End-time Prophecy

The Testing, Sealing & Shaking Times of Rev 6-11

By J. Stanley McCluskey 1/8/2013 (emphasis mine)

 

 

Before you prayerfully read this Revelation study, I urge you to consider the following by Ellen White:

 

“There is no excuse for anyone in taking the position that there is no more truth to be revealed, and that all our expositions of Scripture are without an error. The fact that certain doctrines have been held as truth for many years by our people is not a proof that our ideas are infallible. Age will not make error into truth, and truth can afford to be fair. No true doctrine will lose anything by close investigation. 

 

“We are living in perilous times, and it does not become us to accept everything claimed to be truth without examining it thoroughly; neither can we afford to reject anything that bears the fruits of the Spirit of God; but we should be teachable, meek and lowly of heart. There are those who oppose everything that is not in accordance with their own ideas and by so doing they endanger their eternal interest as verily as did the Jewish nation in their rejection of Christ….

 

“Men entertain errors, when the truth is clearly marked out; and if they would but bring their doctrines to the word of God, and not read the word of God in the light of their doctrines, to prove their ideas right, they would not walk in darkness and blindness, or cherish error. Many give the words of Scripture a meaning that suits their own opinions, and they mislead themselves and deceive others by their misinterpretations of God's word. 

 

“As we take up the study of God's word, we should do so with humble hearts. All selfishness, all love of originality, should be laid aside. Long-cherished opinions must not be regarded as infallible. It was the unwillingness of the Jews to give up their long-established traditions that proved their ruin.”     Counsels to Writers and Editors, pp. 35-37.   

 

She made the following general comments about the Revelation prophecy: “It is just what its name signifies,—a revelation of the most important events that are to take place in the last days of this earth's history.” EGW in ST July 4, 1906. “The Lord Himself revealed to His servant the mysteries contained in this book, and He designs that they shall be open to the study of all.” AA 584. “The solemn messages that have been given in their order in the Revelation are to occupy the first place in the minds of God's people. Nothing else is to be allowed to engross our attention.” 8T 302. And: “In the Revelation all the books of the Bible meet and end.” “The Old Testament sheds light upon the New, and the New upon the Old.” AA 585; EGW in ST June 30, 1906.   

 

That simply means we can all find descriptions of the most important end-time events “given in their order” in major portions of Revelation, and we can compare what John wrote with other prophecies in the Bible to gain a clearer understanding. 

 

And now read my paper on Revelation which begins on the next page:  

 

 

 

  


The Testing, Sealing & Shaking Times of Rev 6-11

By J. Stanley McCluskey 1/8/2013 (emphasis mine)

 

Introduction:   

 

Victorinus of Pettau (martyred in 304) was a Catholic Bishop and the author of a biblical commentary on the Apocalypse (Revelation). 

 

“His most important contribution historically is his ‘Theory of Recapitulation’. This is, that the Apocalypse does not represent a strict succession of events following chronologically upon one another, but under each successive series of seven seals, seven trumpets, seven bowls, the same events are dealt with.” R. H. Charles, Studies in the Apocalypse (Edinburgh 1913) pp, 10ff.

 

But note that he did not include the chapters 2 & 3 series of seven churches in his theory. He applied those messages only to the first century churches, and not to the church throughout the Christian era—as commonly accepted today.

 

With this first century period as his starting point of reference, it is easy to understand why he then considered the seven seals series of events to start in that first century and extend to the second coming of Christ.   

 

But is his Theory of Recapitulation really valid—even as used today by many, with the seven churches, seals, and trumpets each covering the complete Christian era?

 

Instead of accepting the words of any man, let’s compare scripture with scripture and start with a Bible prophecy example that God gave for Israel in Leviticus 26. This principle will apply in the end-time to the entire world with the 7 seals, 7 trumpets, and 7 “last” plagues progressing one series after another—following the initial historic series of 7 in chapters 2 & 3 that describe church conditions throughout the Christian era.

 

God told Israel He would bless them if they avoided idols, worshiped on His Sabbaths, and kept His commandments. But if they did not do this, God would punish them in several ways.

 

Then He said in verse 18 of Leviticus 26, “And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.” If that wasn’t enough, it would be followed by this in verse 21, “Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins.”

 

This is followed by more “seven times” events in verses 24 and 28; but it is always one series following after the previous one.

 

So consider the probability that the Revelation 3 & 4 historic series is followed by the 7 seals events and then the 7 trumpet events, which are followed by the 7 “last” plagues.

 

For Israel, “God had long delayed His judgments because of His unwillingness to humiliate His chosen people, but now He would visit His displeasure upon them as a last effort to check them in their evil course. 

In these days He has instituted no new plan to preserve the purity of His people. As of old, He entreats the erring ones who profess His name to repent and turn from their evil ways… Though the Lord in mercy withholds for a time the retribution of their sin, as in the days of Jeremiah, He will not always stay His hand, but will visit iniquity with righteous judgment.” 4T 164-165.

 

Jesus applied the following words to His people living in the early 19th century: “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” Revelation 3:10 nkjv. 

 

But then in the next—and final—church period, Jesus said the time will come when He can no longer protect them from that hour of trial. He said, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16 nkjv. He could not "keep them" or protect them from the soon to come time of trial that is to “come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” 

 

“A sin-hating God calls upon those who profess to keep His law to depart from all iniquity. Neglect to repent and obey His word will bring as serious consequences upon God's people today as did the same sin upon ancient Israel. There is a limit beyond which He will no longer delay His judgments,” 4T 166-167.  

 

EGW applied this to Revelation 6-11: “Revelation 6 and 7 are full of meaning. Terrible are the judgments of God revealed.

“The seven angels stood before God to receive their commission. To them were given seven trumpets (8-11). The Lord was going forth to punish the inhabitants of the earth.” 15MR 219.

 

After applying chapters 2 and 3 to the early churches with the listed names, Victorinus wrote this about Revelation 4: “‘And, behold, a throne was set in heaven.’ The throne set: what is it but the throne of judgment and of the King?”  

 

We can agree with this. But Daniel saw that this throne of judgment scene—with God the Father presiding—was not set in the first century, but in 1844 with a start of the investigation process. And the final stage will be a decision judgment by Christ alone—”For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son.” John 5:22 nkjv.

 

It is this final stage that we see beginning in chapters 4 and 5 of Revelation—”Christ is soon to act as Judge, where now (in 1882) He officiates as mediator.” EGW in ST, February 23, 1882.

 

Jesus said this final pre-advent judgment by Him will include a separation of tares from the wheat in His church: “The tares and the wheat are to grow together until the harvest; and the harvest is (not the end of the world, but) the end of probationary time.” COL 71. Then “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out (shake out) of His kingdom—His church—all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness.” Matthew 13:41 nkjv.

   

With this introduction, please consider the following. And comments may be sent to me at: 

jstanmc  (at)  gmail (dot) com  

 



Time is short, and we may already be entering the testing and sealing time for the 144,000, as described in Revelation 6 & 7. I urge you to copy the following for further comparisons and consideration. It is important for us to understand, so we will “stand firm in battle on the day of the Lord.” Ezekiel 13:5. That “day” of testing and judgment is described in Revelation.  

 

Ellen G. White (EGW) wrote, “The fifth chapter of Revelation needs to be closely studied. It is of great importance to those who shall act a part in the work of God for these last days. There are some who are deceived… Unless they make a decided change they will be found wanting when God PRONOUNCES judgment upon the children of men.” 9T 267.   

 

While preparing this, I find that Dr. Samuele Bacchiocci, Ph.D. of Andrews University is in essential agreement. He wrote—in his The Advent Hope for Human Hopelessness, Ch 14—that “the sealed scroll (of Revelation 5) seems to represent the divine DECISION-judgment regarding the destiny of every human being.” This follows the Investigative judgment (IJ).

 

Christ is SOON to act as Judge, where now he officiates as mediator.” EGW in ST 2/23/1882. 

 

The following also applies to the end-time: “God cannot forbear much longer. Already His judgments are beginning to fall on some places, and soon His signal displeasure will be felt in other places. There will be a series of events revealing that God is master of the situation. The truth will be proclaimed in clear, unmistakable language.” 9T 96. 

 

That “series of events” surely applies as the Revelation 5 scroll is being unsealed—starting in chapter 6—and reviewed by Christ in heaven during what has been called “the grand review of the judgment.” AH 321.   

 

Note this statement about what takes place as the first seal is broken on that special scroll:   

“Clad in the armor of Christ's righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final conflict. ‘Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners’ (Song of Solomon 6:10), she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer (Revelation 6:2).” PK 725. 

