The Last Countdown

We are not alone, even though we are few who believe that our patient and loving God is sending us a final message from Orion, which is the key to the Book of Seven Seals. I sent prayers to our Lord for help and reinforcement often, whenever I was attacked so hard by the enemy and his agents that I felt like stopping this ministry. I asked Him so many times to send me more wisdom to write the articles and the new findings in a way that more people would understand and accept. And I also asked Him to send me angels in form of humans to help me with the large amount of translation work so I would have more time to write new articles. There are still a lot of important aspects to the Clock that I have not reported so far. And He did! He sent a young brother in Atlanta who is helping to proof-read the English articles, and some brethren from India to Trinidad and Tobago who sent me wonderful testimonies of how they were blessed by the Orion study, and how their spiritual lives and personal preparation have changed with the knowledge that Jesus will soon come in the clouds.

I want to thank all of those who felt the calling of the Holy Spirit and sent me help and encouraging e-mails. As you can imagine, it is very difficult standing behind a message as controversial as this. Please do not stop sending me your thoughts and questions. I need to know that there really are those few out there that very soon will form the 144,000, who understand the voice of God in Orion. I learned that some people have started to share the message with friends and family all over the world, and I pray for them that the enemy will not attack them too heavily!

The Spirit of Prophecy counsels us:

There are many cases where men who have defended Christianity against skeptics have afterward lost their own souls in the mazes of skepticism. They caught the malaria, and died spiritually. They had strong arguments for the truth, and much outside evidence, but they did not have an abiding faith in Christ. O, there are thousands upon thousands of professed Christians who never study the Bible! Study the sacred word prayerfully, for your own soul's benefit. When you hear the word of the living preacher, if he has a living connection with God, you will find that the Spirit and the word agree. {RH, April 20, 1897 par. 13}

Everybody is responsible to study the Word of God for himself and to find out if things really are so. At this point, unfortunately, I have to inform all of you that no Adventist denomination has officially accepted the Orion Message and on the part of the General Conferences that there isn't even any interest in studying the Clock of God with me or others. As many know, the Seventh-day Adventist church is forbidding their members to spread the message in several countries. I know personally about Germany and Austria.

Beginning in April 2010, I was visited by the responsible pastor of the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement who told me quite frankly that the Message was refused by their General Conference and that they are not even willing to start a dialogue with me. You can imagine how this isolates me in my home group. My last hope is gone for the Orion study to be accepted by one of the organized Seventh-day Adventist churches. We have to calmly accept the decisions of the General Conferences to be closed against any dialogue, but it is against Christian and biblical standards. I do not want to emphasize this topic. By showing the sins of God's people, it was clear from the very first moment that this message would be controversial. No message of repentance and rebuke was ever, or will ever, be welcomed. You can study the whole Bible from Moses to Jesus and find many examples that messages or messengers of God were despised, silenced, and finally killed by the professed people of God. (Please read also Appendix E.)

And history repeats, dear brethren and friends! The Spirit of Prophecy talks again and again about this fact:

The Old and New Testaments are linked together by the golden clasp of God. We need to become familiar with the Old-Testament Scriptures. The unchangeableness of God should be clearly seen; the similarity of his dealings with his people of the past dispensation and of the present, should be studied. Under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, Solomon wrote, "That which hath been is now: and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past." In mercy God repeats his past dealings. He has given us a record of his dealings in the past. This we need to study carefully; for history is repeating itself. We are more accountable than were those whose experience is recorded in the Old Testament; for their mistakes, and the results of those mistakes, have been chronicled for our benefit. The danger-signal has been lifted to keep us off forbidden ground, and we should be warned not to do as they did, lest a worse punishment come upon us. The blessings given to those of past generations who obeyed God are recorded that we may be encouraged to walk circumspectly, in faith and obedience. The judgments brought against wrong-doers are delineated that we may fear and tremble before God. {RH, April 20, 1897 par. 14}

It is time well employed to search the Scriptures; "for in them ye think ye have eternal life." And Jesus declares, "They are they which testify of me." By the work of the Holy Spirit the truth is riveted in the mind and printed in the heart of the diligent, God fearing student. And not only is he blessed by this kind of labor; the souls to whom he communicates truth, and for whom he must one day give an account, are also greatly blessed. Those who make God their counselor reap the most precious harvest as they gather the golden grains of truth from his word; for the heavenly Instructor is close by their side. He who obtains his qualification for the ministry in this way will be entitled to the blessing promised to him who turns many to righteousness. {RH, April 20, 1897 par. 15}

