Study of The Book of Revelation
W. T. Russel (Tape #5)
Chapter 10:1 "And I saw another
mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon
his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire
In the tenth chapter John is still looking into the things of God in the world
by a vision. I think this is Jesus Christ, the angel of the covenant of grace
because a rainbow was upon his head. There is the promise, the rainbow of
promise. The throne of grace is a throne of promise. Paul stated in Galatians
4:28 "Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise."
Chapter 10:2"And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth," This book is not the sealed book of chapter five. That book was sealed with seven seals, and the only one worthy to open or break the seals and look upon that book was the Son of God, the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
Chapter 10:3 “And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roared: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices." Here is the angel of the covenant and in his hand is an open book. John heard the message, but the angels said seal it up. We'll find out what it was a little later in the study.
Chapter 10:4 "And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not."
Chapter 10:5 "And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,"
Chapter 10:6 "And swear by him that lived for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:" Wait a minute. There's been a misunderstanding and a misrepresentation there. I have been guilty in the past, but I'm not guilty of this explanation of verse six now. Brother Calvin Gregory used to say he had heard some lambasting sermons preached from this text: And the angel standing one foot on land and one foot on the sea, right hand raised to him that lives for ever and ever that time should be no more. Is this the end of the world? That's not what he's talking about here. If he were talking about the end of the world, then the end would have been right here. We'd not get the remainder of the things that were to take place at the last day, but we don't get them. I want to take you to some books of translations. I don't want to be accused of saying some of the Bible is not true. I believe every last word in the original, properly translated, is the truth with not a single error to be found. I also believe there's not a single contradiction in the Bible. If you think you have found a contradiction, you'd better examine yourself, because it will be in your mind and not in the book. Here are some other translations of this chapter 10:6. The American Standard Version says, "There shall be delay no longer." Weymouth, in his translation, says, "No further delay." Bass also says "No more waiting." We know that is what it means because of that which follows. Let's read it as it should be. "And swear by him that lives for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be delay no longer:" In other words, the things spoken about in the preceding chapters are about to be revealed.
Chapter 10:7 "But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets." This makes it clear. The thing has been held back and restrained. When we came to the sixth seal, the seventh seal was opened with a silence in heaven for the space of half an hour. There was nothing said about the happenings of the seventh seal except seven angels were given seven trumpets. These trumpets have sounded, and six woes have been pronounced. The seventh is yet to come. He says in this verse, there shall be delay no longer. Now we are going to see what is going to take place following this. Notice this seventh verse said: "But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets." Look now at the fifteenth verse of the eleventh chapter: "And the seventh angel sounded; and 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."
At this point, we are brought to the end. Here every- thing has been fulfilled which was spoken of by the prophets in the Old and New Testament.
Chapter 10:8 "And the voice which I heard from heaven spoke unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth." The angel of the covenant had in his hand and open book. As said previously, this book is not the same book that you read about in the fifth chapter because that book was closed and sealed with seven seals. This book is open in the hand of the angel which I think is none other than the angel of the covenant, Jesus Christ. Chapter 10:9 "And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey."
Chapter 10:10 "And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter." The gospel or the word of God in general, taking it all, some of it is very sweet, and some of it is very bitter. That's according to the way you look at it from a human standpoint. The thing that was possibly bitter to John when he ate this book, and that doesn't mean that he put it in his mouth and ate it up and swallowed it literally, but it was symbolic. In other words, he was supposed to appropriate to himself that little book. The little book was the open Bible which was something brand new. This was the "perfect" spoken of in 1 Cor. 13:10.
Chapter 10:11 "And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings." John was told as a preacher, all the rest of them dead, thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. John wrote this on the Isle of Patmos. On the Isle of Patmos is where he had the vision, and it was revealed to him that he would leave that place, or that he would be a minister before nations, peoples and tongues after his exile there was over. John was released and returned to his homeland where he later died a natural death according to history.
Chapter 11:1 "And there was given me reeds like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein." Chapter 11:2 "But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months." Now in the eleventh chapter, he said there was given me a reed like unto a rod, a measuring stick. And the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple, leave out. Now this is bound to be in a vision. John was enabled to see the old temple and its location, and its arrangement for the old temple had been destroyed in 70 A. D. about 25 or 26 years before this book was written. So John saw in vision the old temple. He was given a measuring rod to measure the temple of God and the altar and them that worship in that temple. But he said the court which is without the temple, leave out and measure it not for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. I don't know what you may think about what I am going to say, but I believe at that time, that as the nation of Israel and the nation of Jewish people, the angel of God was able to measure and even count the ones that worshipped God in spirit and in truth. As we have studied before, 144,000 is simply a figurative number to show us there was a definite number saved out of every tribe of Jacob which constituted Israel of course. He said now leave out the outer court because that's given unto the Gentiles or unto the nations, and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. Now forty and two months would be three and one-half years if we took it literally. But if we take it prophetically as numbers are interpreted, even in Daniel's writing and also in the language of Ezekiel, we'll have to let one day stand for a year, and that's the way I'm taking it. I think that is exactly what it means. That the world of the Gentiles, the Gentile nation, should tread underfoot the holy city as it was, and that outer court, forty and two months which represents 1260 years which is exactly the number of years the dark ages lasted. I believe I can give you when it started approximately -250 A. D. and it ended in 1510. Count that and you'll have 1260 years. The question might be asked as to what brought about the end of the dark ages the time when the true church was persecuted and trodden underfoot. What brought to an end that persecution and that deprivation of liberty that the church suffered over for all that length of time? It was in 1510 which was early in the sixteenth century that Martin Luther nailed his thesis to the Wittenberg church door which is the Catholic Church. There are a lot of things about Luther which I do not endorse. I certainly don't endorse his church and his doctrine, but there is one thing sure, and we cannot discount from Luther, and that is through his efforts and his nailing of his objections to the teachings of the Catholic Church; that brought about a reformation which resulted in this country of ours being filled with protestants. One thing we'd have to say about Luther, he broke the bar that had the door locked and enabled us to have the beginning of religious liberty. This little open book that we read about a while ago in the hand of the angel, was fulfilled at that time when the world for the first time had the liberty to worship and serve God after the dictation of their own hearts. So it brought liberty, and it ended the dark ages. From 250 then to 1510, was a dark age indeed for the true church of the Lord Jesus Christ. "During the half century before the appearance of Luther, signs of a growing discontent with the papacy were accumulating among all classes of the nation. An official document was issued to this effect in 1510." (Gephardt) The beginning of the end of the dark ages. Chapter 11:3 "And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth." I want you to notice this third verse and the verses following even in consequence of what we just studied. "And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth." Now that's exactly the amount of time and the number of years that was spoken of above - forty and two months and one thousand two hundred and threescore days is exactly the same which is 1260 years. Most of the historians that you read after will tell you there wasn't but one church in all that time, and that was the Catholics. That's what they'll tell you, but if you will be careful in your examination of the history, you'll find them referring to heretics along the way. Those heretics that those historians wrote about were those who were upholding the truth. The Catholics didn't agree, and they called them heretics. Most every time where you'll find the Catholic writers and those affiliated with them writing the history, you'll find them talking about the heretics, and most of the time, they are the Baptist. They weren't called Baptist. These people have been called by various names mostly by the man that was in the lead probably, or the most prominent figure. They have been called Albigenses, Waldeneses and Montanists, etc. They were undistinguished people by the world, but God knew where they were all the time, and hiding out from the law of civil powers in dens and caves. If you want to read about it, go to the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, and you'll read about those people that hid out in the dens and caves of the earth. It wasn't only history, but was prophetic also which said, "Of whom the world was not worthy." The world is not worthy of those people who would die rather than give up their faith so it might be perpetuated and brought down to a little fellow like me that I might possess it. Thank God it's the same faith that I have today and you have as Baptists. The Bible said they loved not their lives even unto death. We’ll get to that in just a little bit. The two witnesses here in this third verse "And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth." Now the two witnesses that he's talking about is none other than the church or churches and the preachers. There are the two witnesses. This reveals to us that even through the Dark Ages when the world thought there wasn't anything else but the Catholics, that the true church of the Lord Jesus Christ and true ministers were carrying on the work of God even when they had to hide out away from the law in order to do it. Of course, this carries us right back that during all that time that we read about and studied about in the sounding of the trumpets, the gospel was being preached, and godly men and women prayed and finally in God's own good time, he heard and answered their prayers and brought their release from that exile that they had to bear in order to worship and serve God until liberty was brought to the church.
