages (#A079) explaining the details. You can order it for personal study from the A.S.K. office.]

These different astronomical and religious requirements imposed by Moses mean that the Day of Trumpets will not occur on the same Solar day each year. As an example, Christ’s nativity in 3 B.C. (he was born precisely on the Day of Trumpets as I have explained in my book The Star that Astonished the World) answered to the early evening (just after sundown) on September 11. In 1998 (our present year), the Day of Trumpets commences at sundown on Sunday, September 20. The Day of Trumpets in this year of 1998 means that exactly 2000 Hebrew years have elapsed since Jesus was born in Bethlehem (and I mean to the very day). This coming September 20th (starting at sundown and lasting to sundown of the next day) is Jesus’ birthday. It is his 2000th anniversary year. So, for those who celebrate birthdays, this 2000th birthday of Jesus may be a time to have some spectacular festivities associated with it. Should we expect something of major importance of a miraculous nature to occur on that day? Let us see what the Scriptures indicate.

The Difference Between a BIRTHDATE and a BIRTHDAY

The reason I want you to read all sections of this Prophetic Report in order (in the ABC…XYZ fashion), is because I will be emphasizing two major concepts concerning the symbolic meaning of the Day of Trumpets. I will discuss the Day of Trumpets in the environment of the two concepts. The first concept conceives of this Holy Day as a BIRTHDATE (a very significant BIRTHDATE that has only happened once in history), while the second concept may appear similar to the first in the English wording, but it has a different meaning and symbolism. Indeed, the second of the concepts views the Day of Trumpets as a BIRTHDAY (that is, as an anniversary that comes around every year, or every decade, or every century, or even every millennium). To illustrate the difference between a BIRTHDATE and a BIRTHDAY look at a vital statistic of mine. I was born on April 20, 1932. That is my BIRTHDATE. It is the only BIRTHDATE that I will have as a normal human being who was delivered from the womb of my mother. Regarding that precise time, I will never have another BIRTHDATE (the day I was born from my physical mother). But a BIRTHDAY is different. Each April 20th is my BIRTHDAY (the calendar day on which I was born). I have experienced 66 of them so far, and April 20, 1999 will be my 67th. The same applies to each of you, and to everyone else on earth. The same thing applies to Jesus. Christ Jesus has had one BIRTHDATE (that is, when he was born from Mary), but on September 20th, 1998 he will have experienced 2000 BIRTHDAYS.

What we should ask is this: from a biblical point of view how important to God the Father are BIRTHDATES and also how esteemed in His eyes are BIRTHDAYS? Now I am not asking how important BIRTHDATES and BIRTHDAYS are to you, to me or to others in the world who comprise other humans or groups of humans. I am asking how important are those kinds of days to God?

According to the Holy Scriptures, What Kind of "Days" Are Important to God?

When we look in the Scriptures we find that there are several types of "days" that God recognizes as significant (either now or in the past). One such "day" is the seventh day of the week called the Sabbath (Exodus 20: 9-11). God also selected seven annual Sabbath days (the First and Last Days of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, the Day of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, the First Day of Tabernacles, and the Octave attached to the seven days of Tabernacles) (Leviticus 23). There was also Passover day that proceeded the First Day of Unleavened Bread (Exodus 12), Purim (Esther 9), and each New Moon day (Ezekiel 46:1). There were also a series of minor days associated with the ritualistic services in the Temple or anniversaries of major events in the history of Israel that God esteemed. In all cases, the recognition of such "days" by God was in conformity with (and to perpetuate) the covenant relationship that He had with His priestly nation of Israel. These "days" that God sanctified had nothing to do with the "days" that were created and honored by the Gentile nations that were devised to worship and exalt the teachings of their false gods and goddesses.

What we especially need to know is how or why God esteems certain days for honor and recognition. We can discover a great deal about this by analyzing the "days" that God gave to ancient Israel in the time of Moses (and in later periods by other men who represented God). But we must learn to evaluate the meaning of "days" in a proper way. Indeed, the apostle Paul informed each Gentile Roman (most particularly "him that is weak in the faith") not to have doubtful disputations over the efficacy of certain "days" in which some Christians hold in special honor to worship God and others do not hold in any esteem for worship purposes (Romans 14:1-4). The apostle Paul was ambivalent in matters involving the keeping of those "days" in order to worship God. He reckoned his ambivalence to be perfectly proper and acceptable. True, Paul admitted that humans often desire to esteem one day above another for worshipping or honoring God, but his own ambivalence concerning the matter (and Paul’s opinion was based on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) was: "One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day unto the Lord he doth not regard it" (Romans 14:5,6). For those Gentiles who were Christians in belief and practice, Paul showed little concern over which "days" they selected (or, if they picked "no days" at all in a special sense) to worship God. The "days" selected by humans were OK to keep, but they were NOT important to God.

Paul, however, would have scolded Gentile Christians if they deliberately and with definite aforethought abandon the "days" that God ordained for Israel by selecting pure and simple pagan "days" that were devised specifically to honor and worship heathen deities in idolatrous ways. Paul said: no "unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of God" (Ephesians 5:5). Also: "Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry…. But I say that the things that the Gentiles sacrifice [at their Feasts and solemn periods], they sacrifice to devils [demons], and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils [demons]" (I Corinthians 10:14,20). In other words, Christians are free to select any "days" they please to worship God (or none at all in a specific sense), but Paul would never commend Christians to select purely pagan "days" and to transform them into so-called "Christian days" so that Christians would be feasting and celebrating along with the ordinary society on "days" designed to accompany a pagan religious environment. Paul said not to "fellowship" with people using idolatrous principles and pagan methods on certain "days" to worship God (I Corinthians 10:20). The specific adoption by Christians of "pagan days" that were formerly and initially based on idolatrous practices (and deliberately selected because they are the "days" sanctioned by the non-biblical society in which we live) is forbidden according to Christ’s apostles (I John 5:21).

