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Does Revelation 4-5 refer to the Antitypical Day of Atonement?

Posted Jan 29, 2011 by Daniel Bernhardt in Midnight Cry (Loud Voice)
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Yes, I believe it does. Following, a

Sequence of events and particulars from Revelation 4 onwards, and its relation to other sections of the Bible plus some EGW comments:

® A door was opened in heaven. Rev. 4:1

A door is opened to the church of Philadelphia. The Church who was waiting the Lord in 1844 is part of the church of Philadelphia according to our historical understanding.

EGW identifies the open door referred to the church of Philadelphia as Jesus Christ starting his ministry in the Most Holies, as it follows,

"This subject was not understood by Adventists in 1844. After the passing of the time when the Saviour was expected, they still believed His coming to be near; they held that they had reached an important crisis and that the work of Christ as man's intercessor before God had ceased. It appeared to them to be taught in the Bible that man's probation would close a short time before the actual coming of the Lord in the clouds of heaven. This seemed evident from those scriptures which point to a time when men will seek, knock, and cry at the door of mercy, and it will not be opened. And it was a question with them whether the date to which they had looked for the coming of Christ might not rather mark the beginning of this period which was immediately to precede His coming. Having given the warning of the judgment near, they felt that their work for the world was done, and they lost their burden of soul for the salvation of sinners, while the bold and blasphemous scoffing of the ungodly seemed to them another evidence that the Spirit of God had been withdrawn from the rejecters of His mercy. All this confirmed them in the belief that probation had ended, or, as they then expressed it, "the door of mercy was shut."

But clearer light came with the investigation of the sanctuary question. They now saw that they were correct in believing that the end of the 2300 days in 1844 marked an important crisis. But while it was true that that door of hope and mercy by which men had for eighteen hundred years found access to God, was closed, another door was opened, and forgiveness of sins was offered to men through the intercession of Christ in the most holy. One part of His ministration had closed, only to give place to another. There was still an "open door" to the heavenly sanctuary, where Christ was ministering in the sinner's behalf.

Now was seen the application of those words of Christ in the Revelation, addressed to the church at this very time: "These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it."" Revelation 3:7, 8. {GC 429-30}

® The things that are going to be shown are going to be hereafter. Rev. 4:1

After what? John was at the end of his ministry at that time, and historians acknowledge that he received his vision between the years 96 and 101 AD. That puts the location of the "hereafter" after that time, and not in years past. The hereafter might refer to after the door is opened.

® A throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. Rev. 4:2

Besides the fact that God's throne is linked to judgment (first three verses that follow), there are some verses in the Bible (last 2 of the following verses) that point to the fact that when the judgment comes, God would somehow "move" his throne,

Psalms 89:14 Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.

Psalms 97:2 Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.

Isaiah 16:5 And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness.

Psalms 9:7-8 But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.

Daniel 7:9-10 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

Daniel speaks of thrones being cast down and after that he points to the Ancient of Days. John the revelator mentions "a throne was set", and later adds that the 24 elders were giving seats. The fact that in one verse is being mentioned "a throne", and in another "thrones were set" don't automatically establish that they are speaking of different events.

EGW speaking of what happened at the end of the 2300 days says:

"I saw a throne, and on it sat the Father and the Son. I gazed on Jesus' countenance and admired His lovely person. The Father's person I could not behold, for a cloud of glorious light covered Him. I asked Jesus if His Father had a form like Himself. He said He had, but I could not behold it, for said He, "If you should once behold the glory of His person, you would cease to exist." Before the throne I saw the Advent people--the church and the world. I saw two companies, one bowed down before the throne, deeply interested, while the other stood uninterested and careless. Those who were bowed before the throne would offer up their prayers and look to Jesus; then He would look to His Father, and appear to be pleading with Him. A light would come from the Father to the Son and from the Son to the praying company. Then I saw an exceeding bright light come from the Father to the Son, and from the Son it waved over the people before the throne. But few would receive this great light. Many came out from under it and immediately resisted it; others were careless and did not cherish the light, and it moved off from them. Some cherished it, and went and bowed down with the little praying company. This company all received the light and rejoiced in it, and their countenances shone with its glory.