Chapter 10:4 "These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth." Now when he said these are the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the god of the earth. Now we could go back to Jeremiah and also to Zechariah, Jeremiah 11:16 and Zechariah 4:3. This imagery is taken from what Jeremiah and Zechariah had to say about the olive trees and the candlesticks or the lamps. The olive oil from the olive tree was that which supplied the light. What does that represent? If the preacher and church are not supplied with the Spirit of God and the truth, he is not a very profitable preacher, and he is not a very successful preacher. If it hadn't been for the olive trees that furnished the oil for the light, there would not have been any lamps of light. The two candlesticks are mentioned in the same manner as the two olive trees are mentioned, and he said standing before the God of the whole earth, and that doesn't mean that there were just two churches that were the light, but it refers right back to Jeremiah's and Zechariah's prophesy also. There was a reason for mentioning the two, but I wouldn't be dogmatic about what the two meant. But I do take the position that he was talking about the ministry and the churches, and they were the two witnesses. I had a peculiar thing to happen back several years ago in the 50's when we were having debates pretty regularly around here. It seems like these folks have gotten tired of debates. They don't want them anymore. However, I'd had a few debates in Monroe County, between Tompkinsville and Glasgow and had one in Hendersonville and of course others. I was having one over at Skaggs Creek, and the Campbellites didn’t like it very well. One morning I had a visitor when I lived at Goodlettsville. He came up the driveway in an old truck, and I guess he would have weighed about 195 pounds, something like that and short, breeches legs struck him about half way between his knee and his ankles. He knocked on my door, and I went out to see who it was. He said, I came down here to talk to you about your debating. Don't you know that you're doing wrong? He said the Bible is against debating. I said tell me where. Well, he never has told me. I said who are you anyhow. He said I am one of the two witnesses. I said, well where is your buddy. He said I left him down in Alabama. We had a little difference. I said, that is funny, I never read about that in the Bible anywhere. I finally told him the best thing he could do was to go hunt up his buddy and let me take care of my own business. I also asked him if he didn't know how he got to my house, and he said he did. I said the same driveway will take you out. So that is the end of my admonition from one of the two witnesses.
Chapter 11:5 "And if any man will hurt them, fire proceeded out of their mouth, and devoured their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed."
Chapter 11:6 "These have power to shut heaven that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will." The two witnesses--the churches and the pastors--this is taken also from the Old Testament. They have power to do the things in Verse 11:6. This is still symbolic. In other words, this is having reference to judgments being sent upon the wicked down here as a payment for their wickedness and for the things they have done to the cause of God. It's having reference to judgments.
Chapter 11:7 "And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascended out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them."
Chapter 11:8 "And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified." That is Jerusalem. Of course that is just symbolic language.
Chapter 11:9 "And they of the people and kindred’s and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves." That's three years and a half.
Chapter 11:10 "And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth."
Chapter 11:11 "And after three days and a half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them." The three days and an half mentioned here are also three years and a half.
