PROPHESY AGAINST THE NATIONS
Chapter 6: If You Will Listen, God Will Listen – Part 4 (of 6)
The Fifth Trumpet
The United States has become so much more corrupt in spirit within the past seven years that there may now be more likelihood that the ten nations of the final revival of Europe begin listening and changing before the people of the United States do so. Although the Fifth Trumpet pictures the time Satan and the demonic realm have power to deceive and bring this final formation of these ten nations together, there is now more potential for them that they can break away from that evil influence once they begin listening to God.
It is good to understand what Daniel was given to record about these ten nations that form during the fulfillment of the Fifth Trumpet. Daniel describes them as being like iron that is mingled with clay. They have nuclear weapons they can seize, take control of and use. However, they are loosely united in will and purpose in the use of such power, as their formation is not for the purpose of seeking to conquer others as the previous revivals of Europe before them had set out to do. Their motivation is more of self-preservation and their actions are out of a necessity in order to stand against a Russian/Chinese axis that has already begun to engage in war. War will have already begun by the time the next trumpet begins to be fulfilled, as it will lead into an all-out nuclear war. That is what this Sixth Trumpet fulfills—an all-out nuclear war that begins just before the coming of Christ.
The prophetic structure that is pictured by the Fifth Trumpet where these final ten nations are brought together in a final great military revival of Europe is one that is set. However, the details that are yet to be accomplished by them in the complete fulfillment of this trumpet blast is now in complete flux and can change drastically from one extreme to another. This is within their own power as the result of the kind of choices they make. That will in itself determine the extent of destruction they will experience. They have the ability to begin listening to God and using their power wisely or they can begin to use that power for evil objectives as Satan tries to influence them to do. Although they initially do not become united with an evil objective, that will change if they do not begin listening to God.
Although Satan is behind the formation of these ten nations coming together, things may very well not go the way Satan intends. These nations are prophesied to remain together as iron and clay for a short span of time that is described as a prophetic hour. Again, the details of this Fifth Trumpet are in great flux, and there is great potential that these events will now not go the way of that great adversary, the Devil. These events can turn against what he desires just as events have already turned against him in what was fulfilled concerning the Church during the sixth prophetic period of 1,260 days that is known as the period for the measuring of the temple, the Church. Although Satan attempted to destroy the Church, it instead became much stronger, and he became much weaker.
God has not yet revealed the specific meaning of the actual length for this prophetic “one-hour” period that is to occur before the Sixth Trumpet begins to be fulfilled. However, there is a precedent that was set concerning an end-time period known as “30 minutes of silence” which lasted 30 days. If this does prove to be the case, then these events will occur during a period of 60 days, and they will become fulfilled a short while before Christ begins his return.
The main catalyst that brings this final ten nation European revival together will not be known until it actually happens. When it does happen, these nations will agree to combine their powers, combining all their own military ability and might, while also seizing and taking control of a strong nuclear arsenal within its grasp.
The Sixth Trumpet
This trumpet is explicit and is set concerning the kind of destruction that will result from a final confrontation and escalation in WWIII in which one-third of mankind will be destroyed (2.3 billion people). A war that has already begun will escalate to become a far greater confrontation between a United Europe and a Chinese/Russian axis.
The massive destruction from this confrontation will be in addition to the death of multiple millions that will have already occurred. The Sixth Trumpet simply describes a period when this Chinese/Russian axis of power strikes out far more aggressively against the world than it previously had to this point in time.
China will continue its escalation of war around the world and will begin to focus on Europe itself. The degree to which Russia will participate and “how” they will do so is now a factor that can also change, even right up to the time of this final confrontation that begins to occur not long before Christ appears in the atmosphere above the earth. Even if Russia will not listen, it will have to decide how it will ultimately deal with China and vice versa. They may side with each other for a time, but they do not trust one another, and rightly so.
Why 2012 Was Changed
This brings us back to some of those things discussed at the beginning of this chapter concerning how God first revealed that the Pentecost of 2012 was the time for Christ’s return. That, however, was changed to another date exactly 7 years later to the Pentecost of 2019. Why did this change? What happened?
