OBEYING THE LORD'S TRUMPET
Exactly how does one obey the trumpet of the Lord? Since the
fight primarily is a spiritual one - we are not warring against
human beings then we must learn to walk in the Spirit and fight
in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit is a way of living which
scarcely is understandable to many of us believers. But it is
time now to pray in the Spirit, live in the Spirit, act in the
Spirit, and to mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body.
Unclean spirits use human weaknesses as beachheads from which
they can fulfil their unclean inclinations:
"Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live
after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die:
but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye
shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are
the sons of God" (Rom.8:12-14).
The preceding passage perfectly describes the correct
response to the trumpet call of the Lord. We are to be led by the
Spirit of the Lord in combat against the works of the devil in
the earth, particularly against the "deeds of the body" - the
lusting, coveting, murdering, etc., that we Christians do.
When we are led by the Holy Spirit we can overcome the law
of sin which binds the human body. "If we say that we have no
sin, we deceive ourselves" (I John 1 :8). Sin dwells in our flesh
(Rom.7:20). We do sinful things to which we do not consent (Rom.
7:19). The Spirit of God is ready to go to war against the evil
in our life.
A DOUBLE WEILDING
We must cooperate with the Spirit of God in the battle for
control of our body. It is the "sword of the Lord, and of
Gideon." The Word of God is "the sword of the Spirit," it is
True, but it is wielded in the hands of the Christian. This
double control and responsibility (the Spirit and the Christian)
is a very important principle of living and fighting in the
Spirit, and a principle that often is rejected by Christians in
favor of, "The Lord will do it by Himself," or, "The Lord depends
upon us to do it." Listen to the Spirit of God speaking through
"When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then
blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and Say,
the sword of the Lord, and of Gideon" (Judg.7:18).
The Lord wouldn't do it alone, and Gideon couldn't do it
alone. The Lord won't overcome sin in our life by Himself and we
can't overcome in our life by ourself. We overcome our sins
"through the Spirit." Although in a final analysis it can be
shown that in actuality God is the One who starts and carries out
the entire plan of redemption in an individual, yet in the
day-to-day working out a great deal depends upon the will and
efforts of the Christian believer. We must learn to live, walk,
and fight, in the Spirit.
A legal declaration of sanctification by grace alone is part
of the answer to the power that sin has in our life; but after we
have declared ourselves crucified with Christ and free from the
law of sin we go right on with our coveting, Sectarianism, and
backbiting. Human will power against sinning is part of the
answer, and through will power we attempt to resist temptation.
But since will power depends upon human effort to overcome evil
spirits, and since our will power may not be coupled with divine
grace and power, we continue with our adulterous imaginations,
hatreds, and jealousies. It takes a never-ceasing yielding to and
cooperating with the Holy Spirit of God (the sword of the Lord
and of Gideon) if the Christian is going to have the wisdom and
strength to drive the sin out of his life.
I do not mean by these words to arouse a spirit of anxious
struggling in us. Christians maintain their spiritual poise and
deeply settled peace in the midst of spiritual conflict by
abiding in Christ. Christ reigns in majesty, having completely
overcome the authority of Satan and sin. Christ is working in us
each day to bring all of God's enemies into utter subjection
under His feet. The victory of Christ is total - final! absolute!
We are to rest unflinchingly, consistently, courageously,
hopefully, faithfully in that fact. And when we do we are without
condemnation (see Rom.8:1).
"For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if through the
Spirit do mortify the deeds of the both, ye shall live. For as
many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God"
A WARLIKE ATTITUDE
When the Spirit of God blows the trumpet it is time for us
to follow Him into battle. He is ready to wage war against the
sin that dwells in us (Rum.7:20). He is ready to enable the
church to invade the "promised land." The promised land of the
Christian is whatever God has given him to possess, particularly
his own being (I Thess.5:23).
If we are unwilling to respond to the trumpet of the Lord
with an attitude of combat we will come under the curse of Meroz:
"Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse ye bitterly
the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the
Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty" (Judg.5:23).
The attitude of God is revealed in Deuteronomy 9:3:
"Understand therefore this day, that the Lord thy God is he which
goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy
them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shall you
drive them out, and destroy then, quickly, as the Lord hath said
God is a commander of armies and a God of judgment, and we
must adopt the attitude of war and judgment against sin if we
have any hope of going on with God ... Spiritual combat is the
only route at this time to possession of the riches of God.
"If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on
judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will
reward them that hate me. I will make mime arrows drunk with
blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood
of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges
upon the enemy" (Dent.32:41,42).
We may be comfortable and at ease in Zion, and would rather
flee to Egypt (back into the world) than to hear the sound of the
trumpet, the sound of alarm (Jer.42:14). But if we are to go on
from Pentecost we must arm ourselves for spiritual war (Eph.
6:12-18). Woe to us if we "hold back our sword from blood" In the
day of the Lord's battle (Deut.7.2; I Kings 20:42; I Sam.
As we are proceeding in our study past the convocation of
Pentecost and are beginning to think about the final three
convocations, we may be travelling on ground that is new to the
reader. Many of us have not passed this way before. However, it
is not a new way to some of the saints of old, just new to our
generation perhaps. And, surprisingly enough, it does not take a
Christian years and years to go through these experiences. A
pioneer in a wilderness may take five months to travel the same
distance that a person two hundred years later can cover in five
And we do not mean to imply that salvation works in a human
life in a series of neatly placed separate steps typified by the
seven Hebrew convocations. The seven convocations may be thought
of as being seven dimensions of the one salvation.
