The timeline from the sixth seal.
The last events in prophetic time.
The last thing that happens in prophetic time is that the beast from the sea gets a mortal wound – which is healed. The beast from the earth stands forward. God raises up William Miller who is given the mission to preach the end time message for the first time in history. Because of this, a movement is emerging, the Advent movement a multi-denominational movement in the true sense of the word. People from all denominations and congregations came together in the Advent movement. This happens around the time of the end of the 1260 days and the 2300 evenings and mornings (see Daniel 7:25; 12:7; 8:14; Revelation 12:14; 11:2; 13:5; 11:3; 12:6).
The Advent movement eventually became God’s end-time church, the Seventh-day Adventists shortly after we had entered the end times.
Revelation 6:12-13 gives us four signs that herald the end of a time period – prophetic time – and the beginning of a new one – the end times, in the extended sense. And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was 1) a great earthquake; and 2) the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and 3) the moon became as blood. And 4) 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.
These four signs are.
1) A great earthquake. The first of these four signs occurred on November 1, 1755. It was «a great earthquake», better known as the Lisbon earthquake. Probably the strongest earthquake that humans have ever experienced.
- Let us take a look at the energy in large earthquakes. A large earthquake is an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 on the Richter scale and above. An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 on the Richter scale is equivalent to the energy of 250,000 tons of TNT. For comparison, it can be mentioned that the Oslo earthquake which occurred on 23 October 1904 and which had a magnitude of 5.4 on the Richter scale, corresponding to just under 500 tonnes of TNT, and the earthquake in Svalbard on 21 February 2008 had a magnitude of 6.2 Richter’s scale, equivalent to 1,900 tonnes of TNT. The earthquake that struck the Indian Ocean on 26 December 2004 had a magnitude of 9.2. This corresponds to a whopping 290,000,000 tonnes of TNT, and Australia moved 25 cm away from the epicentre. The aforementioned earthquake in Lisbon on 31 October 1755 was considerably stronger than the one in the Indian Ocean in 2004.
2) The sun became black as sackcloth of hair. At 10.00 in the morning on May 19, 1780, the day became dark as the darkest night. You could not see your hand without light.
3) The moon became as blood. The night that followed, the night of May 20, 1780, the moon became as blood. These were two supernatural events. Under no circumstances could there have been an ordinary solar eclipse on this day as there was a full moon the following night. There is also no evidence to say that there was a lunar eclipse on this particular night.
After these three signs, the beast from the sea received its fatal wound, and Pope Pius VI was arrested in Rome on February 10, 1798 and thrown into prison and died on August 29, 1799 in Valence, France. The papacy briefly lost its political power, and was without a pope until Barnaba Gregorio Chiaramonti was elected pope on 14 March 1800 and took the name Pius VII.
In 1816, after William Miller had turned away from Deism he began to study the Bible. (The deists, in short, believe that God created the world, but does not interfere in the events here.) Miller was captain in the American army during the war against the British. An experience he had in 1812 caused Miller to later abandon deism when he thought through what had happened. A shell landed just a few feet away from his feet. It injured several and killed a couple of his soldiers further away from the point of impact, but Miller was without wounds. In 1816, he began to study the Bible, and in 1818 he concluded that something great would happen within 25 years. Jesus was to return and cleanse the sanctuary, which everyone at the time thought was the earth with fire. This led to the end-time message being preached for the first time, as mentioned above.
4) The stars of heaven fell unto earth. On November 13, 1833, an unprecedented meteorite storm was experienced. There were so many meteorites that the night became as bright as the day. Usually the meteorites come from one place and go to another place (for example from east to west), but this night it was different. Although it appeared that all the meteorites came from one point in the sky, they disappeared in all directions.
Revelation chapter 10 is an important chapter in terms of understanding it all correctly. Verses 1 to 7 show us that the prophetic time is over and that the new era – the end times – is beginning. The rest of this chapter shows us the rise of God’s end-time church. SDA is growing. According to Daniel 8:14, the cleansing of the «sanctuary» begins on the same day that the Millerites experience the great disappointment. They believed that Jesus would come to cleanse the earth with fire, because everyone at that time believed that the earth was the sanctuary mentioned in Daniel 8:14. It was the heavenly temple that was to be cleansed, and this is the start of the investigative judgment, which ushers in the last «day» in world history. Revelation 10:6 says that there should be time no longer. This should be understood to mean that no time prophecies have been given for this period and that time is no longer an element in God’s plan. The main thing is that a series of events must happen for it all to end.
In other words, we have entered the end times, and have gone from prophetic times to end times in the extended sense.
