Ronald Weinland

Is Christ About to Return?

Could it be in less than a year? Through time there have been different teachings and hope of a Messiah—an anointed one whom God would send to establish a Kingdom—His kingdom on earth.

Through time there have been different teachings and hope of a Messiah—an anointed one whom God would send to establish a Kingdom—His kingdom on earth. Although there has been this thought and teaching of a Messiah among the Israelites of old, and primarily within Judaism, there has been far more diversity about such teaching within traditional Christianity.

This diversity is quite evident with the very term “Christianity.” The word Christ that is from the Greek language means the same as the Hebrew word for Messiah, which is “the anointed” or “the anointed one.” But look at all the opposing and conflicting teachings in traditional Christianity, as these differences themselves are a witness (testimony) of a profession of very divergent claims as to what Christ lived, taught, and believed. What is true about who Christ was and what does this have to do with understanding his return?

It is estimated that there are well over 30,000 Christian denominations in the world. The reality is that none of them fully agree with each other concerning doctrines, teachings, and beliefs about Christ and who he really was. Why such confusion?

The prophecies of an anointed one sent from God to deliver mankind—to save mankind—are numerous in scripture, yet in Judaism and traditional Christianity there is incredible confusion and great variance in what is actually believed and taught. This should be evident by the very fact of this extremely large number of varying organized groups who have vastly different beliefs from one another. The conflicting beliefs within these separate organizations have entangled both Judaism and traditional Christianity in much doctrinal chaos and disagreement.

With so many organizations that teach opposing ideas about God and a Messiah, let alone the divergence and contradictions of these doctrines, it is no wonder that the world is so confused about who and what God is. God makes it clear that the Israelites of old were stiff-necked and hard-hearted toward Him and His ways. They continually rebelled against Him and killed so many of the very prophets whom He sent to them. Eventually, even Judah rejected the very Messiah himself when he came among them after being born of Mary as the very Son of God.

Judah even changed the clear timing commanded for Passover in Leviticus 23 that was to be observed “between the two evenings” that clearly marks the entirety of the 14th day of the first month. A few decades after Christ’s death, they changed this timing to an observance that focused more on the evening of the 15th. This change was done in an attempt to discredit the possibility that Christ was the Passover for mankind and that he might have actually fulfilled the purpose of its observance.

Before Christ was put to death by the insistence of the religious leaders of Judaism, many were turning to him believing that he indeed was the Messiah whom God had sent to establish His rule in Israel and to remove the power and rule of the Roman Empire that was over them. As that Kingdom was not established through him before his death, the disciples asked him after he was resurrected to spirit life if he would now set that Kingdom in order. They did not understand that this event would not take place until nearly 2,000 years later, at a time when God would intervene in the affairs of mankind in order to prevent mankind from annihilating itself in what we know to be a nuclear war—World War III.

The Origin of Traditional Christianity
In AD 325 the Council of Nicaea introduced its own ideas about “Christianity.” These ideas grew in great popularity, but in so doing added far greater confusion to the truth of the Messiah whom God prophesied to mankind in Old Testament scriptures. It was in this Council of Nicaea, which gave authority to a new religion in the Roman Empire, that different doctrines were introduced that had no basis whatsoever in any scripture.

The Catholic Church, who was the recipient of these new teachings from the Council of Nicaea, acknowledges that one of the great teachings given to them at that time was the teaching of a Trinity. They claim it is a “mystery” to be understood through faith, as they acknowledge it does not come from scripture. But “faith” is supposed to be a product of belief in scripture—in God’s Word.

In addition to the teaching of a Trinity that came from this council, they also determined that they would outlaw the observance of Passover throughout the Roman Empire and instead begin to observe Easter, which also has no command or observance in scripture.

These things are not difficult to study and research over the Internet. The evidence of this event of the Council of Nicaea and the new doctrines it instituted is clearly documented. That which nearly all people in traditional Christianity fail to know, let alone understand, is that the ideas of Christianity that came out of this council were not taught by the original apostles. Not only that, but they contradicted what the original apostles, and later, what the apostle Paul actually taught in the Church of God.

Instead, it is clear in scripture that the original Church of God observed Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread as outlined in Leviticus 23, as well as Pentecost, which is when the Church of God actually began. It is also clear that they observed the other commanded annual Holy Days of God, including the weekly Sabbath that was observed on the seventh day of the week, Saturday, and not Sunday which is observed on the first day of the week. These truths are not that difficult to prove, yet people choose to ignore them. Not only that, but many even fight and teach against these truths because it is such a threat and offense to cherished ideas and beliefs they have been taught since childhood.

