What if Christ had already come as a thief? Would you be willing to consider scriptural proofs of His
Advent? His advent as a thief must have fulfilled prophecy. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak
not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Is. 8:20). Would you be willing to
review the prophecies?
There are six sections to this essay:
No. 1. A study of Christ's heavenly ministry, which began with His ascension to His Father on the morning
of His resurrection and will continue as long as we need Him. “I am with you alway, even unto the end of
the world.” (Matt. 28:20).
No. 2. A study of Christ's prophecy that He would come as a thief (Rev. 3:3) with an explanation of the
identity of the churches in Rev. 2 and 3, particularly the church of Philadelphia which is promised the seal
of the living God (Rev. 3:12).
No. 3. A study of the seal of the living God to show that this seal comes to us directly from Christ.
No. 4. A study of the seven thunders of Rev. 10 to show that the text of this unrecorded message also
comes to us through the heavenly ministry of Christ.
No. 5. A study of how our knowledge of the Kingdom of God is enhanced in the end time as Christ the
Lamb opens the first seal (Rev. 6:1,2).
No. 6. A study of the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, who work under Christ’s direct
supervision (Rev. 3:1), and who guide the founding of the Kingdom of God.
No. 1. I’ll begin with No. 1, a study of Christ's heavenly ministry, which started after His ascension to His
Father on the morning of His resurrection. Mary Magdalene met Him outside His tomb on that morning.
“She turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her,
Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto Him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her,
Touch Me not, for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My brethren, and say unto them, I ascend
unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your God.” (John 20:14,16,17).
Later that day Christ met Cleopas and Simon on the road to Emmaus, “And beginning with Moses and all
the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.” (Luke 23:27).
Shortly thereafter Christ appeared to the disciples themselves. “And He said unto them, These are the
words, which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were
written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning Me. Then opened He their
understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.” (Luke 23:44,45).
It is obvious that there was a change in Christ’s ministry after His return from heaven; He began a
process of unveiling the scriptures, particularly those pertaining to His first earthly ministry. That this
process is to continue until all is revealed is clear from the words of Paul. “But their minds were blinded
(the Jews of old could not understand the scriptures): for until this day remained the same veil untaken
away in the reading of the Old Testament; which veil is done away in Christ.” (2 Cor. 3:14). Since the veil is
done away in Christ, through His continuing heavenly ministry all the prophecies of both Old and New
Testaments will be understood.
This brings us to the first point of identification of Christ come as a thief; He will come to us as a
Bible Interpreter, explaining chapter and verse of the Bible. Further, because He is Christ, His
interpretations will be readily understood by Bible students and unfailingly correct.
No. 2. I’ll continue with No. 2, a study of Christ's prophecy that He would come as a thief. “Remember
therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore, thou shalt not
watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know at what hour I will come upon thee.” (Rev. 3:
To understand when Christ would come as a thief, you need to understand, from history, the identity of
the seven churches that Christ addressed in Rev. 2 and 3 and what Christ’s instructions to them meant.
Note this, however, each of these prophesies to the churches has another end time application as well,
which is scarcely touched upon herein. Let’s look at how Christ instructed each of the churches.
Ephesus was Christ’s first church, made up of His disciples and the 3000 converts brought into the
church by Peter in his first Pentecostal address (see Acts 1:38-41).
Christ told them: “I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them
which are evil; and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them
liars: and hast borne, and had patience, and for My name’s sake hast labored (establishing the church
named for Christ), and hast not fainted. Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast
left thy first love (strict adherence to Bible Law, particularly regarding circumcision - see Gal. 6:12-15).
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works (establish the
church), or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place (take the
church away from Jerusalem), except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the
Nicolaitanes (derived from the Greek words nikai, to rule, and laos, the people, and refers to the practice
of some members of the flock trying to make disciples of others), which I also hate… To him that
overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God (eternal life).”
Smyrna was the second church, a persecuted and martyred church that endured the wrath of the Jews.
Christ advised them: “I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know of the
blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan (those who
persecute the Christians). Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer, behold, the devil shall cast
some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days; be thou faithful unto
death, and I will give thee a crown of life… He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death
(shall not die with the wicked at the last judgment).” (Rev. 2:9,10).
Pergamos, the third church, was the church during the time that Satan eased his murderous persecution
and began to infiltrate and trouble the flock with false doctrine.
