The Seals, The Trumpets, & The Investigative Judgment
Fire truck ladders were not long enough to reach many of the people trapped on the upper stories of the Pioneer Hotel.
Louis Taylor never intended to set a record. It just happened that way.
The Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There” was at number five on the billboard charts and a new movie starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw called “Love Story” had just been released. Perhaps most exciting to 16-year old Louis was that Christmas was just days away. He could not know that before morning dawned, his life would be forever changed.
The evening of December 19, 1970, was a festive time at the Pioneer Hotel in Tucson, Arizona. Several hundred employees of the Hughes Aircraft Company were at the hotel celebrating their annual Christmas party. Shortly after midnight, December 20, a fire broke out in the hotel. While some employees left, “Others sped through the building leading guests, most of the elderly people, to safety. ‘Many were doing brave things,’ a witness said.”1
Louis was one of the brave ones. “Investigation reports indicated that he was … helping people escape the inferno.”2 But before dawn broke, he was arrested and charged with setting the fire that took the lives of 29 people. Louis Taylor, an African-American, maintained his innocence but an all-white jury found him guilty and he was sentenced to life in prison.
“[Taylor’s] appeals were exhausted after the U.S. Supreme Court denied him a new trial in 1983. All the while, the judge who presided over his trial [had] publicly expressed skepticism about the conviction and stayed in touch with Taylor, sending him Christmas gifts and law books.”3
In 2002, a report by CBS’ “60 Minutes” provided the impetus for the police to begin reviewing the evidence. The Arizona Justice Project began studying Taylor’s case to see if, as he had always maintained, he was in fact innocent. Finally on April 3, 2013, forty-two years after his conviction, Louis Taylor walked out a free man. His forty-two years in prison stand as the longest in US history in which a man served time for a crime it is believed he did not commit.4
Justice failed Louis Taylor. It also failed Elizabeth Báthory. Arguably history’s worst female serial killer with over 600 victims, Báthory was never put on trial due to her family’s high social position. In Taylor’s case, an innocent man was punished for a crime he did not commit. In Báthory’s case, others were tortured and eventually executed for crimes for which Báthory was responsible while she was merely kept under house arrest because she was a noblewoman. Justice failed because it was not “blind” (impartial) in either case.
Justice relies on information. A trial is, essentially, an investigation that attempts to lay out the facts before a judge and a jury. If information is not available or it is withheld, severe injustice can—and has—occurred. For true justice, all the facts need to be clearly seen and understood, every extenuating circumstance taken into account.
Yahuwah’s government has a courtroom as well. In this courtroom, every son and daughter of Adam who has ever lived will stand trial. The stakes are infinitely higher than any court ever convened in any earthly trial. Here, those who are exonerated are freed to live eternally. They will be honored with royal status and treated as a daughter or son of the Most High. They will live in the royal palace. They will be at liberty to explore all the other worlds governed by the divine government. They will live a life that measures with the life of Yahuwah.
“In my Father’s house are many dwelling places [rooms, abodes]: if it were not so, I would have told you: I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2, 1599 Geneva Bible)
Those who are found guilty, however, will be sentenced to death. Unlike Louis Taylor who was later allowed to go free, once sentence is passed in the Heavenly courts, none will ever escape the sentence of death. This death is not death of the body alone. Their names will be blotted out of the Lamb’s Book of Life. Even the record of any good they may have done while on earth will be expunged. The sentence is eternal death from which there is no resurrection. This is why an investigative judgment into every individual life is so important. It is a matter of life and death—eternal life and death. No mistakes can be made. There are no second-chances here. All who are found guilty will cease to exist for eternity.
Yahushua foresaw this all-important judgment when He said: “For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.” (Luke 8:17, KJV) This is a promise! Our actions, no matter how misunderstood on earth, will be judged in the light of our deepest motivations. He who reads the heart can bring the kindest judgment to the most misunderstood action, while seeing clearly the hypocrisy that too often hides seemingly “righteous” actions.
