The End of the Sixth Trumpet
I can’t figure out from what you wrote in the March issue why you prefer to put the end of the 6th trumpet and the beginning of the 7th in 1844 instead of 1840 like the pioneers did. Where did I miss it? Or is it in the April issue and I missed it there?
I will pray constantly that hearts will be open to receive the love of the truth during your current round of meetings in Europe. Carry on, “conquering and to conquer” brother! PR.
The argument there is a large argument, and it will take some time to lay out. I am simply trying to awaken a curiosity to the subject before I address it. Most people don’t know or care why or when the sixth trumpet ended. Jeff.
Brother PR Replies
Ok, I, for one, am curious…. We want to have a love for the truth and want to know what the truth is. A correct understanding of what happened back then when the sixth trumpet ended should help those of us who are interested to nail down other points of prophecy, and possibly help us understand how it will replay as history repeats at the end. Knowing what God is doing will help us know what we should be doing in order to cooperate with Him and be ready for Jesus’ appearing. PR.
Dear Brother PR,
As you know we have been attempting to deal with the seven trumpets of Revelation eight and nine in this year’s issues of the Future News. I briefly identified that I did not agree with the pioneer position that the sixth trumpet concluded on August 11, 1840. I will now try and set forth my thinking on this subject, but it requires a little introduction. About three years ago, a friend of mine was drawn into a study of Islam. Initially we both spent time investigating the subject, but ultimately he continued into a deeper study of the subject and our mutual participation with one another on the subject concluded. Before that time period I was virtually uninformed on the subject of Islam in Bible prophecy, and I still have much to learn. My first point is that what I have come to understand of Islam in Bible prophecy is rather recent for myself. I am stating this because the fifth, sixth and seventh trumpet are dealing with Islam, as well as a few other important truths.
In order to understand Islam in Bible prophecy a conscientious Seventh-day Adventist must consider the pioneer understanding of the trumpets. To not do so is to not be conscientious. The pioneers had a very specific understanding of the trumpets, and their understanding included the position that the fifth and sixth trumpet symbolized Islam. Many in Adventism today reject the pioneer understanding of the trumpets, but to do so without first considering their thinking on the subject is less than conscientious, it’s heretical. To suggest an understanding about the trumpets to modern Seventh-day Adventists that is in disagreement with the pioneer position requires that the teacher of the new understanding also explains why the pioneers were wrong. The pioneers of course were correct, but far too many reject the pioneer positions without even acknowledging that the pioneers had formed an understanding on the subject at hand.
For me, I fully accept the pioneer understanding of the trumpets, with a few different conclusions that I do not believe changes the primary understanding of the pioneers. Those different conclusions I will explain, and attempt to do so in a fashion that while disagreeing with the pioneers, still upholds the fact that they were men that were being directed by the Lord during the foundational time period of God’s remnant church.
To understand the seven trumpets, we must understand the seven churches and the seven seals. Prophetically the churches, seals and trumpets are interlocked with each other. The sixth church brings us to the Millerite time-period. The sixth seal brings us to the Millerite time-period, and the sixth trumpet brings us to the Millerite time-period. Today we are in the Laodicean time-period, when the seventh seal is being removed and the seventh trumpet is sounding.
Within the prophetic passage setting forth the churches, seals and trumpets we have three important truths that are interjected into the narrative. In chapters four and five we see the Lion of the tribe of Judah opening the booked that is sealed. The sixth seal raises a question that introduces the 144,000, and when we reach the point of the sounding of the seventh trumpet we have the Millerite movement inserted into the passage.
Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah is identified as the One who unseals the book. Christ is in control of not only the unfolding of history, but in the unfolding of prophetic light which shines forth from the sacred pages. The unfolding of the prophetic light is the instrument that Christ uses to direct His people.
He unsealed the book of Daniel in the Philadelphia time period to the Millerites and brought forth a great revival which established God’s remnant people. These were the people who were chosen to develop into the 144,000 of chapter seven. Chapter ten is an illustration of Christ unfolding the little book of Daniel unto the Millerites. In the time period of the sixth church, Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah unsealed the book of Daniel in order to begin the process of developing a people who would perfectly reflect His character to a dying world. He accomplished this action during the history portrayed by the sixth seal, when the prophetic manifestations identified in His word that warned of His soon return appeared. The specific truths that He employed to accomplish the empowerment of the Millerite movement were the prophetic truths contained in the message of the trumpets. Revelation chapters two through ten must be considered as a complete passage.
The churches, the seals and trumpets all reach their conclusion in the time when the 144,000 are prepared to stand. The churches, seals and trumpets are more concerned with the development of the 144,000 than any of the other histories which they represented in the previous churches, seals and trumpets. Revelation two through ten is emphasizing the development of the 144,000.