That was written in 1897 by Ellen White. One year later, in 1898, she wrote:

In the days of Christ the leaders and teachers of Israel were powerless to resist the work of Satan. They were neglecting the only means by which they could have withstood evil spirits. It was by the word of God that Christ overcame the wicked one. The leaders of Israel professed to be the expositors of God's word, but they had studied it only to sustain their traditions, and enforce their man-made observances. By their interpretation they made it express sentiments that God had never given. Their mystical construction made indistinct that which He had made plain. They disputed over insignificant technicalities, and practically denied the most essential truths. Thus infidelity was sown broadcast. God's word was robbed of its power, and evil spirits worked their will. {DA 257.3}
History is repeating. With the open Bible before them, and professing to reverence its teachings, many of the religious leaders of our time are destroying faith in it as the word of God. They busy themselves with dissecting the word, and set their own opinions above its plainest statements. In their hands God's word loses its regenerating power. This is why infidelity runs riot, and iniquity is rife. {DA 258.1}

The Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement pastor told me that their General Conference "decided" that the seals and churches do not repeat since 1844, and therefore my studies had no foundation. When I asked if they had prayerfully studied Joshua 5 and 6, he answered that they had prayerfully studied, but he did not answer my question if they had understood the model that is given by the conquest of Jericho. Hence, I have to assume that they never really studied the biblical foundation for all of these studies of the repetition of seals and churches. We have to pray a lot before we open the Bible! But if we only pray and do not open the Bible we cannot expect that God gives us light through it.

In this article, I want to show using the model of Jericho that the seals and churches have indeed been repeating since 1844. It is interesting that Ellen G. White did not write much about the seals and trumpets. If you search her writings you will find that she never interpreted the seals, churches or trumpets but used them mostly homiletically. She left the interpretation of many parts of Revelation to us, and told us repeatedly that we should study Daniel and Revelation together in depth. Who actually followed her instructions in this regard?

Honestly, I was astonished that the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement did not accept the repetition of the seals and churches, because the years 1914 and 1936 (and another year that will be shown in a future article) are pointing directly to their biggest historical events. But the most surprising fact for me was that they themselves are using the quotes of Ellen White in their teachings that history repeats, especially the history of the Jewish nation which they see repeating in the apostasy of the Seventh-day Adventist church. They probably realized from the very beginning that the Orion shows the "big" Seventh-day Adventist Church going on after 1914 and 1936, and they do not want to accept that because they think (incorrectly) that they are the one and only church of God.

In recent decades they have published various books and booklets on this topic. One that I have in its original Spanish form is called: "El Israel Antiguo y El Israel Moderno"—"The Ancient Israel and The Modern Israel". It is about the similarities and differences between Israel in biblical times and the spiritual Israel that is formed by the church of God of our days. It is basically a compilation of quotes from the testimonies of Ellen G. White.

Without translating the whole booklet of about 64 pages, I just want to show the basic concept that the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement addresses there, because it is a thorough study of the fact that Ellen White was very right in saying that history repeats. Let us follow the history of both Israels in the statements of the Spirit of Prophecy:

1. Both have been chosen by God.

ANCIENT ISRAEL:

The Lord called out His people Israel and separated them from the world that He might commit to them a sacred trust. He made them the depositaries of His law, and He designed, through them, to preserve among men the knowledge of Himself. Through them the light of heaven was to shine out to the dark places of the earth, and a voice was to be heard appealing to all peoples to turn from their idolatry to serve the living and true God. Had the Hebrews been true to their trust, they would have been a power in the world. God would have been their defense, and He would have exalted them above all other nations. His light and truth would have been revealed through them, and they would have stood forth under His wise and holy rule as an example of the superiority of His government over every form of idolatry.
But they did not keep their covenant with God. They followed after the idolatrous practices of other nations, and instead of making their Creator's name a praise in the earth their course held it up to the contempt of the heathen. Yet the purpose of God must be accomplished. The knowledge of His will must be spread abroad in the earth. {5T 454,455}

MODERN ISRAEL:

