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THE SEVEN SEALS

No. 667 - Prophetic Interpretation      ----   BY E, G.  WHITE

     The Book With Seven Seals Contains the History of the World.-- "And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon" (Revelation 5:1-3).  {9MR 7.1}

     There in His open hand lay the book, the roll of the history of God's providences, the prophetic history of nations and the church. Herein was contained the divine utterances, His authority, His commandments, His laws, the whole symbolic counsel of the Eternal, and the history of all ruling powers in the nations. In symbolic language was contained in that roll the influence of every nation, tongue, and people from the beginning of earth's history to its close.  {9MR 7.2}

   "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to shew unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto his servant John: who bare record of the Word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.  Blessed is he that readeth and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand." Rev. 1:1-3.

   Jesus Christ gave The Revelation to show to His servants "things" which were shortly to come (Rev. 1:1).  To prepare the way for the vision of the "things," the Voice introduced the subject with a special message to each of seven angels (leaderships) who had charge of seven candlesticks (churches) respectively. These messages are recorded in chapters 2 and 3.

   Next was John led to see the solemn proceedings of the series of events:

   "After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.  And immediately I was in the Spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

   "And He that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.  And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

   "And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

   "And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.  And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

   "And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him, and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

   "And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

   "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.

   "And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

   "And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?  And no man in heaven, nor in earth neither under the earth, was able to open the book neither to look thereon.  And I wept much because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

   "And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

   "And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders stood a Lamb as It had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

   "And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne.  And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

   "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy  to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

   "And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

   "And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

   "And the four beasts said, Amen.  And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped Him that liveth for ever and ever." Revelation 4, 5.

   The literal fulfillment of these "things" was to be hereafter -- after John's vision; that is, in John's day these solemn proceedings had not as yet taken place, nor were they then taking place, but they were to take place sometime after the vision, after the first century.  Just how soon or how long thereafter, though, was not revealed to John.

   He was taken in vision to see and to write those eventful "things" which were to take place at the time the judicial-like throng of Revelation 4, 5 should actually convene.  As to the other "things," the things which follow as a result of the event, assured He Who has the "keys of hell and of death," some were and some were to be (Rev. 1:19); that is, when this divine throng convenes, then some of the "things" that are brought to view as a result of the event, are already history, while some of them are yet prophecy -- some point back and some point forward.

   The first and most important thing that takes place in this solemn assembly, is the opening of the book.  It should be remembered, too, that the book is sealed with seven seals (Rev. 5:1).  It being in seven sections, each section individually sealed, seven seals in all are consecutively broken, permitting each section to unfold its own contents: The first seal, or section of the book, discloses the things of Revelation 6:2; the second, the things of verse 4; the third, the things of verses 5 and 6; the fourth, the things of verse 8; the fifth, the things of verses 9 to 11; the sixth, the things of verses 12 to 17 and of chapter 7; the seventh, the things of chapters 8 to 22.  That the seventh seal contains chapters 8 to 22 is immediately seen by the fact that each chapter is connected with the conjunction "and."  In other words, The Revelation, save for the first five chapters, is but a reproduction of the things which were on record within the seals, and which as a result of the breaking the seals were pictorially displayed in John's sight.

   Now Truth clearly points out that The Revelation is not made up of something which originated with John's vision, but that it is made up of the things which the sealed book contained and which were then made known.  Since the writings of John recorded the things which the sealed book revealed at the instance its seals were broken, Inspiration entitled them "The Revelation" -- the sealed things unsealed, the secret things revealed.

   The basic points in chapters 4 and 5, the chapters aforequoted, are these:

(1)       That a door was opened, not on earth, but in heaven;

(2)       That as John looked in, he beheld "One" sitting on a throne;

(3)       That a book sealed with seven seals was in His right hand;

(4)       That the book was then unsealed, and as a result John was panoramically shown its contents, and that his writing them gave us The Revelation;

(5)       That there were also other books (Rev. 20:12), and that although they were not sealed, John was not led to see what was written in them;

(6)       That twenty-four elders were sitting around the throne;

(7)       That the Lamb (also called the Lion) and ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands of angels were round about the throne;

(8)       That there were four beasts, seven lamps of fire (candlestick), and the sea of glass;

(9)       That the Voice very emphatically made known to John that he was being given a glimpse of a prophetic event that was to take place at a later date -- "hereafter" from his time, somewhere after the first century.

