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The Return of the Shekinah, Introduction to the Seven Thunders

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That everyone who thirsteth for the truth may obtain it, these publications are, as a Christian service, provided without charge. They levy but one exaction: the soul's obligation to itself to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good. The only strings attached to this free proffer are the golden strands of Eden and the crimson cords of Calvary - the ties that bind.
 
Latest Studies






The Return of the Shekinah, The Seven Thunders





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




Written by
Doug Mitchell and Steve Penners



Copyright © 1992, 1993;
Revised 2003, Copyright © 2003
Doug Mitchell
All Rights Reserved



THE BRANCH



"In the mouth of two or three witnesses
shall every word be established." 2 Cor. 13:1.



INTRODUCTION

Revelation 10:1-7

[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 burneth.'

"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 future.

"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.

REVELATION 10
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."

And I saw another mighty angel

There 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.

come down from heaven

John 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.

Since, "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.

"Behold, 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.

"And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elijah truly shall first come, and restore all things." Mat. 17:11.

For "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.

"When 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.

"Whereas 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.

"As 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).

"In 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 alike.

"Thus '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, p. 78,79.

Thus 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.

"Since ...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 on].

"The 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.

The 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.

clothed with a cloud

"Wherefore 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.

"[In 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.

While 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.

and a rainbow was upon his head

A 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. 17:11.

The 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.

A 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).

and His face was as it were the sun

The 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.

The 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.

"The mighty angel [of Revelation 10] who instructed John was NO LESS a personage than Jesus Christ." SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p. 971.

The 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.

"Near 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.

"By a person's facial characteristics we are able to identify his race." Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 8, p. 21.

This 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 – Jesus).

As "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 eyes.

and his feet

The 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.

To 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 feet.

"...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.

"'Nah. 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).

In 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.

as pillars of fire

"These 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.

"In 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.

The 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 were speaking.

"And 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]."

This 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).

The church of God is "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone." Eph. 2:20.

"And 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.

The 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).

"Our 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.

and he had in his hand a little book open

"The 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.

The 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, p. 10.

It is by the "hand" (messages) of the prophets that the word of the Lord comes to His people.

"And 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.

"And 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.

"And also by the hand of the prophet Jehu the son of Hanani came the word of the LORD against Baasha."1Ki 16:7.

"Thus 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.

The 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.

The 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).

and he set his right foot

The 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:

"Then 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.

This prophecy is the "saving strength" (the right foot) of the Advent movement.

upon the sea

"...The 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 world.

 "When 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.

William 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 worldwide movement).

"Wherever 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.

Thus 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.

and his left foot

The 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.

Though 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 judgment itself.

on the earth

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 the church.

The 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:

"...the 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.

"What 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, p. 440.

The combination of these interpretations mean that the second angel's message, announcing the fall of Babylon, would apply more specifically to the churches in America.

"The 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.

Though 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 (the earth).

The 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.

"When 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.

"While 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.

and cried

"'While 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. 398.

"In 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 [midnight] 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 [midnight] CRY united with the second angel's message, and gave power to that work." Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 4, p. 248-250.

After 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.

with a loud voice

"...the [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.

The "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 power.

as when a lion roareth

The 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.

"They 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.

"The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the LORD God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?" Amos 3:8.

"Therefore 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.

"The 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.

"As 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.

An 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.

and when he had cried

"And 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.

The 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

seven thunders uttered their voices

"Hear 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; He thundereth 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.

"The 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.

Thunder 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."

"These [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.

Two 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.

Though 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:

"A 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.

And that:

"This 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.

The 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.

Note 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).

"The 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, p. 11.

As 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.

As 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.

Therefore, 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.

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

John 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."

This 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.

"It 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.

"Here 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.

That "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 time.

The 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.

At "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.

In 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 visitation.

"All 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.

"...The 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. 10,11.

While 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.

"To 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.

What 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.

This 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).

"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.

"Then 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.

"Soon 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.

As 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.

And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth

The 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, p. 304).

After 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

lifted 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 HEAVENLY SANCTUARY and the cleansing thereof through the process of an investigative judgment.

"The 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.

"The 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.

"In 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 had taught.

"...While 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..

The 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.

"In 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 White.

Thus 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.

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

The 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.

"After 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.

What 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. 8:26,34).

that 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.

"But 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, p. 14,15.

The 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.

but, in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished

A 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.

Before 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.

The 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.

Herein 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 here.

Another 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.

This, 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."

Green's Literal Translation reads, "but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, whenever he is about to trumpet."

"...the 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.

Therefore 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.

"Unto 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.

According 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.

as he hath declared to his servants the prophets

He 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 serve it.

"Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." Amos 3:7.

"Seek 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.

"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.

"And 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.

"The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision." Eze. 12:23.

"Dreams 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 the Lord.

"I 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].

"The 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, p. 13.

With 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. 4:8).

It 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.

In 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 [uttered] to 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 Halleluia.

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.

For example:

(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 in them.

(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 be symbolical.

(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 vision?

"...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.



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