The Momentous Seventh Trumpet Begins to Blow


1.      Preliminary Announcement of the Program In Heaven.

a.      Preliminary kingdoms of the world become Christ’s kingdom.

      b. The Dead are judged.

      c. The prophets, the saints and God-fearing people will be rewarded.

      d. The destroyers of the earth will be demolished.


2.      As Preliminary to Rewarding the Good, God Displays the Ark of His Covenant in Heaven.


3.      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 11:14 declares.


4.      The Third Woe

a.      Satan turns with great wrath upon the woman, who is borne away into the wilderness.

b.     She is nourished there for three-and-a-half years.


(Third woe to be continued.)



Chapter XII


The Advance Guard of Raptured Saints


Revelation 11:15-12:16


In heaven, 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.


Revelation 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 “covenantare 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” which follow.


The twelfth chapter shows the fulfillment of the covenant and must be studied with great care to discover to which covenant it refers.


(1)   It is “a great sign,” referring to some great covenant.

(2)   It related to “woman” or “a woman.” Since no word exists for the article “a” in Greek, we can choose either sense.

(3)   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.

(4)   She brings forth a man child whom he seeks to devour (v. 5).

(5)   The Serpent persecutes the Woman.(1) (v. 13)

(6)   When the Woman escapes the Serpent, he persecutes “the remnant (“rest”) of her seed” –all believers.

(7)   These are described as believers (v.17).

(8)   The man-child, who escapes to heaven, is her seed also but not all of her seed.  Hence, all believers constitute her seed.

(9)   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

 (10) The Serpent is cast down to the earth, losing the exalted position of “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2).


Now for the explanation: 

(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 sign.”

(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 (Genesis 3:16).

(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 Serpent. 


(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 mortal.


From 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.


Finally, 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.


Notice 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 scattered people.


            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.


            The 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.”


            It is 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 peace.”


            Now, we 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.


            Having 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.        


        I 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.)


A lady’s sister 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. 


After 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.”


            A voice 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 short season.



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.


          CHAPTER 13