The Unknown Seven Thunders

Background

Some time ago (20 Aug 2008), the website of Dandenong Polish Seventh-day Adventist Church (Melbourne, Australia) published the article The Forgotten Seven Thunders written by Dr Ron Nielsen of Bond University in Queensland, Australia, which was originally introduced with a note: “The article below presents biblical matters as perceived by a scientist.”  After I red this article, I sent a few questions to Dr Nielsen, but never received any reply.  Therefore I began to analyze the article to see if my questions were too silly to ask a scientist, but as a result I confirmed my suspicion that my questions may be too hard to answer.  Here they are:

  1. What kind of opportunities do we have for our activity, and what activity do you talk about?
  2. What can we contribute to achieving the vision of Nobel Laureates when we know that nations become more and more angry and only God is able to stop this trend?
  3. What kind of resources we can share that we do not share yet?
  4. Do you assume that at present we remain in slumber and inactivity?
  5. Do you mean that we are redundant and out of touch with reality?  Why do you think so?
  6. What is the golden opportunity presented to us by the fast-progressing momentous events?
  7. Why do you think that the seven thunders remain forgotten?
  8. How should we be leading the world in understanding the special and timely message of the thunders?
  9. What is the message of the thunders?
  10. Why do you quote the passage about trumpets and preparation for the battle?  What kind of trumpets?  What kid of a battle?

Below is my response to Dr Ron Nielsen’s article.  It has been written some time ago, but it has never been published before.

The Unknown Seven Thunders

Introduction

1 This article is written in response to Dr R Nielsen’s scholarly article entitled The Seven Forgotten Thunders and published on this website on the 20 August 2008.  (You may wish to read it first).  It is good to see fresh ideas and attempts to interpret the Bible, but before we embrace anything as the truth we should check everything out as Bereans did: “every day they carefully examined the Scriptures to see whether what Paul said was true.” Ac17:11gw So, how does Dr R Nielsen’s article stand in relation to the Bible?

2 First, I will construe Dr R Nielsen’s argument from the basic propositions to the conclusion, and then I will consider the way Dr R Nielsen applies his findings to the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  Next, I will analyze most of the propositions he uses and show the results.  Then I will talk about related issues and finally I will draw my own conclusions about Dr R Nielsen’s article.

The Main Argument

3 Dr R Nielsen begins his article by saying that the passage of Rv10:1–6 must refer to an important event.  Later on he asserts that the seven groups of events that he identified as global and critical are also important because “they affect us all and threaten our existence on this planet.”  Then he challenges the readers with a question: “What other seven groups of events could be more important than that?”  It is obvious that for Dr R Nielsen the seven groups of global events are the most important events on earth, therefore they are the only ones that qualify to match the voices of the seven thunders.  And so, we come to the first two propositions and a conclusion.

(1) The seven thunders play a very important role in John’s writings.
(2) The seven global, critical groups of events are the most important events on our planet.
(S) The seven thunders correspond with the seven global critical events.

4 The graph above shows that the conclusion (S) is jointly supported by premises (1) and (2), or that premises (1) and (2) together infer the conclusion (S).

5 Dr R Nielsen writes that the seven groups of events are the result of the implementation of his robust classification system, invented for his research.  He adds that the seven groups were firmly established before he realized that there might be a connection between his research and the thunders of Rv10.  This means that the number of groups of events is a natural outcome of Dr R Nielsen’s research.

(3) The number of groups of global, critical events is unbiased.

6 Proposition (3) on the graph above adds to the strength of the conclusion (S).

Dr R Nielsen recalls that he attempted to disprove the connection between the seven thunders and the seven groups of global events by changing his original classification, but in spite of great efforts he failed to do that.  Therefore, he concluded, the number of groups of events must be correct.

(4) The number of groups of global critical events is correct.

7 Dr R Nielsen explains that the discovery of the connection between the seven thunders and the seven groups of global events took place under unusual circumstances.  As I see it, this episode is told with the purpose of strengthening Dr R Nielsen’s argument.  Therefore I will portray it in the light of his argument as another proposition.

(5) The fact of the unusual circumstances of the discovery shows that the interpretation of the seven thunders is correct.

8 The title of Dr R Nielsen’s article contains a powerful word: ‘forgotten.’  It seems that its purpose is to create a sense of urgency to return to some valuable teachings or practices that were abandoned, probably unintentionally and without any specific reason.  The article does not explain why something might have been forgotten, but knowing the importance of each word in a title I conclude that the word ‘forgotten’ did not make it to the title by coincidence.  Therefore, even if it is only to produce a subliminal message accompanying the readers throughout the article, it deserves its own place as one of the premises in Dr R Nielsen’s argument.

(6) The placement of the word ‘forgotten’ in the title is carefully calculated to persuade the reader to accept the conclusion of Dr R Nielsen’s argument.

9 Dr R Nielsen explains that he was skeptical and unconvinced about any connection between the seven thunders of Revelation and the seven groups of global, critical events, and therefore he decided to consult biblical scholars for advice.  Such a decision is a sign of honesty and contributes significantly to the truth-value of the whole argument.  Therefore I will represent Dr R Nielsen’s attitude as another proposition in his argument.

(7) Theological matters are referred to biblical scholars (specialists in their field).

10 Dr R Nielsen quotes Ellen White, saying that the thunders of Rv10 describe events.  Therefore his discovery agrees with Ellen White’s statement, which further strengthens his argument.

(8) Ellen White agrees with Dr R Nielsen’s discovery.

11 Dr R Nielsen is aware that some people may check the Bible and quickly figure out that when John was about to write down what the seven thunders had said, a voice from heaven was heard saying “Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them.” Rv10:4nkjv Therefore, Dr R Nielsen explains that “According to E G White, the expression seal up used in the Book of Revelation should not be understood as never to be revealed.  The disclosure, that is, the identification of the seven thunders was supposed to be made at the time of the proclamation of the three-angels’ message, that is before the conclusion of all these dramatic developments.”

(9) Dr R Nielsen’s discovery does not interfere with the words “seal up.”

12 And so, this is how I see Dr R Nielsen’s main argument.  I will repeat all propositions at this point for those who would like to see the whole argument in one place.

(1) The seven thunders play a very important role in John’s writings.

(2) The seven global, critical groups of events are the most important events on our planet.

(3) The number of groups of global, critical events is unbiased.

(4) The number (seven) of groups of global critical events is correct.

(5) The fact of the unusual circumstances of the discovery shows that the interpretation of the seven thunders is correct.

(6) The placement of the word ‘forgotten’ in the title is carefully calculated to persuade the reader to accept the conclusion of Dr R Nielsen’s argument.

(7) Theological matters are referred to biblical scholars (specialists in their field).

(8) Ellen White agrees with Dr R Nielsen’s discovery.

(9) Dr R Nielsen’s discovery does not interfere with the words “seal up.”

(S) The seven thunders correspond with the seven global critical events.

My analysis of this argument will be presented later on.  Now, I will undertake to analyze the side argument that Dr R Nielsen uses in addition to his main argument.

The Uniqueness Argument

13 To secure his interpretation of the seven thunders of Rv10, Dr R Nielsen provides a side argument to show that his interpretation is the only one that qualifies for the purpose.  He points out for those who “argue that the current critical global events … have nothing to do with the seven thunders but that the seven thunders will be revealed in the future, (then) we are quickly running out of time.  The seven thunders should be already here.  Where are they?”  Further he adds that if some imaginary seven thunders were to be still in the future, “these imaginative [sic] seven thunders would serve no useful purpose” because by this time “most, if not all, of the dramatic and important events will be over.”  The relationship between the propositions is shown in the graph below.

(21) The thunders must have commenced at the beginning of the 19th century (eg. 1801 or a little later).

(22) At least some thunders must have made their appearance by now (year 2009).

(23) Nobody has identified any thunders (other than those mentioned by Dr R Nielsen).

(24) (therefore) There are no other thunders in the past.

(25) The future is too short to accommodate some other thunders (only those identified by Dr R Nielsen).

(26) Even if the future could accommodate some other thunders, they could not serve any useful purpose.

(27) (therefore) There could be no other thunders in the future.

(28) (joining part A and part B) There cannot possibly be any other events that could qualify for an interpretation of the seven thunders of Rv10.

(U) The only possible interpretation of the seven thunders of Rv10 is the seven critical global events provided by Dr R Nielsen.

