The Last Countdown

When reflecting on the signs of the end times, most people even vaguely familiar with the Bible think of signs in the sun, moon, and stars. This is an accurate expectation. After all, when God created them, it was not merely for separating day from night, but He said, “Let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.” 1 When we read from the Revelation, we indeed find them used in that manner:

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. (Revelation 6:12-13)

The signs in the sun, moon, and stars are signs that the end of the world is at hand. So where are those signs, if we are really near the end? Wouldn’t we know if they have already happened? And if they haven’t happened yet, when should we expect them?

History Repeats

One of the methods that God uses to instruct us is through history. We often say that history repeats, but for those who serve the God who knows the end from the beginning, it takes on a much larger and deeper meaning. For example, consider the Bible story of the Exodus from Egypt. Israel moved to Egypt at the time when his family was just beginning to grow, and they dwelt there for a few generations. During that time, the Egyptians stealthily began to enslave the Israelites until they had them completely under their rule. But God raised up Moses, who led them out of Egypt through the Red Sea, and He provided food, water, and freedom from their bondage. This was an historical experience, but since they were being led by God, it was also symbolic of future events.

The children of Israel were God’s people. He chose them out of all the people of the earth to represent His character to the world. God’s people today have the same mission, so we can learn from our ancient counterparts. Just as His ancient people unintentionally found themselves as slaves when they were previously free, so do His modern people find themselves unwittingly slaves. Today, we may not serve people barking orders with whips, but we are slaves to sin. The effect is the same—although we may desire to be free, our slave driver is often hard with us, and we cannot escape. But God raised up Moses to deliver them from their Egyptian masters, and we have a Deliverer from sin as well: the man, Jesus. By His sacrifice, He made us free from our slave drivers, and just as He taught His ancient people in the wilderness, so He teaches us about Himself, transforming our lives.

But that is not the end of the story. Jesus said He would come again, so that we could be with Him where He is.

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. (John 14:3)

This, too, has a counterpart in the ancient story. After training them and teaching them about Himself, God fulfilled His old promise to Abraham, to give his offspring the place He had prepared for them. When they crossed over to the land God was giving them, they had to evict the enemies. The first city to be destroyed was Jericho, and God gave them special instructions on how it would be overthrown. It wasn’t until they had captured this city that they could truly say that they had received the Promised Land. This serves as a pattern for us, as we prepare to receive the heavenly place that God has promised to us.

Scroll with seven sealsIn the article series, History Repeats, it is explained in detail how this pattern applies to us today, and the reader is encouraged to study it. Very briefly, though, the Israelite men were commanded to circle the city while the priests carried the ark of God’s covenant with them and blew seven trumpets before it. This repeated for six days. Each day they circled the city once. But on the seventh day, they circled the city seven times, shouted, and then the walls of the city fell down and they began to take their inheritance.

The Ark of the Covenant contained the Ten Commandments, written in stone with God’s own finger. Encircling the city with the ark was a visual portrayal of wrapping a seal around a scroll. A seal was used to identify a witness to or authority behind a document, just as we use signatures today. The authorizing person would press their signet into the soft material of the seal and affix it so that the document could not be opened without breaking the seal. The law of God was made from tables of stone, written with His own finger, and is used as His signet. The Sabbath commandment, in particular, contains the specific information required to identify His authority: His name, title, and jurisdiction.

Repeating History, Revealed

In the Revelation, John was shown a book (scroll), sealed with seven seals. Jesus, the Lamb, was the only one who was found worthy to open the seals, and as He did, John saw some symbolic things happening. This book with seven seals represents the history of God’s people. As the first seal was opened, the little Christian “sect” of Jesus’ initial followers went forth, conquering on a white horse. As each seal was opened, Christian history unfolded in harmony with the symbols presented in Revelation.

Recognizing the application of the conquest of Jericho, we can see a resemblance. Each day, they circled the city once, representing one seal of the book in Revelation. However, on the seventh day, they circled seven times, indicating that the history of the seals should repeat! After the first six seals were broken, representing six periods of church history, a similar history would be repeated before the last seal would be broken.

Indeed, following the course of Christian history, we discover that just as there was a fledgling group of young followers of Jesus that went forth as conquerors on a white (representing purity of doctrine) horse, so again, after much compromise and numerous impure doctrines entered the church, God regrouped, and a few young believers from various denominations put away their prejudices and studied sincerely until the purity of the first church was present once again. That was during the Great Awakening of the 1830s and 40s and led to the formation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. They became the heralds of God’s messages of mercy and warning in the last days, but sadly, just as it was with the early church, after a rarely-discussed phase of persecution and martyrdom during the world wars, compromise and contamination corrupted the people again. This is all documented in our flagship presentation, The Clock of God.

The repetition follows the same pattern in every detail as the first six periods of history, only on a much shorter time scale. At the beginning of this article, the verse in Revelation was quoted that speaks of the signs in the sun, moon, and stars, and these things happened after the sixth seal was opened. According to the model of the conquest of Jericho, therefore, we would expect not one, but two fulfillments of this prophecy. One fulfillment would have been before 1844, when the Great Awakening was mature, but there should be another fulfillment during the repetition of this seal sometime later. Does history bear this out? Let’s take a look!

A Great Earthquake

The first sign that is given when the seal is opened is that “there was a great earthquake.” Of course, there have been many great earthquakes in history, so how do we narrow down the field? Taking into account other related biblical prophecies, the time period in which we would expect the earthquake must be in the neighborhood of 1600 to 1800. The periods before this time of history are recognizably associated with the previous seals.

One notable earthquake during this period was the Great Lisbon Earthquake of November 1, 1755. But the main factor that singles out the Lisbon earthquake is not how powerful it was, or how many lives were lost, but how Lisbon quakeinfluential it was in its effect on a global scale. If we consider the deadliest quake in recorded history, for example, which killed more than 800,000 people, we do not find any significant global impact. It occurred in China in AD 1556, but like many other quakes, it is mainly relegated to entries in encyclopedias and lists of natural disasters. Outside of China, it has had little impact.

The Lisbon earthquake, on the other hand, was the largest natural disaster2 ever recorded in Europe and was physically felt over some four million square miles throughout Europe and North Africa, where it caused much destruction, especially in Morocco and Algeria, where whole towns were destroyed. “The earthquake's cause remained a mystery because the tectonic activity of the region was not clearly understood. The plate boundary… is not well defined.”3

In Lisbon, the wealthy capital of Portugal where the damage was particularly severe, there were created huge fissures some 15 feet wide that opened up through the center of town. Unsuspecting ones who sought refuge from crumbling buildings, ran to clearings near the Tagus River only to meet their fate soon afterward as huge tsunami waves tore through the city, traveling up the river, destroying palaces of the king, libraries, museums, and cultural attractions and drowning the escapees. In an era of candles and wood stoves, numerous small fires quickly erupted in the areas where the tsunami did not reach, and rapidly spread, engulfing much of the remaining part of the city and ending the lives of many who were trapped in the rubble as it burned for several days. Some 85% of the city’s buildings were destroyed, including virtually all of the churches, which were full that day on account of it being a church holiday. “The 1755 earthquake has sometimes been compared to the Holocaust as a catastrophe so tremendous as to have a transformative impact on European culture and philosophy.”4

For its global impact, the Lisbon earthquake was unequaled. Not only for the distance over which it was felt, but also for the quality of records that were kept from it. Survey information was collected shortly after the quake, and witnesses provided their observations regarding certain aspects of the circumstances surrounding the event, which were documented and analyzed. This made it the first scientifically studied earthquake, and is credited as the initial stimulus in the development of modern seismology. Today, scientists still pore over the records relating to that earthquake and continue to publish their research on this event, which took place nearly 260 years ago!

A God of Love?

Returning to the story of Jericho for a moment, we should ask ourselves what we can learn about God from these things. Before Jericho was destroyed, its inhabitants were petrified for fear of Israel, because they had heard stories of what God had done for His people, and they recognized that they were in grave danger. But God is the Creator, and He loves people, whether good or bad. You can sense the yearning of His heart in the message He once gave to His erring people:

Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? (Ezekiel 33:11)

God does not hate His enemies! He loves them and wants to remove that which alienates them from Him, so they can be with Him again like at the beginning, “walking in the garden in the cool of the day.” 5 But when we hold on to sin, God knows that it will mean our ruin, so He pleads with us to let it go.

After leaving Egypt, before they were permitted to enter the Promised Land, God said, “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” 6 In the ceremonies of this sanctuary, God illustrated how He planned to remove sin from them, so that He could dwell among them again. Israel had a precious message for the rest of the world, Jericho included: God is gracious and ever ready to pardon sin, no matter how egregious or extensive it may be. Sadly, few believe that God is really willing to forgive them. Instead they hold on to false notions that He hates them and just wants to punish them to get even for things they did that He doesn’t like. But as Jericho fearfully anticipated its doom, there was one looking from the city wall at the camp of Israel, who saw His love. Being a prostitute, she was cognizant of her unworthiness, but put her faith in the God of Israel, that He loved her in spite of her wretched condition. She responded to His desire to dwell with His creation, and submitted herself to His mercy. This did not escape God’s notice. Though the entire city was laid flat and plundered, God arranged that this harlot and all her family would be spared.

It was a similar scenario when the children of Israel left Egypt. The last plague that was to be visited on Egypt was of the death of all first-born males, whether of man or beast. The only ones who were spared this mournful plague were the children of Israel, who were given instruction regarding the first Passover, where they marked the door of their homes with the blood of a lamb, so that the destroying angel would pass-over their household without executing his judgment.