What Christians truly need to do is to find out just how God looks on the days on which He has bestowed esteem in the past (and what they might hold for us in the future). This particularly applies to the "day" about which this Prophetic Report is concerned. Just what is the meaning behind the Day of Trumpets (called in Hebrew Rosh Ha-Shanah)? How does God look on it as a BIRTHDATE, and how does he appraise it as a BIRTHDAY? Will the next Day of Trumpets be a BIRTHDATE in God’s eyes?

The Biblical Significance of the Day of Trumpets

For all of you who have read my book The Star That Astonished the World, you will realize that the Day of Trumpets figures very prominently regarding the day for the birth of Jesus. Indeed, Jesus was born on that very day of the year in the Hebrew calendar. He was born on New Year’s Day. It is purely and simply the BIRTHDATE of Jesus. Let us look at the matter closely.

There are only three places in the New Testament that record events connected with the birth of Jesus. They are in Matthew’s Gospel, Luke’s Gospel and Chapter Twelve of the Book of Revelation. This latter book has some information about Jesus’ birth that should be considered, though it must be admitted that all data in the Book of Revelation are highly symbolic. Yet the figurative nature of the book contains the very clue we need to precisely date on the calendar the time when Jesus was born.

People of the first century were very prone to use astronomical signs as having bearing on historical and religious events. And God is no exception. We are told in the first chapter of the Bible that God gave the astronomical motions that we call signs (Genesis 1:14). Astronomical signs were important regarding the births of eminent people, and kings in particular. Because of this, the section about Jesus’ birth in the Book of Revelation was significantly related to particular heavenly signs that Jesus had formerly told his disciples to be aware (Luke 21:11). Look at Revelation 12:1-5. It gives us precise indications as to the hour and the day on the Hebrew calendar when Jesus was born. This section should be read carefully.

"And there was a great wonder [sign] in heaven a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: and she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven: and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his head. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron."

The astronomical scene just described is symbolic. This could hardly be a description of the virgin Mary. This "Woman" had the heavens associated with her — the Sun, Moon and the Twelve Stars. John said that this particular display was a wonder (a sign) and that it was "in heaven." What did he mean by the phrase "in heaven"?

The Bible speaks of three "heavens." The first is that in which the birds fly and all weather phenomena occur (Jeremiah 4:25; I Kings 18:45). The second is that of the Sun, Moon, planets and stars (Genesis 1:17). The third heaven is that where God lives (II Corinthians 12:2). Which of these heavens is meant? People of the first century would have had no difficulty in interpreting the proper heaven that was intended by the apostle John. The Sun, Moon, and stars are not located in our atmosphere where the birds and the clouds exist. They are also not found in the heaven where God has his abode because we are told by John himself that the Sun or Moon are not needed in that region (Revelation 21:23). The only "heaven" that is possible is that where the Sun, Moon and the Twelve Stars are located. The Book of Genesis revealed that the celestial bodies were made by God to give "signs" (Genesis 1:14). Jewish opinion included among those physical "signs" the astronomical associations regarding the Sun, Moon, and planets, stars and constellations. Are such "signs" to happen this coming Day of Trumpets?

There is no doubt that such astronomical ‘‘signs’’ as these are referred to in the Book of Revelation. With these points in mind, we can discover some interesting clues that will provide us with the exact time of Jesus’ birth. We can absolutely know the BIRTHDATE of Jesus.

Astronomy and the Birthdate of Jesus

The essential factor in interpreting the symbol of Revelation 12:1-5 is the identification of the Woman. What is John signifying by mentioning her? This much is certain: The Woman in the first three verses is featured as being in heaven and both the Sun and the Moon are in association with her. After the dragon casts clown a third of the stars of heaven (Revelation 12:4), the Woman is then found on earth (verses 6 and 14). But an important factor is the birth of the man child and the Woman’s relationship with the heavenly signs while she is symbolically in heaven (the first three verses of Revelation 12 shows the Sun clothing her in mid-body while the Moon is under her feet and the Twelve Stars are on her head).

The "birth" of the Messiah is associated with this heavenly spectacle. Since some noted celestial bodies are a part of this symbolic picture, it is obvious that John intended the Woman to represent a constellation that the two primary luminaries transverse, and that she was a part of the zodiacal system which gives headship to the signs (the Twelve Stars were a "crown" upon her head). History shows that interpreting astronomical signs dominated the thinking of most people within the Roman Empire in the first century, whether the people were Jews or Gentiles. Indeed, the word "sign" used by the author of the Book of Revelation to describe this celestial display in Chapter Twelve was the same word used by the ancients to denote the zodiacal constellations.

This is made clearer when one looks at the text. Since the Sun and the Moon are amidst or in mid-line with the body of this Woman, she can be understood in a symbolic way, as a constellation located within the normal paths of the Sun and Moon. The only sign of a Woman, which exists along the ecliptic (the track of the Sun in its journey through the stars), is that of Virgo the Virgin. She occupies, in body form, a space of about 50 degrees along the ecliptic. The head of the Woman actually bridges some 10 degrees into the previous sign of Leo and her feet overlap about 10 degrees into the following sign of Libra, the Scales. From these statistics we can know the calendar dates when the Sun enters the constellation of Virgo, and when it will leave it. In the period of Jesus’ birth, the Sun entered into the head position of the Woman in its annual course through the heavens about August 13, and exited from her feet about October 2. But the apostle John saw the scene when the Sun was "clothing" or "adorning" the Woman. This indicates that the position of the Sun in the vision was located somewhere mid-bodied to the Woman, between her neck and knees. The Sun could hardly be said to clothe her if it were situated in her face or near her feet. This astronomical position as shown by John happens only once in the year.

The Sun Clothed the Woman

Note that God gives a considerable amount of astronomical fanfare in Revelation 12 to show the glorious advent of His Son into the world. In this symbolic account we are witnessing celestial pageantry at its best. And from these astronomical details mankind can easily figure out the real BIRTHDATE of Jesus. Look at the matter closely.