 

Compare that with the above statement about what takes place when the “series of events” begins and “The truth will be proclaimed in clear, unmistakable language.” 9T 96. 

 

“The bright light going among the living creatures with the swiftness of lightning (as seen by Ezekiel) represents the speed with which this work will finally go forward to completion.” 5T 754. 

 

Now let’s start again with verses leading up to the Revelation 4-5 scene, where Jesus takes the sealed scroll.

 

And keep this in mind: Seventh-day Adventists have long applied a historic interpretation to Revelation 12 & 13, leading directly to closing scenes in the following chapters. So it is reasonable to consider a comparable extension of the historic events described in chapters 2 & 3 that leads directly to end-time events described in the following chapters. The text supports this.


 

Remember this again about Revelation: “It is just what its name signifies,—a revelation of the most important events that are to take place in the last days of this earth's history.” EGW in ST July 4, 1906.

 


Those “important events” of "the last days" are first described at length in chapters 4 through 11, after the chapters 2 and 3 historic series where Jesus used selected early church conditions in a chosen order to symbolically describe conditions of His people throughout the Christian era.

 


This historic interpretation of Revelation 2 & 3 is common among Protestant denominations, and Seventh-day Adventists agree: “The names of the seven churches are symbolic of the church in different periods of the Christian Era. The number 7 indicates completeness, and is symbolic of the fact that the messages extend to the end of time, while the symbols used reveal the condition of the church at different periods in the history of the world.” AA 585.  

 


The other historic series with different details begins in chapter 12, where a woman is used to symbolize God’s people—starting with the birth of Christ and continuing all through the Christian era, down to the end time “remnant of her seed” in Revelation 12:17. The next 6 chapters include a description of additional important last day events and is followed in chapter 19 by the second coming of Christ.        

 

And now for the two specific—and significant—end-time events that are mentioned near the end of chapter 3 that have not yet taken place; but they must be included if the messages are to extend to the end of probationary time.   

 

First is the Revelation 3:10 promise where Jesus had said, “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” NKJV.  

 

That short end-time “hour of trial” may have already begun; and surely takes place during the Revelation 6-11 series of events while Jesus unseals the chapter 5 scroll in heaven.

 

We are to realize that the judgments of God are ABOUT TO fall upon the earth, and we should most earnestly present before the people the warning that the Lord has commissioned us to give: ‘For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.’ (Matt 24:21) ‘Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. (Compare with 6th seal events). And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.’ (Luke 21:26-28)” EGW in RH, November 22, 1892.

 

The next Revelation 3 event to consider is Christ’s verse 16 statement about the end-time lukewarm church. He said, “I will spue thee out of My mouth.” That cleansing process in His church is comparable to the “harvest” separation of tares from the wheat in Christ’s parable, and is still in the future. Those who do not fully follow Him are spued out from His protecting care.   

 

Note that this purifying harvest process is not the end of the world when Jesus comes, but is in the end-period of probationary time – which is just before the time of the seven last plagues: 

“The tares and the wheat are to grow together until the harvest; and the harvest is the end of probationary time.” COL 71.

 

Jesus said: Then “the Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out (shake out) of His kingdom (His church) all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire (tribulation); there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 13:41.

 

“God calls for a spiritual revival and a spiritual reformation. Unless this takes place, those who are lukewarm will continue to grow more abhorrent to the Lord, until He will refuse to acknowledge them as His children.” 1SM 127. 

 

The inhabitants of Canaan—because they had been sinful in many ways—had completely lost God’s protecting care, and were to be cast out (spued out). Then God told Israel, “Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations… That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you. For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people.” Leviticus 18:24-29. 

 

The first eleven chapters of Ezekiel (among others) applied to what was left of Israel (Judah) in this vomiting out process for them; but those chapters need to be prayerfully reviewed now and compared with Revelation events, for much will apply to Christ’s end-time church—including a vomiting out of insincere believers (3:16), a persecution of true believers (6:9-11), a sealing (marking) of accepted people (7:2-4), and the coals of fire thrown to the earth, as in 8:5. In Ezekiel’s vision, those marked were the only ones left to receive a benefit from those sacred coals of fire. Compare with Isaiah 6:6-8.   

 

In these days He has instituted no new plan to preserve the purity of His people… Though the Lord in mercy withholds for a time the retribution of their sin, as in the days of Jeremiah, He will not always stay His hand, but will visit iniquity with righteous judgment.”  4T 165.  

 

Now note that Revelation 4:1 gives a clear connecting link from the test, trial and spewing verses in chapter 3 to the following chapters. The more literal New American Standard Bible translation reads:

 

After these things (told him in chapters 2 & 3) I looked, and behold, a door (already) standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, ‘Come up here (‘in a vision’ 4:2; 17:3; Ezekiel 11:24; 8:3), and I will show you what must take place after these things (previously described in chapters 2 & 3).’” 


This “after these things (Greek ‘meta tauta’)” phrase needs more consideration because many Adventist scholars tend to hold on to the old Victorinus interpretation by calling 4:1 the start of a new vision in which “after these things” does ”not necessarily” mean “after” John was told about the Laodicean church period, but “after” the time John was given the vision.

 

However, it is asinine to think that Jesus spoke of conditions in just seven of the many local churches and did not know He was giving John a prophecy in chapters 2 and 3 about the entire church all through the Christian era. It is therefore also asinine to say, by “after these things” in 4:1 He skipped all that and meant after John was given the vision—instead of after the chapters 2 and 3 events. 

 

It is true the “after these things” phrase was used when John was given the vision. Jesus told him, “Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things.” Revelation 1:19.

 

But—as with all the other times that phrase is used in Revelation—Jesus applies "after these things" here to the immediate context of “the things which are” at the end of the first century when John was given the vision. He then gave the chapters 2 and 3 prophecy about the church in historic time and using selected churches in Asia for illustrations.

 

And that immediate context principle must be used in 4:1 at the end of the Laodicean period where John says, “After these things I looked” followed by Jesus then saying, “I will show you what must take place after these things.” The immediate context there for both is the Laodicean period. Compare also verse 9:12 which reads, “The first woe is past; behold, two woes are still coming after these (first woe) things.” Obviously the immediate context alone can apply here, and compares with Jesus saying in 4:1 “I will show you what must take place after these (Laodicean) things.”

 

As another end-time flag, that Revelation 4:1 “door (already) opened in the heaven” leads directly to the Most Holy Place, and indicates the events which follow clearly take place at the end of the Daniel 7:9-10 Investigative Judgment (IJ) period. This began in 1844 during the Philadelphia church period, when Jesus said: “I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.” Revelation 3:8

 

Concerning chapter 3:8, EGW wrote: “Christ had (in 1844) opened the door, or ministration, of the most holy place.” GC 435. So the chapter 4 scene must come AFTER the 1844 event designated in 3:8. It takes place—not in 1844, but—during the end-period of the IJ.     

 

Then when—in chapter 4:1—John was invited in vision to go through that already opened door in heaven, he saw the same 1844 IJ setting that Daniel saw—but with important event changes.  

 

First: Daniel saw the IJ as it was being set up, with God-the-Father and investigators being seated.

John saw all of them—including God the Father—already seated. 

 

Also: Daniel saw the IJ when the records of heaven were first being opened for inspection—not by Christ, but—by that group of investigators. Daniel 7:10. 

John saw the IJ in its final phase—where the only record considered is an important sealed scroll that can only be opened by Christ. Why Him alone? Because He—the Creator—had been made flesh. He alone had then fully overcome Satan and had then been crucified for our sins. In this way He alone had redeemed people from every nation by His blood. John 1:1– 3, 14; Revelation 5:1-9. God called this scroll “My book” which the Father now gives to Christ—who alone can blot out either names or sins. Exodus 32:33; John 5:22, 27; Revelation 3:5; Acts 3:19; Psalms 51:9.

 

But what did John know that caused him to cry when “no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it”?

 

Let’s compare this with other Bible verses where a similar search is made. 

 

In Jeremiah 5:1 God said, “Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem; See now and know; And seek in her open places If you can find a man, If there is anyone who executes judgment, Who seeks the truth, And I will pardon her.” 

 

Note in that verse that pardon can only be given by a “man… who executes judgment.” And Jesus said He is that man: “For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son… And has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.” John 5:22, 27.

 

Again in Ezekiel 22:30 God said, “I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.”

 

Compare that with Psalms 106:23, “Therefore He said that He would destroy them, had not Moses His chosen one stood before Him in the breach (the gap), to turn away His wrath, lest He destroy them.  “Moses was a type of Christ.” PP 330. 