I saw the Father rise from the throne, [SEE PAGE 92.] and in a flaming chariot go into the holy of holies within the veil, and sit down. Then Jesus rose up from the throne, and the most of those who were bowed down arose with Him. I did not see one ray of light pass from Jesus to the careless multitude after He arose, and they were left in perfect darkness. Those who arose when Jesus did, kept their eyes fixed on Him as He left the throne and led them out a little way. Then He raised His right arm, and we heard His lovely voice saying, "Wait here; I am going to My Father to receive the kingdom; keep your garments spotless, and in a little while I will return from the wedding and receive you to Myself." Then a cloudy chariot, with wheels like flaming fire, surrounded by angels, came to where Jesus was. He stepped into the chariot and was borne to the holiest, where the Father sat. There I beheld Jesus, a great High Priest, standing before the Father. On the hem of His garment was a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate. Those who rose up with Jesus would send up their faith to Him in the holiest, and pray, "My Father, give us Thy Spirit." Then Jesus would breathe upon them the Holy Ghost. In that breath was light, power, and much love, joy, and peace". {EW 54-5}

® Round about the throne were four and twenty seats. Rev. 4:4

Daniel 7:9-10 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

We see here Daniel speaking of thrones being cast down.

® Seven lamps of fire burning before the throne. Rev. 4:5

® Out of the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings and voices. Rev. 4:5

® The four living creatures and the 24 elders worship God Almighty. Rev. 4:8-11

® The one sitting on the throne (God Almighty) held a book written within and on the backside sealed with seven seals. Rev. 5:1

Here a book is presented being held in the hand of God, who was sitting on the throne. What does the Bible says regarding books, records or scrolls in heaven? Following a series of verses that dwell on this matter:

Exodus 32:30-34, Psalms 56:8, Psalms 69:26-29, Psalms 87, Psalms 139:13-17, Daniel 7:10, Daniel 12:1, Malachi 3:13-18, Php 4:1-4, Revelation 3:4-5, Revelation 5:1-10, Revelation 13:8, Revelation 17:8, Revelation 20:11-15, Revelation 21:27, Revelation 22:19

From those verses we know (I’d recommend you to read those verses to check if I am arriving to the correct conclusions) that:

- There are books in heaven.

- God will remove from his books only those who have sinned against him. It means that your name can be written in that book, but erased from it at certain point in the future.

- There is a book of the living, or as better known, the book of life. In that book are written the righteous.

- God when counting and writing his people, will take into consideration from where you came.

- Everything of every single human from its conception up to the last event is being registered. In some instances called the book of remembrances.

- When judgment starts in heaven, the books of heaven will be open (Daniel 7).

- The saved will be written in the book.

- God will make a difference in his judgment according to the things written in the books. His judgment is going to be based on the things revealed on the opening of the books.

- To those who overcome, two things are going the happen: they are going to be given white garments and his names not going to be blotted out of the book of life. That's at the judgment day.

- The book of life is the book of the Lamb. This book belongs to the Lamb. (Revelation 13:8 and 21:27)

- After the millennium, those who were not found in the book of life were judged according to the things written in the books.

EGW writes extensively on this subject in Great Controversy chapter 28 "Facing Life's Record" pages 479 to 491, which I'd recommend you to read it.

It's very clear in the Bible as far as the verses that we were able to see, what are those books or records that are in heaven, what they contain and what happens when they are opened.