The only time in the year that the Sun could be in a position to "clothe" the celestial Woman called Virgo (that is, to be mid-bodied to her, in the region where a pregnant woman carries a child) is when the Sun is located between about 150 and 170 degrees along the ecliptic. This "clothing" of the Woman by the Sun occurs for a 20-day period each year. This 20-degree spread indicates the general time when Jesus was born. In 3 B.C., the Sun would have entered this celestial region about August 27 and exited from it about September 15. Since John in the Book of Revelation is associating the birth of Jesus with the period when the Sun was mid-bodied to this Woman called Virgo (and this is no doubt what he means), then Jesus would have to be born within that 20-day period. From the point of view of the Magi who were astrologers, this would have been the only logical sign under which the Jewish Messiah might be born, especially if he were to be born of a virgin. Even today, astrologers recognize that the sign of Virgo is the one that has reference to a messianic world ruler to be born from a virgin.

This heavenly Woman called Virgo is normally depicted as a virgin holding in her right hand a green branch and in her left hand a sprig of grain. In the Hebrew Zodiac, she at first (in the time of David) denoted Ruth who was gleaning in the fields of Boaz. She then later became the Virgin when the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 was given in the time of King Hezekiah by the prophet Isaiah. This Virgin held in her left hand a sprig of grain representing the firstfruit of the grains (barley) harvest. This is the case though Virgo was a late summer sign. Still, she held in her hand the firstfruit of all the harvest, and who was that firstfruit? The apostle Paul said it was Christ Jesus who was the first to be resurrected from the dead (I Corinthians 15:20-23 where the word firstfruit is singular, though the King James translators make it plural). This placement of the firstfruit sprig of grain in the left hand was precisely where the bright star called Spica is found. And, the chief star of the constellation Virgo is Spica. But that does not end the interpretation because there was an extension to the symbolism. Bullinger in his book "The Witness of the Stars" (pp. 29-34), said that the word "Spica" has, through the Arabic, the meaning "the branch" and that it symbolically refers to Jesus who was prophetically called "the Branch" in Zechariah 3:8 and 6:12. And remember, Virgo carried a "branch" in her right hand. Both Bullinger and Seiss (Seiss titled his book "The Gospel in the Stars") maintain that this sign of Virgo designates the heavenly witness for the birth of the Messiah (Jesus). They say that Virgo should actually begin the zodiacal signs that give the story of the Messiah. This may be. The apostle John may have given the same indication as far as the first full sign of the Hebrew Zodiac is concerned. He also depicted the Woman of Revelation as having a crown of Twelve Stars on her head.

This could well show that the Woman (Virgo) is the constellation of headship for all the twelve signs. The "head" position of Virgo is actually located within the last ten degrees of Leo. It was in this very region where the story of the career of the Messiah would begin that Bullinger and Seiss were referring to. Thus, the story of Jesus and his mission on earth, as related by these heavenly symbols, should logically begin with his birth from a virgin and conclude with him being crowned king in the final sign of Leo the Lion (with its chief star being Regulus — the King Star). This is no doubt what the apostle John was showing through the symbols found in Revelation Twelve.

The central theme of the Day of Trumpets is clearly that of enthronement of the great King of Kings. This was the general understanding of the day in early Judaism and it certainly is that of the New Testament. Just before the celestial sign recorded in Revelation Twelve was given, John wrote the section recorded in Revelation 11:15. He showed in this earlier section that the seventh angel sounds his "last trump" and the kingdoms of this world become those of Jesus. This happens at a time when soon after a Woman is seen in heaven with twelve stars around her head (like a crown) and the Sun mid-bodied to her, with the Moon under her feet. This is clearly a New Moon scene associated with the Day of Trumpets. And note: Prof. Thorley who reviewed the first edition of my work titled The Birth of Christ Recalculated has shown that there are exactly twelve stars surrounding the head of Virgo as we see them from earth. And indeed there are. If one will look at Norton’s Star Atlas, twelve visible stars will be seen in that capital position. They are (according to astronomical terminology): (1) Pi, (2) Nu, (3) Beta (near the ecliptic), (4) Sigma, (5) Chi, (6) Iota — these six stars form the southern hemisphere around the head of Virgo. Then there are (7) Theta, (8) Star 60, (9) Delta, (10) Star 93, (11) Beta (the second magnitude star) and (12) Omicron — these last six form the northern hemisphere around the head of Virgo. All these stars are visible ones that could have been witnessed by observers on earth.

Thus, the description of the apostle John in Revelation Twelve describes a perfectly normal heavenly scene that could be recognized by all people on the inhabitable areas of the earth. Here was Virgo with twelve stars around her head, while the Sun was in uterine position and the Moon under her feet. And again, the only time this could have occurred in 3 B.C. was on the Day of Trumpets (or Rosh Ha-Shanah). This is when the "King of Kings" was born.

And remember, the Twelve Stars around the head of Virgo represent the headship position (the "head" of Virgo is situated in the last ten degrees of Leo) for the beginning of the prophetic story found within the Twelve Constellations as reckoned in the Hebrew Zodiac. In this biblical Zodiac, the tribe of Judah (the Lion. or Leo) was situated in front of the Tabernacle directly east of its entrance. This meant that half of the tribe of Judah was south and the other half north of the east/west line from the Holy of Holies through the Court of Israel and then eastward through the Camp of Israel (in this case, Judah) to encounter the altar outside the Camp where the Red Heifer was burnt to ashes. This means, unlike some Gentile reckoning which started their zodiacal story with the zero line between Cancer and Leo (that is, at the very commencement of Leo), the biblical Zodiac that Drs. Bullinger and Seiss were talking about began with the 15th degree of Leo (which represented the Tribe of Judah). This signifies that the first constellation to be encountered by the Sun in this celestial story of the Messiah (as it traverses the heavens in its annual journey) would have been the "head’’ of Virgo the Virgin that occupied the last ten degrees of Leo. So, John began his story at this point beginning with those final ten degrees of Leo.