The Application of The Seven Forgotten Thunders

14 Based on his argument, Dr R Nielsen reproves Adventists for not acting on his interpretation of the seven thunders.  He raises several issues which are unclear and lack support:

  1. Adventists have forgotten the seven thunders.
  2. Adventists fail to “lead the world in understanding their special and timely message.”
  3. Adventists, “the biblical experts of prophetic visions,” are “intoxicated by self-praise and pride … totally blind and oblivious to anything and everything that is happening around them.”
  4. Adventists “will make no positive impression on anyone.  They will not wake up anyone or warn anyone.”
  5. (sarcastically) “All we [Adventists] have to do now is to doze just a little longer and we shall miss it all.”

15 What does Dr R Nielsen mean by all his remarks?  Does he feel any obligation to censure Adventists for their bad behaviour?  Does he have any authority to assess and correct the conduct of God’s people?  I will address the issue in my response.

My analysis—Application

16 I will begin with an analysis of the application of the idea of the seven critical global events being an interpretation of the 7 thunders of Rv10.

17 The title of the article contains the word ‘forgotten’ but it is not clear why the word is used there and what it is supposed to mean.  Dr R Nielsen implies that the seven thunders are forgotten and laments that we “do not pay attention to the forgotten seven thunders” or “how long will the seven thunders be forgotten by those who should be leading the world in understanding their special and timely meaning?”  Unfortunately, he does not explain what these complaints mean.  For instance, what is the “special and timely meaning” of the thunders, who are those who should be leading the world in understanding the meaning, and why he thinks that they are supposed to be Adventists?

18 The word ‘forgotten’ in the title is obviously carefully selected (it would be wrong to do otherwise) but it remains unexplained.  I will try to explain why this word might have been included in the title.  It seems that Dr R Nielsen intends to make an impression that the thunders were once remembered as a precious virtue but are now forgotten probably without any particular reason.  If this is true, then the word ‘forgotten’ would serve as a subliminal prompter to help people embrace the virgin interpretation of the seven thunders.  But obviously I am wrong in this case, therefore the word ‘forgotten’ remains a puzzle.

19 Dr R Nielsen implies that Adventists should “lead the world in understanding their special and timely message” but what is this special message?  I suppose that the message should be related to the critical global events, but this would require people who are qualified in at least one trend or group of events.  If there were some Adventists qualified to “lead the world,” how should they do it?  And if there were no Adventists qualified, should they begin to study certain areas in order to become leaders and “lead the world” in something that so far was not defined?  There are too many unknowns in Dr R Nielsen’s statement to make any meaningful analysis; therefore I will leave it at that.

20 Dr R Nielsen regrets that Adventists will not make a positive impression or wake up anyone.  But why should they?  Is there anything wrong with not making impressions or not waking up people?  Why should they wake anyone up if, in Dr R Nielsen’s own words, “the whole world is abuzz with the expressions of concern about the progression of the critical global events”?  It seems there is no need to wake up anyone because everyone has already woken up, and there is no way in which to make a positive impression by announcing something that everybody already knows about.

21 Dr R Nielsen expresses his concern over Adventists who may “doze just a little longer and … miss it all.”  But what will they miss—anything of value?  It seems that Dr R Nielsen refers to the parable of the ten virgins who fell asleep, while waiting for the Lord to come, therefore it has nothing to do with Dr R Nielsen’s research.  I have no idea why biblical truths are mixed up with secular research.

22 Dr R Nielsen implies that Adventists, those who are expected to lead the world in understanding of the critical global events, are fast asleep according to Mt25:1–13, or intoxicated by self-praise and pride according to Rv3:17.  But we must note that the parable of the ten virgins does not describe inactivity in leading the world in teaching about the critical global events.  Instead, the Bible focuses on inactivity in waiting for Jesus.  Likewise, the reference to Rv3:17 seems to be out of place, because the pitiful condition of people refers to their spiritual state, in spite of the fact that the people consider themselves rich and satisfied.  How, then, could Adventists be prevented from leading the world in teaching the global critical issues by their low spiritual condition?  Do the current leaders demonstrate higher spiritual standing than Adventists?  It may be true in some cases but there is no ground for sweeping generalizations.  Referring to the Bible in both cases shows that Dr R Nielsen takes the Bible out of context.

23 Dr R Nielsen asserts that Adventists are “totally blind and oblivious to anything and everything that is happening around them.”  But this far-reaching exaggerating statement is a public insult to any person.  No one is “totally blind and oblivious to anything and everything that is happening around them.”  In addition, every person has their own dignity and should not be humiliated by anybody with such statements, even if they were true to some little degree.  How much more does it insult those who take the Bible into their hands and begin to preach!  I feel that Dr R Nielsen owes a public apology to all who read his article.

24 It is worth noting that at the beginning of his interpretation adventure Dr R Nielsen decided to consult biblical scholars, because they would know better than him.  After checking some Bible commentaries he decided they contain nothing of value in regard to the seven thunders of Rv10.  Next he quoted Ellen White to get her authority in regard to his research, and finally he began to interpret the Bible himself and throws some unkind challenges in the face of Seventh-day Adventists for not following his research.

25 Dr R Nielsen ends his article with a statement from the Bible: “For if the trumpets give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?”  Ironically, this statement appears immediately after two paragraphs addressing those who supposedly forgot the seven thunders, do not make any efforts to understand them, fail to learn in which time they live, do not study the trends, miss their opportunity to share, and some other unclear statements.  It seems that after the two final paragraphs, readers might have no idea what Dr Nielsen wants, therefore they may conclude that the uncertain sound of the trumpet refers to his own writing.  This is actually what I have done.  for Krissy to check

26 My conclusion is that Dr Nielsen failed to clearly describe how his interpretation of the seven thunders applies to Adventists, because his research and the seven thunders do not have much in common, if anything at all.  The section where he criticizes Adventists for something unidentified lacks logic and structure, therefore I cannot produce any graphical representation of it.  Therefore I conclude that Dr R Nielsen went off the track before he finished his interpretation of the seven thunders.  His purpose in writing the article remains unclear to me.

My Analysis—The Uniqueness Argument

27 Now I will analyze the Uniqueness Argument to see its validity.  At this stage I assume that premises (21) and (22) are true, and will focus on proposition (23).

(21) The thunders must have commenced at the beginning of the 19th century (eg. 1801 or little later).

(22) At least some thunders must have made their appearance by now (year 2009).

(23) Nobody has identified any thunders (other than those mentioned by Dr R Nielsen).

(24) (therefore) There are no other thunders in the past.

28 My question is: How could proposition (23) infer the intermediate conclusion (24)?  The truth-values of propositions (21) and (22) are insignificant in this case – they only define the time.  However, the fact that nobody has identified or proposed any events for an interpretation of the seven thunders does not lead to the conclusion that there are none.  Let us see if there are any events that might qualify for the interpretation of a thunder.  For instance, the Great Leonid Meteor Storm of 1833 is so far unmatched by any other meteorite shower.  And if there were other, greater meteorite showers later on, there would be a trend of increasing meteorite showers (Dr R Nielsen should agree with this idea because he uses events and trends interchangeably).  But has he considered (and ruled out) the possibility of this event contending for one of the seven thunders of Rv10?

29 Another event might be, for example, the Colony Collapse Disorder (known as Sudden Bee Colonies Disappearance), Mad Cow infectious disease, the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (tsunami, estimated to have released the energy of 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs) and so on.

30 So, it is not enough to ask whether anybody identified any events as an interpretation of the seven thunders, to support the idea that Dr R Nielsen’s interpretation is right.  Another option might be that those intellectuals who could investigate events in recent history and provide alternative interpretations of the seven thunders do not care enough (or have no time, etc.) to pursue such projects or publish their results.  My conclusion is that proposition (23) has no support, and it is hard to see how it could possibly be true.  Therefore I give it the truth-value of Ø (false, not true).  It means that Dr R Nielsen did not show any support for his conclusion (proposition (24)) that there are no events in the past that could be used for the interpretation of some of the seven thunders of Rv10.

31 In part B of the Uniqueness Argument, both propositions (25) and (26) are not obvious and have no support whatsoever.  Why should they be true?  I certainly see them as lacking any logical value.

(25) The future is too short to accommodate some other thunders (only those identified by Dr R Nielsen).

(26) Even if the future could accommodate some other thunders, they could not serve any useful purpose.

(27) (therefore) There could be no other thunders in the future.

32 My question in regard to this part of Dr R Nielsen’s argument is: Why should anyone accept the idea that the future is too short for accommodating some or even all of the seven as yet unknown thunders?  If events like the 2004 tsunami or the 1986 Chernobyl disaster or the 1945 Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings are good enough examples of some future events that may qualify for the thunders, then the seven thunders could easily fall on our planet in a matter of few days or even hours!  As I see it, before “the window of opportunity” closes on us some years in the future (ten years or less), many supernatural events may take place, and many strings of seven events or trends may be identified.  My conclusion therefore is that proposition (25) has no support, and it is hard to see how it could possibly be true.  Therefore I have to set its truth-value to Ø (zero).