   That John's vision is a forecast of the same event as that revealed to Daniel (chapter 7), is quickly seen from the following brief comparison:

DANIEL'S VISION                         

(Daniel 7)                                                                              

1."I beheld till the thrones were cast down." Dan. 7:9                     

2. "And the Ancient of Days did sit." Dan. 7:9                                          

3. "A fiery stream issued and came froth from before Him." Dan. 7:10.

4. "One like the Son of man came...to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him." Dan. 7:13.            

5. "The books were opened." Dan. 7:10.

6. "Thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten stood before Him." Dan. 7:10.

7. "The judgment was set, and the books were opened." Dan. 7:10

JOHN'S VISION

(The Revelation)

1. "And I saw thrones." Rev. 20:4

2. "And One sat on the throne." Rev. 4:2.

3. "And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire." Rev. 15:2.           

4. "In the midst of the throne and of the four beasts...stood a Lamb. Rev. 5:6.

5. "And the books were opened." Rev. 20:12. 

6. "I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne...and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands." Rev. 5:11.  

7. "The hour of His Judgment is come." Rev. 14:7.

   "And I saw the dead, and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works." Rev. 20:12

   Both seers distinctly declare that the event which they saw was the "Judgment."  The difference between the two scenes is that Daniel was led to look into the Sanctuary while preparations were being made for the Judgment to convene; whereas John was led to look into the Sanctuary after the Judgment had been set up; in fact, John not only saw the Judgment in progress, but he saw the whole proceeding from start to finish.

   For example, Daniel saw the things while the thrones were being "cast down," and while the Ancient of Days was moving from the Administrative throne (the throne upon which Christ sat at the  Father's right hand -- Rev. 22:1) to the Judicial throne (the throne in the sanctuary).  Then it was that the "One like the Son of man came," "and they brought Him near before" the Ancient of Days (Dan. 7:13), not at His right hand.  But those who were to sit on the other "thrones," seats, which were then "cast down," set up, were not yet come.  When John looked in though, he saw the twenty-four elders already sitting on the thrones.

   Daniel saw the "One like the Son of man" while He was being borne near before the Ancient of Days.  But John saw Him after He had been brought there.

   To John His appearance was like a "lamb," and one of the elders called Him "the lion of the tribe of Judah."  (Obviously He is "the Son of man," the Saviour, the King of Israel -- Christ, the Lord.)  Besides these, John also saw the four beasts therein, the candlestick, and the book while it was being opened.  To repeat, Daniel saw only a part of the preparations, whereas John saw the opening of the Judgment, and the entire proceedings thereafter.

   The Judicial throng, Inspiration makes known, consists of a judge -- the Ancient of Days; of witnesses -- the angels; of an advocate -- the Lamb; of a jury -- the elders; of defendants -- the beasts; and of their ruler -- "the Lion of the tribe of Judah."  (That the four beasts are a symbolical representation of the saints, just as the beasts of Daniel 7 are symbolical of the nations, is made clear by the beast's own statement: "...for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." Rev. 5:9.)

   The student of advancing Truth will also note that Daniel refers to but one judicial session, although he does make mention of the Judgment twice, -- first in verse 10 of chapter 7, and second in verse 22.  This will be seen in the following eight paragraphs:

   In the first fourteen verses, Daniel describes all he saw while in vision.  And in Dan. 7:15 he explains how grieved and troubled he became after considering the damaging work which the fourth beast did.  Then, in Dan. 7:16, he tells that he approached the angel who stood by, and requested his interpretation of the things seen.  In compliance with this request, the angel answered:

   "These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.  But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever." Dan. 7:17, 18.

   This exceedingly brief interpretation did not satisfy Daniel.  And being particularly interested to know in detail the things described in Dan. 7: 7-14 -- the truth concerning the Judgment, as well as concerning the fourth beast and its little horn that had the eyes of man and a mouth speaking great things -- Daniel requested further elucidation, again of necessity mentioning the Judgment.  Accordingly, the angel readily explained, confining his interpretation strictly to the fourth beast symbolization and to the Judgment.