Finding the Birthdate of this Child

The birth of this child in Revelation Twelve (whom John identified with Jesus) occurred while the Sun was "clothing" the Woman, when the Sun was mid-bodied to Virgo. This period of time in 3 B.C. covered 20 days (August 27 to September 15). If Jesus were born within that 20-day period, it would fit most remarkably with the testimony of Luke (relative to the birth of John the Baptist and the eighth course of Abijah — see my book The Star that Astonished the World for details). Indeed, the chronological indications associated with the priestly course of Abijah place Jesus’ birth exactly within this period. But there is a way to arrive at a much closer time for Jesus’ birth than a simple 20-day period. The position of the Moon in John’s vision actually pinpoints the nativity to within a period of an hour and a half (within 90 minutes) on that day. This may appear an outlandish assessment to make, but it is quite possible. In short, the Book of Revelation shows the precise hour and a half of Jesus’ birth!

The key is the Moon. The apostle said it was located "under her feet." What does the word "under" signify in this case? Does it mean the Woman of the vision was standing on the Moon when John observed it or does it mean her feet were positioned slightly above the Moon? John does not tell us. This, however, is not of major consequence in using the location of the Moon to answer our question because it would only involve the difference of a degree or two. The fact is, the Moon travels about 12 degrees a day in its course through the heavens. This motion of one or two degrees by the Moon represents only a period of two to four hours. This difference is no problem in determining the time of Jesus’ birth. What is vital, however, is that the symbolic scene that is depicted by John shows the Moon as being a New Moon. This astronomical fact means absolutely that the day was the Day of Trumpets.

The Precise Position of the Moon is Important

Now note this point. Since the feet of Virgo the Virgin represent the last 7 degrees of the constellation (in the time of Jesus this would have been between about 180 and 187 degrees along the ecliptic), the Moon has to be positioned somewhere under that 7 degree arc to satisfy the description of Revelation Twelve. But the Moon also has to be in that exact location when the Sun is mid-bodied to Virgo. In the year 3 B.C., these two factors came to precise agreement for about an hour and a half, as observed from Palestine or Patmos, in the twilight period at the beginning of September 11th. The relationship began about 6:15 p.m. (sunset), and lasted until around 7:45 p.m. (moonset). This is the only day (or time) in the whole year that the astronomical phenomenon described in the twelfth chapter of Revelation could take place. This also shows one other important point. The Moon was in crescent phase [it was a New Moon day, the start of a new lunar month]. So, the New Testament gives a great deal of astronomical evidence to provide us with the real BIRTHDATE of Christ Jesus. This BIRTHDATE was important in the history of mankind. This is why a great deal of astronomical signs (that could be seen all over the inhabited earth) were displayed in order to vindicate the significance of the birth of this particular child — and to show when his BIRTHDATE was and what it meant for mankind. It shows us clearly that the day was the Day of Trumpets (or, New Year’s Day for the Jews). As we will see in a moment, this is when all Israelites became one year older and when the reigns of kings were reckoned in Judah.

The Celestial Pageantry Associated with Jesus’ Birth

Look at the celestial events that occurred around that Rosh Ha-Shanah date of September 11 in 3 B.C. when Jesus was actually born into this world. And while the Gospel of Matthew tells us about the star that led the Magi (the Wise Men) to Jesus, new astronomical data derived from computer printouts show us that Matthew is only revealing the tip of the iceberg concerning the heavenly phenomena attending Jesus’ nativity. Actually, the heavens burst forth with one of the grandest displays of magnificence that even modern astronomers are expressing wonderment over the phenomenon. Look at a brief overview of what happened. God certainly wanted to celebrate this BIRTHDATE of His Son into the world.

Exactly one month before Jesus was born (on August 12) the world would have witnessed the close conjunction of Jupiter (reckoned astrologically as the Father) and Venus (the Mother) when they were only .07 degrees from one another when they appeared as morning stars on the eastern horizon. This was a very close union. But then, nineteen days later (August 31), Venus came to within .36 degrees of Mercury in a very similar astronomical display. Then, on September 11th, the New Moon occurred which represented the Jewish New Year (the Day of Trumpets). This happened when Jupiter (the King Planet) was then approaching Regulus (the King Star). And, on September 14th, Jupiter and Regulus came to their first of three conjunctions in this extraordinary year. And then, over an eight-month period, Jupiter made a "crowning effect" of circling in a lateral manner over and around the King Star Regulus. There could hardly have been a better astronomical testimony to the birth of the new messianic king from the Jewish point of view. Why? Because everyone of these celestial occurrences I have mentioned happened with the Sun or planets being positioned either in the constellation of Leo the Lion (the constellation of Judah from whence the Messiah was prophetically destined to emerge) or in the constellation of Virgo the Virgin. The apostle John saw importance in these extraordinary celestial occurrences when he symbolically showed that Jesus was born at the New Moon of Tishri, which was Rosh Ha-Shanah, or on the Day of Trumpets (Revelation 12:1-5).

Now here we are, just about two months away from the 2000th anniversary of the very day that the Firstborn Son of God was born into this world. Indeed, 2000 years ago, God the Father introduced His Son into the world with a grand display of celestial pageantry that has never been surpassed in the history of the world up to now. What will God do when this very anniversary arrives on the scene in this year 1998? To get some answers to this question, we need to know just what the Day of Trumpets signifies in a symbolic sense throughout the Holy Scriptures.

What we now need to do is to rehearse some of the typical and figurative features of the biblical accounts associated with this particular day. They reveal why John and early Christians looked on Jesus as the Christ and the king of the universe. The Day of Trumpets was a special day symbolizing this rule. Does this mean that this coming Day of Trumpets will show a "sign" emphasizing Christ’s sovereignty?