To come to understand this and everything else that is happening and changing for this seventh and final prophetic end-time period, it is necessary to once again take a look at history. God executed judgment upon the world in the days of Noah because mankind had become so deeply corrupted. Many had so damaged the minds they had been given that they had come to a point where the ability to reverse that corrupting process within the mind had already been surpassed.
Once individuals have been given the ability to see their human nature by God revealing it to them, His desire is to then give them the opportunity to change that selfish nature if they will choose to do so. If a person becomes set in the corruption of their mind, then there is no means whatsoever by which to ever help them or to reverse that course they have chosen and their existence will simply come to an end— forever.
After the flood, God changed the lifespan of mankind. Before that flood, the lifespan for mankind was hundreds of years. By living so very long in a solely selfish existence, very deep levels of corruption in the human mind were produced and evil flourished. If the mind becomes so corrupted that it becomes set in evil, then it will not be able to have that process reversed in order to transform that mind into a different way of thinking to one that is opposite of selfish motivation and pride. In contrast to this, by mankind having a much shorter lifespan, the mind of many will never reach the point of becoming set in corruption and evil. Yet some people continuously pursue evil as a choice in how they want to live their life so that their mind becoming set in corruption is inevitable anyway.
God allotted 6,000 years for mankind to rule himself so that a powerful testimony would be established that proves what mankind’s selfish nature will always produce. God is now going to establish a testimony (witness) of what mankind can accomplish within only 1,000 years when it is ruled by His government and when all people can know what is true and are able to finally learn and live His ways of life. Yet even then, some will not choose God’s ways.
In the days of Noah, man’s spirit had become so evil that God simply worked with the last man with whom He could who would listen to Him. So God called Noah in order to repopulate the earth through him and his immediate family. Now, mankind is once again on the brink of that same level of irreversible corruption, and although that corruption and practice of evil is outwardly just as great right now, and some of it much worse, the mind of mankind has not yet become as fully set in that evil as so many during Noah’s day.
In Noah’s time, since people lived for several hundred years, they became professional in the practice of selfishness and evil and after living for such a long period of time as they did, their minds became set in that corruption. Today, mankind’s lifespan is much shorter and the damage to the mind, although it is rapidly moving toward that same depth of corruption, has not become as deeply set within the human mind as in Noah’s day.
Although the lifespan of mankind is now near one tenth of what it was at that time, the rate of acceleration toward deep corruption within the human mind is occurring at an exceedingly faster rate than in the days of Noah. The reason for such a rapid rate of deterioration is due to modern technology. For nearly 5,800 years, mankind was not given the ability to pursue the kind of scientific advancement that it has been experiencing over the past two hundred years.
God gave scientific advancement to mankind. It is not something that mankind came to discover on his own through his own abilities. Instead, God began to give mankind knowledge of such things within a very controlled timeframe toward the end of this age. If it had been given too soon, mankind would have destroyed itself far too early and it would not have reached the allotted period of 6,000 years God established for its own self-rule.
So it is God who gave mankind the ability to advance in modern technology. Mankind did not do this on his own, as he would like to believe. God knew the state mankind would come to once they were given the kind of technology we now have. Technology has been the pathway to deep corruption of the human mind at an accelerated rate to levels not seen since the days of Noah.
It is only through God allowing mankind to experience technology that it can come to more fully see itself as it really is. As time moved forward in the development of technology and how mankind misused it, so the corruption of the mind accelerated further. The greater the technology, the greater the corruption has become, and the faster mankind has been moving toward annihilating itself.
As scientific advancement has progressed and rapidly moved forward in the growth of technology, mankind has only grown to misuse it more and more. It has now come to a time that mankind has simply lost control of its use. People have become more enslaved to their own desires than ever before. The misuse of the Internet, social media, cell phones, video games, chemistry (drugs), advertising, entertainment, and so much more has simply placed mankind into greater bondage and depravity than ever before. The speed at which the human mind is corrupting itself is staggering.
The level of corruption in the human mind that took hundreds of years to develop in the time of Noah has now been sped up in a horrifying manner through the misuse of technology.