DANIEL 7

   "Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.

   "And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

   "And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

   "But the Judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.  And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, Whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him." Dan. 7:23-27.

   Clearly, then, Daniel saw only one judicial sitting, but made mention of it twice -- first in connection with describing what he saw in vision, and second in connection with obtaining the angel's interpretation of the vision.

   The Judgment takes place, the angel explained to Daniel, after the little horn arises, and before the saints possess the kingdom. (See Dan. 7:8, 9, 22.)

   But John, having been shown the entire judicial proceeding, describes the Judgment in three parts, in three different sittings: one before the half hour's silence (Rev. 8:1), one after it, and a third one during the thousand years (Rev. 20:11, 12).  This truth is seen from the following facts:

   During the period of the six seals, while the first session of the Judgment is on, the four beasts rest not day and night, saying, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come." Rev. 4:8.  But when the seventh seal is opened, there is silence in heaven (the beasts hold their peace, also the "lightnings," the "thunderings," and the "voices" cease -- Rev. 4:5) "about the space of half an hour." Rev. 8:1.  The silence clearly reveals that the first session of the judicial proceedings comes to a close, and that the second session commences after the silence is over.

   The third session, the one during the thousand years, is at "the Great White Throne" (Rev. 20:11, 12), the throne of Him from Whose face the earth and the heaven flee away.  At this latter throne there is no "sea of glass," no "beasts," no "Lion," no "Lamb," and although there are lesser "thrones" (Rev. 20:4), Inspiration does not flatly say who sits on them.

   Now the nature of the Judgment in each of the three judicial sittings and the time they actually occur will be seen in the following analytical examination:

   Although the proceedings of the first two sessions are somewhat different, they are in all other respects similar.  The third, however, is entirely unlike the first two.  The differences are seen in that before the half-hour silence occurs, there is at the throne "a sea of glass like unto crystal" (Rev. 4:6), and no one stands on it; but after the half-hour silence passes away, the scene changes: The "sea of glass" is "mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God." Rev. 15:2.

   In other words, at the first Judicial sitting there is no one standing on the sea of glass, and the sea itself is "like unto crystal;" while at the second sitting the sea appears like unto a fiery stream, and the saints stand on it.

   The truth that the first two sessions take place before the earth flees away, before the world's present state of being comes to an end; also the truth that the second session closes with the saints who live in the very end of time, the time of the image of the beast, the time just before the earth flees away; -- all these provide irrefutable evidence that the first two sessions, the pre-millennial ones bring the present world to an end; that the Judgment is nothing more or less than the separation of the "tares" from the "wheat," both among the dead and among the living; that it is the interviewing of all the guests with an eye single to determine who have, and who have not, "the wedding garment" on -- the very thing that decides who is to be left and who is to be taken into destruction as the earth flees away.

   That the dead are judged in the first session, and the living in the second, is seen from the symbolization itself: As aforepointed out, at the first sitting no one stands on the sea of glass, and the sea itself is "as clear as crystal." But at the second sitting, the saints stand on the sea, and it is mingled with fire (symbol of life).

   Then, too, in the first two sittings, the Saviour is represented as a slain lamb (Rev. 5 :6), concretely placing the events during probationary time -- while the blood of the Lamb is available to atone for the sins of man.  And Daniel's declaration that "Judgment was given to the saints of the Most High," after which "the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom" (Dan. 7:22), solidly sets the time of the Judgment ahead of the time the saints receive the Kingdom.  Consequently, the weight of evidence again and again stands out to show that the Judgment is nothing less or more than an inspection of the "guests" who have come to the marriage supper of the Lamb, who have joined the church.  Those that are then found without the wedding garment on, are cast out.

   Also, the truths that at length the Temple is opened, that the seven angels and the beasts come out of it, that it is then filled with smoke from the glory of God so that no man is able to enter into it "till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled" (Rev. 15:5-8), till the cities of the nations fall, till every island flees away, and the mountains disappear (Rev. 16:19, 20), -- all these definitely point out that with the second sitting the Judicial throng adjourns, probation closes for all, the plagues fall, and the earth flees away.  Then commences, at the Great White Throne, the executive Judgment of the dead, of those who do not come up in the first resurrection, and of those who, rather than being translated, are slain at the brightness of His coming.

