Trumpets, Temple Institute, and Herbert W. Armstrong: Choose Life!

Temple Institute entrance
(Photo by Bob Thiel)


The Temple Institute had the following in a newsletter as a pre-Feast of Trumpets (which they call Rosh HaShana) message related to choosing life:

“Choose life!”

(Deuteronomy 30:`9)

Elul 26, 5781/September 3, 2021

“You are all standing this day before HaShem, your G-d the leaders of your tribes, your elders and your officers, every man of Israel, your young children, your women, and your convert who is within your camp both your woodcutters and your water drawers… “ (Deuteronomy 29:9-10)

“You are all” – all of you – all of us – each and every one of us – standing upright, equal, from the greatest to the least, the oldest to the youngest, the most powerful to the most vulnerable…

“Standing this day before HaShem, your G-d” – this day – today – the only day! Yesterday is gone and is no more. When tomorrow arrives it will be today. Today is the only day! When we stand before HaShem our G-d there is only one day – today – the here and the now. When we stand and share our presence before G-d’s presence, there is no past, good, bad or otherwise, and the future will only amount to the strength and integrity of our intentions today.

“You are all” – all of you – all of me, the individual! All of me is standing before HaShem my G-d this day – the best of me and the least of me. Me at my finest and me at my least fine, standing and being accounted for, standing and saying to G-d, “I am whom You have created, I am a work in progress, steadily working to improve and perfect my being, my north star being the Me that You intended when You first breathed life into the dust of my earthly being.”

The Torah reading of Nitzavim – Standing – is read every year just before Rosh HaShana, and its soaring message of accountability, of the potential for teshuvah – repentance and return to G-d – of the accessibility and nearness of G-d’s requirements, and of the open path toward life and happiness in the presence of HaShem, serves as a guide book for the day of Rosh HaShana and for the entirety of the holidays, (Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Shmini Atzeret), which make up the month of Tishrei, the first month of the new year.

We are all G-d’s children, equal in His eyes, we all have the honor and distinction, the privilege and responsibility, of standing directly before G-d. We are all granted the limitless opportunities of standing before G-d today, with no past to weigh us down and a future that is ours to shape.

“For this commandment which I command you this day, is not concealed from you, nor is it far away. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us and fetch it for us, to tell it to us, so that we can fulfill it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us and fetch it for us, to tell it to us, so that we can fulfill it?’ Rather,this thing is very close to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can fulfill it.” (ibid 30:11-14) So close! So accessible! So achievable! G-d only asks of us what He knows we can fulfill, if only we set our hearts, our minds and our souls to it, if only we persist!

“I command you this day to love HaShem, your G-d, to walk in His ways, and to observe His commandments, His statutes, and His ordinances.” (ibid 30:16) To love, to walk and to observe! “To love HaShem, your G-d, to listen to His voice, and to cleave to Him. For that is your life and the length of your days” (ibid 30:20) To love, to listen, to cleave to!

Our Torah reading ends with a dramatic crescendo, a daunting challenge, and then – an insider’s tip from HaShem! “Behold, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil!” (ibid 30:15) What will we choose? The choice is ours, and on Rosh HaShana G-d opens up before us our Book of Life, opens it to a blank page, and hands to us the pen with which to write our own fate, our own destiny, our own purpose. And as G-d hands to us His pen, He whispers in our ear, each and every one of us, “Choose life!” (ibid 30:19)

In a radio broadcast, the late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God, Hebert W. Armstrong, said the following about choosing life:

Now, there are laws, you’re going to have to choose every one of you. Now, if you neglect so great salvation, as God has offered you, you are choosing, you are choosing the wrong way and you are sentencing yourself to death!… the penalty of sin. YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE LIFE… and do it of your own will, voluntarily. Your own volition, your own FREE WILL, or you can never have salvation. No one can talk you into it, no salesman, no preacher… I don’t care how much he loves you, or how much he desires to see you saved, he can’t do it. You know long ago I learned that, and I’ve quit trying to talk people into it, I just preached the truth. I want to tell you, my friends, your whole relationship with God is a private personal relationship between you and God!! Now, I do not say for a minute that we are not influenced by circumstances, I fully understand that God can bring about circumstances that will bring us to a place where we look on things differently and where perhaps we’re going to choose the right way and be willing to do it, but still God doesn’t force you. No, He’s going to force you one way and that’s all and that is to make your own decision?.

Now,… God says in verse nineteen?… well, let’s go back to verse seventeen just a moment first, but if thine heart turn away so that thou wilt not hear — you see God allows us to turn away, He allows us to rebel, when He says, “IF”, — if He was forcing us to be saved, if He was forcing us to obey Him — He couldn’t say, ” if ” you do the other, so that wilt not hear but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely PERISH!

