The Trumpet has sounded: Will you heed the call?

Self-ImprovementSpirituality

  • Author Louise Cornelius
  • Published November 13, 2023
  • Word count 3,085

A warning

On October 7th, Israel declared war after a sudden, brutal attack by Hammas on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles. Jewish people and many foreigners living in Israel were mercilessly killed, and some were taken captive as these terrorists stormed several parts of Israel. Many ask the question: how could this have happened? Why such acts of atrocity? Only one book can answer these questions, the Holy Bible. The Bible contains many prophecies. Some of which have been fulfilled, and some of which are yet to be fulfilled. It has become clear that world events are quickly escalating. Bible prophecy is coming alive right before our eyes. However, sadly, many do not understand their Bible or prophecy.

The trumpet has been sounded, but the question is: Has the church (ecclesia) heard the trumpet call? God is calling his people back to Him. If only they would heed the call. When God’s people turn away from him, tragic events begin. God calls his people to warn them of the time. However, many Christians see a warning as bad; they feel that anyone who warns them is not showing them any love. This is simply not true. If you warn someone, it shows great love. This is why God warns his people ahead of time. It is a testament to His great love for His people!

The sound of the Trumpet

Shortly before the attack by Hammas on Saturday, trumpet sounds were heard from the sky in Jerusalem. This was recorded by many people and posted on various social media platforms. The Jewish people were amazed and could not understand this phenomenon. Where were these sounds coming from? It even left scientists baffled. This is not the first time these sounds have been heard, and I doubt it will be the last. I believe it was a call from Heaven. Almighty God has warned his people, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is near.” (Matthew 4:17). Jesus Christ spoke these words in Matthew. The Bible says that it was all the Lord preached from that time onwards. It was God’s message then, and it is still His message now. God never changes, and His words will never fall away. Sadly, this vital message from God has been lost in the church today.

The Laodiceans and the great deception

Many Christians today are convinced that they are on the right path. They attend church regularly, pray, and often even volunteer in church activities. They listen fervently to their Pastors (shepherds) every Sunday morning. However, the question is, do they really hear what is being said? Do they look (or seek) their Bibles to see if the truth is being spoken? The answer is No. Why? Because they blindly believe the Shepherd and forget Paul’s teachings in 1 Thessalonians (5:21). They do not test the Spirits. In Matthew, God warns us to be careful of false prophets (Matthew 24:24). They will come to deceive us. God specifically told us this ahead of time; He warned us (Matt 24:25). The Word of God is magnificent. I am amazed every time I study it. I believe it draws us closer to Him, to understanding Him and His promises. In studying the Word, we find the mysteries of God. God reveals his Divine purpose. As I looked at Matthew 24, I found it interesting that as soon as the disciples asked God, “When will the sign of the end of age come?” He specifically replied with a warning. “Watch out that no one deceives you.” (verse 4). What does this mean exactly? It means that the greatest sign of his return is the great falling away of the Word (the truth). Revelation 3:14–22 tells us which church has these false prophets and doctrines, the Laodicean church. This is the final and last era of the church in Revelation, and many people are part of this church today. God’s people are being deceived, and they do not see it. Many false doctrines are being taught in this church, some of which I cannot get into in this article. However, I will highlight the most common.

  1. Prosperity Gospel — This gospel teaches that material blessings (health, wealth, and power) come to those who believe in Jesus. They encourage members to give large amounts of money, and those who cannot afford to are left feeling like they do not belong. They twist the true meaning of tithing to suit their agenda.

  2. Self-Help, Self-upliftment or Positivity Gospel — This gospel teaches that your “Best-life is now”, and it sounds much like a motivational speech rather than God’s Word. It teaches that Christ’s death proves our worth as humans and gives us the power to reach our potential in this life. The church helps us find earthly happiness, our primary goal in life.

  3. The Self-esteem Gospel — This is a dangerous one. It teaches us to “Believe in yourself! You might have some struggles and issues, but you are resilient. There is a Savior who will give all you need to solve your problems.” It masquerades sin as “insecurity” or “negative self-image” rather than calling it what it is.

  4. Expressive-individualism Gospel — This gospel teaches us that Christianity is all about “being true to yourself,” “following your heart,” and “living authentically.” It is in direct contradiction to God’s Word.

  5. Social-Club Gospel — Salvation is all about finding fellowship and friendship at church. The gospel is reduced to Christian relationships that help us enjoy life. This doctrine also results in “church clicks” that only include certain people whom the Pastor deems worthy and sadly leaves others feeling like they have no place in God’s house.