   Preceding these latter events "the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image.  These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

   "And the remnant [the rest of the wicked world] were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of His mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh." Rev. 19:20, 21.  Then it is that the angel binds the Devil, the last rebel, and the earth flees away.

   Thus the millennium commences, and thus the angel casts the Devil into the bottomless pit -- into a place where it is impossible for any other being to stand -- shuts him up, and sets a seal upon him, "that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled [till the second resurrection]: and after that he must be loosed a little season.  And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and Judgment was given unto them" during the thousand years.

   "And I saw a Great White Throne, and Him that sat on it, from Whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." Rev. 20:1-5, 11, 12.

   John saw that after these things took place, "the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.  This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Rev. 20:13-15. (See also The Great Controversy, p. 480.)

   It is strictly Biblical that at the commencement of the millennium all the wicked are "slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse which sword proceeded out of His mouth: and all the fowls [are] filled with their flesh" (Rev. 19:21), and that the judged at the Great White Throne are the dead, and also that subsequently all the judged are resurrected at the end of the thousand years; that is, as John puts it, then "the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them."  These facts certify in no uncertain terms that there are none living on the earth during the "thousand years," and that those who do come up in the second resurrection, are all the unholy ones -- all those who do not come up in "the first resurrection" (Rev. 20:6), all who are subject to the second death (Rev. 20:14).

   Moreover, as there is but one Judicial sitting during the millennium, the "thrones" of Rev. 20:4 must be in session jointly with the Great White Throne.  Furthermore, it is not likely that "the Great White Throne" would be in session all by itself.

   And, too, seeing that the first resurrection, the resurrection at the commencement of the millennium, brings up all the saints, the holy ones, and none others, it follows that the second resurrection, the resurrection at the end of the millennium, brings up all the unholy, with not a righteous one among them.

   All these final incidents in the closing hours of the gospel, prove over and over that not a one of the wicked is to be living during the thousand years, the years after the earth had fled away and before it is made new, and consequently during all that time there is no one to be saved, and no one to be lost.

   As previously shown, all the wicked die at the commencement of the millennium; first the beast and the false prophet, then the remnant, the rest of the world. (See Revelation 19:20, 21.)  The saints, though, those who are living and those who are resurrected at the commencement of the millennium are all to live and reign a thousand years with Christ, not Christ with them.  The rest of the dead, the whole world, live not again until the thousand years are finished (Rev. 20:4, 5).

   "I go" said Jesus, "to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:2, 3.  Plainly, they that live during the millennium, live with Christ in the mansions above.  Then, after the thousand years, reveals John, "the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were [had been] judged every man according to their works."

   Thus wise the wicked are raised from the dead when the thousand years are expired, and as a result Satan is loosed out of his prison, making it again possible for him to deceive those whose names were not found in the book of life, "Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.  And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

   "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.  This is the second death." Rev. 20:7-10, 14.  This last event in the final drama of sin, brings sinless eternity to earth.

   Still further, as both the living and the resurrected saints are taken to "live and reign with Christ," and as all those who are judged at the Great White Throne, are judged while dead, the truth stands out more and more clearly that there are no wicked living during the thousand years.  Indeed not, for the earth and heaven have by then fled away, moved out of their original sphere, become empty of life and void  (Isa. 24:1-6; Jer. 4:23-26), a "bottomless pit"  (Rev. 20:1) on which no one can stand.  Necessarily, the saints, those who are left, live and reign a thousand years with Christ in the Heaven of heavens, where the "many mansions" are.  At the termination of the thousand years, descends the Holy City, the mansions, the New Jerusalem, and the saints with it (Rev. 21:2).  From then on the saints do not live with Christ but He lives with them (Rev. 21 :3).

   As previously pointed out, to John the time of the commencement of the Judgment was loosely stated to be "hereafter" from his time but to Daniel it was definitely shown to convene sometime after the beast's "little horn" arose, and before the saints possess the Kingdom (Dan. 7:8-11).  The exact date, though, is determined by Daniel 8:14 -- "Unto two thousand and three hundred days then shall the sanctuary be cleansed,"  the tares shall be taken out of it.  At that time, while the cleansing is in progress, the church proclaims: "Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come." Rev. 14:7. (For a complete exposition of Daniel 8:14, read Tract No. 3, The Judgment And The Harvest.)