Chapter 11:12 "And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them." You know that same voice, I guess it was, spoke to John a little later on, said Come up hither, and I'll show you the Bride, the Lamb's wife. Now these were told to come up higher not into the heaven itself where the disembodied spirits are, but to come up higher. And he said, "Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven (And that is not the heaven of heavens.) in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them."
Chapter 11:13 "And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell and in the earthquake was slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant was affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven."
Chapter 11:14 "The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly." I have an excerpt from Justin A. Smith's history that was quoted by B. H. Carroll, written in his book. Any of you that have The Interpretation of the English Bible, you'll find it on Page 123. Someone would like to say, why are you using books? Why are you referring to books? If there is anybody that has any originality, I'd like to see them. That's what studying is all about. That's what Paul meant when he said in II Timothy 2:15: "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." We get our knowledge from our predecessors. If we have any knowledge, we have to get it from somebody else, because the day of inspiration is gone. I know, some people think if they just get into the pulpit, God will fill their mouths, and they don't have to do anything. They are just too lazy to study. That's one reason why they don't have any church work, and they sit around and grumble and gripe because they don't have when they haven't prepared themselves. Now people you go to preach to, they want to hear something. And the only way you can give them something and feed them is to find the food. Now this is taken from Justin A. Smith, a historian. "No purpose of God as regards the gospel of man's salvation fails. He permits to his gospel a fiery ordeal extending through many centuries, but at the fit time, he appears again in his behalf and through chosen instruments causes it to be once more declared as here represented in the little book." Now that is what we were talking about a while ago - the little open book. In premedical simplicity and in a ministry that bears it to all the world by what appears in the eleventh chapter, we are given to understand that while the outer court of the symbolical temple and the city itself are trodden underfoot by the enemies of God and truth and righteousness, the inner sanctuary is kept safe. In other words, there survives in the very worst of times, a faithful remnant by which an undecorated altar is preserved, a true worship offered, and that truth which embodies the substance of ancient types maintained." Now that makes me think about Elijah. You know he got discouraged. He thought that about all God's people were dead, all the prophets gone but him. He was the only one left. The rest of them had been killed in one way or another, and they'd even dug down all the altars of God. He went and hid himself in a cave and prayed to die. The Lord appeared to him, and said what hinders thee, or what is the matter with you, Elijah? He said, Lord they have dug down thine altars. They have killed the prophets, and I alone, am left. I'm the only one that is left. You know what God told him. I've reserved seven thousand men that haven't bowed their knees to Baal. You know sometimes, we think the jig is about up, if you'll pardon the expression. But God said upon this rock, I'll build my church and when he said that he meant that he would build it up, he'd strengthen it, he'd edify it, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. So during all the dark ages and all the persecutions, even the millions that gave their lives, for the truth, God reserved a number sufficient to perpetuate the church and gospel. I believe it will be done until he comes back again. I like this history. This man is hitting it right on the head. He said, "These are the witnesses. The voice of a true testimony in God's behalf does not die out of the world. Even when persecution rages most hotly nor is it holy ground even when the world's loud tumult is at its worse. These witnesses do indeed testify; prophesy in sackcloth, the garment of distress and mourning. Such of the Lord's true people have survived in such times as a hunted flock. The truth itself is under reproach. The deriding voices rave against it. The true church and its ordinances are in the world's esteem placed in humiliating contrast with the shows and splendors of that counterfeit church which for the time is supreme while everything beautiful and sacred and beneficent in Christianity is as if clad in sackcloth of humiliation, and lamenting in the language of the ancient prophet that there are none to stand upon the Lord's side. There comes a time when the triumph of evil seems complete, it is the deeper gloom that precedes the dawn. All of the powers of darkness triumph. The murderers of the witnesses rejoice over them and make merry, and send gifts one to another. But the triumph is brief. Just at