God has called His church in this day, as He called ancient Israel, to stand as a light in the earth. By the mighty cleaver of truth, the messages of the first, second, and third angels, He has separated them from the churches and from the world to bring them into a sacred nearness to Himself. He has made them the depositaries of His law and has committed to them the great truths of prophecy for this time. Like the holy oracles committed to ancient Israel, these are a sacred trust to be communicated to the world. The three angels of Revelation 14 represent the people who accept the light of God's messages and go forth as His agents to sound the warning throughout the length and breadth of the earth. {5T 455.2}

2. A delay happens to both.

ANCIENT AND MODERN ISRAEL:

It was not the will of God that Israel should wander forty years in the wilderness; he desired to lead them directly to the land of Canaan, and establish them there, a holy, happy people. But "they could not enter in because of unbelief." [HEB. 3:19.] Because of their backsliding and apostasy, they perished in the desert, and others were raised up to enter the promised land. In like manner, it was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be so long delayed, and his people should remain so many years in this world of sin and sorrow. But unbelief separated them from God. As they refused to do the work which he had appointed them, others were raised up to proclaim the message. In mercy to the world, Jesus delays his coming, that sinners may have an opportunity to hear the warning, and find in him a shelter before the wrath of God shall be poured out. {GC88 458.1}

3. Both are murmuring.

ANCIENT AND MODERN ISRAEL:

I saw that many who profess to believe the truth for these last days, think it strange that the children of Israel murmured as they journeyed; that after the wonderful dealings of God with them, they should be so ungrateful as to forget what He had done for them. Said the angel, "Ye have done worse than they." {1T 129.1}

4. Both want to return to Egypt.

ANCIENT ISRAEL:

And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt. Num 14:4
To whom [Moses] our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, Acts 7:39

MODERN ISRAEL:

I am filled with sadness when I think of our condition as a people. The Lord has not closed heaven to us, but our own course of continual backsliding has separated us from God. Pride, covetousness, and love of the world have lived in the heart without fear of banishment or condemnation. Grievous and presumptuous sins have dwelt among us. And yet the general opinion is that the church is flourishing and that peace and spiritual prosperity are in all her borders.
The church has turned back from following Christ her Leader and is steadily retreating toward Egypt. Yet few are alarmed or astonished at their want of spiritual power. Doubt, and even disbelief of the testimonies of the Spirit of God, is leavening our churches everywhere. Satan would have it thus. Ministers who preach self instead of Christ would have it thus. The testimonies are unread and unappreciated. God has spoken to you. Light has been shining from His word and from the testimonies, and both have been slighted and disregarded. The result is apparent in the lack of purity and devotion and earnest faith among us. {5T 217}

The booklet goes on and on in 38 chapters similar to the above to compare the writings of Ellen White where she stated clearly that modern Israel (the Seventh-day Adventist Church) committed the same mistakes as ancient Israel.

God's plan for ancient Israel was to liberate the Israelites from the yoke and slavery of Egypt and to bring them directly to the promised land. This is the biblical type for our journey to heaven beginning in 1844 as Ellen White explained to us. That is why she thought for a long time during her ministry that Jesus would come in her day. Please attentively read her statements regarding her expectation of a very soon coming of Jesus in the Book "Last Day Events":

Ellen White Expected Christ's Return in Her Day

I was shown the company present at the Conference. Said the angel: "Some food for worms, some subjects of the seven last plagues, some will be alive and remain upon the earth to be translated at the coming of Jesus."--1T 131, 132 (1856). {LDE 36.3}
Because time is short, we should work with diligence and double energy. Our children may never enter college.--3T 159 (1872). {LDE 36.4}
It is really not wise to have children now. Time is short, the perils of the last days are upon us, and the little children will be largely swept off before this.--Letter 48, 1876. {LDE 36.5}

In this age of the world, as the scenes of earth's history are soon to close and we are about to enter upon the time of trouble such as never was, the fewer the marriages contracted the better for all, both men and women.--5T 366 (1885). {LDE 37.1}
The hour will come; it is not far distant, and some of us who now believe will be alive upon the earth, and shall see the prediction verified, and hear the voice of the archangel and the trump of God echo from mountain and plain and sea to the uttermost parts of the earth.--RH July 31, 1888. {LDE 37.2}
The time of test is just upon us, for the loud cry of the third angel has already begun in the revelation of the righteousness of Christ, the sin-pardoning Redeemer.--1SM 363 (1892). {LDE 37.3}