A friend of mine determined to produce a chart which contained several truths of Bible prophecy. He asked for my input on the information before he had it published.
Although I do not remember the specifics of my comments on the chart I know that his memory is excellent, and that he is an honest man. After the chart had been produced I told him that I thought he should have illustrated that the sixth trumpet concluded on October 22, 1844, not August 11, 1840 as the pioneers teach. This was a frustration for him, for in the past when he had asked for my input I had upheld the pioneer position of August 11, 1840 as the conclusion of the sixth trumpet. I am certain that I had given him the council which he followed in agreement with the pioneers, but time had passed and I had concluded that the pioneers missed an important factor of the fifth, sixth and seventh trumpets. My friend’s frustration was valid for he had already produced the chart.
Soon after our realization I sent him a long email setting forth the prophetic reasons for my new understanding. I asked him if he would be willing to have an interaction through email on this subject that we could include in a newsletter, with the purpose of opening up this prophetic discussion. He sent back an email and informed me that he did not want to participate in that type of dialogue, and that it could have negative consequences to have a public disagreement in the newsletter. I did not agree, but our friendship was more important in my mind than to cause him undue anxiety. I figured an open discussion would simply be a means of fine tuning a minor aspect of prophecy, but I dropped the subject and deleted my long email. Last summer we attended meetings in Europe.
While in Germany and then Switzerland a handful of people began to confront me with a position that was supposedly evidence that what I was teaching about the woes and Islam was incorrect. I had never been confronted with the argument, though I knew it had to be wrong. As I worked through the argument I came across evidence that the sixth trumpet did not concluded on August 11, 1840. The evidence was beyond the reasons that I had come to understand from the simple rules of prophecy. The evidence is unique, and no doubt will be a stumbling block to some, but I viewed it as the Lord’s voice telling me that I did need to publicly set forth the reasons why the sixth trumpet concluded, not on August 11, 1840, but on October 22, 1844.
Most Seventh-day Adventists understand that the Lord called three people to the prophetic office in the Millerite time period. The first two men, Hazen Foss and William Foy turned away from the calling, but Ellen Gould Harmon accepted. Here at the end of time modern Seventh-day Adventists generally are not very acquainted with the dynamics that took place in connection with the calling of Foss, Foy, and Harmon, but the pioneers were. When the pioneers set forth their early explanations and defense of the prophetic role of Ellen White they would often take time to identify the history of the calling of Foss and Foy to show that the Lord was active in establishing a prophet among His remnant people. The pioneer position is that Foss and Foy were genuinely called to be prophets. The pioneers do not identify the calling of Foss and Foy as some type of satanic deception that was brought upon these two men, but as a true and genuine calling from the God of heaven. In the Review and Herald, July 18, 1899, J. N. Loughborough wrote the following article:
“Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians1:6, 7.
“This ‘testimony of Jesus,’ as we have learned from Revelation 19, is ‘the spirit of prophecy;’ and from the scripture just quoted, we see that the prophetic gift was to be with the people who were proclaiming and waiting for the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. “About 1833, but more especially since 1840, a message has been sounding through the earth proclaiming the coming of Christ near at hand, ‘even at the door.’ In connection with this proclamation the Lord has been pleased to manifest the power of the Spirit in various ways, and in a marked manner. In many instances, not only in America, but in other lands, the Lord has been gracious to his people who have been engaged in heralding the glad tidings of our returning Lord, by speaking to them through the gift of prophecy. Attention is here called to some instances of this character in America.
“The first to be noticed is that of a godly man,—a well-educated and talented minister by the name of William Foy, who resided in Boston, Mass. At two different times during the year 1842, the Lord came so near to him that he was wrapped in holy vision. One of these occasions was on January 18, and the other was on February 4. By invitation he went from city to city to tell of the wonderful things he had seen; and in order to accommodate the vast crowds who assembled to hear him, large halls were secured, where he related to thousands what had been shown him of the heavenly world, the loveliness of the New Jerusalem and of the angelic hosts. When dwelling upon the tender, compassionate love of Christ for poor sinners, he exhorted the unconverted to seek God, and scores responded to his tender entreaties.
“Brother Foy’s work continued until the year 1844, near the close of the twenty-three hundred days. Then he was favored with another manifestation of the Holy Spirit,—a third vision was given,—one which he did not understand. In this he was shown the pathway of the people of God through to the heavenly city. He saw a great platform, on which multitudes of people gathered. Occasionally one would drop through his platform out of sight, and of such a one it was said to him, ‘Apostatized.’ Then he saw the people rise to a second platform, and some of these also dropped through the platform out of sight; and finally a third platform appeared, which extended to the gates of the holy city. A great company gathered with those who had advanced to this platform. As he expected the Lord Jesus to come in a very short time, he failed to recognize the fact that a third message was to follow the first and second messages of Revelation 14. Consequently the vision, to him, was inexplicable, and he ceased public speaking. After the close of the prophetic period, in the year 1845, he heard another relate the same vision, with the explanation that ‘the first and second messages had been given, and that a third was to follow.’ Soon after this, however, Brother Foy sickened and died.