Christ told them: “I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is (Imperial Rome),
and thou holdest fast My name, and hast not denied My faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was My
faithful martyr (the apostle Paul), who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. But I have a few things
against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Baalam (grace excuses sin), who
taught Balak to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and
to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of Nicolaitanes (that some members
of the flock are holier than others and should lead all), which thing I hate. Repent; or I will come unto thee
quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth… To him that overcometh will I give to eat
of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man
knoweth except him that receiveth it. (Some small flocks separate themselves from the church in Rome,
and preserve the message, the “hidden manna.” Each is under the leadership of a righteous leader, a
“white stone,” who has been called by God.)” (Rev. 2:13-16).
Thyatira was the church overpowered by Satan, in control of the papacy, and full of false doctrine.
To Thyatira Christ said: “I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy
works, the last to be more than the first (the last work of the rank and file of the Catholic Church is to call
their brethren out of the church and into the Kingdom of God). Notwithstanding I have a few things
against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel (a type of the Great Whore -see Rev. 17:1-6 - a
symbol of the leadership of the church), which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce My
servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols (a reference to taking the bread
and wine in front of the idols in the Catholic churches, see Ex. 20:4). I gave her space to repent of her
fornication (about 1000 years), and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed (show her to be a
fornicator), and them that commit adultery with her (break covenant with God) into great tribulation
(unprotected by God in the time of trouble), except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children
with death (judge them unfit for resurrection), and all the churches shall know that I am He which
searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give every one of you according to your works. But unto you I
say, and unto the rest of Thyatira, as many as have not known this doctrine, and which have not known
the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. But that which you have
already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I
give power over the nations (Martin Luther in historic application, whose message swayed nations; Christ
in end time application): and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be
broken to shivers; even as I received of My Father. And I will give him the morning star (the dawning of
the Protestant Church in historic application; dawning of the Kingdom of God in end time application.)”
Sardis, the fourth church, represents the Protestant churches, who thanks to Martin Luther began the
process of the return to the true doctrine of Christ and the apostles (who followed God’s Law).
Christ advised them: “I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead (have ceased
to continue the process of restoring the true doctrine of the Bible which the Catholic church perverted).
Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die (the old saints): for I have not
found thy works perfect before God (too many Protestant churches feed only the lambs, new Christians,
they only teach Christ’s message; they ignore the sheep, mature Christians - see John 21:15-17).
Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore, thou
shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know at what hour I will come upon thee.
Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me
in white, for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will
not blot his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His
angels (at the last judgment).” (Rev. 3:1-4).
Here we have the prophecy that Christ will come as a their. Note, that this threat of Christ to appear
unheralded to the church is made as the Protestant churches begin reformation.
The fifth church, Philadelphia (whose name is derived from the Greek words philos, dear or friendly, and
adelphos, brother, and commonly understood to mean brotherly love), represents the first Adventist
church, which preached the Second Coming of Christ to all Christianity with great power from 1832 to
1844, then faded into obscurity when Christ failed to return to earth at the time they predicted. BUT, mark
this carefully: the seal of the living God is promised to the church in Philadelphia and Christ prophecies
that the church in Philadelphia will prevail against Satan and that its members will be safeguarded in the
Christ tells Philadelphia, “I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can
shut it (not one of Satan’s minions can keep the faithful out of this church, the gates of hell shall not
prevail against it, see Matt. 16:18): for thou hast little strength, and hast kept My word, and hast not
denied My name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan (the apostate church, with its false
doctrines) which say they are Jews (literal descendants of the Jews that founded the Christian church),
and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I
have loved thee. Because thou hast kept the word of My patience (patiently waited for Christ to return), I
also will keep thee from the hour of temptation (during the time of trouble they will be safely away from
the cities), which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come
quickly: hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” (Rev. 3:8-11).
Then in Rev. 3:12, Christ promises the church of Philadelphia the seal of the living God. “Him that
overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon
him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh
down out of heaven from My God: and I will write upon him My new name.” (Rev. 3:12).
Before I resolve the contradiction of Christ‘s promises to a defunct church, there is one more church in
The sixth church, Laodicea, is the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The name Laodicea is compounded of
the two Greek words, lao and dekei. Lao means “people” and also “speak.” “Dekei” means judgment.
Laodicea, the two words combined, means “people declaring judgment.” The core theologies of the
Seventh Day Adventist church are the restoration of the biblical Sabbath and heavenly and earthly
judgment. The church came forth from the first Adventist Church after 1844, teaching that Christ had
returned to the heavenly sanctuary in 1844 (instead of the earthly sanctuary as expected) to judge the
dead and remove names and deeds of those unworthy of eternal life from the sanctuary records. The
church preaches also that the judgment will soon come to the living. Since other Protestant churches
teach the Rapture instead, the SDA is unique in its message and the only church that fulfills Laodicea.