Jesus’ Nativity on the Day of Trumpets

If one can realize that the New Testament shows that Jesus born on the Day of Trumpets (the first day of Tishri — the start of the Jewish civil or royal year) an impressive amount of symbolic features emerge on the biblical and prophetic scenes. They show what symbolic meanings God places on this day. As I have explained at the beginning of this Prophetic Report, before the period of the Exodus in the time of Moses, this was the day that began the biblical year. It was the biblical day when people were advanced one year of life — no matter at what month of the year they were actually born. Let me illustrate this point by again mentioning my BIRTHDATE that was April 20th, 1932 according to solar time (and our calendar today). But the biblical reckoning is different. The Hebrew year in which I was born started in the previous September in 1931. Indeed, when I was born the biblical year was already seven months in duration. But, for legal and civil purposes, my "religious" BIRTHDAY was on the Day of Trumpets (or at sundown on September 11th to sundown September 12th). This happens to be the same solar date that Jesus was born in 3 B.C. So, for the several million of us who were born from September 11th, 1931 to October 1st, 1932, we each have the same solar BIRTHDATE of Jesus as well as the same Hebrew BIRTHDATE according to the biblical calendar. In using this method of calculating calendar years for legal purposes, it means that each person had ONE BIRTHDAY for that year. That single day was the Day of Trumpets in 1931. All were legally reckoned to have the same BIRTHDAY at the same time. This means that there is, in God’s eyes, nothing unique about any particular BIRTHDAY on which a person is actually born. We have an example of this in the biblical revelation. Let us see.

Before the period of the Exodus in the time of Moses, the day that became the Day of Trumpets also commenced the biblical year (it was New Year’s Day). It was the biblical day when people were advanced one year of life — no matter at what month of the year they were actually born. Notice that the patriarch Noah became 600 years of age (autumn to autumn reckoning) "in the first month (Tishri, the first day of the month [later to be called the Day of Trumpets]" (Genesis 8:13). That was the very day when "Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry" (v. 13). This day (which later became the Day of Trumpets) was not only Noah’s official BIRTHDAY, it became a new birth for the earth after the Flood as well. There is more. Even the first day of creation mentioned in Genesis 1:1-5 could be reckoned as being the same day of the year. The early Jews discussed whether the actual creation took place in spring or in autumn. But since the autumn commenced all biblical years before the Exodus (Exodus 12:2), and since all the fruit was then on the trees ready for Adam and Eve to eat (Genesis 1:29; 2:9,16,17), the biblical text suggests that the month of Tishri was the creation month, beginning near the autumn. If so, then the first day of creation mentioned in Genesis was also the first of Tishri (at least, Moses no doubt intended to give that impression). This means that not only was this the BIRTHDATE of the new earth in Noah’s day and what was later to become the Day of Trumpets on the Mosaic calendar, but it was also the BIRTHDATE which ushered in the original creation of the heavens and the earth before Adam and Eve.

As shown before, among the Jews this day was called Rosh Ha-Shanah (the Feast of the New Year). The majority belief of the Jewish elders (which still dominates the services of the synagogues) was that the Day of Trumpets was the memorial day that commemorated the beginning of the world. Authorized opinion prevailed that the first of Tishri was the first day of Genesis 1:1-5. It "came to be regarded as the birthday [he means BIRTHDATE] of the world." It was even more than an anniversary of the physical creation. The Jewish historian Theodor H. Gaster states: "Judaism regards New Year’s Day not merely as an anniversary of creation — but more importantly — as a renewal of it. This is when the world is reborn." Gaster’s insight is so germane to the interpretation of the significance of biblical festivals that I will be referring to his research several times in my following references.

When Was the "Last Trump"?

The matter does not stop with the above reference. Each of the Hebrew months was officially introduced by the blowing of trumpets (Numbers 10:10). Since the festival year in which all the Mosaic festivals were positioned was seven months long, the last month (Tishri) was the last month for the sounding of a festival trumpet. This is one of the reasons that the day was called "the Day of Trumpets." The "last trump" in the seven months’ series was always sounded on this New Moon day. This made it the final trumpets’ day of the festival year which was seven months long (Leviticus 23:24; Numbers 29:1).

There is a great deal of additional meaning to the Day of Trumpets. Remember that the "Last Trump" of the festival year was sounded on this Day of Trumpets. But the apostle Paul went further and said that the "Last Trump" signified the time for the resurrection from the dead. The "Last Trump" in prophecy symbolically denotes the time when the dead are brought back to life. To Paul, the "Last Trump" was blown at the precise time of Jesus’ Second Advent. At that moment, and accompanying that glorious event, there will be the resurrection of the righteous dead (I Corinthians 15:52; I Thessalonians 4:16). This accords also with what we read in the Book of Revelation. In that book we have the record of a heavenly angel who will blow the seventh and last trumpet blast. And recall what happens at the exact time this "last trump" is sounded. "And the seventh angel sounded [blew the last trump]; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever" (Revelation 11:15). In New Testament parlance this shows the time of the coronation of Jesus, and it happens at the seventh (or last) trump in the Book of Revelation — the Day of Trumpets. Because this will be the BIRTHDATE for the arrival of the Kingdom of God on earth, God will allow "great voices in heaven" to majestically proclaim the advent of that day when King Messiah will be crowned. Will this coming Day of Trumpets be such a glorious day?

But there is even more. Indeed, this was the exact day that many of the ancient kings and rulers of Judah reckoned as their inauguration day of rule. This procedure was followed consistently in the time of Solomon, Jeremiah, and Ezra. The Day of Trumpets was also acknowledged as the time for counting the years of their kingly rule. It was customary that the final ceremony in the coronation of kings was the blowing of trumpets. For Solomon: "Blow ye the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon" (I Kings 1:34). For Jehu: "And [they] blew with trumpets, saying, Jehu is king" (II Kings 9:13). At the enthronement of Jehoash: "The people of the land rejoiced, and blew with trumpets" (II Kings 11:11).

