Monday, September 26, 2011

The Meaning of the Day of Trumpets

We in the true Church are called to an understanding of the Bible and the true gospel that mainstream Christianity does not have. Perhaps less than one person out of 100,000 on the face of the earth has the knowledge God has given us. That knowledge carries with it a responsibility, and we will be judged by God on how we handle that responsibility. "And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more" (Luke 12:47-48).

We have to overcome and do God's will in our lives if we are to stand in the judgment.

We have the privilege of understanding the holy days. Not all even in the Church of God have that knowledge. Most in Church of God Seventh Day do not have that knowledge. Some mainstream Christians understand that the holy days have meaning, but they think they can understand that meaning without keeping the days. But God gives understanding to those who fear and obey him (Psalm 111:10). The commands to observe the holy days are in force for the true Church today (Leviticus 23:1-44, Matthew 5:17-19).

The Day of Trumpets represents several things. It represents God's direct intervention in this world to bring judgment upon the world for its sins. The next major event in God's plan is the great tribulation which comes primarily upon Israel as punishment for her sins, and we in the Church of God know that "Israel" includes the United States (the tribe of Manasseh) and Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa (the tribe of Ephraim). See Genesis 48:12-20. We do not know the exact date of the tribulation, but we know that it starts shortly before the return of Christ, which happens at the close of this age. We are nearing about 6,000 years of man's history, which will be followed by the 1,000 year millennial rule of Christ just as the seventh day Sabbath of rest follows the six workdays of the week (Revelation 20:1-6, 2 Peter 3:8, Genesis 2:15-17, Genesis 5:5).

After the tribulation comes the heavenly signs (Matthew 24:29), then after the heavenly signs comes the Day of the Lord (Joel 2:31). During the Day of the Lord are the seven trumpets, each signaling a disaster or series of disasters that strikes mankind (Revelation 6:12, 17, 9:1-21, 15:1). At the seventh trumpet Christ returns, and the saints, those in the true Church of God who overcome and endure to the end, will be resurrected, immortal, into God's kingdom to rule the earth with Jesus Christ (Revelation 11:15, 20:4-6, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

This is the time we look forward to, and this should motivate us to strive to overcome and do God's will to the end. "But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ" (Philippians 3:7-8). "if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:11-14).

"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified" (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18).

Yet this world with its materialism and its traditional religions is deceived by Satan (Revelation 12:9). Many, especially in the industrialized countries, believe there is no God, that this universe just exists by itself, and that there is no true hope of life after death. Many religious people believe man has an immortal soul that goes on to paradise or to punishment at death. But this Day of Trumpets teaches us that there must be a resurrection from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:16-19). The soul is mortal, and when we die we are unconscious, as asleep. But at the resurrection, God brings us back to life.

The events pictured by the Day of Trumpets are ahead of us, the next holy day to be fulfilled in God's plan for the salvation of mankind. When the fulfillment of that day comes, it will be too late for any Church members who have not prepared themselves and made themselves ready. We do not have an unlimited time.

Let us make the best of the time we have now to prepare ourselves so we can stand in that day without fear.

Here are links to related sections in Preaching the Gospel:

The Day of Trumpets - the Second Coming of Christ, Chapter 2

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