this crisis, God appears for his truth and his people. The slain witnesses stand on their feet. They rise into vigor of lifelike glory that's shown in the person of the face of the risen Lord. Their enemies beheld them with consternation and triumph which now comes to them in turn is like the Lord's own ascension to heaven in a cloud receiving all power in heaven and in earth. Effects follow which show how truly divine is that intervention. The hostile power shakes as when earthquakes rock the globe while the great and wicked city in whose streets the slain witnesses have lain feels the shock. This is in general the picture sketched for us in the striking symbolism of this chapter. If we have read this symbolism right, there can be, it would seem only one answer to the question, whether historical counterparts shall be sought, there is one point of crises in modern times which fulfills in a remarkable degree the conditions of an adequate historical parallel to the aplitic picture here sketched. Not as fulfillments of the prophesy in exact detail, but as indicating some general aspects of the period as having this significance we note the following:" (I want you to listen to this, now.) "In A. D. 1512 to 1517 a council was held in Rome, called from the place of its assembly, the Church of St. John Lateran," (that's Catholic) "the fifth Lateran Council. At the eighth session of this council, held in December 1513, a papal bull," (and that is a decree, a bull is a decree) "was issued in which was a summons to all dissidents from the papal authority. In other words, all of those that disagreed with the Roman Catholic doctrine and teaching. All of these dissidents were to appear before the council at its next session in the following May and to show cause for their continued refusal to acknowledge the pope's supremacy. When the council came together in that session, May 5, 1514, no answer appeared to this summons. Not that there were no longer those in Christendom who refused allegiance to the usurped authority of Rome, nor because anyone could have imagined an opportunity for a free protest before the council would have been allowed them. Not because joined with the impossibility of a response unto such conditions, it was a fact that just at that time, there actually was no one ready like the Wycliff and the Huss of a former age." Now Wycliff and Huss, you remember them, if you've read history. They got up against the heretical teachings of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, and they were burned, and their ashes were scattered. One of them, I believe it was Huss in the Arnos River. Wycliff was taken up out of his grave and was burned, and his ashes were scattered. Now he had been killed. His life had been given for the same principles you and I should love dearer than life today. All right, let's see a little more. "There was no Luther who was soon to appear to give a voice to the spirit of revolt against Rome which though widely prevalent was for the most part, nursed in secret throughout the length and breadth of Christendom says Elliott, and his words are true in the sense just explained. Christ's witnessing servants were silenced. They appeared as dead. All right, the orator of the sessions ascended the pulpit, and amidst the applause of the assembled council, uttered that memorable exclamation of triumph, an exclamation which notwithstanding the more multiplied anti-heretical crusade and inquisitorial fires was never, I believe, pronounced before and certainly never has been since. And here's what it was. There is an end of resistance to the papal rule and religion; oppose exist no more. And again, the whole body of Christendom is now seen to be subjected to its head, that is, to thee," and that was to the pope. Now this year in the Fifth Lateran Council, the proclamation was made after no dissidents, or those who disagreed with the Catholics and the pope, failed to show up, and they couldn't find them, the announcement was made "they exist no more." They just didn't happen to know it. They still existed. They were hiding out in the caves and dens of the earth, and they carried out the work of God through that 1260 years even in hiding and preserved the truth through the dark ages and brought it down to us. Now let's look a little farther. I want to clinch this. He does the clinching. I'm just reading. "Three years and a half later" (There's your three days and one half.) "When they had announced that all were dead that wasn't in agreement with the pope, three years and one half later, October 31, 1517, Luther nailed his thesis to the Whittenburg Church door. It is undoubtedly true, for some time previous to the meeting of the Fifth Lateran Council as described; the murderers of God's people have been especially active with results of intimidation and the apparent silencing of dissent and protest highly gratifying to the hierarchy. The crusaders against the Albigenses and Waldenses had well nigh extirpated those troublesome heretics. The measures of inquisition in various parts of Europe had succeeded to the utmost wish of those by whom they were carried on. A threatening schism or division in the papal body was healed during the session of that