It is reasonable to assume that any event this momentous would be discussed in Scripture, and it is. The importance Heaven assigns this subject can be deduced from the amount of space devoted to the subject. Besides scattered references to the investigative judgment in Daniel 7, Daniel 8, and Zechariah 3, a large portion of Revelation is dedicated to this portentous event. Revelation 4 through Revelation 11 cover events involved with, or that specifically occur during, the investigative judgment. Eight chapters out of a book that has only twenty-two! Clearly, the subject is given high priority and yet, strangely enough, very few people know about it.
The investigative judgment takes place in the very throne room of Heaven. It is a very impressive scene:
Behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne … and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of Yah.
And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind … And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Yahuwah Eloah Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, … The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Revelation 4:2-6, 8-11, KJV)
This is the awe-inducing, spine-tingling description of the throne room/court room of Heaven. It is the setting for this very solemn event of investigating the words, deeds and hidden motivations of every soul that has ever lived. The entire fourth chapter of Revelation is devoted to this description as though the Spirit of Yah is saying, “Pay attention! This is important!”
Yahuwah is more than our all-powerful, divine Creator. He is also our loving Father. He has done everything in His power to save as many of His children as possible. “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.” (John 3:35, KJV) The Son is both Judge and High Priest. As our judge, He says, “Neither do I condemn you.” (John 8:11, KJV) As our high priest, He takes on our sins. But more, He feels everything we feel. He weighs the force of every temptation so that He can know how much strength to give us. All of this is given to inspire the soul with confidence in the Father’s love so that we will seek the promised help and be saved.
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Yahushua the Son of Yah, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16, KJV)
In addition to all of this, weighting the judgment in our favor, Yahuwah goes one step further. He ensures that the jury is made up of our peers: fellow humans who have also suffered through a life of trial and temptation. The 24 elders constitute the jury in the heavenly courts.
The elders are humans. They wear the crowns of over-comers. Furthermore, when praising the Lamb (Yahushua) before the throne, they specifically say, “Thou art worthy … for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to Yah by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and has made us unto our Eloah kings and priests.” (Revelation 5:9-10, KJV) The elders may very well be the patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jacob’s sons, and others who lived righteous lives on earth. Enoch, Elijah and Moses may be among this number. Certainly, most of them were drawn from those who were resurrected with Yahushua and who were taken to Heaven with Him at His ascension. (See Matthew 27:52-53.)
A trial by a jury of one’s peers is a modern privilege, one that did not exist for many throughout time. The fact that Yahuwah would appoint a jury of humans underscores His desire for a fair, impartial, and just judgment. The four beasts are represented as being full of eyes. They are the heavenly intelligences that record everything. If the jury needs more information, they can get it immediately from the four beasts. The beasts have full knowledge, having seen and recorded all.
If this passage does not describe the investigative judgment, then what is it? Why is Yahushua standing? What function do the elders serve? Who is the Lamb? What is the book? If it is not, in fact, the investigative judgment, then what is it?
The Book of Life
Revelation 4 sets the stage, but Revelation 5 is where the action begins. “And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.” (Revelation 5:1, KJV) This is the most important book ever written. It is the Book of Life. None enter Heaven without their names being written there.
“Our standing before God depends, not upon the amount of light we have received, but upon the use we make of what we have. Thus even the heathen who choose the right as far as they can distinguish it are in a more favorable condition than are those who have had great light, and profess to serve God, but who disregard the light, and by their daily life contradict their profession.”
(E. G. White, Desire of Ages, p. 239.)
The Book of Life, for all intents and purposes, is a history book. It contains a detailed account of every act ever committed, every word ever spoken, every secret thought ever harbored since the creation of Adam. While Scripture does not explicitly state how names are entered into the Book of Life, the Bible does contain certain clues, which, gathered together, suggest that a person’s name is recorded at birth in this most accurate of all history books.
