The Last Countdown

No date says “birthday” to an Adventist better than October 22, 1844. However, that day ended in terrible disappointment, not joy. But there was consolation when the heavens were opened to Hiram Edson’s vision as he was walking through the cornfield the following morning. Soon they understood that the great anti-typical Day of Atonement, also known as the investigative judgment, had begun. Acting as the high priest in heaven, Jesus would cleanse the heavenly sanctuary of sin. By implication, he would clean the hearts of men and women, too, lest their sins—wafting up to heaven through prayer—would continually dirty the heavenly temple and make it impossible for Him to finish cleaning it.

The majority of Adventists were not Sabbath keepers at that time, but the Sabbath-keeping movement was starting to begin:

As we trace the story of the beginning of Sabbathkeeping among the early Adventists, we go to a little church in the township of Washington in the heart of New Hampshire, the state that adjoins Maine on the east and whose western boundary is within sixty miles of the New York state line. Here the members of an independent Christian church in 1843 heard and accepted the preaching of the Advent message. It was an earnest group. Into their midst came a Seventh Day Baptist, Rachel Oakes, who distributed tracts setting forth the binding claims of the fourth commandment. Some in 1844 saw and accepted this Bible truth. One of their number, William Farnsworth, in a Sunday morning service, stood to his feet and declared that he intended to keep God’s Sabbath of the fourth commandment. A dozen others joined him, taking their stand firmly on all of God’s commandments. They were the first Seventh-day Adventists. {EW xx.2}

Despite the fact that there were some Sabbath-keeping Adventists in 1844, there was a problem. The Spirit of Prophecy had been given to Ellen Harmon independently of those who were keeping the Sabbath. Thus two movements were afoot after the Great Disappointment: those who had discovered the light on the Sabbath through Bible study, and those who had welcomed the Spirit of Prophecy as manifested in Ellen Harmon (soon to be Ellen G. White). Those two movements needed to come together to give the united three angels’ messages of Revelation 14:6-11 to the world.

The Clock Cycle Begins

Horses on the clock wheel

The “white horse” star Saiph, which marks the beginning and end of a complete Orion clock cycle, symbolizes the pure gospel going forth to conquer. In the Orion presentation, it is interpreted to point to the year 1846—and not 1844. That is because the Sabbath truth had not been embraced by the leadership of the movement until 1846, and thus the gospel had not been fully restored to purity until that time. The white horse began to ride when James and Ellen G. White accepted the Sabbath truth and began to teach it:

The minister who cared for this church group, Frederick Wheeler, soon accepted the seventh-day Sabbath and was the first Adventist minister to do so. Another of the Advent preachers, T. M. Preble, who lived in the same state, accepted the Sabbath truth and in February, 1845, published an article in the Hope of Israel, one of the Adventist journals, setting forth the binding claims of the fourth commandment. Joseph Bates, a prominent Adventist minister residing in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, read the Preble article and accepted the Seventh-day Sabbath. Shortly thereafter, Elder Bates journeyed to Washington, New Hampshire, to study this new-found truth with the Sabbathkeeping Adventists residing there. When he returned to his home, he was fully convinced of the Sabbath truth. Bates in time determined to publish a tract setting forth the binding claims of the fourth commandment. His 48-page Sabbath pamphlet was published in August, 1846. A copy of it came to the hands of James and Ellen G. White at about the time of their marriage in late August. From the scriptural evidence therein presented, they accepted, and began to keep the seventh-day Sabbath. Of this Ellen G. White later wrote: “In the autumn of 1846 we began to observe the Bible Sabbath, and to teach and defend it.”—Testimonies for the Church 1:75. {EW xx.3}

“I believed the truth upon the Sabbath question before I had seen anything in vision in reference to the Sabbath. It was months after I had commenced keeping the Sabbath before I was shown its importance and its place in the third angel’s message.”—E. G. White Letter 2, 1874. {EW xxii.1}

The Whites readily accepted the Sabbath truth—the pillar of the third angel’s message—based on the scriptural evidence. However, there is much more to the story that has a great bearing on the beginning of the Orion clock cycle in 1846. Something else was needful in order for the third angel’s message to unite with the first two angels’ messages. Those who had the Spirit of Prophecy accepted the Sabbath, but the Sabbath-keeping movement had not yet accepted the Spirit of Prophecy.