Here’s Christ message to the Laodiceans (SDA). “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I
would thou wert cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew
thee out of My mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of
nothing: and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked; I
counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou
mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do(es) not appear; and anoint thine eyes with
eye salve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and
repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in
to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with Me in My
throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” (Rev. 3:15-21).
This condemnation is the worst for any church BECAUSE this is the church that refused to let Christ
enter. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock…” Christ condemns them because they glory in their
prosperity and have refused Him, the “gold tried in the fire.” Also, they have thought they were clothed in
their own righteousness, but they were naked without the white raiment of Christ’s righteousness. And
they were blind, because they did not recognize Christ. He recommends that they “anoint thine eyes with
eye salve, that thou mayest see.”
To sum up the appearance of Christ as a thief, He told Sardis, the Protestant Church, that He might come
if they were not watching, but they had saints who faithfully watched and hoped for His arrival, “they shall
walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.” (Rev. 3:4). Because the saints in Sardis were watching, He did
not appear to their church.
All of the members of Philadelphia, the first Adventist Church, were watching for Christ, so He did not
come to the first Adventist Church. He did come to the Laodicean church, the Seventh Day Adventists. He
knocked on the door of the church for 25 years, but no one was watching and they did not recognize Him.
Indeed, because He never proclaimed Himself, no one recognized Him until the Holy Ghost told me who
He was in 1998.
Which brings us to the second point of recognition of Christ come as a thief, He appeared as a
man who directed His ministry only to the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Remember the contradiction of the seal of God being given to a defunct church, Philadelphia? This
contradiction is resolved in two ways. First, as the end-time gathering goes to the world, all of the
messages to the churches apply. Do the work quickly, be prepared for martyrdom, do not suffer devils in
your ministry, care for the old saints, keep your garments unspotted by the world, and listen for Christ
knocking at the door to your heart, because He is going to send messengers with His words (see No. 6,
the study on the seven stars and the seven Spirits of God).
I omitted Christ’s instructions to Thyatira, because they require explanation. Extremely repressive
governments, for example China and some Arab countries, will rule some of the Christians you gather.
Your converts may be able to do no more than pray and wait for Christ. Do not put the burden of
martyrdom on them. There will be martyrs enough among the saints.
The contradiction of the seal of God being given to a defunct church is also resolved by a study of the
church which historically fulfilled the role of Philadelphia, the first Adventist Church, founded by William
Miller. The difference between Miller’s church and all others is made clear by Miller’s own words, “In all
my labors… I never had the desire or thought to establish any separate interest from that of the existing
denominations, or to benefit one at the expense of another. I thought to benefit all.” – quoted from The
Great Controversy, Ellen White, p. 375.
It is this characteristic lack of self-interest that marks the church which gathers and seals God’s people.
Like Miller's Adventist church, which preached the Second Coming and the judgment of God to all
denominations, the end time church takes the end time messages which come from Christ (among them
the Second Coming and the judgment of God) to all denominations, especially to the pastors, for the
benefit of all Christianity. It is aptly named Philadelphia, the church of brotherly love.
No. 3. I‘ll continue with No. 3, Christ brings us the seal of the living God. The seal is found in the hand of
an angel ascending from the east. “And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of
the living God: 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
God 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.” (Rev. 7:2-4).
I can offer two proofs that this ascending angel is Christ. He prophesied that He would come from the
east. “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so shall the coming of
the Son of man be.” (Matt. 24:27)
Also, Christ describes sealing overcomers Himself, which certainly implies that He has the seal. “Him that
overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon
him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh
down out of heaven from My God: and I will write upon him My new name.” (Rev. 3:12).
Proof that this threefold seal of the name of God, the Kingdom of God and Christ's new name, which
Christ writes on overcomers, is the seal of the living God that is found in the song of the harpers.
“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him an hundred and forty and four
thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the
voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with
their harps: and they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the
elders: and no man could learn this song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were
redeemed from the earth.” (Rev. 14:1-3).
Note that the 144,000 already have been sealed with God's name. Through the ministry of the Lamb and
the harpers, they receive the rest of the seal, "the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of
the Lamb," which is contained in the new song of the harpers.
Before teaching their song to the 144,000, the harpers first sing their song before the throne of God.
“And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast,
and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass,
having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb,
saying, Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty, Thou King of saints. Who shall not fear
Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? For Thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before
Thee: for Thy judgments are made manifest.” (Rev. 15:2,3).
The song of the Lamb is the Gospel Message, not only the words of Christ, but also the clarifications of
the Apostles, and His new name. That leaves the song of Moses the servant of God to be explained.
Moses is most famous for leading God’s people from the brickyards of Egypt to the Holy Land and for
carrying God’s Law down from Mount Sinai. The song of Moses is about the deliverance of God’s
Kingdom and the reestablishment of His Law.
To summarize, as we read of the 144,000, the scripture said that they already had “His Father’s name
written in their foreheads.” (Rev. 14:1). This is the Law of God written in their minds. They belong to God
through the blood of Christ and the renunciation of sin.
The name of New Jerusalem is also to be added to the 144,000. That means that they have committed
themselves to teaching the message of God’s Kingdom come to earth, exactly as envisioned by John in
Revelation 21 and 22, which describes the descent of the Holy City Jerusalem from heaven. These two
sealing messages of the Law and the Kingdom are part of the song of Moses the servant of God.
Finally, there is the new name of Christ, part of the song of the Lamb. It is found in prophecy.
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall
reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved,
and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is the name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our
Righteousness. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that they shall no more say, the Lord
liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, the Lord liveth, which brought
up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I
had driven them: and they shall dwell in their own land.” (Jer. 23: 5-8).
This is obviously the beginning of the Millennium Kingdom, where the Lord will be our God and the Lamb
will be our King under his new name, Branch.
Which brings us to the third point of recognition of Christ come as a thief, He appeared from the
east and His literature was directed at the 144,000 and contains a call for the restoration of God’s
Law, a message about the establishment of God’s Kingdom on earth, and a message about the
new name of Christ.
No. 4. I‘ll continue with No. 4, the seven thunders of Rev. 10 also come to us through the heavenly
ministry of Christ. One of the most perplexing mysteries in the Bible is the seven thunders. John the
Revelator hears them and then is ordered to "Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered,
and write them not." (Rev. 10:4). The angel whose Loud Cry starts the thunders (Rev. 10:3), then tells
John, "But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of
God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets." (Rev. 10:7).
The seven thunders of Revelation 10 occur between the sixth angel sounding his trumpet (Rev. 9:13,14)
and the seventh angel sounding his trumpet (Rev. 11:15). As the seventh angel sounds his trumpet
"there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our
Lord, and of His Christ and He shall reign forever and ever." (Rev. 11:15).
The seventh angel sounding his trumpet is announcing that the millennial Kingdom of God has been
established among the nations and also that the promised Branch of the house of David has taken his
throne. The position of the seven thunders between the sixth and seventh trumpet suggests that the
voices of yhe seven thunders, finishing “the mystery of God,” brings forth His Kingdom. As you will see,
this is true.
As a fledgling Bible student, I could not conceive of anything more mysterious than the words that God
had declared to His servants the prophets. So I always assumed that the seven thunders were a
complete revelation of the prophecy of the Bible. Eventually I discovered that my naive assumption was
correct. Let's return to Revelation 10, so I can show you.
“And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon
his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire. And he had in his hand a little
book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, and cried with a loud
voice, as when a lion roareth; and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. And when the
seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write and I heard a voice from heaven saying
unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered and write them not.” (Rev. 10:1-4).
The symbols surrounding this angel, “clothed with a cloud (as Christ will return),” rainbow upon his head
(symbol of the Holy Ghost, author of the Prophetic Covenant), face as the sun (coming from the presence
of God), feet as fire (walking with the Holy Spirit), indicate a being of enormous spiritual power. The
placement of his feet indicates dominion over the whole planet. And that he roars like a lion is
suggestive of Christ, “the Lion of the tribe of Juda(h).” (Rev. 5:5). This is certainly either Christ Himself, or
one of His end time messengers (see No. 6, the study on the seven stars and the seven Spirits of God
There are seven thunders, not one. So we would expect the seven thunders to be sealed by seven seals
rather than just one seal. That must lead us to an examination of the seven seals of Rev. 5 through 8.
Where there is Biblical prophecy, there is type, a Biblical event which shows us exactly how a prophecy
will be fulfilled. “Now all these things happened unto them (our forefathers) for ensamples (examples),
and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” (1 Cor. 10:11).
The type for the opening of the seven seals can only be the opening of the seal on the Book of Daniel.
The Book of Daniel was sealed "even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro (rapid travel), and
knowledge shall be increased (Industrial Revolution)." (Dan. 12:4). By the early thirties, the automobile
era, all of the prophecies of Daniel were understood. It is clear as can be that when a seal is opened,
prophecy, which we already had but did not understand, will be understood.