We have to wonder—what prevented these predictions of Ellen White from coming to pass? In the 1880s and '90s, Sunday Laws (Blue Laws) were spreading all over U.S.A. In many states, Sunday shopping was already forbidden and it was obvious that the visions that Ellen White had about this were ready to be fulfilled. But something stopped the four winds from actually being released. We already read what it was:

In like manner, it was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be so long delayed, and his people should remain so many years in this world of sin and sorrow. But unbelief separated them from God. As they refused to do the work which he had appointed them, others were raised up to proclaim the message. In mercy to the world, Jesus delays his coming, that sinners may have an opportunity to hear the warning, and find in him a shelter before the wrath of God shall be poured out. {GC88 458.1}

She wrote this in the infamous year of 1888. The General Conference Meeting brought strife in the church. Two pastors, Waggoner and Jones, brought a message to this General Conference that separated the church into two groups. It was the message of "Righteousness by Faith". But what was the problem with the message? All Christian churches believed in "Righteousness by Faith" ever since Martin Luther in the 16th century. The problem was that this is just half of the message. The other part is rarely mentioned: "...and obedience in faith to all of the precepts and commandments of Christ". The message of 1888 included strict obedience to everything that comes out of the mouth of God and His prophets; not to be saved but because we are saved. And this includes obedience to the messages that Ellen White received from God for His people: health reform, and all of her testimonies. And therein was the problem. Liberals had already entered high positions in the church at that time, and they did not want to comply with the second uncomfortable part of the 1888 message brought by Waggoner and Jones. This message was a thorn in their flesh. So the message had to disappear.

The Heart of God's Last Message

The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders [E.J.] Waggoner and [A. T.] Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. {LDE 200.1}
Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel's message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure.--TM 91, 92 (1895). {LDE 200.2}
The message of Christ's righteousness is to sound from one end of the earth to the other to prepare the way of the Lord. This is the glory of God, which closes the work of the third angel.--6T 19 (1900). {LDE 200.3}
The last message of mercy to be given to the world is a revelation of His character of love. The children of God are to manifest His glory. In their own life and character they are to reveal what the grace of God has done for them.--COL 415, 416 (1900). {LDE 200.4}

It was the message of the Fourth Angel that would light up the whole earth with his glory:

The time of test is just upon us, for the loud cry of the third angel has already begun in the revelation of the righteousness of Christ, the sin-pardoning Redeemer. This is the beginning of the light of the angel whose glory shall fill the whole earth. For it is the work of every one to whom the message of warning has come, to lift up Jesus, to present him to the world as revealed in types, as shadowed in symbols, as manifested in the revelations of the prophets, as unveiled in the lessons given to his disciples and in the wonderful miracles wrought for the sons of men. Search the Scriptures; for they are they that testify of him. {RH, November 22, 1892 par. 7}

But the message of 1888 was refused by General Conference and that is why Jesus could not come. Ellen White uses the example of ancient Israel again to depict what happened:

Men who are entrusted with weighty responsibilities, but who have no living connection with God, have been and are doing despite to His Holy Spirit. They are indulging the very same spirit as did Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, and as did the Jews in the days of Christ. (See Matthew 12:22-29, 31-37.) Warnings have come from God again and again for these men, but they have cast them aside and ventured on in the same course. {TM 78.2}

The perils of the last days are upon us. Satan takes the control of every mind that is not decidedly under the control of the Spirit of God. Some have been cultivating hatred against the men whom God has commissioned to bear a special message to the world. They began this satanic work at Minneapolis. Afterward, when they saw and felt the demonstration of the Holy Spirit testifying that the message was of God, they hated it the more, because it was a testimony against them. They would not humble their hearts to repent, to give God the glory, and vindicate the right. They went on in their own spirit, filled with envy, jealousy, and evil surmisings, as did the Jews. They opened their hearts to the enemy of God and man. Yet these men have been holding positions of trust, and have been molding the work after their own similitude, as far as they possibly could. . . . {TM 79.3}

"History repeats." The Spirit of Prophecy warns us again and again to learn from the events of ancient times for our present time, but many leaders do not want to learn because they are only serving their own interests. Ellen White compares the leaders who refused the 1888 Message with the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. And their end was by the Hand of the Almighty. Will this history be repeated yet again very soon?

