The Last Countdown

William Miller's dream has come trueThis article explains William Miller’s dream. For those who might not know, William Miller emerged as a prominent figure in the Great Awakening of the 1800s, and the Millerite movement that was named after him gave rise to several new Protestant denominations, most notably Seventh-day Adventism. His prophecy lectures brought many to repentance and showed the nearness of the second coming of Christ. In 1847, just a few years after the Great Disappointment of 1844, Miller received his only recorded dream, which the pioneers of Adventism regarded as given by God because they could clearly see their experience traced out in it.

The dream gave comfort and encouragement to Miller and his associates when it was dreamt, but it also holds prophetic significance that has increased with time, as often happens with God-given dreams. Ellen G. White alluded to this dream many times, which shows that she esteemed it as an important enough dream to give it due consideration in light of the ever-unfolding circumstances of the Advent Movement. Although some interpretations of the dream have been published by others, none of them explain the dream in the true light of the movement of the fourth angel of Revelation 18. Hence, the following. (First, read William Miller’s Dream.)

The Treasure Chest

The casket (a chest or box) that God gave to William Miller in his dream symbolizes the Bible, as you can tell from the near-standard dimensions of about 10 × 6 inches and the fact that it was made of ebony, which is black (as most Bibles are) as well as the fact that it contained treasures—which Ellen G. White referred to as “jewels of truth.”

Treasure Chest

The jewels of truth lie scattered over the field of revelation; but they have been buried beneath human traditions, beneath the sayings and commandments of men, and the wisdom from heaven has been practically ignored... {RH December 1, 1891, par. 7}[1]

The key to open it was Miller’s method of interpretation, by which he unlocked the Bible’s prophecies concerning the Day of Judgment. One prominent feature of his interpretation methods was the day-year principle:[2]

...I have appointed thee each day for a year. (Ezekiel 4:6)

For prophetic reckoning, the Bible consistently uses 30-day months and 360-day years, as illustrated for example by the time of persecution which is variously prophesied as 42 months, 1260 days, and 3½ years. The dimensions of Miller’s casket also allude to this biblical principle, for “ten inches long by six square” is 360:

10 × 6 × 6 = 360

Through his lectures, Miller opened the prophetic Word and many were led to repentance. The relationship between saving truth and souls saved means that the assortment of precious items also represents the people who were saved as a result of the truth. They abode in the Word as it had been opened and expounded by Miller, and are thus also represented by the jewels. Ellen G. White expresses this link between truth and salvation too, in the same paragraph:

The Lord God, the Creator of the worlds, at infinite cost has given the gospel to the world. Through this divine agent, glad, refreshing springs of heavenly comfort and abiding consolation have been opened for those who will come to the fountain of life. There are veins of truth yet to be discovered; but spiritual things are spiritually discerned. Minds beclouded with evil cannot appreciate the value of the truth as it is in Jesus. When iniquity is cherished, men do not feel the necessity of making diligent effort with prayer and reflection, to understand that they must know or lose heaven... {RH December 1, 1891, par. 7}[3]

Yes, knowledge is a condition for salvation.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. (Hosea 4:6)

The jewels given to Miller reflected a light and glory equal to the sun. (We will look at some examples of his jewels in the last section.) On one hand, it means that the truths in the Word of God are an expression of Jesus Himself (the Word). On the other hand, it means that those who believed in the Sun of Righteousness were putting away their sins and reflecting His character as they prepared for the imminent day of His coming.

The Scattering of the Treasure

The jewels were scattered, dirtied, mixed with worthless items, and lost. This represents the time after the Great Disappointment, as Miller’s truths and those who were converted by them were largely scattered and lost. For several years, Miller suffered as described in his dream, but still maintained his faith until he closed his eyes in death.

In his dream, Miller closed his eyes before he had understood the work of the man with the dirt brush. In fact, he had even resisted him. That symbolizes how Miller did not properly welcome the light regarding the heavenly sanctuary (the center of the cleansing activity) or the seventh-day Sabbath.

The man with the dirt brush who cleans the rubbish away from the jewels symbolizes the Holy Spirit, who guides us into all truth (including prophecy):

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (John 16:13)

Guiding us into all truth is how the Holy Spirit cleans up the gems of truth in the Word of God, and by faith in His Word, we are cleansed from the dirt and rubbish of sin to shine like our Redeemer.