To make a long story short, by the time 2008 rolled around, the world had become so corrupted that God’s judgment for mankind had already been made and was ready to be executed upon it. The earth was going to be cleansed through great physical tribulation that would lead up to the Pentecost of 2012 for Christ’s coming, as God would then intervene to stop mankind from annihilating itself.
Several years before 2008 God placed everything in motion that would bring about the end of this age. Mankind was already so corrupted that most of the earth was going to be destroyed. God is letting the world know that this would have been His fair and righteous judgment to have so cleansed the earth at that time.
This process would have included mankind being allowed to begin its own annihilation while the additional execution of God’s judgment was also going to be experienced, which would have resulted in massive destruction that could have easily ended in the death of well over 6.5 billion people. It still can, but now God is giving great potential for mankind to first be humbled so that it might begin to listen and thereby be saved alive.
The Factor in Determining Christ’s Return: The Church
There is one factor in the midst of all this that would determine which date God would send His Son to rule in His Kingdom. That factor was the Church—His Church.
Before 2008, the world had already been judged that it was worthy of such massive cleansing, and it would have received an even more condemning judgment up to 2012 through an ongoing final witness. At that time, just before 2008, everything was moving rapidly toward a worldwide economic collapse, WW III, and major catastrophic end-time events. Even some thunders were becoming more pronounced and destructive in the time leading up to 2008. Although the world had already been judged as to what would happen at that time, the variable concerning what condition God’s remnant Church would be in by this time was unknown. That variable would determine whether God would proceed with great physical tribulation then or whether it could be withheld for seven more years.
As it has been stated, the first five seals of Revelation were about God’s own Church at the end-time. It was prophesied that it would experience massive devastation on a spiritual plane as it went through great spiritual tribulation. During this period of time, God was going to humble and bring a remnant of His Church through the end-time. That not only included bringing a remnant through the great spiritual tribulation that came upon the Church beginning on the 17th of December in 1994, but also bringing it through the great physical tribulation that would occur just before Christ’s actual coming.
In all the end-time events that would lead up to Christ’s return, God’s first and greatest desire was to send His Son to reign on the earth beginning in 2019. This was largely so that He would be able to extend great mercy upon the Church that had become scattered and to offer deliverance to the majority of them so that they might have opportunity to live on into the Millennium. In addition, God also desired to extend mercy and give greater potential for many millions more in the world to become humbled so that they could also be saved to live on into that same millennial period.
However, the great variable allowing for any change in all of this rested upon God’s own remnant Church and the spiritual condition and shape it would be in by mid-2008. That would be the time when God would make His final judgment as to when Christ should return.
All that is being addressed at this point is only being done as a basic overview. All that was involved in God determining His final judgment for when Christ should return is far from being just a simple matter to explain. It involves factors of God’s judgment, planning, the execution of that planning, and the spiritual development, growth, and the state His Church would be in by mid-2008.
The highly complex process in the ability to coordinate nations, economies, technology, along with the growth and development of God’s people, and so very much more that could be mentioned here, is candidly beyond human comprehension. Yet all this is something that God is doing as He prepares to end mankind’s self-rule and establish His Kingdom on earth. Human ingenuity, design, planning, and coordination in massive building projects cannot truly be compared to this; however, that is the only kind of physical example that I can give as a comparison whereby some might begin to better grasp the enormity of what is being said here. A comparison between man’s ability to plan and build and that of God’s, would be like comparing a child using a few blocks of wood to make what they conceive as a building, to that of the most prestigious and well-constructed building that mankind has ever built. Yet even in this, there is really no way to compare the two.
God’s final judgment as to when His Son should return rested upon a great unknown. It was a question as to the exact state the Church would be in by mid-2008. That is when such a judgment would have to be made one way or the other. The condition of the Church could not be guaranteed, and therefore, such a judgment could not be made until this was clearly established.