33 In regard to proposition (26) I wonder why the lack of any useful purpose of any future thunders could prevent them from being accepted as legitimate thunders?  Why should they have any useful purpose?  Whether they have or do not have any useful purpose, I do not see why it should have any bearing on qualifying some particular event for an interpretation of a thunder of Rv10.  Dr R Nielsen fails to provide an explanation.  My conclusion is that proposition (26) has no support, and it is hard to see how it could possibly be true.  Therefore I have to set its truth-value to Ø.

34 Now I will summarize my complete analysis of Dr R Nielsen’s Uniqueness Argument.  Only propositions (21) and (22) are assumed to be true, but they do not affect the truth-value of the whole argument, and all other propositions lack any support.  In other words, Dr R Nielsen did not prove at all that the seven groups of events from his research are the only possible interpretation of the seven thunders of Rv10.

35 Below, I repeat all propositions included in this argument for those who would like to see them together with the above chart.

(21) The thunders must have commenced at the beginning of the 19th century (eg. 1801 or little later).

(22) At least some thunders must have made their appearance by now (year 2009).

(23) Nobody has identified any thunders (other than those mentioned by Dr R Nielsen).

(24) (therefore) There are no other thunders in the past.

(25) The future is too short to accommodate some other thunders (only those identified by Dr R Nielsen).

(26) Even if the future could accommodate some other thunders, they could not serve any useful purpose.

(27) (therefore) There could be no other thunders in the future.

(28) (joining part A and part B) There cannot possibly be any other event that could qualify for an interpretation of the seven thunders of Rv10.

(U) The only possible interpretation of the seven thunders of Rv10 is the seven critical global events provided by Dr R Nielsen.

36 My analysis has demonstrated that the Uniqueness Argument is not sound (the structure and inferences may be valid, but the truth-values of the propositions were nil), and propositions (21) and (22), even if true, could not make the argument sound.  Therefore I conclude that Dr R Nielsen’s seven global critical trends/events do not have to be the only possible interpretation of Rv10, and later on I will propose an alternative interpretation.

My Analysis—The Main Argument

37 Now I will analyse Dr R Nielsen’s main argument to see how strong it is on its own, after the Uniqueness Argument has been proven to be unsound.  The final graph of Dr R Nielsen’s argument is repeated below.  It shows that the argument needs many propositions to collectively support just one conclusion.

38 As I have mentioned above, the reason for the word ‘forgotten’ in the title of Dr R Nielsen’s article is unclear.  He uses it twice (apart from the title), and both times it occurs in a question without throwing any light on its specific usage.  Because it lacks any support and is unclear what it means, I have to set the truth-value of proposition (6) to Ø.

40 Dr R Nielsen explains that he was “still sceptical and unconvinced about any possible connection” between his research and the seven thunders and “decided to consult biblical scholars.  They should know better…”  But because he could not find anything of value, he was satisfied with what “just one author” had said.  What is going on here?  Dr R Nielsen first made an impression that he was going to get expert advice, but was surprised to find nothing of any value.  How did he decide that what he found was of no value?  After all, he took matters into his own hands and assessed what the scholars said, instead of taking their advice.  Does he mean that he knows better than those who “should know better”?  Why did he assess scholars’ work as of no value?  Is it because they did not provide any support for his view?

41 A little boy heard many times that he was brought to the world by a stork.  But he did not understand how it could be done.  So he jumped on the ’Net but looking all day he still could not find how storks bring children to the world.  Frustrated, he began to search for images of storks and he found one where a stork carries a nappy in his beak, and a little boy in it.

42 Satisfied with his research, he settled the issue: storks bring boys to the world in nappies.  What a difference it would make to the boy’s research if the boy consulted an ornithologist (bird scholar).  He would have told the boy that his assumption was wrong, because storks do not bring boys or girls to the world.  If Dr R Nielsen asked a knowledgeable theologian how to interpret the seven thunders, he would probably receive the answer that the Bible does not provide enough information about the thunders to make any conclusions.  Instead, he took some statements from Ellen White and decided that with her authority he himself is qualified to convince Adventists that he is right.  There is nothing wrong with attempting to interpret the Bible, but why does he make a claim that he consulted experts on the matter?  If he could not find anything of value in the sources he consulted, why should he mention it at all.  Was it to make an impression that his interpretation comes from an authoritative source?  This is not true; the interpretation does not come from a biblical scholar, as he promises, and therefore I set the truth-value of proposition (7) to Ø.

43 Dr R Nielsen quotes Ellen White as saying that the thunders of Rv10 describe events.  But he fails to see the second part of her statement where she says that these events “will be disclosed in their order.”  These words surely imply that the events would be revealed in succession, while the groups of crucial global events described by Dr R Nielsen have all run concurrently for about 200 years now!  These events were identified only in recent years, when each group of events was well under way (except for one that will be described later on).  Therefore I see that there is a clash between Ellen White’s explanation and Dr R Nielsen’s groups of events.

44 Recently I have contacted Pastor John Skrzypaszek, the Director of The Ellen G. White Research Centre in Cooranbong, Australia, and asked him to provide me with his point of view on the interpretation of the seven thunders based on what Ellen White has ever written on the subject.  Now I quote from his email:

“Ellen White makes only one major reference to the thunders which is found in Manuscript 59, 1900 in the section entitled “Jots and Tittles, II” August 16, 1900) Reprinted in MR Release 28. (Attached is the copy of the Ms). … Even though it appears that she speaks here about future unspecified events, as you read the entire context [you will see that] she continually emphasizes the experience of the Advent movement rather than end-of- time events. … What follows is clearly Ellen White’s reference to the Millerite movement, the Great Disappointment. In fact further on, she refers to the period 1842 to 1844. … The emphasis of this entire passage is on the formative experience of the Advent movement. I cannot see any evidence that this statement is made with the view of some future events. Rather, it tends to justify and support the prophetic and historic foundations of the Advent experience. … To use this passage for any other purpose means to read into it one’s own assumptions.”

46After reading such an expert’s advice on Ellen White, I cannot help but assign the truth-value of proposition (8) to Ø.

47 Dr R Nielsen claims that his discovery took place under unusual circumstances.  But is that to mean that such discoveries must be true?  There are lots of discoveries that take place under unusual circumstances yet they are not guaranteed to be true.  Others, which occurred under usual circumstances, are not guaranteed to be false.  There is no correlation between usual or unusual circumstances and the verity of the discovery.  As I see it, these circumstances do not decide whether Dr R Nielsen’s discoveries are true or false.  Therefore I have to mark the inference from proposition (5) as invalid. (On the graph it is presented as if the proposition itself was proved to be false).

48 Dr R Nielsen argues that his classification system was in place before he realized the possibility of connection between his seven groups of events and the seven thunders of Rv10.  This means that the number of groups of events is a natural outcome of his classification system, but we should be aware that this fact does not contribute to his argument in any way.  It is required that his argument shows that the seven thunders of Rv10 correspond with the seven groups of critical global events, not their number.  There may be many groups of seven elements (churches, trumpets, seals, plagues), but the number of elements is not enough to draw a conclusion that these groups describe the same events.  Even if it was so, why are the crucial, global problems that threaten our existence not compared with the seven last plagues, which will take place immediately before the end of the world and have the same character (disastrous) as global threats?  Would it not be a more logical connection?

49 We have an example in the Bible where kingdoms (or empires) are described in separate chapters, Dn7 and Dn8.  In chapter 8, though the kingdom of Babylon is missing, we know that the other kingdoms correspond in spite of the omission of the first kingdom.  How do we know that?  Because what we know about kingdoms 2, 3, and 4 shows us that we are talking about the same kingdoms.  But if we looked at both chapters and focused on the number of kingdoms described, we would have to deny this correspondence.  So, my conclusion is that the number of events is insufficient to decide whether the seven critical global groups of events correspond with the seven thunders of Rv10.  Later on I will also analyze Dr R Nielsen’s classification and show that the number seven (which triggered the idea of linking his research with the seven thunders of Rv10) is incorrect.  For now, I cannot help but assign the truth-value of Ø to the inference from proposition (4).

50 Dr R Nielsen argues that the instruction John heard from heaven about sealing “should not be understood as never to be revealed” and calls on Ellen White’s authority to support his point.  But is such a move justifiable?  Are there any places in the Bible that use similar expressions and would shed some light on the case of the seven thunders being sealed?