The Sabbath-keepers (represented by Bates) needed to have confidence in the gift of prophecy too, in order to move forward together, just as a marriage union needs the mutual confidence of both parties. Again, Joseph Bates (representing the Sabbath-keeping movement) needed to accept the validity of the Spirit of Prophecy manifested in Ellen G. White (representing the movement of the first two angels), just as she and James White had accepted the Sabbath truth brought to them by Bates.

Joseph Bates had come up for a conference at Topsham, Maine. It was in November, 1846, over two years after the disappointment. Some of the others present were James White, J. N. Andrews, H. S. Gurney (with whom Bates had worked in the South), and Ellen Harmon. Three months before, she and James White had been married. Thus she was given by the Lord a strong protector, on whom in her weakness she might lean, but to whom also she was to be the greatest strength. You know from what I have told you how strong and fearless and devoted James White had been, and you know how faithful Miss Harmon had been in the work God had given her to do. But perhaps you do not know, as they could not know then, how great and mighty was to be the work they should accomplish in the years to come. From this time on we know Ellen Harmon as Mrs. Ellen G. White.

At this time Mrs. White did not see the importance of keeping the seventh-day Sabbath, which Joseph Bates urged, and Joseph Bates was not sure that the visions of Mrs. White were from the Lord, though he was sure she was a good and faithful Christian who believed what she told. And here the Lord brought them both, and all the brethren with them, to believe the truth each had.

{Pioneer Stories of the Second Advent Message, chapter XVII “The Opening Heavens and the Unchanged Law.”}

Divine Astronomy

How did the Lord bring them to believe the truth that each other had? The following account comes from the book Woman of Vision, p. 34:

Some stalwart souls who later became pillars in the church were initially hesitant about accepting the visions of Ellen Harmon. Outstanding among these was Joseph Bates.

Joseph Bates had been an earnest worker in the Advent awakening of 1840-1844. A sea-captain-turned-minister, he invested his property and his strength in heralding the soon coming of Christ. As Ellen and her sister were in New Bedford, Massachusetts, they became acquainted with him and his family. He, of course, learned of the visions given to Ellen, and this troubled him. He wrote of his experience two years later:

Although I could see nothing in them that militated against the Word, yet I felt alarmed and tried exceedingly, and for a long time unwilling to believe that it was anything more than what was produced by a protracted debilitated state of her body.

I therefore sought opportunities in the presence of others, when her mind seemed freed from excitement (out of meeting), to question and cross-question her, and her friends which accompanied her, especially her elder sister [Sarah], to get if possible at the truth (Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 97, 98).

Bates had been troubled with serious doubts as to the visions, but the evidence in the experience at Topsham, Maine, at the home of Eli Curtis in November 1846, was such that he accepted them wholeheartedly from that time forth. Bates told the story to his friend J. N. Loughborough, who recorded it in his book The Great Second Advent Movement.

The book goes on to relate the story itself, about the tangible evidence that he experienced in Topsham, Maine in November of 1846. I will break the story down for you afterward to explain the full depth of its significance, but first let us read the complete account:

Mrs. White, while in vision, began to talk about the stars, giving a glowing description of rosy-tinted belts which she saw across the surface of some planet, and added, “I see four moons.”

“Oh,” said Elder Bates, “she is viewing Jupiter!”

Then having made motions as though traveling through space, she began giving a description of belts and rings in their ever-varying beauty, and said, “I see seven moons.”

Elder Bates exclaimed, “She is describing Saturn.”

Next she said, “I see six moons,” and at once began a description of Uranus, with its six moons; then a wonderful description of the “opening heavens,” with its glory, calling it an opening into a region more enlightened. Elder Bates said that her description far surpassed any account of the opening heavens he had ever read from any author.

While she was talking and still in vision, he arose to his feet, and exclaimed, “Oh, how I wish Lord John Rosse was here tonight!” Elder White inquired, “Who is Lord John Rosse?”

“Oh,” said Elder Bates, “he is the great English astronomer. I wish he was here to hear that woman talk astronomy, and to hear that description of the ‘opening heavens.’ It is ahead of anything I ever read on the subject.”—GSAM, p. 258. {1BIO 113.3–114.1}

One needs to realize that there were few large telescopes at the time, and they didn’t have the capability to take and reproduce photographs as it is done today. Photography itself was not developed enough yet. Astronomers would peer through the telescope and then describe what they saw in words or make a sketch on paper. That is how they communicated the wonderful awe of the heavens.

