The Momentous Seventh Trumpet Begins to Blow
Preliminary Announcement of the Program In Heaven.
Preliminary kingdoms of the world become Christ’s kingdom.
Dead are judged.
prophets, the saints and God-fearing people will be rewarded.
destroyers of the earth will be demolished.
As Preliminary to Rewarding the Good, God Displays the Ark
of His Covenant in Heaven.
An Interlude for Explanatory Back History.
The labor of
Woman brought the Man-Child to birth. Satan, that Old Serpent,
sought to devour her child; but at the call “COME UP HITHER” (see
Part III), the child is translated. Under the leadership of
Michael, God wages war with Satan, and he and his angels are cast
down to the earth. “Having great wrath,” Satan turns upon the Woman
and upon the “remnant” of the Woman’s seed. This event constitutes
the third “Woe” which follows immediately the events of 11:13 as
The Third Woe
Satan turns with great wrath upon the woman, who is borne
away into the wilderness.
She is nourished there for three-and-a-half years.
(Third woe to
The Advance Guard of Raptured Saints
they understand the full extent of the meaning of that seventh
trumpet. As soon as it begins to sound, we are told, “There were
great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are
become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ; and He shall
reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat
before God on their seats (thrones) fell upon their faces, and
worshipped God, saying, We give Thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty,
which art, and wast and art to come; because Thou hast taken to Thee
Thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and
Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be
judged, and that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants, the
prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Thy name, small and
great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.”
In the events
which follow in the next few chapters, we shall see how . . . this
heralding of the Divine program is put into execution. Already, the
dead of chapter 7 and the Two Witnesses have been resurrected. Now,
they are to be judged and rewarded along with all the faithful,
resurrected and translated. Next, the wicked will be destroyed from
the earth though they will not be resurrected and judged for more
than a thousand years.
We come now to
the first translation of the saints. During the sounding of the
seventh trumpet, all the children of God ready when Christ comes
will be taken out of the world. In the interpretation of this
twelfth chapter, I do not follow anyone whom I have read. I will
give you what I believe the Holy Spirit has taught me. You will find
the usual interpretations discussed in Appendix C.
11:19 should be read with chapter 12. John then saw “The Temple
of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His Temple the
ark of His testament.” The R.V. says, “the ark of His
covenant.” “Testament” and “covenant” are the
same word in Greek which means that God would have all heaven see
that He remembers a certain covenant He is about to fulfill. That
His power is working to fulfill it as shown by the “Lightnings
and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail”
chapter shows the fulfillment of the covenant and must be studied
with great care to discover to which covenant it refers.
It is “a great sign,” referring to some great covenant.
It related to “woman” or “a woman.” Since no word exists for the
article “a” in Greek, we can choose either sense.
It tells us about “that old Serpent” – the only time Satan is
mentioned by this name after Genesis 3:15 except in chapter 20:2.
She brings forth a man child whom he seeks to devour (v. 5).
The Serpent persecutes the Woman.(1) (v. 13)
When the Woman escapes the Serpent, he persecutes “the remnant (“rest”)
of her seed” –all believers.
These are described as believers (v.17).
The man-child, who escapes to heaven, is her seed also but not all
of her seed. Hence, all believers constitute her seed.
The “war in heaven” causes Satan to be overcome and cast down
to earth by believers. “They overcame him by the blood of the
Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; for they loved not their
lives unto the death.” They had been mortal once, and they had
been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Also, they had testified.
In the war, they are led by Michael, the archangel
Serpent is cast down to the earth, losing the exalted position of
“the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2).
(1) The greatest covenant God ever made with mankind was
addressed to “that old Serpent,” the last time he was
mentioned in the Bible, in these words, “I will put
enmity between thee and the woman; and between thy seed
and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt
bruise his heel.” The learned Canon Payne-Smith
once called this: “That promise, of which the whole of
the rest of the Scripture is but the record of the
gradual stages of its fulfillment.”(1)
John might well say this covenant with
mankind (if the “sign” relates to mankind as we believe
it does) was represented to him by “a great sign.”
(2) And “woman” is the chief figure in this “great
(3) And “that” (not merely “the”, for we are distinctly
pointed back to the last time (Genesis 3:15) Satan was
described as a Serpent) “old Serpent.” The red
dragon is next in prominence.