51 Let us take the case from the Bible where God instructed to seal up the vision and explicitly stated “For it refers to many days in the future.” Dn8:26nkjv  We see that in this case the words of the vision were written down, that God’s instruction to seal up the vision meant the inability to understand the words, and when the required time would come, the meaning of the words would become known.  In the case of John, though, God does not specify how long the words would not be understood for, because nothing was to be written in the first place.  What could be “unsealed” if we have not even a clue what the seven thunders were saying?  So, how can ‘nothing’ or ‘silence’ be understood?  God knew what He was saying, He said it exactly as He desired, and He is not going to change His mind for the rest of eternity.  How can anyone argue that what God said is not what He meant?

52 In the case of Daniel, the inability to understand was for some definite time, and therefore God said that the vision “refers to many days in the future”, but in the case of John, God not only instructed him to not write anything about it, but also said that the words should be sealed (kept secret).  If the words were to be revealed in the future, wouldn’t  God tell us what these words were, as it was in the case of Daniel?  As I see it, in the case of John God knew what He was saying in the same manner as it was in Daniel’s vision.  And because God did not say that the meaning would be revealed, and Dr R Nielsen does,  Dr R Nielsen adds to God’s Word something which is most likely not true.  Therefore I have to assign the truth-value of Ø to proposition (9).

53 There are many important and less important things in everyone’s life.  But do we ever claim that things are related in any way just because they are next to each other on our priority lists?  A better chance for things to be related is when they are the most important.  And still, there may be some things that are important for one person and completely negligible for another.  So, how can one convince another that what is the most important to him must also be the most important to others?

54 Dr R Nielsen begins his argument by asserting that the speeches of the seven thunders are important.  But how does he know that?  Did he find it in the Bible?  On one hand we may say that everything in the Bible is important.  On the other hand there may be different levels of importance.  To match the seven groups of critical global events which he claims to be the most important events today (“What other seven groups of events could not be more important than that?”), Dr R Nielsen would need an equally important biblical event.  But the seven speeches are not even written down!  How can they be said to match the most important events from Dr R Nielsen’s research?  Obviously, they had to be important for John, otherwise God would not show them in the vision.  But for anybody else they may be important only in the sense that John was given some insight not available to his readers, therefore he knew what he was writing and we should not question it because we do not even know what he did know!  So, the seven thunders are not the most important events in the Bible, and the Bible never makes such a claim.  Therefore I have a question: How does the perfect match work if the most important events on earth are claimed to correlate with just ordinarily important seven thunders?  How should we know that the seven groups from Dr R Nielsen’s research need to be linked precisely with the seven thunders and not with any other group of seven?  How should we know that the seven groups of events are in any way related to or predicted by some kind of hidden messages expressed by the seven thunders?  It seems to me that fusing the seven groups of events with the seven thunders of Rv10 lacks any support whatsoever.

55 Dr R Nielsen argues that the critical global groups of events are the most important because they all “threaten our existence on this planet.”  But is this what the Bible tells us or is it only his explanation of why he wants us to view the results from his research as the most important?  Obviously the Bible has different priorities for us than Dr R Nielsen.  It is not concerned so much with the earthly things as with eternal things.  “I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!” Jn16:33nrsv.  God’s priority is surely not to protect us from all calamities in this life.  “For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it.” Lk9:24nrsv.  Most important for God’s friends is to “strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to [us] as well.” Mt6:33nrsv.  Luke asks “What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves?” Lk9:25nrsv.  For me, eternal life is by far more important than survival on this planet, and this is what the Bible teaches.  The biggest threat is not the progression of the current global critical events, as Dr R Nielsen suggests, but the abandonment of God.

56 There is an obvious mismatch between proposition (1) and (2) in Dr R Nielsen’s argument.  Both propositions taken together cannot achieve anything on the way to the conclusion (S), because they disagree with each other and the Bible.  Therefore I set the truth-value of both propositions to Ø.

Events or trends or else?

57 There is only one proposition in the (S) argument left to look at, and this proposition is responsible for the whole idea of linking Dr R Nielsen’s research with the Bible.  The perfect number of the seven groups of events has been firmly established before Dr R Nielsen’s mind presented him with a question about the seven thunders of Rv10.  Since then, he has decided to change his classification with an attempt to come up with a different number than seven but failed.  Is this number so invincible that it will survive my analysis?  Mind you that for number seven to be the link with the Bible, the number of thunders must also be seven.  And one may wonder how could anyone argue that the number of thunders were not seven while the Bible itself spells out this number?

58 I am not an expert of any description in the field of environmental sciences and am forced to venture into this field only for the purpose of analyzing Dr R Nielsen’s argument.  With my scarce common knowledge of the world around us, and some tools like common sense and scraps of creativity, I can only provide some surface comments on Dr R Nielsen’s classification.  Will my analysis be sufficient to complete the task successfully?  Please be my judge.  Below I will attempt to show that the number seven in both cases, Dr R Nielsen’s research and the Bible, may be wrong to successfully link the  groups of critical global events and the seven thunders of Rv10.  First, I will analyze some items in Dr R Nielsen’s classification, then the classification itself; next I will show what the Bible teaches about the seven thunders, and finally I will draw some conclusions.

First impressions

59 When I first read “The diminishing water resources” my mind mischievously went to Mars.  Some scientists pledge themselves to find liquid water there, most likely in underground oceans.

60 I do not think that finding water in underground oceans would be a feasible solution for our planet, at least not yet (at present the hardest evidence of water on Mars is artists’ impressions).  But I can not understand why we would worry about diminishing water resources.  Water from melting Arctic ice will cause the rise of sea levels by as much as 1m by 2100.  “This increase would inundate some 22,400 square miles of land along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States, primarily in Louisiana, Texas, Florida and North Carolina.”   About 70.8% of the surface of The Earth is covered with water. “If all the land on Earth were spread evenly, water would rise to an altitude of more than 2.7km.”  It seems to me that we have too much water on our planet.  How can one assert that the resources of water on our planet are diminishing?

61 To find out what Dr R Nielsen means by “The diminishing water resources,” I decided to check The Little Green Handbook:: A Guide to Critical Global Trends. This is a “significantly larger version” of The Seven Thunders and written with a more scientific slant than its predecessors. And there it was: “Diminishing Water Resources.”  Only when I began to read the chapter I learnt that Dr R Nielsen means ‘fresh’ water, or water suitable for human consumption or irrigation.  And in such a case I would expect The Little Green Handbook, described on its cover as “the essential reference book” on the subject of global environment, to be more specific than that.  “Students, journalists, professionals, policy-makers…” who are expected to find information on global environment in the book would probably appreciate more precise usage of scientific expressions.

62 When I looked at the corrected expression ‘the diminishing fresh-water resources’ I was still not satisfied.  How could the diminishing resources of any kind be called ‘events’?  Yet this is how Dr R Nielsen introduces the seven groups of items in his article: “I have arrived at the following seven groups of the current critical global events” (emphasis mine).  His The Little Green Handbook states clearly in the subtitle A Guide to Critical Global Trends (emphasis mine).  The same is true about the US version with a slightly different name. (The Little Green Handbook:: Seven Trends Shaping the Future of Our Planet)  Unfortunately I could not check the Chinese version but I am pretty sure that it uses the term ‘trends.’

63 In the article, before Dr R Nielsen introduces the seven groups, he talks about “critical global trends and the events associated with them.”  But then, what are the events associated with the diminishing fresh-water resources and how would they fit the classification introduced as “critical global events”?  When I read the article I noted that Dr R Nielsen quoted Ellen White saying that the seven thunders’ speeches “related to future events” (emphasis mine).  Is this to explain why Dr R Nielsen uses the expression ‘events’ to refer to ‘trends’—to get the authority of Ellen White to convince Adventists that his ideas are approved by Ellen White?  If so, then these kind of tricks (fallacy) used in arguments are called an appeal to authority.

64 I kept reading of the “seven groups of current global events” and saw the next item called “The destruction of the atmosphere.”  I wondered why I could still breathe if the atmosphere was supposedly destroyed.  I also wondered why anyone would talk about reducing greenhouse gas emissions, why anyone would hold a United Nations Conference on climate change in Poznań, Poland, and why would Dr R Nielsen talk about the window of opportunity “for solving climate change [which] is likely to close around 2020.”  If the atmosphere is destroyed then it is destroyed (full stop), unless Dr R Nielsen means something else than what he says, as in the previous case(?).  Maybe the item on his list should be called more precisely ‘The increasing damage to the atmosphere’(?).

“Approaching” element not suitable for his classification

65 Dr R Nielsen explains that “The commencement of global population explosion, and thus commencement of all the critical global events can be traced easily to the early 1800s.”  I wonder just how anyone can trace back “The approaching energy crisis.”  If the crisis is only approaching, then it is not here yet, right?  How could it have commenced nearly 200 years ago?  Am I missing something?

