The first three thunders obviously include a marked increase in death from escalation in worldwide devastation. This thunder is in addition to that destruction and will occur in a specific manner.
All seven thunders should serve to be a very sobering witness (testimony) to the validity that the final end-time destruction, as recorded in prophecy, is now at hand and that God's end-time spokesman for His two witnesses has now come and he is indeed from God. The Seven Thunders will be the beginning evidence that my words are true.
In small part, the Fifth Thunder has already begun within the
Church of God that was scattered. The world will be fully unaware of the first phase of this thunder because they do not know God's Church. However, the Church that was scattered will become fully aware of its reality!
This Fifth Thunder is divided into three specific phases of death. (1) The first phase is death within the Church of God that was scattered. It will be specifically about a marked increase in the death of its leadership (the ministry). (2) The second phase will be a sudden escalation in the death of notable people in the world. (3) The third phase will be a sudden escalation of death in the world from plagues.
(1) This first phase of this Fifth Thunder has already begun in a very small way upon the Church of God that was scattered, after the prophesied apostasy (2 Thes. 2). This phase of the Fifth Thunder is given as a great chastening to those who have been scattered so that they can be shaken from the deep spiritual sleep where they so proudly rest. Sadly, spiritual arrogance and pride are so deeply entrenched in the hearts and minds of those who have been refusing to hear God's warnings, that many will not be able to humble themselves enough to accept what God's end-time prophet is telling them. They will not acknowledge his words, which are from God to them, because they do not like the way they are being addressed. Instead, these will stubbornly cling to their own ideas of how they believe God should teach them through their own organizations.
This phase of the Fifth Thunder is one of my own choosing, which God has granted me as part of His own will and purpose for the Church (this will be clarified more fully in the Sixth Thunder). The method of this one last great chastening, that is for the purpose of helping to awaken some from the spiritual coma they are in, is one that God has left for me to determine as one of His end-time witnesses, who will be given far greater power to pronounce plagues "as often as they will" (Revelation 11:6) in order to help humble mankind so they will repent and turn to God.
This specific phase of the Fifth Thunder is given in order to awaken brethren (spiritually) to the last opportunity they will have to repent, in order to enter the promised time they have been taught about ever since their minds were first opened to God's word. All who fail to repent will die in the final tribulation and be awakened to judgment at the end of the 1,000 years of God's reign on earth.
God has already shown the number of those who will respond. It is given in the form of a percentage from the fifth chapter in Ezekiel. At present, only a tithe of the tithe of one-third that was scattered has repented (1% of a third that was scattered). During this first phase, repentance will be offered to another ninety per cent of a full tithe of a third that was scattered (9% of a third that was scattered). This means very little to those of you who are reading this unless you have been part of God's Church. These words are for them and not you. You do not need to understand this, but the Church that was scattered does have the ability to know what is being stated by this prophecy.
God has shown that He has taken His protection away from His ministry that was scattered (those ministers who have not repented). This began to be made manifest less than a year ago. Although it was news in many parts of the world when it happened (I was in Australia and it was in the news there), the world did not take much notice of an event that happened in one of the scattered groups less than a year ago. On March 12, 2005, in a hotel in Wisconsin where some had gathered for Sabbath services, a disgruntled member of their congregation entered the meeting room and fired 22 bullets from a 9mm handgun within a minute, killing seven people. Before the shooting stopped, the pastor, the pastor's son and five other church members were dead and four others were wounded. Then, the disgruntled member killed himself.
This news thundered throughout the scattered Church. Many asked how this could have happened, since nothing like this had ever happened in any Sabbath service meeting in all the history of God's Church. The answer to this is not one that the scattered Church wants to hear—God has removed His protection from all who have refused to repent!
In the same organization, only three months later, one of the three television presenters, a long time pastor of the Church, died from a staph infection. This too rattled this organization and others. This man was beloved and respected by many, including myself. He performed the wedding ceremony for my wife and me. A few years later, he was among the ministers who laid hands upon me when I was ordained into the ministry of God's Church.
In addition to this minister's death, the very minister that assisted him died from the same kind of staph infection only two months later.
These three ministers, who died within the past year, were part of the same organization, the Living Church of God. The significance of the death of two of its ministers from an infectious disease should not go unnoticed in the environs of the scattered Church because the prayers of the congregation for the healing of both ministers went unanswered.
This is important to understand because the leader of this group, Mr. Roderick Meredith, has requested that all people in his organization fast before God, asking Him for the gift of healing upon their ministers for the purpose of helping people in the world see that they are the organization that God is working through to do His Work on earth. Mr. Meredith has asked this of his membership on several different occasions over the past few years. God has not heard their prayers or accepted these fasts!
Not only has God not granted their petitions, but the very thing that Mr. Meredith requested is against God's will for this end-time. Not only was it wrong to request his organization to fast in this way, but the method for revealing through whom God is working will not be done through the manifestation of miraculous healings performed by ministers. God did use this as part of a means to reveal the glory of His Son, Jesus Christ, and He did grant this power in a great way to the early Church as a powerful witness of His new Church and who His ministers were.
However, for this end-time, it is not God's purpose to display signs of miraculous healings to the world in order to show where He is working. It is His purpose to bring an end to man's self-rule by humbling man so that he will repent and turn to Him and receive His government, once Jesus Christ returns as King of kings. The last era of God's Church must be humbled so that it will repent and return to Him, and this world must also be humbled in order to receive Him. God will humble the Church, and He will humble the world through end-time events described throughout this book. It is by this very means that God will reveal through whom He is now working. Specifically regarding His two end-time witnesses, it will be by the power given to them for destruction and plagues, not healing! Yes, this is the means that will help humble those who will yet be awakened to repentance in the environs of the scattered Church. Escalating deaths in the leadership of the scattered groups will serve as a witness of who it is through whom God is working. It will not be done through miraculous signs of healing.
As in the story of Elijah and the ministers of Baal, the words of Elijah were upheld with great power, and God revealed through whom He was working. The same will be true in the things that will happen to members of the leadership of the scattered Church who refuse to repent and hear God's true servant.
The deaths of these three ministers, from the Living Church of God, will now begin to take on greater symbolic meaning for everyone in the scattered Church of God groups. God's protection has been removed from the scattered Church, as well as His intervention in healing; because people have not repented of the reasons the Church was scattered in the first place. So now, death will begin to spread throughout the scattered Church, and most noticeably among the leadership.
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