Having toyed with a backyard telescope myself, I can attest to the awe of watching with one’s own eyes as the heavenly bodies track across the sky. One of my first experiences with my telescope was to point it at a bright star which I had guessed was Jupiter, and to see its “rosy-tinted belts” for myself. As my eye adjusted to the new experience, I was surprised and delighted to notice its tiny moons nearby, each only a tiny pin-point of light.

It is very hard to wait patiently while someone else is looking through the eyepiece and describing what they are looking at! It makes a person as eager as a little child to see it too! It is no wonder that Joseph Bates stood up and made his exclamation about Lord John Rosse (owner of the world's largest telescope), as if he wanted to take his own turn at seeing what Ellen G. White saw!

Moons of Jupiter, Saturn and UranusThose of you who have a basic level of modern knowledge of our solar system might have already recognized that Ellen G. White did not see the actual number of moons that are known to orbit the planets, which Bates identified from her descriptions. In fact, this has proven to be a point of offense for critics of Ellen G. White’s prophetic gift. It is not difficult to harmonize the matter, however, and you can read the arguments for yourself in chapter 7 of the book Ellen G. White and Her Critics, available on-line.

The way scientists categorize planets, moons and other orbiting heavenly bodies is far from a clear-cut matter, and the numbers and definitions of the terms have changed many times over the years. From my standpoint, the numbers of moons Ellen G. White saw are still intuitively valid today if you just count the bodies that actually look like moons. But the important point to be made is that God gave the vision to Ellen G. White for the recognized purpose of winning Bates’ confidence in the gift He had given her. He did not give the vision to win the confidence of the astronomers of today who have discovered countless other bodies orbiting the planets. It was for Bates in 1846, and—as we shall see more and more—for us in 2014.

The Signature of the Orion Clock

The vision and the circumstances around it all serve to affirm the correctness of the 1846 beginning date for the first star of the Orion clock. In addition to the qualitative descriptions of the planets that Ellen G. White gave, the number of moons she saw provided a quantitative fingerprint of the then-known solar system. To Bates, who recognized that this relatively uneducated young woman could not have fabricated this information, it was a divine confirmation of her spiritual gift.

We have harmonized countless quotes from the writings of Ellen G. White in our studies of the Orion message. Those are her “qualitative descriptions” that we have interpreted to refer to our message, like Bates interpreted her descriptions as the planets which he was so familiar with. In this astronomy vision, God adds the “quantitative description” of the Orion clock by giving the numbers that form its “fingerprint.”

The numbers of moons given in the vision are: 4, 7, and 6.

We immediately recognize the number 7 as a special number that represents completeness or perfection (as in Christ) so let’s set it aside and look at the other two numbers: 4 and 6. If we add 4 and 6 then we get 10, which refers to God’s perfect law of love (as in the Ten Commandments). Alternatively, we can multiply the numbers 4 and 6 to get 24, which calls to mind the 24 elders around the throne in Revelation 4 & 5.

Those chapters of the book of Revelation contain the construction plan for the Clock of God. Are you beginning to see the fingerprint of the Orion message in the numbers? By including the number 7 into the full equation, we get:

7 × (4 × 6) = 7 × 24 = 168

Dear reader, do you realize the significance of this?

The effect of the vision was to remove all doubt in Bates’ mind that Ellen G. White’s visions were of divine origin and to confirm that God had indeed laid upon her the gift of prophecy. The same vision now serves to confirm the Orion message for us today by fixing the two essential elements of any prophetic period: the start point, and the duration. The vision itself and its circumstances in November of 1846 give us the start date of the Orion clock cycle, while the number of moons encode the cycle’s complete duration of 168 years.

Furthermore, it was in the divine plan for men to have discovered the right number of moons just in time for this purpose. In fact, Ellen G. White’s travel from Earth to Heaven across the moon-studded orbits of the planets is itself symbolic of the 168-years of the three angels’ messages. How fitting that moons en route to Orion are employed to represent the travels of The Vessel of Time as it rolls heavenward on its lunar wheels.

Here at the final leg of the journey, we should seriously consider what else we can learn from the experience they had back in 1846 at the beginning of the clock cycle. History is repeating now at the cycle’s end! What happened back then is summarized in the November 1846 entry of the chronology in The Ellen G. White Encyclopedia as follows:

Nov. 1846 – Formative conference with Joseph Bates in Topsham, Maine. Ellen’s vision on the “opening heavens” convinced Bates that her visions were of more than human origin. From this time Bates and the Whites began united labors. See Sabbatarian Bible Conferences.