The cleansing process (atonement) began in 1844, and there were clear evidences of the Holy Spirit’s work from that time forward. The Holy Spirit guided the minds of the pioneers in laying the foundational truths of Adventism during those years, and the gift of prophecy (one of the gifts of the Spirit) was especially manifested in Ellen G. White after the Disappointment. These were the initial evidences of the Spirit’s working, which should have led to a people being ready to receive the Spirit in fullness in 1888 to usher in the Second Coming of Christ shortly thereafter.

If that had happened, William Miller himself would have opened his eyes at the resurrection to see his jewels again, more numerous, cleaned, and shining brighter than before—but alas!

The Great Detour

As the church was approaching the 70th Jubilee in 1890, end-time prophecy was approaching perfect fulfillment. The midnight cry had given birth to what should have been the final generation, and the man with the dirt brush (the Holy Spirit) was working to finish cleaning and setting all the jewels in their places. But when the church rejected His leadership in 1888, the Lord had to switch to a different plan like He did with the ancient Israelites who refused His leadership while on the borders of Canaan.

It was not the will of God that Israel should wander forty years in the wilderness; He desired to lead them directly to the land of Canaan and establish them there, a holy, happy people. But “they could not enter in because of unbelief.” Hebrews 3:19. Because of their backsliding and apostasy they perished in the desert, and others were raised up to enter the Promised Land. In like manner, it was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be so long delayed and His people should remain so many years in this world of sin and sorrow. But unbelief separated them from God. As they refused to do the work which He had appointed them, others were raised up to proclaim the message. In mercy to the world, Jesus delays His coming, that sinners may have an opportunity to hear the warning and find in Him a shelter before the wrath of God shall be poured out. {GC 458.1}[4]

The generation which had been born out of the midnight cry of 1844 had to die in the figurative wilderness, and as the church wandered through the ensuing years, the fulfillment of prophecy became more and more elusive. God could not perform the work with those people, and it became necessary to raise up others. In a different generation, the eyes of a different “Miller” had to be opened.

In the remainder of the dream (after Miller opened his eyes again) he represents a man other than himself, as is often the case with inspired dreams that have more than personal application. Applying the dream a second time, means that the second “Miller” must be a man who had an experience similar to William Miller’s, but in this new last generation. That man is John Scotram.

In William Miller’s day, they often addressed him as “Father Miller.” As a child, I was taught to respect elders by not addressing them by their first name. Even as an adult, using a person’s last name conveys a certain distance—a level of respect or professionalism. I still respect that distance for people like Mr. Miller, who lived in a different time and is indeed still my elder as one of the “fathers” of my faith. For similar reasons, I do not refer to others like Sister White by her first name alone either. Although I know such historical figures through their writings, I am still looking forward to getting to know them on a personal level, or as we say in English, I am looking forward to getting to know them on a first-name basis. However, it is our privilege (and perfectly appropriate) to address familiar people by their first name, because the distance is gone.

The Second “Miller”

Like William Miller, Brother John also asked the question “How long?” In the book of Daniel, the questions of both of these men are recorded in separate visions. Miller’s question is recorded in Daniel 8:13-14, and Brother John’s question is recorded in Daniel 12:6-7. Those verses were covered in more detail in Babylon Is Fallen! – Part I under the heading “The Repetition of the Fifth Seal.”

That identifies one biblical criteria of the second Miller: that he must have a time message. He must ask, “How long?” He must have an experience with time that is similar to Miller’s. Brother John clearly meets that criteria, having discovered a whole new realm of hidden time prophecy in the scriptures.

With this new time message, another “loud cry” has come to wake up the sleeping saints in a manner similar to the midnight cry of Miller’s time. History and experiences are repeating as we approach the borders of Canaan the second time, but there are differences. Now the warning message includes the identification of the sins that have entered the church since 1844 (the spurious jewels, false coin, dirt, shavings, sand, and rubbish).

The message of the fall of Babylon, as given by the second angel, is repeated, with the additional mention of the corruptions which have been entering the churches since 1844. The work of this angel comes in at the right time to join in the last great work of the third angel’s message as it swells to a loud cry. {EW 277.1}[5]

Those who say we should not be critical of our own church are clearly not involved in the loud cry as defined by the Spirit of Prophecy. Miller’s dream is clear: the rubbish must be cleaned away, and that cannot be done until we sigh and cry for the abominations and pray to God for help, like Miller did in his dream. That is where Ezekiel 9 comes into the story, and the Holy Spirit is poured out in the latter rain upon those who are ready to receive it.

