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Did God send a prophet?

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Crime and Natural Disasters to Increase

Hurricanes to Increase

There Should Have Been More in Days Gone By

Ellen White suggests that there should have been far more hurricanes prior to now. After quoting Revelation 7:1-3 about the angels holding back the four winds, a Scripture she often referred to when discussing hurricanes, she wrote:

From this vision we can learn why so many are preserved from calamity. If these winds were allowed to blow upon the earth, they would create havoc and desolation. But the world's intricate machinery is running under the Lord's supervision. Hurricanes, threatening to break forth, are held under control by the regulations of the One who is the Protector of the trembling ones that fear God and keep His commandments. The Lord holds back the tempestuous winds. He will not suffer them to go forth on their death-mission of vengeance until His servants are sealed in their foreheads.—Manuscript Releases, vol. 19, p. 279, bold added.

National Hurricane Center
Thus God has commissioned angels to hold back the hurricanes, and other disasters, until the sealing is completed. Therefore, according to Ellen White, the real reason we haven't had more hurricanes heretofore is not because of weather cycles or global warming, but because God's angels have prevented hurricanes from happening that should have happened. And this protection is to continue until God's people are sealed.

We should pause to explain what Ellen White understood the "sealing" of Revelation 7 to be: ". . . a settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so [God's people] cannot be moved" (Last Day Events, p. 220). This settling, in her mind, whether rightly or wrongly, included an acceptance of the gospel of Christ to the point that one made a firm decision to keep all of the Ten Commandments, including the Sabbath commandment.

"Christ's Coming Near"

Having examined Ellen White's views on the sealing, we do not think she would say that it is quite completed yet. One might wonder, then, why have we seen the likes of Hurricane Katrina before the sealing is done? Ellen White gave several reasons why:

Local disturbances in nature are permitted to take place as symbols of that which may be expected all over the world when the angels loose the four winds of the earth.—Ibid., p. 280, bold added.

The restraining Spirit of God is even now being withdrawn from the world. Hurricanes, storms, tempests, fire and flood, disasters by sea and land, follow each other in quick succession. . . . The signs thickening around us, telling of the near approach of the Son of God, are attributed to any other than the true cause. Men cannot discern the sentinel angels restraining the four winds that they shall not blow until the servants of God are sealed; but when God shall bid His angels loose the winds, there will be such a scene of strife as no pen can picture.—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 408, bold added.

We have a difficult time calling Hurricane Katrina or the Tsunami of 2004 mere "local disturbances in nature." If "local disturbances" are a sign of the soon return of Christ, and a symbol of worse yet devastations to come, then perhaps the likes of Katrina and the Tsunami are an indication that we are nearing the end of the sealing time, and that the angels of Revelation 7 are about to let loose the four winds.

The Warning Voice of God

A repeated theme in Ellen White's writings is that God either sends or permits natural disasters because of the sins of men. She specifically warns against the danger of not recognizing "the warning voice of God" in such disasters:

[God] will not always be mocked; He will not always be trifled with. Already His judgments are in the land. Fierce and awful tempests leave destruction and death in their wake. The devouring fire lays low the desolate forest and the crowded city. Storm and shipwreck await those who journey upon the deep. Accident and calamity threaten all who travel upon the land. Hurricanes, earthquakes, sword and famine, follow in quick succession. Yet the hearts of men are hardened. They recognize not the warning voice of God. They will not flee to the only refuge from the gathering storm.—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 234, bold added.

What sort of sins might New Orleans and the Gulf Coast have been involved in that might have provoked such judgments or warnings as Hurricane Katrina? Was God trying to tell us, "Get rid of your SUV's!", or did He have something else in mind?

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