Why does the Philadelphia Church of God use the trumpet in its emblem and as the name of its primary magazine, the Philadelphia Trumpet? Did the idea just fall out of the sky one day and land on someone’s desk? Did it come from a marketing agency? Neither. The trumpet is so significant to God’s end-time Work that only Almighty God Himself could have inspired it! At the establishment of the pcg, He certainly did.
God commanded in Leviticus 23:24 that we keep an annual holy day that He named the Feast of Trumpets. It pictures the glorious return of Jesus Christ and the resurrection of the saints. God’s government will be established on Earth from Jerusalem beginning at the blast of the seventh trumpet angel. God instituted this feast to be kept as an annual Sabbath of joy on the first day of the seventh month in the Hebrew calendar. This year it falls on September 14. The Feast of Trumpets celebrates in advance the most dramatic, important and spectacular event ever in the history of the universe! It is that significant.
The King James Version of the Bible refers to the trumpet 118 times. The first time the word trumpet is spoken of in the Bible is Exodus 19:19, where God thundered out the Ten Commandments: “And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.” The trumpet blast was so ear-piercing that the people were absolutely terrified.
When Jesus Christ returns in the near future, it will be in a time of massive world upheaval. Men’s hearts will fail them because of that same type of fear when they hear this trumpet of God. The good news is that it will herald a new age in history. The saints will be resurrected and rule the world under Jesus Christ, the King of kings, from Jerusalem.
Although no man knows the hour or the day, Christ tells us to watch. “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled” (Matthew 24:32-34). These were Christ’s own words for our generation!
Anciently, God commanded the use of two types of trumpets as a means of mass communication. The ram’s horn (shofar in Hebrew) produced a piercing tone and was typically used to warn of war, an approaching enemy or pending calamity. It usually produced fear and trembling when blown. In Jeremiah 4, God describes a terrifying picture for the near future: “My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my tents [dwelling places] spoiled …” (verses 19-20).
Silver trumpets, on the other hand, were melodious-sounding instruments, like those used in today’s bands and orchestras. They were used to assemble the people, just as buglers did in many military circumstances in the past. The silver trumpets were also used to pronounce events of great jubilation, including royal and other official ceremonies.
God’s faithful remnant Church today, through the mass media of print and broadcasting, symbolically blows both the shofar and silver trumpets by means of our publications and the Key of David television program.
Herbert W. Armstrong fulfilled Matthew 24:14, successfully preaching the gospel of God’s soon-coming Kingdom in all the world for a witness. But God has commanded in Revelation 10:11 that we “prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” This is a specific command to God’s Work today under the physical leadership of Gerald Flurry, and it is being fulfilled with the support of Church members and co-workers. There is no one else to do it, and indeed no others are trumpeting out God’s revealed truth today. They don’t have the revelation to establish them in the “present truth.” “[I]f the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (1 Corinthians 14:8).
“So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if you dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul” (Ezekiel 33:7-9).
We must support God’s Work through Mr. Flurry. If he doesn’t complete the job, God will take his life, and if we don’t support him, God will take our lives. Isn’t that a significant and dire shofar warning? In verse 33, God concludes,
“And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know a prophet hath been among them.”
Through God’s watchman and prophet, the shofar warns of the climactic events leading up to Jesus Christ’s return. Matthew 24:22 warns that, without God’s intervention, no flesh would be saved alive. God likens these prophesied world conditions to the pain of a woman giving birth, but afterward comes the blessing of a child. “Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? … for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children” (Isaiah 66:8).
Jesus Christ will return in a time of nuclear world war, but then there will be great joy when a new spiritual nation is born—God’s Family. The seventh trumpet heralds the best news in man’s history, when all flesh will see Christ’s return. He will put down all human governments and administrative bodies, remove Satan—as pictured by the Day of Atonement—and rule the world with justice and righteousness, assisted by the resurrected saints.
Jerusalem will be known to everyone as the “city of peace,” as its name means. There will be no peace in Jerusalem until Christ takes it by force. Then, there will be no more argument as to who owns Jerusalem, because Jerusalem is owned by God! Christ will usher in peace, security, abundance and great joy to the world such as man could never imagine. That is truly the greatest news anyone could ever hear.
The trumpet is sounding from Almighty God with a message that will affect every man, woman and child ever born.
Now God has opened doors through modern technology, such as the Internet, which has given us worldwide access, to fulfill that Revelation 10 command and blast God’s trumpet message. We have access to an unprecedented number of individuals in every country in the world for the first time in history. Neither Satan nor man can stop the shofar and silver trumpets.
The Bible prophesies, however, of a time when this message will stop. There will be a famine of the word—but this will be God’s doing. At about the same time, European armies will surround Jerusalem, and the Church will flee to God’s prepared place of safety. He will still be trumpeting His messages to the world through the two witnesses, as recorded in Revelation 11. The Work will continue at the place of safety. The Bride will have made herself ready, and we will be awaiting that glorious seventh trumpet blast and the resurrection of the other saints, the faithful who have died in the past.
God foretells in 1 Corinthians 15 that, at the time of Christ’s return, the saints will be resurrected to rule with Him: “[F]or the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (verse 52).
Similarly, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 state, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord [at Jerusalem, where Christ descends to rule].”
We know that most people will not accept or be grateful for God’s extended hand of warning and encouragement but would rather scoff at Him and us. Not only do they reject God’s trumpet proclamations, they will even persecute those who are sacrificing to blow the trumpet! As the Prophet Amos recorded, “the land is not able to bear all his words” (Amos 7:10). It should be no surprise. After all, when Christ preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God, He was betrayed and murdered for it.
In his personal in the December 1999 Trumpet, Mr. Flurry wrote: “The Trumpet is ‘a voice crying out in the wilderness.’ That means there are many voices in a wilderness of mass confusion. That’s one of the drawbacks to living in the Information Age—there’s too much information. You hear a multitude of ‘voices,’ but all have a false hope. But there is one voice—and only one voice—that offers an awesome hope—a real solution to all of our frightening problems. …
“We deliver a trumpet message—an impact unlike that of a soothing violin. We have to proclaim the worst message ever read or heard by mankind. But far more important, we deliver the best news that man has ever received—or ever will receive!”
God recorded in Revelation 21:4-5: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” What better news could there be? And that’s only the beginning! The decayed universe awaits us to put life into it after we are resurrected into the God Family.
Mr. Flurry ended his article,“We are on the verge of a world full of hope, peace and an abundant life of endless joy. You have the unparalleled honor of helping to usher it in!” We must finish proclaiming this wonderful, trumpet-heralding message by fully supporting God’s Work before it’s too late.
God’s prophet is sounding both the shofar and silver trumpets. The trumpet is not only our emblem. It is not only the name of our flagship publication. It very clearly defines God’s final Work before Christ returns.