   As to the book sealed with seven seals, the only book that "no man in heaven, nor in earth...was able to open...neither to look thereon," save the Lion of the tribe of Judah, it unquestionably is the book in which the deeds of mankind are chronicled, as the seals themselves disclose.

   This fact Inspiration again confirms: "Thus the Jewish leaders made their choice.  Their decision was registered in the book which John saw in the hand of Him that sat upon the throne, the book which no man could open.  In all its vindictiveness this decision will appear before them in the day when this book is unsealed by the Lion of the tribe of Judah." -- Christ's Object Lessons, p. 294.

   What the book contains, now becomes exceedingly clear: It contains the history of the world and the deeds of all mankind.  And, of course, logic rules that with the opening of the book, the Judicial investigation of the deeds of the professed people of God should begin, as The Revelation itself discloses.  Moreover, since both the wording and the symbolism of The Revelation refute any interpretation other than the one herein made, the truth of these things now stands fast and sure.

   The sanctuary (the church), the place which harbors the people of God, is therefore the one to be cleansed.  Eventually, though, as aforeshown, all mankind, even the heathen must come before the Judgment bar of God, before "the Great White Throne."

   Thus, the event was actually to be "hereafter" from John's time, the time in which were to be investigated the things which took place before John's time, and the things which were to take place after his time (Rev. 1:19) -- the deeds of all mankind from the beginning to the end.

   Prophetically, the Judgment was set and the books were opened, but no one in the whole vast universe of God was worthy to open the sealed book, or even to look therein, save the Lamb -- the Saviour of the world, the King of kings, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, our King and Advocate, Creation's Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.  Thus it is that, as our only Defender, the One Who has lived among us, He is the only one who can through personal experience understandingly and sympathetically lay open the secrets of the past, of the present, and of the future -- the only one worthy to open the book and to defend fallen humanity.

   The door that opened at the commencement of John's vision, points back to the day of Atonement, the type, the only day throughout the year in which the door between the Holy and the Most Holy was opened, the two apartments thrown into one, and at the same time the outer door closed.  So, being shown the commencement of the antitypical Atonement, John saw the inner door open, the two apartments thrown into one.

   In the typical Atonement everyone's destiny among the professed people of God, was forever fixed -- those who complied with the demands of the law were left to live, and those who did not, were "cut off" from among the people.  Thus it must also be in the antitypical Atonement.

   "In the typical service, only those who had come before God with confession and repentance, and whose sins, through the blood of the sin-offering, were transferred to the sanctuary, had a part in the service of the day of atonement.  So in the great day of final atonement and investigative judgment [the Judgment of the first two sittings, the time to separate the tares from the wheat, the bad fish from the good, from among both the dead and the living -- the harvest], the only cases considered are those of the professed people of God" (The Great Controversy, p. 480), those who have at one time or another accepted the call and have the right to be clad in the “wedding garment."  Thus the question: If the Judgment "first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" 1 Pet.4:17.

   As the books of record are opened in the Judgment, the lives of all whom the "net" (church) of salvation has ever caught, good and bad alike, come in review before God, there to be segregated.  There the eligibility of each is examined and determined.  Indeed, the Judgment is the harvest.   Yes, any tares ever to be plucked out and set  aside for destruction, and any wheat ever to be  placed in the "barn" (kingdom) for the Master's use, are segregated on the antitypical day of  Atonement.  Beginning with those who first lived upon the earth, our Advocate presents the cases of each successive generation, and closes the pre-millennial Judgment with the living members of the church.

   The glory of God is represented by the likeness of precious stones.  And the rainbow above His Judicial throne reveals His never-failing promise and great mercy.  This He made known to Noah when He proclaimed:

   "This is the token of the covenant which I make between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between Me and the earth.... And I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh." Gen. 9:12, 13, 15.

   The Lamb's presence before the throne assures us that "if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." 1 John 2:1.

   The Lamb's seven horns signify completeness of power and authority, in assurance of which Christ said: "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth." Matt. 28:18.  His unlimited power is for our good, and for our use.  He proclaims:  "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." Matt. 17:20.

   The Lamb's seven eyes denote that all things are open and naked unto Him.