Truth is cast aside for tradition, just as the true Christ said. It is extremely difficult for a person to come to admit the true origins of Easter, Christmas, and even Sunday worship service. Such doctrine does not come out of scripture as direction or command from God in how to worship Him, and neither did Christ teach these things. Again, such things are not that difficult to find on the Internet, but people choose not to listen to God! That is why this world is about to be plunged into the worst times of all human history, whereby God declares that if He did not intervene that mankind would indeed annihilate himself. It has only been now in this prophesied period of the end-time that mankind has developed the means of doing just that through the use of nuclear weapons.

That time has now come when such weapons are going to be used. And once it begins, only God can stop it. It is important to know that there is enough power in such weapons to destroy all life from this planet many times over.

Only One True Christ
This brings us back to the subject at hand. Indeed, God promised that He would give to mankind a Messiah—a Christ—through whom He would save the world. From the beginning of the Church of God on the Pentecost of AD 31 (Acts 2), the disciples taught about this Messiah, this Christ, who had died and was resurrected to life again, now having everlasting spirit life. They taught that he was the one who was now with God the Father and who was now working with Him to prepare for a Kingdom that would come and reign on this earth for 1,000 years (Rev. 20). But traditional Christianity chooses to ignore such scriptures and does not teach about this period of time because it does not fit their doctrine and beliefs.

The overwhelming majority of people simply do not question what they have been taught from youth. They do not understand that only two churches arose after the time of Christ’s death and then continued for many hundreds of years before other churches emerged on the world scene who also came to call themselves Christian.

First, there was the Church of God, which is known throughout scripture in the New Testament and is referred to in exactly that way—the Church of God—God’s Church. Indeed, the oldest Christian church is the Church of God, which God brought into existence on Pentecost AD 31 and has continued now for nearly 2,000 years.

However, in AD 325 another church began to emerge that began to use the stories and writings of the apostles to teach about a different Messiah—a different Christ. They chose a name to identify him as the one who was born on Christmas Day, and the one who was resurrected on the Sunday morning of Easter. But none of this is true. Nevertheless, they gave him a name and they became a very great religion on this earth. The name they gave him is that of Jesus Christ.

Yet those who profess their beliefs in the name of Jesus Christ do not teach that he is very near to returning to this earth to reign as the King of kings, just at God testified he would at the end of this current age for mankind (Rev. 19 & 20). But there is a group—a Church—that has been publishing this news of Christ’s imminent return and intervention in the affairs of mankind. This news began being published just over 80 years ago.

Although God’s Church has remained small through time, just as God said it would be, the Church of God has been teaching and publishing the truth of Christ’s return for just over 80 years now. But a more precise timing for that return was not known until God gave a very specific countdown to His Church that began in December 1994. The incredible event that began this countdown is the very event God foretold through the apostles Paul and John. Paul declared that this future prophesied event would be the sign of Christ’s coming—of his return. This is fully covered in the most recent book I’ve written, Prophesy Against the Nations.

It is the responsibility of God’s Church, as a watchman, to warn about a great world war that immediately precedes Christ’s actual return. That specific warning has now been going out to the world for nearly 70 years. In the countdown that began in 1994, there are very specific measures of time that God has given as to when he can send His Son to become the King of kings in His Kingdom. There are only very specific periods or moments in time in which God has shown that His Son can return.

The countdown that began in 1994 has specific periods of time in which God can bring this age of mankind to an end and then establish His Kingdom under the reign of His Messiah, the Christ, for the next 1,000 years. God has revealed that this final end-time count to Christ’s return must fully align with the timing of certain annual Holy Days and that within that alignment there must be the fulfillment of very specific segments of time.

The first count in which this event could have occurred was on the Pentecost of 2012 or the Pentecost of 2013. But it did not happen at that time. The next and far more meaningful “count” and alignment for Christ’s coming is on Pentecost, June 9th of 2019.

You can know if that is the time Christ will once again stand upon the Mt. of Olives if a third world war has broken out by February or March of 2019 at the latest. If not, then the next possible return will be the Pentecost of 2020. Beyond that and there will be a space of more time that will be a matter of a few years. The world is just that close to a final world war—a nuclear war breaking out on earth. It is that nuclear war that is the trigger for Christ’s coming and the purpose for his intervention in the affairs of mankind to stop that war.

The world news today is much different than just a few years ago. Now it is becoming more evident just how volatile conditions are for a world war. There is an ever-growing state of tension between the nations of India, Pakistan, and China. The Middle East is a hot bed with very explosive potential in tensions that involves many nations, including the U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Russia, much of Europe, and more.

There are rapidly growing tensions in the South China Sea with many nations in Asia as well as the U.S. Then there is Turkey that is creating one of the greatest threats to peace throughout Europe and many other nations. Turkey is in great conflict with NATO and the European Union, and the U.S. This is only a slight mention of very great conflict that is growing rapidly and will one day soon begin a collapse like dominos once a single fire is lit.

