God has given His Church a gift of understanding of His plan for the salvation of mankind. It is an understanding that the traditional churches of this world and the majority of mankind do not have. He gave us that gift through the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong, and God was able to use Mr. Armstrong as a tool because Mr. Armstrong was willing to believe God's word, the Bible. Moreover, Mr. Armstrong taught that truth to the Church of God and those God called into the Church by saying, "Don't believe me, believe God, believe your Bible." Thus, the very means by which Mr. Armstrong learned the truth, by believing the Bible, became the very means those who listened to him could come to believe that what he said was the truth - they could prove for themselves in the Bible, following the example of Mr. Armstrong, believing God not man.
Yet, though that knowledge was a gift, it required a price to qualify for it. That price is obedience. The plan of God is illustrated by the holy days. Some in the world, in traditional churches, may think they can learn the lessons and meaning of the holy days by studying them but not keeping them. But that is not how God reveals knowledge. He gives understanding and wisdom to those who believe and obey Him (Psalm 111:10).
The first thing to learn about the holy days is that it is God's will that we keep them. Those who are willing and able to believe what God says are able to prove in the Bible that they should keep them. The next step is obedience. We must actually obey God by observing the holy days. Then we can study the meaning of the holy days and God can open our understanding because He sees we are obeying Him. But the world does not obey Him and cannot understand the meaning of the holy days no matter how much they study them in the Bible.
The Day of Trumpets represents many things. It represents the return of Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:29, 31, Revelation 11:15). It represents the resurrection of the saints at the second coming of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:50-57, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). It also represents the beginning, the duration, and the end of the Day of the Lord, including the seven last plagues (Revelation chapters 8 and 9, Revelation 11:15-19, 15:5-8, Revelation chapters 16, 18, and 19). It represents seven trumpets to sound during the Day of the Lord.
It represents the conclusion of 6,000 years of man ruling himself under Satan's influence and deception, and 6,000 years of the world as a whole being cut off from intimate contact with God and access to God's Holy Spirit. God has designed a 7,000 year plan for teaching mankind the lesson that Satan's way brings suffering and death, but God's way of life brings life and happiness.
This life during the age of man, or you could say the age of Satan, is a life full of trials and suffering. And the world does not know why it is suffering.
Years ago, a Church of God member was talking to me about a trial he was going through, and he said, "I don't understand what God is trying to teach me".
I think that is a common problem in the Church of God.
We all go through trials at one time or another. For some of us, the trials are severe and even frequent and can be long lasting.
We can be comforted by God's promise that our trials will work out for good in the end if we love God. "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).
God can put us through trials for any of several reasons.
It may be that God is correcting us for a fault.
"And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: 'My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.' If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it" (Hebrews 12:5-11).
All trials are not necessarily for the purpose of correcting us for a fault or sin, but some are, and it is good, when a trial comes, to examine ourselves to see if God may be correcting us for a problem.
But some trials are not necessarily correction, but simply a test of our faith. Will we still be faithful to God to trust and obey Him even when things are not going as we want or expect?
"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:6-7).
Yet, it is easy to get discouraged when we are going through a trial for a long time and God does not remove the trial or answer our prayers about it. It can seem discouraging if we do not understand the reason for the trial or what God is trying to teach us.
Yet, it may not be necessary, for God's purpose, that we understand the reason for the trial at the time we are going through it. God can still use the trial to teach us things and develop character in us. God can give us the understanding of the reason for the trial at a later time. If we need to understand now, God can give us the understanding now. But if we do not need to understand right now, God may delay giving us the understanding. He can give us the understanding later.
So if you are going through a trial, don't be discouraged if you don't understand it right now. By all means, seek understanding through prayer, Bible study, and fasting if necessary. But if God does not reveal the reason right away, don't be discouraged. God will reveal the reason when you need to know it.
There is an example in the Bible of a man who did not understand his trial while he was going through it. But God worked it for good in the end. In fact, for God's purpose, it was better that God did not reveal the purpose of the trial when the trial was going on.
The example is Job.
You know the story.
Job was righteous before God, and God blessed him (Job 1:1-3). Satan told God that Job only lived righteously for selfish reasons, to be blessed, and challenged God to take away Job's blessings. God allowed Satan to take away Job's wealth, children, and physical health (Job 1:6-22, 2:1-13).
Job suffered severely even to the point of wishing he had never been born (Job 3:1-26). God was testing Job's faith in God's righteousness, and at the same time teaching him a lesson. God was also making a point to Satan and probably teaching a lesson to God's angels and to all the human race through the book of Job that Job would write. Yet, through most of Job's suffering, he did not understand the reason. It was only at the end that Job gained understanding, and though the book does not record God telling Job about His conversation with Satan, He must have told Job for Job to write it in his book. And it suited God's purpose not to reveal the purpose of the trial to Job in the beginning, for it was Job's very lack of understanding that allowed this to be a test of Job's faith. God wants us to have faith to trust Him even when we do not understand our trials.
Abraham was tested when God told him to sacrifice Isaac, and God did not tell Abraham the reason. It may have been only after the test was over that Abraham understood (Genesis 22:1-19).
Even Jesus Christ, when He was suffering and about to die, cried out, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46).
But perhaps the example of suffering trials but not knowing the reason that is on the most massive scale is the suffering of this world for 6,000 years, which suffering is about to reach a climax at the end of this age. That climax of suffering and the end of this age can be illustrated by the events represented by the Day of Trumpets.
The very purpose of the 6,000 years of suffering under Satan's influence is to teach mankind the lesson that Satan's way of life brings suffering. Yet mankind is not learning that lesson yet. They will understand it later, but right now they are merely living the lesson and writing the lesson in human history, yet without understanding and learning it, yet.
But they will understand it later.
This whole world is suffering a trial it does not understand. Yet, the fact that it does not understand it at the present time in no way lessens the value of the experience, for they will understand the lesson later.
Likewise, we may suffer trials to test us and teach us lessons, trials we do not understand even if we seek to understand them, but that is no reason for discouragement, for God is able to teach us things through experience even before we understand what He is teaching us, and later we will understand more.
Yet, perhaps there is a way to understand our trials sooner and better, and in understanding our trials they become easier to bear. God pays us for what we do in this life - we reap what we sow. "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap" (Galatians 6:7).
If we show kindness to others to help them understand their trial, God may more quickly help us to understand our trials, for it may be easier to endure a trial we understand than one we do not understand.
Israel and the world are about to go through severe trials in the great tribulation and the Day of the Lord. We can help them understand their trials during the great tribulation by giving them a warning message now. Then, when they go through the tribulation, they will remember our message, and that will help them understand the purpose of their suffering, and that in turn will make it easier for them to bear their trials and easier for them to repent.
It is a way we can obey God's command to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Here is a link to other posts and information about the Day of Trumpets:
"What the Day of Trumpets Represents", dated September 13, 2015, link: