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The Coming of Elijah – The Messenger of the Covenant
Mercy's Last Call
The Rainbow of Promise
The Advent Movement in Prophecy
The Path to the Holy City
Doug Mitchell and Steve Penners
Copyright © 1992, 1993;
Revised 2003, Copyright © 2003
All Rights Reserved
"In the mouth of two or three witnesses
shall every word be established." 2 Cor. 13:1.
[Note: all brackets and emphasis in quotations are ours]
"Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine
heart, and hear with thine ears. And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people,
and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will
forbear." Eze. 3:10-11.
To all Seventh-day Adventists (conservatives, moderates, liberals, reformers, and independents),
Davidians, Branches, and you who are standing idle in the marketplace, thus saith the LORD:
"Isa. 62:1 -- 'For Zion's sake WILL I NOT HOLD MY PEACE, and for Jerusalem's sake I WILL
NOT REST, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that
"Here we are told that THE LORD WILL CONTINUE THUS TO SPEAK, not for the sake of
the world, but for the sake of the church so that she may eventually stand on Mount Zion with the Lamb;
that HE WILL THUS CONTINUE 'until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation
thereof as a lamp that burneth.'" Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 42, p. 3,4.
"I have set WATCHMEN upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, WHICH SHALL NEVER HOLD THEIR
PEACE day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence." Isa. 62:6.
"THY WATCHMEN shall lift up THE VOICE; with THE VOICE TOGETHER shall they sing;
for they shall see EYE TO EYE, when the LORD shall bring again Zion." Isa. 52:8.
"Christ is ever sending messages to those who listen for His voice." Ministry of Healing, p. 509.
"Unity! Unity," the cry is heard everywhere, yet, with all of the prayers and appeals, true unity
remains to be seen. "Ye have seen also the breaches of the city of David, that they are many." Isa. 22:9.
All of the breaches in the walls of the church will be healed, the church militant will become the
church triumphant. To accomplish this, God has promised to "continue thus to speak" to us. The true pillars
of our faith will be strengthened and will shine forth brighter and brighter as God unrolls the scroll, and our
knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, and God's Presence in the church increases.
He knows of every blessing received, and every blessing rejected. He has borne with it all. He knows
of every offshoot and every upshoot; those who lag behind and those who run ahead of Him; those who have
jumped off the path, and those who are marching along on it. Not only does He know these things, but He
has written of them all in His word. Things are usually understood as, or after, we go through them,
"hindsight is 20/20." But to those who wait and look (Isa. 8:17) He has promised to lighten the path of our
"Not one cloud has fallen upon the church that God has not prepared for; not one opposing force
has risen to counterwork the work of God but He has foreseen. All has taken place as He has predicted
through His prophets. He has not left His church in darkness, forsaken, but has traced in prophetic
declarations what would occur, and through His providence, acting in its appointed place in the world's
history, He has brought about that which His Holy Spirit inspired the prophets to foretell. All His
purposes will be fulfilled and established." Selected Messages, Vol. 2, p. 108.
"Each of the ancient prophets spoke less for their own time than for ours, so that their prophesying
is in force for us." Selected Messages, Vol. 3, p. 338.
"AN HIGHWAY SHALL BE THERE, AND A WAY, and it shall be called THE WAY OF
HOLINESS; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those; the wayfaring men, though fools,
shall not err therein." Isa. 35:8.
"The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be
ready to speak plainly." Isa. 32:4.
As Seventh-day Adventists we understand that the tenth chapter of the book of Revelation is a
representation of the beginning of the Advent message and movement, and, in connection with the angels'
messages in chapter fourteen, is one of the Biblical foundations and pillars of our faith. But do we as a
people, or as individuals, fully understand what is revealed in this tenth chapter?
"When we as a people understand what this book [the Revelation] means to US [the Advent
people], there will be seen among US a GREAT REVIVAL. We do not understand fully the lessons that
it teaches [about us], notwithstanding the injunction given us to search and study it. ...We have the
commandments of God and the [living] testimony of Jesus Christ, which is the spirit of prophecy. Priceless
gems are to be found in the word of God. ...WHEN THE BOOKS OF DANIEL AND REVELATION ARE
BETTER UNDERSTOOD, believers will have an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT RELIGIOUS
EXPERIENCE. They will be given such glimpses of the open gates of heaven that heart and mind will be
impressed with the character that all must develop in order to realize the blessedness which is to be the
reward of the pure in heart.
"The Lord will bless all who will seek humbly and meekly to understand that which is revealed in
the Revelation. This book contains so much that is large with immortality and full of glory that all who read
and search it earnestly receive the blessing to those 'that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those
things which are written therein.'
"...One thing will certainly be understood from the study of Revelation - that the connection
between God and His people [Adventists] is close and decided. A wonderful connection is seen between
the universe of heaven and this world. ...A message that will arouse the churches is to be proclaimed. ...If
our people were half awake, if they realized the NEARNESS of the events portrayed in the Revelation,
A REFORMATION WOULD BE WROUGHT in our churches, and many more would believe the
message. We have no time to lose; God calls upon us to watch for souls as they that must give an account.
Advance new principles, and crowd in the clear-cut truth." Testimonies to Ministers, p. 113-118.
In the following study of Revelation 10, which is an introduction to the main presentation of the
revelation of the seven thunders, we will examine this chapter with the intent of not only making sure that
each specific point of our history and faith is secured in place by nails of truth, but that we may also behold
anew the hidden mystery (Rev. 2:17) of the book of Revelation – the seven thunders. We will see that the
things revealed to John in this chapter contain a much more definitive portrayal of the events in the Advent
message and movement than previously understood.
This introduction is presented to prove that the voices of the seven thunders are of vital importance
to the remnant church. From a close examination of Revelation 10, and the associated historical events, we
shall be able to see that God, with amazing accuracy, has portrayed the location in the stream of time when
the seven thunders would utter their voices and be sealed up, and has fulfilled the intent of these verses to
the very letter.
As Adventists our understanding has been that the seven thunders are "a delineation of events which
would transpire under the first and second angel's messages," (SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p. 971).
This statement by Ellen White is based on the fact that John heard the seven thunders right after the angel
of Revelation 10 had placed his feet on the sea and on the earth which, to Adventists, represents the
worldwide work of the first and second angels' messages. But that is not the fullness of the matter. A true
understanding of the actual "delineation of events" in the Advent Movement will prove who is and who is
not the true remnant, and then will call upon all offshoots and purported upshoots to measure their works in
the light of this Biblical revelation of "the delineation of events" in the Advent movement. The seven
thunders are God's cure for the disunity and divisions in the Advent movement.
Why are there seven thunders? Why thunders? With voices? What does thunder symbolize? How
exactly do they fit in the timing of the events of the early days of the movement? And, is there a present
truth lesson we can learn from them?
We understand that the reason why they were sealed was that "It was not best for the people to know
these things, for their faith must necessarily be tested." (ibid). But prior to this time we have not been given
clear light as to when, or even if, the seven thunders were ever to be fully unsealed and understood before
the second coming of Christ, and our ascension to heaven.
GEM THOUGHTS: "The Bible is its own expositor. Scripture is to be compared with scripture. The
student should learn to view the word as a whole, and to see the relation of its parts. He should gain a
knowledge of its grand central theme, of God's original purpose for the world, of the rise of the great
controversy, and of the work of redemption. He should understand the nature of the two principles that are
contending for the supremacy, and should learn to trace their working through the records of history and
prophecy, to the great consummation. ...The book of Revelation, in connection with the book of Daniel,
especially demands our study. Let every God-fearing teacher consider how most clearly to comprehend and
to present the gospel that our Saviour came in person to make known to His servant John - 'The Revelation
of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass.'
Rev. 1:1. None should become discouraged in the study of the Revelation because of its apparently
mystical symbols." Education, p. 190,191.
"Our fathers are not accountable for the light they never received, or for the messages of warning
they never heard. ...Special truths have been adapted to the conditions of the nations as they have existed.
The present truth, which is a test to the people of this generation, was not a test to the people of
generations far back. If the light which now shines upon us... had been given to the generations of the past,
God would have held them accountable for that light. We are accountable only for the light that shines
upon us [today, not yesterday]." Review and Herald, July 13, 1897.
"...to say that a Scripture means just this and nothing more, that you must not attach any broader
meaning to the words of Christ than we have in the past, is saying that which is not actuated by the Spirit
of Truth." Review and Herald, Oct. 21, 1890.
"'There is a danger of our being so over-zealous to keep out of Babylon,' says the founder of the
Seventh-day Adventist church, 'that we shall commit her most noted blunder -- that of sticking a stake and
refusing to pull it up and advance. When we cease to unlearn errors, we shall fall like those who have gone
before us. We have learned much, and no doubt there is much more for us to learn... It is the follow on and
the go through spirit that will finally land the remnant without fault on the heavenly Mount Zion. My
conclusion is that we should give up no Scripture truth, but that our false applications and interpretations
of Scripture, and consequent false ideas of order and propriety, should be given up as fast as possible.'
Review and Herald, May 29, 1860." Answerer No. 4, p. 80,81.
"Ever have your ears open to any claimant of Inspiration if you are not to repeat the history of the
Jews. God will not let you be deceived if you really hunger and thirst after righteousness, if you really want
to know the Truth, for He is anxious that you keep up with His progressively revealed Truth. There is
therefore no danger for one to be deceived by coming in contact with error, but there is a great danger for
staying in darkness by not coming in contact with fresh Truth." Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 12, p. 18.
"'Finite men should beware of seeking to control their fellow men, taking the place assigned to the
Holy Spirit. Let not men feel that it is their prerogative to give to the world what they suppose to be truth,
and refuse that anything should be given contrary to their ideas. This is not their work. Many things will
appear distinctly as truth, which will not be acceptable to those who think their own interpretation of the
Scriptures always right. Most decided changes will have to be made in regard to ideas which some have
accepted as without a flaw.' -- 'Testimonies to Ministers,' p. 76." Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, p. 27.
PRAYER THOUGHTS: "We need to pray this afternoon for a realization that with our sins we cannot enter
the HIGHWAY OF HOLINESS (Isa. 35:8-10). No, not with our evil habits and practices. These must be
discarded if our ultimate end is to be in Paradise. We need to know that though the broad road appears
flowery, it is only a camouflage. It appears strewn with roses, but underneath are thorns -- sorrows, pains and
disappointments of all kinds. We are to pray that we get a vision of the necessity to depart from the
highway on which the born after the flesh travel and GET ON THE HIGHWAY WHICH THE BORN
AFTER THE SPIRIT TRAVEL." Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 28, p. 21.
"We should pray ...for the ability to follow the example of Christ in teaching. We should also pray
that we shall remember that we are instructed not to engage in debate with those who disagree with us; that
Christ did not debate, and neither must we if we are to win; that GOD WILL SUPPLY us with FRESH
TRUTHS to bring to the people; that if such truths do not convince the opposers of the 'everlasting gospel,'
nothing will, even if the dead should arise for a witness against them; that we exalt THE BIBLE above
all other books; that we measure all else with THE BIBLE yardstick, and forever break all other
measuring sticks." Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 5, p. 2.
"We are taught in God's word that this is the time, above all others, when we may look for light
from heaven. It is now that we are to expect a refreshing from the presence of the Lord... God cannot glorify
his name through His people while they are leaning upon man [whether alive or dead], and making flesh their
arm." Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 6.
"Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the
mountains, and beat them small, and shall make the hills as chaff." Isa. 41:15.
We are to have an awakening experience, a revival, a spiritual resurrection (Testimonies, Vol. 8, p.
297, 298; Eze. 37) to become aware of reality, as did all ten virgins who had fallen asleep (Mat. 25:1-13)
and were living in a dream world, some thinking that they were rich and increased with goods and in need
of nothing. We are to see that the prophecies of the Bible speak specifically of us (the Advent people, Jew
and Gentile), not another people. This will cause us to have a new experience.
In the spirit of an honest investigation of this presentation, assume that we are correct in what is
being said (that Jesus has indeed waved "His glorious arm" Early Writings, p. 15), and try and prove the
things herein true and in harmony with the written word of God, and the Spirit of prophecy – "to the law and
to the testimony" (Isa. 8:20). If, after you have done this, you are not convinced and cannot honestly prove
that it is truth indeed, then you will have done all that God is asking of you (1 The. 5:20,21; 1 John 4:1).
Let us then proceed, with hearts illuminated with the hope of these glorious promises set before us, for the
Lord will not disappoint us.
"Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, CAST UP THE
HIGHWAY; gather out the stones; lift up a standard [banner] for the people." Isa. 62:10.
"...We therefore cannot do otherwise but go through, for it is our God-given duty to prepare the way
for the people. WE MUST BUILD A HIGHWAY, A WAY FOR THEM TO COME OVER TO THE
LIGHT OF GOD AND THUS TO HIS KINGDOM. We must gather out every obstacle that stands in the
way, and must lift up a standard for the people, a standard which they can see and follow AS IT LEADS
AHEAD. What could the standard be? -- The very standard which the people are to see and to follow is
JESUS IN HIS TRUTH." Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 42, p. 8.
THE ADVENT MOVEMENT AND THE SEVEN THUNDERS
Rev. 10:1-7 "And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a
rainbow was upon his head, his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire. And he had in
his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea and his left foot on the earth, and cried
with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, SEVEN THUNDERS UTTERED
THEIR VOICES. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I
heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and
write them not. And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to
heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein
are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things that are therein, that there
should be time no longer: but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound,
the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets."
I saw another mighty angel
was revealed to John another messenger with a message. The word angelos,
translated "angel," literally means "messenger." "This
angel has all the characteristics of a power
that sends DOWN 'the
latter RAIN,' and that causes the spiritual grain fully to develop,
for that is what cloud, sunshine,
and rainbow, indicate. As a rainbow
never appears without rain, the angel
is therefore the angel that brings the rain
and the sunshine for the development of the final harvest." Timely
Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 15, p. 3.
down from heaven
saw this mighty messenger COME DOWN
from heaven. "Give ear, O ye heavens, and I
will speak; and hear, O earth, the
words of my mouth. My DOCTRINE
shall DROP as the RAIN, my speech
shall distill as the dew, as the
small rain upon the tender herb,
and as the showers upon the grass."
Deu. 32:1, 2. "Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD
your God; for He hath given you the former
rain moderately, and He will cause
to COME DOWN for you the RAIN, the former
rain, and the latter rain
in the first month." Joel 2:23.
"in the Revelation all the books of the
Bible meet and end" (Acts of the Apostles, p. 585), the
coming of this mighty messenger which was revealed to John must be a revelation
of an event prophesied elsewhere in the Bible.
I will send my messenger [Angel],
and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall
suddenly come to his temple, even the
messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall
come, saith the LORD of hosts. ...Behold, I will send you Elijah
the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful
day of the LORD." Mal. 3:1; 4:5.
Jesus answered and said unto them, Elijah truly shall first come, and
restore all things." Mat.
"Elijah the prophet" to come here he must "come
down from heaven," because that is where he has been for over 2500
years (2 Kings 2:11). Either this messenger is the literal Elijah the
Tishbite, or "Elijah the prophet" is a symbolical representation of something
else, for Elijah's message is the final
rain of truth and power that is
sent to "turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart
of the children to their fathers..." Mal. 4:6.
Moses was chosen as the
messenger of the covenant, the word given him was, 'Be thou for
the people to Godward.'" Gospel Workers, p. 20. "Christ,
the messenger of the covenant, brought the tidings of salvation."
ibid, p. 44.
Gospel Workers applies the term [the
messenger of the covenant] to both
Moses and Christ, Christ
Himself applies it to John the Baptist. He said 'unto the multitudes
concerning John... But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I
say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written,
Behold I send my messenger before
thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. And if ye receive it,
this is Elias, which was for to come.' Matt. 11:7, 9, 10, 14.
God had made both spoken and written covenants with His ancient people
that He would send them Moses, John and Christ, they came in fulfillment
of those covenants. And each having brought
a message, each in his own time was the Messenger of the Covenant.
Nevertheless, the words of Malachi make it plain that the
Messenger of the Covenant is, in the strictest sense, Elijah
the prophet (Mal. 3:1-5; 4:5), the last messenger who prepares
the way of the Lord. (See Testimonies to Ministers, p. 475).
the last analysis, however, THE TITLE MESSENGER OF THE COVENANT BELONGS
TO THE HOLY SPIRIT [the Shekinah].
For example, 1 Peter 3:18-20 states that Christ preached to the antediluvians
by the same 'Spirit' Who 'quickened'
Him. But as He preached by the Spirit
in the person of Noah, not of Himself, He thereby unfolded the truth that
the Holy Spirit is in ALL His messengers
'holy men of God spake as they were moved by the
Holy Ghost' 2 Pet. 1:21. Briefly summarized, the
MESSENGER OF THE COVENANT [Elijah
the prophet] MEANS THE HOLY SPIRIT
(THE INVISIBLE CHRIST) IN HEAVEN'S VISIBLE REPRESENTATIVE -- be
it Moses, John, Christ, Elijah or some other." Answerer No. 1,
the title – The Return of the
Shekinah (The Return of the
Holy Ghost, the Spirit of prophecy), the symbol of God's presence
in truth and power. In summation, the Messenger of the Covenant, Elijah
the Prophet, is the ever living, active Spirit of Prophecy, no matter
when or through whom it is manifested. As such is the agency by which
all things are to be restored, and as such has not yet fully happened,
then Elijah the Prophet, the Messenger of the Covenant, is something which
we must continue to look for.
...the ever-unfolding, inspired interpretation
of the Scriptures is the ever-living Spirit of Prophecy, the eyes
of the church at work (1 Sam. 9:9), then to be without these spiritual
eyes is to try and walk, as it
were, in dense darkness [the highway that the born after the flesh travel
science of the process finds close analogy in that of the universally
used electric current. Electricity goes into action only when the live
wire (the positive) comes in contact with the ground wire (the negative).
So it is that the church's contact with God's chosen instrument (the ground
wire) fused to the Spirit of God (the live wire) -- which together represent
the positive and negative -- is what electrifies
the church, and thus opens the line of communication between the church
and Heaven." Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 45, p. 8.
coming down of the mighty
Angel, and the coming of Elijah
are synonymous with the coming of the former
and latter rain of truth and power (Joel 2:23). All of these are
symbols of the work of the Holy Ghost.
The Advent people are those who are receiving this rain,
for the movement is founded upon the reception of the Spirit of prophecy
as manifested through God's chosen messengers. "Hear Me, O Judah, and
ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye
be established; believe His prophets,
so shall ye prosper." 2 Chr. 20:20.
with a cloud
seeing we also are compassed about with so great a
cloud of witnesses..." Heb. 12:1. "Those who received the message
[and became messengers themselves] were wrapped
in a cloud of glory." Early Writings, p. 249. They became
a cloud of witnesses, a gathering
of water (people – Rev. 17:15) in heavenly places, a cloud covering
the form of the Angel; that is, the Angel, the Holy Ghost, is not seen
directly, but works through the people, and is seen in the people. The
people who receive the Angel's message are the visible garment of the
Angel, and not the Angel himself. This Angel being the only one in the
book of Revelation clothed with a cloud
shows that this is a revelation of the Advent Movement, the only latter
day Holy Spirit-filled gathering of people proclaiming a message come
down from heaven.
Revelation 14:6-12] the angels are represented as flying in the midst
of heaven, proclaiming to the world a message of warning, and having a
direct bearing upon the people living in the last days of this earth's
history. No one hears the voice of these
angels, for they are a symbol
to represent the people of God
who are working in harmony with the universe of heaven. Men
and women, enlightened by the Spirit of God, and sanctified through
the truth, proclaim the three messages in their order." Life Sketches
of Ellen G. White, p. 429.
the people of God who are bearing His present truth messages are symbolically
represented by the angels in Revelation 14, they are represented by the
cloud (a cloud of witnesses) in Revelation 10, and the Angel whose garment
they are is the Holy Ghost.
a rainbow was upon his head
rainbow is "the seal
and sign of God's promise
to man," "THE SIGN OF GOD'S MERCY,"
and a "token [tangible proof or evidence of a promise] of His covenant."
SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 1, p. 1091. This Angel (Messenger with
a message) brings the fullness of God's promises; "In the time of the
end every divine institution is
to be restored." Prophets and Kings, p. 678. "And Jesus
answered and said unto them, Elias [Elijah] truly shall first come, and
restore all things." Mat.
rainbow is the sign of God's promises
(Gen. 9:13-17). The greatest promise
of all, encompassing all others, is, "Let not your heart be troubled:
ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions:
if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for
you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I
will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye
may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know." John
14:1-4. THE ADVENT OF CHRIST is
"the desire of all nations." (Hag. 2:7). Therefore, this mighty Angel
and his actions and words represent the
heavenly guidance in the ADVENT MESSAGE AND MOVEMENT (those who
are receiving and proclaiming the promise of Christ's
return). The final harvest in the world is ripened by the rain
of truth in the Advent message and movement.
rainbow contains all
of the colors of the spectrum, and represents the fullness of light in
a revelation wherein all the different components are distinctly seen
as an ordered unit. The use here of a rainbow
(a symbol of God's promises) shows that there is a distinct order to the
complete revelation of the light of God's promises (messages) that is
most glorious to behold, even as a rainbow
is glorious to behold. The rainbow
is the crowning glory of the head of the Angel, for God's fulfillment
of His promises to His people are His crown of glory, for His people who
are redeemed through His promises are the jewels of His crown (Zec. 9:16).
His face was as it were the sun
Hebrew and Greek words translated face
are also translated presence.
Thus, His Face (Presence)
was like ("as it were")
Jesus (the Sun
of Righteousness – Mal. 4:2), indicating another
Comforter – the Holy Ghost. "And I will pray the Father,
and He shall give you another Comforter,
that He may abide with you forever. ...But the Comforter, which is the
Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my
name (as it were Me), he shall teach
you all things, and bring
all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said to
you." John 14:16,26.
presence (face) of the Holy Ghost (the Spirit of Prophecy) in the Advent
movement is as though Jesus (the Sun of Righteousness), Himself, is present.
For the presence of the Holy Ghost lightens the path of the Highway of
Holiness for the Advent people.
mighty angel [of Revelation 10] who instructed John was NO
LESS a personage than
Jesus Christ." SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p. 971.
HOLY GHOST is NO
LESS a personage than
Jesus Christ. "We need to realize that the Holy Spirit... is as much a
person as God is a person..." Evangelism, p. 616.
the close of the second angel's message, I saw a great light from heaven
shining upon the people of God. The rays of this light [coming from the
face of the angel] seemed bright
AS the SUN." Early Writings, p. 238.
a person's facial characteristics
we are able to identify his race."
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 8, p. 21.
great light, "bright as the sun
(Jesus – Mal. 4:2)," can only come from the presence (the
face) Holy Ghost (the face,
PRESENCE of the Angel) who brings the message. The only "facial" characteristic
of this Angel which is given is that his face is "as the sun," indicating
that the lineage of this Angel is of heaven, and his race is of the Family
of heaven, and especially our source of spiritual light (the Sun –
"iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."
Pro. 27:17. So the "countenance" (face – presence – the Holy
Ghost) of this angel sharpens (has a sanctifying influence) on those who
look upon the Angel (the Holy Ghost in the Advent Movement). Even one
glimpse of the face (the Holy Ghost's presence) of this mighty Angel (the
Spirit-filled Advent Message and Movement) will have a sanctifying effect
on the beholder. The light from the angel's face, being "bright as the
sun," is difficult to look directly upon for very long with our natural
Greek word from which feet is translated is podes. Elsewhere
in the New Testament it is consistently translated feet.
It is the root of our word podiatrist (foot
doctor). The angel's feet being
as "pillars of fire" is an odd picture, for one would tend to think
that "legs" would be a better symbol for pillars than would be
feet. But nonetheless, the word
is podes – feet. In Acts 3:7 podes refers to the part
of the body below the ankles.
keep the body of Christ (the church, the Advent people) on the path to
the kingdom, Christ, the Head, by the Spirit, directs the feet.
"...the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to
direct his steps [his feet]." Jer. 10:23. In the movement
of the body of Christ, the feet represent
the prophets, those who have been given by God the burden of carrying
the body where He would have it go. Wherever the feet
(prophets) go, by the direction of the Head, the body follows. The 144,000
"follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth." Rev. 14:4. The body of Christ
follows the Lamb, the Head, by following the leading of the Holy Ghost
through the gift of prophecy – the prophets, the
Lord's 'feet' (prophet)
will open the way for the restoration of the kingdom (Elijah
restores 'all things' - Mat. 17:11), and for the gathering of the
people into it." Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 31, p. 7.
1:15--'Behold upon the mountains the feet
of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace!...Here you see
that the announcement of this long expected event is to be made by someone's
publications. Moreover, he
('Lord's feet,' prophet) publisheth peace and thus announces the restoration
of the kingdom.' -Ibid, No. 42, p. 41." Branch Sabbath School
Lesson, Vol. 7, Nos. 11/12, p. 46. (parenthesis within the quotations
which are quoted by the author of the Sabbath School Lesson are
those of the author of the Lesson).
Nah. 1:15 there are two different symbols employed – the feet,
and "Him that bringeth good tidings, that publishes peace." He that brings
the good tidings (the Gospel) is Christ, while the feet
which we are admonished to behold are the
prophets who bring us the present truth of His Gospel.
pillars of fire
words the LORD spake unto all your assembly in the mount out
of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness,
with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables
of stone, and delivered them unto me. And it came to pass, when ye heard
the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn
with fire,) that ye came near unto
me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders; And ye said, Behold,
the LORD our God hath showed us his glory and his greatness, and we have
heard his voice out of the midst of the
fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he
liveth. Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire
will consume us: if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more,
then we shall die. For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the
voice of the living God speaking out of
the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?" Deu. 5:22-26.
the pillar of fire, He guided
the children of Israel, His eyes seeing past,
present, and future." Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, p.
93. "So in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar
of fire BY NIGHT, God communicated
with Israel, revealing to men His will, and imparting to them His grace."
Desire of Ages, p. 23. "The pillar
of fire that speaks terror
and wrath to the transgressor of God's law is a token
of light and mercy
and deliverance to those who have
kept His commandments." Acts of the Apostles, p. 589. "Is not my
word like as a fire? saith
the LORD." Jer. 23:29.
angel's feet (prophets) are as
pillars (guiding tokens)
filled with the Holy Ghost (Fire),
for they speak the Spirit-filled truths that come from the true Pillars
of Fire, the Godhead, Who
are the embodiment of the truth. "For the LORD thy God is a consuming
fire." Deu. 4:24. The prophets,
though, are as pillars
of fire, for they represent those Pillars
of Fire and the truths They proclaim, and speak with authority
as if the Gods Themselves
I, John, saw these things and heard them. And when I had heard and seen,
I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel
[messenger] which showed me these things. Then saith he unto me,
See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant [as a pillar of
fire], and of thy brethren the prophets,
and of them which keep the sayings
of this book: worship God [the
true Pillars of Fire]."
angel is not the same as the One in Revelation chapter 10. When John fell
down to worship the angel (the messenger who was as a pillar of
fire), he was told not to do it, because They Who are to be worshipped
are the Gods (the true Pillars of Fire),
Who are revealed in Their word of truth - the testimony of the prophets..
It is easy to see how this could happen in our day since the house of
David (the inspired leadership of the church) "shall be as
God, as the angel of the Lord [Rev. 10:1] before them." (Zec. 12:8).
church of God is "built upon the foundation
of the apostles and prophets, Jesus
Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone." Eph. 2:20.
it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all
flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions; and
also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour
out My Spirit." Joel 2:28,29.
angel's feet being as pillars of fire,
rather than as pillars of cloud
(both being symbols of God's guidance and protection), indicates that
this angel came on the scene during the beginning of the day, the
dark part (the night – the judgment of the dead), to give
light to the Israel of God to guide and protect them until the break of
day (the loud cry of the judgment of the living to the world).
present trying, waiting, watching
state [in the early part of the Advent Movement], is represented
by a DARK NIGHT; and the coming
glory before us, by the morning. There are two
parts to the morning: first, the dawn
of day, and second, full day light,
which is completed by the rising of the sun. So in the glad
morning before us; the day of rest
will dawn at the voice of God, when his light, and glory, rest
upon us; then we shall RISE FROM GLORY TO GLORY [during
the JUBILEE - Early Writings, p. 35], till
Christ appears, to clothe us with immortality, and give us eternal
life. O, Glory! Hallelujah!! my poor heart is set on fire for
THE KINGDOM, while I dwell on this sweet prospect, before the true
believer. If we 'hold fast' but a few days more, the dark shades of NIGHT
will vanish before the glory of the preparatory
scenes [the morning] of the coming of the Son of man." Word
to the Little Flock, James White, p. 8.
he had in his hand a little book open
eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest
them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand,
and satisfiest the desire of every living thing." Ps. 145:15, 16.
hands are they which perform the
work which the Head desires to do. They plant the seeds, then reap the
harvest. It is the messages from heaven
that do the work upon the heart. In the figure of feeding
the body of Christ, the symbols of some of the various components of the
body may be seen as follows: Christ –
the Head; the angels – the
arms that provide the strength and means of movement for the
hands (the messages); the prophets
– the mouth by which the
Head speaks and receives food for the body. It is by the hands
that the body is fed; Christ (the
Head) directs the angels (the arms)
who bring the messages (the hands),
and the present truths they contain (fresh foods, day by day – our
daily bread), to the mouth (the prophet),
and thereby the food enters the body of Christ, and the body is nourished
and grows. Also, as the hands may
provide comfort, or carry a sword, even so with the messages
from God; they can be a means of comfort to those who receive them, or
a means of destruction to those who reject them. "...the Bible is the
best friend to Its friends. It is a terrible enemy to Its enemies. When
truth cannot save, it kills." Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 15,
is by the "hand" (messages) of
the prophets that the word of the Lord comes to His people.
he sent by the hand of Nathan the
prophet; and he called his name
Jedidiah, because of the LORD." 2 Sam. 12:25. See also, 1 Ki. 14:18; 16:7.
they buried him; and all Israel mourned for him, according to the word
of the LORD, which he spake
by the hand of his servant Ahijah
the prophet." 1Ki. 14:18.
also by the hand of the prophet
Jehu the son of Hanani came the word of
the LORD against Baasha."1Ki 16:7.
saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will
lift up mine hand [message –
Loud Cry] to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they
shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried
upon their shoulders." Isa 49:22.
mighty angel has in his hand (message)
a little book open (unsealed). "The [Bible] prophecies present a succession
of events leading down to the opening of the judgment. This is especially
true of the book of Daniel. But
that part of his prophecy which related to the last days, Daniel was bidden
to close up and seal 'to the time of the end.' Not till we reach this
time could a message concerning
the judgment be proclaimed, based on a fulfillment of these prophecies.