Thus, that same vision was the turning point after which Joseph Bates and the Whites worked together in united labor. The third angel’s message had become united with the first and second angels’ messages. It was the beginning of the proclamation of the combined three angels’ messages.

Oh reader, has the voice of God spoken to you through the opening heavens? Will you unite your labors with us in proclaiming what we should soon call the “Four Angels’ Messages”?

An Open Door Which No Man Can Shut

Imaging the Orion Nebula, then and now

It is important to understand what the term “opening heavens” meant in Ellen G. White’s day. She traveled in vision to that very special place, which was a specific well-known object in the starry firmament. The descriptive name “opening heavens” has since given way to its more common name: the Orion Nebula.

Bates was a sea captain, but his interest in astronomy clearly went beyond navigational necessity. He knew very well where Ellen G. White had traveled to in her vision. In fact, Bates had written an essay on the subject entitled The Opening Heavens which was prefaced in the spring of that same year, 1846. In it, he expounds what the term meant to him, to astronomers, and to the Bible writers. He quotes the English astronomer Huggins’ description of the Orion Nebula as follows:

Huggens, its first discoverer, gives the following description of it: “Astronomers place three stars close together in the Sword of Orion; and when I viewed the middle-most with a Telescope, in the year 1656, there appeared in the place of that one, twelve other stars; among these three that almost touch each other, and four more besides appeared twinkling as through a cloud, so that the space about them seemed much brighter than the rest of the heaven, which appearing wholly blackish, by reason of the fair weather, was seen as through a curtain opening, through which one had a free view into another region which was more enlightened. I have frequently observed the same appearance in the same place without any alteration; so that it is likely that this wonder, whatever it may be in itself, has been there from all times; but I never took notice of any thing like it among the rest of the fixed stars.”

A few points from Bates’ publication are noteworthy for this article:

  • For centuries, the Orion Nebula has been recognized as a “gap” or an “open space.” Modern science still affirms that description to be true.
  • Heaven and the Garden of Eden are associated with the opening in the heavens many times in the Bible.
  • The Bible indicates that Jesus (and thus the Holy City with the Garden of Eden) will return from the Orion Nebula.

Can you see into the heavenly sanctuary by faith? Are you beginning to see the glory of God in the cloud, as Moses did? Has the curtain (or veil) been pulled aside for you to see into the “more enlightened” region?

Oh, friend! Does it thrill your heart to know that Jesus Christ—through the Holy Spirit—is guiding His flock toward the pearly gates of the heavenly city today!?

Joseph Bates had written about the opening heavens before he became convinced regarding Ellen G. White’s prophetic gift—before she received her astronomy vision and before the “open space in Orion” was popularized among Adventists as the place where heaven is. Her vision served as a confirmation of what Bates had already found through Bible study. Her vision is doing the same thing today to confirm John Scotram’s study of the Clock of God in Orion!

Let Your Light Shine

Ellen G. White did not publish this vision herself. Its purpose had apparently been fulfilled in winning Joseph Bates, and there was no further need for it in her time. That begs the question: how did the vision come down to us?

J.N. Loughborough wrote Rise and Progress of Seventh-day Adventists and published it in 1892. His book contained the first published account of Ellen G. White’s astronomy vision. That was still in the wake of the 1888 fiasco, when the “old timers” like Loughborough undoubtedly realized that they were too old to live through another wilderness wandering to see the Second Advent before their death. The opportunity to travel to Orion had been missed, and because of that, the vision needed to be recorded for a future generation.

We are that future generation for whom this vision was recorded! Continuing the quote above from Woman of Vision, we read:

Ellen G. White reported of this experience that took place in the Eli Curtis home:

After I came out of vision I related what I had seen. Elder Bates then asked if I had studied astronomy. I told him I had no recollection of ever looking into an astronomy [book].

Said he, “This is of the Lord.” I never saw him as free and happy before. His countenance shone with the light of heaven, and he exhorted the church with power.—Life Sketches of James White and Ellen G. White (1880) {LS80 238.1}

Does not this one brief account speak volumes? It is about when God spoke the time and “our faces began to light up and shine with the glory of God!” It is about proclaiming the Sabbath more fully! It is about the “happy, holy state” of the 144,000 being sealed and perfectly united!