The events of the end times.
The end times begin, and Jesus enters the Most Holy in the heavenly temple where the investigative judgment begins. This corresponds to the Jews’ Yom Kippur, and this happened on October 22, 1844. After this we only have an overview of the events, and we cannot date any of them.
Revelation 8:1-6: The seventh seal is opened. When this seal is opened, John sees the seven trumpets being made ready. The trumpets give us events that all fall to the time after Jesus entered the Most Holy in the heavenly sanctuary. This is the beginning of the eschatological judgment. It is during this period that God’s people are sealed with God’s seal. Some of the trumpets will sound while Christ is in the sanctuary, and some will sound after He has left the sanctuary. We know nothing about how long after Jesus entered the Most Holy before the first trumpet sounds, but we do know that the sealing will take place after Jesus has left the sanctuary, but before the fifth trumpet sounds. At this time, we have moved into the last time of the earth’s history, and the plagues that will tell God’s people that redemption is near begin to fall upon a ravaged and afflicted human race. (See also English; Seven letters, seals, trumpets and vials; The seven trumpets). Then John sees the first plagues fall on all the people on earth.
From this time until Jesus comes again, seven trumpets will sound and seven vials will be emptied. Together, these make up the last ten plagues that will affect the earth before the second coming of Christ. It may seem that I am out of step with myself when I divide the last 14 events that the Bible outlines into the last 10 plagues. However, as explained earlier, there is a special pattern in all this. (See The End Times; The Plagues and Redemption. Part 1.)
|Antitype: The end time
|The first three plagues, affects all
|The first plague, Genesis 7:14-25: Water turned to blood
|The first trumpet, Revelation 8:7: The plants of the earth are affected
|The second plague, Genesis 8:1-15: Frogs
|The second trumpet, Revelation 8:8-9: Life in the sea are affected
|The third trumpet, Revelation 8:10-11: The water sources are affected by the star Wormwood See The end time; The plagues and the redemption. Part 2.
|The third plague, Genesis 8:16-19: Lice
|The fourth trumpet, Revelation 8:12-13: The heavenly bodies are affected
|The seven last plagues, affects only the wicked. God says. I will make a division between My people and your people
|The fourth plague, Genesis:,20-32: Flies
|The fifth trumpet, Revelation 9:1-12: The locusts from the bottomless pit
|The fifth plague, Genesis 9:1-7: The cattle dies
|The sixth trumpet, Revelation 9:13-21: The angels from Euphrates
|The seventh trumpet, Revelation 11:15-19: The kingdoms of this world are become [the kingdoms] of our Lord, and of his Christ
The antitype of the end times will follow the pattern set up by the historical type when Israel left Egypt, but the plagues that fall in the end times will not be identical to those that fell on Egypt. In addition to the ten plagues, we will also now find some explanations for what is happening, similar to what happened in Egypt. I believe the third trumpet is such an explanation.
When the third trumpet sounds, a great star falls on the rivers and the fountains of waters. Now it is what is on the rivers and fountains of waters that is affected, and it is still the first plague in Egypt that is copied (Exodus 7:14-25). Or isn’t it? I think we must distinguish between the sea in verse 8, and the rivers and springs of water in verse 11. When the star called Wormwood mixes with the water, this probably means that the water that is found in rivers and fountains of waters here is the water of life or the word of God, and it is contaminated by Wormwood.
In the Bible, the name often gives characteristics of the person who bears the name. So when the star here is called Wormwood, it probably has a meaning for how we should understand it all. A star is explained in Revelation 1 verse 20 as the leader of the church or congregation, but there is every reason to assume that we are dealing with another size here. We probably have to go to Revelation 9:1 to find the answer to this. See also Isaiah 14:12. How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world, (New Living Translation).
When this star is called Wormwood, it gives reason to stop and think about what lies in the meaning of this word. We primarily associate wormwood with something bitter, and the plant has been used for many things over time. Excessive consumption of wormwood, or thujone, which is a substance that occurs naturally in oil from wormwood, can cause sleep difficulties, intestinal cramps, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, tension, brain damage, and eventually death.
The parallel to false teachings is so absolutely present in that false teachings, in small doses is not deadly in itself, but false teachings over time leads to death as wormwood does. I think these two verses tell us that it is Satan who is behind all paganism and all unbiblical traditions that the church has absorbed over the years. Unfortunately, many people, indeed most, will not care about this message. (See also English; Seven letters, seals, trumpets and vial; The seven trumpets).