The Day of Trumpets’ shows a symbolic theme denoting kingship. There is a reference to this in the elevation of the patriarch Joseph to kingship on this New Moon day that began the month of Tishri. Notice that he had been in a dungeon for "two full years" (Genesis 41:1). It was not simply a period of two years that Moses was indicating, but Moses meant the elapsed time was that of two full calendar years (from New Year’s day to the next New Year’s day). The symbol is that the story of Joseph’s rise to kingship happened on a New Year’s Day. This is manifest in Psalm 81, a New Year’s psalm commemorating Joseph’s royal enthronement (Genesis 41:40). As with Jesus, in Revelation 11:15, the kingdoms of the world became Joseph’s on the day that society had ordained for coronations — the day that later became the Day of Trumpets. Of course, Pharaoh retained top leadership, but as the New Testament shows, God the Father also maintains supreme rule over Jesus even when Jesus is prophesied to rule the kingdoms of this world.

The Crowning of Kings

As we have shown from the Bible, the blowing of trumpets was the sign that kings could then begin to rule (I Kings 1:34; II Kings 9:13; 11:11). Jewish authorities long acknowledged this royal import concerning the Day of Trumpets. Gaster states: "The Sovereignty of God is a dominant theme of the occasion [and] it is one of the cardinal features of New Year’s Day." The main issue that prevailed in the significance of the day was the triumph of God as a king over all the forces of evil. The symbolic motif of the Day of Trumpets, as Gaster shows, was God "continually fighting His way to the Kingdom, continually asserting His dominion, and continually enthroning Himself as sovereign of creation. At New Year when the world was annually reborn that sovereignty was evinced anew."

The theological thrust of the early Jews within their synagogue services for the Day of Trumpets was the fact that God rules over all and that he is the King of Kings. On the Day of Trumpets it was common to quote Zechariah 14:16. "The king, the Lord of hosts." Indeed, some scholars have suggested that the particular Psalms which begin "Yahweh is become king [or ‘The Lord reigns’]" (Psalm 93, 97) were originally designed for recitation at the New Year festival." Recent study is showing this to be true. Many scholars postulate that at what is called the "New Year feast of Yahweh," the people of Israel annually crowned Yahweh as their king. The scholar Mowinckel has argued that the "enthronement Psalms" (Psalms 47,93,96-99) in which Yahweh reigns were a part of the liturgy of the ancient synagogues."

The Significance of Being Born on New Year’s Day

The Day of Trumpets in the biblical and Hebrew calendars is New Year’s Day for commercial and royal reckoning (just as we have January the first on our Roman calendar as the start of our New Year). This New Year’s Day signified a time of "new beginnings" to all those in Israel who accepted the teachings of the Bible. As a matter of fact, the Jews over the centuries have held to the belief that the Day of Trumpets was a cardinal date in the history of Adam (our first parent). They felt it was the very day that Adam and Eve first came to the recognition of whether to obey God or to defy Him (see The Complete Artscroll Machzor, p.xvi). But that was not all that occurred on that day according to Jewish tradition. No day in the year could be reckoned as being of more esteemed value and having abundant symbolic influence than Rosh Ha-Shanah. That day is relevant regarding the birth of the Messiah in several ways that are profound in Jewish symbolism.

The book The Complete Artscroll Machzor gives some chronological details that the early Jewish theologians and scholars worked out from indications in the Old Testament to show when important individuals were born or major events happened in association with their lives. And what an array of significant things occurred on the Day of Trumpets and in the month of Tishri. The book gives a summary of accounts found in the Jewish Talmud (Rosh Ha-Shanah 10b-11a).

Note what "the Machzor" states about the Day of Trumpets. The quotes are interesting and of value. "The Patriarchs Abraham and Jacob were born on Rosh Ha-Shanah. Abraham was a new beginning for mankind after its [mankind’s] failure to realize the promise of Adam and Noah. Jacob was a new beginning for the Jewish people, for it was with him that Jews advanced from the status of individuals to that of a united family on the threshold of nationhood" (p.xvi, italics and bracketed word mine).

Indeed, "the Machzor" does not stop with Abraham and Jacob. Look at the following quote: "On Rosh Ha-Shanah God remembered three barren women, the Matriarchs Sarah and Rachel, and Hannah the mother of the prophet Samuel and decreed that they would give birth. Not only was Rosh Ha-Shanah a turning point in the lives of these great and worthy women, but the births of their children were momentous events for all Jewry, because they were the historic figures Isaac, Joseph, and Samuel" (ibid. italics mine). If the Jewish people would realize that the New Testament in the Book of Revelation (chapter 12:1-5) also places the birth of Jesus on the same Day of Trumpets, they would begin to understand just how important Jesus is in a Jewish sense as well as to the world. The New Testament states that he is the Messiah. Jesus shares many similarities with the births of Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, Joseph and Samuel. Will this next Day of Trumpets prompt some momentous "signs" or other events?

There is even more in "the Machzor": "On Rosh Ha-Shanah, Joseph was freed from an Egyptian prison after twelve years of incarceration. He became viceroy of Egypt and provider to the world during the years of famine, and the leader of Jacob’s family. God’s plan called for Joseph to set in motion the years of exile and enslavement that were the necessary preparation for Israel’s freedom, nationhood, and emergence in a blaze of miracles to accept the Torah and march to the Land of Israel" (ibid.). This shows Rosh Ha-Shanah as a day that represents freedom. We read in "the Machzor" the following tradition. "On Rosh Ha-Shanah, the Jewish people in Egypt stopped their slave labor [they began their time of liberty and freedom], while they waited for the Ten Plagues to play themselves out so that Moses could lead them to freedom" (ibid., words in brackets mine). People should begin to realize the significant coincidences of the BIRTHDATES of these prominent men as understood by the Jewish people, as well as the BIRTHDATE of Jesus.