One thing we learn from Ellen G. White’s vision is that if we want to search for “Orion” in her writings (or in the Bible for that matter) we should use the nomenclature she used—“opening heavens.” The following quotes speak to the point:

Never before had angels listened to such a prayer as Christ offered at his baptism, and they were solicitous to be the bearers of the message from the Father to his Son. But, no! direct from the Father issues the light of his glory. The heavens were opened, and beams of glory rested upon the Son of God and assumed the form of a dove, in appearance like burnished gold. The dove-like form was emblematical of the meekness and gentleness of Christ. While the people stood spell-bound with amazement, their eyes fastened upon Christ, from the opening heavens came these words: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” The words of confirmation that Christ is the Son of God were given to inspire faith in those who witnessed the scene, and to sustain the Son of God in his arduous work. Notwithstanding the Son of God was clothed with humanity, yet Jehovah, with his own voice, assures him of his sonship with the Eternal. In this manifestation to his Son, God accepts humanity as exalted through the excellence of his beloved Son. {RH January 21, 1873 par. 5}

Have you ever wondered why Jesus needed to be baptized, when He had no sins to wash away? John the Baptist wondered the same thing, and Jesus explained that it was needful to “fulfill all righteousness.” In other words, He was baptized so that he could be a perfect example for others. The experience of Jesus is the example especially for the 144,000, because they would do a similar work. Keep that in mind as we study another quote about the opening heavens:

The childhood, youth, and manhood, of John, who came in the spirit and power of Elijah to do a special work in preparing the way for the world’s Redeemer [prefiguring the 144,000], was marked with firmness and moral power. Satan could not move him from his integrity. When the voice of this prophet was heard in the wilderness, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” Satan was afraid for his kingdom. He felt that the voice sounding forth in trumpet tones [the trumpet clock] in the wilderness caused sinners under his control to tremble. He saw that his power over many was broken. The sinfulness of sin was revealed in such a manner that men became alarmed, and some, by repentance of their sins, found the favor of God and gained moral power to resist his temptations.

He was on the ground at the time when Christ presented himself to John for baptism. He heard the majestic voice resounding through heaven and echoing through the earth like peals of thunder [the Seven Thunders and the Vessel of Time]. He saw the lightnings flash from the cloudless heavens, and heard the fearful words from Jehovah, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” He saw the brightness of the Father’s glory overshadowing the form of Jesus, thus, with unmistakable assurance, pointing out the One in that crowd whom he acknowledged as his Son. The circumstances connected with this baptismal scene had aroused the most intense hatred in the breast of Satan. He knew then for a certainty that, unless he could overcome Christ, from henceforth there would be a limitation of his power. He understood that the communication from the throne of God signified that Heaven was more directly accessible to man.

As Satan had led man to sin, he had hoped that God’s abhorrence of sin would forever separate him from man, and break the connecting link between Heaven and earth. But the opening heavens in connection with the voice of God addressing his Son was like a death-knell to Satan. He feared that God was now to unite man more fully to himself, and give him power to overcome his devices. {RH March 3, 1874 par. 19–21}

We are living in the time when this example becomes a reality for the 144,000, and again we see expressions in the text very similar to those in Ellen G. White’s visions of 1844 and 1847, where she heard the “day and hour.” The baptism of Jesus was to be an example, and so it is! Now it is the 144,000 whose baptism by fire will arouse the most intense hatred of Satan.

Strength for the Trial

The very next scene in both of those visions is one of terrible trouble and persecution, just like the next scene in Jesus’ experience was one of hunger and temptation in the wilderness. Beloved, we can already see the trouble and persecution on every horizon. This was also shown to Ellen G. White in the same astronomy vision of November 1846. Notice what is recorded in Ellen G. White: Volume 1 – The Early Years: 1827-1862, p. 115:

But more than other planets was shown to Ellen G. White in the vision at Topsham. Of this she wrote:

I was shown that I would be much afflicted, and that we would have a trial of our faith on our return to Gorham.—Life Sketches of James White and Ellen G. White (1880), 239.