Let's look at the prophecy of the seven seals. First, we see "in the right hand of Him that sat on the
throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals." (Rev. 5:1). John the
Revelator is heart-broken (Rev. 5:2,3) “because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book,
neither to look thereon.” (Rev. 5:4). Then one of the elders tells him, "Weep not: behold, the Lion of the
tribe of Juda(h), the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals
thereof." (Rev. 5:5). This can only be Christ, since He is the Lion of Judah, and the Root of David. We must
ask what book He opened. The scripture says: “And He came and took the book out of the right hand of
Him that sat upon the throne.” (Rev. 5:7).
Since Christ Himself, in the guise of “a Lamb as it had been slain (Rev. 5:6),” opened the first seal (see
Rev. 6:1,2), it is clear that opening the seals is part of His heavenly ministry. Since Christ’s heavenly
ministry consists of illuminating the prophecies of the Bible, this book must be some form of the Bible.
You will note that we have two guises of Christ in this study. First, in Rev. 10:1-3, we have Christ come in
glory and power, a manifestation that will not escape notice. Then, we have Christ in the throne room of
God presenting Himself as “a Lamb as it had been slain” (Rev. 5:6), the guise in which He opens the seals.
A glorious and powerful Christ, with a voice like the roaring of a lion, is obviously not Christ come as a
thief; however Christ, the slain Passover Lamb, who opens the first seal, could be. He might even be the
anonymous voice of the first thunder, the “voice of a great thunder” heard as the Lamb stands on Mount
Zion with the 144,000 (see Rev. 14:2).
In Christ’s first Advent, He was despised and rejected by most of the very people He came to save (the
Jews), whose priesthood treated Him as a thief out to steal their flock; over 99% of the people on earth
were unaware of Him during His life; and He was crucified as if He was a thief, He died upon the cross
between two thieves.
This brings us to our fourth point of recognition of Christ come as a thief; He was despised and
rejected by most of the very people He came to save, the Seventh Day Adventist Church, whose
ministry treated Him as a thief out to steal their flock, 99% of His contemporaries never even heard
of Him, and He was murdered because of His message.
No. 5. I’ll continue with No. 5, a study of Christ's heavenly ministry revealing the Kingdom of God as He
opens the first seal. “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard as 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."
A historical interpretation of the seals identifies the man as Adam, the bow (his means to conquer) as
Eve, both given dominion by God over the earth and told to subdue it. “And God blessed them, and God
said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth (with beings in the image of God), and
subdue it: and have dominion…” (Gen. 1:28). This, of course, leads us in the right direction.
In the end time, this man on the white horse is to be fulfilled by another Adam, "Faithful and True," given
dominion by God over His Kingdom to establish it on the earth. (Rev. 19:11-16; Rev. 11:15). Of Faithful and
True it is said, “his name is called The Word of God.” (Rev. 19:13). He is not seen to carry a literal bow,
however his unseen bow is the covenant which God has made with mankind (symbolized in Noah’s time
by a rainbow). Faithful and True is the Messenger of this covenant.
Adam and Eve were to subdue the earth by physical means, bringing forth children. Faithful and True is to
subdue the earth by both physical and spiritual means. He has the sharp sword of the word of God in his
mouth, “and out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword” (Rev. 19:15), this is “the sword of the Spirit, which is
the word of God.” (Eph. 6:17). He also “shall rule them (the nations) with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the
winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” (Rev. 19:15). He leads God's earthly hosts in
actual physical battles to protect the people of God’s Kingdom.
Faithful and True has two of Christ’s titles. “His name is called the Word of God.” (Rev. 19:13) This is also
true of Christ. (See John 1:1,14.) Also, Faithful and True “hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name
written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.” (Rev. 19:16). Paul referred to Christ by this name (1 Tim. 6:15),
as did John in the Revelation (Rev. 17:14).
Since the symbols of this seal indicate that the man on the white horse, revealed as Christ the Lamb
opens the first seal, will take dominion over the earth, the prophecies which Christ explains through
opening this seal MUST be about the Kingdom which God has promised to establish on the earth.
Here is a sampling of the prophecies. “And in the days of those kings (the ten kings who divided the
Roman Empire), shall the God of Heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed: and the
kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms,
and it shall stand forever.” (Dan. 2:44).
“Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint
themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.” (Hos.
“For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a
sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: afterward shall the children
of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king: and shall fear the Lord and His
goodness in the latter days.” (Hos. 3:4,5).
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matt. 5:5).
When the book of Daniel was unsealed, we understood all of its prophecies, therefore when first seal,
the seal on the Kingdom of God prophecies, is opened, we will understand all the Kingdom of God
And so we have a fifth point of identification of Christ come as a thief; His literature will explain all
of the Kingdom of God prophecies of the Bible.
