The Message of the Hallsberg Stones
Thirteen stones, etched with cryptic imagery and mystical symbols, rest quietly in a mysterious garden in the heart of Skåne, Southern Sweden. What message was a 19th Century farmer trying to convey, and does it have any relevance for us today?
In the 1800’s, a great religious awakening took place throughout the world. Many were heeding Jesus’ words in Matthew 24, bidding His disciples to understand the prophecies in the book of Daniel. This revival in the study of the Scriptures did not leave Sweden untouched, but found old and young, rich and poor, seeking to understand the signs of Christ’s return.
In the year 1894, a monumental work was completed by Nils Nilsson, a retired miller and farmer, who painstakingly etched out his faith on a series of stones in his garden. His legacy attests to his conviction, that there is a God who is longing to turn the attention of His people to a message for the last days.
The stones depict Biblical themes such as the creation, the fall of man, the great controversy between Christ and Satan, the plan of salvation, the antichrist power, the seal of God, the sanctuary, the last crisis and the return of Jesus. Employing Biblical quotes and poems, Nils Nilsson’s messages from the Bible lead the careful reader to soul-searching, and to a deeper love for God and His commandments. One of his many poems reads like this:
“O, Almighty God
Thy word and thy law
Thy power, thy glory
Will protect us all
against heresy and fall.”
Nils Nilsson’s desire was that the Bible’s message would receive attention, through the stones he had carved out. On one of the most beautiful of his stones, he concludes by referring to Jesus’ words in Luke 19:40, “If God’s witnesses should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out. Thus a 76 year old man closes his mysterious work. Lo, the Bible solves our mysteries. Signed in the late year of 1894. Nils Nilsson.” Two years later, Nils Nilsson died, and now waits for the day when the trumpet of God will awake him from his mortal sleep (1Thessalonians 4:16).
Like Nils Nilsson that has laid resting for over a century, his stones too have remained relatively silent — until today. In a way that he could never have imagined, new technology has today made it possible for the stones to cry out with a louder voice than ever before, both to Scandinavia and to the world. Through satellite TV, Internet, DVD and the printed page, the simple farmer’s life-work is now again testifying of a soon returning Saviour. Beside this DVD documentary, LifeStyleTV has also produced a series of 15 Swedish programs examining Nils Nilsson’s work in the light of God’s Word.
Nils Nilsson’s rock-like faith invites us to consider digging deeper into God’s book to us—the Bible—and to experience it’s life-changing message. Many people have been inspired and amazed as they have seen and understood the message on these stones. May it inspire and enlighten you too.