Peter declares: “Yahuwah is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9, KJV) When Paul preached to the philosophers and learned men of Athens, he referred to the fact that they were very devout, saying:
Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you. … Truly, these times of ignorance God5 overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, (Acts 17:22-23, 30, NKJV)
Paul was not just pandering to the egos of his listeners. He knew the Spirit of Yah was sent to every child of Adam ever born, to draw all to salvation. He acknowledged that these heathen were, to the best of their limited knowledge, trying to worship the Creator of All. In his letter to the Romans, Paul expounded further, stating:
For there is no respect of persons with Yah. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before Yahuwah, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when Yahuwah shall judge the secrets of men by Yahushua the Annointed according to my gospel. (Romans 2:11-16, KJV)
Everyone has the chance to be saved. That was the entire purpose of Yahushua’s death on the cross! Thus, divine justice places everyone on an equal footing. Everyone has the same chance to choose the right and respond to the drawing of the Holy Spirit.
“How surprised and gladdened will be the lowly among the nations, and among the heathen, to hear from the lips of the Saviour, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me”! How glad will be the heart of Infinite Love as His followers look up with surprise and joy at His words of approval!”6
Whether their names are retained in the Book of Life, however, is a matter of personal choice. By persistent rebellion, anyone can have his or her name blotted out of the Book of Life:
"Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness. Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous." (Psalm 69:27-28, KJV)
"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, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." (Revelation 3:5, KJV)
Yah will not force anyone to be saved against his or her will.
The Lamb Before the Throne
John sees a powerful angel calls for anyone worthy to step forward and break the seals to open the book. However, no one “In heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth” was found who could open the book or was worthy to even look in it!
This is devastating to the aged prophet. He understands the significance of this peculiar book. It is the Lamb’s Book of Life! Without this book, the investigative judgment cannot take place! “And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.” (Revelation 5:4, KJV)
One of elders quickly comforts John, telling him: “Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” (Revelation 5:5, KJV)
The Lamb of Yah which taketh away the sins of the world is worthy to open the book.
John’s attention is immediately captured. Oh, good! No man was found worthy to open the book, but they have found a lion to do it. Surely this strong, powerful king of the beasts will get the job done!
He turns to look at this mighty animal, strong enough to do what no mere man can do. “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, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of Yah sent forth into all the earth.” (Revelation 5:6, KJV)
Of course! The Lamb of Yah that taketh away the sins of the world is the only one worthy to take and open the book. Only He has earned the right to do it. The four beasts and the 24 elders immediately sing “A new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain.” (Revelation 5:9, KJV) The millions of angels in the courtroom join in, harmonizing: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” (Revelation 5:12, KJV)
Opening the Seals
Chapter six describes what happens as the book is opened. This book encompasses the entire history of earth and every life ever lived. The seven seals stand for different epochs of earth’s history. Once opened, each seal remains opened clear through to the end. There is no ending point until the second coming of Yahushua. However, once the next seal opens, another era begins.
The seven seals encompass all of history, from the creation of Adam through the Sabbatical millennium in Heaven.
It is impossible to pinpoint for sure the exact time at which most of the seals were opened. And, ultimately, it does not really matter when most of them were opened. It is the prerogative of Heaven to determine the different epochs. While the seals cover periods of time on earth, they are given from Heaven’s point-of-view. Which period of time (and which generation) falls under which seal, is a judgment of the tribunal of Heaven. Some dates can be determined, but not all.
First Seal: From Adam to ?
Second Seal: From ? to ?
Third Seal: From ? to ?
Fourth Seal: From ? to ?
Fifth Seal: Applies to all martyrs from Adam on.
Sixth Seal: From 1755 until the Second Coming of Yahushua.
Seventh Seal: Starts just before the sounding of the first trumpet and reaches until Second Coming of Yahushua.
Revelation was written after the first four seals had already occurred. Therefore, fewer details are given for those time periods since what is most important for the final generation is the information covering the sixth and seventh seals. For these eras, Heaven has not remained silent. Yahuwah has provided explicit details because it is of the utmost importance that those living at the close of time are warned of the events under the last two seals which impact them directly.