...Not till after the great apostasy, and the long period of the reign
of the 'man of sin,' can we look for the advent of our Lord. The 'man
of sin' ...represents the papacy, which, as foretold in prophecy, was
to maintain its supremacy for 1260 years. This period ended in 1798. ...But
since 1798 the book of Daniel has been
unsealed (opened), knowledge of the prophecies has increased,
and many have proclaimed the solemn message
of the judgment near." Great Controversy, p. 356.
fact that the little book is already
open in the angel's hand,
shows that this messenger with the promise of the advent of Christ arrives
on the scene after the book of Daniel is unsealed, after 1798.
The angel's form is covered with a cloud, with the only visible (uncovered)
parts of the angel being his hands, his feet and his face. This reveals
that the only things in the Holy Spirit-filled Advent Movement (this mighty
Angel clothed with a cloud) which are actually seen by the world are the
cloud (the people, water); the hands (the messages –
one containing the unsealed book of Daniel, and the other one pointing
to heaven; the feet (the inspired leaders, Miller, White, etc.);
and the face (the sanctifying presence of the Holy Ghost).
he set his right foot
right side is a symbol of strength.
"Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he shall hear him from
his holy heaven with the saving strength
of his right hand." Ps. 20:6. The
first angel's message began to be proclaimed after the prophecies
in the book of Daniel were seen in their unsealed (open) state:
I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting
gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth; to every nation, tribe,
tongue, and people; saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory
to Him, for the hour of His judgment has
come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs
of water." Rev. 14:6,7.
prophecy is the "saving strength"
(the right foot) of the Advent
waters which thou sawest... are
peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues."
Rev. 17:15. The sea is not pure,
while fountains are. The sea represents
unconverted (impure) people – the
world. The gospel is the
net that is cast into the sea (the
world). (See Mat. 13:47). When William Miller began preaching the
first angel's message, his burden was to go to the
I was about my business, he said, it was continually ringing in my ears,
Go and tell the world [the sea]
of their danger. ...The words were ever recurring to his mind: Go
and tell it to the world; their blood will I require at thy hand.
...His preaching was calculated to arouse the
public mind to the great things of religion and to check the growing
worldliness and sensuality of the age. ...He began to present his views
in private as he had opportunity, praying that some minister might feel
their force and devote himself to their promulgation. But he could not
banish the conviction that he had a personal duty to perform in giving
the warning. ...For nine years he waited, the burden still pressing
upon his soul, until in 1831 he for the first time publicly
gave the reasons of his faith. ...His first lecture was followed
by a religious awakening in which thirteen entire families, with the exception
of two persons were converted. He was immediately urged to speak in other
places, and in nearly every place his labor resulted in a revival of the
work of God." Great Controversy, p. 330,331. Miller said, "My whole
object was a desire to convert souls to God, to notify the
world [the sea] of a coming judgment,
and to induce my fellow men to make that preparation of heart which will
enable them to meet their God in peace." Great Controversy, p.
375. "The prophecy of the first angel's message found its fulfillment
in the Advent movement of 1840-1844."
Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 4, p. 222.
Miller and others began to understand the book of Daniel after 1798, but
the first angel's message did not begin in its fullness until 1840. John
saw the book open, and next,
the Angel setting his right foot
on the sea (the world – a
missionaries have penetrated in all the world,
were sent the glad tidings of Christ's speedy return. Far and wide spread
the message of the everlasting gospel: 'Fear God, and give glory to him;
for the hour of His judgment is come.'" Great Controversy, p. 368.
began the Angel's movement – the Return
of the Shekinah (the Holy Ghost) to lead God's people out of
the dark ages of religion into the glorious light of the holy city of
truth. "Thus saith the LORD, I am returned
unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; and Jerusalem
shall be called a city of truth;
and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain." Zec. 8:3.
his left foot
setting of the left foot followed
the setting of the right, as the
second angel's message followed
the first; "And there followed
another angel, saying, Babylon
is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink
of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." Rev. 14:8. The announcement
of the fall of Babylon made by the second angel is secondary (weaker –
the left side) in importance to
the Advent Movement in comparison
with the announcement of the message of the time of the judgment and the
cleansing of the sanctuary made by the first angel.
the left side is generally weaker in most people, it is nonetheless needful
for balance and movement. Thus, the effect that the announcement of the
coming judgment had upon those who constitute Babylon (i.e., its fall)
is needful for a complete understanding of the events and outcome of the
earth is the place where farmers
grow and harvest crops (barley, wheat, etc.). It is also the place where
the gospel net was drawn, and the place where the separation of the good
and bad fish takes place (see Matt. 13:48; and Christ's Object Lessons,
p. 122). Therefore, the earth represents
earth also represents the place
from which the two-horned beast of Rev. 13:11 arose – that is, it
arose from Protestant Christianity
(the fish who had been drawn onto the earth,
the church, from the sea, the world).
All of the other beasts that are seen in the books of Daniel and the Revelation
(except the scarlet-colored beast of Rev. 17) are seen to arise from the
sea – the world. The place the scarlet-colored beast rose
from is not specifically stated, only where he was first seen - in the
wilderness. Thus, the second angel's message
went to the churches (the
earth). The earth has also
been said to represent another aspect of the place of origin of the two
horned beast, that being the new world:
beast with lamb like horns was seen 'coming up out of the earth.'
Instead of overthrowing other powers to establish itself, the nation thus
represented must rise in territory previously unoccupied and grow up gradually
and peacefully. It could not, then, rise among the crowded and struggling
nationalities of the Old World – that turbulent sea
of 'peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues [Rev. 17:15].
It must be sought in the Western Continent.
nation of the New World was in
1798 rising to power, giving promise of strength and greatness and attracting
the attention of the world? The application of the symbols admit of no
question. One nation and only one meets the specifications of this prophecy;
it points unmistakably to the United Stated of America." Great Controversy,
combination of these interpretations mean that the second angel's message,
announcing the fall of Babylon, would apply more specifically to the churches
second angel's message of Revelation 14 was first preached in the summer
of 1844, and it then had a more direct application to the churches
of the United States, where the warning of judgment had been most
widely proclaimed and most generally rejected, and where the declension
in the churches had been most rapid."
Great Controversy, p. 389.
the two horned beast which came up out the earth
arose from "the Western Continent," America, "a territory previously [partially]
unoccupied," it did not arise from the people who were first occupying
this territory (that is, the Indians), but from the new people who were
drawn from the sea (the Old World),
that is, the lamb-like Christians – the earth
(the church). All of the symbolical
beasts (nations), regardless of their geographical places of origin (the
Old World or the New) actually arose from people.
These people are represented by
the sea (impure people –
heathen, pagan), and by the earth
(the Christians). All of the beasts which arose from the sea
(the lion – Babylon; the bear – Medo-Persia; the leopard –
Greece; the non-descript beast – Rome; and the leopard-like beast
– the world in the time of the papacy) arose from pagans
(impure waters, people), while the two horned beast arose from
a totally different type of people, Christians
idea that America, as a nation, did not arise from war, nor by "overthrowing
other powers to establish itself," is not completely historically accurate.
One only has to ask the Indians and the British to confirm this truth.
But the Protestant Christian principles which are the foundation of the
American Constitution are as different from the heathen/pagan principles
which established Babylon, Media/Persia, Greece, and Rome (in its pagan
and papal forms) as the earth is from the sea.
the churches [the earth] spurned
the counsel of God by rejecting the Advent message, the Lord rejected
them. The first angel was followed
by a second, proclaiming, 'Babylon
is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink
of the wine of the wrath of her fornication' (Rev. 14:8). This message
was understood by Adventists to be an announcement of the moral fall of
the churches [the earth] in consequence
of their rejection of the first message. The proclamation, 'Babylon is
fallen,' was given in the summer of 1844,
and as the result, about fifty thousand withdrew from
these churches [the earth]."
Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 4, p. 232.
I was praying at the family altar, the Holy Ghost fell upon me, and I
seemed to be rising higher and higher, far above the dark world. I turned
to look for the Advent people in the world, but could not find them, when
a voice said to me, 'Look again, and look a little higher.' At this I
raised my eyes, and saw a straight and
narrow path, cast up high ABOVE the world. On this path
the Advent people were traveling to the city, which was at the farther
end of the path." Early Writings, p. 14. When the fifty thousand
withdrew from the churches (the
earth), they got on a path high above the world.
the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at MIDNIGHT
there was A CRY made, Behold, the
bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose,
and trimmed their lamps.' Matthew 25:5-7." Great Controversy, p.
the summer of 1844, Adventists discovered the mistake in their
former reckoning of the prophetic periods, and settled upon the correct
position [of the first angel's
message – the end of the 2300 days]. ...A
CRY was raised, in the very words of Scripture: 'Behold, the Bridegroom
cometh; go ye out to meet him.' ...At the call, 'The Bridegroom cometh;
go ye out to meet him,' the waiting ones 'arose and trimmed
their lamps,' they studied the
word of God with an intensity of interest before unknown. Angels
were sent from Heaven to arouse those who had become discouraged, and
prepare them to receive the message. The work did not stand in the wisdom
and learning of men, but in the power of God. It
was not the most talented, but the most humble and devoted, who were the
first to hear and obey the call. Farmers left their crops standing
in the fields, mechanics laid down their tools, and with tears and rejoicing
went out to give the warning. Those who
had formerly led in the cause were among the last to join in this movement.
The churches in general closed their door against it, and a large company
who had the living testimony withdrew
from their connection. In the providence of God, THIS
CRY united with the second angel's message, and gave power
to that work." Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 4, p. 248-250.
the right (1st angel's message)
and left (2nd angel's message)
feet were placed, the Angel "clothed with a cloud" cried.
This was the midnight cry of 1844 as
proclaimed by the Adventists.
a loud voice
[first] angel's flight 'in the midst of heaven,' the
'LOUD VOICE' with which the warning is uttered, and its promulgation
to all 'that dwell on the earth' – 'to every nation, and kindred,
and tongue, and people,' – give evidence of the rapidity and world-wide
extent of the movement." Great Controversy, p. 355.