 

And then we come to Isaiah 59:15-20 where previous verses describe the wickedness of the people. “Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore His arm brought salvation unto Him; and His righteousness, it sustained Him. For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon His head; and He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak. According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, fury to His adversaries… And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.” 

 

This is Christ, who makes “intercession for us” and “has redeemed us to God by (His) blood.” Romans 8:34; Revelation 5:9. 

 

This is followed in Isaiah 59:21 by His sealing covenant with spiritual Israel: “As for Me, this is My covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and My words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth… from henceforth and for ever.”

 

Then we come—in the very next verses—to the symbolic loud cry, where, as EGW said, the “children of God are to manifest His glory.”  

 

But Daniel did get a brief glimpse of the Revelation 5 through 11 scenes when he saw Jesus come to His Father, “And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him.” Daniel 7:13-14. “The coming of Christ here described is not His second coming to the earth. He comes to the Ancient of days in Heaven to receive dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, which will be given Him at the close of His mediatorial work.” GC 480.

 

Jesus was given the scroll—the title to His kingdom—in Revelation 5. Then in 6:2 He rides a white horse and goes out “conquering and to conquer” for His kingdom, and is followed by three more horses. The climax comes in 11:15 as probationary time is closing: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever.” The mystery of God—His plan of salvation and Christ's work as mediator—is then finished. 10:7. 

 

Compare that with the following prophetic words in Habakkuk 3:8-13 nkjv. .

O Lord, were You displeased with the rivers,
Was Your anger against the rivers,
Was Your wrath against the sea,
That You rode on Your horses,

Your chariots of salvation?

Your bow was made quite ready;
Oaths were sworn over Your arrows….

You marched through the land in indignation;
You trampled the nations in anger.

You went forth for the salvation of Your people  

 

The deliverer must overcome as one with us and “taste death for every man.” (John 5:27; Hebrews 2:9-17). All other people can only overcome ”by the blood of the Lamb (Christ), and by the word of their testimony.” We are “accepted in the Beloved. In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” Revelation 12:11; Ephesians 1:6-7.

 

Now notice what EGW said about this final phase of the pre-advent judgment—which will be the testing & sealing time for the living: 

 

She said, “Zechariah's vision of Joshua and the Angel applies with peculiar force to the experience of God's people in the closing up of the great day of atonement. The remnant church will be brought into great trial and distress… The tempter stands by to accuse them, as he stood by to resist Joshua. He points to their filthy garments, their defective characters… He hopes so to destroy their faith that they will yield to his temptations, and turn from their allegiance to God…  In the time of the end the people of God will sigh and cry for the abominations done in the land. (Ezekiel 9:4)… As the people of God afflict their souls before Him, pleading for purity of heart, the command is given, ‘Take away the filthy garments’ from them, and the encouraging words are spoken, ‘Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.’ Zechariah 3:4… And the remnant are not only pardoned and accepted, but honored. ‘A fair miter’ is set upon their heads. They are to be as kings and priests unto God. (Rev 5:10). While Satan was urging his accusations and seeking to destroy this company, holy angels, unseen, were passing to and fro, placing upon them the seal of the living God… They sing the new song before the throne, that song which no man can learn save the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth… Now is reached the complete fulfillment of the words of the Angel: ‘Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for THEY ARE MEN WONDERED AT: for, behold, I will bring forth (through them) My Servant the Branch.’ Zechariah 3:8.” PK 587-592. They are then prepared to give the loud cry and sound the final trumpet calls of warning.

 

This testing time for the living is often called ‘the grand review’—which takes place during the Revelation 6-11 short period of very severe trials:   

 

“All will have an opportunity to educate themselves while in this world, that they may be fitted to stand the grand review which must shortly take place.” ST, February 14, 1878. 

 

Soon there is to be a grand review, in which every soul who is seeking to perfect a Christian character must bear the test of God's searching questions: Have you set an example that others were safe in following? Have you watched for souls as those that must give an account?” MYP 17.  

 

“How, then, will you be prepared to pass the grand review, where all your deeds and words, and the inmost thoughts of your heart, will be laid open before the great Judge and the assembled saints and angels?” 4T 116. 

 

“only the work accomplished by much prayer, which is sanctified by the merit of Christ, will stand the TEST of the judgment. When the grand review shall take place, then shall ye return and discern between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. (Malachi 3:18).” RH, July 4, 1893.

 

 This is the ‘harvest’ separation brought about by the testing and spewing process, and takes place during what the Bible often calls the end-time Day of the Lord—also called the Day of God and the Day of Judgment. Compare with the following.

 

The long-expected day of God will soon TEST every man's work… As fire reveals the difference between gold, silver, and precious stones and wood, hay, and stubble, so the day of judgment will TEST characters, showing the difference between characters formed after Christ's likeness and characters formed after the likeness of the selfish heart. (1 Cor. 3:11-13).” 2MCP 548.  

 

This is not a one-day event when Christ comes in the clouds, but something that takes place over at least many months. Now note that this grand review period is also a time when Satan will present major testing deceptions: 

 

“Are we prepared for the grand review? It is coming on. Satan is gathering all of his beautiful knowledge that he had when he was an angel of light and he is coming in to deceive the very elect with that very knowledge, and we want to be in a position where we can work intelligently,—where we can work in faith and bring souls to a knowledge of the truth of the grand review that will take place when he (Satan) tells them that he is going to have the whole world as his subjects and they will gather under his banner, but we must stand higher.” LLM 541. 


“Nothing but purity, sacred purity, will abide the day of God, stand the grand review, and be received into a pure and holy Heaven.” CH 611. 

  

In the day of God, when the great Ledger of Heaven is opened…” 5T 143. “In the day when the Ledger of Heaven shall be opened, the Judge will not in words express to man his guilt, but will cast one penetrating, convicting glance, and every deed, every transaction of life, will be vividly impressed upon the memory of the wrongdoer.” “But the day is fast approaching when the case of every one will be decided according to his works. Many have a fearfully spotted record in the Ledger of Heaven.” 4T 492, 460. “The faithful performance of the loving acts that seem so small is entered upon the ledger of heaven. God will make no mistake… and in the great day of final accounts you will receive a glorious reward.” EGW in YI 9/24/1884.

 

This is "The great day of the execution of God's judgment,” when Christ will open the “Ledger of Heaven.” 4T 384. “Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained, whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead.” Acts 17:31. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10. 

 

While God the Father presides during the investigation phase of the judgment that began in 1844, He judges nobody. John 5:22. Christ alone will make and execute the final decision. This transfer is shown in Revelation 5 when the Father gives Christ the sealed scroll for Him alone to unseal. Yes, “Christ has been made our Judge. The Father is not the Judge. The angels are not. He who took humanity upon Himself, and in this world lived a perfect life, is to judge us. He only can be our Judge.” 9T 185. See John 5:27.   


When reviewing the Daniel 7 IJ scene, it is important to remember that there can be no remission of sins without the shedding of blood, Hebrews 9:22; and there is no shedding of blood for sins shown in that Investigative Judgment scene.

 

But note this from Revelation 5, “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain… And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb… And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” Revelation 5:6-9.  

 

Now note what Jesus called this book: “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life.” “Whosoever hath sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book.” Revelation 3:5; Exodus 32:33.    

 

Christ will blot out both names and sins from that book of life at the end-period of the IJ.  

 

“When sin has been repented of, confessed, and forsaken, then pardon is written against the sinner's name; but his sins are not blotted out until after the investigative judgment.” EGW in ST 5/16/1895.


“The work of the investigative judgment and the blotting out of sins is to be accomplished before the second advent of the Lord. Since the dead are to be judged out of the things written in the books, it is impossible that the sins of men should be blotted out until after the judgment at which their cases are to be investigated. But the apostle Peter distinctly states that the sins of believers will be blotted out ‘when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ.’ Acts 3:19, 20.” GC 485.  

 

Note that Christ’s second coming will not immediately follow the times of refreshing. The gospel will then be proclaimed world-wide by thousands of voices:  

“The great work of the gospel is not to close with less manifestation of the power of God than marked its opening. The prophecies which were fulfilled in the outpouring of the former rain at the opening of the gospel are again to be fulfilled in the latter rain at its close. Here are ‘the times of refreshing to which the apostle Peter looked forward when he said: ‘Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus.’ Acts 3:19, 20. 

“Servants of God, with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given. Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers. Satan also works, with lying wonders, even bringing down fire from heaven in the sight of men. Revelation 13:13. Thus the inhabitants of the earth will be brought to take their stand.” GC 611-612.

