Sunday, September 13, 2015

What the Day of Trumpets Represents

Tomorrow is God's Day of Trumpets, one of seven annual holy days and feast days of God. By observing this day and resting on it, we show God that we choose to believe and obey His word more than the traditions of men. This is especially true for those who have had to come out of the traditions of this world to begin keeping this annual sabbath.

Each of God's holy days and feasts has great meaning for the Church. Satan hates these days and has tried to substitute man made and Satan inspired holidays like Christmas and Easter, which God hates. The worst thing about the false holidays that the world keeps, but God forbids, is not just that they come from paganism and contain some false concepts mixed with truth, but that they substitute for the God-ordained holy days and feasts that show the plan of God for mankind.

One of the proofs of the inspiration of the Bible is the remarkable consistency between the old and new testaments, which cannot be plausibly explained as the independent writings of uninspired men. Only the inspiration of God can explain this consistency.

Consider the day of Trumpets. No great meaning for the Church is attached to this day in the Old Testament instructions for it. It is only described as a memorial of the blowing of trumpets (Leviticus 23:24). Considered alone, this would be trivial. But the New Testament reveals a tremendous meaning for this day, meaning which is not even hinted at in the books of Moses.

This day is called a "memorial" (Leviticus 23:24). A memorial looks back at something that has occurred in the past. But what has occurred in the past that we should remember on the day of Trumpets?

For us in the Church of God during this age of man, the fulfillment of Trumpets will be future. But for mankind during the millennium, when more people will be reading the Bible and the books of Moses perhaps than at any previous time in earth's history, this will serve to help them truly remember the events pictured by the day of Trumpets, because for them these events will be in the past. The instructions in Leviticus to keep Trumpets as a "memorial" is an instruction for all mankind in the millennium to use this day to remember what will be in their past, events the first generation in the millennium will have lived through.

God has inspired and given His word, the Bible, not just for the Church today and in the last two thousand years, but for all mankind in the millennium and the white throne judgment period. Only a few tens of thousands of Church of God members understand the Bible now, but billions of people will read and understand the Bible after the return of Christ.

The Day of Trumpets represents the return of Jesus Christ to rule the earth. It also represents the first resurrection of the saints and the change from mortal to immortal of those saints alive at that time.

"Behold, I tell 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 trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15:51-53). "For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).

It also represents the entire Day of the Lord period, from the first trumpet blast to the seventh, a period of intense intervention from God to punish the world for its sins and to prepare the world for the coming of Christ.

"Blow 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 is coming, for it is at hand" (Joel 2:1). "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord" (Joel 2:31). "Wail, for the day of the Lord is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty" (Isaiah 13:6).

"Behold, the day of the Lord comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; And He will destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; The sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine. 'I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible' " (Isaiah 13:9-11).

"I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood....And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?' " (Revelation 6:12-17). "So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound" (Revelation 8:6).

The summer is past and the fall holy days are upon us. The summer months after Pentecost are a transition period between the spring and summer holy days and feasts (Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Pentecost), and the fall holy days and feasts (Trumpets, Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles, Last Great Day). While the earlier feasts represent for Church members events that are past, the fall feasts and holy days represent events that for us are future.

Trumpets represent a call to war, and there is an association between the end time events represented by Trumpets with warfare. "O my soul, my soul! I am pained in my very heart! My heart makes a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because you have heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war" (Jeremiah 4:19). See also Ezekiel 33:2-6.

Christ will also wage war to subdue the nations when He returns. "Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war" (Revelation 19:11).

Pentecost represents the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church, and for each of us, the receiving of the Holy Spirit marks the beginning of our life as "begotten" or "conceived" sons of God. As Mr. Armstrong described it, we like an embryo in its mother's womb. We are sons of God, but not yet fully born in power and glory. But the Day of Trumpets represents the completion of that process, our full birth and glorification as full sons of God, for on the last trumpet blast we will be resurrected and made immortal sons of God (1 Corinthians 15:51-53, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).

Trumpets therefore represents the completion of what God started with Pentecost.