No. 6. I’ll continue with No. 6, a study of the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars. “And to the church
at Sardis write, These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars…” (Rev. 3:
1). Note that because Sardis represents the Protestant church, these servants of Christ will be found in
the Protestant church.
The seven stars are those in the ministry who turn many to righteousness. “And they that be wise shall
shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever
and ever.” (Dan. 12:3). The whole ministry that teaches the seal of God (His Law, and His Kingdom, and the
end time rulership of His Son) “shall shine as the brightness of the firmament,” but the seven stars are
especially powerful evangelists teaching this sealing message.
These powerful evangelists are also found in the vision of Zechariah 4. “And the angel that talked with
me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep. And said unto me, What seest
thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold, a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and
his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: and two
olive trees by it, one on the right side of the bowl, and the other on the left side thereof. And I answered
again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty
the golden oil out of themselves? Then said he, these are the two anointed ones that stand by the Lord
of the whole earth.” (Zech. 4:1-3,12,14).
The seven stars are the seven golden pipes that take the golden oil from the golden bowl to the seven
lamps (a symbol of the seven end time churches). As Christ reveals, “The mystery of the seven stars
which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks, The seven stars are the angels
of the seven churches; and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.” (Rev. 1:
There is no apostasy in the message of the seven stars who gather the Kingdom of God. Consideration of
the rest of the symbol explains why. The two olive branches are the Old and New Testaments, written
under the influence of the Holy Ghost and Christ, the two anointed ones that stand by the Lord of the
whole earth. The two golden pipes which empty the golden oil from the two olive branches into the
golden bowl symbolize the earthly messengers who relay the end time messages of Christ and the Holy
Ghost. The traditions of men have led the church into apostasy, however, Christ, the Holy Ghost and the
Bible are the truth, and the ministry of these three will restore Bible worship to mankind.
Since the seven stars are explained, I’ll continue with the seven Spirits of God. John relates what he saw
in God‘s throne room. “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 God sent forth into all the earth." (Rev. 5:6).
The seven Spirits of God are found twice more in the Revelation. “John to the seven churches which are
in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come (God); and
from the seven Spirits which are before His throne; and from Jesus Christ…” (Rev. 1:4). Since they send
greetings, the seven Spirits of God must be persons.
The seven Spirits of God are also seen as lamps of fire. “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 God.” (Rev. 4:5). Christ said of His Apostles, “Ye are the light of the world.” (Matt. 5:14).
The seven Spirits of God are apostles of Christ.
The seven Spirits of God are attached to the Lamb as horns and eyes. Horns are a symbol of power and
leadership (see Rev. 17:12). Eyes are a symbol of visionaries, see-ers or seers, prophets. The seven
Spirits of God are powerful people, however they are part of Christ in His guise of a “Lamb as it had been
slain,” a crucified Christ, a despised and rejected Christ. Just as He was, they are despised and rejected
The seven Spirits of God are attached to Christ, bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh (horns and eyes),
as He opens the seals. (Rev. 5:7-14; Rev. 6:1). However the seals are opened, the seven Spirits of God
must have their part in the opening (if only writing the message down) and they are the means that Christ
uses to transmit the message of each seal to earth, they are “sent forth into all the earth.” (Rev. 5:6).
Which brings us to the last point of identification of Christ come as a thief; after His Advent as a
thief, there will be an explosion of biblical knowledge and calls to reform the church to pure Bible
Has He come? Yes! I’ll take the points of identification one by one.
No. 1 concluded that Christ will come to us as a Bible Interpreter, explaining chapter and verse of the
Bible. Further, because He is Christ, His interpretations will be readily understood by Bible students and
Yes, he has come. His name was Victor T. Houteff and he died in 1955. During his ministry, V.T. Houteff
illuminated over 90 chapters of the Bible in a straightforward and simple way. Besides all of the
prophecies of the Book of Daniel, he also illuminated all the Kingdom of God prophecies; not only all
those in the Old Testament, but also Christ's parables. He renamed his church the Davidian Seventh Day
Adventists to acknowledge the literal descendant of Biblical king David who will fulfill the prophecy of
"Faithful and True." Based on his work, there is no doubt in my mind that at very least one of the seven
Spirits of God has come and taken his part in the opening of the seals on the seven thunders. As Christ,
V.T. Houteff opened the first seal.
