Eleven Days to the Seventh Seal and Details on the First Trumpet
An examination of what Weinland has to say about March 18th, 2008. Prior to this, sermons were indicating that the seventh seal would be a spiritual re-gathering of “the scattered church”, which I covered in the post of the same name. Members on the public discussion boards have been proposing that the events between March 18th and April 17th, 2008 would be “spiritual” in nature. Now they are urging people to “read the book”.
The book, it turns out, does not take a very “spiritual” view of the events of the seventh seal at all. The following quotes are excerpted from pp. 115 – 118, 2008: God’s Final Witness.
“The final sequence of events that leads up to the opening of the Seventh Seal needs to be briefly reviewed. By the time this final seal is opened, all 144,000 whom God has called over six millennia will be fully trained to rule in His Kingdom. The remaining few, who were yet to be added to this total count of 144,000, and are alive at this end-time, will be sealed (completed their training) by the time this last seal is opened.“
Elaborated upon in the sermon of the same name. Weinland uses the “called over six millennia” to flesh out the numbers, as his own membership roster likely does not exceed a thousand. Church leadership is hoping they will be able to get members to recruit family and friends who may once have been in the Worldwide Church of God, or who may still be attending one of the other splinter churches, to convert to Weinland’s church.
Here is what disturbs me about the above passage: “The remaining few, who were yet to be added to this total count of 144,000, and are alive at this end-time, will be sealed (completed their training) by the time this last seal is opened.” In Worldwide, we were instructed that this “final training” was to take place over three-and-a-half years, in the “place of safety” (long assumed to be the ruined city of Petra, in Jordan). Weinland is apparently saying that the remaining few have now completed their training.
Worldwiders were instructed that a rapture-type event would take place, after the final training of the three and a half years had taken place. Is Weinland positing a rapture-styled mass suicide event with these words? If yes, it increases the chances of the church asking its members, on April 18th, 2008 (twenty-four hours after the first trumpet will sound), to shed their physical bodies. [Fortunately for all concerned, this turned out not to be the case.] As Weinland says in the “45 Days to the Seventh Seal” sermon:
“You may die a week from now you may die a month from now but if you’re in the 144,000, you may die three and a half days before the end, but if you are sealed, then you are going to be in that [the first] resurrection. That’s what this is all about.”
As covered briefly during the Mar. 1, 2008 sermon last week, members were told that they may begin talking about the book after March 18th, 2008, when “the seventh seal” will be opened. There will also be cards that are to be handed out, although it was only mentioned in passing. This, I believe, is a good thing: If Weinland’s followers are actively preaching in this manner, between March 18th and April 17th 2008, they may be able to be counselled out of the organization, before the event(s) of April 17th/18th, 2008 take place, whatever those event(s) might prove to be.
Back to the book.
“Before the Seventh (and final) Seal is opened, the Seven Thunders will become so pronounced that the validity of everything written about them in the previous chapter should roar loudly in the ears of anyone who is willing to admit the truth.”
I’m still waiting for the Fifth Thunder, myself:
“As the leader of the Living Church of God, Roderick Meredith is mentioned as one of many ministers who will die as a result of the prophesied Fifth Thunder.”
Two thunders short, as of this writing, with only eleven days to go. Of course, the thunders are not dated, according to the members. The “before the seventh seal is opened” part can, and apparently has been, interpreted to give Weinland a little wiggle room.
“But even then, many still will prefer to believe a lie! They still will prefer to be falsely soothed by denying reality and the truth.“
Translation: If you don’t believe it’s all your fault! No resurrection for you!
“Also, by this moment in time, there will be a strong, rapidly growing recognition within the United States that I am who I say I am—one of God’s end-time witnesses and His prophet. This Sixth Thunder will continue to grow much louder through this final three and one-half years.”
This Sixth Thunder has not been getting louder either. But let us move on to the more pressing of Weinland’s “predictions”, that of “the first trumpet” (which will sound on April 17th, 2008).
“The first four trumpet blasts will announce four powerfully destructive events that will bring about the total collapse of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia,New Zealand, and some countries of Western Europe. The direct effect of all four events is first and foremost upon the United States.”
No wiggle room there, is there? I for one hope Weinland’s predictions go the same way as Yisrayl Hawkins’ did, some September a couple of years ago. Mind, Hawkins’ church kept on going after the prediction, so that is definitely not an effective result, in my opinion.
“The chain reaction, which will follow, is the very thing that will lead immediately into World War III. It will be the last war that mankind will ever fight! Before this final three and one-half years comes to a complete end, all military forces around the world will have been destroyed, every economy will be decimated, several billion people will have died, and vast destruction will cover every part of the earth.“
Typical Armstrongist fear-mongering. Compare and contrast with Herbert Armstrong’s 1956 tract, 1975 in Prophecy. Weinland appears to have substituted only “nuclear bombs” for “hydrogen bombs”. But let us examine what is predicted for April 17th, 2008, “the first trumpet”. Rev. 8:1-7 is proof-texted in this portion of the book.
A sidebar, of sorts, before we proceed: It is edifying to note how few biblical verses Weinland uses; by far, he refers to the canonical New King James Version bible far, far less, than any of the other splinter leaders. They proof-text as well, but have a tendency (especially in case of both Pack and Meredith) to proof-text on overload: I.e., they will “prove” absolutely every single sentence they utter, from some verse of the bible. Weinland does not do that at all. It is a striking difference, between Weinland’s style, and that of the other Church of God leaders.
Back to the book, which members are now urging people to read. Here is “the first trumpet” which Weinland’s followers are saying will “sound” on April 17th, 2008:
“This first powerful event of the Seventh Seal will result in wide-spread destruction over the United States and beyond her border into Canada. The destruction in Canada will be less, but she will experience repercussions from what will happen in the U.S.; because she is a neighbor, as well as a prophetic brother.”
How charitable of Weinland. What I don’t understand is why there are only two locations in Canada that Weinland is promoting church members to keep Passover, on April 18th, 2008? The rest are all located in the US. Presumably, if the first trumpet of the seventh seal, on April 17th, 2008, is going to be this destructive (Weinland’s followers had been indicating, prior to the beginning of March, that this was going to be “of spiritual significance”, and they are still twisting the words “great religious leader” to mean the currently-sitting RCC pontiff), then I would think all members should be urged to head up north to keep Passover on the evening of April 18th, 2008.
“When we are told that a third of all plant life will be destroyed, that is exactly what it means. The actual event will not be disclosed until it is time for it to happen. As with all the Seals of Revelation, many of the specifics of each of the Seven Trumpets will not be revealed until it is time for the actual events to take place. It should also be noted, that in the first trumpet there is fire mingled with blood. Blood means there will be much death when this event occurs. Most of it will be the death of animals and birds, but also a large number of people will die—into the tens of thousands.” [pp.115-118, “2008: God’s Final Witness”]
And there you have the crux of Weinland’s entire “prediction” for April 17th, 2008, as set down in print. I have covered part of what Weinland is now preaching to the members will comprise this “first trumpet” in his “45 Days to the Seventh Seal” sermon. Online members still insist that the “great religious leader” Weinland is referring to is the pope, but Weinland himself has been careful not to publicly name any names, lest he come under undue scrutiny from global authorities.
It is still extremely difficult to tell for certain whether or not Weinland truly believes these “prophecies” of his. If he does or does not, either way his church’s members will have some form of unpleasantness to face, on April 17th, 2008. I want to make sure that unpleasantness does not see any of the members of the Church of God Preparing for the Kingdom of God come to physical, financial, or emotional harm, on April 17th (or the evening of the 18th), 2008.