 

Daniel saw the Ancient of Days presiding in the chapter 7:9-10 judgment scene. “The Ancient of Days is God the Father… It is He, the source of all being, and the fountain of all law, that is to preside in the judgment.” GC 479.

 

But—while the Father presides in the judgment—Jesus said, “The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son… And hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.” John 5:22, 27. 

 

Then—in Daniel 7:13-14—Daniel saw “one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days.” Christ “comes to the Ancient of Days in heaven to receive dominion and glory and a kingdom, which will be given Him at the close of His work as a mediator. (See Revelation 11:15-17)… Attended by heavenly angels, our great High Priest enters the holy of holies and there appears in the presence of God to engage in the last acts of His ministration in behalf of man—(1) to perform the work of investigative judgment and (2) to make an atonement for all who are shown to be entitled to its benefits.” GC 479.  

 

Note that Christ continues as a mediator during the IJ:  

Christ is soon to act as Judge, where now he officiates as mediator.” EGW in ST 2/23/1882

 

While taking on the responsibilities of Judge “to execute judgment” during these final events, He will continue officiating as Mediator until the end of probationary time. That may be one reason EGW called it both “the day of God's vengeance” and “those times of transition.” PK 727.

 

This combination of judgment and mercy is also evident in the following: “God's Spirit will pass by those who have had their day of test and opportunity, but who have not distinguished the voice of God or appreciated the movings of His Spirit. Then thousands in the eleventh hour will see and acknowledge the truth. ‘Behold, the days come (times of transition), saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed.’ (Amos 9:13).” 2 SM 16. 

 

Jesus appears in Revelation 5 as a Lamb that had been slain. Then it is said: “Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” Revelation 5:9  

 

“The broken law of God demanded the life of the sinner. In all the universe there was but one who could, in behalf of man, satisfy its claims. Since the divine law is as sacred as God Himself, only one equal with God could make atonement for its transgression. None but Christ could redeem fallen man from the curse of the law and bring him again into harmony with Heaven.” PP 63.  

 

The Father is not the Judge. The angels are not. He who took humanity upon Himself, and in this world lived a perfect life, is to judge us. He only can be our Judge.” 9T 185. 

 

Yes, “we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” Romans 14:10.  

 

Now note again how EGW applied chapters 5 through 11 to the end-time period of judgment and also of great trial: 

 

The fifth chapter of Revelation needs to be closely studied. It is of great importance to those who shall act a part in the work of God for these last days. There are some who are deceived… Unless they make a decided change they will be found wanting when God pronounces judgment upon the children of men.” 9T 267.   

 

Notice how EGW applied Revelation 6-11: “Thy right hand, O God, shall dash in pieces Thine enemies. Revelation 6 and 7 (the 7:1-3 winds of strife) are full of meaning. Terrible are the judgments of God revealed.

“The seven angels stood before God to receive their commission (Rev 8:2). To them were given seven trumpets (chapters 8-11). The Lord was going forth to punish the inhabitants of the earth.” 15MR 219. This end-time application is different than the Victorinus ‘Theory of Recapitulation’ that is still promoted by many Bible scholars. 

 

But these “judgments of God would not come directly out from the Lord,” but when people “follow their own course, independent of the Spirit of God, after repeated warnings, if they choose their own way, then He does not commission His angels to prevent Satan's decided attacks upon them.” As in Revelation, God’s angels will allow the winds of strife to blow more and more. “It is Satan's power that is at work at sea and on land, bringing calamity and distress and sweeping off multitudes to make sure of his prey.” EGW in Last Day Events, p 242. 


These trumpets represent God’s people giving the Revelation 18 warning: “The trumpet is to give a certain sound. Clearly and distinctly the warning is to ring out: ‘Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen... Come out of her, My people.’” 9T 149.  

 

“Solemn events before us are yet to transpire. Trumpet after trumpet is to be sounded; (then) vial after vial poured out one after another upon the inhabitants of the earth.” 3SM 426.

  

EGW applies the following to the end-time, and closes with this statement: “There will be a series of events revealing that God is master of the situation. The truth will be proclaimed in clear, unmistakable language.” 9T 96. She writes:

     Through His prophet Zephaniah the Lord specifies the judgments that He will bring upon evildoers: 

     "I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the Lord. I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumbling blocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the Lord." 

     "And it shall come to pass in the day of the Lord's sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel. In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters' houses with violence and deceit. . . . 

     "And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem (His people) with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation: they shall also build houses, but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof. 

     "The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy: for He shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land." Zephaniah 1:2, 3, 8-18. 

     God cannot forbear much longer. Already His judgments are beginning to fall on some places, and soon His signal displeasure will be felt in other places. 

     There will be a series of events revealing that God is master of the situation. The truth will be proclaimed in clear, unmistakable language.  9T 95-96.  

 

So now let’s go through the series of events on earth—starting in chapter 6— which are symbolized as Christ unseals the scroll in heaven.

 

The four horses may symbolize the four winds that are still held in check until the people of God are sealed. Revelation 7:1-3. The number “four” would also signal completeness—one representing each of the four directions.

 

Zechariah saw a vision of horses: “In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses; And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses. Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord? And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits (ruach) of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth.” Zechariah 6:2-5. 

 

In Daniel 8:8 ‘ruach’ is translated as ‘winds’ in the phrase “the four winds of heaven.” 

 

EGW wrote, “Angels are holding the four winds, represented as an angry horse seeking to break loose, and rush over the face of the whole earth, bearing destruction and death in its path.” 3SM 409. 

  

Revelation 6 begins with Christ opening the first seal on the scroll in heaven.

 

“And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” Revelation 6:2.  

 

That “crown” of authority and victory had been removed from the last of Israel’s kings. Then God said, “I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it (to) Him.” Ezekiel 21:25-27.

 

In a comment on this EGW wrote: “The final overthrow of all earthly dominions is plainly foretold in the word of truth. In the prophecy uttered when sentence from God was pronounced upon the last king of Israel is given the message: (Ezekiel 21:26-27 quoted).

“The crown removed from Israel passed successively to the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. God says, ‘It shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him.’

That time is at hand. Today the signs of the times declare that we are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Everything in our world is in agitation. Before our eyes is fulfilling the Saviour's prophecy of the events to precede His coming.” Ed 179. 

 

When Jesus comes again He will have “many crowns” on His head. Revelation 19:12. But the one crown given Him in 6:2 is a symbol of those “tokens of His triumph” who had already been raised and taken with Him to heaven after He rose from the dead. DA 834.

 

The arrow is a symbol of judgment (Deuteronomy 32:41-42) and of “the Lord’s deliverance” (2 Kings 13:17; Psalms 64:7), as He leads His people on this earth to victory in what will include a mighty evangelistic campaign—“conquering and to conquer.” 

 

The forces of evil “shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” Revelation 17:14.   

 

Revelation 19:11-13 makes it clear that this rider on a white horse is Jesus, and here He is going forward toward final victory. But note this: “When God moves forward in His work, it divides men into two classes, those who follow in the way He leads, and those who turn aside.” LLM 38. This becomes very evident as the Revelation 6-11 story progresses: “In the time of the end, the world will be divided into two classes—those who follow Christ fully, and those who are on the side of Satan.” 18MR 88.   

 

“O Lord, were You displeased with the rivers, was Your anger against the rivers, was Your wrath against the sea, That You rode on Your horses, Your chariots of salvation? Your bow was made quite ready; oaths were sworn over Your arrows… You went forth for the salvation of Your people.” Habakkuk 3:8-9, 13 nkjv. Remember here that “waters” is a symbol of “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” Revelation 17:15.

 

“Arise, O Lord, in Your anger… The Lord shall judge the peoples… Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, But establish the just; For the righteous God tests the hearts and minds.” Psalms 7:6-9 NKJV. “Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: (meaning ’God judges’) for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about… Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.” Joel 3:12, 14. .

 

The church of Christ has a part to act in this by spreading the gospel in all lands: “Clad in the armor of Christ's righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final conflict. ‘Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners’ (Song of Solomon 6:10), she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer (Revelation 6:2).” PK 725. 

 

Then during following events, this will “swell to a loud cry, and the whole earth will be lightened with the glory of the Lord.” 6T 401.  

