Ronald Weinland

Trumpets & the Fifth Thunder

After this Sabbath, in only three weeks God’s Church will be observing the third annual Sabbath of this year, Pentecost (also called the Feast of Weeks and Feast of Firstfruits). It will be the last Pentecost to be observed in man’s age (the time allotted in God’s plan for mankind to govern himself).

Then, May 27th of 2012, will be “the Pentecost” that ushers in the greater fulfillment of what this Holy Day has always foreshadowed. In Moses’ time, the codified law of the Ten Commandments was given to the Israelites on the day of Pentecost. A little over 1,500 years later God began to pour out His spirit upon His Church that He established on that same day. Both of these events were a partial fulfillment of what Pentecost has always foreshadowed in God’s plan of salvation.

God has given great witness to mankind that His law cannot be lived without His help through the power of His spirit dwelling in mankind, all of which is contained in the foreshadowing of Pentecost’s purpose and meaning.

The next great step in the fulfillment of Pentecost is only a little over a year away when Jesus Christ will come as King of kings to rule over this earth. Jesus Christ is called the first of the firstfruits, but at his return there will be the 144,000 with him, those who are resurrected as the greater portion and the complete number of firstfruits (fully of mankind) of God’s Family and of His Kingdom that will rule with Christ.

The Scattered of the Worldwide Church of God
How can something so extraordinary and of such magnitude happen in only a little over a year from now, when so many end-time prophecies are yet to be fulfilled? It would seem totally incredulous to most people who were once part of the Worldwide Church of God before its scattering (for any who still hold to some belief of an end-time), that such an event could possibly happen in such a time-frame.

Most of these people have always believed that there would be a full three and one-half years of great suffering from massive worldwide devastation known as a time of “great tribulation.” Most actually believe that the First Seal must yet be opened before these events can commence, but in actuality, all Seven Seals have already been opened. And not only that, but we are now entering the last year of that final end-time of three and one-half years. To all these people who were part of this scattering from the apostasy, this statement of where we actually are in time not only seems foolish, but even fanatical.

The unpopular truth is that the overwhelming majority of all those scattered after the apostasy in God’s Church are spiritually asleep and will be fully caught off guard when the remaining Trumpets of the Seventh Seal are blown. At the earliest, they believe such things can only begin to happen many years from now.

Most leaders of the various scattered groups don’t even believe that the Church has experienced the prophesied apostasy (great falling away) described by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2. They actually believe that the Church (whatever that definition of Church is to them) must become much larger than it was at the time of the scattering in 1994. They believe the apostasy is yet for the future after the Church (their church organization) has become much larger than it was at the time of that scattering. In order for there to be what they might be able to call, a “great” falling away, since they don’t believe that is what happened when the size of those in the Church numbered over 95,000 people, they must then become much larger. This will take a long, long time, since the larger of such groups is now only into the low thousands.

Because scattered groups continue to splinter and their rate of growth is so very slow, it would take multiple decades before any of those church organizations could become large enough to fulfill an apostasy larger than the actual one that occurred in December 1994.

These groups do not believe that the prophesied apostasy of 2 Thessalonians 2 has taken place, even though what happened resulted in all these splits and scattering. The very existence of each scattered organization is evidence (testimony, witness) itself of the apostasy.

Not only do they not believe the apostasy occurred, but they fully dismiss the meaning of the man of sin, who is also referred to as the son of perdition. They still hold to a false belief that the man being referred to is a Pope of the Catholic Church. Nothing could be more foolish and blind in belief. By definition, that son of perdition had to betray Jesus Christ. No Pope is capable of doing that since they are not part of the Body of Christ, the true Church of God. No Pope can turn from the truth, since none has ever known nor lived the truth.

Those of the Church that are scattered look at such prophecies in a purely physical manner, much as the Jews did at the time of Christ when he told them that if they “destroyed this temple,” he would raise it up in three days. The Jews did not grasp that it was not the physical temple of which he spoke, but of himself.

The scattered groups do not grasp that the man of sin, who “sits” in the temple of God, is not about a physical temple that no longer exists, but that it is about the temple of the Body of Christ, the Church of God. Simply understanding the Greek word translated as “sits” would help them to understand that it is not about physically sitting on some kind of chair or throne, but “sitting in authority” IN the temple of God—the Church of God. It isn’t about some Pope who will go to Jerusalem and “sit” in a temple there. It is such a shame to have such stubbornness to refuse to believe the truth that stares them in the face. It is a great shame to be so blind and so spiritually asleep, but that is the downfall of the Church that lived through the time of Laodicea. They refuse to repent of that blindness and spiritual sleep that took hold of Laodicea.

Since these scattered organizations of former brethren are not being warned nor prepared by their leaders for the remaining Trumpets to be blown (because they are blind to it), they will disregard coming destructive events as being the result of any specific Trumpet blast, since it does not fit into their teachings and belief for this end-time. By the time the Fifth Trumpet blows and ten nations in Europe unite as the seventh revival of the Holy Roman Empire, some may begin to believe that the first two or three Seals have been opened, however, they will disregard the truth that the Seventh Seal was opened long before, in November of 2008, and that only two more Trumpets are yet to be blown before Jesus Christ returns.