EGW says the following (three quotes) regarding what was held in the hand of God while he was sitting at the throne:

a.) "The Jewish rulers did not love God; therefore they cut themselves away from Him, and rejected all His overtures for a just settlement. Christ, the Beloved of God, came to assert the claims of the Owner of the vineyard; but the husbandmen treated Him with marked contempt, saying, We will not have this man to rule over us. They envied Christ's beauty of character. His manner of teaching was far superior to theirs, and they dreaded His success. He remonstrated with them, unveiling their hypocrisy, and showing them the sure results of their course of action. This stirred them to madness. They smarted under the rebukes they could not silence. They hated the high standard of righteousness which Christ continually presented. They saw that His teaching was placing them where their selfishness would be uncloaked, and they determined to kill Him. They hated His example of truthfulness and piety and the elevated spirituality revealed in all He did. His whole life was a reproof to their selfishness, and when the final test came, the test which meant obedience unto eternal life or disobedience unto eternal death, they rejected the Holy One of Israel. When they were asked to choose between Christ and Barabbas, they cried out, "Release unto us Barabbas!" Luke 23:18. And when Pilate asked, "What shall I do then with Jesus?" they cried fiercely, "Let Him be crucified." Matthew 27:22. "Shall I crucify your King?" Pilate asked, and from the priests and rulers came the answer, "We have no king but Caesar." John 19:15. When Pilate washed his hands, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this just person," the priests joined with the ignorant mob in declaring passionately, "His blood be on us, and on our children." Matthew 27:24, 25.

Thus the Jewish leaders made their choice. Their decision was registered in the book which John saw in the hand of Him that sat upon the throne, the book which no man could open. In all its vindictiveness this decision will appear before them in the day when this book is unsealed by the Lion of the tribe of Judah". {COL 293-4}

And she says the following too,

b.) "I have words for all who may suppose that they are safe in obtaining their education in Battle Creek. The Lord has blotted out two of our largest institutions that were established in Battle Creek, and has given warning after warning, even as Christ gave warning to Bethsaida and Capernaum. There is a necessity of giving earnest attention to every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. There can be no sinless departure from the words of Christ. The Saviour urges the erring ones to repent. Those who humble their hearts and confess their sins will be pardoned. Their transgressions will be forgiven. But the man who thinks that should he confess his sins he would show weakness, will not find pardon, will not see Christ as his Redeemer, but will go on and on in transgression, making blunder after blunder and adding sin to sin. What will such a one do in the day that the books are opened and every man is judged according to the things written in the books?

The fifth chapter of Revelation needs to be closely studied. It is of great importance to those who shall act a part in the work of God for these last days. There are some who are deceived. They do not realize what is coming on the earth. Those who have permitted their minds to become beclouded in regard to what constitutes sin are fearfully deceived. Unless they make a decided change they will be found wanting when God pronounces judgment upon the children of men. They have transgressed the law and broken the everlasting covenant, and they will receive according to their works". {9T 266-7}

And she says,

c.) "The Book With Seven Seals Contains the History of the World.-- "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. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon" (Revelation 5:1-3).

There in His open hand lay the book, the roll of the history of God's providences, the prophetic history of nations and the church. Herein was contained the divine utterances, His authority, His commandments, His laws, the whole symbolic counsel of the Eternal, and the history of all ruling powers in the nations. In symbolic language was contained in that roll the influence of every nation, tongue, and people from the beginning of earth's history to its close.

This roll was written within and without. John says: [Revelation 5:4, 5, 8-14; 6:8-11; Revelation 8:1-4; quoted.]

The same spirit is seen today that is represented in Revelation 6:6-8. History is to be repeated. That which has been will be again".--Letter 65, 1898, pp. 6-9, 12. (To Brethren Griggs and Howe, August 23, 1898.) {9MR 7}

® No man was able / worthy to open the book. Rev. 5:2-3

The conditions to open the book are mentioned in this chapter. Those are:

a.) A man. (Revelation 5:2-3)

b.) That man must have prevailed. (Revelation 5:5)

c.) That man must have been slain. (Revelation 5:8-10)

Not everyone could open this book. In fact only Jesus Christ met all the criteria. That speaks volumes of the type of book that God was holding in his hand and what might be its content.