The people bowed their heads and worshiped, grateful for this remarkable memorial given to preserve to their children the remembrance of God’s care for his people. There were quite a number of the Egyptians who were led to acknowledge, by the manifestations of the signs and wonders shown in Egypt, that the gods whom they had worshiped were without knowledge, and had no power to save or to destroy, and that the God of the Hebrews was the only true God. They begged to be permitted to come to the houses of the Israelites with their families upon that fearful night when the angel of God should slay the first-born of the Egyptians. The Hebrews welcomed these believing Egyptians to their homes, and the latter pledged themselves henceforth to choose the God of Israel as their God, and to leave Egypt and go with the Israelites to worship the Lord. {ST March 25, 1880, par. 4}7

Some find it difficult to reconcile a loving God with the execution of an entire city, but although He does do that dirty work, He takes no pleasure in it and would much rather that they all repented, so He wouldn’t have to do that work. He has demonstrated His willingness to pardon on any scale. That is His stated purpose—to cleanse man from sin.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

What leads God to shake the earth is His wrath against sin. When the first seal opens, there is purity in the church. They are not without fault, and He counsels them accordingly, but the doctrine He left with them remains pure. It is the everlasting gospel—the good news that He will indeed give us freedom from sin, not leave us slaves in sin. But as the following seals open, He sees His people becoming more and more corrupted with sin, and teaching an impure doctrine, and His counsel becomes sterner and sterner, until finally, He shakes the earth in an effort to wake His people up to their need of reform.

Jesus explained that we should not think of the people upon whom disasters come as worse sinners than anyone else, but He counsels us to take it as a warning that we must have a repentant attitude toward our sin, or we, too, will perish.

Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:4-5)

Thus, we should guard against the notion that Lisbon was visited by the judgments of God because they were a wicked city.

That is not to say that God does not execute judgment on wicked cities, however! But when He does, it is not through coincidental happenstance. Sodom and Gomorrah were examples of God’s wrath being poured out on unrepentant sinners. Jesus clarifies this point with a little parable of an unfruitful fig tree:

He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down. (Luke 13:6-9)

The fig tree was a representation of the nation of Israel. He had been working with it extensively that it might produce good fruit—the fruit of the Spirit. But they had refused to accept Him, and consequently, they couldn’t receive His Spirit to produce fruit. Despite all of His efforts, He ultimately had to intentionally cut it down. Before executing judgments in wrath, God always gives warnings. It behooves us to discern those warnings and heed them, reforming our lives in humility and repentance. Jesus explained that the falling tower was not a judgment against sin, but a warning to all to repent. At the destruction of Jerusalem, however, there was no mistaking that this was the judgment of God.

But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations. And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and unto this house? And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them. (2 Chronicles 7:19-22)

God is ever willing to work in us if we allow Him. At the cross, He took our scarlet sins upon Himself and gave in exchange His own life, contained in His blood, that the white purity of His life would be ours. If we are willing to receive it, we may be obedient just as He was, for He had no advantages over us, but came “in the likeness of sinful flesh.” 8 But if we refuse to let His Spirit bring about His will in our lives, He cannot cleanse us, and if persistent in this rebellion, He will ultimately leave us alone to be destroyed with our sin, for it is the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses us from all sin.9

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. (Isaiah 1:18-20)

Thanks to Jesus, the choice is yours. How will you choose?

Preparing a People

The Lisbon earthquake was a sign that the Day of Judgment was near, and as God was awakening His sleeping virgins, He gave them understanding regarding the Scriptures. But this was not the only sign He gave, lest it not be clear that it was in fact, the prophesied sign.

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; (Revelation 6:12)

Following the great earthquake, there would be more signs; this time in the heavens. In New England during the decades following the Lisbon earthquake, there was a great interest in spiritual things. It later earned the nickname, “the burned-over district,” due to the numerous “fire and brimstone” revivals and new religious movements that originated there. People were eager to learn about the Scriptures. Thus, although a relatively small area, it would be fitting for this to be the location of the next signs. Spanning from Maine to New Jersey, “The Dark Day of New England” manifested itself on May 19th, 1780. In the middle of the morning, the sky was cloudy with a reddish hue, and began to get darker and darker until by noontime, it was so dark that candles were necessary to continue business. There was no known cause for the event. One notable incident tells of the immediate thought of the people that the Day of Judgment had come. Abraham Davenport, a member of the Connecticut legislature answered a motion to adjourn with these words:

I am against adjournment. The day of judgment is either approaching, or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for an adjournment; if it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. I wish therefore that candles may be brought.10

The religious population in that area quickly saw this singular event as relating to the coming Judgment. For two-and-a-quarter centuries, it remained an unsolved mystery, but with more recent scientific research,11 it has been discovered that there was a large forest fire in Canada about that time, and the smoke from that fire, rising enough that it would leave little if any trace of smell, spread over the region. In combination with a heavy fog, it completely blocked the light of the sun over a large area as it passed over. It was God’s smoke signal, sent to them to warn that the Day of Judgment was indeed approaching.

This was not the first, nor the last dark day that has been observed, but, “Whereas other ‘dark days’ had occurred in the past, the darkness of this day was more intense and far-reaching than people had ever experienced, leading to much hysteria and overreaction.”12 Like the Lisbon earthquake before it, this dark day stands out among the others of its kind.

While it was still fresh in their minds, and many were observing the sky that night for any sign of the familiar twinkling of the stars or the full moon, the darkness began to drift. But when the moon appeared, it had a reddish color like blood, although there was no lunar eclipse that night. Thus, at once, two elements of the prophecy occurred in immediate succession. Many people could remember twenty-five years earlier when they received news of the Great Lisbon Earthquake and began to connect the dots that God was sending earth a warning of the coming Day of Judgment.

The widespread, unique, and mysterious aspects of these events are indicative of their purpose as signs. Some seem to think that because much of the mystery surrounding these events has since been understood scientifically, they do not qualify as signs. But just as there is no mystery in sending up a red flare from a ship, yet there is a definite message, so with God’s signs; there need not be a great mystery surrounding the events in order for it to be a sign from God.

William MillerIn the ensuing years, men filled with the Holy Spirit began to study the prophecies of the Bible, and truths were unfolded to them that revealed that they were approaching a momentous time in history. In the revealing light of the Revelation, the “little book” of Daniel was understood as it had never been before. After years of study, God convicted a farmer and diligent student of the Bible by the name of William Miller to share his studies, and in the early 1830s, people began to take notice. His study of the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14, especially, led him to the conclusion that Jesus would return around 1843. Later, after realizing a simple, almost obvious error in his calculations, it was corrected to 1844.

Falling starsAs though to give steam to the movement, another sign appeared in heaven, near the time when Miller began to preach. It was the next in the sequence listed in the sixth seal: “And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.” 13 This sign appeared in the New World, and was visible everywhere east of the Rocky Mountains. The Leonid meteor shower is known to put on a prolific display. In a peak year when a “meteor storm” occurs, the rate may be a few thousand meteors per hour, (about one meteor every second or two). In 1833, however, the display was truly spectacular, generating many times this amount. An article in the Salt River Journal of Bowling Green, Missouri claimed, “The most perfect master of language would fail of conveying to others a full picture of this extraordinary and uncommon experience.”14 In certain localities, so many were seen that no estimate was obtainable until their frequency began to slow down. It was compared with counting raindrops.

Many people were awakened from their sleep by the light, some fearing a fire had started. Judge James Flanagan of Clark County, Kentucky noted that “The people were struck with awe and thrown into great consternation.”15 As with many unusual or disastrous events, people believed that the Day of Judgment had come. They were afraid and prostrated themselves, seeking forgiveness. How much better would it have been if they could enjoy the dazzling spectacle with joy, because they had previously prepared?

Today, many so-called “preppers” go to great lengths to prepare food, flashlights, and other useful items in case of a catastrophic emergency. These preparations are indeed helpful and wise, for “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.” 16 But if this is the extent of your preparation, you may find yourself terribly lacking in the ability to emotionally and spiritually handle a disaster of apocalyptic proportions. The preparation that is of primary importance is the preparation of the heart. If men were fearful at the mere signs of the Day of Judgment, how much more will they fear when the real judgments begin to fall? God invites all to “Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night.” 17 Wouldn’t it be better to be prepared, spiritually, to help the panicking ones all around us while mercy yet pleads in that time, which those signs warned of? “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 18

With several signs now discernable and in their proper sequence, the people in New England began to awaken and take seriously William Miller’s interpretation that Jesus would return in 1844. After all, the next verse after the falling stars depicts the cataclysmic chaos associated with “the wrath of the Lamb.”

And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Revelation 6:14-17)

Samuel SnowAs the predicted year approached, and a movement was developed, Miller’s studies had reached a skeptic by the name of Samuel Snow. Having wrought a work of conviction in him, he became a Christian, and later testified of the experience,

I saw the perfect harmony between Daniel and the Revelations, and the history which is a perfect fulfilment of these Revelations. I asked myself in all seriousness, how could this great knowledge be obtained unless it were inspired by God. I then saw that the Bible which I had so long rejected, was the word of God, and I melted down before it.19

Having thus melted, he became willing to allow the Holy Spirit to use him.

The Jewish feast of Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, was a time when Israel gathered together for Judgment. They humbled themselves and waited in solemnity as they watched the priests perform their symbolic service in the sanctuary. Their work was for the cleansing of the sanctuary from the sins that Israel had committed all through the year. When an Israelite would sin, he came to the priest with a lamb, and confessing his sin, symbolically transferred it to the innocent animal. The life-blood from the many lambs and other sacrificial animals represented the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ, whom God made “to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 20 That blood was sprinkled on the veil in the temple, staining it with the sins of the people all year long. On the Day of Atonement, the record of sin that had been transferred to the blood was ceremonially cleansed from the sanctuary.

This feast day is a fitting parallel to the cleansing of the sanctuary that Daniel was told about: “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” 21 Through his studies of the Jewish calendar, Samuel Snow discovered that in 1844, this special feast occurred on October 22nd. Miller and others taught that the cleansing of the sanctuary typified the cleansing of the earth by fire at Jesus' coming. For those who came to love the Lord, this was welcomed as honey for its sweetness as they waited expectantly for the One who loved them so dearly as to give Himself for them “while they were yet sinners.” 22 Well was this experience characterized in the words of the Revelator:

And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. [Daniel’s prophecy] And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. (Revelation 10:9)

After the Lord had clearly led the Millerite movement for so long, drawing people together to unite in sincere study of His word, Jesus did not come on the appointed day, and, as the angel prophesied to John, it was a bitter experience for the believers who had to endure the mocking of unbelieving friends and neighbors.