The book, Prophesy Against the Nations, explains the prophetic countdown that began in December 1994 and the intricate plan whereby God will fulfill specific timing and prophecy for this end-time. The eventual precise timing God will use to fulfill these prophetic events is somewhat fluid due to current choices being made by people in God’s own Church and by leaders in this world. That is because there are great variables that exist because of the kinds of choices people have before them, and this has strong bearing on how and when God will bring all things together in order to complete the fulfillment of all end-time prophecy. Nevertheless, God is using specific segments of timing in order to usher in His Kingdom on earth where the Christ will finally become the prophesied King of kings over all nations.

There is no “united nations” and no nation on earth that can give this world peace, let alone enforce peace, but God can and will do so by the government He is about to establish—a government that will rule all nations, and a government that will allow war no more. Only God can give mankind peace and a peaceful world in which to live—all under His one government that He declares will reign over the earth. Mankind will never again be left to rule himself.

Today, God is revealing to mankind that we cannot govern ourselves, and that government from man does not work and is failing everywhere. It is this failure that is leading into one more great war on earth—one which only God can stop.

A Final Cleansing for God’s Church
Since the final countdown for Christ’s return began in 1994, God has been preparing His Church for that return. As part of this process, God has also been restoring and revealing far more truth to His Church so that His Church is indeed ready for that return. Part of that process of God revealing truth is also a process for revealing error—in order to cleanse the Church and get rid of error.

Herbert W. Armstrong, an end-time apostle of God, although not received by the world as God’s apostle, was raised up by God in the 1930s in order to begin this process of restoring truth in His Church. God did this because over the prophetic era of the Church known as Sardis, much truth had been lost. As a matter of fact, truth began to be lost not long after the last of the original apostles died. That apostle was John, who in his later years was imprisoned for a time on the Isle of Patmos by the Roman government. It was there that the last book of scripture was revealed to him—the Book of Revelation.

But after 1800 years of persecution that came from different governments of man, beginning with the Roman Empire, as well as persecution and death from those who even called themselves Christian, the Church of God began to lose truth it was originally given. Once the printing press was invented and many other organizations with many varying beliefs concerning Christianity arose on the scene, it became even more of a struggle for the Church of God to hold onto the truths it had been given from the beginning.

So God raised up an end-time apostle whose job and commission was to begin restoring truth once more. God was doing this all in preparation for His Son to be sent back to this earth once again. It was revealed to Herbert W. Armstrong that the world had now come to the end-time spoken of in scripture. It was revealed to him before 1950 that one final world war was coming, and this was just after World War II had ended.

Herbert W. Armstrong was also shown in the late 1940s that a company of ten nations in Europe would have much to do with the events of this end-time. He spoke of these ten nations that would arise at the end and that they would have (1) a common government (first the EEC and then the European Union), (2) a common currency (the Euro which came on the scene in 1999, 13 years after his death in 1986), and (3) its own military which has now become a reality as well.

But the world did not truly listen to God’s apostle nor has it ever really listened to His prophets and apostles.

In this process of God restoring truth to the Church beginning in the 1930s, Herbert W. Armstrong fully understood that for truth to be restored, error had to be revealed. It is here that it would be good to quote some of that understanding and what he had to say about it back in 1972 (from his “Personal” in Tomorrow’s World, February 1972).

“We have not had to correct error many times. But each time we have corrected an error, we have had one fewer error left. If we KNEW of any error still remaining, now, we would CHANGE it! If and when we find one in the future, we shall correct it! The one who follows that principle is THE MOST FREE FROM ERROR! So, confessing such an error is one of the SUREST proofs to identify the people through whom the living Christ IS WORKING — and whom HE is USING!”

As reflected by Mr. Armstrong’s statement, God’s Church seeks truth and is always willing to acknowledge error in order to more fully honor God and become more at-one with Him and His Word. That was the practice of Herbert W. Armstrong and it is the practice of God’s Church today.

Early on when God was restoring truth to His Church through Herbert W. Armstrong, Mr. Armstrong came to see that the teaching of the Trinity in traditional Christianity was in error and not at all true. The Trinity teaches that there are three Gods in the godhead, and that all three are individual, but also one God. They call this a mystery and indeed it is, as it is a mystery that has no foundation in scripture—in truth—whatsoever.

It is taught in the Trinity that these three in this godhead consist of the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Ghost (holy spirit). This teaching states that all three have eternally existed.

Mr. Armstrong came to see that the spirit of God is simply the power of God by which He creates and performs His works. He also was given by God to see that the “holy spirit” is unique to God as His power to convey His “Word” in His truth and will to mankind. The holy spirit is simply the very mind or revelatory thought of God which coveys His truth to whomever He will. Herbert W. Armstrong made it clear to God’s Church that there was no such thing as a Trinity and that the holy spirit is not a god, but is the power of God that He exercises as He will.

