Appendix B

The chronological placement of the trumpets

It is an important question to know the chronological placement of the trumpets. The events portrayed in the last two chapters of Daniel and in the book of Revelation are better understood from a principle illustrated in the seventh chapter of Isaiah. The setting for Isaiah 7 is the Lord’s great desire to protect and save His people. Today God’s people are again in great need of protection and salvation. Now, as then, this great need was not fully understood. In the parable Jesus told of the virgins waiting for the wedding, all of the virgins are pictured sleeping. "While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept." Matthew 25:5 So it is today. We are all asleep spiritually to some degree. As in the days of Ahaz, king of Judah, God’s people are under attack by the combined forces of Satan. So now, as then, God sends the prophet with a message and a plan to give the nation a sign of God’s presence and care. Ellen White is the prophet sent to us today. It was Isaiah that God sent in the days of Ahaz. The prophet Isaiah tells king Ahaz to ask for a sign from God. "Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above." Isaiah 7:11 Ahaz refused to ask God for a sign as he was told to do. What is our response today to the idea of asking God for a sign of His presence in our lives? The sign God wants to give us today is the outpouring of the latter rain. Are we

 

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this study.praying for the latter rain in the time of the latter rain? Are we deceived by the false latter rain, believing that it is the true later rain? These are important questions that are outside the scope of

God’s desire was so great to show His people a sign of His presence with them that even though king Ahaz refused to ask for a sign, God said that He would give a sign anyway!

"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings." Isaiah 7:14–16

Now there were two fulfillments of God’s sign. One locally with the child born to Isaiah in about 9 months (see Isaiah 8: 1–8, 18), and the other with the birth of Jesus to Mary. Jesus could not be the only fulfillment of that prophecy because by the time Jesus was old enough to tell right from wrong, it was 742 years after the prophecy was given and no local meaning could be understood in the birth of Jesus. When Isaiah’s son, Mahershalalhashbaz, was old enough to know right from wrong, the changes in government predicted in the prophecy had taken place which showed that God was indeed with His people and protected and saved a remnant of His people. The local, immediate fulfillment of that prophecy did not prevent the remote fulfillment 742 years later. And there is a third fulfillment that God wants to see in the future! The virgin is the church. The virgin-church of today is still to have a son that will show that God is with us. God is going to have a remnant, a nation born in a day (Is. 66:8), and that child of the virgin-church is going to show and develop the character of Jesus fully and demonstrate that the plan of salvation works and that God is indeed with His people.

Now this is the point as far as the trumpets are concerned. In the same way that the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14–16 had as least two fulfillments, both of which were valid, so the prophecy of

 

 

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the trumpets in Revelation 7 and 8 have two fulfillments. There is the historical set forth by Uriah Smith that was fulfilled as history shows, and there is the future, complete fulfillment that is necessary because of the delay in time. History does not have the same wake-up effect that current events do. In addition to that pragmatic reason for the need to repeat the trumpets, is the clear word of God:

"Trumpet after trumpet is to be sounded, vial after vial poured out one after another upon the inhabitants of the earth. Scenes of stupendous interest are right upon us" (Letter 112, 1890). {7BC 982.7}

Another reason for considering the trumpets are blown again in relation to the close of probation is that God tells us that the events portrayed in Daniel and the Revelation are revealed in their order.

"All that God has in prophetic history specified to be fulfilled in the past has been, and all that is yet to come in its order will be. Daniel, God’s prophet, stands in his place. John stands in his place. In the Revelation the Lion of the tribe of Judah has opened to the students of prophecy the book of Daniel, and thus is Daniel standing in his place. He bears his testimony, that which the Lord revealed to him in vision of the great and solemn events which we must know as we stand on the very threshold of their fulfillment." {2SM 109.1}

"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 302.1}

If the trumpets are all history, the order of closing events portrayed in Daniel and Revelation is interrupted. "What has been will be" (RH May 2, 1899). {3BC 1138.7} Either God has given us a guide, a "road map" as it were, to tell us the order of future events—or they are all in the past and the next thing we are to look for is Jesus coming in the clouds of heaven. Both of these ideas cannot be true. One idea is that there is nothing left to happen but the coming of Jesus in the clouds of heaven that could take place tomorrow or any other day soon. The second idea is

