Members of the Church of God taught by Herbert W. Armstrong have long known that the holy days help to picture and teach us about God's plan for the salvation of mankind. One of the beauties of the way God has designed the holy days is that each one seems to naturally lead to the next. Thus it is with the Day of Trumpets. There is a natural transition from the meaning of Pentecost, which is the last holy day we kept, to the meaning of Trumpets. Pentecost pictures the Church of God as the firstfruits, and Trumpets pictures the completion of the salvation of the firstfruits when those same people who receive the Holy Spirit as pictured by Pentecost are resurrected to eternal life, at the last trumpet, in the resurrection known as the first resurrection (Revelation 20:4-6, 1 Corinthians 15:51-54, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Likewise, the Day of Trumpets leads naturally to the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles which follow, when Satan will be put away and those who are resurrected in the first resurrection, pictured by Trumpets, will rule the earth with Jesus Christ for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:4-6).
The resurrection of the saints pictured by Trumpets is a make or break event for members of the Church of God. Each of us will be resurrected if dead or changed to immortality if alive at the second coming of Christ, or we won't. We either make it or we don't. Not all will make it (Matthew 25:1-13, 1 Corinthians 10:12). We must be zealous to keep the commandments of God in the letter and the spirit (Matthew 19:16-26, Mark 10:17-27, Luke 18:18-27). We must love God with all our hearts and our neighbors as ourselves (Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 5:43-48, 22:36-40, Mark 12:28-31, Luke 10:25-37, Matthew 25:31-46). We must be careful to not let our love grow cold to the end as sin around us increases, as I posted in my last post, Don't Let Your Love Grow Cold. We must overcome and endure to the end (Matthew 10:22, 24:12-14, Mark 13:12-13).
The holy days in general help us to understand the truth of God and His plan for mankind, and because we observe them, God opens our minds to understand the Bible and what it teaches about God's plan. We are able to be free of many misconceptions that many churches in traditional Christianity have. Trumpets pictures the resurrection, and we know that the dead are asleep, unconscious, until the resurrection. Man does not have an immortal soul (Ezekiel 18:4, Matthew 10:28, Genesis 2:16-17). That is one of Satan's lies (Genesis 3:4). He slanders God by trying to paint a picture of Him as one who tortures the souls of men forever in hellfire.
The day of Trumpets not only pictures the return of Christ and the resurrection of the saints, but it pictures the entire one year period known as the Day of the Lord, a time when God punishes the whole world for its sins (Isaiah 13:9-11, Joel 1:15, 2:1-11, Amos 5:16-20). That period starts with the first trumpet and ends with the last trumpet (Revelation chapters 8 through 11). The world will go through a great deal of suffering at that time, but the punishment from God is for mankind's ultimate good, to teach mankind lessons.
Trumpets can also remind us that part of our job is to get a warning message out to Israel and to the world (Ezekiel 3:16-27, 33:1-20).
God's plan for mankind is great and demonstrates both His love and His wisdom. The holy days are a blessing and an aid to learn as we keep those days and reflect on their meaning. It is those who keep God's commandments, including God's commandments to observe the annual feast days and holy days, who will have a good understanding (Leviticus chapter 23). "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments" (Psalm 111:10).
Let us reflect on the meaning of the Day of Trumpets and resolve to not let our love grow cold so we can have confidence when Christ returns.
Here are links to related sections in Preaching the Gospel:
The Day of Trumpets - the Second Coming of Christ, Chapter 2
Pentecost - the Gift of the Holy Spirit, Chapter 2
The Annual Holy Days and the Plan of God, Chapter 2
The Responsibility of a Watchman, Chapter 3
The Ezekiel Warning, Chapter 3
Our Attitude and Approach Towards God's Word, Chapter 1
How to Understand the Bible, Chapter 1