In that way, we have been experiencing the work of the man with the dirt brush today (the Holy Spirit) similarly to how it was experienced in Miller’s time. He is leading into all truth, and urging souls to repentance for their sins in the process. The experiences of the people of God in the time of the second “Miller” are similar to the experiences of the people of God in the time of the first Miller.

The Difference

The last part of Miller’s dream (after he opened his eyes) tells the story of the second “Miller” by showing how his message would differ from Miller’s own. Whereas the former part of the dream describes the similarities between the two “Millers,” the latter part describes the differences.

Miller opens his eyes to see the precious jewels, diamonds and coins scattered in profusion. That reflects how Brother John encountered the truth of Adventism: scattered in profusion across the history of the denomination. The people of Adventism were in a similar condition: here was one, there was another—like jewels that lay scattered by the confusion of counterfeit Adventists and spurious doctrines.

Then, the Holy Spirit gave Brother John the Orion study. He placed another casket on the table. A casket is a box, rectangular in shape. In the first part of the dream, we understood it as a special book, the Word of God. The same applies to the Orion constellation, which is part of the great book of nature:

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Romans 1:20)

Zechariah's Flying RollAs the first casket had the dimensions of a book (the Bible), so the second must also. The seven stars of Orion are bounded by four bright stars at the corners. The Bible speaks of the book of Orion as follows:

Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll. And he said unto me, What seest thou? And I answered, I see a flying roll; the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits. (Zechariah 5:1-2)

Zechariah saw a book. A “roll” is another name for a scroll, or book. Furthermore, he saw this book in the sky flying, just as the constellation of Orion does. The dimensions he observed are an accurate description of the size of the rectangle formed by the outer stars: the length is twice the breadth.

The first casket of Miller was a representation of the Bible, the Word of God. Jesus is the Word.[6] Then, the second casket must also be the Word of God, but much larger, because it is found in nature this time (and indeed even in the vastness of interstellar space). It must also be Jesus, the Word. It must have in it the Life that transforms souls. The constellation of Orion is indeed a depiction of the wounded Jesus, and its message is literally “from heaven” as the voice of God. The constellation of Orion is also the Door to the real heavenly sanctuary, as we know because its size is identical to the door of Ezekiel’s never-built temple:

And the breadth of the door was ten cubits; and the sides of the door were five cubits on the one side, and five cubits on the other side: and he measured the length thereof, forty cubits: and the breadth, twenty cubits. (Ezekiel 41:2)

Jacob also recognized this as the door to the house of God, as explained in Seven Steps to Eternity under the heading “Jacob’s Ladder and the Joyless Jubilee.” This door is a reflection of Jesus, who said:

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. (John 10:9)

Miller’s casket was made of ebony, a type of wood which is known for its black color, and it had pearls inlaid. Pearls are generally round white spheres. The second casket was larger and more beautiful, but it is given no other description. That means it must also be black, with white pearls inlaid. The Orion constellation is fitly described as the black background of outer space studded or inlaid with the twinkling white spheres of distant suns—and much larger than the dimensions of Miller’s first casket!

The Law and the Curse

Zechariah tells us many more details about this second casket. We learn from his flying roll that the book of Orion contains a curse from God:

Then said he unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it. I will bring it forth, saith the Lord of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof. (Zechariah 5:3-4)

The curse contained in the book of Orion is the wrath of God in the seven last plagues of the apocalypse. It is a curse upon thieves and those who take the name of the Lord in vain. This is an allusion to the Ten Commandments and their chiastic structure, as explained in The Death of the Twins, under the heading “The Mirror of the Soul.” The commandment against theft parallels the commandment against calling yourself a believer without putting your money where your mouth is.

The Bible often speaks of the plagues coming as a thief:

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety [Strong’s: security]; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:2-4)

The peace and security movement did come as a thief, right on time during the eighth commandment month.[7] This year marks the seventieth anniversary of the United Nations, and the prophecy of Jeremiah assures us that the wrath of God is hard on its heels:

And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations. (Jeremiah 25:12)

After the commandments have been fully trodden down, the curse will begin.

The Measuring Instrument

At second glance, Zechariah saw that the flying roll was a measure (or measuring device):

And I said, What is it? And he said, This is an ephah that goeth forth. He said moreover, This is their resemblance through all the earth. (Zechariah 5:6)

An ephah is a measurement of volume, like a cup or a liter. The Strong’s Concordance defines the Hebrew word as a “measure for grain; hence a measure in general.” The second casket of Miller’s dream must therefore measure something. Indeed, it measures two things: time and character.