When challenged by the idea “that the seven thunders will be revealed in the future,” Dr R Nielsen defends his groups with the following statement: “…then we are quickly running out of time.  The seven thunders should be already here.  Where are they?”  That’s right.  I would like to know where the “approaching energy crisis” is; is it here yet?  Obviously not!  It means that this ‘approaching energy crisis’ failed the original requirements of Dr R Nielsen’s classification in the first place.  Dr R Nielsen claims that he tried to change his classification and disprove any theological connection to his research, but he failed.  He must have overlooked criterion 3 for his classification: “the whole set of items should represent all the current critical global trends and events” (emphasis mine).  It seems to me that the ‘approaching energy crisis’ does not quality for the classification because it is not current in any sense; it is only approaching, as the name clearly states.

66 There is another issue related to the ‘approaching energy crisis.’  In response to those who argue that “the seven thunders will be revealed in the future,” Dr R Nielsen points out that “we are quickly running out of time.  The seven thunders should be already here.  Where are they?”  I pose the same question in reference to the ‘approaching energy crisis.’  Where is it?  Not here yet?  How does it qualify for the “current critical global trends”?  If it is not here yet, when will it arrive?  And if there is no room for other interpretations of the thunders, how come there is plenty time for the approaching energy crisis?  In addition to failing the requirements of the “current” criterion of the classification, the approaching energy crisis overthrows the Uniqueness Argument which is designed to prove that there is no room in the future for any groups of events or trends that might be proposed as an alternative interpretation of the seven thunders of Rv10.  So, something is going wrong here.  If there is enough time in the future for the approaching energy crisis, why is there no room for some other events that may be proposed as an interpretation of the seven thunders of Rv10?

Energy

67 I wonder, how soon and why an energy crisis should become an issue to our planet.  It seems that our planet has bountiful resources of Uranium (or here),  and some countries prepare to build nuclear plants.  Nuclear energy may effectively postpone an energy crisis, but the threat is in radioactive waste which is a byproduct of harnessing nuclear power.  If I am right, then instead of ‘the approaching energy crisis,’ Dr R Nielsen should have placed radioactive pollution in his classification.  The sarcophagus built in Chernobyl was designed to last 30years.  There are only 8years left to build another one, yet nothing serious has been done so far.  The threat of the reactor4 leaking or exploding is still in the air, and if it happens, the whole of Europe may become uninhabitable.  Also, if the dam on the Kiev Sea (or Kiev Reservoir) is destroyed by a natural disaster or by a terrorist attack, then the tremendous amounts of radioactive dust (now forming the bottom silt) carried by wind may prove lethal to the whole of Europe.

68 The approaching energy crisis may never become our problem if radioactive pollution and other calamities destroy humanity.  I suggest that we focus on things that may end humanity before the window of opportunity to control our climate closes on us.  If the approaching energy crisis is on the list of things that are claimed to be the most important for their threat to humanity’s survival, how much more appropriate is it to include radioactive pollution and throw out the approaching energy crisis?  The magic number seven would remain unchanged so far, but I have not finished my analysis of the classification yet.

Defeated by microorganisms

69 Dr R Nielsen mentions that microorganisms are a potential threat to human population, and rightly so.  Microbes have a potential to destroy the human population in a short period of time, much shorter than the window of opportunity to do something about our climate.  The Mad Cow disease warned us against such a threat, and there is the potential for some as yet unknown disease to do it in a short period of time.  If the seven groups of Dr R Nielsen’s classification are the most important because they “affect us all and threaten our existence on this planet,” then disease is far more important than the seven groups, because they can wipe out humanity before the window of opportunity comes close to the end.  Dr R Nielsen explains that he revised his classification to make sure that the number seven was correct, but he could not come up with anything better.  So, here is a hint that the number seven is not necessarily true.  So far, if I am right, there is one item that should not be included in Dr R Nielsen’s classification, and there are two items that should be.  And so, the number on the list would be eight, not seven.

Mass destruction

70 When I consider weapons of mass destruction (radiological, chemical, biological, etc.), I see that they also are a potential threat to the population of our earth.  If the seven groups of critical global events are the most important on our planet because they “threaten our existence on this planet,” then why are the weapons of mass destruction not included in the classification?  They may destroy the whole population of Earth much quicker than the critical global events that have many years to go.  By now, the number on the list should probably be nine.

Poisoned milk

71 Recently we witnessed the poisoning of food by Chinese manufacturers with melamine and we cannot turn a blind eye to the potential threat from food poisoning in the future.  Also recently, people were advised to not eat Irish pigs because they came to be contaminated with potentially harmful dioxins.  These two examples show clearly, that our food may become contaminated very quickly, much quicker than the window of opportunity closing on us.  So, the potential of our food being poisoned (intentionally or not) should also be mentioned as a threat to our existence on this planet.

Shortage of food

72 Suppose that one day all bees and other insects disappear from our planet for some strange reason as in the already mentioned Colony Collapse Disorder.  What will we do to protect our crops?  Will we manually pollinate our crops like almonds and other nuts, berries, fruits and vegetables?  We may add another threat like the Mad Cow infectious disease, where all meat will become infected. Will we stop eating meat?  And if some other calamity strikes the earth and our crops of any kind will be reduced to zero, what will we eat?  Will we become cannibals?  This is another potential threat to human existence on the Earth, and it may come long before the window of opportunity closes (around 2020).  But I have not seen any provision for this scenario in Dr R Nielsen’s classification.  Should the problem of the potential shortage of food make its way to Dr R Nielsen’s classification, or should we just assume it will never happen?

73 I believe that so far I have shown that Dr R Nielsen’s classification has some problems and it may send the author back to the drawing board.  Will he be able to come up with another classification that will present all current problems in a complete list of seven?  This time, most likely the magic number could not be unbiased, and even if it was, could we believe it?

74 Quite apart from the problems with the number of Dr R Nielsen’s elements in his classification, I would like to consider some other issues.  Dr R Nielsen describes that when he was going to rest after completing his classification, he realized that there may be a connection between his research and the seven thunders of Rv10.  Obviously, the only tangible thing he knew at that time was number seven.  He did not try to see what the seven thunders were about; he checked his classification for the magic number seven.  Because he failed to change his classification, only then he began to inquire about the meaning of the seven thunders.  Some time later he announced that the seven current global events from his research are the interpretation of the seven thunders of Rv10.  Doing this, he had to make one underlying assumption, a far-reaching assumption—he assumed that the seven thunders were talking about seven distinct matters.  But how does he know whether this is true?  There is nothing written down about it!

75 I will continue this topic when I analyze the Bible.  For now, I need to set the truth-value of proposition (3) to Ø, because the number of the groups of global critical events from his research should not be seven.  And so, I have shown that each proposition of Dr R Nielsen’s main argument is not true, therefore the conclusion (S) cannot be true either.

76 One may also ask, whether Dr R Nielsen tried to match the current global events to some other sequences of seven in the Bible like letters, seals, trumpets or plagues?  If not, why not? Is it because his mind did not present him with the idea, as it did with the idea of the seven thunders?

The Bible About the Seven Thunders

77 Bereans was commended for comparing every thought with the Bible (the Hebrew Scriptures) Ac17:11. I suggest we should do the same—check what the Bible teaches about the thunders, and what it does not teach.  As I see so far, Dr R Nielsen produces arguments based on what the Bible keeps silent about, instead on what the Bible says.  To demonstrate the point, I will analyse the first verses of Rv10 and draw conclusions bases on this analysis.  The following statements are directly derived from the biblical text.

  1. The content of the angel’s speech (I will call him the rainbow angel) is not known.
  2. The seven thunders spoke in response to the rainbow angel’s shout.
  3. The content of the seven thunders’ speeches was to be kept secret (“sealed up”).
  4. There is no hint to the effect that the content of the seven thunders would ever be known.
  5. The seven thunders’ speeches rang out before John was to write about what they were saying.
  6. John was to write what the seven thunders were saying before he was asked to eat the book.
  7. Historically, the eating of book that turned bitter took place immediately after 22 October 1844 (called “The Great Disappointment”).

78 So, what does the Bible tell us and what it does not?

  1. The seven thunders stopped ringing before the end of 1844.
  2. We do not know what the rainbow angel was saying, or what the thunders were saying in response to the rainbow angel’s speech.
  3. We know that the only person who knew what the thunders were saying was John, and he was to keep it a secret.
  4. We do not know whether the seven thunders spoke seven distinct messages or just one (as found in other places in the Bible, eg. the 24 elders, Rv4:11, or the seven spirits, Rv5:6).
  5. It is obvious that John had to know what the seven thunders were saying, and it is also obvious that he was the only one to know it.

