By Frank M. Keele
One of the most misunderstood and misconstrued doctrines among LDS folks these days has to do with the context and timing of the opening of the seventh seal and the half-hour of silence. I suppose you could divide us into two camps on this one, the seventh sealers, and the sixth sealers.
The seventh sealers almost universally say that the seventh seal opened back in 2000, some associate it with the dedication of the Palmyra temple on April 6 of that year. On the other hand, we have the sixth sealers, who are still patiently waiting for the scriptural texts to be fulfilled.
I find it interesting that this debate could only take place among us LDS folks because the rest of the world doesn’t have much of a clue when it comes to the multiple appearances which make up the process of the second coming. The rest of the Christian world would say to the seventh sealers, “No way guys, Gog and his army of 200 million are to lay siege against Jerusalem for 42 months before the Lord comes to the Jews and that can’t happen between now and 2021.”
And of course, the seventh sears would counter, “No, no, we’re not talking about the Lord’s appearance to the Jews, we speak of His first appearance to the saints at Adam Ondi Ahman, something you non-members know nothing about.”
But you know what, the seventh sealers should listen to the non-members because guess what? They go it right! The half-hour of silence has nothing to do with the Lord’s first appearance as documented in scripture and everything to do with His second appearance. We go to Rev. 8 and read:
1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
3 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.
4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.
5 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.
6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
One thing that is made perfectly clear above is that at the opening of the seventh seal and the beginning of the half-hour of silence, “seven angels which stood before God… were given seven trumpets… And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.”
This whole sequence of the seven angels blowing their trumpets continues on through Rev. chapter 11 and during the venue of the sixth angel (second woe) we read:
1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.
The verses above give us details of the “forty and two months” siege against Jerusalem by Gog and his 200 million, a sequence that leads up to the Lord’s appearance to the Jews as their Messiah.
So it should be obvious to all that this is not a sequence that leads to the events which unfold in America or at Adam Ondi Ahman but very clearly leads to the Lord’s appearance to the Jews.
So, do the scriptures give us a sequence that leads up to the Lord’s first appearance to His saints? Yes… and as a matter of fact, John also give this one to us, we go to Rev. 6 and read:
12 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;
13 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.
14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15 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;
16 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:
17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
One of the big problems that the seventh sealers have is explaining away this sequence, which they have to do to justify us being in the seventh seal. Some will say that this sequence occurred long ago or at the very opening of the sixth seal but that argument doesn’t hold water because there are so many passages in the D&C which place them in our future or at least they were in the future when the Lord spoke to Joseph Smith.
In verses 12-13 we have the sequence of “a great earthquake”, the sun becoming “black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood” and “the stars of heaven” falling “unto the earth” and if you’re a seventh sealer, you have to be able to show when this sequence took place since the days of Joseph Smith… a tall order indeed…
Verse 14 says, “And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.” Hmmm… “the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together”? When did that happen… “every mountain and island were moved out of their places”? You’d kinda think someone would have noticed this, right?
I don’t think we’ve seen 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, (hide) themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains” yet, do you?
Have they “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?” I don’t think this has been reported in the daily news or the history books… could it just be that the fake news hasn’t covered it… LOL…
And of course, it would make perfect sense that these folks who are hiding in the rocks and saying “the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” are doing so in response to some kind of an event, right? I think it’s pretty obvious that we are still waiting for the events of Rev. 6:12-17 to unfold, don’t you?
If you disagree, you have to accept the task of showing the world just when this series of events unfolded and how it is that nobody knows anything about them, right?
Now to change gears, here’s a concept that I’m pretty sure will be new to just about all of you. As many of you know, I’ve been writing and blogging on the sequence of the second coming for quite some time now and there is something that keeps popping up in my thoughts… The more I study and ponder this concept the more sense it makes to me… and what does this concept entail?… Simply this…
I think that everything John gives us from Rev. 6:12 and on thought chapter seven is all still pretty much in the future, I think we shall see all of this sequence unfold in the year with no rainbow and I think that what John writes in chapter seven was his view of events to unfold when the Lord makes His appearance as the Bridegroom at Adam Ondi Ahman.
Take some time to really read Rev. chapter seven and compare it to what Daniel says about the Lord’s coming to the saints in Daniel chapter seven.
So, to sum it all up, we have two sequences, the first one mentioned today unfolds after the opening of the seventh seal and the beginning of the half hour of silence and leads to the Lord appearing to the Jews as their long-promised Messiah. The second sequence mentioned here unfolds at a very brisk pace and leads to the Lord appearing to His saints as the Bridegroom (this will happen first) and if you attempt to mix the two sequences, such as saying that the half hour of silence leads to the Lord coming as the Bridegroom, you’re going to lose clarity.
And how do these two sequences work together? When the Lord makes His first appearance to His saints is when the seventh seal opens and the half hour of silence begins… simple… From D&C 64 we read:
23 Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming.
24 For after today cometh the burning—this is speaking after the manner of the Lord—for verily I say, tomorrow all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and I will burn them up, for I am the Lord of Hosts; and I will not spare any that remain in Babylon.
So, “now is called today”, it is the sixth seal, “until the coming of the Son of Man” and the seventh seal is referenced here as “tomorrow” when “all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble”. So in other words, when the Lord makes His first appearance to His saints we go from “today” to “tomorrow”… from the sixth seal to the seventh… simple!