The exact state of the Church could not be foreknown due to all the suffering it would experience after the Apostasy and all the spiritual tribulation that would follow. The necessary strength the Church would need to have and where people would be spiritually by mid-2008 would determine how things could proceed forward in the fulfillment of end-time prophetic events. The true condition of the Church would be the final deciding factor for when God would send His Son to reign on earth. This would reveal whether things were to proceed to a conclusion by Pentecost of 2012 or whether seven more years could be granted to mankind and to the Church that had been scattered.
After the Apostasy in the Church, God began to prepare and work with a remnant from the scattering that followed that destructive event. This remnant Church would continue up to the coming of Jesus Christ, and God had predetermined that His Son could return on either Pentecost of 2012 or Pentecost of 2019. God’s primary desire and plan from the time of that Apostasy was to send His Son to return on the Pentecost of 2019. Even though it was God’s desire that His Son return on the Pentecost of 2019, it would remain unknown whether the Church would reach a level of spiritual strength necessary to accomplish a greater purpose by this addition of seven more difficult and very trying years.
Although it was known that the Church would survive and continue all the way up to the coming of Christ, it could not be known what spiritual level of strength it would be at by mid-2008. This was the point in time that was necessary to make a final judgment as to when Christ should return. By mid-2008, the Church was highly focused on the return date of 2012, and everything in their lives had been geared to that moment in time. Since the Church’s spiritual state hadn’t been judged before this and the date for Christ’s return was still unknown, God had been preparing His Church for the return of His Son to be on the Pentecost of 2012.
However, if God were to move the return of Christ forward by seven years beyond this, and accomplish what would need to become fulfilled on a spiritual plane in the Church through that period, it would require a very strong spiritual level of faith, trust, and conviction on the part of the Church. This is because the addition of seven more years would bring a very heightened level of persecution, trial, and hardship upon God’s people. For the Church to endure and accomplish all of this it would require it to be at a very specific level of spiritual growth and development by mid-2008.
God had judged and established a first date of 2012 for Christ’s coming, and He would make certain that the Church would survive spiritually to that point in time. For the Church to be able to experience what it would have to endure beyond that time, its spiritual state could not be judged until mid-2008. That date would be the optimum time whereby such a judgment could be made as to whether the Church could accomplish what would be required of it in order to fulfill a much greater work that would lead up to the Pentecost of 2019.
To make this judgment, there were specific things that God would do to reveal the Church’s true spiritual state at that point in time in order to know whether it had the kind of growth, maturity, and spiritual strength necessary to warrant another seven years.
If the Church was not at that necessary level of spiritual strength and development it needed to reach by mid-2008, then God would proceed with the execution of His judgment against the world that He had already established. God was not going to put more upon His people than what they would be able to bear. In this matter, the Church came first! The world had already been judged of what it justly deserved, and so had the Church that had been scattered.
Since the Apostasy, God’s Church had gone through great upheaval and unrest. These were such turbulent times that unless one had experienced it, one cannot begin to fully appreciate it or understand the depth of what individuals in the Church had gone through and were continuing to go through. That which the Church was experiencing was on a spiritual plane of great spiritual tribulation. It is something that can only be grasped fully by actual experience. God has declared that no one in His Church has ever experienced anything of such magnitude before and that no one will ever experience anything like it again.
It is one thing to suffer on a physical plane as so many in times past have done, but to suffer on a spiritual level such as this is altogether another matter. All of God’s people in times past have suffered on a spiritual plane in spiritual tribulation, but it has not been to the extent of this or of a magnitude such as the Apostasy produced.
The Church was nearly destroyed after December 1994 when that Apostasy occurred, but God was not going to let that happen. However, He was going to allow great devastation on a level that was unprecedented. Over a full 6,000 years, this event alone will serve into the future as one of the greatest examples and teaching tools ever. This will be used as an example throughout the Millennium as a sober reminder and warning to future generations, as it contains incredibly important spiritual lessons that all must come to see and understand before entering God’s Family.
At that time in 1994, those who attended services in God’s Church numbered about 150,000 people, of which 96,000 were baptized adults. By 2008, the Church was decimated, and very few remained. After that Apostasy in December 1994, two-thirds of the Church went by the wayside, and the remaining one-third was scattered as a result. Of that one-third of the Church, most eventually settled into four larger groups (organizations), and the rest were dispersed into over 600 other groups. In the midst of all these groups was the one group that God used to raise up His remnant Church that had been prophesied long before by the prophet Ezekiel.