79 In conclusion, the above description, based on what the Bible is clearly saying, is in a big conflict with Dr R Nielsen’s interpretation in the following important points:

1      The time. The time required by Dr R Nielsen’s interpretation runs for 200 years and the fifth element of his classification has not arrived yet (“The approaching energy crisis”), while the Bible teaches that the thunders stopped ringing 164 years ago.

2      The content. Dr R Nielsen silently assumes that the thunders spoke about seven groups of events as specified in his classification, while the Bible is silent about it.  How can anyone prove or disprove anything about the content?  Should we leave it to anyone’s guess and claim it is what the Bible teaches?  No!  If God decided to not give us this knowledge, we must not pretend to know better.

3      The number of messages. Dr R Nielsen assumes that the seven thunders must have issued seven distinct messages (based on the number of thunders), but the number seven in the Bible may mean completeness (like seven horns and seven eyes who are interpreted for us in the Bible Rv5:6).

80 Dr R Nielsen uses the Bible to promote the classification of his research, but his classification contradicts the Bible’s teachings in three essential ways.  The seven critical global events/trends from Dr R Nielsen’s research have nothing in common with the seven thunders of Rv10; instead they contradict them in a big way.

81 Before I end this section, I would like to draw the reader’s attention to the fact that there are two reasons why the magic number seven does not work in Dr R Nielsen’s argument:

  1. Dr R Nielsen’s classification needs to be overhauled and probably the final form will lose the number seven.
  2. The Bible does not teach anywhere that the seven thunders spoke about seven distinct messages.

82 Dr R Nielsen’s perfect match is not perfect any more.  Indeed, the perfect match would apply to cases where every proposition in an argument could hardly be questioned.  In Dr R Nielsen’s case, there is hardly any hope for defending even a single proposition!  My analysis shows that what he calls a perfect match is in fact a perfect mismatch.

83 At the beginning of his article, talking about the first verses from Rv10, Dr R Nielsen declared “It has never been my aim to work out an explanation of these verses let alone to fit them to a preconceived idea.”  I wonder why his article became just what he has never planned to do.

Mysterious date

84 At the end of the passage dealing with the “quickly developing global crisis” and the window of opportunity to close around 2020, Dr R Nielsen makes a curious remark: “if you wanted to have a date you now have it.  It has not been given to you by panic-stricken religious fanatics but by cool-minded scientists.”  What is this statement supposed to mean?  The reference to the ‘panic-stricken religious fanatics’ shows that most likely Dr R Nielsen talks about the end of the world.  Does he mean that the world will end in 2020 because this date is established by ‘cool-minded scientists’?

85 It seems that the statement predicting the date of 2020 (or any other date) assumes that Adventists (the prime addressees of the article) are called ‘date-setters’ who try to predict the date of Jesus Christ’s coming (which obviously coincides with the end of the world).  But Dr R Nielsen is addressing the wrong people.  Adventists are very clear on this point and often emphasize that no one knows exactly the time of Jesus’s coming except for the Father Mt24:36; Mk13:22 and that He will come unexpectedly like “a thief in the night.” 1Th5:2

86 Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labour pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 1Th5:1–3

87 Dr R Nielsen also refers to someone wanting to have a date.  Does anyone have any clues as to who that might be?  As for me, I have no idea.  Does Dr R Nielsen know?  Hopefully.

88 Dr R Nielsen attaches a footnote to the statement about the date 2020.  He explains that “The year 2020 should not be interpreted as the end of the world.  The meaning of this time is that by that year the probability of uncontrollable climate change will be high. By that time, our chance to control climate change might be over. Whatever we shall decide to do after around this year will probably have no effect on controlling global climate.”  But after reading this footnote it becomes even more confusing, why would anyone want to know this date?  If it is not the end of the world, or Jesus’ coming, does anyone want to know the date?  What is going on here?  I am completely lost.  Has any “panic-stricken religious fanatic” ever attempted to predict the date when we may forever lose any chance to control climate changes?

89 There is a danger in Dr R Nielsen’s article for those who can hardly comprehend his confusing writing.  The date of 2020 may be looked at, consciously or not, as the date preceding Jesus’ second coming.  In that case, there is still at least 12 years to go.  But if Jesus comes earlier, which is very likely, people may be perplexed and find themselves in trouble.  If this scenario really happens, who will be blamed for deceiving people?  There is only one answer.

90 I would like to advise anyone who reads this article to be ready all the time, never to postpone our friendship with God to some future date.  Jesus may come much earlier than 2020, our life may end much earlier than 2020, and if we postpone, we may never again hear the invitation to be friends with God.  We need to be ready now, and never be caught off guard.  Eternal life filled to the brim with unimaginably beautiful happiness is worth more than any belief system (like the seven forgotten thunders).

Loose terminology

91 I have already demonstrated that the term ‘events’ (or ‘groups of events’) by which Dr R Nielsen refers to the seven global critical groups from his research is far from precise.  Instead, the groups should be called trends, as they are correctly referred to in the title The Little Green Handbook:: A Guide to Critical Global Trends. One may wonder why Dr R Nielsen, himself a scientist, writes to scientists and uses imprecise language.

92 As if the usage of imprecise terms were an insufficient enough drawback in his article, Dr R Nielsen changes the names of the seven groups.  He calls them ‘events’ to get the support of Ellen White who supposedly interprets the speeches of the seven thunders as events.  But to claim that the seven thunders represent events that run for 200years now (as his research requires) is taken out of context as explained by Pr John Skrzypaszek, an expert in the field.  And one may still wonder, why the meaning of the seven thunders is not discovered in the Bible but imposed on it.  This is not how we should figure out what God teaches us.  Dr R Nielsen uses an elaborate process to fuse the Bible to his research, but the process is faulty.

93 The terms ‘event’ and ‘trend’ are not the only terms that Dr R Nielsen uses to refer to the seven groups from his research.  When he attempts to find a way to join the seven groups and the seven thunders, he fabricates the idea that the seven thunders are important (no biblical support for this proposition whatsoever!) and presents his seven groups as the most important on the planet.  To make them such, he introduces the idea that the seven groups are threats.  But to say explicitly that threats are important is like saying that terrorists, criminals and disasters are important.  To avoid such awkward confrontation and a risk that the readers may spot the blunder, Dr R Nielsen expresses his idea in an indirect way by saying that the trends “threaten existence on our planet.  What other seven groups of events could be more important than that?”  However, for an analytical mind the question may easily be converted to a statement and the blunder becomes more apparent—look at the following statement: threats are the most important things on earth.  Is it true?  Never!  Our survival is far more important than many other activities, trends or phenomena on our planet, and this is why threats are threats (they threaten something that is more important than the threat itself).

94 Dr R Nielsen’s loose terminology, changed from trends to events to threats, does not achieve any true contribution to the success of his argument.  It just produces a smoke screen that confuses the issue and misleads the readers to believe that the seven thunders of Revelation are a perfect match with Dr R Nielsen’s research.  But how could it be a perfect match if each proposition in his argument is not what he claims it to be?  A perfect match could be claimed to exist if every proposition in an argument would be hard to refute (for example, if the seven groups could hardly be called anything else but events).  Instead we see that some other names qualify better than ‘events.’

Conclusion

95 I believe that so far everyone knows what the content on the conclusion is, therefore I will not repeat the obvious.  I just would like to add some information that has not been mentioned so far but is important.  In his article, Dr R Nielsen presents two inductive arguments—the main argument (S) and the Uniqueness Argument (U).  Inductive arguments are arguments whose premises provide reasons for supporting the probable truth of the conclusion.  In other words, all the propositions (1)–(9) in the main argument and propositions (23)–(29) in the Uniqueness Argument, if proved to be true, cannot guarantee the truth of the conclusion.  I have demonstrated that all the propositions are either false or the inferences from them are invalid.  To establish the truth, especially when we talk about the Biblical Truth, we require

  • a deductive argument,
  • where all propositions are true, and
  • all inferences are valid,

96 because only such an argument guarantees the truth of the conclusion.  In my article I have demonstrated that Dr R Nielsen’s article The Seven Forgotten Thunders talks about the seven groups of current global critical events or trends or threats that are completely unknown to the Bible, because none of the three conditions mentioned above are fulfilled in his arguments.  Therefore Dr R Nielsen does not have any biblical basis to publicly censure Adventists for refusing to accept his research as having any prophetic and/or biblical value.  Our business is to adhere to the Bible, not to any scientific research, no matter how wonderful, especially those which blatantly twist the Bible.  I would like to advise Adventists to not follow blindly the cleverly devised myths and fables, but to focus their eyes on the Bible 2P1:16 which is the only genuine and reliable textbook for the Truth.

CezaryN,

Krissy Jankiewicz (English language editor)

*   For abbreviations of the books of the Bible see my About > Abbreviations.