John 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

® John wept because no man was found worthy to open the book. Rev. 5:4

® The Lion of Judah hath prevailed to open the book. To prevail was necessary in order to open it. Rev. 5:5

In Revelation 13:8 and 21:27 the book of life is being mentioned as belonging to the Lamb. It doesn't appear a similar reference throughout the Bible, as far as this student knows.

Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

® The Lion of Judah is a Lamb as it has been slain. Rev. 5:6

® The Lion - Lamb took the book. Rev. 5:7

® The four living creatures and the 24 elders praised and worshiped the Lamb and declare that He is worthy because he was slain. To be slain was necessary in order to open it. There they identity as human beings is revealed. Rev. 5:8-10

® Many angels praised the Lamb and God. Rev. 5:11-14

® First seal opened the white horse presented by the 1st living creature. Rev. 6:1-2

® Second seal opened the red horse presented by the 2nd living creature. Rev. 6:3-4

® Third seal opened the black horse presented by the 3rd living creature. Rev. 6:5-6

® Fourth seal opened the pale horse presented by the 4th living creature. Rev. 6:7-8

® Fifth seal opened the souls of the martyrs were claiming for justice, but white robes were given to each of them, and they should rest for a little season until their fellow servants that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. Rev. 6:9-11

They are given white robes, and are told to wait a little bit longer. Because they are given those white robes, we know that they have overcome, that they pass the judgment (meaning their names were evaluated and kept in the book of life), and they are asked to wait a little bit longer. It's clear to see that the judgment that occurs during this seal continues as long as there are martyrs, which would be to right up the close of probation. Read Zechariah 3.

® Sixth seal opened and scenes of the second coming are shown. Who shall be able to stand? Two groups are presented. The 144,000 and the great multitude are presented. One angel commands to four angels to do not let loose the four winds till the 144,000 are sealed in their foreheads. A great multitude stood before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and palms in their hands. Rev. 6:12-7:17

The great multitude is seen in white robes, before the throne and before the lamb. At the sixth seal, this group under the judgment is found worthy. They are all of those who passed away believing in the third angel message. As we can see, this part of the judgment continues right up to the close of probation. There is going to be people who were in the book of life, but their names are going to be blot out of it, and are going to claim to the rocks to fall on them to hide them from the presence of the Lord, as described under this seal. Also, the 144.000 are not yet sealed.

® The seventh seal opened and silence for half an hour in heaven. The seven trumpets are sounded.

® The seventh trumpet is "when the time shall be no longer", when the mystery of God should be finished, when the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, the time to judge the dead (Rev. 20:12) and to give the reward to God's servants.

Evidently, this is the end of probation.


I. Regarding the order in which things occur in the judgment, EGW says:

"As the books of record are opened in the judgment, the lives of all who have believed on Jesus come in review before God. Beginning with those who first lived upon the earth, our Advocate presents the cases of each successive generation, and closes with the living". {GC 483}

II. Regarding Revelation

Result of True Study

"One thing will certainly be understood from the study of Revelation--that the connection between God and His people is close and decided.

A wonderful connection is seen between the universe of heaven and this world. The things revealed to Daniel were afterward complemented by the revelation made to John on the Isle of Patmos. These two books should be carefully studied. Twice Daniel inquired, How long shall it be to the end of time?

"And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And He said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days."

It was the Lion of the tribe of Judah who unsealed the book and gave to John the revelation of what should be in these last days.

Daniel stood in his lot to bear his testimony which was sealed until the time of the end, when the first angel's message should be proclaimed to our world. These matters are of infinite importance in these last days; but while "many shall be purified, and made white, and tried," "the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand." How true this is! Sin is the transgression of the law of God; and those who will not accept the light in regard to the law of God will not understand the proclamation of the first, second, and third angel's messages. The book of Daniel is unsealed in the revelation to John, and carries us forward to the last scenes of this earth's history.

Will our brethren bear in mind that we are living amid the perils of the last days? Read Revelation in connection with Daniel. Teach these things. {TM 114-5}