Timely Greetings Volume 2, No. 13
WHERE DO THE SEALS AND TRUMPETS BEGIN AND END?
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, NOVEMBER 1, 1947
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
TEXT FOR PRAYER
True Holiness Is Wholeness In Service
I shall read from Christ’s Object Lessons, page 48, beginning with paragraph 2:
“Many feel a sense of estrangement from God, a realization of their bondage to self and sin; they make efforts for reform; but they do not crucify self. They do not give themselves entirely into the hands of Christ, seeking for divine power to do His will. They are not willing to be molded after the divine similitude. In a general way they acknowledge their imperfections, but they do not give up their particular sins…. The only hope for these souls is to realize in themselves the truth of Christ’s words to Nicodemus, ‘Ye must be born again.’ ‘Except a man be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ True holiness is wholeness in the service of God. This is the condition of true Christian living. Christ asks for an unreserved consecration, for undivided service. He demands the heart, the mind, the soul, the strength. Self is not to be cherished. He who lives to himself is not a Christian.”
We are commanded here to draw nigh to Christ and depart from self, and that before we can be “born again” we must first die to sin. Let us pray that we may realize that if we feel we are estranged from God, the fault is ours, and that we must do something to remedy the situation; that we must accept Christ’s gracious invitation: “Come unto Me, all ye that…are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” — Peace.
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WHERE DO THE SEALS AND TRUMPETS BEGIN AND END?
This afternoon we shall see where each Seal and Trumpet begins and ends. Let us first read the description of the first five seals:
Rev. 6:1-11 — “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. 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. And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth best say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name
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that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were 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; 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.”
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To find where the Seals begin, we shall carefully note that History records only one period of martyrdom such as is described in the fourth and fifth seals — the martyrdom that began with John the Baptist and, with but little interruption, continued on to about the middle of the eighteenth century.
Obviously, then, the fourth seal opened with the closing of the Old Testament time and the beginning of the New. Since this is so, and since the Seals are consecutive, the first three seals find their fulfillment, not in the New Testament period, but in the Old Testament period.
Now let us see when the second seal began. We are told that the rider of the second seal was “to take peace from the earth,” implying that there had been peace before. To learn the time of the second seal, therefore, we need to answer the question: When was peace taken away from the earth?–
We all know that there were no wars before the flood, that wars began after the confusion of tongues at the tower of Babel, after the human family had been divided into numerous tongues, nations, and races. The first war recorded in sacred history, was fought in the days of Abraham, and wars have stayed with us ever since. Before that day there was peace. Where else, then, could the second seal apply but after the flood, the time peace was taken away from the earth? Finally, the history of the first seal must be sought in the period before the flood. The color (white) of the horse itself speaks of peace, and so obviously the seals begin with creation.
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What could the horses, driven by men, symbolize? — They can symbolize only something over which man rules, for a rider always rules that which he rides. The horsemen, then, must be symbolical of man’s rule over the creation of God.
The colors of the horses and the professions of their riders show progress in greed and crime. It is evident from the symbolism that man’s ruling the world has not wrought improvement.
The white horse denotes peace and purity which existed only at the beginning of the creation of God. By the rider of the white horse is seen man’s great aim to subdue and to replenish the earth. And by the red horse and his rider we see blood-shed and wars. This brutality led the way for the black horse to come on the scene. The color black is significant of enslaving nations, and the balances are expressive of inventing commercial schemes to obtain wealth. The fourth horse, the pale, portrays a system of indefinable character — difficult to distinguish whether Christian or Pagan — hypocrisy. The fifth seal shows that the persecution of the saints continued to the opening of the sixth seal. Are not these the headlines of history? The Seals, therefore, begin with the commencement of these things.
Rev. 6:12-17 — “And I beheld when He had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven
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departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 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?”
The sixth seal contains the signs of the times and brings the end of the world. And since the sixth chapter of The Revelation brings us to the end of the world, and as the things of the seventh chapter take place before the end, it is obvious that the subject of chapter 7 — the sealing of the 144,000 from the tribes of Israel, and the gathering of the great multitude from all nations (the first fruits from the church, and the second from the nations) — lapses back into the period of the sixth seal. Besides, the seventh seal begins with chapter 8.
Now, where does the seventh seal begin? First let us remember that the sixth seal brought us up to the end of the world. Obviously, therefore, the seventh seal, which covers a number of subjects, must overlap with the sixth. Let us note that the beginning of the seventh seal disclosed the Seven Trumpets.
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The number seven in the Scriptures always carries the connotation of completeness. The Seven Trumpets therefore carry, as do the Seven Seals, a complete subject of their own. The term “trumpet” is significant of broadcasting a message. And so the Seven Trumpets in particular demonstrate the result which the disobedient to these messages suffered from the beginning to the end. That the seventh trumpet represents the last message is quickly seen from reading–
Rev. 11:15 — “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 for ever and ever.”
Here we see that the last message on earth is the message which announces the end of all earthly governments.
The Trumpets are in two divisions — the last three are “woe” Trumpets, the first four are not. That the Seven Trumpets cover both the Old and the New Testament times can easily be seen in a brief study of the fifth trumpet–
Rev. 9:1-4 — “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a Star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to Him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And He opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing,
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neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.”
To the Star which came down from heaven is applied the masculine pronoun “He”. To Him the key of the bottomless pit was given. Whom could the Star symbolize? — Let us turn to Revelation 20:1–
Rev. 20:1 — “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in His hand.”
Here we are told that this mighty angel, Satan’s enemy, has the “key of the bottomless pit.” If He has it, then to Him the key must have been “given.” The Star that received the key, therefore, is symbolical of this angel.
Moreover, let us notice that as the key opened the bottomless pit, the locusts were released. Finally, the fact that the locusts are enemies to those who have not the seal of God in their foreheads, then the “Star” (angel) that came from heaven and opened the pit to release the locusts is a friend to them and a mighty enemy to Satan. There is therefore no escaping this conclusion: The heavenly Star represents a heaven-sent Being, the same “angel,” of Whom we again read in chapter 20:1, and the locusts are Heaven’s rescued multitude. Who else, then, can the “Star” and the locusts represent but Christ and the Christians? Satan had shut up into the bottomless pit the entire Jewish nation, — the only nation that had previously been out of the pit. Christ therefore came to open the pit and to let the captives go free. To such a world was the Lord of Heaven sent, and when He came He immediately declared:
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Luke 4:18, 19 — “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Here you have it in Inspiration’s own code of mysticism, freshly unveiled that Jesus Christ is indeed a heaven-sent Being, the Saviour of the world.
Now the plain fact that the Christian era began with the sounding of the fifth Trumpet, the truth of the first four Trumpets must be sought in the Old Testament era.
We have now seen the nature and time where the Seven Seals and the Seven Trumpets begin and end, and those who want to know the subjects in all their details can do so by studying the tracts, — “The Final Warning,” and “The Breaking of the Seals,” — which will be mailed free upon request.
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