12 Responses to The Unknown Seven Thunders

  1. Ciekawski says:

    Czy ta strona jest lub będzie przetłumaczona na język polski? Czy oryginalny dokument Dr Nielsena jest gdzieś przetłumaczony na język polski? Z góry serdecznie dziękuję za odpowiedź.

    • cezaryn says:

      Oryginalny dokument jest przetłumaczony i opublikowany tutaj. A mój post jest narazie tylko w języku angielskim. Jeśli będzie wystarczająco duża ilość osób które chciałaby przeczytać ten post po polsku, postaram się przetłumaczyć na polski, ale zabierze mi to trochę czasu. Tymczasem proszę o zgłoszenia osób które chciałyby to przeczytać po polsku (proszę wpisywać swoje zainteresowanie tłumaczeniem polskim w formularzu poniżej).

      • Dr Ron Nielsen says:

        Dr Ron Nielsen’s comment originally posted to this thread (feasibility of translation to Polish) is moved to the new thread where it belongs (responses to the main post). I need to keep this place tidy.🙂

  2. Dr Ron Nielsen says:

    This comment was originally posted to the wrong thread. Unless you reply to a particular comment, use the field Comment in the Leave a Reply section at the bottom of this page. A new thread will be created.

    There is a good chance that your incoherent perorations will be taken by someone of some people as the expression of your profound words of wisdom. I’m, however, not sure about how many people will be impressed by your haughty attitude and about your thinking so highly of yourself. (You write: “This blog is especially for inquisitive minds that won’t rest until things add up. Enjoy until you are left breathless…” Indeed, what a wise guide you are.) But again, you might become a guru with enough followers to follow you. You will not be the first one to lead people astray and then drop them, when you run out of steam. Alternatively, they might drop you when they get tired of you.

    In your letter to me you write: “It appears that all arguments you offered in support of your views on the seven thunders of Revelation10 and how they relate to your research are frogs.” What did you drink to see the vision of frogs? I didn’t write about frogs.

    Now to help your possible victims, who might be led astray by your ramblings, there are two things I have to say. (I’m not sure you can be helped, but who knows, maybe you can.)

    1 The classification of the current critical global trends and events

    This classification is based on the clearly-defined criteria, which I have explained in the Introduction of my book (http://home.iprimus.com.au/nielsens/trends.html). You might, of course, start with a different set of criteria and arrive at a different classification but then you might get so muddled up (as it looks that you are) that you will not know where you are.

    My classification and my explanations of the current critical global trends and events have been endorsed by prominent scientists (including a Nobel Laureate) and by general readers. All of them see my classification and my description of the current critical trends and events both lucid and helpful. So, even though you think so highly of yourself, I see no good reason to treat your ramblings seriously.

    2 The link with the seven thunders

    As explained in my article (http://www.dandypolish.org.au/articles/403) I can see a perfect match. All the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle fit together perfectly. However, if you or someone else does not agree with me, I will not fret. My attitude is: take it or leave it. If it is helpful to you, use it. If it is not, forget it. I am not interested in creating some kind of a movement. Maybe you are. I am not.

    Why did I write this article about the seven thunders?

    First, I’ve written it because I was asked to write it. I appreciate that there are some open-minded people around who do not see a possible explanation of certain passages in the Bible as a complete calamity.

    Second, I wrote it because it is not the first time I have been asked to explain certain, difficult-to-understand, passages of the Bible. I have done it on many, many occasions, without making a big issue of it. Helping people when called is my life.

    Third, I have written it because I believe that it is our duty to keep our eyes open and understand the signs of the time. Your statement “Dr R Nielsen’s article The Seven Forgotten Thunders talks about the seven groups of current global critical events or trends or threats that are completely unknown to the Bible,” seems to suggest that whatever is not written in the Bible is not worth reading. This is a dangerous and irresponsible attitude, which is in the clear contradictions with the instructions we have in the Bible.

    My article about the seven thunders does not take people away from the Bible but draws them towards it. By showing the relevance of the Bible to the current critical trends and events, and indeed to the current signs of the time, I do not diminish but amplifies the authority of the Bible. It is your apparent attitude that whatever is not written in the Bible is not worth reading that makes the mockery of the Bible.

    • cezaryn says:

      @ Dr Nielsen
      This comment is made in response to your first argument that attempts to defend your point of view, namely that your classification satisfies your criteria and is complete, titled “1 The classification of the current critical global trends and events.”

      You explain that a different set of criteria may/will yield different results and this is why I came up with a different number of categories “of the current critical global trends and events,” and got bogged down at that. I was very surprised to see such a comment, because I use your “clearly-defined criteria” which are “endorsed by prominent scientists (including a Nobel Laureate) and by general readers.” It seems that you make a war with a straw man at this point (you create something that I have not said and argue that this ‘something’ does not make sense). So, before you state that I got “so muddled up” and that I do not know where I am, please read carefully my post to avoid blunders in the future.

      In my post, using your criteria, I show the following flows in your research:
      1. You mention “The approaching energy crisis” in your classification and fail to see that this category does not satisfy your clearly-defined criteria (“current… trends or events”). If this energy crisis is ‘approaching,’ it is clear that it is not ‘current.’ See my post §66-68.
      2. You fail to include the threat of microorganisms in your classification although it satisfies your clearly-defined criteria, and you are fully aware that “we are facing a strong probability that we may be defeated by drug-resistant microorganisms.” See my post §69.
      3. For other threats to our civilisation see my post §70-73.
      Based on the above 3 points, you should realise that the number of categories in your classification is not ‘seven,’ therefore there is definitely no link between your research and the seven thunders of Revelation 10.

      If you wish to defend your view, there is no need (and no point) to blame me for not using your criteria (because I do). Instead, you need to focus on
      • proving that the number of categories in your classification is ‘7,’
      • proving that they all satisfy your criteria,
      • proving that no current critical global trends and events are forgotten, and
      • proving that my comments §66–73 are unsubstantiated.

    • cezaryn says:

      @ Dr Nielsen
      This comment is made in response to the section you called “2 The link with the seven thunders.”

      I know that you consider your research to be a perfect match with the 7 thunders of Revelation 10 (there is no need to remind me of this). Reiterating your opinion does not prove your point, it remains ‘your opinion.’ I have shown above that there are serious problems with your classification, therefore there is no point to talk about a perfect match. First you need to show that your classification is sound. So, for now, the ball is in your court.

    • cezaryn says:

      @ Dr Nielsen
      This comment is made in response to your other “arguments.”
      1
      If your “attitude is: take it or leave it” why do you call for the opinion of prominent scientists in an attempt to prove that your research is flawless? Are you aware of the fallacy of defective induction called ‘argument from authority’? You may read about it here. And if you intend to prove something, do it in a scientific manner by presenting an argument, not by calling authorities.
      2
      If your “attitude is: take it or leave it,” you should give other people the freedom to have the same attitude, hence let them decide for themselves whether they wish to be led astray by my ‘words of wisdom’ or yours. And if you really worry about people being deceived, then change your attitude and prove that your research is sound and my post is faulty. If you do it successfully, you may save my readers from an imminent disaster.
      3
      I wonder why you assume that I had a vision of frogs. Read my statement again in a simplified form: “It appears that all arguments you offer … are frogs.” In other words, I refer to your arguments as frogs (invalid, unsound) instead of princes (sound arguments). Of course, you may prove that I am wrong, but to do it you need to present an argument, not repeat your opinions, call for authorities, or worry about possible victims.
      4
      If your “attitude is: take it or leave it” why do you lecture Adventists for being asleep? Leave it up to them to “take it or leave it.” Something is wrong with the description of your attitude.
      5
      “Helping people when called” may indeed be your life, but it seems that you “help” others even when not asked, eg. you assess my website, you assess myself, you assume that I lead people astray, you assume that I want to be a guru and surround myself with followers… all of this and more without any call or invitation. In addition, your opinions do not advance your case. I suggest you limit your help to cases “when called,” and focus on defending your research.
      6
      When I say in the summary to my post that your research is completely unknown to the Bible I mean that it has nothing in common with the seven thunders of Revelation10. I have not said that “whatever is not written in the Bible is not worth reading” and fail to see how you arrived at this monster conclusion. My post proves that I not only read your article (which contradicts your conclusion) but studied it, and if your conclusion were true, I would have never known what you wrote in your article.
      7
      I wonder how your article can draw people towards the Bible, by insisting that it teaches about environmental issues found in your research, while John clearly states that God told him to not write anything about what the seven thunders were saying? This is repelling people from the Bible, not drawing them closer.
      8
      In summary, you did not show that my arguments are faulty, you did not bring any new material to the discussion, you did not support any of your opinions, therefore my arguments remain princes (valid and sound), your opinions remain just opinions, and your arguments remain frogs (invalid). I do not see any reason to accept your opinions as true.