  6. Leader-centred Gospel - These narcissistic Pastors spend more time promoting themselves rather than caring for the congregation. Their sermons revolve around themselves rather than the Word of God. Their doctrine is based much on philosophy, and they use rhetoric to manipulate the church. Everything leads back to their inflated ego. They surround themselves with “yes men” while distancing themselves from anyone who asks tough questions or challenges their decisions. Narcissistic pastors intentionally create a cult of personality. Through constant self-promotion, they portray themselves as visionary leaders. The congregation are often brainwashed and gives them the highest of praise, and they love it. Jesus warned us about these types of teachers in Matthew 23:3-5 “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honour at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues, they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.”

As you can see from the list above, the deception is great. Unfortunately, many are following blindly. They do not see the deception partly because these Gospels are exactly what they want to hear. It feeds their ego and brings self-upliftment. The Bible teaches us to deny ourselves, take up the cross, and follow Christ. He is the true head of the church. We should be following His instructions. Sadly, very few do this. The book of Zephaniah gives us a grave warning of what happens to the Laodiceans in the coming Day of the Lord. God says punishment will come to these prophets (Zephaniah 1:4). Many Christians today say, “But those verses cannot possibly refer to our Pastors; they do not worship Baal.” In the bible, Baal worshipers believed in the upliftment of self and relied upon themselves (they were prideful!). It aligns with many of the false doctrines noted above. How is following a false gospel not following a false God? You simply cannot have one without the other. Christians should rely on their bible, not themselves. Many will respond to this by saying, “But, I know in my heart that I am following the right path”, yet the Word of God says, “The heart is deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17:9). We must “lean not on our own understanding” and submit to God (I will cover denying yourself and truly submitting to God in another article). If you follow Jesus, you must follow his Word. Any doctrine contrary to His Word is false and ultimately means following a false God. Jesus referred to these false Gods as “false Christs.” In other words, anti-Christ. So, you can clearly see how the Laodiceans have already started to worship the Anti-Christ without even knowing it. They are all deceived.

The true church of God

If the Laodicean Church, roughly 90 per cent of all churches today, has turned away from God, then where is the true church of God?

In Revelation 3, the Lord says, “To the Church in Philadelphia. These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens, no one can shut, and what he shuts, no one can open.” The Lord is very specific here. He clearly says that though this church has little strength (small in number), they have not denied His name; thus, he has placed before them an open door. We know from John 10:7-9 that Jesus Christ is the door. Thus, whoever enters through Him will obtain eternal life. Our salvation lies with Christ. This church has kept God’s command and endured patiently (verse 10). Do you not want to be part of a church such as this? I certainly do. The Lord loves this church greatly because they have kept his Word and not denied his name. “He who has ears, let him hear what the spirit of God is saying to his churches.” Christ says in John 10:27, “My sheep listen to my voice, I know them, and they follow me.” Will you hear what the Lord is saying? It is a direct message from God. It cannot be any clearer. The Philadelphia church of God is the true church of God, and they hold the key of David. This church is also mentioned in Isaiah 22:22.

The initial falling away of the Word

The initial falling away of the Word started not long after Jesus Christ ascended into heaven. How do we know this? Paul tells us in Galatians 1:6-7, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel, which is really no gospel at all. Evidently, some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.” Paul was shocked at how fast this happened. How fast the church had turned to a different gospel. This was the state of the church at that time, and this decline continued for decades. The true gospel was being lost, but Jesus said in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Thus, the True gospel must be restored according to the Word of God.

It is in Oregon that the hand of God worked mightily toward the restoration of His True Gospel. In 1924, Herbert W. Armstrong moved with his wife and family to the Willamette Valley in Oregon. An advertising man by trade, young Herbert came to Oregon seeking employment and opportunity. However, the Lord had other plans for him. He called him into the Ministry.

The Worldwide Church of God

Herbert W Armstrong founded the Worldwide Church of God in 1933. Many churches around the world form part of this global church today but do not know its history. Mr Armstrong carried out the work of God through many platforms, including print (The Plain Truth) and television. This church grew and thrived under his leadership. He spent his life committed to fulfilling his God-given purpose, and he fulfilled that purpose when he wrote the book Mystery of Ages. This book went into print before he died in 1986. Before his death, Herbert W. Armstrong appointed Joseph W. Tkach as his successor.

Joseph W. Tkach was named Pastor General of the Worldwide Church of God on January 16, 1986. In glowing terms, Mr. Tkach memorialized the accomplishments and dedication of his predecessor.

"God granted Mr. Armstrong ninety-three and a half years, the last 53 of which were fully immersed in doing the work of God, proclaiming the Gospel of the kingdom of God to a world blinded by the deception of the god of this world, Satan the Devil (Rev 12:9). Even in the last year of his life, with declining strength, he completed with God's help, his most powerful and effective book 'Mystery of The Ages'. This after half a century of articles, letters, booklets, books, sermons and broadcasts, preaching and teaching the truth of God's Word, of His plan for mankind, of the glorious and radiant future that is the ultimate destiny of humanity.