The outworking of salvation in human beings doesn't seem to
proceed in an ordered sequence of grade levels. The Levitical
convocations portray seven aspects of one salvation. The order
can be switched around. The experiences are elaborated in us
somewhat differently depending upon the individual Christian. The
feasts are woven into the fabric of our lives piecemeal, all at
once, hourly, yearly, if small increments, in unfathomable
crises. There is no way to organize these into a doctrinal system
or constitution upon which to build a new denomination, a new
division in the body of Christ. It is a day to strive for unity,
not division, in the church of the living God.
Let us remember also that Christians can experience the
spiritual counterparts of the convocations without understanding
the doctrinal implications, in fact, while rejecting the
doctrine. The love of Jesus, rather than doctrinal profundity or
accuracy, is the most important quality of the Christian life.
SPIRITUAL NEW YEAR
We have mentioned that the blowing of the trumpet heralds
the Jewish New Year celebration. So it is that the trumpet of
God, sounding in the spiritual realm, is announcing triumphantly
that a new Year is at hand, a year of jubilee (Lev.25:9), a
beginning of deliverance from the oppressor and a returning to
that which had been lost. Jesus Christ on the cross destroyed
every last scrap of Satan's legal rights to us and to the rest of
the creation. The mortgage has been paid to the penny. Jesus
holds the title to the creation. It remains for the church to
take possession. The eviction papers are in legal order but the
old tenants must be thrown out by force.
There are those who will question our position that the
overcoming of sin Is A process wrought out over a period of time
in, and with the cooperation of, the Christian believer. They
will maintain rather that the sin question was settled once for
all on the cross, that the Christian need only to take a proper
attitude (reckoning) toward the finished work of Calvary, and sin
as a result no longer is a dynamic in his life.
There is truth in this doctrine. It is a fact that Christ
upon the cross did conquer Satan completely (Col.2:15) and that
our old man (sinful nature) was and is crucified with Christ
(Rom.6:6). Clearly, this is scriptural.
Continuing along the same line, we would caution against the
believes wrestling with sin in his own life. It is impossible for
us by our own will power, even our will power in prayer, to
master the sinful tendencies we observe in our lives. It is
correct, of course, to use self-control and temperance in all
things as much as we are able, and to resist fleshly appetites.
If we do not, we can never make a success of Christian
discipleship. But struggling against sin may result in the
resurrection of the old nature rather than its death. The cross
is God's remedy for our sinful nature. We are crucified with
Christ and we are, by faith, to rest in this fact (Gal. 2:20;
However, there are two facts which cause us to believe that
reckoning ourselves dead (Rom.6:11) is not the whole answer to
the fact of sin in the acts, words, and thoughts of the
First of all, we Christians who subscribe to Romans 6:11
still find ourselves committing sins, and God is concerned about
sin and judges it whether committed by believer or nonbeliever
Second, there is considerable Scripture, in both the Old and
New Testament, to indicate that the overcoming of sin is a
continuous process in the Christian life (Deut.7:22; Rom.8:13; I
Cor.15:25; 2 Cor.10:5; Gal.5:16,17; Eph.4:22-32; and many, many
A great portion of the New Testament passages are an
exhortation to holiness (as is true of so much of the Old
Testament writings), which wouldn't make too much sense if, upon
the adoption of a reckoning attitude, sin ceased to be an active
force in the believer's life. If sin were not a problem in the
Christian church, then no doubt the letters of the apostles would
be somewhat different in content from what they are.
The fact is, however, that a great deal of the New Testament
is devoted to exhorting the Christians to overcome sin, to put it
out of their lives because of and through their relationship with
Christ. It appears, from what we can observe today, that a
scriptural, workable, practical, effective process for the
development of holiness has not been widely understood nor used
by the majority of the Christian believers. By holiness we mean
the doing of the things which are pleasing to Christ, and the not
doing, in imagination, motive, word, or deed, of the things of
the flesh and of unclean spirits. We have not understood the
provision which Christ has made for the development of holiness
in us, and many have given up trying because of the seeming
impossibility of overcoming sinful tendencies.
THE DAY OF THE LORD
"Behold, I show 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall
be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (I Cor.
"FOR the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,
with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and
the dead in Christ shall rise first" (I Thess.4:16).
"And the seventh angel sounded; 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 for
ever and ever" (Rev.11:15).
The day of the Lord rises in the heart of the overcoming
Christian. In the words of 2 Peter 1:19, "... until the day dawn,
and the day star arise in your hearts." There is a personal
presence of Christ, a personal day of the Lord. And it is
announced by the trumpet of the Lord "blowing," so to speak, in
There also is coming a great historical day of Christ, which
is described in the above passages. That day is the first
resurrection, of which Paul speaks in Philippians 3:11; and in
1 Thessalonians 5:2; and in I Corinthians 13:10. It is the day of
the return of Jesus Christ to the earth, and the day of the
revealing of the sons of God (Ram.8:28-30).
So it is that the trumpet of the Lord announces a personal
day of Christ in our heart, which is the absolute, undivided
reign of Christ over our imaginations, motives, words, and deeds.
Also there is a historical blowing of the trumpet of God - the
sounding of the seventh angel, at which time Christ shall return
to the earth, glorify the church, and extend His rule out from
the hearts of the overcomers until His will completely covers the
There is a personal day of the Lord and there is a
historical day of the Lord. There is a personal millennium and a
historical millennium. We might add that the only persons who
will rule with Christ during the historical millennium are those
who establish a personal millennium - a rulership of Christ -
right here and now ( I John 3:2,3).
The section we have just completed is the New Covenant
interpretation of the Levitical convocation of Trumpets, as we
see it ... Now we have come in our study to the sixth Levitical
convocation, the most sacred day of the entire Hebrew year, the
Day of Atonement.
TO BE CONTINUED