More particularly, Zechariah sees a certain woman or church measured by it, which is pronounced wicked:

And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah. And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof. (Zechariah 5:7-8)

The woman who is measured and found wanting by Jesus who stands in Orion is none other than the Seventh-day Adventist Church organization—worthless as lead, and a heavy burden. After the measuring (the judgment) is finished, the church can expect to find itself in the land of Shinar according to the vision:

Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah? And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base. (Zechariah 5:10-11)

Shinar was the plain where Nimrod began to build cities,[8] most notably Babel which later became Babylon. This once again points to the rising of modern Babel and more specifically the carrying away of the sacred vessels into Babylon:

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god. (Daniel 1:1-2)

Are you a vessel consecrated to God? I hope you have not been carried away too! If so, follow Abraham’s example as explained in Satan Unmasked, under the heading “Nimrod’s Babel.”

Thus the Orion message fulfills another specification of the second “Miller’s” casket of jewels—it measures time and character.

The Book of Seven Seals

At third glance, Zechariah saw that the flying roll is the book of seven seals, described in the Revelation of St. John. Zechariah saw the four horses of the apocalypse:

And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass. In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses; And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses. (Zechariah 6:1-3)

The angel goes on to carefully identify these, in answer to Zechariah’s query:

Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord? And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth. (Zechariah 6:4-5)

The word for “spirits” is often translated as wind, but according to Strong’s it can also mean “a region of the sky:”

H7307 רוּח rûach roo’-akh

From H7306; wind; by resemblance breath, that is, a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; figuratively life, anger, unsubstantiality; by extension a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expression and functions): - air, anger, blast, breath, X cool, courage, mind, X quarter, X side, spirit ([-ual]), tempest, X vain, ([whirl-]) wind (-y).

Considering that the verse specifically mentions the heavens in connection with this word, it would be especially fitting to translate it in the sense of regions of the sky. That means the four horses of the apocalypse are in fact four regions of the heavens, or namely the four corners of Orion! Furthermore, the angel clarifies that they go forth from “standing before the Lord,” and as we know, these stars do indeed stand before or in front of (or nearer than) the three throne stars in the middle and the nebula itself where God is.

By saying “Come and see,” the man with the dirt brush in Miller’s dream deliberately links the new casket with the four beasts of Revelation that are around the throne and call attention to the four horses. Again, those are represented by the four outer stars.

Thus, the much larger and more beautiful casket is clearly identified by many criteria as the Orion study, both by its similarity to Miller’s original casket, and by its contrast from it. It is full of truths as precious as the jewels, diamonds, and coins that the man with the dirt brush tossed into it by the handful. What an apt description of how the Holy Spirit has packed this message with truth! What an apt description of the stars and nebulas that are found within the Orion constellation, of which any stargazer can truly say that many are not bigger than the point of a pin from our perspective.

Ten Times the Power

Miller was dazzled by the sight of the gems in the new casket, which now shone with ten times their former glory. That order-of-magnitude increase in brilliance shows how the gems of truth in the Word of God have come alive in the light of Orion. It also shows the quality of souls that this message is designed to produce.

The message of the fourth angel confirms the old truths that Miller showcased—like the 2520-year prophecy (covered in Seven Steps to Eternity) as the longest-running prophecy of Miller’s repertoire that pointed to the beginning of the judgment. It confirms Miller’s exposition of the 70-week prophecy pinpointing Christ’s crucifixion, which is arguably the most critical prophecy interpretation in Adventism and the foundation for Miller’s interpretation of the 2300 evenings and mornings, which point to 1844 as the beginning of the cleansing. The Full Moon at Gethsemane articles not only confirm the crucifixion of our Lord in the year AD 31, but pinpoint the elusive date and expound the principles of God’s calendar in so doing. The result is an exact confirmation of the climactic date of the Millerite movement, October 22, 1844, which started the atonement, as well as a revelation of the date of the atonement’s end and the true date of Jesus’ return. The truth truly shines ten times brighter now, with tenfold the number of precious items.