"loud voice" shows that this cry
is not another angel's message, but rather a fuller proclamation
of the first angel's message announcing the
true time of the end of the 2300 days – the beginning of
the judgment and the cleansing of the sanctuary – "with a loud
voice," according to the prophecy (Rev. 14:6,7). In other words,
the midnight cry in the summer
of 1844 was the "loud cry" of the first
angel's message which began in 1840 strengthened by the new light and
when a lion roareth
Angel's voice is not the roaring of the "Lion
of the tribe of Judah," Jesus (Rev.
5:5), Himself, in Person, but as
a Lion (as
Jesus) – another Comforter
(John 14:16), the Holy Ghost, the Mouthpiece of the Advent message.
shall walk after the LORD: He shall roar
like a lion; when He shall roar,
then the children shall tremble
from the west. They shall tremble
as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria, and
I will place them in their houses, saith the LORD." Hos. 11:10,11.
lion hath roared,
who will not fear? the
LORD God hath spoken,
who can but prophesy?" Amos 3:8.
prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD
shall roar from on high, and utter
his voice from his holy habitation;
he shall mightily roar upon his
habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against
all the inhabitants of the earth." Jer. 25:30.
LORD also shall roar out of Zion,
and utter his voice from Jerusalem;
and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope
of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel." Joel 3:16.
an eagle stirreth up her nest,
fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth
them on her wings: so the LORD
[the Holy Ghost] alone did lead him, and there
was no strange god with him." Deu. 32:11,12.
eagle cries, while a lion roars,
with the same authority – as rulers of their domain. The Holy Ghost
(the Eagle) speaks (cries) with
the same authority and power as
Jesus (the Lion), in His name, being also God. When the Holy Ghost "cried
with a loud voice as when a lion roareth"
announcing the true time of the opening of the judgment, all should have
reverenced the cry as the
voice of God, as if Jesus, the
Lion, was roaring. Thus the authority of the truth contained in the midnight
cry is revealed as being of the Lord Jesus, Himself – as if He had
personally spoken the time to His servants.
when he had cried
while it is true that the second angel's message continues to be present
truth, there was a climactic CLOSING UP
of the second angel's message [along with the new light of the
midnight cry] immediately preceding
October 22, 1844." Early Writings, p. 304.
use of the words "had cried,"
imply that the Angel had finished
crying. Thus after the placing of the right (the 1st angel's message)
foot on the sea (the world), and left (the 2nd angel's message) foot on
the earth (the church), and after the Angel of mercy had
ceased giving the midnight cry immediately preceding October
22, 1844, then
thunders uttered their voices
attentively the noise [thunder]
of His voice, and the sound
[rumblings] that goeth out
of His mouth. He directeth it under
the whole heaven, and His lightning
unto the ends of the earth.
After it a voice roareth;
with the voice
of His excellency, and He will not stay them when His voice
is heard. God thundereth
marvelously with His voice;
great things doeth He, which we cannot comprehend." Job 37:2-5.
Israel of God stood with their eyes fixed upward, listening to the words
as they came from the mouth of Jehovah,
and rolled through the earth like peals of loudest thunder."
Early Writings, p. 34.
represents the voice of God, and
seven represents "completeness"
(see Acts of the Apostles, p. 585); therefore, the seven
thunders contain the complete
revelation of God's voice to His
remnant people who are living in "the times of restitution [margin –
restoration] of all things" (Acts 3:21). The seven thunders contain the
full depiction of Mercy's last call, the rainbow revelation of God's promise
to continue to speak to us "until [our] righteousness thereof go forth
as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth," that
we "may eventually stand on Mount Zion with the Lamb."
[the seven thunders] relate to future
EVENTS which will be disclosed in their order. ...The special light
given to John which was expressed in the
seven thunders was a delineation of events which would transpire under
the first and second angel's messages. It was not best for the
people to know these things, for their faith must necessarily be tested.
In the order of God most wonderful and
advanced truths would be proclaimed. The first and second angel's
messages were to be proclaimed, but no further light was to be revealed
before these messages had done their specific work." MS 59, 1900, SDA
Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p. 971.
things are notable in the above statement: (1) that the author places
the disclosure of the "future events" contained in the seven thunders
future from the time she wrote the statement (1900) by using the words
"will be disclosed in their order;"
and (2), that the "delineation of events" contained in the seven thunders
included the events which transpired under the initial phase of the 1st
and 2nd angel's messages. At the same time, it must also be noted that
aside from that general statement, she was not given any specifics on
the seven thunders themselves.
she gave us some general information regarding the seven thunders, there
still remained a mystery surrounding the specifics of them. That is, why
are they a "delineation of events?" Also, while it is true that the seven
thunders uttered their voices after the events symbolized by the Angel
placing his right and left feet, there is nothing in those verses which
indicate that the seven voices of thunder spoke only of the events which
occurred under the initial proclamation of the 1st and 2nd angel's messages.
But she did say elsewhere:
line of truth extending from that time [after the passing of the
time in 1844, and the first fall of Babylon]
to the time when we shall enter the City
of God, was made plain to me..."
Selected Messages, Vol. 1, p. 207.
scripture [Rev. 18:1,2,4] points forward to a time when the announcement
of the fall of Babylon, as made by the second angel of Revelation
14, is to be repeated, with the
additional mention of the corruptions which have been entering the various
organizations which constitute Babylon, since that message was first given,
in the summer of 1844." Great Controversy, p. 603.
Highway of Holiness leads from Babylon (the city of confusion) to the
Holy City (the City of truth). Therefore,
the SEVEN THUNDERS represent God's VOICE (thunder) in the COMPLETE (seven)
CALL OUT OF BABYLON. As they reveal the complete
call, they must also include the "delineation of events" that transpire
under the re-proclamation of the second angel's message under the angel
of Revelation 18:1-4 which joins the third angel to give power and force
to his message.
that John was shown "things which must shortly come to pass" (Rev. 1:1),
"things which must be hereafter"
(Rev. 4:1). From what we have seen thus far, the
seven thunders were to utter their voices during
the initial phases of the three angels' messages of Revelation
14:6-12, and during the initial movements of the angel of Revelation 10
(which portray different aspects of the same events).
Voice spoke emphatically that the things which John was about to be shown
had not taken place, and were
not then taking place, but that they were to take place later
in the stream of time." Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 3,
this prophetic revelation of the coming of this mighty Angel of Revelation
10 (the Holy Ghost in the Advent message and movement) was fulfilled after
John's time (that is, after the first century a.d.,
and specifically in the 1840's), then so must John's experience involving
the seven thunders be the experience of God's people after
John's time, and specifically during
the time of this mighty Angel. That is, John's experience of hearing
the seven thunders was an illustration of a latter-day experience of God's
people, as was John's experience of eating the little book (Rev. 10:8-11)
an illustration of another experience of the Advent people.
John saw that the seven thunders would utter their voices, and then what
they uttered would be sealed during the time of this mighty Angel's work
(right after he cried), then they could not have been heard nor sealed
before the 1840's, for they were not even to be uttered until then. In
the order of the events unfolded
to John, it was after the angel had cried,
that the seven thunders uttered their voices. As all of the other
events in Revelation 10 met their fulfillment during the time surrounding
1844, so the seven voices had to have
been uttered and sealed up during that period, or else the whole continuity
of the chapter is destroyed.
in the Lord's work of the restoration of His people, right
after the proclamation of the first and second angel's messages
(the movement of the right and left feet) and the midnight cry, which
brought the people of God to October 22, 1844, a
symbolic representation of the events involved in the complete
call out of Babylon (the seven thunders)
was given. This will be explained further along in this introduction.
when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write,
and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which
the seven thunders uttered and write them not
was about to write the symbolical revelation of Bible truths known as
the seven thunders, but was told by a voice from heaven not to write them.
Note that neither the voices of the seven thunders, nor the voice from
heaven which told John to seal them up, originated from the Angel; therefore,
they were not part of the Angel's message at that time. This clearly shows
us that though the seven thunders were to be uttered and sealed during
the time of the Angel's original movements (the 1840's) they were not
to be understood then; nor was the command concerning their sealing part
of the Angel's work, but that of another "voice from heaven."
heavenly voice had a message for John alone. Note that John was not told
to forget the things he heard, nor that they were to forever remain a
mystery. Quite the contrary, as we shall see.
was not best for the people to know these things [the delineation of events
contained in the seven thunders], for their faith must necessarily be
tested." SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p. 971.
we see that there was another truth [the seven thunders] which could
have been recorded [in the Bible],
but John was told not to write it. We do not know how extensive a truth
the Seven Thunders contain, but possibly as much as or more than the Seven
Trumpets. Regardless, however, one thing stands out boldly, and that is
that the omission of the Seven Thunders
leaves A GAP in the chain of Truth. And since the Seven Thunders
are not recorded [in the Bible],
the truth of them cannot be revealed by
interpretation, for there is nothing written of them [in
the Bible], and therefore nothing
to interpret from [in the Bible].
If, then, we are ever to know the truth of the Seven Thunders, it is to
be shown to us perhaps by the same means
as The Revelation was shown to John." Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No.
15, p. 4.
"same means" would be by the Spirit
of Prophecy, the Author of the Bible, revealing the symbols contained
in the voices of the seven thunders to someone like John who had the Spirit
of Prophecy, and then also interpreting those symbols, all in God's own
seven thunders were "sealed up" after John heard them. He was not told
specifically how long they were to remain sealed. Daniel was told to seal
the vision given to him until the "time of the end." John was told that
at a certain time, the days of the voice of the seventh angel, the "mystery
of God" should be finished. But John was not told when the voice
of the seventh angel would be heard.
Therefore, the time of their revelation
to the remnant church is then a test,
as it was not revealed to John.
"the time of the end" (Dan. 12:4), around 1798, the sealed prophecies
in the book of Daniel were unsealed; meaning that their content was then
understood. In the uttering and sealing up of the seven thunders
there must be some literal content of words (symbols) to seal up.