 

EGW also wrote: “In vision I saw two armies in terrible conflict. One army was led by banners bearing the world's insignia; the other was led by the bloodstained banner of Prince Immanuel. Standard after standard was left to trail in the dust as company after company from the Lord's army joined the foe and tribe after tribe from the ranks of the enemy united with the commandment-keeping people of God…

“The battle raged. Victory alternated from side to side. Now the soldiers of the cross gave way, "as when a standardbearer fainteth." Isaiah 10:18. But their apparent retreat was but to gain a more advantageous position. Shouts of joy were heard. A song of praise to God went up, and angel voices united in the song, as Christ's soldiers planted His banner on the walls of fortresses till then held by the enemy. The Captain of our salvation was ordering the battle and sending support to His soldiers. His power was mightily displayed, encouraging them to press the battle to the gates. He taught them terrible things in righteousness as He led them on step by step, conquering and to conquer.

“At last the victory was gained. The army following the banner with the inscription, ‘The commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus,’ was gloriously triumphant.” 8T 41.

 

The following also applies to first seal events: “At the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully… ‘The commencement of that time of trouble,’ here mentioned, does not refer to the time when the plagues shall begin to be poured out, but to a short period just before they are poured out, while Christ is in the sanctuary. At that time, while the work of salvation is closing, trouble will be coming on the earth, and the nations will be angry, yet held in check so as not to prevent the work of the third angel.” LDE 143.  

 

This represents new opportunities for the gospel to spread throughout the world. And God made that possible through a strange and unexpected event:

 

We were in the midst of a tense and scary Cold War that threatened nuclear annihilation at any time; and nobody in the Western World thought it would end in a peaceful way—but it did with an event that happened on December 26, 1991.

 

On that day, the atheistic Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was formally dissolved—not by military involvement, but by a simple declaration. This declaration acknowledged the independence of all fifteen republics of the Soviet Union. 

 

On the previous day, December 25, 1991, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev had resigned, declaring his office extinct, and handed over the Soviet nuclear missile launching codes to Russian President Boris Yeltsin. That same evening at 7:32pm the Soviet flag was lowered from the Kremlin and replaced with the Russian tricolor.

 

This dissolution of the world's first and largest Communist state marked an end to the Cold War, and provided a unique and unprecedented opening for the gospel in previously closed territories. It also became possible about that time to enter other counties in a greater way—and God’s people quickly took advantage of this opportunity “to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer” through personal ministry augmented with media ministries.   

 

As the Revelation 6 events rapidly take place, the message of the third angel will swell to a loud cry. 6T 401. Then, “During the loud cry, the church, aided by the providential interpositions of her exalted Lord, will diffuse the knowledge of salvation so abundantly that light will be communicated to every city and town… There is to be, at this period, a series of events which will reveal that God is Master of the situation. The truth will be proclaimed in clear, unmistakable language.” Maranatha 218.

 

That “series of events” may well be those described during the seven seals and seven trumpets period of Revelation 6-11. The New King James Version is used here.  

 

Second Seal: “When He opened the second seal … Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.”

 

That type of conflict is certainly widespread around the world right now. And this begins a series of destructive events that God calls “My four severe judgments—the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast.” Ezekiel 14:22.

 

Yes, second seal events are even now taking place as conflicts break out around the world. But this will soon involve the United States more directly as Daniel 11:40-45 is fulfilled. A strong nation (probably China) will soon “push at” the United States militarily, but will be defeated. This, however, leads to war among nations that will last until Jesus comes. 

 

“The world is stirred with the spirit of war. The prophecy of the eleventh chapter of Daniel has nearly reached its complete fulfillment. Soon the scenes of trouble spoken of in the prophecies will take place. (Isaiah 24:1-8; Joel 1:15-18, 12; Jeremiah 4:19, 20, 23-26; 30:7; Revelation 14:12 quoted—and worth reading). Soon the battle will be waged fiercely between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. Soon everything that can be shaken will be shaken… It is impossible to give any idea of the experience of the people of God who shall be alive upon the earth when celestial glory and a repetition of the persecutions of the past are blended… Satan, surrounded by evil angels, and claiming to be God, will work miracles of all kinds, to deceive, if possible, the very elect… God's tried and tested people will find their power in the sign spoken of in Exodus 31:12-18. They are to take their stand on the living word: 'It is written.' This is the only foundation upon which they can stand securely.” 9T 14-16.

 

Soon grievous troubles will arise among the nations—trouble that will not cease until Jesus comes… The judgments of God are in the land. The wars and rumors of wars, the destruction by fire and flood, say clearly that the time of trouble, which is to increase until the end, is very near at hand. We have no time to lose. The world is stirred with the spirit of war. The prophecies of the eleventh of Daniel have almost reached their final fulfillment.” WM 136. 

 

Third Seal: Scarcity and famine on Earth: “And when he had opened the third seal… I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny (a day’s wages), and three measures of barley for a penny.” Revelation 6:6.  

 

Fourth Seal: Widespread Death on Earth: “And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.” Revelation 6:8. 

 

Yes, “War caused famine. Want and bloodshed caused pestilence. And then men's hearts failed them for fear, ‘and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.’” 1T 268. 

 

And note this: “The same spirit is seen today that is represented in Revelation 6:6-8 (3rd & 4th seals time). History is to be reenacted. That which has been will be again. This spirit works to confuse and to perplex. Dissension will be seen in every nation, kindred, tongue and people, and those who have not had a spirit to follow the light that God has given through His living oracles, through His appointed agencies, will become confused. Their judgment will reveal weakness. Disorder and strife and confusion will be seen in the church.” 4MR 152.  

 

The following is about events leading up to 5th seal events and should be read very carefully, because when the fifth seal is opened in heaven, God’s people on earth are shown being imprisoned and killed. Why? Because the previous destructive events will be blamed on them.     

 

The killing of God’s people—as the 5th seal is broken in heaven—is the same as that described in Revelation 13:15, where the United states will enact laws which “cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” 

 

The ‘image to the beast’ represents that form of apostate Protestantism which will be developed when the Protestant churches shall seek the aid of the civil power for the enforcement of their dogmas.”  GC 445.

 

So note that this will be brought about by the terrible events described in revelation 6:3-8.   

“In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, is Satan exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon the inhabitants of the world. The beasts of the field will groan, and the earth will languish. Isaiah 24:4-5. (Compare with 3rd & 4th seal events in Revelation 6:6-8). 

“And then the great deceiver will persuade men that those who serve God are causing these evils. The class that have provoked the displeasure of Heaven will charge all their troubles upon those whose obedience to God's commandments is a perpetual reproof to transgressors. It will be declared that men are offending God by the violation of the Sunday sabbath; that this sin has brought calamities which will not cease until Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced; and that those who present the claims of the fourth commandment, thus destroying reverence for Sunday, are troublers of the people, preventing their restoration to divine favor and temporal prosperity.” GC 589-90. 

 

Keep this in mind: “The leaders of the Sunday movement may advocate reforms which the people need, principles which are in harmony with the Bible; yet while there is with these a requirement which is contrary to God's law, His servants cannot unite with them.” GC 587. 


For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:10. 


Now note this connection between the above and fifth seal events—which will then apply primarily to God’s commandment-keeping people living in the United States: 

 

Fifth Seal: The Cry of the Martyrs: “When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been 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? And white robes were given unto every one of them (they were judged to have overcome. 3:5); and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” Revelation 6:9-11. 

 

“By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness… The cries of the faithful, persecuted ones ascend to heaven. And as the blood of Abel cried from the ground, there are voices also crying to God from martyrs' graves, from the sepulchers of the sea, from mountain caverns, from convent vaults: ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?’ (This is the 5th seal in Revelation 6:9-10).”  5T 451. 

 

Those fifth seal events will be soon, for they are followed by the final call to come out of apostate Babylon. “When the fifth seal was opened, John the Revelator in vision saw beneath the altar the company that were slain for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. After this came the scenes described in the eighteenth of Revelation, when those who are faithful and true are called out from Babylon.” Maranatha 199.  

 

And it is during this Revelation 18 loud cry that others—like those killed when the 5th seal was broken—will “be killed as they were.”

 

Why will this be? Because all those who are tested, sealed, and ready to live through the final satanic deceptions have not been “defiled with women; for they are virgins.” They have not been defiled by teachings of spiritual “harlots” in false churches. Revelation 14:4; 17:5. 

 

“Many would not endure the time of trial, and will therefore be laid away.” HL 238. 

 

“The best thing for us is to come into close connection with God and, if He would have us be martyrs for the truth's sake, it may be the means of bringing many more into the truth.” 3SM 420. 

 

As stated in Revelation 6:12-17, this will be followed—during the sixth seal period—by events in nature that will cause great fear:  

 

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 6:15-17. 