Fulfillment was rapid. Ellen was taken desperately ill. Earnest prayers in her behalf brought no relief. For three weeks James White’s bride suffered until in her intense agony she requested that no more prayers be offered in her behalf, for she was convinced that “their prayers were protracting” her life and thus her sufferings. Every breath came with a groan. Otis Nichols, in Massachusetts, sent his son Henry to bring some things for her comfort, and while he was there he joined in the earnest prayers for her recovery. Ellen G. White tells of what followed:

After others had prayed, Brother Henry commenced praying, and seemed much burdened, and with the power of God resting upon him, rose from his knees, came across the room, and laid his hands upon my head, saying, “Sister Ellen, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole,” and fell back prostrated by the power of God. [On several occasions in the years 1840 to 1851—and even later—there were experiences in which the power of God was manifested in physical prostration. The circumstances, and the high character of the individuals involved, would lead to the conclusion that such experiences were genuine and not the fruit of fanaticism.] I believed the work was of God, and the pain left me. My soul was filled with gratitude and peace.—Ibid., 239, 240.

Ellen was completely restored to normal health and soon with her husband was off by boat to Boston. But this trip was anything but a restful one for the newlyweds, for a storm overtook them. She described the trip:

The boat rolled fearfully, and the waves dashed into the cabin windows. The large chandelier fell to the floor with a crash. The tables were set for breakfast, but the dishes were thrown upon the floor.

There was great fear in the ladies’ cabin. Many were confessing their sins, and crying to God for mercy. Some were calling upon the virgin Mary to keep them, while others were making solemn vows to God that if they reached land they would devote their lives to His service.

It was a scene of terror and confusion. As the boat rocked, one lady above me fell out of her berth to the floor, crying out at the top of her voice. Another turned to me and asked, “Are you not terrified? I suppose it is a fact that we may never reach land.”

I told her I made Christ my refuge, and if my work was done, I might as well lie in the bottom of the ocean as in any other place; but if my work was not done, all the waters of the ocean could not drown me. My trust was in God, that He would bring us safe to land if it was for His glory.—Ibid., 240.

He did!

It is amazing how the Lord gave real-life experiences to Ellen G. White in 1846 at the beginning of the Orion clock cycle that so perfectly exemplify the events that are transpiring here in 2014 at the end of the cycle. Her experience was to be an example.

He Went Forth Conquering, and to Conquer

Loughborough relates another story that seems particularly relevant to our experience. The story, which he titles “A Vicious Horse Suddenly Tamed,” also happened just after the astronomy vision:

Shortly after this meeting in Topsham, another striking incident occurred in connection with the visions, which I will relate as told me by Elder Bates:-

Elder White had the use of a partly broken colt and a two-seated market wagon, which was constructed without a dash-board, but had a step across the front of the wagon, and an iron step from the shafts. It was necessary that extreme care be taken in driving the colt, as in case the lines or anything touched his flanks he would instantly kick furiously, and he had to be held in continually with a taut rein to keep him from running. This colt belonged to a party to whose place they wished to go, and as Elder White had been used to managing unbroken colts, he thought he would have no serious trouble with this one. Had they known, however, that during its frantic demonstrations it had previously killed two men, one by crushing him against the rocks by the roadside, he might have been less confident.

On this occasion there were four persons in the wagon, Elder White and his wife upon the front seat, and Elder Bates and Israel Damon on the back seat. [Ellen G. White recorded an interesting and applicable story about Israel Damon in Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, p. 40-42.] While Elder White was giving his utmost care to keep the horse under control, Mrs. White was conversing about the truth, when the power of God came down upon the company and she was taken off in vision, seated in the wagon. The moment she shouted “Glory!” as she went into vision, the colt suddenly stopped perfectly still, and dropped his head. At the same time Mrs. White arose, while in this state, and with her eyes looking upward, stepped over the front of the wagon, down on to the shafts, with her hands on the colt’s haunches. Elder Bates called out to Elder White, “The colt will kick that woman to death.” Elder White replied, “The Lord has the colt in charge now;

I do not wish to interfere.” The colt stood as gentle as an old horse. By the roadside the bank rose up some six feet, and next to the fence was a grassy place. Mrs. White, with her eyes still upward, not once looking down, went up the bank on to the grassy plot, then walked back and forth for a few minutes, talking and describing the beauties of the new earth. Then, with her head in the same posture, she came down the bank, walked up to the wagon, stepped up on to the steps, with her hand on the rump of the colt, and so up on to the shafts, and into the wagon again. The moment she sat down upon the seat she came out of vision, and that instant the horse, without any indication from the driver, started up, and went on his way.