After the story of Wormwood, the next plagues follow, and the next thing that happens is that the heavenly bodies are affected. After this plague has fallen, but before the next plague follows, a Sunday law will be adopted by the whole world, a law that will order people to go to mass on Sundays, and refuse to worship on God’s Sabbath day.
This law will certainly come in a package that makes it acceptable to the US Constitution, and to secular organizations such as labour organizations and the like. The whole world will have to make a choice in relation to this Sunday law, either way. Either you follow this law and then take the mark of the beast, or you do not follow the law and is consequently sealed with the seal of the living God. It is only those who distance themselves from the Sunday law that God will seal, no one else.
But before the fourth plague is unleashed, God says as in Egypt that I put a division between My faithful people and the wicked. From now on, the plagues will affect only the wicked. It is at this time that God seals his faithful people. They must have a protection against the plagues God sends upon the world, they must be protected against Satan’s attacks and attempts to kill them, and there is a good reason for that. That God makes a difference between people is clear from the text of the fifth trumpet in Revelation 9:4 where it is said: And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
When the power that is really behind the Sunday law, the papal power, sees that there is a small group that will not submit to the Sunday law, and that this little group is not affected by the plagues during the fourth plague (the fifth trumpet), this small group is blamed for what happens. Because they do not submit to the edicts of the papacy, the secular authorities claim that the rest of the world suffers because some do not keep the Sunday law, be it called «Family Day» or «The Ten Environmental Commandments», and a death warrant will be issued. Only those who keep God’s Sabbath are exterminated, these plagues will stop, they claim. But, now God’s people are beyond Satan’s reach, because they have chosen to follow God no matter the cost, and then the reward is the seal of the living God.
When on the timeline this happens is important. Israel’s exit from Egypt is the type, while our exit from our figurative Egypt is the antitype. It is worth noting that there is a series of interludes after the sixth trumpet and before the seventh trumpet. This must have a meaning, and it appears in the text of the seventh trumpet, which tells that God the Father has taken back the kingdoms of the world, and they «are become [the kingdoms] of our Lord, and of his Christ”.
The vast majority who interpret Revelation and the last seven plagues claim that the seven vials correspond to the seven last plagues in Egypt. However, this violates the type. In Egypt, a division was made between men before the last seven plagues, and therefore the same must happen in the end times. Between the third and fourth plagues, God must make a division between men, and this division is the sealing of God’s faithful remnant.
|Antitype: The end time
|The sixth plague, Genesis 9:8-12: Blains
|The first vial, Revelation 16:2: Grievous sore
|The sixth plague, Genesis 9:13-35: Grievous hail
|The first vial, Revelation 16:3: The sea became as the blood
|The sixth plague, Genesis 10:1-20: Locusts
|The first vial, Revelation 16:4-7: The water became blood
|The sixth plague, Genesis 10:21-29: Thick darkness
|The first vial, Revelation 16:8-9: Great heat
|The sixth plague, Genesis 12:29-42: The Lord smote all firstborn in Egypt
|The first vial, Revelation 16:10-11: Darkness in the kingdom of the beast
As we see, the same plagues will not fall upon the earth in the end times. The reason for this is that God wanted to show the Egyptians and Israelites that the Almighty God, the Creator of the whole universe, is much stronger than all the gods of Egypt were, and therefore God used frogs and insects, which were Egyptian gods, to show that how powerless the gods of the Egyptians were. What happened in Egypt must be read literally.
In the end times, it is not only God’s plagues that will fall, but God allows Satan and his evil angelic army to plague those people who have not been sealed with the seal of the living God. Or put this way: These evil angels are allowed to torment all those who have actively chosen to take the mark of the beast. This is something that will intensify when God’s Spirit is completely withdrawn from the earth. The protection of God’s faithful remnant is then God’s seal. The fact that God has withdrawn His Spirit from the earth has given Satan and his fallen angels a free hand to inflict plagues and suffering on humanity in addition to the plagues, God will send upon the earth through the trumpets and vials. We must also read this as the prophecy it is, not literally but figuratively, and then, for example, the locusts under the fifth trumpet will not be real locusts, but the devil’s evil angelic army.