 

The “great day of His wrath” is not His second coming; it is a day of judgment, “the day of the Lord” and “a day of the trumpet” leading up to His second coming. The following Bible verses confirm this. 

 

Romans 2:5-6 But after your hardness and impenitent heart you are treasuring up to yourself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his deeds: 

Psalms110:5-6 The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the heathen. 

Zephaniah 1:14-16 The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. 

Isaiah 13:9-11, 13  Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil… Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger. [Compare those events with ones described in Revelation 6:12-14.] 

 

According to Peter, the signs in the sun and moon were fulfilled in connection with the Day of Pentecost. He said, “This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel. And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams…  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come.” Acts 2:16, 20.

 

Peter fully believed he was living near the end when he wrote, “But the end of all things is at hand.” 1 Peter 4:7. But this “day of the Lord” is an end-time series of events—So the prophecy by Joel was only partially fulfilled when Peter spoke on the day of Pentecost.

 

Note that EGW applied “partial fulfillment” to that Joel prophecy: “In immediate connection with the scenes of the great day of God, the Lord by the prophet Joel has promised a special manifestation of His Spirit. Joel 2:28. This prophecy received a partial fulfillment in the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost; but it will reach its full accomplishment in the manifestation of divine grace which will attend the closing work of the gospel.” GC ix.3.

 

John also thought the signs pointed to the coming of Christ in his day when he said, “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” 1 John 2:18. He was observing a partial fulfillment. 

 

The same could be said about Paul, who wrote:“My friends, what I mean is that the Lord will soon come.” 1 Corinthians 7:29.   

 

To provide motivation, Jesus seems to have wanted His followers through the centuries to always believe that His coming was near; and four times in the Revelation He says, “I come quickly.” And each generation since that first century has claimed that they were the last. 

 

Many believers in the early 19th century were sure Christ would come soon; and they pointed as evidence to signs like the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, the 1790 darkening of the sun and moon, and the 1833 falling of the stars.

 

But again, that was just a partial fulfillment that had reasonable significance at the time. What is needed now is to accumulate all the events foretold as happening just before Jesus comes.

 

EGW wrote: “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.” Ev 695. 

 

Consider this additional reference to partial fulfillment: "‘Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars... Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows’ (Matthew 24:6-8). While these prophecies received a partial fulfillment at the destruction of Jerusalem, they have a more direct application in the last days.” 5T 753. 

 

The “great day of his wrath” in Revelation 6:17 is comparable to “the day of His fierce anger” in the following Isaiah 2 end-time prophecy: 

 

And it shall come to pass in the last days… Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty... For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low… And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.” Isaiah 2:2, 10, 12, 19. 

 

EGW used this as an illustration of some events to precede those described in Revelation 18.  “What terrible scenes will take place when the Lord shall arise to shake terribly the earth! Then the words of Revelation 18:1-3 will be fulfilled. The whole of the eighteenth chapter of Revelation is a warning of what is coming on the earth.” Life Sketches, p. 411. 

 

The Revelation 18 Loud Cry—while ’Babylon’ is being destroyed—is also symbolized by the seven last trumpet-calls of warning at a time when Satan is exerting his final works of deception and destruction in the world. This will be explained as the 7th seal is opened in Revelation 8.  

  

Revelation 7 represents what is happening among God’s people during the times of Revelation 6 through 11. First there is a sealing of the 144,000 who remain faithful..

 

The 144,000 will be “translated from the earth, from among the living” when Jesus comes. GC 649. So how are they sealed?

 

First: “The sign, or seal, of God is revealed in the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, the Lord's memorial of creation. ‘The Lord spake unto Moses, saying… Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.’ Exodus 31:12, 13. Here the Sabbath is clearly designated as a sign between God and His people. The mark of the beast is the opposite of this—the observance of the first day of the week.” 8T 117.   

 

While faithful Sabbath observance during a time of trial will be an outward sign, note the inner requirement: “Just as soon as the people of God are sealed in their foreheads—it is not any seal or mark that can be seen, but a settling into the truth, both intellectually (a right understanding of God’s Word) and spiritually (fully motivated by love), so they cannot be moved—just as soon as God's people are sealed and prepared for the shaking, it will come.” Maranatha, p. 200. And remember: “It takes time to transform the human to the divine… By beholding we become changed.” AH 330.

 

The final “great multitude” of martyrs are referred to in Revelation 7 after the 144,000 are sealed:   

 

After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands… These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Revelation 7:9, 14.  

 

We are to realize that the judgments of God are about to fall upon the earth, and we should most earnestly present before the people the warning that the Lord has commissioned us to give: ‘For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.’ (Matthew 24:21).” EGW in RH, November 22, 1892.

 

Notice that the final great call to come out of Babylon takes place after it is fallen, and Christ has already judged them to be His people—they are honest in heart, but must still be called out during the loud cry to recognize the errors of Babylon and to separate from her:

 

They will not have time to develop characters needed to stand faithful with the 144,000 during the even more difficult times ahead, so they will be laid away. But if God allows them to “be martyrs for the truth's sake, it may be the means of bringing many more into the truth.” 3SM 420. 

 

“I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great IS fallen, is fallen… And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:1-4.   

 

 “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from now on: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.” Revelation 14:13.

 

This blessing on those who will “die in the Lord from now on” comes after Babylon is fallen, in verses 8-11; and can only apply when people, already identified by God as His, are called to come out of her. 

 

Remember now the question asked by those slain as the 5th seal was opened in heaven: 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 6:10. 

 

Now notice the answer: “And it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” Revelation 6:11. 

 

It is evident that their blood would be avenged during the seven last plagues, which fall after the great massacre referred to in Revelation 14:13.  

 

In Christ’s Matthew 13 wheat-and-tares parable, the field represents the church. COL 70. “The tares and the wheat are to grow together until the harvest; and the harvest is the end of probationary time.”  COL 72.

 

This is the same Revelation 14:15-16 harvest reaping of the 144,000 who will be “translated from the earth, from among the living” when Jesus comes. GC 649. It is followed by that great massacre, when “blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.” 14:17-20.

 

This blood will be avenged, along with that of those killed when the 5th seal is broken in heaven: “Reward her (Babylon) even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.” Revelation 18:6.   

 

In contrast with the 144,000 from spiritual Israel, these are among the “great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues… These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Revelation 7:9, 14. 

 

As with millions of martyrs before them, “they overcame him—the devil—by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Revelation 12:11.  

 

During the long “Dark Ages” period, Protestants called the papacy “‘Babylon the great’ (who) was ‘drunken with the blood of the saints.’ The mangled forms of millions of martyrs cried to God for vengeance upon that apostate power.” GC 59-60.

 

So what will be the great end-time attraction to God? “The last rays of merciful light, 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 415-16.  

 

Arise, shine; for your light has come! And THE GLORY OF THE LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise over you, and His glory shall be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising… Then you shall see, and become radiant, and your heart shall swell with joy; because the abundance of the sea (people) shall be converted to you, the forces of the Gentiles shall come to you.” Isaiah 60:1-3, 5 nkjv with kjv.    

  

“His rich blessing will rest upon them, and in bright rays they will reflect the light of heaven. Then a multitude not of their faith, seeing that God is with His people, will unite with them in serving the Redeemer.” EGW in RH 2/25/1902.   

 

Revelation 5 says that Christ is the only one in heaven or earth qualified to take the sealed scroll. This relates to Isaiah 59:16-20 where God “saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore His arm brought salvation unto Him; and His righteousness, it sustained Him. For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon His head; and He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak. According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, fury to His adversaries… And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.” 

 

This is followed in verse 21 by His sealing covenant with spiritual Israel: “As for Me, this is My covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and My words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth… from henceforth and for ever.”

 

Then we come—in the very next verses—to the symbolic loud cry, where, as EGW said, the “children of God are to manifest His glory.”  

 

Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the (spiritual) darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” Isaiah 60:1-3. 

 

“When the storm of persecution really breaks upon us, the true sheep will hear the true Shepherd's voice. Self-denying efforts will be put forth to save the lost, and many who have strayed from the fold will come back to follow the great Shepherd.” 6T 401. 

 

So now we come to events in Revelation 8 through 11 that take place when Jesus breaks the seventh—and final—seal on the scroll that is clearly “the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:8. Then the seven final trumpet calls of warning will sound. 

 

Notice the smooth flow of the context here—showing there is no break between opening the seventh seal and the angels who are given seven trumpets in the next verse, plus the third verse showing an angel with a censer. So all the events in chapters 8 through 11 will take place during the final period of probationary time—and after the seventh seal is opened.

 

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

8:2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. 