council. So fully, in view of all did the members of the council sympathize and in the exultant and confidence of their orator, that upon the final adjournment, they celebrated the triumph which popery seemed to have achieved in a feast whose splendor had never in Rome been equaled. It was like the rejoicing and merrymaking and the sending of gifts of which our prophesy speaks. It is also a matter of history that in that same council, there was an emphatic reaffirmation of the long-standing papal law that the bodies of heretics should be denied all rights of Christian burial. So that here also we find almost literal fulfillment of the words, "Do not suffer their bodies to be put in graves." All right, let's read a little further. "These conspicuous examples of the application of this law in the exhuming and burning of the bodies or bones of Wycliff at an earlier date by command of the Council of Constance and the direction given by the same council that the ashes of Huss should be cast into the Lake of Constance, are familiar facts. It may be added that in like manner the ashes of Savonarola were thrown into the Arnos, and that it was common for the papal bulls to ordain that the heretics against whom they were fulminated should not only be put to death but should be denied Christian burial." Now that's it. And that goes back to 1500, and that was written and is an exact history of what took place in that Fifth Lateran Council. I know that was a lengthy reading, but believe that will leave an impression on some minds here tonight as to what has happened and what Revelation is all about and that we can go to the history and find the fulfillment of what was revealed even symbolically and know for a fact that it is the closing book of the Bible, not to be added to or taken from, or it is the completion of the word of the living God, and we don't need anymore. All right, let's go right back to the lesson.
Chapter 11:15 "And the seventh angel sounded; and 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." (Not just a thousand years.) For ever and ever, for ever and ever, no limitations. Chapter 11:16 "And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,” The four and twenty elders represent the perpetual priesthood of the church and cause of God. Chapter 11:17 "Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and was, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned." Not going to reign, but hast reigned, and he had taken to himself his power and had reigned, and the other said he would reign for ever and for ever. So there are no limitations there. Let's look at little further. Chapter 11:18 "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." Now I want you to listen to this last verse.
Chapter 11:19 "And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightning, and voices, and thundering, and an earthquake, and great hail." ("Ark of His Testament" or Ark of the Covenant) Now then, go back to the Old Testament in the traveling of the children of Israel when they invaded the territory that God told them that he'd give to them. The command to them was that the Ark of the Covenant should be born in front of the army, and whenever that ark was born and took the lead, they won the victory. The walls of Jericho fell down, and that Ark went around the city seven times in the lead. When the veil of the temple was rent from the top to the bottom, there was no Ark of the Covenant seen in the holy of holies, none at all. In fact you'll find no record of the Ark of the Covenant and its whereabouts from the time of the children of Israel were taken captive into Babylon until this time right here. That's the first time you see it. Whether it was hidden or whether it was carried into Babylon, I do not know. What was the Ark of the Covenant? It was just a wooden chest. That's all it was. In that chest, there were the Ten Commandments on tables of stone stored in that Ark of the Covenant. Not only were they there, but the rod of Aaron that budded was there, an alpha of the manna that feed the children of Israel when they were coming through the wilderness was put in there. On the very lid of that chest, were the two angels, the cherubim, and the top of that chest was the mercy seat, and it was always an emblem of where God met with his people, and also marked victory. So here in the last verse of this chapter we are brought right down to the end of time like the seven seals that which is in the seventh seal was not told us; that which is in this last woe is not explained, but the very temple where God dwells is opened, and John was permitted to see the Ark of the Covenant that hadn't been seen by human eyes since Israel was taken into Babylonian captivity. What did that mean to him? It meant victory. It meant encouragement. There's the Ark of the Covenant in the temple of God, and God was simply showing him that it was there and victory was just ahead. I want to add here that the opening of the seals, and the blowing or sounding of the trumpets, as well as the woes were not in chronological order. The first seal and first trumpet as well as the woes relate to each other; so also second seal, second trumpet and second woe in the same order all the way through