“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.” (Revelation 6:1-2, KJV)
John is already watching but the command is
given anyway: “Come and see.” Whatever is to take place, he is to perceive and understand it clearly.
The rider has a bow. A bow is a symbol of warfare. Interestingly enough, however, the word for “bow” (toxon) comes from another word (tikto) which means “to produce” and to “bring forth.” It “is used metaphorically … of lust as bringing forth sin.”7
This is very fitting because the first seal begins with Adam, the first man, when sin was “brought forth.” Adam lived almost a thousand years. He obeyed Yahuwah’s command to “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion.” (Genesis1:28, KJV) His long life of humble repentance for sin was an example to later generations and his strong faith in the promise of a Saviour to redeem and restore what he had lost are the same promises that people cling to by faith to this very day. These promises have gone forth “conquering and to conquer” and they will continue to do so to the end because good will always ultimately triumph over evil. Although we cannot know when the second epoch began, the first began with Adam. This first era when knowledge of the Creator was still strong in the earth, is well represented by a white horse.
“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.” (Revelation 6:3-4, KJV)
The command is again given to perceive and comprehend what is being shown. This horse is red. In Scripture, red is a symbol for blood and it is a fitting color to represent the next era of earth’s history. While it is not possible to indentify a specific point in time, it likely occurred following Adam’s death or near the end of his long life. During this time, a great apostasy came and many who had, during Adam’s life, been faithful to the Creator, turned away.
The first four seals release four horses. Each time John is told to “Come and see.” The command is for us today: perceive and comprehend the prophecy.
This passage seems to indicate the time period when the race of evil giants proliferated in the earth. “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of Elohim saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” (Genesis 6:1-2, KJV) The result of this unlawful union was the giants that did indeed “take peace from the earth.”
The violence and gross corruption of this era is directly responsible for the earth needing to be cleansed by the flood.
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of Elohim came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
And Yahuwah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented Yahuwah that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And Yahuwah said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth … for it repenteth me that I have made them.
[And] the earth also was corrupt before Elohim, and the earth was filled with violence. And Elohim looked upon the earth and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. (Genesis 6:4-7, 11-12, KJV)
The Book of Enoch expounds on the violence wrought by the giants as they fought and slew humans and one another. Peace was indeed taken from the earth under the age of the giants just as described by the second seal.
“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.” (Revelation 6:5-6, KJV)
The third seal released a black horse onto the earth and a renewed effort by Satan to hide the truth, light, and love of Yahuwah. Rather than a sword, this rider holds a pair of balances in his hand. Balances were used to measure grain by weight. The thing is, this is a pair of unjust balances. They cheat the purchaser of the full measure of grain owed them because a penny for a measure of wheat and only three measures of barley for a penny were exorbitant prices for the time.
Food is frequently used in Scripture as a symbol for doctrine. When Yahushua said, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst,” (John 6:35, KJV), His listeners knew precisely what He meant. It is possible this seal indicates the era following the flood when falsehood spread rapidly like metastasized cancer across the face of the earth. The baleful influence of Nimrod and his evil queen, Semerimus, with their corrupt and rebellious belief system, established a dynasty of error that can be seen to this day in the practices of venerating Mary as “Queen of Heaven,” the decorating of Christmas trees, and many, many other beliefs first founded by Nimrod.
The command given the third horseman, however, is definite: “See thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” Oil and wine are both symbols for spiritual truth. During this period, as error gained in power and influence, Yahuwah was establishing His own holy line through Abraham. Knowledge of the Creator was not to be entirely lost from the earth. Those who truly desired to know and follow truth could still do so.
The first four seals release four horsemen, representing the first four epochs of earthly history.