8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer;

 

Compare that with what John said as other seals were opened:

6:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals

6:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse

6:3 And when he had opened the second seal

6:4 And there went out another horse

6:5 And when he had opened the third seal

6:6 And I heard a voice

6:7 And when he had opened the fourth seal

6:8 And I looked

6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw

6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal

 

So the same pattern is seen when the Lamb opens the seventh seal as when the other seals were opened. There is no justification for starting a new and separate series at 8:2. All that follows in chapters 8 through 11 will take place in the closing days of probationary time.  

 

Sounding of the seven trumpets represents God’s people giving the Revelation 18 final warning: “The trumpet is to give a certain sound. Clearly and distinctly the warning is to ring out: ‘Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen... Come out of her, My people.’” 9T 149. Events described show this will be a period of Satan’s most extreme activity to deceive and destroy.


But first we see the Angel (Jesus) “take the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast [it] into the earth—and there were voices (sounds), and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.” Revelation 8:5.

 

“It” here means the burning coals of fire—and not the censer.   

 

I remember joining a crew as a teenager to fight a forest fire, and the tool we used most was a shovel. We were to “get a shovelful of dirt and throw ‘it’ on the fire.” Now if I had been stupid enough to think ‘it’ meant throw the shovel with the dirt, I would have been fired. 

 

So that verse simply means that Christ—our High Priest—will take the censer, fill it with burning coals from the golden altar, and cast the coals of fire (not the censer) into the earth. 

 

What is this? It is a blotting out of sins from the records of heaven, leading to the times refreshing—as described in Acts 3:19. It is the sealing of the 144,000, who now are “without fault before the throne of God.” Revelation 14:5.  

 

This “burning coals” symbol was presented to the prophet Isaiah: “Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live (burning) coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” Isaiah 6:6-7.  

 

This is not yet the end of probationary time, when Christ will “throw down the censer.” EW 279. 

 

Since the dead are to be judged out of the things written in the books, it is impossible that the sins of men should be blotted out until after the judgment at which their cases are to be investigated. But the apostle Peter distinctly states that the sins of believers will be blotted out ‘when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ.’ Acts 3:19, 20.” GC 485.  

 

What does it mean here that He shall send Jesus? It means a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain.

 

Jesus had said, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” In what way? “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth.” “He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you.” John 14:16-18; 16:14.  .

 

Revelation 8:5 says there are “voices (sounds), and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake” when Jesus throws down the burning coals from the golden altar. Those are symbols of the presence of God—as when He appeared on Mt. Sinai.

 

“And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice (sound) of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled…  And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.’ Exodus 19:16, 18.

  

Then as the seven trumpets of warning are sounded by God’s people, many who have only an intellectual knowledge of the truth—but no Spirit-led heart experience—will be shaken out: “Just as soon as the people of God are sealed… and  prepared for the shaking, it will come.” Maranatha 200. 

 

“The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out—the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place.” 2SM 380

 

This shaking and sifting out begins during the chapter 6 events, but is evident in a more marked way as the 4th trumpet is blown. This will be a period of Satan’s most delusive lies.  

 

Jesus spoke of this shaking out period in a parable about the wheat and tares: “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” Matthew 13:30.    

 

Note that the tares are gathered out first—before the second coming of Christ:  

 

“As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity.” Matthew 13:40-41.   

 

This is in contrast with the second coming of Jesus, when His angels—instead of “gather(ing) out of His kingdom all things that offend,”—“shall gather together His elect.”

 

“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall He send his angels, and shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.” Mark 13:26-27. 

 

The Matthew 13 separation of the tares from the wheat is a judgment by Christ that takes place at the close of probationary time. This is before the seven last plagues. 

 

The tares and the wheat are to grow together until the harvest; and the harvest is the end of probationary time.”  COL 72.

 

But “the Day of Christ's coming is a day of judgment upon THE WORLD (and not just His church, with a separation of tares from the wheat). The Scriptures declare, ‘Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all.’ Jude 14.  Before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.’ Matthew 25:32.” EGW in The Story of Jesus, p. 179.

  

Trumpets were often used in ancient times to warn the people of approaching dangers:  

 

“If when he sees the sword come upon the land, he blows the trumpet, and warns the people; Then whosoever hears the sound of the trumpet, and takes not warning; if the sword comes, and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.” Ezekiel 33:3-4.      

 

In the same way, the trumpet calls of Rev 8-11 (after the 7th seal is broken) have been called trumpets of warning—God’s last call to repentance before the close of probationary time.   

 

“When the earth is lighted with the glory of the angel of Revelation eighteen, the religious elements, good and evil, will awake from slumber, and the armies of the living God will take the field.” 7BC 983. Yes, Satan will work in powerful ways, while God’s people sound these last messages of warning.

 

“The days in which we live are solemn and important. The Spirit of God is gradually but surely being withdrawn from the earth. Plagues and judgments are already falling upon the despisers of the grace of God. The calamities by land and sea, the unsettled state of society, the alarms of war, are portentous. They forecast approaching events of the greatest magnitude. The agencies of evil are combining their forces, and consolidating. They are strengthening for the last great crisis. Great changes are soon to take place in our world, and the final movements will be rapid ones.” 9T 11.  

 

The Revelation 18:4 warning to come out of symbolic apostate Babylon is the same as that presented by the angels who are given seven trumpets as the seventh seal is opened in heaven. Rev 8:1-2. So what opposing events are represented as the seven trumpets are sounding?  

 

First trumpet: “The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.” Revelation 8:7.  


The trees and green grass represent God’s commandment-keeping people—as is evident when the fifth trumpet is blown. At that time it will represent just those who have the seal of God.   

 

“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.” Revelation 9:4.  

 

The United States will then control all nations of the world—as described in Daniel 11:40-43—And God’s commandment-keeping people will then be scattered worldwide. 

 

“The time is soon coming when God's people, because of persecution, will be scattered in many countries.” LDE 152.  

 

“Because we are now settled here, we seem to think that we shall never be moved. But there will come a time when there will be a great scattering, a scattering that we do not now dream of; and it will be brought about in unexpected ways. Some of you will be taken away to remote regions, but God will have a work for you there.” EGW MS 73, 1906.

 

People in all these other nations will be commanded to obey laws that are contrary to the Bible:

  

“As they (the churches of the United States) have continued to reject the special truths for this time they have fallen lower and lower. Not yet, however, can it be said that "Babylon is fallen,... because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." Revelation 14:8. She has not yet made all nations do this.” GC 389. 

 

A national Sunday law will be established when “the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions.” GC 445.

 

This will take place before the time when Christ breaks the fifth seal on the scroll in heaven. Many will then be killed—and they are told in 6:11 that many more will be killed at a later time.   

 

It is evident that the trees and green grass are symbols of God’s faithful people, and large numbers of them will die during the time of the first trumpet. Why? Because they are not prepared to stand through what is yet to take place, and—while they will be saved—God will not allow them to be tempted above what they are able to bear. 1 Corinthians 10:13.  

 

All who will “stand in the day of trouble... must be clothed with the righteousness of Christ, and be so fortified by the truth that the delusions of Satan shall not be accepted by them as genuine manifestations of the power of God.” EGW in PC 335. 

 

And remember: “It takes time to transform the human to the divine.” 2T 478. See 2 Corinthians 3:18. But Jesus said, “Whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it… (for) what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:25-26.

 

The strongest delusions of Satan are still ahead, and there will be large numbers of sincere believers at this time who will not be sufficiently “fortified by the truth” to faithfully endure them. God will not allow them to be tempted beyond what they can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13), and they will be saved—even if they just recently had a thief-on-the-cross conversion or reconversion experience. But only the 144,000 who live until Jesus comes will have demonstrated an ability to remain faithful when severely tried, and meet the above qualifications. They alone are fully settled into the truth, “both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved.” Maranatha 200. 

 

“Many will be laid away to sleep before the fiery ordeal of the time of trouble shall come upon our world.” CH 375.  

 

“The Lord has often instructed me that many little ones are to be laid away before the time of trouble.” CG 566. 

 

Second trumpet: “Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.” Revelation 8:8-9.

 

“We shall see troubles on all sides. Thousands of ships will be hurled into the depths of the sea. Navies will go down, and human lives will be sacrificed by millions.” Maranatha 37. 

 

This is a symbol of the future destruction of symbolic Babylon; and compares with Revelation 18:21 where “a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.” 


“‘Babylon is fallen,... because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.’ She has not yet made all nations do this.” GC 389.