 

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that the sealing of God’s people is now in process. God has been working on sealing His people since the middle 1800’s. After the sealing of Revelation 7 there are still the trumpets and the plagues to be poured out on this earth. Part of this second idea is that with the knowledge of Revelation, we can know where we are in the chronology of last day events. Jesus knew the chronology of His last day events on earth from the study of prophecy and the understanding of the sanctuary service that pointed forward to His own life and death. I believe that we may know also. Both of these ideas cannot be correct. It appears to me that the weight of evidence is that, consistent with the character of God, there is more of prophecy in Revelation to be fulfilled again in this earth. One thing is certain—time will reveal what is what. In the mean time, let us study and be prepared to show ourselves approved of God. Let us not fight over these ideas!

Isaiah 7 is not the only prophecy with undisputed dual fulfillments. Joel 2:23 was understood to have been fulfilled at Pentecost (Acts 2:6). Do we not expect a present and future outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain? That is prophecy repeating!

The prophecies of the dark day, and signs in the sky of Joel 2:30-32 were partially fulfilled when Jesus was on the cross of Calvary. They were repeated in the dark day of May 19, 1780 and the falling of the stars, November 13, 1833. And if the Lord wills it, they will repeat again along with the promise of a latter rain before the coming of Jesus the second time.

If any say that there are no future prophetic time periods, then they must not recognize the prophecy of 1000 years spoken of in Revelation 20 known universally as the millenium.

These are among the many reasons that could be set forth for which it would be prudent to be open to the possibility of repeat fulfillment of prophecy in the future. As the events in the future open in their order, it may be Scriptural to consider that there may be a repeat of some things that we recognize also to have happened as a fulfillment of prophecy in the past. Today our salvation is nearer than when we first believed!

 

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"And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this [is] our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this [is] the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation." Isaiah 25:9

A major objection to the idea that prophecy and history repeat is often posed as a question. "If prophecy is going to repeat, how do we know what is going to repeat and when it starts?" The sign given to the apostolic Christians as to when to flee from Jerusalem was clear to them and none perished in the general destruction of Jerusalem (see page 213).

Because the same terminology and the same symbols are used in prophecy to tell us many details of the great controversy on earth, therefore we would expect the same symbols again to be used in the last days on earth. This is what we indeed find!

"And from the time [that] the daily [sacrifice] shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, [there shall be] a thousand two hundred and ninety days."

In context we read:

"And [one] said to the man clothed in linen, which [was] upon the waters of the river, How long [shall it be to] the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which [was] upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that [it shall be] for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these [things] shall be finished. And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what [shall be] the end of these [things]? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words [are] closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. And from the time [that] the daily [sacrifice] shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, [there shall be] a thousand two hundred and ninety days." Daniel 12: 6–11

 

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It is my current understanding that what the daily represents is the continual resistance to God that paganism has always represented in the past and today is represented in many open resistance organizations to God and the Bible and to the law of God. The abomination that makes desolate is the same resistance against God that paganism represents but in the guise of Christianity! Today it is the same giant organization as it was in the past, notably in the Dark Ages. Today we see a one-world church organization forming with all Christians in the world being urged to take part it in. When this organization has the power, it will "make an image to the beast" (Revelation 13:14), that is the signal that the end time prophecies and time-periods will begin. We are told explicitly by God what this means and its significance.

"The time is not far distant, when, like the early disciples, we shall be forced to seek a refuge in desolate and solitary places. As the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman armies was the signal for flight to the Judean Christians, so the assumption of power on the part of our nation, in the decree enforcing the papal sabbath, will be a warning to us. It will then be time to leave the large cities, preparatory to leaving the smaller ones for retired homes in secluded places among the mountains."—5T, pp. 464

Many may scoff at these ideas. It is written "but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand." Daniel 12:10.