“And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name 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.” (Revelation 6:7-8, KJV)
An interesting Old Testament prophecy of the Messiah describes Him: “For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground.” (Isaiah 53:2, KJV) The Greek equivalent of the word, chloros which means “tender foliage” is the source of the English word chlorophyll. It is the same word used to describe the fourth horse: “ ‘Pale green,’ the color of young grass … ‘green thing,’ hence, ‘pale’ …”8
Yahushua was the tender plant, born at the close of the fourth millennium, His life spanning the crossover to the fifth millennium. He surrendered Himself to be over-ridden by Death, but in doing so, He turned the tables. “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2:15, KJV) “Therefore He says: ‘When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive,’ ” so that we may cry in triumph, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (Ephesians 4:8, NKJV; 1 Corinthians 15:55, KJV)
At whatever point in time the fourth seal was opened, it adequately reflects the condition of the earth when the Saviour came to redeem men. Yahushua was sent to the worst of the worst at a time when spiritual darkness had virtually crushed any light left. The Jews had been entrusted with great spiritual light. It was Yahuwah’s intent that they would share it with the nations round about who frequently crossed through Israel on the trade routes going north to south. However, following their return from Babylonian captivity, the Jews did not share the light they had with the surrounding nations. Rather, they sank into the self-idolatry of pharisaical salvation-by-works.
Greek philosophy and learning corrupted the Jewish schools and influenced the nation in a way previously unheard of. The result was the spiritual death of many. But it also impacted the Jewish nation physically, as well. When some Jews endeavored to remain faithful to the ancient principles, handed down from Adam, Abraham, and Moses, many of them lost their lives to the oppressive political powers (beasts) ruling over Palestine and the then-known world.
“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of Yahuwah, 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.” (Revelation 6:9-11, KJV)
There have been martyrs for truth ever since Cain raised a violent hand against righteous Able. Many of the faithful prophets of the Old Testament met death at the hands of violent men. The establishment and spread of Christianity, however, took martyrdom to an entirely new level. While the pagan Romans were typically quite tolerant and accepting of varying beliefs, as time passed and the pure, apostolic faith became corrupted, the disgust and prejudice the Romans felt for the Christians grew and this resulted in drastically increased persecution.
Even worse than any persecution by the pagans, however, was the persecution of Christians by fellow Christians. The Bishop of Rome started out as just one church leader among many, but as he gained in power and influence, he sought to bring still more people and territory under his control. He forced compliance at the cost of sacrificing conscience or life. Only Heaven will reveal the untold millions who lost their lives to this despotic power in defense of the truth.
The names of these individuals may be lost to history. No living soul remembers them and all they suffered to stay faithful to Yahuwah. But they are not forgotten. Their names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and they hold a very special place in the heart of the Father. The fifth seal is inserted as a message of comfort to those whose testimony are sealed by their blood. Even in the midst of the investigative judgment, Yahuwah takes time to send a message of hope and comfort. They are not forgotten. They will be richly rewarded for anything they are called to endure on earth.
And that promise is for the final generation, too. If any of us are called to seal our testimony with our blood, we can rest in the knowledge that we, too, will be remembered and raised again at the last day.
The identities of those who have given their lives for truth can never be forgotten. Their names are inscribed in blood on the palms of the Saviour.
“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 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?” (Revelation 6:12-17, KJV)
All of the seals, once opened, continue on to the end. The sixth seal, beginning with the Lisbon earthquake in 1755, focuses primarily on events associated with the commencement of the time of the end and the time of trouble on through to the second coming. Each of the significant events that draw attention to the end of the world are outlined in these six verses:
“Great earthquake” - The Lisbon
earthquake, November 1, 1755
The dark day - May 19, 1780
Stars fall from Heaven - November 13, 1833
So far, the sky has not departed as a scroll, nor has “every mountain and island … moved out of their places.” No one has fled into the caves and begged the mountains to fall on them. These are all events that will take place at the appearing of Yahushua at the second coming. This proves that the sixth seal culminates at the second coming of Yahushua.
The sixth seal is of extreme importance to the final generation. Each of the first four seals were only two verses in length. The fifth seal was three verses long. The events that take place under the sixth seal, however, are much more involved because they directly impact those living through to the very end. Much greater detail is given so that none need be taken by surprise.
