From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 6- The Blowing of Trumpets: An Introduction to Tabernacles, continued
2. THE JOURNEYING OF THE CAMPS (Num. 10:3-6)
The Church has camped around this mountain long enough. Said God to Joshua, “Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give them.” (Josh. 1:2). God is calling His people to go forward, as never before in the history of the Church. Only men who have ears to hear have been able to hear the call of the Spirit, but the Trumpet is blowing nevertheless, and many have heard the call. Thank God for the manna which has sustained us throughout our pilgrimage journey, even unto now. Thank God for the water out of the rock, to quench our thirst. Thank God for the Holy Spirit, the cloud that has gone ahead of us, and directed us all through this great and terrible wilderness. But there are better things ahead! We must leave the manna, and the water out of the rock, and enter into a new realm, a new experience. Instead of manna there is the old corn of Canaan. Instead of water out of the rock, there are ceaseless, perpetually flowing waters from springs and rivers and lakes of the land of rest. Instead of drought there is the dew of heaven every morning, and rain in due season. Instead of barrenness and heat there is fertility and life and blessing in the realm of the Spirit, in the heritage of Beulah. Let us go forward as we see the Ark of the Covenant crossing Jordan, with the priests the Levites bearing it.
3. PREPARATION OF THE PEOPLE FOR WAR (Num. 10:9)
“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand; a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them, and behind them a flame burneth…” (Joel 2:1-3).
Joel’s prophecy is the sound of a Trumpet from beginning to end. In this passage he is sounding the alarm for war: calling God’s people together to prepare for battle, for the great Day of the Lord is at hand. It shall be a Day of darkness and gloominess to the unrighteous and disobedient, but “as the morning spread upon the mountains” to the people who know their God, and are therefore “great and strong.”
The Church’s False Hope.
The Church of Christ is literally filled with carnal, earthly-minded Christians who sit back in ease and self-complacency and await a rapture that will translate them out of the midst of earth’s Great Tribulation at the beginning of the Day of the Lord. To this generation of world-conformers God speaks in no uncertain terms: “Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light.” (Amos 5:18). In the vast majority of evangelical circles we are taught that any moment all God’s people shall be caught up, raptured, to be with the Lord in the air–to escape the Great Tribulation which soon shall visit the earth. It is not true. The saints shall be “caught up” all right; but “every man in his own order.” (1 Cor. 15:23). What that order is does not concern us right now; but the fact remains, we are nowhere taught that the saints are going to escape the hour of Great Tribulation by way of rapture. GHW
In the first 1800 years of church history, the theology of the rapture of the church to avoid the Great Tribulation is non-existent. This theology is said to have originated in about 1830 from a vision of a young lass in Scotland, Margaret MacDonald, who saw the church escape the Great Tribulation in a rapture of the saints. Among those who heard the girl’s testimony was Anglo-Irish minister John Nelson Darby, who had already latched on to the thought and developed a theology around it by 1927, 3 years before the vision of Margaret MacDonald. So, if anything, the MacDonald vision just added fuel to Darby’s fire. Darby then brought his teaching to the United States, where it was picked up by Dwight L. Moody, among others, and most famously was propagated by American Bible student Cyrus I. Scofield in his Schofield Reference Bible. Schofield added headings throughout the scriptures in his reference Bible, along with explanatory notes which supported his view of the various dispensations of the ages and how God dealt with man and the Church in each dispensation.
It seems odd to me that the canon of Scripture, coming from those closest in relationship and time to our Savior, did not substantially provide any major emphasis on something that important, and that 1800 years of church history is silent on.