Two House Chronicles

The Folding of the Seals, Trumpets and Vials Part 2

The Folding of the Seals, Trumpets and Vials (Part 2)

by Marsue and Jerry Huerta

copyright 2017

edited 2018

  

In the previous chapter it was concluded that the historicist’s interpretations have progressed as each new generation has learned from the mistakes of the past and corrected their errors; this was chiefly conveyed in the case of the seven vials. Historicist E. B. Elliott held that the first vial or the commencement of the final plagues was fulfilled at the French Revolution,1 but more recent historicists have concluded that Elliott was in error and that and the vials or final plagues are an end time phenomena at the close of probation, just prior to Christ’s return.2 As a result, the seven vials cannot fold over the eras pertaining to the six earlier churches but must commence within the era of the seventh church; the seventh church encloses the seventh trumpet or the seven final plagues, just prior to Christ’s return.

No equivocation can prevail against the truth that past historicists have blundered in interpreting the seals, the trumpets and their structuring, which is even now being brought to light. The contemporary historicists Jon Paulien and Ranko Stefanovic have challenged the traditional historicist’s interpretations of the trumpets in connection with the fifth seal and the opening of the trumpets,3 by which they refuted the traditional views of the fifth and sixth trumpets as representing the rise and fall of the Ottoman empire.4 Even so, Paulien and Ranko’s omissions undermine their own interpretations; for example, the victims of the harlot Babylon (Revelation 17:6) cannot be omitted as an essential constituent of the fifth seal, which establishes that the trumpets maintain terminological and thematic correspondence with the sealing of the 144,000 and the three angels of Revelation 14. The souls under the altar in the fifth seal cry out for the final deliverance from oppression against the elect, in contradiction to the traditional interpretation of the ongoing oppression for two millennia; i.e., that deliverance is from the Jewish nation, the Romans and so on, suggestions that merely protract the oppression. While God delivered his people from such oppression in past ages the adverbial phrase (ἕως πότε) “how long” in Revelation 6:10 expresses finality, an end, as in Psalms 94. Ἕως πότε appears in Psalms 94:3 of the Septuagint to express finality concerning the oppression of the house of Israel in the corporate sense, until its ultimate deliverance, which is precisely how the adverbial phrase is used in the fifth seal. The use of the phrase to convey a protracted phenomenon is an inconsistency.

It must be noted that the prophesied judgment depicted in the fifth seal must, by precedent, also represent, in the words of historicist William H. Shea, a “judgment which distinguishes between the righteous and the wicked in Israel.”5 An indication that this is the particular judgment applicable to the souls under the altar is seen in the response to them, they are given gifts of white robes and a favorable decision is rendered on their behalf as saints of the most High as in Daniel 7. Shea makes just such a connection with his perception that the judgment in Daniel 7 pertains to the church and the little horn in the booklet, Selected Studies on Prophetic Interpretation.

 

For if the little horn stands for the papacy (as various interpreters in this school of interpretation have held), then this judgment has to deal, among other matters, with a professedly Christian entity.… Thus a judgment of the little horn would appear to involve a judgment of the millions of people who have attempted to follow God through allegiance to this alleged earthly representative of His. Any investigation by this judgment of the little horn should therefore involve an investigation into the cases of those professed Christian individuals who have made up and followed this corporate group.… The results of the judgment described in Daniel 7 cut both ways. An unfavorable decision is rendered in the case of the little horn: Its dominion is taken away and it is destroyed (vs. 6). On the other hand, a favorable decision is rendered in behalf of the saints of the Most High: They receive the kingdom (vs. 22).6

 

Shea’s passage is from a composition about Divine judgments that were connected to the sanctuary, which surely concerns the anticipated judgment of the fifth seal that is consummated by the events of the trumpets. The applicability of Shea’s conclusion is confirmation that the judgments anticipated in the fifth seal cannot commence asynchronously with the sealing of the 144,000 and the decrees of the three angels in Revelation 14; they must be contemporaneous. Shea did not go on to elaborate that the judgment “of the millions of people who have attempted to follow God” must conform to the principle of 1 Peter 4:17–18; the little horn cannot be judged until God judges his house, first. Historicist Ellen G. White stumbled on the synchronicity between the judgment in Daniel 7 and the sealing of the 144,000 and the decrees of the three angels in a publication intended for evangelists.

 

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1. Tucker, Brief historical explanation of the Revelation of St. John, According to the 'Horæ Apocalypticæ' of the Rev. E.B. Elliott, 103.

2. The confinement of the seven plagues to the time of the seventh trumpet was sustained by Treiyer: “the last and seventh trumpet was expected to be definitive in connection with the coming of the Lord (Rev 11:18: God's wrath outpoured in the seven plagues, 16:1).” Treiyer’s review of Heidi Heiks’: Satin’s Counterfeit Prophecy,” 5.

3. The traditional perception of recapitulation in Revelation was challenged by Ranko Stefanovic: “It thus appears that the clue to the full theological meaning of Rev 8:3-5 lies in the scene of the fifth seal.” The Angel at the Altar (Revelation 8:3-5): A Case Study on Intercalations in Revelation, 86; Paulien also states: “Very significant is the reference in Rev 8:13, which stands at the structural center of the seven trumpets. This verse indicates that the trumpet plagues fall on ‘those who live on the earth,’ the same group which was martyring the saints, referred to in 6:9-11 as the ‘souls under the altar,’” Interpreting the Seven Trumpets, 6-7. In both cases the sixth seal becomes a flash-forward and thwarts the traditional perception of recapitulation.

4. In the sixth chapter of this work Stefansson was cited to vindicate the traditional historicist’s interpretation of the trumpets, specifically the fifth and sixth, is under assault and cannot withstand the contemporary historic evidence that exposes its fallacies.

5. William H. Shea, Selected Studies on Prophetic Interpretation, (Biblical Research Institute, 1992, printed by Review and Herald Publishing Association), 145.

6. Ibid.