There are seven seals, but after the sixth seal is opened, John’s attention is drawn elsewhere. What he is shown next clearly occurs under the sixth seal as the seventh has not yet been opened.
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. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living Yah: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our Eloah in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. (Revelation 7:1-4, KJV)
This is what the investigative judgment is all about! Those who have surrendered their lives to the Creator and allowed Him to write His law on their hearts will be sealed for all eternity! They are safe to save. The sealing settles them into the truth so that they can never be shaken. And not only are the final generation sealed, but all who have died in the hope of a Saviour will be sealed as well.
“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; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our Yah which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:9-10, KJV)
John is told that this great multitude is the saved of every generation, from Adam to the last infant born on earth.
And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Therefore are they before the throne of Yah, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and Yahuwah shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. (Revelation 7:14-17, KJV)
Again, this takes the scene of the action into the future, showing the successful, triumphant resolution the investigative judgment. Countless souls will be saved through the sacrifice of Yahuwah’s only Son. As foretold long before, “When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of Yahuwah shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53:10-11, KJV)
“And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” (Revelation 8:1, KJV)
When the seventh seal is opened, even Heaven is hushed as all activity ceases. The events that transpire under this final era of earth’s history are so solemn that even angelic intelligences wait with bated breath to see what happens next.
John, too, is filled with grave anticipation. What is going to happen next? The answer comes:
And I saw the seven angels which stood before Yahuwah; and to them were given seven trumpets.
And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before Yah out of the angel's hand.
And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. (Revelation 8:2-6, KJV)
Whatever events are to follow, they are surely of supreme importance to so capture the attention of everyone in the courts of Heaven.
And they are. The somber events that transpire after the seventh seal is opened are everything relating to the ending of life as we know it on planet earth. Trumpets herald the approach of royalty; they sound the alarm of danger; they draw attention to announcements. The trumpets that sound under the final seal do all of these things. They will be the most awful events the world has ever seen up to that time. It is during this series of events that Satan appears, impersonating to perfection the Saviour Himself.
Nor is that all. The close of probation and the seven last plagues also occur during the time of the seventh seal. No wonder Heaven fell silent when the seventh seal was opened! The seventh seal, like the sixth before it, ends at the second coming of Yahushua.
The seven trumpets herald the end of earth's history. They are a wakeup call that time is almost over.
Assurance of Salvation
The seals secure the Book of Life. Therefore, they are all encompassing. They cover everything from the creation of Adam, down to the second coming when the conflict is finally over and Yahushua comes to receive His own. Most of Christendom denies the doctrine of the investigative judgment, but it is right here! And it covers multiple chapters in Revelation. It is the most covered subject in the last book of the Bible.
Many people have feared the investigative judgment. Satan torments them with doubts and magnifies their insecurities. He whispers, “What if you are not ready? What if not every sin has been confessed and repented of? What if you can’t remember every sin? You can’t confess what you don’t remember!”
The good news is your judge is both your best friend and your defense attorney! He actually gave His life for you! Furthermore, He has just the arguments needed to silence Satan, the “prosecuting attorney.” This is beautifully represented in the vision of Joshua and the Angel. Joshua was the high priest. He bore the sins of the people therefore, in a sense, he represented—or was symbolic for—the individual.
And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of Yahuwah, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.
And Yahuwah said unto Satan, Yahuwah rebuke thee, O Satan; even Yahuwah that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?
Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.
And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.
And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. (Zechariah 3:1-5, KJV)
The angel of Yahuwah refers to the pre-incarnate Yahushua. In this scene, He is the judge. Satan is the accuser of the brethren. He stands at Joshua’s right hand to accuse him and present to the court Joshua’s sins in the worst possible light.
Those who honor [Yahuwah] and keep His commandments are subject to the accusations of Satan. The enemy works with all his energy to lead persons into sin. Then he pleads that on account of their past sins, he should be allowed to exercise his hellish cruelty on them as his own subjects. Of this work Zechariah has written, “And he showed me Joshua the high priest”—a representative of the people who keep the commandments of Yah—“standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.”