"Whither," asks the Psalmist "shall I go from Thy spirit?  or whither shall I flee from Thy presence?  If I ascend up into heaven," he declares, "Thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there.  If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me.  If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.  Yea, the darkness hideth not from Thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to Thee." Ps. 139:7-12.

   Yes, the seven symbolical "horns," "eyes," and "lamps of fire," are indeed "the seven Spirits of God," the Spirit's work in all phases, sent forth into all the earth, to give to the saints power against the forces of evil, also light on the Gospel of Christ, a vision of their present state of being and of their future glory, and so on.  Hence the Saviour's reassurance, "It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart I will send Him unto you." John 16:7.  "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, Whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John 14:26.  Plainly, then, whatever things Inspiration Itself does not teach and interpret, are not worth remembering, teaching, or even listening to.

   The lamps of fire being seven in number, they, of course, can but represent the ever-living church (Rev. 1:20) clothed with the light of the whole Truth of God -- her teaching present truth to each successive generation since the world began, the truth by which the works of each is searched and judged, each one's righteousness measured.

   Then for one to reject either the Spirit's power, vision, light, is indeed to sin against the Holy Ghost, and "it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." Matt. 12:32.  In the judgment such a one most certainly shall be found wanting.

   As to the sea of glass, in the words of Daniel it is "a fiery stream," whereas in the words of John it is "a sea of glass mingled with fire."  This fiery stream coming from the temporary judicial throne, and the River of Life from the eternal administrative throne (Rev. 22:1), must in some respect represent something that is common to both thrones.  And what could it be? -- If the river, along with the Tree of Life, is a representation of the essence which perpetuates life, then the sea is a representation of life's eternal existence, because "sea" is the storehouse, the source of all waters -- it keeps the rivers flowing.

   "Fire" is a fitting symbol of life, and "sea" a fitting symbol of eternity, showing that these two, life and eternity, come from God's throne alone.

   "Clear as crystal," of course, denotes free from all defects.  These gifts, without which all else is lost, are freely given to all whose sins are washed in the precious blood of the Lamb, the Saviour, the Mediator between God and men.

   "And there shall in no wise enter into [the city] any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's Book of Life." Rev. 21:27.

   Obviously, all who get the victory "over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name," receive their reward -- "stand on the sea of glass."

   The consecutive breaking of the seven seals and their individual contents, respectively reveal that the history of mankind is divided into seven different periods.

   Now Truth reveals that with the breaking of the first seal -- with the opening of the first section of the book -- the Judgment begins.  It is also self-evident that at the Judgment throne of God, in Its three sessions, the Apocalyptic symbolism depicts the nations and peoples, saints and sinners, churches and prelates, Satan and his angels, -- the past, the present, and the future.  Thus "all the books of the Bible meet and end in the Revelation." -- The Acts Of The Apostles, p. 585.

   And now to continue with the study or the subject, it will be well to bear in mind that any interpretation of scripture which fails fittingly to build an indestructible structure of truth and to bring a lesson of special importance for the time then present, is erroneous, uninspired by the spirit of Truth -- a vain thing.

   Moreover, since the explicit information in these pages and the fair elucidation of the scriptures under consideration cannot be ignored by any who are honest with themselves, then it must be that to their satisfaction the foundation for the application of the "things" seen by John, is firmly established.

   The Scriptures, as every Bible student knows are designed to be present truth at certain times -- "meat in due season," especially adapted to meet the people's needs.  "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." 1 Cor. 10:11.  In other words, the Scriptures are similar to long term bonds, or notes, which become due at a given time.  Obviously, then, the time appointed by Inspiration is the time in which one must cash in on them, so to speak.

   This is especially true with The Revelation and since we have come to the very time for which It was written, we can now by experience whole-heartedly and without reservation reiterate: "Blessed is he that readeth and they that hear the words of this prophecy and keep  those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand." Rev. 1:3.

   Having now gone through these preliminaries the student of advancing Truth should be ready understandingly to study The Revelation of the things which are to prepare the way and enable him whole-heartedly to know that now the time is at hand, that a knowledge of The Revelation will enable him to stand in "the great and dreadful day of the Lord."  He should be able to see that now is the time to avail himself of the knowledge of "the things" which could not be made known before

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