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Revelation 10 and the Seven Thunders

The Seven Thunders

 

Just before the Day of Atonement, on the new moon of the seventh month, there was a feast called “The Feast of Trumpets.” This feast represented the end-time movement that would announce the coming of the judgment, the “Advent Movement.”

 

It was a world-wide movement with prominent men on every inhabited continent (including Wolfe, Lacunza, Bengel, Miller, Irving, as some of the most prominent.)

 

What they were announcing was recently unsealed knowledge. Not until “the end” could the time prophecies of Daniel be understood. These had been sealed. And this is why, for example, that Paul could not speak “particularly” about the Most Holy Place ministry of Christ in Hebrews 9.

 

A prophecy about this Advent Movement is found in Revelation 10. There we find the book of Daniel, “a little book”, being unsealed. And when it is unsealed, “seven thunders” utter their “voices.”

 

We don’t normally associate “voices” with “thunders.”

 

But when we look at what happened after the book was unsealed in 1798, we find, indeed, that messages around the world announced the advent to be near. These “voices” gave a “loud cry” to get ready for Christ’s return.

 

John was going to write down what the voices cried, but was told not to. Those truths were to be “sealed up.” Of course, they wouldn’t be sealed forever. John was writing this long before 1798 and the messages of the messengers could not yet be revealed.

 

The next thing that happens in Revelation 10 is the 1844 declaration that “time will be no longer.”

 

And so we can confidently place the timing of the 7 Thunders as happening during the giving of the first and second angel’s messages, during the work of the Advent movement prior to 1844. This correlates precisely with the timing and content of the Feast of Trumpets. God foretold through the yearly feasts and again, through Revelation, that there would be a significant announcement of the coming Judgment.

 

What does Ellen White say about this passage? She mentioned the seven thunders one time during her life-time of writing, and that was in the year 1900.[1]

 

And what she said is exactly what we should have expected her to say even if she had not yet said it:

 

The special light given to John which was expressed in the seven thunders was a delineation of events which would transpire under the first and second angels’ messages. It was not best for the people to know these things, for their faith must necessarily be tested. In the order of God most wonderful and advanced truths would be proclaimed. The first and second angels’ messages were to be proclaimed, but no further light was to be revealed before these messages had done their specific work. This is represented by the angel standing with one foot on the sea, proclaiming with a most solemn oath that time should be no longer.

 

Some may wonder why I quote this paragraph first when it comes second in the original. The answer is that many persons, it seems, have been confused in their understanding of the verb tenses in the first of the two paragraphs. Here is the paragraph:

 

After these seven thunders uttered their voices, the injunction comes to John as to Daniel in regard to the little book: “Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered.” These relate to future events which will be disclosed in their order. Daniel shall stand in his lot at the end of the days. John sees the little book unsealed. Then Daniel’s prophecies have their proper place in the first, second, and third angels’ messages to be given to the world. The unsealing of the little book was the message in relation to time. The books of Daniel and the Revelation are one. One is a prophecy, the other a revelation; one a book sealed, the other a book opened. John heard the mysteries which the thunders uttered, but he was commanded not to write them.

 

The confusing thing here, for some persons, is that Ellen White is writing the first paragraph, in terms of chronology, from the perspective of John.

 

The seven thunders were future to John, but not to us.

Daniel standing in his lot was future to John, but not to us.

John “sees” is present to John and is long past to us.

 

But the second paragraph, quoted already, clears this up nicely and leaves no ground for misunderstanding. Yet, if people do not read the other paragraph, or if they do not realize it is part of the same document, they might not get the help they need.

 

Still, if they had read Ellen White’s other statements on Daniel standing in his lot (or, on the timing of the first and second angel’s messages), they would not get so confused by the tenses.[2]

 

The time has come for Daniel to stand in his lot. The time has come for the light given him to go to the world as never before. If those for whom the Lord has done so much will walk in the light, their knowledge of Christ and the prophecies relating to Him will be greatly increased as they near the close of this earth’s history (MS 176, 1899).

 

Those who become confused in their understanding of the Word, who fail to see the meaning of antichrist, will surely place themselves on the side of antichrist. There is no time now for us to assimilate with the world. Daniel is standing in his lot and in his place. The prophecies of Daniel and of John are to be understood. They interpret each other. They give to the world truths which every one should understand. These prophecies are to be witnesses in the world. By their fulfillment in these last days they will explain themselves.  {7BC 949.6}

 

Daniel is today standing in his lot, and we are to give him place to speak to the people. Our message is to go forth as a lamp that burneth. {AUCR, March 11, 1907 par. 10}

 

Conclusion

 

The Seven Thunders have uttered their voices. The events of these last days have fulfilled them and explained them. They were prophecies of the events to take place during the mighty Advent Movement that while it announced the coming Judgment.  They were the fulfillment of the antitypical Feast of Trumpets, which sounded at the beginning of the “seventh month” just nine days before the Day of Atonement.

 

Should men understand the thunders today? Yes, indeed. We should know what happened during the giving the Advent Message. Daniel is standing in his lot and we should give him a chance to speak.

For a Word Doc, see: Rev_10 – The_Seven_Thunders



[1] The CD ROM shows eight hits for “seven thunders,” but all of these are from two paragraphs in this one manuscript that are quoted in several different books. These quotes are from MS 59, 1900.

[2] A similar use of tenses is found in the Great Controversy, p. 488, and is quoted widely in other books. There Ellen White speaks of the opening of the 1844 judgement with future tense verbs and speaks of that as the time when all of us, with Daniel, must stand in our lot during the judgement. Following that, she warns, we must meet the “Judge face to face.”

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