While Mrs. White was out of the wagon, Elder White thought he would test the horse, and see if he was really tame or not. At first he just touched him with the whip; at other times the horse would have responded with a kick, but now there was no motion. He then struck him quite a blow, then harder, and still harder. The colt paid no attention to the blows whatever, but seemed as harmless as the lions whose mouths the angels shut the night Daniel spent in their den. “It was a solemn place,” said Elder Bates, “and it was evident that the same Power that produced the visions, for the time being subdued the wild nature of the colt.”

If this vision was simply the result of some of her bodily infirmities, the query naturally arises, Was the horse afflicted in like manner?

Isn’t it interesting that right when the three angels’ messages united, there is a story about a horse—a horse that was tamed by heaven and went at heaven’s command. That surely symbolizes Jesus riding the white horse of Revelation, going forth in 1846 to conquer the world with the three angels’ messages.

What does it say about the white horse of 2014?

The Cleansing of the Sanctuary

When the white horse rides, Jesus needs to have a clean church to proclaim the pure gospel. Since the earthly counterpart to the heavenly courtroom has been relocated to us, it was only logical that the judgment would begin here. And it did. Ezekiel 9 has started.

We gave a loud trumpet warning for the fall feasts, warning of it all throughout the barley-confirmed feast season. There were three high Sabbaths, the special “white horse” Day of Atonement, a blood moon, the third trumpet, and more!  God allowed ample time for the warning to go out and to be heeded.

They have dealt treacherously with the Lord, For they have begotten pagan children. Now a New Moon shall devour them and their heritage. (Hosea 5:7, NKJV)

The cleansing began precisely on the new moon of the second possibility for the feasts, on the Day of Trumpets, and was completed just in time for the Day of Atonement. We’ve known that the first possibility of the feasts often has to do with movements of the Father, while the second possibility has to do with movements of Jesus.  Indeed, He is at work cleansing His church—right on schedule.

We had a person in our midst who was not spiritually clean. Satan had used him for a long time in a very subtle way to attack this movement. The whole story is beyond the scope of this article, but the bottom line is that Jan Meve has left the team and our contact pages have been updated accordingly.

Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. (Ezekiel 9:6)

It is a fearful ordeal, and should give cause for solemn reflection. We who have had the greatest opportunities to be transformed by the light of heaven are that much more accountable.

If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! (Matthew 6:23)

Interestingly, we are now seven adults on the farm—not all leaders, but together symbolizing the many ministers of God who are to reveal the love of Christ.

“These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand.” Revelation 2:1. These words are spoken to the teachers in the church—those entrusted by God with weighty responsibilities. The sweet influences that are to be abundant in the church are bound up with God’s ministers, who are to reveal the love of Christ. The stars of heaven are under His control. He fills them with light. He guides and directs their movements. If He did not do this, they would become fallen stars. So with His ministers. They are but instruments in His hands, and all the good they accomplish is done through His power. Through them His light is to shine forth. The Saviour is to be their efficiency. If they will look to Him as He looked to the Father they will be enabled to do His work. As they make God their dependence, He will give them His brightness to reflect to the world. {AA 586.3}

The judgment has begun with the elders of the house of God, but you can be sure it will not end until the entire church is cleansed.

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (1 Peter 4:17-18)

The Day of Atonement has always been associated with mixed feelings. It was a fearful day to afflict the soul, but at the end of the day the sins of the nation were placed upon the scapegoat where they belonged.

However, to those who sigh and cry—not primarily about the sins they see in others, but about their own sins—the atonement is just that: “at-one-ment” or a special closeness or union with God that is only possible if sin is renounced.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Christ won a great victory in that none others were lost while cleansing our camp, and our hearts, right now in 2014. The Orion clock strikes the hour and the white horse rides again. I pray that the Lord in Orion will conquer your heart too, “conquering and to conquer,” until every last one of the 144,000 are made up.

In conclusion, let it be said that the faithful prophetess Ellen G. White abundantly confirms the Orion message, not only through the plethora of applicable quotes, but also in her visions themselves of the “opening heavens,” and even in her life experiences which offer clear illustrations for the time of the “white horse.” Try it, test it, taste it—but leave your doubts behind finally! This ministry stands confirmed as the voice of God on earth. Christ is at its helm, “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (said He).

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