Five years earlier, Ellen White was already warning that the goal was about to be missed:

Had Adventists after the great disappointment in 1844 held fast their faith and followed on unitedly in the opening providence of God, receiving the message of the third angel and in the power of the Holy Spirit proclaiming it to the world, they would have seen the salvation of God, the Lord would have wrought mightily with their efforts, the work would have been completed, and Christ would have come ere this to receive His people to their reward. . . . It was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be thus delayed. . . . {LDE 37.5}
For forty years did unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion shut out ancient Israel from the land of Canaan. The same sins have delayed the entrance of modern Israel into the heavenly Canaan. In neither case were the promises of God at fault. It is the unbelief, the worldliness, unconsecration, and strife among the Lord's professed people that have kept us in this world of sin and sorrow so many years.--Ev 695, 696 (1883). {LDE 38.1}

Now that we know the reasons why modern Israel, the Seventh-day Adventist church, failed to enter Canaan (Heaven) during the time of Ellen White, we understand her disappointment with the people. She was called by God to serve as a messenger to prepare the way of the Lord's second coming, like John the Baptist was called to prepare the way for the first coming of Christ. Moses, who led ancient Israel, failed to enter into Canaan, just like Ellen White, who led the Seventh-day Adventist church of 1888. She failed to enter Heaven according to God's plan because of their own worldliness.

Wouldn't it be wise for us to study more in depth how the next leader of ancient Israel finally managed to enter Canaan? And after all the parallels between ancient and modern Israel that the Spirit of Prophecy shows us, wouldn't it be highly probable that that "history will repeat" also?

Who was the leader of Israel who managed to enter Canaan indeed? Joshua! The story of this successful leader of ancient Israel is written in the book named after him. After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, almost all of those who had witnessed the rebellion against God at the first approach to Canaan had died. Only Caleb and Joshua were left. Moses laid his hands upon Joshua and by the Spirit of God confirmed him as his successor and the next leader of God's people.

Not many people have carefully read the prologue of Ellen White's very first vision, and how she connects Joshua and Caleb and their report from Canaan to her heavenly vision:

As God has shown me the travels of the Advent people to the Holy City and the rich reward to be given those who wait the return of their Lord from the wedding, it may be my duty to give you a short sketch of what God has revealed to me. The dear saints have many trials to pass through. But our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, will work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory--while we look not at the things which are seen, for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. I have tried to bring back a good report and a few grapes from the heavenly Canaan, for which many would stone me, as the congregation bade stone Caleb and Joshua for their report. (Num. 14:10.) But I declare to you, my brethren and sisters in the Lord, it is a goodly land, and we are well able to go up and possess it. {EW 13.3}

There is clear evidence that we should take a very close look at what happened with Joshua during the real conquest of Canaan. Ellen White even counseled us to do so:

I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Joshua 1:5. {CC 117.1}
Study carefully the experiences of Israel in their travels to Canaan. . . . We need to keep the heart and mind in training, by refreshing the memory with the lessons that the Lord taught His ancient people. Then to us, as He designed it should be to them, the teachings of His Word will ever be interesting and impressive. {CC 117.2}
When Joshua went forth in the morning before the taking of Jericho, there appeared before him a warrior fully equipped for battle. And Joshua asked, "Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?" and he answered, "As Captain of the host of the Lord am I now come." If the eyes of Joshua had been opened as were the eyes of the servant of Elisha at Dothan, and he could have endured the sight, he would have seen the angels of the Lord encamped about the children of Israel; for the trained army of heaven had come to fight for the people of God, and the Captain of the Lord's host was there to command. When Jericho fell, no human hand touched the walls of the city, for the angels of the Lord overthrew the fortifications, and entered the fortress of the enemy. It was not Israel, but the Captain of the Lord's host that took Jericho. But Israel had their part to act to show their faith in the Captain of their salvation. {CC 117.3}
Battles are to be fought every day. A great warfare is going on over every soul, between the prince of darkness and the Prince of life. . . . As God's agents you are to yield yourselves to Him, that He may plan and direct and fight the battle for you, with your cooperation. The Prince of life is at the head of His work. He is to be with you in your daily battle with self, that you may be true to principle; that passion, when warring for the mastery, may be subdued by the grace of Christ; that you come off more than conqueror through Him that hath loved us. Jesus has been over the ground. He knows the power of every temptation. He knows just how to meet every emergency, and how to guide you through every path of danger. Then why not trust Him? {CC 117.4}