[Yahushua] is our High Priest. Satan stands before Him night and day as an accuser of the brethren. With his masterly power he presents every objectionable feature of character as sufficient reason for the withdrawal of [Yahushua’s] protecting power, thus allowing Satan to discourage and destroy those whom he has caused to sin. But [Yahushua] has made atonement for every sinner. Can we by faith hear our Advocate saying, “[Yahuwah] rebuke thee, O Satan; even [Yahuwah] that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?”
“Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments.” Thus sinners appear before the enemy who, by his masterly deceptive power, has led them away from allegiance to [Yah]. With garments of sin and shame the enemy clothes those who have been overpowered by his temptations, and then he declares that it is unfair for [Yahushua] to be their Light, their Defender.9
But a voice silences Satan’s accusations, and when He speaks, everyone obeys.
But, poor, repentant mortals, hear the words of [Yahushua], and believe as you hear: “And he answered (the accusing charge of Satan) and spake unto those (angels) that stood before him (to do his bidding), saying, Take away the filthy garments from him.” I will blot out his transgressions. I will cover his sins. I will impute to him My righteousness. “And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.”
The filthy garments are removed; for [Yahushua] says, “I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee.” The iniquity is transferred to the innocent, the pure, the holy Son of [Yah]; and man, all undeserving, stands before [Yahuwah] cleansed from all unrighteousness, and clothed with the imputed righteousness of [Yahushua]. Oh, what a change of raiment is this!
And [Yahushua] does more than this for them: “And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of [Yahuwah] stood by. And the angel of [Yahuwah] protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.”
This is the honor that [Yahuwah] will bestow on those who are clothed with the garments of [Yahushua’s] righteousness. With such encouragement as this, how can men continue in sin?10
The investigative judgment covered in such detail in the seals is not something to fear! It is Yahuwah’s final gift to prepare you for Heaven. Our righteousness is as filthy rags. And there is not a solitary thing we can do about it. But Yahushua does not leave us in our need.
The filthy garments are removed; for [Yahushua] says, “I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee” (verse 4). The iniquity is transferred to the innocent, the pure, the holy Son of [Yah]; and man, all undeserving, stands before [Yahuwah] cleansed from all unrighteousness, and clothed with the imputed righteousness of [Yahushua]. Oh, what a change of raiment is this!
He takes every sin away, and puts on us His robe of righteousness woven in the loom of heaven.... We are adopted into the heavenly family, and we shall inherit the mansions prepared for those who are obedient.11
Today, turn to the best friend you will ever have. If you make a full surrender and commitment, He will make sure you are ready. That is His job, not yours. If you don’t know how to surrender all, tell Him! Let Him help. In any area that you need help, He has pledged to give you all the help you need.
Turn to Him with the heart-cry, “Lord, save me! I perish!”
This prayer will always receive an immediate answer. Pray it today. Don’t delay. He is standing there, waiting, with arms wide open to welcome you.
For further study:
1 Arizona Daily Star, December 20, 1970, http://tucson.com/pioneer-hotel-fire/article_b0b75412-c5e8-11e5-846f-b7da6b43a579.html.
4 Rather than waiting an additional two to three years in prison to have his name exonerated in another trial, Taylor chose a plea deal in order to be released immediately. He explained, “I wasn’t going to give them another hour, another minute.” (Ibid.)
5 The name of the Creator is Yahuwah. But in his sermon to the Greeks, Paul had to approach them where they were in order to lead them to greater light. Hence, he used the word “Theos” or God since the name “Yahuwah” would have no meaning to them.
6 E. G. White, Desire of Ages, pp. 637-638.
7 Tikto, #5088, The New Strong’s Expanded Dictionary of Bible Words.
8 Chloros, #5515, Ibid.
9 Ellen G. White, Manuscript 125, 1901, December 9, 1901.
11 Ellen White, That I May Know Him, p. 108.