What About the Day of Trumpets in 1998?

We now come to the central subject of this Prophetic Report. With all of the many significant themes associated with previous Days of Trumpets, what are we to expect for the next one (which will begin at sundown on September 20th)? As I have stated, this day at the beginning of the month of Tishri was the day when the seventh trump (or the last trump) was sounded to introduce the final month when the festivals of God ordained at the time of Moses would be completed. This "last trump" is mentioned by the apostle Paul as heralding the events associated with the Second Advent of Christ back to this earth (I Corinthians 15:52 and I Thessalonians 4:16,17). This last or final trump is also mentioned by the apostle John in Revelation 11:15 as the warning sound that the Kingdom of God will soon be coming to earth. And soon after that, the seven angels of the Book of Revelation will usher in the seven last plagues (in the same fashion as the Jewish analyzers of chronology saw that from the same day of Rosh Ha-Shanah the Ten Plagues were sent forth on Egypt in the time of Moses).

But again, will this Day of Trumpets in 1998 (which is Christ’s 2000th BIRTHDAY) be the day on which the final "last trump" will sound and Christ will return to earth and the resurrection of the righteous dead occurs? Before we make up our minds on this matter let us return to analyzing the biblical differences between how God views a BIRTHDATE and how He values a BIRTHDAY. When this difference is recognized from God’s point of view, we will be on the right track in knowing what to expect on this coming Day of Trumpets beginning at sundown, September 20th. Since this is a day associated with kingship, will this day be the one in which the Father crowns Christ as king of the earth? True, the crowning day for the Kingdom of God is soon coming, but will this Day of Trumpets (Christ’s 2000th BIRTHDAY) be the precise time of enthronement? The answer is NO, and I will tell you why.

Does God the Father Celebrate Birthdays?

When God the Father brought Christ Jesus into the world some 2000 years ago, He orchestrated the heavenly bodies to create a symphony of symbolic teaching that even secular astronomers today are astonished at what happened. Indeed, the astronomical events were so spectacular that even the Magi (Wise Men) from the east brought gifts to the Christ child born in Bethlehem. Now all of this was in celebration of Jesus’ BIRTHDATE. But one year later, on Christ’s first BIRTHDAY, the signs were diminishing, and by Christ’s second BIRTHDAY, not a thing was happening in the heavens that would make anyone think that the anniversary "day" of his birth was being celebrated by the Father or that that anniversary "day" was important in His eyes. Indeed, when ten years elapsed and Jesus’ tenth BIRTH-DAY occurred, again NOTHING HAPPENED. Even later, when a full hundred years had passed (a century), God the Father still had NOTHING HAPPEN to celebrate that date. Remarkably, when a thousand years passed (a full millennium), still NOTHING HAPPENED on that day that was extraordinary that people on earth would have realized that God the Father was celebrating the day. So, what kind of a pattern has God the Father established for the past nineteen plus centuries? He has shown a pattern of expressing NO INTEREST in celebrating BIRTHDAYS — even the most prestigious like that of His Firstborn Son or any of the other important people of the Old and New Testaments.

On the other hand, biblical BIRTHDATES are very different. God the Father will bring out the "fireworks" to celebrate such dates. Look at some BIRTHDATES that God brought into existence that were spectacular with physical demonstrations of His power and glory. At the first Passover season, and on that First Day of Unleavened Bread, God performed such miracles that the Egyptians were stunned with the displays. And on the Last Day of Unleavened Bread, God led Israel through the Red Sea in one of the greatest miracles ever accomplished. This was the BIRTHDATE period of the nation of Israel, and God the Father let the miracles and outstanding events show His supreme power in working with the nation of Israel. But note this. A year later (at the BIRTHDAY or anniversary of that event), God showed NO INTEREST in repeating the splendid displays. Nor did He feel it necessary when Israel was in the wilderness for forty years to represent those wondrous demonstrations each anniversary. And even today, we have the BIRTHDAY of those very events occurring each year, and there is not the slightest repetition of those wondrous occasions.

And there is more. When God brought Israel to Mount Sinai, He gave them the Law on the Day of Pentecost. He then entered into a covenant relationship with the nation of Israel (which was the BIRTHDATE) of that covenant association. So, God introduced the day with outstanding miracles that caused the Israelites to know that a powerful and majestic God was in action on their behalf. But a year later on the BIRTHDAY of the event, nothing happened (and for most of 1500 years until the time of Jesus) nothing happened extraordinarily on that Pentecost day in an anniversary sense.

Yet again, when God the Father wanted to introduce Christ and his Gospel message into the world, the "fireworks" were brought into place within the life and ministry of Jesus. When Jesus was born, the whole heavens assumed a majestic character that resembled a beautiful symphony of operatic grandeur to the extent that the whole world was amazed at the display. See my book The Star that Astonished the World for details. And then, when God the Father had Jesus die on the tree of crucifixion at the Passover season, He caused a great darkness that obscured the Sun and an earthquake, also the tearing of the Temple curtain, along with a resurrection of the dead for a few who had recently died. This was in commemoration of a BIRTHDATE in which His Son did something for the world that was momentous in the extreme. So, God came forth with physical signs to back up the event. But the next Passover season (and for almost 2000 years since) God has not done any similar things on its anniversary.

Yes, God the Fathers enjoys celebrating BIRTHDATES. We are shown in the New Testament that some fifty days after Christ’s resurrection, on the Day of Pentecost, God had Peter and many others to speak in wondrous tongues and other miraculous things occurred at the time we call the BIRTHDATE of the ekklesia (which English speaking people call the "church"). But the very next Pentecost (and for most of the Pentecost days that have occurred from then until now), God the Father has not repeated such outstanding miracles as a BIRTHDAY celebration to honor what happened on those days. Indeed, you should make a survey of all the wondrous events that God performed at the start of various phases of His plan of salvation for His people, and you will discover that the initial phases were almost always associated with remarkable physical displays that show God as being behind the developments that He was beginning. Actually, the Father loves to introduce major events with splendid displays of the "fireworks of nature," but when the phases are operational, God no longer celebrates with us.