(4) The Serpent is at enmity with the Woman while she is
passing through agony such as was prophesied of her
(5) The Serpent displays enmity towards her seed, the
man-child, seeking to devour him.
(6) In the outcome, the Woman’s seed overcomes the
(7) The head of the Serpent is bruised, and he loses his
exalted position as “prince of the power of the air.”
(8) This bruising is accomplished not simply by Michael
but by mortal, redeemed men, or at least had been
Genesis to Revelation, I fail to find anything in Scripture so
completely fulfilled by this “great sign” as Genesis 3:15. As
prophesied, the “heel” of the woman’s seed was bruised when
Christ was crucified. If we follow the Revelation story forward
through the next few chapters, we will find it a representation
of the process of destroying the Serpent’s seed from the earth.
those chapters show the complete crushing of the Serpent’s head.
However, more bruising of the heel of the woman’s seed will
happen besides the crucifixion of Christ. As the learned Dr.
Lange says, “According to the New Testament . . . The seed of
the woman is not exclusively to be referred to the individuality
of Christ . . . according to Paul in Romans 16:20: ”the God of
peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.” That bruising
of the heel of “the rest of the Woman’s seed” is shown in
chapters 13 and 14 under the Antichrist and the False Prophet.
that the old Serpent is represented as “red,” indicating war,
generally, in this book. We think it does here. By this time,
all warfare has passed under the immediate management of Satan.
Now for an explanation of the “great sign”:
First of all, remember what we have already said about
the ministry of women at the end of this dispensation and in the
conversion of the 144,000 Israelites. Right here, let me remind
you again that by “Israelites” we do not mean simply such
as you know to be Jews. Those you know are but the remnants of a
John says the Woman is “in heaven.” The same
is said of the Dragon or Serpent. We cannot think of Satan in
the celestial place where God and His holy angels are where
nothing unholy ever enters. Therefore, this reference must mean
a spiritual conflict rather than an earthly conflict between
Satan and the Woman. The man-child is her spiritual, not
her physical child. He is born of her spiritual labor
and sorrow. Every person for whom we labor and bring to Christ
is reckoned as our spiritual child. Therefore, we understand
this Woman to represent a company of converted women, laboring
for the conversion or spiritual birth of others.
“Clothed with the sun” means clothed with the
righteousness of Christ. He is the Sun of righteousness. “The
moon under her feet” seems to mean she has risen above Old
Testament light into the New Testament light of life in Jesus
Christ. I think these women must be true Israelites, not Gentile
Christians. Her man-child is the 144,000 Israelites.
When we win a soul, we say that convert is a star in
our crown. This Woman has twelve stars, one for each of the
twelve tribes. She could not very well have been pictured with
144,000 stars. You may wish to know why I believe the child she
has represents the 144,000. The thought is not original with me.
Others more learned than I have thought so. My reasons can be
read in Appendix E.
Woman’s child was to “rule all the nations with a rod of
iron” (v. 5). For this reason, some have hastily
decided this child is Jesus Christ because Psalm 2 says He will
rule the world. However, Christ promises this rulership
likewise to overcomers (Revelation 2:27). This man-child is
precisely described as a body of overcomers in Revelation 12:11.
It is never safe to be too explicit in our
statements about prophecy, for the fulfillment of prophecy is
its only certain interpretation. What I believe the most
reasonable view to be is: Starting with three facts as our
basis: First, “The God of peace” will “bruise Satan”
under the feet of believers. Second, the old Serpent is
represented as red, the war-god. Third, the believers, called
“the rest of the Woman’s seed” who will bruise Satan, are
expressly charged not to fight in these words: “He that
killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is
the patience and the faith of the saints.” (13:10).
Beginning with these three facts, then, it seems to me the
144,000 first translated had refused to fight and expected to be
killed for refusing. That is the reason it is said of them,
“they loved not their lives unto the death.”
reasonable to suppose the spiritual work of that company of
women at Jerusalem, remembering that scenes are now being
pictured at Jerusalem, not over the whole world. In those days,
men were reaping the awful fruits of warfare in the scenes under
the seven trumpets, which would put in the very forefront the
teaching that Jesus Christ’s own example of non-resistance must
be followed. In times when war is threatened, we know how men
are pressed into enlisting. It is quite enough to say, “Your
country needs you.” Then, young men must go whether their
country is on the right or wrong side in the war. How, then,
the war-god would be provoked if 144,000 young men bound
themselves together in a Peace Society! Here we see Satan as
the real war-god, rising up in his wrath to secure the
destruction of this band of followers of the Prince of Peace.