The transition of Church leadership and administration to Mr. Tkach went quite smoothly with very little noticeable difference. However, behind closed doors, something was going terribly wrong. In under a year, the true gospel was crumbling under this new leadership. Mr Tkach soon renounced all the teaching and literature of Mr Armstrong. He also spread lies about the members who held on to the truth, calling them cult worshippers. Mr Tkach went as far as trying to stop the publication of the Mystery of the Ages, which went into a court battle for many years. It became clear that he desperately tried to prevent the truth from reaching the world. But why? He let the devil deceive him. He turned away from the truth and God’s word. He developed his own doctrine from the philosophies of theologians and religionists outside the Body of Christ. He trusted himself above all things; he turned to his own truth, justifying himself through philosophy. Paul in Colossians 2:8 warned us about this kind of thinking, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” Unfortunately, this church has been deceived since then and continues to lead the people under their care astray.

The founding members of WCG were eventually forced out of the church. However, they held on to the truth, and they trusted God.

The Philadelphia Church of God

I have learnt that when I study the bible for myself, I find the truth; there is no room for deception because it is God’s sovereign Word. I lean not on my own understanding (Proverbs 3:10), and I ask God for wisdom from Heaven just as King Solomon did. The Bible interprets itself; the more you read, the more you see this. Through some research, I found that there is only one Philadelphia Church of God in the world. Yes, you heard right, only one. There are no divisions, just one church. Remember Paul's teachings: we are one in Christ, and the body of Christ is not divided. There are no denominations, just one church. It is truly unique. God led me to this church, and what I discovered afterwards could have only come from the Lord. I realised I had to blow the trumpet and share this Good News with all believers. There is hope if you trust the Word of God. Interestingly enough, the name of their website is The Trumpet.

The Philadelphia Church of God was incorporated in 1989 with only 12 members (the small flock of founding members of WCG). They renamed the original magazine publication The Plain Truth by Herbert W Armstrong, The Trumpet, in 1990, and through this platform and the show, The Key of David, this church continues to preach the true gospel.

There are 3 steps to discovering the truth. Again, according to your bible, which gives us the answers to all our questions. The first step is that we must Ask. The next step is to Seek. The final step is to knock. Thus, according to the Word of God, “whoever asks, shall receive, whoever seeks, shall find, and whoever knocks, the door shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7). This verse came alive for me when I found the truth and my prayer is that you will also find it when you seek this truth for yourself.

The Final Trumpet Call

The Trumpet magazine and all the literature provided for free on their website (https://www.thetrumpet.com) shows us God’s divine purpose for his people through countless scriptures in the Bible. It does not attempt to interpret it. It lets the Word of God interpret itself. By studying the bible, we can finally understand prophecy.

You do not have to believe me; you can seek it out for yourselves in your Bible. This was Mr Armstrong’s famous quote while preaching.

Here is another quote by Mr Armstrong:

“Be a follower of Jesus Christ, I am not seeking followers of my own. Don’t be a follower of Man – but of Christ.”

I urge you not to waste any more time. Our time is running out. Are you willing to risk your eternal life with Jesus Christ? The Bible says we must Worship in Spirit and in Truth. Truth in this end time is vital. Jesus is the truth and the Life. Thus, seeking out the truth means seeking out God. I have realised that the truth is unpopular because the devil is a liar. Satan wants to deceive God’s people, and he has done so over many decades. However, the Good News is that we have hope. We have hope in Jesus Christ and the coming Kingdom of God if we stand firm on His Word.

The war in Israel is a big sign of how little time we have left until the return of Christ. We must prepare. We must focus. We must understand bible prophecy, and most importantly, as God’s people, we must Prophesy Again! (Revelation 10:11). “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). “Prepare ye the way of the Lord” (Mark 1:3). John the Baptist was a voice crying out in the wilderness for Christ’s first coming. Will you be the voice for His second coming? This evil world is in its spiritual wilderness right now. You can see the pure evil on display by looking at the photos and videos coming out of Israel.

We must awake and arise from our slumber. The Laodicean church has fallen asleep. They are not prepared, and this will have dire consequences. The trumpet has sounded. Will you, the church, hear what the spirit of the Lord is saying? Will you heed the call?

I am a writer and editor from the city of Durban in South Africa. Since childhood, I have loved reading. My writing career started when I discovered I had a passion for storytelling, particularly science fiction. I have a published fiction novel and a short story on Amazon. Recently, I have delved more into spiritual topics as it has great significance to my daily life. I want to share the truth with as many readers as possible. My hope is that my writing inspires and changes lives.

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