THERE IT IS. You are going to decide what is the outcome of YOUR life and your destiny. Are you going to inherit eternal life as God’s gift? Or are you going to perish? Are you going to die: the wages of sin is death, it isn’t eternal life, the wages of sin is death!
Now God says again in verse nineteen: I CALL HEAVEN AND EARTH TO RECORD THIS DAY AGAINST YOU, THAT I, GOD ALMIGHTY, THE RULER, HAVE SET BEFORE YOU LIFE AND DEATH, BLESSING AND CURSING, THEREFORE CHOOSE… God says, we have to choose and that’s an order. And God’s going to make you choose, and even if you try not to choose and neglect, you are choosing automatically. You’re choosing DEATH, you’re choosing to PERISH. You’re choosing the penalty. But you can choose life, it’s up to you.

Set Before You Life And Death

Now, God is the great ruler; He said here, I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore CHOOSE life. What does He want us to choose.. life. He even commands you to choose life, but He allows you to disobey. Now, He forces you to choose, He allows you to disobey. I think we better get these words between what God forces and what He allows straighten out — I really had to get it straighten out in my own mind here a little bit, and I want to make it plain to all of you listening in.

Now He wants you to choose life that thou and thy seed may live: that thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest OBEY his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life. Ohhh, I tell you that’s wonderful when you come to see it. You know I’m glad that God has made us, free moral agents, and that God has decreed, with his SOVEREIGN rulership, that we have to make the decision. God will not make it for you, you must make it for yourself.

Now the Kingdom of God is a family, if you choose life my friends, you’ll first be begotten of God and later your going to be born of God.

Yes, God wants all to choose life and to live eternally and abundantly. More on God’s plan can be found in the free online book: The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why Did God Make You? Which is something Pope Francis’ statements last week show he does not understand (watch the short video: Does Pope Francis misunderstand the purpose for creation? Do you?).

As far as the Jews go, although they call the Feast of Trumpets Rosh HaShana, they admit that was not the biblical name:

“Rosh Hashana, which literally means head of the year” {it was} “not called Rosh Hashanah until Talmudic times” (Kramer, Amy J. Rosh Hashana Origins. Copyright © 1998-1999 Everything Jewish, Inc. 9/16/04).

The Feast of Trumpets has major Christian significance.

Here is a related sermon made for the Feast of Trumpets in 2021:


The Bible tells of a Holy Day where trumpets are to be blown in the seventh month. When is the biblical seventh-month? This Feast of Trumpets is called Rosh Hoshana by the modern Jews. Jews believe that this is the day names are inscribed in the Book of Life. The New Testament also speaks of the Book of Life as well as a resurrection that occurs at the seventh and last trump when Jesus returns. Is this a day Christians have long observed? What are some of the lessons that it teaches us? How do you choose life? Are obedience and the Ten Commandments important? Do many who profess Christ not understand God’s plan of salvation because they do not observe this and other biblical Holy Days? Dr. Thiel address these issues and more in this sermon message.

Here is a link to the sermon: Trumpet Resurrection to Life.

Now, the Feast of Trumpets runs from sunset September 25th through sunset September 26th in 2022. It is coming soon.

Have you chosen the way of life so that you will observe it?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days? The ‘Fall’ Holy Days come every year in September and/or October on the Roman calendar. Some call them Jewish holidays, but they were kept by Jesus, the apostles, and their early faithful followers. Should you keep them? What does the Bible teach? What do records of church history teach? What does the Bible teach about the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day? Here is a link to a related sermon: Fall Holy Days for Christians.
The Book of Life and the Feast of Trumpets? Are they related? Is so how? If not, where not? What does the Feast of Trumpets, which the Jews call Rosh Hashanah, help teach? Related sermon videos include: The Last Trumpet and the Book of Life and The Trumpet Release. The article has links to hear shofar blasts.
Feast of Trumpets: Why Should You Keep It? What does the Bible say? What does this festival picture? A related sermon is available: Seven Trumpets: Jesus Returns.
Trumpets: Christian and Jewish Views of that Feast Jews call it Rosh Hashanah and have various ideas about it. What are Christian views and scriptures about the meaning and purpose of this festival?
Born Again: A Question of Semantics? Many Protestants use the term born-again. Do they know where the concept came from or does it matter? Are you born or begotten upon proper baptism? Here is a link to a sermon video: Trumpets and Being Born Again.
Should You Keep God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. Two related sermon would be Which Spring Days should Christians observe? and Fall Holy Days for Christians.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why Did God Make You? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have, including the biblical meaning of life. Here is a link to three related sermons: Mysteries of God’s Plan, Mysteries of Truth, Sin, Rest, Suffering, and God’s Plan, and The Mystery of YOU.
What is Your Destiny? Deification? Did the Early Church Teach That Christians Would Become God? What is your ultimate destiny? What does the Bible teach? Is deification only a weird or cultic idea? Are you to rule the universe? Here is a link to the video sermon What is Your Destiny?
Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2022 This is information on the Feast of Tabernacles’ sites for the Continuing Church of God in 2022. The Feast Services for 2022 are to begin the evening of October 9th and run (including the Last Great Day) until sunset October 17th.

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