I’m sure you still are skeptical. I’ll excerpt his work during the discussion of the other points of
No. 2 concluded that Christ appeared as a man who directed His ministry only to the Seventh Day
In the preface of The Leviticus of the Davidian SDA, Houteff wrote: “Provisional in setup as well as name,
the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association exists solely to accomplish a divinely appointed work
within the Seventh-day Adventist denomination, wherein it strictly confines its activities. As its work
therefore draws to a close, and the “servants of our God” (Rev. 7:3) are sealed, its name will be changed
(Is. 56:5; 62:2; 65:15) and its purpose and its work will become all-embracing to the gospel.” (V. T. Houteff,
The Leviticus of the Davidian SDA, 1937, p. 2). Note that the “servants of our God” are the 144,000, see
Houteff's church still directs its work to the Seventh Day Adventists. (2008).
No. 3 concluded that Christ appeared from the east, and His literature was directed at the 144,000 and
contains a call for the restoration of God’s Law, a message about the establishment of God’s Kingdom on
earth, and a message about the new name of Christ.
V. T. Houteff came from the east, he immigrated to America from Bulgaria.
Speaking of the 144,000, Houteff said: “The 144,000 are not resurrected, but are living saints who have
never tasted death.” (Ibid, "The Shepherd’s Rod," Vol. 2, 1932, p. 163). “The 144,000 are those who are
sealed in the judgment of the church, and with them the judgment of the living commences. Therefore
they are the first fruits.” (Ibid, p. 164). “In Revelation 7:3, the 144,000 are called ‘The servants of our God.’
If servants, then they must have duties to perform. They are again brought to view by the prophet Isaiah
in connection with the purification of the church and the destruction of the wicked. ‘And I will set a sign
among them, and I will send those that escape (the 144,000) of them into the nations… And they shall
bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations… in a clean vessel into the house
of the Lord.’ -- the church. (Is. 66:19,20)… Therefore the 144,000 are called servants.” (Ibid, p. 165).
As you see, Houteff's literature was directed at the 144,000.
Speaking of the restoration of God’s Law, Houteff said: “We therefore need to search out and do the
things contained in the moral law of Moses - ‘The commandments, and the statutes and the judgments.’
Deut. 5:31... Remember we anciently lost the Kingdom because of disobeying His commandments and
statutes, and it is certain that He will not take us back into it so long as we neglect to take heed to His
voice.” (Ibid, "Timely Greetings," Vol. 2, 1948, No. 37, pp. 14-17).
“Keeping the commandments and the statutes in the Lord, then, is the light and shield of your life. It is
the outward sigh that by the life of Christ you have overcome the Enemy of your soul and body. This
system of worship, therefore, is truly the Righteousness by faith that brings the righteousness of Christ
in the people of God.” (Ibid, p. 24).
“As to those who are trying to make the world believe that Christ nailed the Ten Commandments to the
cross of Calvary, they are either dishonest in what they say, or else ignorant of what the scriptures teach.
The Bible teaches that the law is ‘holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good’ (Rom. 7:12); that
sin is ‘the transgression of the law’ (1 John 3:4); and that ‘the wages of sin is death’ (Rom. 6:23)… Who
then could have done away with the law? Certainly not the Lord, nor the prophets, and nor the apostles,
for they all kept and taught the ten-commandment law, and all laid special emphasis on its immutability,
and therefore irrevocable validity.” (Ibid, "The Symbolic Code," Vol. 13, 1944, Nos. 11,12, pp. 12,14).
“The Hebrews were forever to keep holy… not a seventh, but the seventh day of each week, the
Sabbath…” (Ibid, "The Answerer," Book 3, 1944, p. 9).
Of Nahum 1:15, Houteff wrote, “He publishes peace and thus announces the restoration of the Kingdom.
This is the only peace that the world can have. There is to be no other. Those who keep God’s solemn
‘feasts’ and perform their vows shall have this peace. None others shall.” (Ibid, "Timely Greetings," Vol. 2,
1948, No. 42, p. 41).
Houteff defined the observances required of God’s people; “… (1) not a seventh, but the seventh, day of
each week, the Sabbath; (2) the days from the fifteenth to the twenty-first day of the first month, the
Passover week; (3) the fiftieth day after the sheaf of the first fruits was offered, the Pentecost; (4) the
tenth day of the seventh month, the Atonement; (5) the days from the fifteenth to the twenty-first day of
the same month, the feast of Tabernacles; and (6) the feasts of the new moons.” (Ibid, "The Answerer,"
Book No. 3, 1944, p. 9).
This is clearly a call for the restoration of God’s Law,
I’ll deal with the Kingdom prophecies in No. 5 below, which deals specifically with the Kingdom message.
Here is Houteff announcing the new name of Christ, the Branch.