It wasn’t until 2005, after Herbert W. Armstrong died in January 1986, that God revealed more error about this Trinity teaching to His Church. Mr. Armstrong knew that the holy ghost or holy spirit was not a being—not a separate God being, but he had not come to see the rest of the error in the Trinity teaching, which was that there is only “one” being who is God who has eternally existed. Christ had a beginning in life only after being born of Mary because the One Self-Existing Eternal God (Yahweh Elohim) had begotten Mary with His Son. By this act He added to His name—that of being God who then became a Father.

So God’s Church teaches that Christ has not eternally existed as the Trinity teaches. Scripture is filled with much evidence that there has only been One who has eternally existed and that He is the Almighty Self-existing Eternal God. No one else has ever had such self-existing eternal life in them—only One has.

“I am the LORD [Yahweh or the Eternal], and there is none else, there is no God [Elohim] besides me: I girded you, though you have not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none besides me. I am the LORD [Yahweh, the Eternal], and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:5-6).

In 2005, God gave to his final apostle and His Church to know that Christ was not of the Trinity either. He has not eternally existed, but had his beginning of life and existence from a birth that the One Eternal Self-existing God gave in begettal to Mary as his mother.

Only One Christ & One Last Error to Correct
As this post stated at the beginning, the world is filled with very divergent and conflicting beliefs about the Messiah—the Christ. This is true in both Judaism and in traditional Christianity. Traditional Christianity does agree on one primary thing and that is the name they have given him—Jesus Christ.

That is a different Christ than the one the disciples spoke of in scripture. The first book of the New Testament makes it clear what the Messiah’s true name was to be, but the church that became great in the Roman Empire after AD 325 changed that name and influenced its change in all scriptures as well.

God declared what His Son’s name was to be and it is not the name chosen and given to him by traditional Christianity.

It is important to understand what God told Joseph before His Son was born of Mary. God made it clear to Joseph, and to all who will listen, what the Messiah’s name was to be. This will first be quoted for how it is stated in the New King James Version of the Bible.

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS, for he will save his people from their sins.’ So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel,’ {Isa 7:14} which is translated, ‘God with us.’ Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn son. And he called his name JESUS” (Matthew 1:18-25).

The name God gave to His Son as given through an angel to Joseph was not “Jesus.” Jesus is supposedly a transliteration of the actual word, which in English is “Joshua.” “Jesus” (Iesous [ee-ay-sooce’]) is supposedly the closest sound from Latin or Greek that could be used for the name of Joshua in Aramaic or Hebrew. However, it is not an actual translation of the word. The name of Jesus does not carry the actual meaning of the name of Joshua, yet that is the name God instructed to be given the Christ.

It is important to note that writers in Greek and Latin did not try to give a transliteration to (or give a name to sound like) the name for “Messiah,” as they did for the name of Joshua. Instead they gave an actual translation of the name “Christ” which does also mean “one anointed” or “the anointed one.” Why didn’t they do the same with the name Joshua?

The Book of Matthew was actually originally written in Aramaic, yet today most scholars want to discredit this and claim that the apostles only wrote in Greek. Certainly, Paul wrote in Greek to the gentiles, but the disciples of Christ spoke and knew Aramaic. Many Jews of that time in other regions of the Roman Empire did speak and write in Greek, but in this area at the time of Christ, Aramaic was the language of the Jews.

Regardless of the arguments used by scholars of today, it is clear what the instruction was that was given to Joseph. The instruction was about a name that carried the meaning of the one whom God gave who “will save His people from their sins.” The name Jesus carries no such meaning in its transliteration, but all languages can give a name that has such meaning if they so choose to do so. Jesus does not have any meaning about “one who saves,” but the name “Joshua” in English is clearly from the name that carries the same meaning in both Aramaic and Hebrew. This name means, “The Eternal is Salvation” or “The Eternal’s Salvation.”

The angel who spoke to Joseph quoted scripture in Isaiah saying that a “virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

Clearly the name of Joshua (Immanuel) is about “God being with us,” giving Christ power to help “save” His people—to help save us from our sins. Christ was the very Word of God made flesh as it speaks of in the Book of John. It is about the very Son of God, who is of the same Word of God (“logos” – the very revelatory thought and mind of God).

Indeed, after nearly 2,000 years God is about to send His Son as the Messiah—the Christ—to first save mankind from self-annihilation, and then to establish the Kingdom of God over all nations. The last great error to be removed from God’s Church in order that it be made fully ready for Christ’s coming is the correction of his very name. The name “Jesus” Christ represents all that began to be taught in error in a church calling itself Christian after AD 325. That name represents the teaching of that church in doctrines like the Trinity, Easter, Sunday worship, Christmas, and much more that is in error to God’s Word.

The one whose feet may well be standing once again next year upon the Mt. of Olives, after nearly 2,000 years, is Joshua the Christ—the true Messiah sent from God to save mankind.