If there was nothing actually heard and
recorded somewhere, there could be nothing to seal. If John's experience
in hearing the seven thunders and then sealing them up was not figurative
of an experience which was to happen after his time then the whole
matter of the seven thunders is a meaningless thing – something
impossible for God to put into His Word. If the number
of the thunders (seven) was not
literal (as it is regarding the seven
seals, seven trumpets, and seven
last plagues), and if the word "thunders" does not have a specific meaning,
then there would also be an unimaginable inconsistency. But as God does
not employ superfluous things, then the number of the thunders must be
literal, and full of import.
order for the remnant to understand this part of the "mystery of God"
(the seven thunders) they will have to listen for the voice of the seventh
angel. In order for us to recognize the seventh
angel we should be aware of the six
angels which preceded him. Therefore we need to better understand
all of the symbols in the Revelation that we don't miss the day of our
classes of second advent believers agree, that the angel brought to view
in the 6th and 7th verses of this chapter [of Rev. 14], represents the
advent message, to the church and world. If this is true, then all
five of the angels brought to view in this chapter, represent
five distinct messages, prior to
the advent, or we are left without a rule to interpret this chapter.
last two angels are messages
of prayer. We shall, no doubt, better understand them at the time
of their fulfillment." Word to the Little Flock, James White, p.
the above statement is true, we may notice that there are actually three
angels seen in chapter 14 after the third angel, and not
just two. They are seen in verses
15, 17, & 18. The first two are said to come from the "temple," while
the last one is said to come from the "altar." Along with these six
angels revealed in this chapter we also see another figure, "one
like unto the Son of man." Therefore, there are actually seven
figures in this chapter. More will be said on these seven
in the main presentation.
John the Lord opened the subjects that He saw would
be needed by His people in the last days. The instruction that
He gave is found in the book of Revelation. Those who would be co-workers
with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will
show a deep interest in the truths found in this book." Testimonies,
Vol. 8, p. 301.
John was then seeing and experiencing in vision was a revelation of the
work of the living Spirit of prophecy in the last days which would involve
the uttering a complete revelation of special, hidden Bible truths in
symbolical language, and then hiding the meaning of it until the time
when in God's preordained (unknown to His people) providence they would
be unsealed and understood. The main lesson here being that God's people
must be waiting and looking (Isa. 8:17) for the Lord in revealed truth,
for they know not what the seven thunders contain, nor when the seventh
angel's voice will be heard, and these sealed things be unsealed.
same principle applies to any new light which may come to us during this
time of the restoration of all things. But in the case of the seven thunders
this principle is exemplified, for the whole matter (the content of the
seven thunders, and the interpretation of them) must come through the
gift of Inspiration (prophecy) and be unsealed at the right time –
that being the time of the voice of the seventh angel. The thunders having
voices (messages) shows their importance to the remnant church (those
to whom they are being revealed).
have your ears open to any claimant of Inspiration if you are not
to repeat the history of the Jews. God will not let you be deceived if
you really hunger and thirst after righteousness, if you really want to
know the Truth, for He is anxious that you keep
up with His progressively revealed Truth. There is therefore no
danger for one to be deceived by coming in contact with error, but
there is a great danger for staying in darkness by not coming in contact
with fresh Truth."
Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 12, p. 18.
came there a voice from heaven...
The people therefore, that stood by, heard it, said that it thundered:
others said, an angel spoke to
Him." John 12:28,29.
we heard the voice of God like
many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus' coming. The living
saints, 144,000 in number, knew and understood
the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder
and an earthquake." Early Writings, p. 15.
in Jesus' day, only those who not only wait,
but earnestly look (Isa. 8:17)
for the Holy Ghost in timely truth, will recognize GOD'S
VOICE in the seven thunders.
To those who are not seeking greater light, it will only sound like thunder.
the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth
same messenger with a message that went to the sea (the world) and the
earth (the church), was now doing something else. Notice that John does
not say "the angel which is standing"
(which would indicate an action in progress)
but rather, "the angel which I saw
stand (past tense) upon the sea and upon the earth," indicating
that the time of the initial acts involved in the act of standing were
past – that the work
thereby symbolized by the standing had closed up (Early Writings,
the time of the initial proclamation of the first and second angel's messages,
the loud (midnight) cry, and after seven thunders uttered their voices,
and after what they had uttered was sealed, the Angel then
up his hand to heaven
The next act of the Angel was the
lifting up of his hand (message)
to heaven where
the Sanctuary is, indicating that his message was progressing to
a revelation of the truth concerning the
and the cleansing thereof
through the process of an investigative judgment.
passing of the time in 1844 was followed by a period of great trial
to those who still held the advent faith. Their only relief, so far as
ascertaining their true position was concerned, was the
light which directed their minds to the sanctuary above." Great
Controversy, p. 429.
third angel closes his message thus; 'Here is the patience of the
saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith
of Jesus.' [Rev. 14:12]. As he repeated these words, he
pointed [lifted up his hand] to the HEAVENLY sanctuary. The minds
of all who embrace this message are directed
[lifted up] to the most holy place, where Jesus stands before the
ark, making His final intercession for all those for whom mercy still
lingers, and for those who have ignorantly broken the law of God." Early
Writings, p. 254.
the early morning hours [of October 23, 1844] Hiram Edson and a few others
went out to his barn to pray, and as they prayed, he felt assured that
light would come. A little later, as Edson and a friend were crossing
a cornfield to visit fellow Adventists, it seemed as if a
hand touched his shoulder. He looked up
to see - as if in a vision - the heavens opened, and Christ
in the heavenly sanctuary entering into the most holy place, there to
begin a work of ministry in behalf of His people, instead of coming
forth from the most holy place to cleanse the world with fire, as they
this study [of the heavenly Sanctuary, and Christ's work therein] was
in progress, and before their work was
made known [by O.R.L. Crosier in the Day-Star Extra, February
7, 1846], far to the east in the State of Maine, a vision was given
to Ellen Harmon [February, 1845, Early Writings, p. 54-56] in which
she was shown the transfer of the ministry
of Christ from the holy place to the most holy place at the end of the
2300 days." Early Writings, p. xviii-xix..
first disclosure of this vision is recorded in Letter 1, 1846. It was
made public in the Day-Star, March
14, 1846, five weeks after Crozier's vision and work was published.
February, 1845, I [Ellen White] had a vision of events commencing with
the Midnight Cry. ...And I saw a cloudy chariot, with wheels like flaming
fire, and Angels were all around it as it came where Jesus was. He stepped
into the chariot and was borne to the Holiest where the Father sat. There
I beheld Jesus, as He was standing
before the Father, a great High Priest.
On the hem of His garment was a bell and a pomegranate." To The Little
Remnant Scattered Abroad, 1846 Broadside, published by James and Ellen
we see that the lifting up of the Angel's hand has more significance that
just the taking of an oath – it is another element in the detailed
delineation of events which was being revealed. This act also has the
significance of fixing in the stream of time the utterance of the seven
thunders – between the time when the Angel's cry had become an event
in the past, and the revelation of the Sanctuary truth. The lifting up
of the angel's hand is the link to the next revelation in the Advent movement
symbolized by the angel's next action.
sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the
things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are,
and the sea, and the things that are therein
Angel swore by the Creator, the One who "made heaven and earth, the sea,
and all that in them is, and rested the
seventh day." (Exo. 20:11). The lifting up of the angel's hand
to heaven, followed immediately by the swearing by the Creator who rested
on the Sabbath, shows the order
and close connection of the restoration of the truths of the heavenly
sanctuary (February 1845 – Early Writings, p. 54-55)
and of the Sabbath (April 3, 1847
– Early Writings, p. 32-35) in the Advent Movement.
Jesus opened the door of the most
holy [which was revealed in a figure by the Angel lifting his hand
(his message) to heaven], the light of the Sabbath
[of the Creator] was seen [in vision], and the people of God were
tested, as the children of Israel were tested anciently, to see if they
would keep God's law. I saw the third
angel pointing upward [just
like the Angel of Revelation 10], showing the disappointed ones
the way to
the holiest of the heavenly sanctuary. As they by faith enter the most
holy, they find Jesus, and hope and joy spring up anew. I saw them
looking back, reviewing the past, from the proclamation of the second
advent of Jesus, down through their experience to the passing
of the time in 1844. They see their disappointment explained, and
joy and certainty again animate them. The third angel has lighted up the
past, the present, and the future, and they know that God has indeed
led them by His mysterious providence." Early Writings, p. 254-255.
is the Angel's oath of promise based on? It is based on the Angel's hand
being lifted to heaven – the truth of the intercession of Christ,
the Creator. Since the Angel's oath is based on Christ's work, we can
trust that the fulfillment of the promise will occur at the appointed
time, and that, we need only to bring our lives into harmony with the
work of our Intercessor in the heavenly Sanctuary, and our Intercessor
on earth (John 14:16), the Holy Ghost – the Spirit of prophecy (Rom.
there should be time no longer
The promise that the Angel
makes is that when a certain time is come, no longer will there be any
delay. This is encouraging, especially
for those who may be growing weary.
soon some grew weary, and said the city was a great way off, and they
expected to have entered it before. Then Jesus would encourage them by
raising His glorious right arm [His Spirit-filled powerful angels], and
from His arm [the angel's] came a [new] light [a message] which waved
over the Advent band, and they shouted 'Alleluia!'" Early Writings,
light which came from Christ's glorious right arm must be something which
has the effect of confirming the people's faith in the path they had been
traveling, for "they shouted 'Alleluia!'" The reason for their joy is
that their thinking that "the city was a great way off," was corrected
by new light which came from Jesus.
in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound,
the mystery of God should be finished
more accurate translation of part of this verse is, "when he is about
to sound, then is finished the mystery of God..." Rev. 10:7
Revised Version, 1881.
interpreting this Scripture, it is necessary to better understand the
Greek text of the verse. The words "shall begin" are translated from a
Greek word whose root is mello (Strong's #3195). This is the only
place where mello is translated "shall begin." The other places
where mello appears in the Greek New Testament, especially in the
book of Revelation, it is consistently translated "about to," or something
which is the equivalent, always indicating something that is "about to"
happen (future tense), not something which is beginning (present
tense). Everywhere else in the KJV New Testament, where we see "begin"
it is translated from arkomai (Strong's #756), not mello.
most obvious inconsistency in the translation of mello can be seen
by comparing this 7th verse with the preceding 4th verse. In verse four,
mello is translated in the KJV "I was about
to write;" indicating a time just before the intended
act, and showing the correct meaning of mello. But in verse seven
it is translated "shall begin," which indicates an act that is in progress,
something not implied by the use of the word mello. All of the
acts of writing (picking up a pen, etc.) prior to the actual making of
the letters with the pen could be described as part of the period when
one is "about to" write. Not until one actually starts to make the strokes
on the paper can it be said that one has begun, or, in the future
tense, "shall begin." Some other places where mello appears are
Rev. 1:19; 2:10; 3:2,10,16; 6:11; 8:13; 12:4,5; 17:8. In all of these
places, mello is used to imply something that is "about to" or
"shall" happen (future), not something that begins.
lies another key to unlocking the truth of the seven trumpets which sounded
after the seventh seal was opened, as recorded in chapters 8-11 of the
Revelation. The statement that "the mystery of God should be finished
in the days of the VOICE of the
seventh angel as he is about to
SOUND, reveals to us a great truth.