So, what will happen when we of modern times experience the 2000th anniversary of Christ’s birth (the second millennium of his birth in a few days time)? I can assure you (if God the Father follows His pattern of showing NO INTEREST in BIRTHDAYS), God will perform nothing spectacular in an outward and physical way on that day. There will be no celestial "fireworks" or outstanding astronomical events (and there is nothing in the regular movements of the astronomical bodies that show significance like those that occurred at Jesus’ birth). The simple truth is, God the Father does NOT celebrate BIRTHDAYS in the fashion that we humans celebrate them. And He has proved by His actions over the centuries and millenniums of the past that BIRTHDAYS are events that are OK for humans to observe if they want, but God the Father simply yawns when they happen each year. He couldn’t care less in celebrating such events. It is humans who love to celebrate BIRTHDAYS, not God.

The fact is, in human society we find that it is ourselves who emphasize BIRTHDAYS or other anniversary days. As far as I am concerned, I see nothing pagan or idolatrous in celebrating human BIRTHDAYS or other anniversary dates. They fit into the category of "days" in which the apostle Paul expressed ambivalence. Paul said: "One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it" (Romans 14:5,6). Every Christian has the right to be persuaded the way he or she sees fit in regard to such days. Birthdays and anniversary days fit into this category precisely. True enough, the only two times we read of BIRTH-DAYS being celebrated in the Bible, we find them associated with non-believers. One reference is to the BIRTHDAY of Pharaoh of Egypt (Genesis 40:20), and the other is to one of the Herod’s who had John the Baptist’s head cut off at the celebration (Matthew 14:6; Mark 6:21). Clearly, the latter was not a proper celebration, but even with these two references I cannot read anywhere in the Scriptures a condemnation of keeping BIRTHDAYS (if they are observed in an honorable and ethical manner).

Most humans like such celebrations as birthdays and anniversaries. They are a pleasant way of showing honor and respect to people. I always remember Ramona’s birthday and our wedding anniversary with a showing of respect and love. She responds identically. Yet I cannot believe that God the Father is interested in celebrating our birthdays and anniversaries with us. He has other important things to do. After all, if the Father would intimately engage in such celebrations with us, He would have quite a job on His hands in dealing with over six billion humans now on earth. I am not joking. I mean exactly what I am saying in a very serious manner. And remember, in the biblical way of counting our years of life, each of us has his or her BIRTHDAY on the previous Day of Trumpets in the biblical year that we were born (from autumn to autumn reckoning for the year-length). In one way of looking at it, each Day of Trumpets is a time for celebration because each human has his legal or civil BIRTHDAY (in a biblical sense) on that very day. Yet, in spite of this, has God the Father over the past three thousand five hundred years entered into a celebration with the world on such a day? Yes, He did. Only once! But He celebrated it not because it was the BIRTHDAY of the world, but that it was the BIRTHDATE of His Firstborn Son into the world. So, God celebrated the Day of Trumpets at Christ's birth. But the Father has not celebrated the day since in the same way.

But what do we humans do? We love BIRTHDAYS so much and esteem them as vitally important that humans in the fourth century took it upon themselves to create a BIRTHDAY for Christ Jesus. The Catholic Church decided it was high time to remedy the lack of attention that God the Father showed for the BIRTHDAY of His Son. Those theologians back then knew there was no command or even a hint that it was proper to celebrate Christ’s BIRTHDAY. Yet, they officially created a BIRTHDAY for him. You would have thought they would have had enough sense to select his actual BIRTHDAY (which was the Day of Trumpets). But no, that would have been too "Jewish." So, they deliberately chose the BIRTHDAY of Sol Invictus (the Sun God) celebrated by the pagans at the Winter Solstice (which in the fourth century was on December 25th). The fact is, our Christmas is a purely pagan and heathen day, and it does not fit into the category of "days" to celebrate that Paul spoke about in Romans 14.

Anniversary Days for Israel

God did give Israel some anniversary days to recognize. One such anniversary was that of the destruction of the Temple. It was the destruction of the Temple by the Babylonians in the time of Nebuchadnezzar (586 B.C. is the normal reckoning) as well as the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in A.D.70. Both Temples were destroyed on the same day of the year. That day was on the ninth (and going into the tenth) of the summer month named Ab. As a reminder each year, God decided to call attention to this date for Israel (that is, each anniversary of the destruction of the two Temples). He had the Israelites to fast and to read the Book of Lamentations in services that they would attend. There were also two happy times that God has allowed the Jews to celebrate annually. Those are the days of Purim (Esther 9) and the time of the rededication of the Temple in the time of Judas Maccabee which is now call Hanukkah, or in the New Testament, the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22).

But what about this coming Day of Trumpets? There is no example in the Holy Scriptures to show that we should expect some spectacular "signs" of a miraculous nature in 1998. Though that day is the 2000th BIRTHDAY of Jesus, it is not the start of the Millennium (which is at least 30 years in the future, but chronology is not sufficiently understood by us even to be sure of this). But in the last seven years before the Second Advent and with the start of the Millennium, God will again begin to celebrate BIRTHDATES. The final End-Time phase of our era will start with a span of seven years with events leading to the Second Advent, the resurrection of the righteous dead and then the start of the Mil-lennium. That last seven years is the period when the "fireworks" will begin in all earnestness. That time is just on the horizon, but this Day of Trumpets is simply too soon for those "signs." But wait a moment! God may still have something up His sleeve that will commence on this Day of Trumpets. It could be something subtle that He will cause to happen and only later will the world recognize that the event was a major achievement in the fulfillment of God’s plan. No ones knows what will happened, but keep your eyes open. The stage is set. The time is near. The "fireworks" are just around the corner.

Ernest L. Martin

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