 

“In the eighteenth chapter of the Revelation the people of God are called upon to come out of Babylon. According to this scripture, many of God's people must still be in Babylon. And in what religious bodies are the greater part of the followers of Christ now to be found? Without doubt, in the various churches professing the Protestant faith.” GC 382. 

 

When the Protestant symbolic Babylon falls, then the papacy will again rise to full power in the world—with the military support of European nations. 

 

A prophecy about the papacy says: “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” Revelation 13:3.

 

“When our nation shall so abjure the principles of its government as to enact a Sunday law, Protestantism will in this act join hands with popery; it will be nothing else than giving life to the tyranny which has long been eagerly watching its opportunity to spring again into active despotism.” 5T 712. 

 

Let the restraints now imposed by secular governments be removed and Rome be reinstated in her former power, and there would speedily be a revival of her tyranny and persecution.” GC 564.  

 

“Roman Catholic principles will be taken under the care and protection of the state. This national apostasy will speedily be followed by national ruin.” LDE 134.

 

Revelation 17 explains that the nations of Europe will support the papal beast. They will hate the Protestant Babylon—primarily the United States—and destroy her:

 

The beast (the papacy) that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition... And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings (symbolizing the nations of Europe), which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast… And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore (Babylon), and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.” Revelation 17:8, 12-13, 16.  

 

This will lead to events as the third trumpet sounds; for the papacy “is a masterpiece of Satan's power—a monument of his efforts to seat himself upon the throne to rule the earth according to his will.” GC 50.

 

Third trumpet: “Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood, and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.” Revelation 8:10-11.  

 

The star is a symbol of an angel. Revelation 1:20.

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” Isaiah 14:12.    

Jesus said, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” Luke 10:18. 

Wormwood is a symbol of one who turns away from the true God. Deuteronomy 29:18. 

 

So after the fall of symbolic Babylon, Satan himself will appear as a great benefactor—but also a terrible destroyer. Note later that Satan—the fallen star—is called the destroyer as the 5th trumpet sounds. 

 

Satan will take the field and personate Christ. He will misrepresent, misapply, and pervert everything he possibly can.” TM 411.  

 

Satan himself is converted, after the modern order of things. He will appear in the character of an angel of light… Through spiritualism, Satan appears as a benefactor of the race, healing the diseases of the people, and professing to present a new and more exalted system of religious faith; but at the same time he works as a destroyer. His temptations are leading multitudes to ruin. Intemperance dethrones reason; sensual indulgence, strife, and bloodshed follow. Satan delights in war, for it excites the worst passions of the soul and then sweeps into eternity its victims steeped in vice and blood. It is his object to incite the nations to war against one another, for he can thus divert the minds of the people from the work of preparation to stand in the day of God. Satan works through the elements also to garner his harvest of unprepared souls. He has studied the secrets of the laboratories of nature, and he uses all his power to control the elements as far as God allows.  GC 588-9.  

 

Fourth trumpet: “Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.” Revelation 8:12.      

 

The sun, moon, and stars are symbols of God’s people—His family. Revelation 12:1 & Genesis 37:9. Many nominal followers of Christ will still remain faithful as Sunday worship is required; but now large numbers will accept the falsehoods of Satan and turn their backs on God’s true church.  

 

“As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel's message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition.” GC 608.

 

“The Bible declares that before the coming of the Lord, Satan will work ‘with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness;’ and they that received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved,’ will be left to receive ‘strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.’ 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11.  

“When those that ‘believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness’ (2 Thessalonians 2:12), shall be left to receive strong delusion and to believe a lie, then the light of truth will shine upon all whose hearts are open to receive it, and all the children of the Lord that remain in Babylon will heed the call: ‘Come out of her, My people.’ (Revelation 18:4)...This message is the last that will ever be given to the world; and it will accomplish its work.” GC 389-90. 

 

Fifth trumpet: “Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star (which had) fallen from heaven to the earth. (The third trumpet shows this to be Satan). To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit (hell), and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit.  Then out of the smoke locusts (evil angels pretending to be people come to life) came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.” Revelation 9:1-4.  

 

This will be Satan’s ultimate demonstration of spiritualism, by making it appear that multitudes have risen from the dead:

 

Satan has long been preparing for his final effort to deceive the world… Little by little he has prepared the way for his masterpiece of deception in the development of spiritualism. He has not yet reached the full accomplishment of his designs; but it will be reached in the last remnant of time.” GC 561. 

 

Spiritualism will do its work by causing the dead to be personated.” EGW in 14MR 161.

 

“Satanic agencies in human form will take part in this last great conflict to oppose the building up of the kingdom of God. And heavenly angels in human guise will be on the field of action.” EGW in RH 8/5/1909. 

 

The 144,000 of chapter 7 have already been tested during chapter 6 events. Then they were sealed as the seventh seal was broken in 8:1-5. They will not be harmed by these evil angels—who can then hurt “only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.” Revelation 9:4.    

 

Note that Satan is their leader: “And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon (destruction), but in Greek he has the name Apollyon (destroyer).” Again, Satan is the destroyer. See also 1 Corinthians 10:10.  

 

Sixth trumpet: “Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” So the four “angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.” Revelation 9:13-16. 

 

These four angels had been told in chapter 7:1, “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.” Now they are fully released, and will allow great destruction through general anarchy worldwide.

 

Note that John heard the number “two hundred million” as those involved in this general destruction. For centuries this had represented the entire population of the world, and was calculated by the taxation process—as in Luke 2:3.

 

“Just before we entered it [the time of trouble], we all received the seal of the living God. Then I saw the four angels cease to hold the four winds. And I saw famine, pestilence and sword, nation rose against nation, and the whole world was in confusion.” EGW in 7BC 968.

 

Seventh trumpet: “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’” Revelation 11:15.   

 

“But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished.” Revelation 10:7.   


This means that probationary time has ended—as symbolized in verse 19: “Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple (but no mercy seat).” 

 

Chapters 12 through 14 present a recapitulation of prior chapters, while showing different details. Then the same Revelation 11:19 opening of the temple is described in Revelation 15:5-6.

“And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven (last) plagues.”

 

Notice the relationship with an end of the typical temple services:

“And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” Mark 15:37-38.   

 

“In putting Christ to death, the Jews virtually destroyed their temple. When Christ was crucified, the inner veil of the temple was rent in twain from top to bottom, signifying that the great final sacrifice had been made, and that the system of sacrificial offerings was forever at an end.” DA 165.  

 

This torn veil was between the Holy and the Most Holy portions of the symbolic temple. And the “ark of His covenant” was to be in the Most Holy place. So when “the temple of God (is) opened in heaven,”—without the mercy seat present—then the sanctuary services in heaven will be forever ended.  

  

Then Christ will say, “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. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:11-12. 

 

The seven last plagues will demonstrate to the universe that nothing more can be done to save the wicked.  

 

God will then say, “Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.” Isaiah 1:5.  

 

The plan of redemption has then been completed, and the Revelation 19:11-16 coming of Christ will immediately follow the seven last plagues of chapter 16.     

 

References, abbreviations, & explanations:

EGW   Ellen G. White wrote inspired commentary on the Bible. She said: “The Bible, and the Bible alone, is to be our creed, the sole bond of union; all who bow to this holy word will be in harmony. Our own views and ideas must not control our efforts. Man is fallible, but God's word is infallible.” RH 12/18/1885.      

AA      Acts of the Apostles by EGW. 

AH      Adventist Home by EGW. 

BC       EGW quote printed in the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary.

CG      Child Guidance by EGW.

CH      Counsels on Health by EGW. 

COL    Christ’s Object Lessons by EGW.

DA      The Desire of Ages by EGW. 

EV       Evangelism by EGW.

EW      Early Writings by EGW.

GC      The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan by EGW. 

HL       Healthful Living by EGW.

IJ         The Investigative Judgment in heaven that began in 1844. 

LDE    Last Day Events by EGW.

LLM    Loma Linda Messages by EGW.

LS       Life Sketches by EGW. 

Mar      Maranatha by EGW. 

MR      Manuscript Releases by EGW. 

MS      Manuscript by EGW.

MYP   Messages to Young People by EGW.

NKJV New King James Version of the Bible.

PC       Paulson Collection of writings by EGW.

PK       Prophets and Kings by EGW. 

RH      The Review and Herald magazine by the Seventh-day Adventist church.

SM      Selected Messages, vol. 1-3 by EGW.

ST        Signs of the Times magazine by the Seventh-day Adventist church.

T          Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1 to 9 by EGW. 

TM      Testimonies to Ministers by EGW.

WM     Welfare Ministry by EGW. 

 

 

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