When the Church was scattered after the Apostasy, during the first prophetic period of 1260 days, it was protected from Satan just as God said it would be. After this period ended and into the years that followed, many of the smaller scattered groups began to fall apart and go by the wayside. The larger groups had struggles and divisions, but became settled into their own routine of continuing a “work” that they believed was a continuation of what Herbert W. Armstrong had been doing through the Worldwide Church of God. These not only “settled in,” but they drifted into a much deeper spiritual sleep, a kind of sleep from which only God can awaken them—in His time—at a time that is now fast approaching.
However, for God’s small remnant Church, the spiritual battles and attacks were growing more powerful. During most of the time that followed the start of the remnant Church on Pentecost of 1998 (exactly 1260 days after the Apostasy), the Church had been whittled down to less than 300 baptized adults who had experienced the Apostasy. Over the years, many more came along and entered into that fellowship, but many also left. The battles were far too much for most people. If all who had come along had stayed in that remnant fellowship, God’s remnant Church would have been many times larger than what it was, but that was not to happen. It was just too much for too many.
Prophetically, God has revealed that He offered over 3,000 people the potential to become part of this remnant Church. There is a great lesson in this because although a much larger group would be offered this opportunity, it didn’t mean that all would choose to accept it, and they didn’t.
This history has been needful in order to help a person come to understand why the spiritual state of the Church could not be fully known by mid-2008. The Church would have to be of a necessary spiritual strength and faith that God alone could “measure” by that time. That would determine whether the Church could be moved forward to the degree necessary in order to accomplish a far greater purpose in extending great mercy and life, both within the world and the Church that had been scattered.
God knew the kind of devastation that would come upon His Church once He allowed the Apostasy to occur. God knew the kind of spiritual warfare and destruction that would follow and that there would be very large casualties along the way. However, even in that which concerned a very large Church that had become scattered, God’s greater plan would make it possible for most of these to be saved within another period of time—in the final 100 years beyond the Millennium.
God’s purpose and will has always been that He be able to lead a strong remnant group within the Church through the greatest spiritual tribulation it has ever known since the Church began in 31 A.D. However, God’s will first and foremost was not only to lead a remnant group well beyond mid-2008 to Pentecost 2012, but it was also to create within them a much stronger faith and higher level of spiritual strength. This would then enable them to do a far greater work within the eleven years that would follow 2008, all the way up to the Pentecost of 2019.
Above all things, it has always been God’s desire that the optimum number of lives be saved in the end-time, both in the Church that had become scattered and in the world. But such matters always come down to individual human choice, and because of that, there is no guarantee what choices people will make. When God created the angelic realm, there was no guarantee how many would choose to continue to follow Him and how many would not. Yet God knew that by creating them to have free choice and free will that the result would be that there could be many who ultimately would not choose Him and His ways. In time, one-third of the angels did reject God and His way of life.
All people have been created with the same ability of free choice and free will. The vast majority of all those whom God awakened out of a spiritual sleep within the Church that was scattered were not able to endure the spiritual tribulation that the Church has experienced ever since the Apostasy. They were simply unable to stay in the fight. Some succumbed to the human weakness of pride, desire for power and/or recognition, selfishness, sexual lust, spiritual lethargy, jealousy, and/or general weariness of battle. Everyone who experienced the Apostasy was in a state of being spiritually asleep before God awakened them, and those within the remnant who gave up the battle went right back to sleep again.
Yet there has always been a core of people who have remained more spiritually alert and on guard through this period. As a result, God has been able to work with them on a spiritual plane that has made them stronger in faith and in spiritual battle. Exactly where the Church would be overall spiritually by mid-2008 remained an unknown factor throughout the years preceding this. The growth, spiritual state, and faith of the Church was not to be measured until this specific time in order to determine what might be able to yet be created within them by moving beyond 2012.