Now there are many who probably miss the sixth and seventh vial. If we read the whole story about the exodus from Egypt, it does not stop at the exodus from Egypt itself. It went on much longer. When Pharaoh came to his senses again after his son’s death, he pursued the people of Israel through the desert. Something similar will happen in the end times.
|Antitype: The end time
|Pharaoh persecutes Israel, Exodus 14:1-9:
|The sixth vial, Revelation 16:12-16: Gathering at Armageddon
|The deliverance, Exodus 14:10-31: Israel cross the Red Sea,
|The seventh vial, Revelation 16:17-21: The earth shaken
Gathering at Armageddon must be understood correctly. Ellen G. White says the following about Armageddon. There are only two parties in our world, those who are loyal to God, and those who stand under the banner of the prince of darkness. Satan and his angels will come down with power and signs and lying wonders to deceive those who dwell on the earth, and if possible, the very elect. The crisis is right upon us. Is this to paralyze the energies of those who have a knowledge of the truth? Is the influence of the powers of deception so far-reaching that the influence of the truth will be overpowered? (14 Letters and Manuscripts 172, 1899 par. 27). The battle of Armageddon is soon to be fought. He on whose vesture is written the name, King of kings and Lord of lords, leads forth the armies of heaven on white horses, clothed in fine linen, clean and white, (14 Letters and Manuscripts 172, 1899 par. 28).
She says that Satan and his evil angels will deceive the people on earth. It means a spiritual war, and will therefore be fought in the minds of men. Everything is therefore about worship. Armageddon is not a physical place where a physical war will be fought in the end times. Armageddon is the spiritual battle that is fought in my mind and in yours, and the experience Israel had when they were at the Red Sea. They had obstacles on all sides. High impassable mountains both to the north and to the south, in front of them to the east, lay the Red Sea and they had nothing that could bring them across the sea, and from behind, from the west Pharaoh came with his army and wanted to kill Israel. In other words, they were trapped between four insurmountable obstacles, and had no possibility of escaping certain death.
In the same way, God’s people will feel it in the end times when the whole world wants them dead. They, like Israel, have nowhere to flee, for the enemies are around them on every side and want to kill them. But as in Egypt, Satan will not succeed in the end times either. Suddenly, God will deliver His people in a miraculous way. The Son of Man will return in a way that everyone will see, and then He will gather all His, both the dead in Christ and the living:
Jesus himself tells us how it will all take place. In Matthew 24:27 He says: For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. And in Matthew 24:30-31 He elaborates on it like this: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Initially, I asked three questions regarding the sealing.
Has the sealing started?
Is the sealing an ongoing action?
Who will be sealed?
The answers to these questions are:
The sealing has not started. It will not happen until Jesus has finished his task in the Most Holy place in the heavenly temple, and after the whole world has been put to the last great election. Whom shall I follow, God or a man? We cannot make this choice before the Sunday Act comes into force, no matter what kind of packaging it gets.
The sealing is not an ongoing action. When the sealing takes place, it will happen instantly. Then all who reject the Pope’s Sunday law and follow God the Creator and His commandments will be sealed.
These will be sealed. Revelation 7 calls those who are sealed the 144,000 from all the tribes of the children of Israel, and lists 12 names: Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin. These are not Israel’s, Jacob’s, 12 sons. There are 11 of his sons and one grandson, and they are not mentioned in the order in which they were born. Manasseh is mentioned at the expense of Dan, and Judah who is mentioned first was Jacob’s fourth son. This must also have an important meaning. We know that all names have a meaning, that they stand for something, so do these names.
When we write the meaning of the words in the order the names appear in Revelation 7, we get the following text:
I will praise the Lord for He has looked on me and given good fortune. Happy am I because my wrestling making me to forget. God hears me and is joined to me. He has purchased me a dwelling and will add to me the Son of his right hand.
(The words in italics have been inserted to make the text flow.)
This is the plan of salvation expressed by the names of Jacob´s 12 sons.
How do you think the 144,000 will react the day they see their dear Saviour coming with the clouds of heaven? I think they will praise the Lord because they will understand that He has looked after them in their sufferings and made them happy by coming to their aid. They will feel lucky because their struggle He makes them forget when they see Him in the clouds. They know that God has heard their prayers and know that God is with them. He has bought them a home with His blood and will lead them home to the Son at His right hand.
This group are those who are alive when the Sunday law is implemented, and this group’s numbers are limited by external circumstances such as time and their relationship with God. 144.000 is not a literal number, but those who are God’s faithful remnant living in the absolute end time.
When Jesus Christ returns, it will be the end of all the trials God’s people have been exposed to in the end times. The dead in Christ will rise clothed with incorruption and immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53), and the living will be transformed in the same way. The wicked will die only at the sight of Christ and His glory. After this eternity begins, but first all the saved, together with the rest of the living beings in the entire universe, will see that God has been just and judged justly. After the 1000 years mentioned in Revelation chapter 20, the New Jerusalem will descend from heaven. Then the judgment on the wicked will be implemented, the New Jerusalem will be on the recreated earth, and God himself will live with His faithful remnant here on earth.