Also, just as there is a connection between Pentecost and the preaching of the gospel, there is also a connection between the Day of Trumpets and the preaching of the gospel and the Ezekiel warning. It is amazing how the preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom of God and a warning message of God's judgment is a thread that runs throughout the Bible.

The gospel and the Ezekiel warning go together. As I explain in my book, Preaching the Gospel, in the section, "The Gospel of the Kingdom of God", the true gospel is the whole truth of God, the whole truth of the Bible, and that includes everything about the Kingdom of God. It includes the history of what God has done to bring about the Kingdom of God. It includes the prophecies of the steps God will take to establish the Kingdom of God on the earth, and that includes the tribulation and the Day of the Lord which prepare the way for the Kingdom of God. It includes the law of God which will be the way of life that will be lived in and under the Kingdom of God, and it includes the warnings of curses for those who reject that law and promises of blessings for those who obey. It includes everything about Jesus Christ, both as the coming King of the Kingdom of God and as our sacrifice and High Priest and Savior who makes it possible for us to enter the Kingdom of God.

So the true gospel of the Kingdom of God is a broad message, and preaching the gospel to Israel in these last days includes preaching the Ezekiel warning.

I have written before about the connection between Pentecost and preaching the gospel. On the very day of Pentecost when the disciples received the Holy Spirit, the first thing they did was preach the gospel to the crowds, and about three thousand people were baptized that very day (Acts 2:1-41).

There is likewise a connection between the Day of Trumpets and the Ezekiel warning. For the sound of trumpets is closely associated with war (Jeremiah 4:19, Ezekiel 33:2-6). And the coming tribulation will include warfare against Israel (Ezekiel 5:12).

And the coming of war is something a watchman is told to give warning about (Ezekiel 33:1-6).

In a narrow sense, the Day of Trumpets represents events from the beginning of the Day of the Lord to the return of Christ and the resurrection of the saints. But in a larger sense, the Day of Trumpets can also bring to our minds the coming great tribulation that falls upon Israel because there is a close time proximity between the great tribulation and the Day of the Lord.

It is a vital part of God's plan that Israel be warned about the coming tribulation (Ezekiel 3:17-21, 33:1-9).

Israel needs a warning. They need to be told what their sins are. "Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins" (Isaiah 58:1).

Our nations need to be warned so they know that God was fair to give them a warning, through us His servants, while there was still time for them to repent and escape the punishment. Though the vast majority of the people will not repent, they can remember in the tribulation that they heard the warning and ignored it. They will not be able to blame God and say, "I never knew, I never heard a warning, I never had a chance to repent."

The Ezekiel warning that the Church is giving to the nations of Israel, and then the great tribulation and the Day of the Lord which follow the warning, are important steps in preparing Israel for repentance and conversion so Israel can be the model nation for other nations to follow in the beginning of the millennium.

At Church of God services on the Day of Trumpets, we hear sermons and sermottes expounding the meaning of this day. And in giving an offering on this day to help pay for the preaching of the gospel and the Ezekiel warning, we are participating in preparing Israel and the world for the events this day pictures.

As Pentecost and Trumpets mark the beginning and end of God building His nature in us and making us His children, it also marks the beginning and end of the principle work of the Church of God in this age of preaching the gospel and the Ezekiel warning as a witness to prepare Israel and the world for the return of Christ.

The spiritual growth of the Church and the preaching of the gospel to the world go together, for God has given us His truth for the very purpose of sharing it with others.

Here are links to other posts on the subject of the Day of Trumpets in this blog:

"Day of Trumpets", dated September 6, 2010, link:

"The Meaning of the Day of Trumpets ", dated September 26, 2011, link:

"Trumpets", dated September 24, 2014, link:

Here are links to related chapters or sections in Preaching the Gospel:

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

The Gospel of the Kingdom of God, Chapter 2



TCOGMSO said...

Hello Author,
Did I miss the mentioning of the seven last plagues, which are contained in the seventh Trumpet, in your article, or did you forget to mention them?
Editor said...

You are right, Editor, I should have mentioned them. In a sense, they are included in the seventh trumpet, and I did not go into the details of all the events associated with each trumpet blast. But actually, they follow the seventh trumpet and I should have mentioned them. The Day of Trumpets certainly represents the seven last plagues. Good catch.