As the previous six trumpets "sounded"
(Rev. 8:7,8,10,12; 9:1,13), so does the seventh trumpet SOUND
(Rev. 11:15). But prior to the sounding
of the trumpet of the seventh angel, there is a period of his VOICE,
his message – his seal of
truth. Though the truth that there was a period preceding
each trumpet during
which a voice was heard was not
revealed in the revelation of the first six trumpets, it is clearly shown
problem which has caused many to err in their understanding of this relationship
between the "VOICE" of the angel,
and the "SOUND" of his trumpet
is the mistranslation of the Greek word that is translated "SOUND."
The Greek word salpizo means "TRUMPET,"
referring to the act of trumpeting,
not the sound of
the trumpet itself. People have confused the
voice of the angel with his act of trumpeting
(salpizo) – thinking that the voice
of the angel was the sound of
the trumpet, which it is not. See the Greek of Matthew 6:2, and 1 Corinthians
15:52. When referring to the "sound"
of a trumpet the Greek words are eekos (Strong's #2279), or fonee
(Strong's #5456), see Matthew 24:31.
then, is an even more accurate translation; "In
the days of the VOICE of the seventh angel, as he is about to TRUMPET,
the mystery of God should be finished."
Literal Translation reads, "but in the days of the voice of
the seventh angel, whenever he is about to trumpet."
nature of the trumpets reveals the punishment
of those who failed to receive the seal
[the creative voice of God] in
their particular periods. ...The truth of the
seven trumpets must, consequently, comprehend all
the destruction following each
sealing [voice] since
the world began. ...the trumpets symbolically
record the destruction of the wicked after their rejection of God's messages
to them..." Final Warning, p. 32,37.
we see that in the time of the proclamation (the
voicing) of the message of the seventh
angel, as he is about to sound
his trumpet (towards the end of the proclamation of his message, before
the judgments fall), that of God which
was hidden is no longer to remain a mystery, but is to be revealed.
you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God [the
church]: but unto them that are without all these things are done
in parables. ...for THERE IS NOTHING HID,
WHICH SHALL NOT BE MANIFEST; neither WAS ANYTHING KEPT SECRET, BUT THAT
IT SHOULD COME ABROAD [even the
seven thunders]. IF ANY MAN HAVE
EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR." Mark 4:11,22,23.
to these words of the Son of God, and that which the Angel revealed to
the seer of Patmos, the mystery of God should be made known during the
time of the voice (message) of the seventh angel, before
he sounds his trumpet. The seven
thunders, having been uttered and then sealed for an unknown period,
are a part of the mystery of God.
Therefore, they must be unsealed, and we must
know the truth of them before then. And since it is present truth
at the time God reveals it, we need it, for it is our life, our prosperity,
our health, our happiness, our eternity, for, "Man doth not live by bread
alone, but by every word
that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live." Deu. 8:3.
Our response to the seventh angel's voice (message) will determine whether
we will fall in the time of the wicked who reject God's present truth
message (which is symbolized in the events revealed at the sounding of
his trumpet), or be a part of God's kingdom.
he hath declared to his servants the prophets
declared to the prophets that the time
would come when the mystery
of God should be finished, but did not tell them what the mystery
was. The time of the revelation
of the mystery of God (the
order and timing of the events surrounding the revelation of the mystery)
is what was declared to the prophets, and not the mystery
itself. The prophets spoke of the feast (Isa. 25:6), but they did not
the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants
the prophets." Amos 3:7.
ye out of the book of the LORD,
and read: no
one of these [prophecies]
shall fail; none shall want her mate [fulfillment]:
for My mouth it hath commanded, and His Spirit it hath
gathered them." Isa. 34:16.
of the ancient prophets spoke less for
their own time than for ours,
so that their prophesying is in force
for us." Selected Messages, Vol. 3, p. 338.
he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD
will make myself known unto him in a vision,
and will speak unto him in a dream." Num. 12:6.
days are at hand, and the effect of every vision." Eze. 12:23.
and VISIONS are among the signs
that precede the great and notable days of the Lord. And as the signs
of that day have been, and still are fulfilling, it must be clear to every
unprejudiced mind, that the time has fully
come, when the children of God MAY
EXPECT dreams and VISIONS from
know that this is a very unpopular position
to hold on this subject, even among
Adventists; but I choose to believe the
word of the Lord on this point, rather than the teachings of men.
I am well aware of the prejudice in many minds on this subject; but as
it has been caused principally by the preaching of popular Adventists,
and the lack of a correct view on this subject; I have humbly hoped to
cut it away, with the 'sword of the Spirit,' from some minds, at least.
We will bear it in mind, that these dreams and VISIONS,
are to be in the 'LAST DAYS.' As there cannot be any days later than the
last, it is certain that we may expect
just such revelations, until Christ appears in the clouds of HEAVEN
[not just until Ellen White, or anyone else with the gift of prophecy,
dies!]. I know that it is a very popular
opinion among Adventists, that there was nothing more to be revealed by
visions, after John closed up the revelation in AD 96. But
if this opinion is correct, then the last days ended while John was on
the Isle of Patmos [or when Ellen White, or when anyone else with
the gift of prophecy, died].
Bible is a perfect and complete revelation. It is our only rule of faith
and practice. But this is no reason, why God may not show
the PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE FULFILLMENT of his word, in these
last days, by DREAMS and VISIONS;
according to Peter's testimony. True visions
are given to lead us to God,
and his written word; but those
that are given for a new rule of faith
and practice, separate from the bible, cannot be from God,
and should be rejected." Word to the Little Flock, James White,
the foregoing in mind, a vision containing
a revelation of events "past, present,
and future" in the "fulfillment of his word" specifically concerning
His Advent people in the last days (a "delineation of events" –
the seven thunders) would not only be in complete harmony with God's purpose
as revealed in His written word, but rightfully should be expected by
those who wait and look
for the Lord (Isa. 8:17), and who "love His appearing" (2 Tim.
must be noted that though the Bible is a "complete revelation," within
that revelation God has intentionally left "a gap" (Timely Greetings,
Vol. 2, No. 15, p. 4) – the contents of the seven thunders. The
purpose for this "gap" is to encourage His people to ever have their eyes
and ears open for God's light and word in present truth. This gap, and
John's experience related to it, is a clear indication of God's intention
to reveal more truth through the Spirit of Prophecy in the latter days.
The only way in which that prophetic gap may be filled is "by
the same means as The Revelation
was shown to John." (ibid.) That is, by a vision, or other
act of direct revelation from the Holy Ghost.
summary, we see that after the
Angel of the Lord went through two movements,
one with the right foot (the first angel's
message), and one with the left foot
(the second angel's message), and then cried
(gave the midnight cry), and before
the Angel lifted his hand to heaven (revealed
the truth of the investigative judgment in the heavenly sanctuary), and swore
by the Creator (revealed the truth of the Sabbath – the
third angel's message), that seven
thunders should have uttered their voices, and what they uttered would
have been sealed for an undisclosed period of time. By this it is quite clear
that in the complete fulfillment of this prophecy, in its application in the
beginning of the Advent movement, that after
the primary phases of the first and second angel's messages and the midnight
cry had done their work (bringing the people to the Day of Atonement, October
22, 1844), and before the
third angel pointed the way into the most holy place (first published
in February – April 1846*,
in the Day-Star, and Broadsides), the
seven thunders had to have been revealed
someone who, like John, had the testimony of Jesus – the Spirit
of prophecy. And, to complete the fulfillment of the prophecy, the seven thunders
would have had to have been "sealed up" for an unknown period of time.
[*Note: The date of the publication of the visions is of prominence here, rather than the actual date
of the visions themselves, because the visions would have had little or no effect if they were not published.
Remember, it is 1840 that is given for the beginning of the first angel's message (see Spirit of Prophecy, Vol.
4, p. 222), and not 1831, when William Miller first presented it to a few individuals.]
As with the rest of the book of Revelation, the seven thunders would be uttered as a symbolical
representation of truths contained in the books of the Bible. So, after October 22, 1844, and before
February 1846, in fulfillment of prophecy, the seven thunders uttered their voices (Rev. 10:3). A young
girl, Ellen G. Harmon (White), was given two visions about a year apart (in Dec. 1844, and Dec. 1845),
which were a "delineation of events" in the Advent movement. The first vision commences with the midnight
cry of 1844, and does not include the whole movement beginning with the first and second angel's messages
of 1840-1844. In her second vision the seven thunders uttered their voices in symbolical language and
were sealed until January, 1992 (147 years later, the length of Jacob's lifetime – Gen. 47:28).
These two visions were first published in the form in which they were presented to a brother for his
personal comfort in his trying time, and were not intended for general circulation. In that presentation, which
later appeared in the Day Star Extra and A Word to the Little Flock, the two visions were connected
together to portray one long series of events. They also appear this way in Early Writings, though there are
a few differences in the wording. They appear in Life Sketches, Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 2, and Testimonies, Vol.
1; as two separate visions, one entitled My First Vision, and the second, Vision of the New Earth. In these
three also, the language varies a little. This presentation of the second vision follows the wording as it is in
Word to the Little Flock.
This vision appears, by a superficial reading, to be a revelation of things and events which will
transpire after the millennium, and has been previously understood to be just that. It is this situation which
has caused the real truth therein to be sealed up (not understood for what it is). In the book of Daniel, the
time prophecies were sealed until the appropriate time, regardless of the fact that they were there for people
to read. Thus it has been with the seven thunders – though they have been heard (revealed), their true
meaning has been sealed.