The time of expectation passed, and Christ did not appear for the deliverance of His people. Those who with sincere faith and love had looked for their Saviour, experienced a bitter disappointment. Yet the purposes of God were being accomplished; He was testing the hearts of those professed to be waiting for His appearing. There were among them many who had been actuated by no higher motive than fear. Their profession of faith had not affected their hearts or their lives. When the expected event failed to take place, these persons declared that they were not disappointed; they had never believed that Christ would come. They were among the first to ridicule the sorrow of the true believers. {GC 374.1}23

But those who simply and humbly sought the truth in the Scriptures went back again to the Source, determined to understand where their error could have been. The Lord rewarded their faith, for as the Scripture says, if you “seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” 24 The technicalities of the calculations had all been ironed out and refined before the arrival of the date and its application was clear. Their weakness lay in a misunderstanding of the sanctuary, but upon further study, the Light that had led them that far continued to shine with even greater brilliance.

The service of the Day of Atonement was the one time of the year that the High Priest would enter into the compartment of the sanctuary where the Presence of God was manifested as a bright light above the mercy seat. In that shimmering room, all covered in gold, rested the Ark of the Covenant containing the Ten Commandments, written in stone with the finger of God. Outside, all Israel waited, watching for the reappearance of the priest, whom they knew was doing a special ministry for them in that most holy place.

At the time to which their calculations pointed, Jesus, our High Priest, began that special service for mankind in “the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” 25 The celestial Day of Judgment had begun, and this is what God was preparing His people for in the time of the sixth seal.

Thou Must Prophecy Again

After the experience of the bitter disappointment of the Advent believers was illustrated to the Revelator, the angel said, “Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” 26 In the Revelation, after the prophecy of the seven seals is presented, there is a prophecy of seven trumpets. This command to prophecy again is given after the sixth trumpet is sounded. Because trumpets were blown each time the people “sealed the city” in their symbolic marches around Jericho, we understand that these trumpet-bearing angels in Revelation also sounded during their corresponding unsealing.

This indicates that after the sixth seal would open, the sixth trumpet would sound. The prophecy of the sixth trumpet begins with a peculiar and precise time prophecy that was interpreted by Josiah Litch to conclude on August 11, 1840. The details of the fulfillment of his interpretation, and its subsequent repetition may be found in the previous article, Last Call. It was in the same prophecy of the sixth trumpet that the command was given to prophecy again, repeating the prophecies just covered. Thus, as we saw before, the round of six seals (as well as their corresponding trumpets) must have a dual fulfillment, repeating after that special light was given in 1844.

The unorganized handful of people from various denominations, who had followed Christ’s movements by faith in the heavenly sanctuary, was chosen by God to be His people who were to proclaim the last message of mercy to the world, and to become prepared to stand in the great Day of the Lord. Though not a great people, He looked after them as the apple of His eye.

For the LORD'S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. (Deuteronomy 32:9-10)

He watched over this small group of people, leading and instructing them along their journey. Among them were James White and Ellen Harmon, who later married and dedicated their lives to help spread far and wide the beautiful message God had given them. Soon after the disappointment, God began to give Ellen Harmon dreams and visions that would confirm the little company in their studies. While these were sincere students of the word, they were not all ready to accept that this was indeed God’s instruction being given to her. In the article, 17 Moons and a White Horse the story is related of a notable experience when one solid believer among them by the name of Joseph Bates was finally convinced of her prophetic gift. God knew their concerns and satisfied them with the evidence they needed, while not removing all doubt, lest they not be able to exercise faith.

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13)

These gifts were prevalent in the early church, when the early rain of the Holy Spirit was fresh. But in time, as His people lost their first love, and weren’t so zealous to heed the Holy Spirit in all things, the gifts were manifested less frequently. However, when He began to awaken His people and they came together to study again with the Holy Spirit, and followed Him earnestly, then He was able to manifest more of His gifts.

Throughout the remainder of her life, the ministry of Ellen White provided much encouragement, instruction, reproof, and prophetic insight for the fledgling church. It was a gift, much to be appreciated, for it gave them additional support and confirmation during the growth of the movement. Although formally she only had a third-grade education and was physically very frail, God made His strength perfect in her weakness, and over her lifetime, by heeding His counsel, she became stronger and better equipped to handle the demands of her ministry. Today, there is much relevant light that still shines through the nearly 100,000 pages that she wrote.

The signs that the end was near had their effect, and the Great Awakening was the result. God was awakening His sleeping people, so they would be ready for the movement He was initiating. It was time for Him to ride the white horse again, and with the awakened people, He was able to do that. But as seal after seal was opened for the second time, the same history was repeated. Their zeal, strong at first, soon began to wane, and eventually led to apathy and deep apostasy at the highest levels of the church that organized from that small company of initial believers. By the time the fourth seal opened, the beautiful white horse of the initial years was now depicted in pallid tones. It was no longer the Life-Giver, Jesus, but Death who was riding the movement, with Hell following behind. What could bring the vigor of life back to this deathly ill people?

As Christians, we are called to be a revelation of Jesus Christ to the world, but this is not possible without receiving His Spirit.

Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth. (Hosea 6:3)

At the time of Pentecost, after Jesus had ascended to heaven, His disciples received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This initial watering was needed to germinate the seeds of truth that were then being planted, that they might grow and bear fruit. But to bring the fruit to maturity, another rain was needed. The latter rain symbolizes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit just before the great harvest of the earth, to supply the extra demand of the developing fruit. For the dying church of the pallid horse, Jesus opens the fifth seal to bring renewed life and energy to produce the fruit of His Spirit that is needed for the world to see and partake of.

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? (Revelation 6:9-10)

The altar referred to in this passage is the altar of sacrifice. Notice that the souls are crying out from under the altar. It must have been awfully cramped down there! No, obviously this is figurative language, and we can understand it when we consider what was under the altar.

And thou shalt take of the blood of the bullock, and put it upon the horns of the altar with thy finger, and pour all the blood beside the bottom of the altar. (Exodus 29:12)

The blood of the sacrifices was poured out beside the altar. These souls who were slain for the word of God and for their testimony are represented by their blood, which has collected beneath the altar. The blood of the first martyr, Abel, is among them, and as it cried out to God at his death,27 so it cries out again at this time.

There is a last generation, and all of the righteous blood of those martyrs will be required of that generation. Hear the words of Jesus:

Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. (Matthew 23:33-36)

In 2010, a study was published relating the constellation of Orion (the Hunter who is poised to crush the head of the serpent) to the Heavenly Sanctuary according to the pattern given in Revelation 4 & 5. In this study, the repeating seals are shown to correspond with historical occurrences within the small company of Advent believers who later organized as the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The seven stars of Orion form a clock that marks several very important events in the history of this people.

In the story of Job, when God speaks to him out of the whirlwind, one of the questions He asks him gives us some useful information about this constellation. He asks, “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?” 28 God indicates that Orion has bands that Job, by implication, cannot loose. Does that sound familiar? That’s right—this is a reference to the seals of Revelation that only the Lamb (Jesus) was found worthy to loose. These seals are associated with Orion in this passage. Furthermore, the word translated, “Pleiades,” literally means, “seven stars.” Thus, the verse literally reads, “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of the seven stars…?” What we see is an example of Hebrew poetic parallelism. It is often the case in Hebrew poetry that the second half of a line will repeat the thought of the first, introducing a little change. This is the case here. In the first part, it refers to the seven stars, while in the second part, it says Orion. But these are really both referring to the same constellation, and God is also telling us that in the seven stars of Orion, we will find a message with sweet influences that are to be bound (to us). These sweet influences come from God’s law:

Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart. (Proverbs 7:2-3)

Indeed, the message in Orion is one of transformation of character, carried out by the Holy Spirit.

It is not always the most learned presentation of God's truth that convicts and converts the soul. Not by eloquence or logic are men's hearts reached, but by the sweet influences of the Holy Spirit, which operate quietly yet surely in transforming and developing character. It is the still, small voice of the Spirit of God that has power to change the heart. {PK 169.1}29

Another reference to Orion in the Bible shows us that it is indeed associated with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit:

Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name: (Amos 5:8)

Associated with the seven stars and Orion is such an outpouring of rain that it is described as taking the water of the sea and pouring it out copiously on the earth! This is on par with the Angel of Revelation 18:1 that comes down to the earth and lights the whole planet with its glory. These describe the great power that will attend the last message as He sends His Light to this dark world, turning “the shadow of death into the morning.” The rain has already begun to fall since 2010, and is daily increasing in intensity.

The Signs Repeat

The opening of the sixth seal, where the signs of the end are recorded, must occur after the opening of the fifth seal in 2010, when the Father gave the Orion Message to the world. The first sign of the sixth seal, as we saw before, is a great earthquake. Do you remember any notable earthquakes after 2010 that might qualify?

It was mid-afternoon on Friday, March 11, 2011 when the shaking began and it lasted several minutes. Soon a massive, 20-foot–high wave of water began to move inland, flooding a significant percentage of Japan’s tsunami evacuation sites, because they were not constructed to defend against such a huge tsunami. The coastline was devastated; 1.2 million buildings were damaged or destroyed, and 15 – 20,000 people lost their lives. Another 452,000 had to unexpectedly cope with life in a crowded shelter.

 

It was among the strongest earthquakes ever recorded, shifting the earth’s axis by several inches, but what makes this earthquake unprecedented in its global impact is the fact that on the shoreline, a six-reactor nuclear power plant suffered severe damage to three of its reactors.

A nuclear power plant operates by using the heat from radioactive materials to generate steam, which then powers a turbine, from which electricity is generated. The nuclear heat sources must have water to keep them from overheating, though. Have you ever noticed how a dry pot on the stove will get much hotter—even discoloring the metal due to heat—than one with water in it? The same principle applies in a nuclear reactor. The concentrated amounts of highly radioactive material that are used in the reactor core, generates an incredible amount of heat, and just like the pot on the stove, it needs water to absorb (and carry away) some of that heat, or it will overheat. Unfortunately, while you can control the heat on your stove, there is nothing that can be done to “turn off” the heat-producing radioactivity of the reactor cores. The only way they are regulated is by using “control rods” that absorb some of that radiation. But although this provides some control for the water heating rate, it is not effective without the cooling water. From their construction to their “decommissioning,” reactor cores must be constantly cooled.

As an uncooled reactor core heats up, it can get very hot before anything starts to happen, but at about 1500°C (2700°F), it begins to melt the control rods. That means that whatever “control” they may have provided will be gone, and the temperature continues to rise. At 1800°C (3300°F), the outer casing on the reactor fuel begins to melt, and the temperature continues to rise. Within hours without cooling water, the temperature may reach 2400°C (4400°F) or even higher, and at this point, the reactor core itself melts and forms a puddle at the bottom of the reactor vessel.

But there are not many materials that can withstand this temperature. The hot puddle then begins to eat away the containment vessel and continues on a downward path, decomposing or melting whatever is in its path until it mixes with enough other material so that it cools down enough to solidify again.

Radioactive water storage tanksThis is what happened in three of the reactors at the Fukushima Dai’ichi plant due to lost power and failed backup power generation due to the overwhelming size of the tsunami. But what’s worse is that they could not even determine the status of the melted cores—how far down they got or what their condition was—because the radiation levels were too high to make observations. Even robots couldn’t go in, because the radiation interferes with their electronics, and they would fail. All they could do was dump lots of water in, and hope they were cooling off. Since then, the fact that highly radioactive “black dirt” has been found on the streets in the area has been raising concerns. Analysis of the material reveals that it is likely remnants of the reactor cores, whose status they could not determine. Different ideas exist as to how it made it to the external environment, but the disintegration and dispersal of fuel rods is a known phenomenon and may explain the mysterious “black dirt.”

In the nearly three years since the earthquake, every day some 300 tons of groundwater has been flowing into the contaminated plant and becomes radioactive (albeit relatively mildly) on its way into the ocean. Another 100 tons each day is used in an effort to cool what remains of the reactors, and becomes exceedingly radioactive. This water is being stored in large above-ground storage tanks. Currently, there are nearly half-a-million tons of highly-radioactive water stored in these tanks. But about a third of the tanks (over 300) are of a poor quality and several have had significant problems with leaking.

Tsunami ocean debrisAlready the rate of thyroid cancer in children in the area has seen a major rise. While it remains to be confirmed whether it is due to the increased radioactivity or not, it is certainly highly suspect! One could continue for a long time describing all of the hazards associated with the disaster, but the fact that this power plant is positioned right on the world’s largest ocean means there are necessarily world-wide effects. There is an enormous collection of tsunami debris that has been collecting and drifting in the ocean, and with it, some 165 non-native species of marine creatures. This has the potential to wreak havoc on the ecosystems where the trash may end up. This already happened in Guam, where non-native snakes have multiplied dramatically. Animal deathsVarious kinds of sea creatures have mysteriously been showing up dead in mass numbers all around the world.

There is truly no other disaster that has happened in recorded history that has the kind of adverse global impact that this wounded and bleeding nuclear plant has had, and will continue to have. That is what makes it a sign of apocalyptic proportions; the fulfillment of the prophesied earthquake of the repeated sixth seal.

An Omen in the Sun

Following the earthquake, the prophecy indicates that there would be signs in the sun and the moon. The Dark Day of 1780 was caused by effects on the earth, but in our day, the sun itself becomes dark. Analogous to the atmosphere of earth, there is an envelope of super-heated plasma around the sun, called the corona. Under typical circumstances, the magnetic field of the sun holds the corona onto the surface, but at times small areas of the magnetic field rupture and this releases the corona in that area at a high speed. In the summer of 2013, it was the calmest Giant hole in the sunsolar maximum that has been observed since the beginning of the 1900s, and a time when holes are not common, yet a massive rupture created a hole in the sun uncovering about one quarter of its surface! This made headlines all around the globe.

While there was no visible difference in its appearance to human eyes, when pictured in high-frequency light, it is clearly revealed as a huge, black hole. Scientists are uncertain as to what causes this kind of phenomenon, but have observed that they usually occur when the sun is near its peak activity, and can last up to several weeks or even months. This darkening of the sun was particularly long-lasting, appearing during six rotations of the sun from May – October, causing some disturbances in communications signals during that time. Many have already associated this occurrence with the sun becoming black as described in the sixth seal.

But there is something more significant in relation to this sign. The signs are just that—signs that something is going to happen in the future. They are a foreshadowing of the planetary tumult to precede the return of Christ. One of the ubiquitous characteristics throughout all of the heathen nations was the supremacy of the sun-god. Their names for it varied, but the sun was still venerated. The sun-god is, of course, Lucifer, the Light-Bearer and morning star who became the devil. The ancient Egyptians worshiped various gods, including the sun, and God sent plagues on them to reveal that He was the Creator and Master over all other gods, including the sun.

And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. (Exodus 10:21-23)

Today, you may think that the only sun-worshipers are certain strange idolaters in remote villages of third-world countries. But the evidence is all around us that there are disguised sun-worshipers hidden in our midst. In plain view on the dollar bill is the Luciferian all-seeing eye at the top of the pyramid. Is that a symbol that you would include just because it looks nice? Or do you think that it is indicative that the leadership of this nation may have ties with Luciferian worship, which sun-worship represents? Many political, business, financial, and even church leaders are, behind closed doors, sun-worshipers. The Bible also makes reference to this regarding His people. He addresses ancient Israel, but God’s people today will find the same situation among the leadership of their church, virtually without exception. God took Ezekiel step-by-step, closer and closer to the leadership of the temple, showing him all the abominations that were being committed at every level. This is what he saw:

And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD'S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east. (Ezekiel 8:16)

These were the religious leaders of God’s people—with their backs toward the temple, worshipping the sun! And so it is today, and we see evidence of that in the symbolism that is used in their logos and media. Since the failure of the Tower of Babel and the confusion of the languages, man has sought to recover by using a unified symbolic language, and under the instruction of the devil is creating a unified one-world government. But it is not the purpose of this article to provide thorough evidence for that. It is mentioned here, just to make the reader aware, if not already, that there are many idolatrous sun-worshipers in all ranks of society, especially in the leadership roles. Many among the common population unwittingly worship the sun as well, by keeping the Sunday holy as opposed to the biblical Sabbath.

Unwitting sun-worshipGod is aware of that idolatry, and will judge the rebellious idolaters according to their works. But He would rather that the idolatry was forsaken and they put their energies into a better cause. It is a dog-eat-dog world in the self-seeking rebel government of Satan. But with Christ, all things are freely given in an open and happy atmosphere. No effort needs to be expended to hide dark secrets from others, for in Christ, there is only crystal clarity. He will protect all who choose to abandon the ranks of darkness, no matter how committed they were.

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. (John 10:28-29)

The devil may promise great wealth and pleasure on this earth, but in the end (which is scarcely in the future), there is eternal loss. Christ promises safety from the devil’s attacks and an eternity of life with Him, who loves us infinitely. Lucifer himself will be reduced to ashes, along with the children of pride who follow after his spirit. “Therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.” 30 And the sign of his destruction was foreshadowed millennia ago by the three dark days in Egypt. Again today, the sun gives a foreboding warning to all who follow the false light of the sun-god, Lucifer, whether directly, or by partaking of his spirit of pride and self-exaltation.

God plagued the Egyptians by blotting out the light of the sun for three days, and He will plague the wicked at the final judgment by turning up the heat:

And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. (Revelation 16:8)

The blackening of the sun happens as a result of losing part of its atmosphere, the corona. We are still in a time of mercy, so this is just a small hint at what will happen in the future. Power will be given to the sun that will cause its hot outer layers to expand enough that men will be scorched with great heat. This expansion of the outer layers is the first step in the death of a star like our sun. The sun is credited as the supporter of all life on earth, but the truth is that the Creator, our Savior, is the true Life-Giver and supporter, and those who harden their hearts against His love, will finally receive the reward of their dying solar “life-giver.”

Scientists may estimate the future life of the sun to be billions of years, but they do not have all of the evidence. They do not even know what causes the coronal holes to form! The physics of the sun is incredibly complex, and there is plenty of room for surprises.

The only other place in the Scriptures where the word “scorched” is used is in the parable that Jesus gave of the sower. When the sower sowed his seeds, some fell among the stones. These represent those who have hardened their hearts. The good seed is the wonderful message of a loving God who, at infinite cost to Himself, sent His Son to free us from the burden of our guilt and to empower us to live according to His Spirit. But when it falls among stony hearts, unwilling to yield in humility, they receive the plague:

Some [seeds] fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. (Matthew 13:5-6)

At first, they spring up in joyous response to the Gospel, but their stony heart cannot support growth. Having never been broken on the Rock, Jesus, these stony-hearted ones end up becoming scorched by the sun in the fourth plague.

Let us give our hearts to God; for we have only a little time remaining. We are living in the last days. On every hand are signs of the end. Life is becoming more and still more uncertain. We hear of numerous wrecks and other disasters; we hear of many who are killed in an instant, without a moment's warning. Let us determine not to wait until a more convenient season before preparing to meet the Lord in peace when he comes. Let us give ourselves wholly to him, and then work for the salvation of other souls, from house to house, and wherever we may be. {RH June 14, 1906, par. 22}31

If you, dear reader, see that you have a heart of stone, unbending, unyielding to the Spirit’s efforts; waste no time to come to Jesus and be broken. Yes, it will be painful, but less so than the scorching heat of the dying sun. He will receive you in peace, and you can rest from your resistance. If you do not repent now, while there is mercy, the scorching sun will only harden your heart further:

And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. (Revelation 16:9)

Blood Moons

Blood moonRecently, another planetary phenomenon has garnered wide-spread interest, especially in the religious community: the blood moon tetrads. A tetrad is a series of four total lunar eclipses in a row (without any intervening partial lunar eclipses). On average a little over 1 in four lunar eclipses are total eclipses, also known as blood moons for the blood-red appearance that washes over the moon as it completely enters the shadow of earth. In a typical year, there are two lunar eclipses, so a tetrad spans two years. The tetrads are not common—only 2-3 occur in a century on average, and even less common are those tetrads that highlight the Jewish feasts. In 2014 and 2015, we are in the midst of just such a tetrad. Each of the four blood moons in the tetrad occurs during the Jewish feast seasons in the spring and autumn of these years.

2014/2015 blood moon tetradThe last of the four blood moons of the current tetrad is called a “supermoon” because it is when the moon appears slightly larger, being at its closest to earth. While this is associated with increases in certain physical influences (such as greater tides, etc.), as a sign, it places extra emphasis on the autumn feasts of 2015. Would it not be well for us to consider what the message of the feasts is, to which these blood moons are pointing?

Many are quick to turn their eyes to Israel in expectation of what these signs mean, but who is Israel? “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” 32 Friends, ever since the nation of Israel rejected their Savior and stoned His servant Stephen, they were cut off from their own tree. Those who by faith accept Christ and His Spirit are the ones who constitute Israel today. The devil seeks to draw attention to literal Israel, because he doesn’t want you to see the truth. Whatever may happen in the state of Israel, you can be sure that it is not a proper fulfilment of prophecy, for the prophecies are now fulfilled to spiritual Israel.

The feasts that God gave to Israel were at either end of the agricultural season. This is representative of God’s work with man. We are the crop that God desires a harvest from. The spring feasts represent His first advent in the flesh, when He came to sow His good seed, while the autumn feasts represent His second advent, when He will come for the harvest. Associated with the spring feasts is the feast of weeks, or Pentecost, represented the outpouring of His Spirit like rain to support and develop the crop.

There is much treasure buried in these feasts. The article series, Shadows of the Sacrifices, explains some of the significance of these feasts for our day. Some of it serves as a specific warning, and this is what the moons are signaling. The Jewish calendar was based primarily on the moon and their crops. Thus, by using moons to highlight the Jewish feasts, God is at the same time pointing to their calendar. But the modern calendar that is in common use is not according to the biblical account. We cannot trust a man-made calendar to give accurate information regarding the prophecies of God! No, but we must verify that we have God’s original calendar, and then we will discern something of His Clock. The focal point of the studies that elucidate God’s calendar is the cross of Jesus Christ, and in the article, Full Moon at Gethsemane, certain details of God’s calendar are determined, which are discernable only by studying Christ’s crucifixion. The blood moons of the tetrad that occur during Passover, therefore, are a sign directing the world to that foundational study. It was according to that calendar that the events surrounding Christ’s first advent played out. And according to the same calendar, the events surrounding His second advent will come to pass. The blood moons falling within the autumn feasts point to an application of God’s calendar to the season of the Second Advent.

It is not a coincidence that it is a tetrad that forms this special sign. The number four represents the entirety of creation. There are four directions (north, south, east, and west), four seasons, four states of matter (solid, liquid, gas, and plasma), four dimensions (width, length, depth, and time), etc. These are all universal throughout the realm of man. Thus, the tetrad with its four blood moons represents a message that is given for the whole world. However, they are in two pairs: the first in the spring and autumn of 2014, and the second in the same seasons of 2015. This is because the first two represented a warning that was given to a smaller group.

The Orion Message as a whole is the warning that was first given to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. They were the ones who grew out of the initial company of believers who followed Jesus by faith into the second compartment of the heavenly sanctuary in 1844. They are the modern counterpart to ancient Israel. So the parable that Jesus spoke of the Jews in His day also applies today:

He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down. (Luke 13:6-9)

The Orion Message is well represented by the autumn feast, because it has everything to do with Yom Kippur. It is the Judgment-Hour Clock, which began and ends on the Day of Atonement. This Message was first published in 2010, directed toward the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Jesus (as seen in Orion) came to His people that year, seeking fruit from His fig tree, but He found none. The year of God’s calendar begins in the autumn, so the 2010 year ended in autumn of 2011. The second year, 2011-2012 came and went, but no fruit. There was still no fruit the third year, 2012-2013. But in His mercy, the Holy Spirit pleaded that it be spared one more year, when He would “dig about it and dung it.” However, the fourth year came and went without producing the desired fruit, and in the autumn of 2014, after four years of opportunity, the sorrowful decision was made: “Cut it down.” The first two blood moons passed for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but now the opportunity is given to those outside of “Jerusalem,” and for these, the remaining blood moons apply.

The last of the moons—the supermoon—also comes during the autumn feasts. It is a closer moon because it is a special warning. The Day of Atonement in 2015, according to God’s calendar, is the last day before the seven last plagues begin. Everyone’s decisions will have been made. The martyrs will have given their last testimony. The Judgment of the Living will have ended, and Jesus will have no need any more to intercede on behalf of humanity. It is the time when that solemn proclamation will be given:

He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. (Revelation 22:11)

The righteous are shut up into the ark of safety as was Noah and his family, and having waited seven days, the rain of Judgments, unmixed with mercy, begins to fall. It is the great day of God’s wrath, and only those who are sealed with the seal of God will be spared from the wrath that is poured out all around them.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. (Psalm 91:4-10)

This is the final warning that the great Day of Wrath is at our heels. Thousands of years ago, the Bible gave the signs that we are witnessing in the heavenly bodies at this time, because from the beginning, God knew when it would come:

The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. (Joel 2:31)

The signs of the sixth seal from the first cycle of seals were relatively mild in comparison with the repetition. While the Lisbon earthquake had a world-wide impact, it was nothing like the world-wide devastation with which the Japan earthquake now threatens the globe. The drifting soot of a forest fire is far more benign than the first ominous signs that our sun is actually beginning its shutdown procedure in preparation for the end of creation. The single blood moon after the smoke cleared from the Dark Day was not even from a celestial cause, but the blood moon tetrad is not only celestial, but very precise and clearly points us to look deeper into the Jewish feasts and discern how they apply to us in the last days of Earth’s history. Let us not quiet our conscience because there may be some lingering questions. Act in faith!

There are in the world today many who close their eyes to the evidences that Christ has given to warn men of His coming. They seek to quiet all apprehension, while at the same time the signs of the end are rapidly fulfilling, and the world is hastening to the time when the Son of man shall be revealed in the clouds of heaven. Paul teaches that it is sinful to be indifferent to the signs which are to precede the second coming of Christ. Those guilty of this neglect he calls children of the night and of darkness. He encourages the vigilant and watchful with these words: “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” {AA 260.1}33

When It May Be Too Late

The falling stars in 1833, while dazzling in their beauty and alarming for the unprepared, were also a mere signal. The one sign remaining before the day of God’s wrath comes, is the repetition of the falling stars. Of all the signs, this is surely the most intense, for the falling stars of the repetition will not be restricted to the sky, but will wreak havoc on the earth as no disaster has done before.

Meteor showers are a result of the earth passing through a trail of particles the size of grains of sand or small stones left behind from a comet. As the particles enter the atmosphere, they get very hot and begin to radiate brightly as they vaporize. Most of the time, due to their small size, they completely burn away long before they ever reach the surface of the earth. From time to time, however, a few meteors do reach the surface (when they are called meteorites).

The repetition of the falling stars could be as simple as an extension of the wondrous display in 1833, except from large rocks instead of small sand. In the Bible, there are a few examples of destruction caused by falling objects from outer space. One of the plagues of Egypt was that of hail mingled with fire:

So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. (Exodus 9:24)

This burning hail was obviously not the hail we are familiar with from bad storms, because ice couldn’t be made to burn. Rather, this hail must have been burning stones, having ignited due to the intense heat generated upon entering the earth’s atmosphere. Another interesting biblical example is that of Sodom and Gomorrah—two cities upon which was rained fire and brimstone, causing their destruction. It is known that meteorites and cometary material are abundant in sulfur, making them potential candidates for that event.

God clearly indicated to Job that He would use a similar form of judgment in the time of trouble:

Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war? (Job 38:22-23)

Indeed, the depiction of the falling stars according to the biblical text includes more than merely a dazzling nighttime display.

And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. (Revelation 6:13)

They did not just figuratively fall, but the text says specifically that they fell “unto the earth.” That means that a complete fulfillment would involve impact on the surface of the earth. And that is just what the repetition will include.

Two dreams of Ellen White are relevant to this and give a better idea of the magnitude to expect of this wonder.

Last Friday morning, just before I awoke, a very impressive scene was presented before me. I seemed to awake from sleep but was not in my home. From the windows I could behold a terrible conflagration. Great balls of fire were falling upon houses, and from these balls fiery arrows were flying in every direction. It was impossible to check the fires that were kindled, and many places were being destroyed. The terror of the people was indescribable. After a time I awoke and found myself at home. {LDE 24.3}34

In the visions of the night a very impressive scene passed before me. I saw an immense ball of fire fall among some beautiful mansions, causing their instant destruction. I heard someone say: "We knew that the judgments of God were coming upon the earth, but we did not know that they would come so soon." Others, with agonized voices, said: "You knew! Why then did you not tell us? We did not know." On every side I heard similar words of reproach spoken. {9T 28.1}35

Did you notice how she specifically mentions those who did not know when the judgments would come? These are the untimely figs of the text. They are unripe, because of being out of season. Because they did not know the time of their visitation, they did not discern the season, and were found unprepared to meet the storm; they are shaken out by the mighty wind and are unable to fulfill the calling that God had called them to.

The falling of the stars in the repeated sixth seal is not a sign to wait for before you decide for God. Many will lose their lives in this event. Not all will have prepared. Now is the opportunity to do so. Learn now, study now, and seek the Wounded One now, who is portrayed in Orion, that you may know the time of your visitation. Believe the many small evidences rather than wait until the inescapable evidence arrives. Jesus is looking for faith, and that must be demonstrated by His people. “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” 36 Will He find it in you?

The Last Generation of the Living

While the first signs signaled the coming Day of Judgment, the repeated signs signal the coming Day of Wrath. In both cases, they serve as warnings. Our God is a loving God. He is coming very soon, and He needs a people who will be able to stand in the fullness of Christ, representing Him during the time when His wrath is being poured out without mercy on the wicked. After the signs of the sixth seal are given, the great day of His wrath comes, and a question is asked:

For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Revelation 6:17)

The whole of chapter 7 is an answer to this question. Before the four winds are loosed, representing the time of strife before the coming of the last plagues, an angel comes with a seal, “Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” 37 These servants of God, who are sealed in their minds, are those who will be enabled to stand in the day of His wrath. This is the last generation of the righteous; of whom David wrote as he concluded the psalm that Jesus began to quote on the cross. Hanging there in our place, Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” 38 As He poured Himself out and the dogs compassed Him, He saw “the travail of his soul,” 39 and was comforted:

A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this. (Psalm 22:30-31)

In the last generation, those who are sealed by the angel as described in Revelation 7 have demonstrated their faith and willingness to give all for Jesus. David saw that there would be servants, counted as a generation, who would declare God’s righteousness to the others of their time (the “people that shall be born”). It is a remarkable time in history that we are witnessing. It is a time of Judgment, and the inhabitants of earth are being polarized by their choices. It is now as it was in the days of Noah, when God warned that His Spirit shall not always strive with men.40 The Spirit of God is still continuing to strive with man, but He is being withdrawn as the world steadfastly resists Him, and very soon, He will cease striving, and only abide with those who have learned not to resist Him.

Let the prayer go up to God, “Create in me a clean heart;” for a pure, cleansed soul has Christ abiding therein, and out of the abundance of the heart are the issues of life. The human will is to be yielded to Christ. Instead of passing on, closing the heart in selfishness, there is need of opening the heart to the sweet influences of the Spirit of God. Practical religion breathes its fragrance everywhere. It is a savor of life unto life. {3BC 1157.7}41

In that declaration of His righteousness, made possible by becoming filled with all the fullness of God,42 the salvation of man is confirmed: a generation stands saved from sin, revealing only Jesus in their character. “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” 43

It is for the preparation of this generation that the signs of the sixth seal are given. It was ever God’s purpose that He would have a people in whom He could freely manifest Himself. When He writes His law on the tables of our heart, He gives us the promise:

And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. (Leviticus 26:11-12)

This is the restoration that God is looking for. Just as He walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the Garden of Eden, so He desires to walk with us. He has set His sanctuary among us, so that He can take away our sin, which His soul abhors. Then we shall be His people who declare, through revealing His character even in a time of great persecution and tribulation, that He is our God. This is the purpose of the Orion Message.

Therefore, the seventh seal opens at the time of the Judgment of the Living. This is the time when the last generation—the living—is to be identified, and the righteous filled and sealed with the Holy Spirit in order to fully reveal the power of Christ’s salvation by declaring His untainted righteousness in our decrepit, sinful flesh.

And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. (Revelation 8:1)

In the Clock of God in Orion (heaven), an hour is seven years on earth.44 Therefore, the space of half an hour in heaven is three-and-a-half years on earth. This is the duration of the Judgment of the Living, in perfect harmony with the twelfth chapter of Daniel, where the same time frame is given using the terms, “a time, times, and an half” 45 (a “time” in the Bible indicates a year, so this is 1 year + 2 years + ½ year = 3 ½ years). The Clock of God gives us the ending date: Yom Kippur of 2015. In the days of Noah, the righteous were sealed into the ark, and the wicked were sealed out of the ark. Then, after seven days of waiting, the merciless rains began to fall on all those without shelter in the ark. Jesus said that in the end, it would be as it was in Noah’s day,46 so we understand from this that seven days earlier, the righteous are sealed into the ark. Counting back from Yom Kippur (October 24, 2015) these 7 days and three-and-a-half literal years (1260 days) brings us to May 6, 2012 as the beginning of the Judgment of the Living. This is when the seventh seal opened!

After this period has finished, all will have made their decisions and will be sealed in righteousness or marked in selfishness, signaling the time to pour out the final, merciless judgments on the wicked, while protecting the servants of God. We now have less than one year remaining until the time of mercy finally transitions to the time of no mercy. It is at that time that the revelation of the mystery of God is complete. The seven seals are fully opened, the seven trumpets have sounded, and God’s servants fully reflect Christ, who is in them.

The astute student will notice that at the time of the opening of the seventh seal, only the first sign in the sixth seal had occurred (the Japan earthquake). It is the same with the fifth seal as well, which speaks of the martyrs and waiting until their number would be fulfilled. Once the last martyr has given his testimony, the seals are completely open. It is almost as though Jesus is anxious to open up the scroll! At first, He opens each seal completely before opening the next, but with the last seals, the rapid events begin as He pops off the seals in such rapid succession that before one falls off, the next is already opening. Time is very short now. There are no more seals to be opened. These last three seals all find their end at the termination of Jesus’ ministration in heaven, when every testimony has been given and every decision is made, which is Yom Kippur in the autumn of 2015.

A Heavenly Perspective

It would be well for us to understand why the Judgment of the Living is a time of silence in heaven. In order to see this, it is important to realize that the inhabitants of heaven are watching what is transpiring on this earth, “for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” 47 Now think about the situation from the perspective of heaven.

It was from heaven that Lucifer fell, and began to tempt and deceive the human race. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” 48 At the cross, the Revelator represents Satan as losing his place in heaven:

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Revelation 12:7-11)

The war began in heaven, where Satan dwelt before his rebellion, but the time when he was cast out of heaven with his angels, was not until he was completely unmasked before the unfallen worlds at the cross. It was there that the end result of his rebel government was seen. At the same time, they could see the contrast with the benevolent, selfless character of their own Master. And Satan, with his venomous fury, sought to bring the Son of God to commit just the smallest error. Even one sin in a moment of extreme pressure would have rendered the entire plan of salvation ineffectual, for Jesus, then, would have died for His own sin. Only a sinless sacrifice could atone for the broken law.

The law of God is the constitution of His government. It represents how He operates in all matters, and it points out the way of life, because He is the source of life. “And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them.” 49 Just as the rules of a classroom reflect the nature and character of the teacher, so the law of God reflects His nature, His character. God’s character does not change, nor can His law. “For I am the LORD, I change not.” 50 If His law could be altered, Jesus would not have needed to die. What was it that condemned man? It was the law. Jesus took man’s condemnation because it could not be lifted any other way than for man to accept the gift of God’s own righteous obedience to the law, and for Him to take man’s condemnation. It is not the removal or alteration of the law that frees us from its condemnation, but the perfect adherence to it that Jesus demonstrated in His humanity, which adherence was given to us by His Spirit dwelling in us.

But in heaven, Lucifer thought his ideas of government would be better. He began to doubt that God had his best interest in mind, and thought that he would be better off making his own rules. We see this attitude still expressed in his followers today. Many today seek their own selfish interests, because they think that it makes them happier than if they were to follow God. They think this because they have been deceived into thinking that God does not have their best interest in mind. As soon as one begins to seek his own interest, deception begins to manifest, because cloaking your real intentions and portraying yourself in a more favorable light is more likely to gain the support of others. But God’s law forbids such dishonesty. He has no need to hide His motivation, because there is nothing self-serving about it; nothing that isn’t by nature favorable to those who might discern it; it is pure, selfless love, and needs no concealment.

This is the contrast that was portrayed on the cross. The deceptiveness and secrecy of Satan made it difficult to discern his motives at first, but at the cross, all was made plain to the onlooking universe. They saw his malicious intent against the Son of God, and ultimately against God Himself, side-by-side with the utter humility and selflessness of Jesus, who was willing to permanently assume the form of humanity, and even subjected Himself to the shame of the cross, all because He loved mankind, and this was needful in order that they could have life. He did not consider the infinite cost to Himself too much to pay, because He had not the least bit of self-concern. He only saw the good that it would do for humanity.

Angels were present in the judgment hall, and when Christ was scourged with the cruel thongs, they could scarcely endure the sight. Angels of heaven were present at His death. The darkness that covered the earth at His crucifixion concealed the company of heaven’s powerful agencies, but the earth quaked at the tread of the heavenly throng. The rocks were rent; for three hours the earth was shrouded in impenetrable darkness; nature with her dark robes hid the sufferings of the Son of God. {5MR 353.1}51

It was this contrast that caused Satan’s former companions to lose all sympathy for him in their hearts. Thus, having no more place for him in their hearts, he was cast out of heaven. Until that time, although it was no longer his dwelling, he still had access on occasion, as the first two chapters of the book of Job make clear.

Imagine the angels looking on this scene of intense conflict. Would the devil succeed in his vicious attempts to cause their beloved King to fall in His weakness as a frail human being? With what interest would they watch as the ones for whom He was giving His life scourged Him, spat in His face, plucked out His beard, stripped Him naked, nailed Him to a cross, and invited Him to demonstrate His divinity by selfishly saving Himself instead of man! With baited breath, they were watching these scenes as they unfolded, lest they miss any detail. There was silence in heaven at that time, because of the magnitude of what was at stake, and the vulnerability it had been subjected to.

The Second Half of Salvation

The contrast displayed to the unfallen beings was not clear to earth-dwellers. Satan’s deceptions have not been seen for what they are. On the cross, Jesus made it possible for us to choose the good and forsake evil. But until the world sees what the angelic host saw at the cross, they will not have a true picture of reality, which is necessary in order to make an informed choice. Jesus is the centerpiece of the plan of salvation. His exemplary life and sacrificial death in the midst of the fierce temptations of the enemy of souls proved to the angels and unfallen worlds that the law of His government was truly “holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” 52 At the same time, it completely unmasked the devil’s true character, and the nature of his rebel government.

In order to make that contrast clear in the sight of humanity, the scenes of the cross must be played out again; only now, it must be done entirely in the form of visible humanity. Man could not perceive Satan’s influence over Jesus’ life, because he was hidden from their view. But when Satan uses his human agents to persecute and tempt those who desire to serve God, and have given themselves wholly to Him, to be filled with His Spirit—then the contrast will be seen in humanity by humanity. The holy character of the law of God will be written in the hearts of His people, and they will be sealed with the Holy Spirit. For the humble in heart, who fall on the Rock to break down their pride, the fiery trials of intense persecution will serve only to refine them, and the character of Christ in them will shine ever brighter. This is “The revelation of Jesus Christ” 53 that will complete the plan of salvation.