“Who is to bring this revival and reformation, this great change? - the Branch. And according to Isaiah 11:
1-5, the Branch is the Lord, the Son of David… Here is seen genuine revival and reformation
accompanied by the purification of the church. The Lord is to have a pure church and a clean people...
Here is seen an organization having a leader and an under leader -- the Lord and Joshua… Behold the
man whose name is the BRANCH; and He shall grow up out of His place, and He shall build the temple of
the Lord. (Zech. 6:12)" (Ibid, "Timely Greetings," Vol. 1, 1946, No. 8, pp. 24-27).
No. 4 concluded that during His Advent as a thief, Christ was despised and rejected by most of the very
people He came to save, the Seventh Day Adventist Church, 99% of His contemporaries never heard of
Him and He was murdered because of His message.
The leadership of the Seventh Day Adventist church denounced Houteff’s message and disfellowshipped
him from the church before his first book, "The Shepherd’s Rod," was published. Thereafter they
misrepresented his message and bodily removed anyone who supported him from their churches. His
message can be found on several websites, but over 50 years since his death, he is still unknown to 99%
of mankind (as of Sept. 2008). I have no proof that he was murdered, however there is testimony in the
church that he died with a greenish and swollen liver, and suspicion that this clean living vegetarian died
No. 5 concluded that Christ’s literature will explain all of the Kingdom of God prophecies of the Bible.
Obviously, I can’t prove that in a small space, but I can give you a sample.
Commenting on Daniel 2:44,45, Houteff said: “Daniel here describes how the earth's governments come
to their end, not how the earth comes to its end. He interpreted the stone to be the Kingdom, and it is
God's Kingdom that will smite the nations, not Christ coming from heaven to take up the saints, as we
Adventists have taught. Jeremiah calls the Kingdom God's ‘battle ax.’ (Jer. 31:20).
“What plainer language could be used to say that the Kingdom is going to be set up before the nations
come to their end? The trouble some have believing this is not because of the language the Bible used,
but the trouble is with our preconceived ideas that were built up throughout the years, and the only way
we can drive out our former erroneous ideas is to believe just what the Bible says.” (Ibid, "Symbolic
Code," Vol. 11, 1944, No. 12, p. 19).
Houteff further clarified: "“Hos. 1:11-- “Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be
gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great
shall be the day of Jezreel.”
"“Here we are definitely told that in the latter days, God's saints, without a sinner among them, are to be
gathered together from the four corners of the earth, and be organized into a Theocratic government, of
which antitypical David is to be the king. Thus it is that “... in the days of these kings (not after their days)
shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be
left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand
forever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it
brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to
the king what shall come to pass hereafter; and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.”
"“In another allegorical prophecy, in connection with this one, we are again told: Hos. 3:4,5-- “For the
children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and
without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: afterward shall the children of Israel
return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king: and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the
"“Here again the promises are as clear as words can make them that after the dispersion and captivity,
the “many days,” God's scattered people are then to return to their homeland, and are then to seek the
Lord their God and David their king. Hence, these sons of God are not the identified and unbelieving
Jews of today, who are trying to make a permanent national home in the Promised Land."
"“Christians have for centuries preached the Kingdom of God, but it is not as yet clear to most of them
whether It is to be tangible as the earth itself, or whether It is to be something foamy, something floating
in space, or what? Inspiration, however, clearly declares that the Kingdom of Christ (the church purified--
cleansed Dan. 8:14) is to be as real as any of the kingdoms of earth.”" (Ibid, "Timely Greetings," Vol. 2,
1948, No. 21, pp. 7,8).
No. 6 concluded that after Christ’s Advent as a thief, there will be an explosion of biblical knowledge and
calls to reform the church to pure Bible doctrine.
Since V. T. Houteff died in 1955, other churches have brought forth messages about the restoration of
the Law, the establishment of the Kingdom, and the new name of Christ. Among them are the original
Branch Davidians and the Worldwide Church of God. The explosion of biblical knowledge can be found
on the Internet at the Houteff websites, among others. Search “Shepherd’s Rod message.” Caution is
advised in selecting a website to study. Some of Houteff’s followers provide “studies” of his message,
rather than Houteff’s writings themselves. These “studies” are much inferior to the real thing.
I have written three articles which analyze Houteff’s work to show that it contains hints that he was Christ
come as a thief (No. 27, "Sudden Harvest"), that he opened the first seal (No. 26, "Unsealing The
Thunders"), and that the time has come to take his message to the world (No. 25, "Philadelphia Or
Laodicea"). All three are on this website.
Amo Paul Bishop Roden
|WHAT IF CHRIST HAD ALREADY COME AS A THIEF?