Now let's read the whole story about the conquest of Jericho as the Spirit of Prophecy tells it in complete harmony with the Bible. First we learn that Joshua met a "very special man":

As Joshua withdrew from the armies of Israel, to meditate and pray for God's special presence to attend him, he saw a man of lofty stature, clad in warlike garments, with his sword drawn in his hand. Joshua did not recognize him as one of the armies of Israel, and yet he had no appearance of being an enemy. In his zeal he accosted him, and said, "Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so." {1SP 347.3}
This was no common angel. It was the Lord Jesus Christ, he who had conducted the Hebrews through the wilderness, enshrouded in the pillar of fire by night, and a pillar of cloud by day. The place was made sacred by his presence, therefore Joshua was commanded to put off his shoes. {1SP 348.1}

The angel was Jesus, and Joshua was ordered to take off his shoes. What exactly does this mean? The text goes on:

The burning bush seen by Moses was also a token of the Divine Presence; and as he drew nigh to behold the wonderful sight, the same voice which here speaks to Joshua, said to Moses, "Draw not nigh hither. Put off thy shoes from off thy feet; for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground." {1SP 348.2}
The glory of God hallowed the sanctuary; and for this reason the priests never entered the place sanctified by God's presence with shoes upon their feet. Particles of dust might cleave to their shoes, which would desecrate the sanctuary; therefore the priests were required to leave their shoes in the court, before entering the sanctuary. In the court, beside the door of the tabernacle, stood the brazen laver, wherein the priests washed their hands and their feet before entering the tabernacle, that all impurity might be removed, "that they die not." All who officiated in the sanctuary were required of God to make special preparations before entering where God's glory was revealed. {1SP 348.3}

Moses and Joshua are the only persons in the Bible that were ordered to take off their shoes because they were symbollically entering into the heavenly sanctuary where the presence of Jesus Christ was. Please note that the shoes were left in the court! What this means is that the things Jesus was about to tell Joshua would take place symbolically in the sanctuary.

In order to convey to the mind of Joshua that he was no less than Christ, the exalted one, he says, "Loose thy shoe from off thy foot." The Lord then instructed Joshua what course to pursue in order to take Jericho. All the men of war should be commanded to compass the city once each day for six days, and on the seventh day they should go around Jericho seven times. {1SP 348.4}

Jesus Himself explains to Joshua how Jericho must be conquered. Jericho symbolizes the walls that separate us from the Heavenly City, the New Jerusalem. If this wall of sin would fall, we would have free entrance to Heaven. This will happen at the second coming of Jesus. But before that, Jesus explained to Joshua how Jericho must be surrounded, and this is of the highest symbolic importance for us today.

"And Joshua, the son of Nun, called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the Lord. And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the Lord. And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams' horns passed on before the Lord, and blew with the trumpets; and the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them. And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rearward came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets. And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout. So the ark of the Lord compassed the city, going about it once; and they came into the camp, and lodged in the camp." {1SP 349.1}

Ellen White connects these marches around Jericho, the blowing of the trumpets, and the carrying of the ark of the covenant directly with us as Seventh-day Adventists in "Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers":

Satan has laid every measure possible that nothing shall come among us as a people to reprove and rebuke us, and exhort us to put away our errors. But there is a people who will bear the ark of God. Some will go out from among us who will bear the ark no longer. But these cannot make walls to obstruct the truth; for it will go onward and upward to the end. In the past God has raised up men, and He still has men of opportunity waiting, prepared to do His bidding--men who will go through restrictions which are only as walls daubed with untempered mortar. When God puts His Spirit upon men, they will work. They will proclaim the word of the Lord; they will lift up their voice like a trumpet. The truth will not be diminished or lose its power in their hands. They will show the people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins. {TM 411.1}

The history of the conquest of Jericho goes on:

The Hebrew host marched in perfect order. First went a select body of armed men, clad in their warlike dress, not now to exercise their skill in arms, but only to believe and obey the directions given them. Next followed seven priests with trumpets. Then came the ark of God, glittering with gold, a halo of glory hovering over it, borne by priests in their rich and peculiar dress denoting their sacred office. The vast army of Israel followed in perfect order, each tribe under its respective standard. Thus they compassed the city with the ark of God. No sound was heard but the tread of that mighty host, and the solemn voice of the trumpets, echoed by the hills, and resounding through the city of Jericho. With wonder and alarm the watchmen of that doomed city mark every move, and report to those in authority. They cannot tell what all this display means. Some ridicule the idea of that city's being taken in this manner, while others are awed, as they behold the splendor of the ark, and the solemn and dignified appearance of the priests, and the host of Israel following, with Joshua at their head. They remember that the Red Sea, forty years before, parted before them, and that a passage had just been prepared for them through the river Jordan. They are too much terrified to sport. They are strict to keep the gates of the city closely shut, and mighty warriors to guard each gate. For six days, the armies of Israel perform their circuit around the city. On the seventh day, they compassed Jericho seven times. The people were commanded, as usual, to be silent. The voice of the trumpets alone was to be heard. The people were to observe, and when the trumpeters should make a longer blast than usual, then all were to shout with a loud voice, for God had given them the city. "And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early, about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city, after the same manner, seven times; only on that day they compassed the city seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the Lord hath given you the city." "So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets. And it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city." {1SP 349.2}
God intended to show the Israelites that the conquest of Canaan was not to be ascribed to them. The captain of the Lord's host overcame Jericho. He and his angels were engaged in the conquest. Christ commanded the armies of Heaven to throw down the walls of Jericho, and prepare an entrance for Joshua and the armies of Israel. God, in this wonderful miracle, not only strengthened the faith of his people in his power to subdue their enemies, but rebuked their former unbelief. {1SP 351.1}
Jericho had defied the armies of Israel and the God of Heaven. And as they beheld the host of Israel marching around their city once each day, they were alarmed; but they looked at their strong defenses, their firm and high walls, and felt sure that they could resist any attack. But when their firm walls suddenly tottered and fell, with a stunning crash, like peals of loudest thunder, they were paralyzed with terror, and could offer no resistance. {1SP 351.2}

Now let's recapitulate what we have learned:

Jesus presents Himself to Joshua as the Captain of the heavenly host with a sword and first tells Joshua to take off his shoes:

And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?
And the captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so. Joshua 5:13-15

To understand which eschatological time this points to, we have to examine all of the symbolism that is given here. We understand that it is Jesus Himself who is talking to Joshua. But He also marks a very special moment in history. Before this scene happened, the Israelites had passed the Jordan (Josh. 5:1), were newly circumcised (Josh. 5:3-8), prepared the Passover, and changed their diet from Manna to corn and fruits of the land of Canaan. These are all symbols for the acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, His death on the cross for us. The text does not say how many days have passed after the Israelites celebrated the Passover until Joshua sees Jesus standing before Jericho with sword in hand, but we can infer how long from the Passover type, which symbolized Jesus' death and resurrection. 40 days passed before Jesus went to heaven. When Jesus arrived in heaven, He started His first ministry in the heavenly sanctuary in the year 31 A.D., and all Adventists should know that this was in the Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary. This was His first high-priestly ministry.

When He commanded Joshua to take off his shoes, Jesus was communicating to us exactly where we are in the flow of Christian history. The Priests had to take off their shoes when they entered the Holy Place, leaving their shoes in the court as we saw before. This can only mean that what Jesus will say from that moment on will start when Jesus entered the Holy Place in the year 31. This is the moment that was explained in one verse by the Apostle Paul in the letter to the Hebrews:

Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Heb 9:12

And what does Jesus tell Joshua and us now? What did he/we have to do to conquer Jericho and enter Canaan/Heaven?

And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.
And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.
And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.
And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him. Joshua 6:2-5

Jesus is describing here the whole history of His people from the moment He entered the Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary in the year 31, onward until the real conquest of heaven. There have to be six marches on the first six days and then seven marches on the seventh day. This is the foundation for all of the understanding of the repetition of the seals, churches, and even the trumpets as we will see in a future article. In the classical Adventist interpretation, we have just reached the end of the sixth day!

Since we know the doctrine of the sanctuary, we understand today that Jesus went from the Holy Place into the Most Holy Place in 1844. He began His second service and ministry in the Most Holy Place: the purification of the heavenly sanctuary. This is the last day of earthly history: The Day of the Investigative Judgment in Heaven; day number seven in the conquest of Jericho. Jesus explains that the marches around Jericho have to be repeated once more in that day: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times.

Please continue reading part II of History Repeats for a detailed comparison between the classical and modern interpretations of the seals in light of Jericho, and a modern interpretation of the seven churches and why the Orion Message is not "astrology"...

< Prev                       Next >

Our New Website!