Most of Christianity has failed to realize that Jesus’ three-and-a-half year ministry was only half of the process. When Jesus cried, “It is finished,” He declared that He had completed the work that God had given Him to do in the flesh. But there was a work remaining to be done, as represented in the duration of His ministry. The number of completion is seven. Jesus’ ministry was half of this, and was therefore incomplete! For the unfallen beings, it was sufficient, for they could see what is invisible to us. But for humanity, there would of necessity be a second half of His ministry before the plan would be fully complete. The second half must also be three-and-a-half years in duration, to make up a complete seven years of Christ’s ministry on earth. The first half was done in the flesh of Jesus, but the second half must be done in the flesh of humanity, filled with His Spirit and emptied of self. This is the High Calling of the 144,000.

Then, and not until then, will the plan of salvation be complete, so that both the invisible, unfallen beings and visible humanity have opportunity to see the contrast between the principles of God’s government (His law), and the principles of Satan’s government. The Law of God will be written in the hearts of God’s people, and the character of Satan will be written in the hearts of the rejecters of God’s grace. The selfless love of Jesus will be revealed in those who serve Him, and this will be visibly contrasted with the venomous hatred of those who seek their own exaltation. Then man will see clearly, for it will all be done in the visible realm of humanity, and all will be able to make an informed vote as to whose government they deem best.

The plan of salvation is far deeper than merely our deliverance from the trials of earth! It covers more than the redemption of man from sin, although this is an important part, of course. But the fullness of the plan of salvation is in the vindication of the law of God; declaring that God’s law is perfect as it stands, and must not be altered. “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin,” 54 but those who have accepted the grace of Jesus in restoring our freedom of choice are not slaves, but free, and thereby qualified to be members of the jury. And their lives pronounce the verdict.

These are those who are described in response to the question, “Who shall be able to stand?” These servants of God are sealed in their foreheads. The “sweet influences of the seven stars” are bound, and by impressing the signet of His holy law in their pliable hearts—the same unchangeable law as was written with the finger of God at Sinai—the Holy Spirit seals His people.

And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. (Revelation 7:4)

These are the jury members who see Jesus in Orion, whose temple is not desolate of His presence. As the Spirit of God fills them and they minister to the world, many are led to Jesus in repentance. They see the purity and love of God in them, and they see the contrast with those who put on a cloak of godliness, but who inwardly serve only themselves.

As it was when Jesus ministered in the flesh, so now there is silence in heaven as its inhabitants intently watch the final events of history unfold. The stakes are high. The jury has not yet been fully assembled, but their number must be fulfilled in order to meet the quorum. Their beloved Master, our Father, is being tried. Will we, the jury, be convinced that His character—His law—cannot be improved upon and demonstrate this by voting on the side of obedience? Or will we cast our vote on the side of Satan, by choosing to yield to his temptations to disobey God. Remember Jesus’ words: “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” 55 So if you believe this, you cannot argue that you were compelled to disobey. Jesus overcame while in the likeness of sinful flesh, and He has given us His example, that we should do likewise.

In this three-and-a-half year phase of the Judgment of the Living, when we cast our votes, it will be as it was in Jesus’ day:

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:18-19)

How will you vote? Will you come to the light and be cleansed from your sin, casting out Satan from having a place in your heart and life, or will you cling to your filthiness and seek darkness that it might go unseen? We will all one day be brought before God, who is light, and the character we choose will be made plain in that light. Will your robe reflect the beauty of His presence, or will it be muddied and embarrassing? Thanks to Jesus, the choice is yours. How will you choose?

 

Addendum to Signs of the End

Written by Robert Dickinson
Published: Wednesday, August 24, 2016

With the publication of Anchored in Time, we have traced our faith to the end, and God has therefore given us a complete understanding of the prophecies. The “mystery of the seven stars” (the Revelation) has indeed been fully revealed. Orion allows us to harmonize the entire book of Revelation, and seeing the harmony in Chapter 14 as we explained in It is the Lord! is evidence of that. It shows that because of our faith, God has led us into all truth, which is the same as saying that Jesus will really come on October 24, 2016.

Following that through, we should also be able to completely harmonize the sixth seal finally, which we never fully understood. If our faith is really sure till the end, then the sixth seal must be understood as well. If it isn’t, then it means we have a legitimate cause for doubt and our faith is not perfect like Jesus’.

To refresh your memory, the “book” of seven seals is written on the outside and inside. The outside of the book told of the events from the early church until the judgment time. Six seals were opened during that time, but there was no seventh seal opened, because the seals had to repeat according to the pattern of the marches around Jericho. This is because the people rejected the first, simpler model of entry as we explained in the addendum to History Repeats, part II. After the sixth classical seal closed and the Day of Judgment began—the great Day of Atonement beginning in 1844—then instead of a seventh seal, there were a complete new set of seven seals, like there were seven marches around Jericho on the seventh day (instead of one march as on the first six days). This new set of seven seals corresponds to the inside of the book, which is revealed by the Orion message.

In the context of the judgment time and the Orion message, the repeated sixth seal has the following interpretation (in brackets) according to our understanding as published above (the entire seal text from Revelation 6 is quoted, with verse numbers for later reference):

12 – And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake [March 11, 2011 - Fukushima quake]; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair [summer 2013], and the moon became as blood [April 15, 2014 - Sept. 28, 2015 blood moon tetrad];

13 – And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth [this is where we got stuck...], even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

14 – And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

15 – And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

16 – And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

17 – For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

At the time we wrote this article, we could not see the fulfillment of verse 13, and we simply assumed it must be the fireballs to come. Now we are past the end of the sixth seal, because now we are in the time of plagues and the “great day of his wrath is come” (v. 17). Prophecy is given so that when it comes to pass, we will understand—and that means if we really are in the time of plagues as we believe, then we should be able to understand the entire sixth seal, since it ends at the beginning of the plagues. Let me emphasize once again that if we can’t harmonize this, then there could still be doubt that the plagues really did begin, and our faith would not be perfect—so we must be able to harmonize this.

Chelyabinsk meteorThere are different kinds of signs here: signs on earth, and signs in the heavens. The signs in the heavens are in the sky but you can’t feel them. The signs on the earth can be felt. For example, the earthquake really did affect people, but the darkening of the sun and moon were just signs in the heavens, but did not affect the earth. What about the “falling stars”? It says that the stars “of heaven” fell unto “the earth,” which means that they should be not only visible in the sky, but also something that could be felt.

The truth is, the media was full of “fireball” reports in recent years! Most of them were visible in the heavens only, but there was one that also dramatically affected the earth: the Chelyabinsk meteor of February 15, 2013. Indeed, there have been many “falling star” fireballs, but this one caused damages and injuries to some 1500 people, affecting six cities (source), and thus marks the date when we can say the sign was fulfilled that the fireballs “fell to the earth.” It is possible that this was the “one fireball” event that Ellen White dreamt about. Many buildings were affected and their glass facades were completely destroyed. People were mainly injured by this glass flying in all directions. Just look at the shockwave captured in the camera footage near the middle of this video!

Lightning strikes St. Peter's Basillica However, the prophecy is about something other than fireballs. It is about the spiritual war. In this case, there are two sides to the war, and one side is the “fallen star” Lucifer, or Satan. The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI was announced shortly before the Chelyabinsk meteor, and of course that opened the door for the election of Pope Francis, the fallen star himself. Lightning even struck St. Peter’s Basilica just hours after the papal resignation, as if to confirm the location where the “star” was falling!

And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. (Luke 10:18)

On the other side of the war are the “stars” of God—the stars of the Orion message—which also cast their light upon the earth. It says that the stars fell as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, “when she is shaken of a mighty wind.” What “mighty wind” caused a “shaking” in a “fig tree” and caused “untimely figs” to fall? The “mighty wind” is a reference to the rushing mighty wind of Pentecost as the former rain, and therefore also the gift of the Holy Spirit in the outpouring of the latter rain. This latter rain message—the Orion message—was given especially to the SDA Church (the fig tree), and it shook the church (the shaking) especially when it was accompanied by visible events, causing its “untimely figs” (anti-time-setters) to fall.

An important point is that God gave the prophecies to show the events—in this case the papal events and the Orion message—more than anything else. That is the more profound fulfillment of the text, but God also gave the physical signs gratis to help us connect the prophecy to the event. Who cares about the Chelyabinsk meteor, really!? But we care very much about the papal movements! That principle of a sign and a spiritual fulfillment is important for deciphering the rest of the sixth seal.

The heavens departed as a scrollNext, the heaven departed “as a scroll when it is rolled together.” What scroll was rolled together in the sky as the signal event to mark the end of the sixth seal and the day of wrath? This is talking about the beginning of the end of the world. The hurricanes that kept getting worse and worse in those years were the sign, until for the first time ever, three hurricanes were simultaneously registered over the Pacific on August 30, 2015, foreshadowing an important political/religious event coming in September, that decisive month of earth’s history. Hurricanes look like scrolls being rolled together from a side view. There we had three! The three parts of the Fourth Angel’s message.

Everything got worse until record-breaking Hurricane Patricia came at the end of the sixth seal—or better at the end of the seventh seal and beginning of the first plague at October 25, 2015. (Remember: the sixth and seventh seal ended together!) But again, those were just the signs! The sign is just a benefit to help us see the spiritual events. Heaven departs—as if to say the heavenly message of Orion departs, because the Holy Spirit was about to be withdrawn. It is compared to a “scroll” or book that is “rolled together” or closed. A book is closed—meaning the judgment (and thus the door of mercy) was to be closed. All seven seals were finally ended; closed. If you reject the light of the Holy Spirit now, there is no coming back. It is the world’s final test to reveal the heart—a test of time, just as it was in 1843 (see the addendum to History Repeats, part II).