Ellen G. White saw this moment in a short vision. The White Estate informs us regarding the vision:

Vision concerning some believers in Washington, New Hampshire, who were putting the coming of the Lord “too far off” and becoming worldly. {1EGWLM 332.10}

She said:

You are getting the coming of the Lord too far off. I saw the latter rain was coming as suddenly as the midnight cry, and with ten times the power. {1EGWLM 333.1}

If that vision was strictly for those believers, then the Lord should have come before the prediction they made in the 1850’s, so it must have another application, like Miller’s dream. In the next article, you will find out who those believers are today, who are getting the coming of the Lord too far off. Note too, that she did not censor them or condemn their time-setting as a sin even though it was after 1844. In fact, the Lord responded graciously to them, and “showed His willingness to bless His people assembled,” as James White put it, by giving an instructive vision. The vision is clear, and it links William Miller’s jewels with the latter rain and the loud cry (the repetition of the midnight cry) as we’ve been exploring—a process which had scarcely begun, even by 1890:

The question has been asked me, “Do you think that the Lord has any more light for us as a people?” I answer that he has light that is new to us, and yet it is precious old light that is to shine forth from the word of truth. We have only the glimmerings of the rays of the light that is yet to come to us. We are not making the most of the light which the Lord has already given us, and thus we fail to receive the increased light; we do not walk in light already shed upon us. {RH June 3, 1890, par. 2}

Yes, we are on the borders of heavenly Canaan again. In my brother Ray’s summary of the message, he explained that the “seven stars” (often translated as Pleiades) in the Bible are in fact a reference to the seven stars of Orion. That very word has the following root:

H3558 כּוּמז kûmâz koo-mawz’

From an unused root meaning to store away; a jewel (probably gold beads): - tablet.

A bead is a small precious stone, usually round, many of which are often strung on a string to make a necklace, like the string of pearls in the picture, for example. If we had wanted to talk about a string of pearls in Hebrew, we would probably have used this root word. That means the references to the seven stars in the Bible are also an implicit reference to the belt stars, because the middle belt star takes its name from exactly that:

String of pearls

The name Alnilam derives from the Arabic النظام an-niżām, related to the word نظم nażm “string of pearls”. Related spellings are Alnihan and Alnitam: all three variants are evidently mistakes in transliteration or copy errors.[9]

Furthermore, the same word is used exactly twice in a curious pair of Bible texts. The first instance is about the children of Israel bringing offerings for the building of the tabernacle:

And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets [strings of pearls], all jewels of gold: and every man that offered offered an offering of gold unto the Lord. (Exodus 35:22)

That construction project serves as a type for the beginning of the judgment—the great antitypical Day of Atonement—which began in 1844. The second use of the word comes after the wilderness wandering, just before the children of Israel crossed the Jordan River into the land of Canaan:

We have therefore brought an oblation for the Lord, what every man hath gotten, of jewels of gold, chains, and bracelets, rings, earrings, and tablets [strings of pearls], to make an atonement for our souls before the Lord. (Numbers 31:50)

This is a curious verse, because it seems to contradict the firm biblical principle that blood is necessary for atonement:

And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. (Hebrews 9:22)

Those who remit sins in exchange for jewels, money, or other material wealth are Catholics selling indulgences, not Christians who are atoned by the blood of Christ! Therefore, if we would harmonize scripture, we must recognize that God has something deeper to teach us with that verse.

Jesus’ wounds, from where His blood flowed, are depicted in Orion. By using the “string of pearls” root word in those two verses, we can see that in this final generation, the Orion constellation is needed both for construction of the temple of the 144,000—the true tabernacle or temple of Revelation—and for the atonement or cleansing of the 144,000 souls themselves. Here at the end of the judgment, Orion is making atonement for souls, and weighing them in the balance.

The three belt stars were collectively known by many names in many cultures. Arabic terms include Al Nijād ‘the Belt’, Al Nasak ‘the Line’, Al Alkāt ‘the Golden Grains or Nuts’ and, in modern Arabic, Al Mīzān al H•akk ‘the Accurate Scale Beam’. In Chinese mythology they were also known as The Weighing Beam.[10]

Have you found the Pearl of Great Price? Does Jesus weigh more than your world? When your character is weighed in the accurate balance, what does it show?

The Holy Spirit has cleaned the jewels of truth and has arranged them in beautiful order. All that remains is for 144,000 readers like you to respond to this movement of the Holy Spirit, to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Will you be one of the dazzling gems, shining ten times brighter than ever? When you are brought before kings, will they find you ten times wiser than others?

And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm. (Daniel 1:20)

Seek the wisdom from heaven in the casket of the second “Miller” before it is too late![11] Probation closes at sunset on October 17, 2015!

And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. (Daniel 12:3)

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See Numbers 14:34, Isaiah 34:8, Ezekiel 4:6 
John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 
The commandment months are explained in the first sections of Babylon Is Fallen! – Part II
Genesis 10:10 – And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. 
Wikipedia, Alnilam 
Wikipedia, Alnilam 
See also Proverbs 1:20-33