For the most part, woman’s influence is bound to be on
the side of peace. We can well believe these women of Israel
will contend that the men of their own race shall never come
into the permanent possession of their Promised Land again
except under the banner of Christ as a Prince of Peace. They
will remember the promise in both Old and New Testament that
“the meek shall inherit the land,” to which the Old
Testament adds, “and delight themselves in the abundance of
understand why this man-child was taken out of the world and
translated to heaven whereas the Woman not translated. Man is
the warrior. It is not expected of women to enlist in a war.
However, the Woman must be persecuted for influencing men not to
fight while Satan would have killed the men if he could have.
God has a great calling for the Woman.
chosen spiritual, instead of carnal, weapons against Satan, they
are translated to a war against Satan of a spiritual sort.
Michael and his angels come out to help them, and Satan loses
all his power except what he can exercise down on the earth.
The whole atmosphere is cleared of his presence. The result is
that, a little later, when all the saints are translated, Satan
cannot oppose them in the upper regions as he did the 144,000.
Satan, driven down to earth, turns upon the
Woman--the women who had been the means of influencing the
144,000 to fight with spiritual weapons only. “The two wings
of the Great Eagle” bear her away into “the(2)
wilderness.” The loving Almighty heavenly Father himself
(Exodus19:4) bears her away to a place of safety where she is
fed and cared for three years and a half (“a thousand two
hundred and three score days,” says 12:6. “A time,
times, and half a time,” 12: 14, means the same. At the end
of this time, she is translated to heaven with all the rest of
her seed--Jews and Gentiles.
think this “great sign” is that to which Paul, the apostle,
refers but not precisely to the sign which he never saw, rather
to the facts taught by it. When he says of woman:
“She shall be saved through the childbearing, if they
(women) continue in faith and love and sanctification with
sobriety.” (R. V.)
told me of the wonderful deliverance her sister had in San
Francisco after the great earthquake and fire. Aged and alone,
she found herself homeless in a burning city, and she could see
no means of escape. Suddenly, she felt her dead father on
one side of her and her dead brother on the other. She did not
see or speak to them, nor did they see or speak to her. They
guided her over heaps of rubbish, ankle-deep in dust between
fires in round-about ways.
miles of walking under the greatest difficulties, she came
without weariness to the Ferry which took her across the Bay to
Oakland. A friend took her in gladly. Her garments were so
fresh that all they needed was brushing. Only the residents of
Oakland and other cities round about San Francisco, who took
refugees from the doomed city and attended to their needs, were
able to appreciate what a miracle such freedom from weariness,
heat, dust and grime implied. I am reminded of this incident
when I read John’s account of how holy women will be carried
away from scenes of the great tribulation “on two wings of
the Great Eagle” and sheltered and fed in a safe place.
John went back in his story to the work of these
women in the conversion or spiritual birth of the Jews. Then, he
went forward through the three years and a half those women are
taken care of in the wilderness. What point in this sign of the
Woman and these events of chapter 12 corresponds to the time of
the events of chapter 11 where John broke off? It is very easy
to join the time of the two chapters. John has taken care of
that matter. In 11:14, we read, “The second woe is past; and,
behold, the third woe cometh quickly,” or to express it in
common speech, “Look! The third woe is coming right along!” That
third woe is described in chapter 12 in these words, “Woe to
the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea, for the devil is
come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that
he hath but a short time.”
had called, “Come up higher . . . and the same hour was a
great earthquake,” after which the third woe came on
quickly. Then, it looks as though that great city that raised
the two witnesses probably translated the 144,000 also. These
fought their way through to heaven with the help of Michael, who
came to meet them. The result of the battle was that Satan and
his angels were cast down to the earth. Then, Satan turns upon
women because of the good work they have accomplished, sending a
flood (which may signify an army) after them. God carries them
away to a place of safety. Then, Satan turns all his attention
to the Christian men in Jerusalem, who are at his mercy for a
1. To avoid confusion, we will always write hereafter with a
capital “W” the Woman of this “great sign.”
2. The definite article (“the”) indicates a well-known,
fixed locality and is not a symbolical “wilderness” as in 17:3
where no article is present.