Hurricane PatriciaNow the text elaborates on the closing moments, saying that “every mountain and island were moved out of their places.” That literally happened when the great deep earthquakes of recent times moved the crust of the whole earth by several inches. Every mountain and island were literally moved out of their places. In 2015, there was an earthquake of record size that is in our memory to this day: The great Nepal earthquake of April 15, 2015. It moved the Himalaya region (the biggest mountains on earth) causing avalanches on Mt. Everest and in other areas, and the capital city of Kathmandu was moved 10 feet in a matter of 30 seconds! It suffered such devastating effects that the press spoke of devastation in maps and images. Mt. Everest itself experienced a significant movement of 3 cm southwest because of the quake. It was noted that the previous great earthquakes of Japan moved the entire island and changed the axis of the earth, so it can be truly said that “every” mountain and island have been moved out of their places. So 2015 was marked by visible physical events that foreshadowed one important spiritual event.

Verses 15-17 are all connected, saying that the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the chief captains, the mighty men, every bondman and free man—in other words, virtually everybody is included by socio-economic rank—”hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains,” saying to the rocks and the mountains, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”

500 days till climate chaosLet’s break it down step by step. It all basically sounds like the end of the world. It sounds like everyone—described by class—recognizes that the end of the world is coming. Did that fulfill? What end-of-the-world did the leaders of nations talk about toward the end of the sixth seal, in 2015, prior to the close of the door of mercy? In fact, the French foreign minister had specified “500 days to avoid climate chaos,” which ended on an important date, as we will see shortly! Is the foreign minister of France a “great man” or “chief captain”? He also said, “And I know that President Obama and John Kerry himself are committed on this subject and I’m sure that with them, with a lot of other friends, we shall be able to reach success in this very important matter.” Thus the “kings of the earth” and “great men” were all talking about the end of the world through global warming unless something was done to stop it—and they were actively trying to stop it.

The god our fathers did not knowSo where did they go to “hide” from the end of the world? Scripture says they went to the dens (or caves) and in the rocks of the mountains. What “entity” is worshiped in dens or caves? It is Mary, symbolic of Satan! Mary is worshiped in the dens and caves in rocks of the mountains. Normally a person does not speak to rocks and mountains, but they do speak to Mary, who is worshiped in rocks and mountains! And notice how the foreign minister of France in the photo above is showing the Marian hand sign as he spoke on the day of the Lady of Fatima (Mary) on May 13! He was appealing to Mary to save the world!

As a side note—Pope Francis visited such a cave in Poland recently, and there he reiterated the blasphemy of Mary being “the stairway to heaven, i.e. Jacob’s ladder” (instead of Christ), Mary being the mirror or image of God (instead of Christ), etc. Mary stands for Satan, so basically the pope was putting Mary or Satan in place of Christ, even up to Orion! The three throne stars are sometimes called “Jacob’s ladder.” In Spanish, they are often called the “three Marias,” obviously from Catholic influence. So quite literally, Maria “hides” the face of “him that sitteth on the throne.” Now that was recent news, but it shows some of the concepts that apply to 2015 and the close of the sixth seal. By canonizing John Paul II, Pope Francis had promised to complete the work that he had begun—and the great work of John Paul II was to implement total Marian worship on the earth. Pope Francis’ visit to the polish shrine also symbolized that, because John Paul II frequented that shrine and it also holds the blood-stained sash from the assassination attempt against him—on May 13 again, in 1981! That is the god that our forefathers did not know, which is the god of “fortresses” or dens in the rocks:

The kings and rich men of the earthBut in his estate shall he honour the God of forces [H4581; also translated “fortresses” or “Rocks” = Mary]: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. (Daniel 11:38)

The people of the world called for climate action to avoid the end of the world. They don’t want Jesus to come! They prayed to Mary—directly or indirectly—by appealing to Pope Francis (Satan, Mary) to address the UN in General Assembly, breaking all records [German link] on September 25, 2015—the end of the French foreign minister’s 500 days, and exactly one year before the seventh plague. He spoke to them about working together to stop the end of the world by climate change (the German headline reads, “Only a Short Time to Save the World!”), and they followed up with the Paris Climate Conference in November/December. Bill Gates—one of the “rich men” of the earth—was at that conference giving his impetus, and one of the big goals of the Paris Agreement was to help “poor” countries, which the pope has repeatedly pointed to as victims of climate change.

Note that the Paris Climate Conference happened in response to the direction given by the pope at the UN General Assembly. However, the sixth seal speaks of the prayer to Mary to intervene against the end of the world, which was fulfilled by the UN General Assembly in New York in September, 2015. We can learn some details that came out in the response at the Paris Climate Conference of November/December 2015, but the sixth seal in fact ended before the Climate Conference.

Every facet of the text was fulfilled, including the part that asks, “Who shall be able to stand?” It is about endurance, and continuance. Will the leading men of the earth be able to sustain their government through the time of the end of the world? That is why the UN is all about “sustainable” development goals—the NWO is constructed “to stand” against God beyond the end of the world. Thus the cry, “Who shall be able to stand?” And now the unclean spirits are gathering together to pray for peace (i.e. that Jesus won’t come), so they can continue to stand.

Thus, the entire sixth seal was fulfilled and ended before the plagues began. That is what we wrote, but at the time we wrote it we still thought the events would be fulfilled by fireballs and a gamma-ray burst. That was not so, but the text did in fact fulfill! We were trapped by the smokescreen that Satan had set up, believing more in catastrophes than in the big political/religious events that happened right in front of our eyes. But now, the sixth seal is understood just as Revelation 14 is understood, and we can be sure that our faith is not in vain. This new understanding about the sixth seal has been incorporated into the Orion presentation on slides 105-113.

Changing gears a little, we can ask ourselves why Ellen White saw things so literally, but now they are all fulfilling symbolically. We know that there really was a literal Sunday Law proposed in 1888, and if the church had accepted the light of the Fourth Angel at that time, the visions of Ellen White would have fulfilled literally and Jesus would have come in 1890. Ellen White was to the Adventist Church as Moses was to the children of Israel. She led them to the border of Canaan, but then they rejected the leading of God and had to wander in the wilderness like the children of Israel. Ellen White also died in the wilderness, like Moses did.

But God did something when they rejected Him. He decided to fulfill all the prophecies symbolically instead of literally, because it was no longer the “end of time.” God sent a prophet (Ellen White) to speak literal words to His people at the end of time, but since the time had been prolonged by their unbelief, the literal words became symbolic. Now that we have reached the end of time again, God has again sent a “prophet” (our “Elijah” ministry) to speak literal words to the people. We do that by explaining the Word of God in a way that connects God’s Word with the present-day (literal) happenings. You can also make the comparison that Moses’ successor was Joshua, and he was the one whom Jesus told how the entering of Canaan through the conquest of Jericho would work with the sequence of the marches. That is the basic teaching we needed to decipher the judgment cycle of the Orion clock.

God not only did something after 1888, but He also did not do something. He did not tell Ellen White that her prophecies had become symbolic, just as He didn’t tell ancient Israel that He would no longer send the hornets before them as He had originally told Moses (Exodus 23:28). In that way, He fulfilled what is written in His law: “I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.” (Exodus 20:5) Today we see how the generations that followed the “fathers” in 1888 are being destroyed for lack of love for the truth. By not informing Ellen White that her visions had become symbolic, God allowed Adventists to fall into the trap of blindness, just like how the Jews fell into the same trap. They had Jesus in front of them, but they could not recognize Him because “Moses said....”

But as Jesus gave Himself as the bread from heaven to feed the people with the words of life, so again, He gives Himself as the bread from Orion to feed you with the words of life; to sustain you in these last difficult moments of earth’s history. Do you love the truth He has sent from heaven—from Orion? If so, then hold fast to the faith, nothing wavering. Jesus Himself speaks in the sixth plague to warn: “keep your garments!”

 

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 1:14
  2. Journal of Economic History, 2009, Vol. 69, p. 466
  3. National Geographic News, Oct. 28, 2010
  4. New World Encyclopedia, Lisbon Earthquake 1755
  5. Genesis 3:8
  6. Exodus 25:8
  7. Signs of the Times, March 25, 1880, par. 4
  8. Romans 8:3
  9. 1 John 1:7
  10. Connecticut Historical Collections, 2d ed (1836) compiled by John Warner Barber, p. 403
  11. BBC News, “What caused the mystery of the Dark Day?”, May 18, 2012
  12. Ludlum DM, New England’s Dark Day: 19 May 1780. Weatherwise 25, 112–119. 1972
  13. Revelation 6:13
  14. Mark Littman, The Heavens on Fire: The Great Leonidic Meteor Storms (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 4
  15. Ibid, p. 8
  16. Proverbs 27:12
  17. Amos 5:8
  18. 2 Timothy 1:7
  19. “Remarks of Bro. S. S. Snow,” The Midnight Cry, Vol. 6, No. 7, March 7, 1844
  20. 2 Corinthians 5:21
  21. Daniel 8:14
  22. Romans 5:8
  23. The Great Controversy, p. 374, par. 1
  24. Deuteronomy 4:29
  25. Hebrews 8:2
  26. Revelation 10:11
  27. Genesis 4:10
  28. Job 38:31
  29. Prophets and Kings, p. 169, par. 1
  30. Ezekiel 28:18
  31. Review and Herald, June 14, 1906, par. 22
  32. Galatians 3:7
  33. Acts of the Apostles, p. 260, par. 1
  34. Last Day Events, p. 24, par. 3
  35. Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 9, p. 28, par. 1
  36. Luke 18:8
  37. Revelation 7:3
  38. Psalm 22:1
  39. Isaiah 53:11
  40. Genesis 6:3
  41. SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 3, p. 1157, par. 7
  42. Ephesians 3:19
  43. Revelation 7:14
  44. See slide 100 for an explanation.
  45. Daniel 12:7
  46. Matthew 24:37-39
  47. 1 Corinthians 4:9
  48. Isaiah 14:12
  49. Ezekiel 20:11
  50. Malachi 3:6
  51. Manuscript Releases, Vol. 5, p. 353, par. 1
  52. Romans 7:12
  53. Revelation 1:1
  54. John 8:34
  55. John 8:36

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