  3. Dr Ron Nielsen says:

    My dear Cezary,

    I regret that I have ever responded to your hallucinations. I’ve tried to help you but it was a waste of time. You have plenty of time: I don’t. There is no need for me to proceed any further. There is no hope whatever in trying to reason with you.

    You present a strong case of the illusion of grandeur. Such people are strongly opinionated, unresponsive to reason, immune to correction and bullies. They are not interested in finding what is right but only in defending their figments of imagination at all cost. Any attempt of trying to talk sense with them is a waste of time.

    You obviously believe that what you have written is a masterpiece. I suggest, therefore, that you PUBLISH IT IN A RESPECTABLE PLACE where articles submitted for publication are carefylly scrutinised before they are published. Only then, will I consider whether I should respond to your tosh.

    You are using a venue where you can write just about anything you want. So, with nothing better to do, you can sit and talk to yourself ad finitum.

    You have never achieved anything in your life so I suppose you need something to boost your ego. In fact, as far as I know, you’ve been a complete failure. You would do better if you were not so proud of yourself. And try to stick to topics you can handle. Enjoy yourself but count me out.

    It is a pity that you have stepped so low. Is there anyone in your family who could put some sense into your head?

    ————

    My dear Cezary,

    I regret that I have ever responded to your hallucinations. You present a strong case of the illusion of grandeur. Such people are strongly opinionated, unresponsive to reason and immune to correction. They are not interested in finding what is right but only in defending their figments of imagination at all cost. Any attempt to talk sense with them is a waste of time.

    You obviously believe that you have created a masterpiece. I suggest, therefore, that you PUBLISH IT IN A RESPECTABLE PLACE where articles submitted for publication are carefully scrutinised before they are published. Only then, will I consider whether I should respond to your magnum opus. I wish you luck. You might get famous so why should you waste such a fantastic opportunity.

    You have never achieved anything in your life so I suppose you have to do something to boost your ego. But try to stick to topics you can handle. You are using a venue where you can write just about anything you want. So, with nothing better to do, you can sit and talk to yourself ad finitum. Enjoy yourself but count me out. I have no time to waste, and honestly, Cezary, I could not care less what you think.

    If you have something useful to say, bring it in. I do not have the time for spending endless hours in a pointless tug of war with you. As I said, you obviously know what you know and you do not feel that you have anything to learn.

    It is a pity though that you have stepped so low. There was a time when you have been quite a pleasant character, aware of your limitations and your failures. Now you are trying to present yourself as a wise and smart guy. Is there anyone in your family who could put some sense into your head?

    —————

    My dear Cezary,

    I am not going to be drawn into sorting out your hallucinations, neither am I going to be drawn into squabbling with you.

    You obviously believe that you have created a masterpiece. I suggest, therefore, that you PUBLISH IT IN A RESPECTABLE PLACE where submitted articles are carefully scrutinised by editors before they are published. Only then, will I consider whether I should respond to your magnum opus. I wish you luck. You might get famous so why should you waste such a fantastic opportunity.

    Make sure that you translate it also into Polish. You will then reach a wider audience. You have probably written it in Polish in the first place so it would easy for you to “translate” it.

    ***

    The following comments about my classification and explanation are intended for those who night be confused by your twisted writing. I am not sure you can be helped.

    Classification (http://home.iprimus.com.au/nielsens/trends.html). The current critical trends and events are strongly interconnected and interdependent, which makes them difficult to understand. My classification is not only helpful but also it is the best one can think of. It is terse, clear, all-inclusive and comprehensive. It cannot be changed without making it worse. What looked earlier like one big chaotic mess, is now sorted out into an easy-to-understand and easy-to-follow roadmap.

    Explanation (http://www.dandypolish.org.au/articles/403). My work in explaining the seven thunders was very minimal, easy, simple and straightforward. All I needed was a little nudge in the right direction to see all the pieces of the puzzle spread in front of me. They quickly and readily fell into place to form a consistent picture.

    My explanation of the seven thunders is both constructive and helpful. It emphasises the relevance of the Bible in our time and it draws our attention to our obligation as the bearers of the assigned message. I find it both interesting and amazing that what has been written so many years ago resonates so clearly with the experiences of our time.

    We live in the momentous days of human history. Never before had we have such an intensified convergence of critical global trends and events. It is our duty, and should I say also our mission, to understand them and to appreciate their direct link with our fundamental believes, expectations and obligations.

    I am more than ready to embrace a better explanation of the seven thunders but so far none is forthcoming. Time is running out and an alternative better explanation is still missing. Should we assume that this passage of the Scripture is meaningless or that it is there only just for a decoration? If the answer to this question is negative, then where is a better explanation?

    Moving on. In proposing my explanation of the seven thunders I was not looking for fame and recognition. While I am perfectly satisfied with my explanation I have since then moved to a new field of intellectual activity, which keeps me well occupied. I am now in the process of writing another book. This time it is going to be a purely academic publication on the population dynamics and economic progress, and I have already publishers in Germany interested in publishing results of my research.

    To suggest that I was involved in a conniving and fraudulent activity when I proposed my explanation of the seven thunders is absolutely insane. While I am perfectly happy with my explanation I am not forcing it on anyone.

    ***

    By criticising my work, Cezary, you are putting yourself above the editors, who published my book and my explanation of the seven thunders, and who scrutinised closely my work. The editor of my book in Australia described it as the best book he has ever published. The publishers in the US were equally enthusiastic. You are putting yourself above the top scientists who also praised my work. You are putting yourself above the host of common readers who have given me overwhelming praise and support.

    You present a strong case of the illusion of grandeur. Such people are strongly opinionated, unresponsive to reason and immune to correction. They are not interested in finding what is right but only in defending their figments of imagination at all cost. Any attempt to talk sense with them is a waste of time.

    I am not sure on whose side you are, Cezary, when you criticise my explanation of the seven thunders and our neglected obligation to see the possible deeper meaning of the current critical trends and events.

    You have never achieved anything in your life so I suppose you have to do something to boost your ego. If you need to show yourself smart, try to stick to topics you can handle.

    You are using a venue where you can write just about anything you want. So, with nothing better to do, you can sit and talk to yourself ad finitum. Enjoy yourself but count me out.

    I have no time to waste, and honestly, Cezary, sorry for disappointing you, but I could not care less about what you think. However, I do care about those who might be led astray by you.

    It is a pity though that you have stepped so low. There was a time when you have been a quaint and pleasant character, aware of your limitations and of your repeated failures. Now you are presenting yourself as a smug and wise guy. Is there anyone in your family who could put some sense into your head?

    • cezaryn says:

      @ Dr Nielsen

      You achieved nothing by putting me down. You just show what methods you use.
      You achieved nothing by bragging about your book, friends, editors, etc.. Please keep this to your website.
      You achieved nothing by lamenting over me. I do not need it.
      You may wish to learn something from the above points.

      If you want to defend your research, focus on the flaws that I mentioned in my post.
      If you can defend your research, do it.
      If you have nothing to say, do not say it.

      • Why do you behave dishonestly? Why did you remove my latest posting?

        • cezaryn says:

          @ Dr Nielsen

          I have not removed your posting, I just did not approve of it (it has never been published). And I will explain why.

          You need to understand the difference between dishonesty (in my case it might be understood as hiding some inconvenient information, I think this is what you have in mind) and disseminating of useless material (your comment that I chose to not publish is just a repetition of the first two, and the second one repeats itself 3 times on its own). In short, you just brag about you and your research, and humiliate me. Your first two comments (published in full) should be sufficient to convince anyone that you are incapable of engaging in proper defence of your research.

          It is true that I invited you to defend your research, and it is also true that since then I advised you TWICE to focus on defending your research, yet you write another comment and keep bragging about yourself and your research, and you keep humiliating me. Don’t you see that nobody needs that stuff? Please be informed that I will not publish such comments; they are worthless in defence of your research and spoil your reputation as a scientist. However, if you value your comments so highly, please feel free to publish them… on your website.

          You may also send your publishers to this page so that they may learn about flaws in your research; they may be surprised to see what they have not seen before.

          As I understand so far, you are unable to fix problems with results of your research, therefore the idea of sleeping Adventists that deserve your lecturing remains only in your dreams. Unless you can focus on defending your research, you need no bother writing your comments here (they will NOT be published).

  4. Yirmegail says:

    I am dismayed at the threads of comments. These threads sounds vindictive as personal issues were brought into this open forum. Where is Christianity displayed? May God’s peace be with you both,
    God Bless.

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