“Another instance of the manifestation of the gift of prophecy is found in the case of a young man who resided in Poland, by the name of Hazen Foss. He was a man of fine appearance, pleasing address, with a good academic education. In the month of September, 1844, about six weeks before the close of the twenty-three hundred days, the Lord gave him a vision, in which he, like Brother Foy, was shown the ‘three platforms’ in the heavenly pathway. Some messages of warning to individuals were also given him, which he was instructed to deliver. In connection with this he was shown the trials and persecutions that would follow if he was faithful in relating what had been shown to him. As he also was expecting the Lord to come ‘in a few more days’ (as they then sang), he did not understand the third step (‘platform’) in the journey; and shrinking from the cross, he refused to relate the vision. The view was repeated to him; and in addition to the first, he was told that if he still refused to tell what had been shown him, the burden would be taken from him, and given to one of the weakest of the Lord’s children, one who would faithfully narrate what God would reveal. Again he refused. A third vision was given him, a very short one, in which he was told that he was released, and was shown the person upon whom the Lord had laid the burden, ‘one of the weakest of the weak, who would do the Lord’s bidding.’
“This startled the young man, who at once appointed a meeting on McGuire Hill, Poland, Me., for the purpose of relating what had been revealed to him. The people crowded together to see and hear him. He carefully related his experience,—how he had refused to relate what the Lord had shown him, and what would result from his refusal. ‘Now,’ said he, ‘I will tell you the vision.’ But, alas! it was too late. It had gone from him. Not a word could he recall. He wrung his hands in anguish, saying, ‘God has fulfilled his word. He has taken the vision from me. I am a lost man.’ From that time the man lived without hope, and died in 1893.” The Prophetic Gift, 27–28, Review and Herald, July 18, 1899.
So you may ask what this has to do with the sixth trumpet? While in the German meetings a brother or two began to confront me with an argument that in their mind proved that what I was saying about the three woes was erroneous. I spent little time even reacting to them, for their argument seemed improbable, and some of their other thoughts throughout the week of meetings had led me to have very little confidence in their overall understanding of prophecy. When the meetings concluded we moved on to the next camp meeting in Switzerland. When there, a brother also confronted me with the very same argument about the trumpets. His approach was more reasoned, so I realized I needed to investigate his argument, though I believed from an abundance of sound prophetic arguments that the point that was being raised could not be valid. The argument was that William Foy was given a vision in 1842, and that in the vision he was told that the sixth trumpet had not yet sounded. Their argument then was that the pioneer position concerning the trumpets was incorrect, for the pioneers believed the sixth trumpet ended on August 11, 1840 with the fulfillment of the time prophecy of Revelation 9:15.
Did Foy receive a vision in 1842 where he was told about the sixth trumpet? Yes! Was he told that it had not yet sounded in 1842? No. But when that vision was translated into German, the German translation twisted the statement to say that in 1842 the sixth trumpet had “not yet sounded.” This vision by Foy was the key for Adventists in Europe to reject the pioneer position on the trumpets and begin to set forth their erroneous ideas about the trumpets being a fulfillment of events at the end of the world. So what did Foy actually receive in vision concerning the trumpets?
Joseph Bates wrote a pamphlet where he dealt with Willaim Foy’s visions. It was titled, The Christian Experience of William Foy, Together with the Two Visions he Received in the Months of January and February 1842 In it as Foy describes the second vision he states:
“Against his breast, and across his left hand, was as it were, a trumpet of pure silver; and a great and terrible voice came from the midst of the boundless place, saying, ‘The sixth angel hath not yet done sounding.’”
In 1842 William Foy was told that the sixth trumpet had “not yet done sounding”. When this passage was translated into German the translator stated in German that the voice had stated “the sixth angel has not yet sounded.” If the sixth trumpet had not sounded in 1842, then the Millerite message of the trumpets was erroneous and the foundations of Adventism are destroyed. But that is not what the “terrible voice” from “boundless space” stated. The “voice” stated that in 1842 the sixth trumpet was still sounding.
Although the pioneers taught that the spiritual manifestation of William Foy was inspired by the spirit of the Lord, and although they taught that the sixth trumpet ceased to sound on August 11, 1840, they evidently never recognized the dilemma that they were in. They upheld two thoughts, which are in opposition to each other.
Am I saying that William Foy’s vision is the reason I believe the sixth trumpet ceased to sound on October 22, 1844? Not at all, for prophecy, long before the Lord providentially brought this insight to light.