But a closer examination of the contents of the vision, in the light of already revealed truths in the
Bible, will show that many of the events portrayed in this second vision cannot be literal, neither before, nor
after the millennium, and are therefore symbolical. Furthermore, we will see that every representation in the
vision represents the fulfillment of different Bible prophecies which were intended to be understood by the
Church in the last days. So then, by the grace of God, let us behold
THE REVELATION OF THE SEVEN THUNDERS
VISION OF THE NEW EARTH"
"With Jesus at our head we all descended from the City down to this earth, on a great and
mighty mountain, which could not bear Jesus up, and it parted asunder, and there was a mighty plain.
Then we looked up and saw the great City, with twelve foundations, and twelve gates, three on each side,
and an angel at each gate. We all cried out, 'The City, the great City, it's coming! it's coming down from
God out of heaven! And it came and settled on the place where we stood. Then we began to look at the
glorious things outside of the City.
There I saw most glorious houses, that had the appearance of silver, supported by four pillars
set with pearls, most glorious to behold, which were to be inhabited by the saints, and in them was a
golden shelf. I saw many of the saints go into the houses, take off their glittering crowns and lay them
on the shelf, then go out into the field by the houses to do something with the earth; not as we have to
do with the earth here; no, no. A glorious light shone all about their heads, and they were continually
shouting and offering praises to God.
And I saw another field full of all kinds of flowers, and as I plucked them I cried out, They will
never fade. Next I saw a field of tall grass most glorious to behold; it was living green, and had a
reflection of silver and gold, as it waved proudly to the glory of King Jesus. Then we entered a field full
of all kinds of beasts - the lion, the lamb, the leopard and the wolf, all together in perfect union. We
passed through the midst of them, and they followed on peaceably after. Then we entered a wood, not
like the dark woods we have here; no, no, but light and all over glorious. The branches of the trees waved
to and fro, and we all cried out, 'We will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.' We
passed through the woods, for we were on our way to Mount Zion. As we were traveling along, we met
a company who were also gazing at the glories of the place. I noticed red as a border on their garments;
their crowns were brilliant; their robes were pure white. As we greeted them I asked Jesus who they
were. He said they were martyrs that had been slain for Him. With them was an innumerable company
of little ones; they had a hem of red on their garments also. Mount Zion was just before us, and on the
mount sat a glorious temple, and about it were seven other mountains, on which grew roses and lilies.
And I saw the little ones climb, or, if they chose, use their little wings and fly, to the top of the mountains
and pluck the never-fading flowers. There were all kinds of trees around the temple to beautify the place:
the box, the pine, the fir, the oil, the myrtle, the pomegranate, and the fig tree bowed down with the
weight of its timely figs, that made the place look all over glorious. And as we were about to enter the
holy temple, Jesus raised His lovely voice and said, Only the 144,000 enter this place, and we shouted
Well, bless the Lord, dear brethren and sisters, it is an extra meeting for those who have the seal
of the living God. This temple was supported by seven pillars, all of transparent gold, set with pearls
most glorious. The glorious things I saw there I cannot describe to you. O that I could talk in the
language of Canaan, then could I tell a little of the glory of the upper world; but if faithful, you soon will
know all about it. I saw there tables of stone in which the names of the 144,000 were engraved in letters
of gold. After we had beheld the glory of the temple, we went out, and Jesus left us and went to the City.
Soon we heard his lovely voice again, saying, 'Come, my people, you have come out of great tribulation,
and have done my will; suffered for me; come in to supper, for I will gird myself, and serve you.' We
shouted, Halleluia, glory, and entered into the City. And I saw a table of pure silver, it was many miles
in length, yet our eyes could extend over it. I saw the fruit of the tree of life, the manna, almonds, figs,
pomegranates, grapes, and many other kinds of fruit. I asked Jesus to let me eat of the fruit. He said,
Not now. Those who eat of the fruit of this land, go back to earth no more. But in a little while, if faithful,
you shall both eat of the fruit of the tree of life and drink of the water of the fountain.' And He said, You
must go back to earth again, and relate to others what I have revealed to you. Then an angel bore me
gently down to this dark world. Sometimes I think I can stay here no longer; all things of earth look so
dreary. I feel very lonely here, for I have seen a better land. Oh, that I had wings like a dove, then would
I fly away and be at rest!" A Word to the Little Flock, p. 16-18.
Before we proceed with the interpretation of the vision, let us consider a few points in it that were
of great importance to the church of God at the time it was given. As God is preparing His people for His
coming, to bestow immortality upon them, it was necessary to correct some of the divergent views regarding
man's future state that were held by those who embraced the Advent message. Such as: What is the future
life to be? Will the saints have bodies? Will we just sit on the clouds playing harps? Where actually is our
future home? In heaven? On earth? All these questions needed clear answers. "I have often seen that the
spiritual view took away all the glory of heaven, and that in many lines the throne of David and the lovely
person of Jesus have been burned up in the fire of Spiritualism." Early Writings, p. 77.
The important point of this vision to the Adventists in the 1840's, and especially after the
disappointment of October 22, 1844, was that Christ was to rule in the flesh, on the literal throne of David,
in the earth made new, for eternity, with His redeemed people.
In Isaiah 65, we see that in the new earth not only will the saints have bodies, but that with those
bodies "they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat; for as the days of a tree [the
tree of life] are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall
not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their
offspring with them." Isa. 65:21-23.
This aspect of Ellen Harmon's (White's) vision became the basis for more in depth studies of the
Scriptures relating to what man is, and what it means to be made in God's image. The hope of a future life
in glorified flesh, brought a much more vivid consciousness of the health that could be experienced by God's
people, and was a major factor in the foundation of the health reform within the Advent movement. It also
provided strength to the doctrine that the body was not just something to house the soul, but it was part of
the very soul itself.
Other than the revelation of these and a few other aspects of the future life on the earth made new,
this field trip which Sister White was shown has no other literal significance of its own unless it pertains to
a symbolical chain of events. By considering a few points of the vision it can be easily seen that there is a
much deeper meaning which has been hidden (sealed up) in the symbols.
(1) Why did Sister White have to walk through one field of flowers, and then another one of grass, and
then still another one of beasts? Why didn't Jesus just take her through one field with flowers, grass, and
beasts rather than through one field after another if the only purpose for her seeing those things was to reveal
that there would be those things in the new earth?
(2) She mentions that the woods they passed through were "not like the dark woods we have here, no,
no, but light and all over glorious." There are some very beautiful light woods here now, not all are dark.
And then again, some dark woods here are quite lovely. Therefore, if the woods aren't symbolical, that
means that in the new earth there will never be any dark, shaded woods, nor the beautiful things which grow
(3) If this vision is literal, and this feast takes place in the holy City (which at the time in the vision was
seen to be on the earth), how can it be said that "those who eat of the fruit of this land go back to earth no
more," seeing as how they are already there on earth. The earth made new is the place of Christ's throne for
eternity. What is "this land" of which Christ is speaking, if it is not a part of the earth made new? There is
clear distinction being made between "this land and the earth. Therefore, we see again that this vision must
(4) Concerning the trees around the temple; it seems very unlikely that Sister White, at the age of 17,
and living in New England in 1845, would be familiar with all of these trees by sight. Therefore, along with
the vision of the trees, the Spirit also impressed upon her mind the names, or identities of the individual
trees. Very few Bible students today could recognize an "oil tree," as seen by Sister White in spite of the
great advances in photography since her time. The point here is, why did she mention the names of those
particular trees, and no others? Simply because it was the Holy Spirit who gave this vision, and presented to her both the
images and names of only those specific trees.
(5) Regarding the innumerable company of little ones, Will there really be such in the earth made new?
It is clear that these were not born in heaven during the millinnium, nor in the earth made new, for the "hem
of red on their garments" indicates that they are "martyrs." Therefore, they must have been born before the
millinnium. It is written:
"But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and
ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall." Mal. 4:2.
"All blemishes and deformities are left in the grave. Restored to the tree of life in the long-lost Eden,
the redeemed will 'grow up' (Malachi 4:2) to the full stature of the race in its primeval glory." Great
Controversy, p. 645. Ellen White has said elsewhere that the garden of Eden and the tree of life were
removed from the earth before the flood, were transplanted to the Paradise of God, and that the saints will
have access to the tree of life in heaven during the millennium.
If all of the saints are to "go forth" from the earth and "grow up" during the millennium, how could
there still be "little ones" at the end of the 1000 years? After all, even though the little ones may have been
only a few years old, and their parents and other martyrs would have been from a few years to decades older
when they were martyred, they would all be over 1000 years old after the millennium.
What purpose would it serve for God to keep the resurrected, martyred little ones, little for 1000
years? If they remained little during the millennium some of the little ones would not have even been able
to speak or communicate with anyone for all that time if they had not grown up. Nor would they be able
to use their bodies for any useful purpose. Will their mothers be nursing them and changing their diapers all
through the millennium, while all that time God will be preventing them from growing at all? That these
little ones are symbolical will be further seen in the following point.
(6) In the beginning, mankind was made in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26,27), "not only in
character, but in form and feature." Great Controversy, p. 644,645. As God did not give wings to Adam
and Eve (Their image on earth), and as Christ came in human flesh to restore God's image in man, where is
the Biblical proof that any of the redeemed will have wings in the new earth as do the little ones in this
"...Jesus ...said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things
from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes." Mat. 11:25.
In the main presentation, it will be shown that this vision which was given to Ellen Harmon (White)
is as authoritative, and is of as much import to the body of Christ as the book of Revelation, and the very
Bible itself, for the author of the vision (the Holy Ghost, the author of the Bible) has given it in fulfillment
of not only the prophecy of the revelation of the voices of the seven thunders in Revelation 10, but also in
fulfillment of other Biblical prophecies. If any may have tended to doubt whether or not God, by His Holy
Spirit, has always been in the Advent movement, and will continue to be, the voices of the seven thunders
will cast away all doubt, and will firmly establish for all time, the work of the Spirit of prophecy in the
remnant church. God is alive and well and is talking up a storm (with lightnings, and seven thunders).
"Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern. And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them." Eze. 43:9, 10.
"The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it;
and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. For who hath despised the day of
small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those
seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth." Zechariah 4:9-10.
Those Who Wait And Look
The time has come, rejoice my friends
Mercy and Truth have kissed again.
Love from above is descending our way,
Lighting the path to the glorious day,
For those who wait and look.
Arise and shine, Awake and live,
For the Kingdom of Glory is God's will to give,
To those who wait and look.
To those who wait and look,
God's Word is always an open book;
With foundations and gates and pillars with pearls,
And a table of silver for good boys and girls –
Those who wait and look.