The Fifth Thunder
Because the scattered groups of the former Worldwide Church of God do not believe that an apostasy is the reason for their current scattered condition from other former brethren, and because they do not recognize that we are deep into the final three and one-half years of the very end-time, God will use the Trumpets and the Fifth Thunder to awaken some from their spiritual sleep.

As I wrote in the book, 2008 – God’s Final Witness, the Fifth Thunder is very much about these scattered groups. Even more specifically, it is about their leadership which has failed them and failed to faithfully serve and honor God by accepting “truth” that has been staring them in the face. The greatest truth that they fail to acknowledge is the apostasy itself of which they are now a witness and product of that prophesied scattering. Yet in their pride they refuse to acknowledge why the Church has splintered into over 500 different organizations. Such is an example of the ugliest pride ever expressed by leadership within the environs of God’s Church over the past 2,000 years.

God does not hold such defiance and boldness of pride guiltless before Him, but as a result He has prophesied stern punishment for such offenders. For their refusal to humble themselves, as in likeness to the leaders of the children of Israel under Moses, they will not enter the next, and far more meaningful, promised land during the Millennium. Instead, God’s judgment is that they will die and be resurrected at the end of the 1,000 years in order to live a second time, awakened out of their physical sleep and awakened out of their spiritual sleep. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth for the decisions they made after the apostasy and for what they gave up due to their own pride. But thankfully in that resurrection they can then repent and continue from where they left off before the apostasy.

For those who have not been part of that pride-filled leadership, there is still going be one last opportunity to repent and live on into that promised land of a new Millennial period just in front of us now. God is going to awaken a few thousand from the scattering through the sounding of those Trumpets that will primarily result in devastation within the scattered nations of Israel. In addition, due to the Fifth Thunder and the resulting death of many of the leaders in the scattered groups, some will finally be moved to humility and away from the grasp of pride that holds people in the spiritual delusion of esteeming leaders who have failed to faithfully lead them.

To some, such a thing might seem cold and unfeeling, but that is only if the gravity of such sins is not comprehended concerning the standard that God requires for those entrusted with faithfully leading His people.

Prophets at the End-Time?
We are now nearing the fulfillment of such events from the Fifth Thunder and the sounding of Trumpets that bring devastation on the scattered nations of Israel. That which was to occur within months after the beginning of the final three and one-half years was postponed for two years due to God’s mercy that He granted (a result of the two-day fast of God’s people) is now nearing that same period for fulfillment once again. It will be a time of humbling and awakening for the greater remnant of God’s people who were scattered after the apostasy, who will be blessed to live on into the beginning of the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ.

If you are one of those who holds to one of the scattered groups that does not believe that the apostasy occurred in God’s Church in 1994, or you are one who simply gave up on all the scattered groups, then pray that God grant you humility of mind to accept whatever truth He places before you no matter how unpleasant it might be to acknowledge. That is the attitude and prayer that all should have toward God anyway. That was the attitude and spirit of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong during the time of Philadelphia. Why should now be any different?

Some people have been helped in their being awakened by the knowledge that stuck in their mind concerning what God said about the end-time and about whom He would send to the world at such a time. It is the knowledge about two who would be His prophets and fulfill the prophecies of His two end-time witnesses. But since the groups who were scattered do not believe we are IN the end-time, they are not looking for two such people. Not only that, but none of their leadership is pointing to anyone, or themselves, who would fulfill such a role.

Since no one can dare make such claim, then surely the return of Jesus Christ is several years into the future. But the truth is, he is now only 53 weeks away from returning, so says the one whom God has appointed as the spokesman of these two witnesses and the one whom God has revealed that is also His final end-time apostle.

All who will repent will also come to acknowledge whom God has sent. Without apology for boldness, we acknowledge who we are, for God has given us commission to do so. God gave commission to Moses to declare that He had sent him as a prophet to Israel. All prophets have declared that God has sent them as such. Even God’s apostles declared, even in their writings, that they were indeed apostles sent by God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

So again, God has given to me to say that I am sent by Him and His Son, Jesus Christ, as an apostle and as a prophet, to declare His truth through the remaining 53 weeks that is now before us. Do not be too quick to discount what I have written, for “IF” what I say is true then the true measure of your pride or humility is now being weighed.

In closing, rather than a full three and one-half years of great suffering from massive worldwide devastation, God’s two end-time prophets are witnesses of the mercy and patience of God. This witness is at a time in the history of mankind when God’s judgment is being poured out upon the world during this final end-time. God’s judgment always has been, first and foremost, one of great mercy and patience toward mankind. Since this end-time world has refused to respond to such mercy (as it always has failed to do), now the execution of judgment has begun. A witness of two and one-half years is now passing and one year now remains.

What is your definition of what it means to be a witness of God? What do you believe identifies God’s two end-time witnesses? Is it truly what God reveals?