One of the most perplexing mysteries in the Bible is the seven thunders. John the Revelator hears them
and then is ordered to "Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not."
(Rev. 10:4). The angel whose Loudly Voiced Cry starts the thunders (Rev. 10:3), then tells John, "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." (Rev. 10:7).

The seven thunders of Revelation 10 occur between the sixth angel sounding his trumpet (Rev. 9:13,14)
and the seventh angel sounding his trumpet (Rev. 11:15). As the seventh angel sounds his trumpet
"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 forever and ever." (Rev. 11: 15). That means that the seventh
angel sounding his trumpet is announcing that the millennial Kingdom of God has been established
among the nations and also that the promised Branch of the house of David has taken his throne. As you
will see, it also means that understanding the seven thunders (finishing the mystery of God) is
instrumental in establishing the Kingdom of God on earth.

As a fledgling Bible student, I could not conceive of anything more mysterious than the words that God
had declared to His servants the prophets. So I always assumed that the seven thunders were a
complete revelation of the prophecy of the Bible. Eventually, I discovered from the work of V.T. Houteff,
the founder and prophet of the Davidian Seventh Day Adventists, that my naive assumption was correct.
Let's return to Revelation 10, so I can show you.

“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. 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. And cried with a loud
voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. 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.” (Rev. 10:1-4).

Mighty symbols surround this angel, these symbols are “clothed with a cloud” (as Christ will return),
rainbow upon his head (symbol of the Holy Ghost, author of the Prophetic Covenant), face as the sun
(coming from the presence of God), and feet as fire (walking with the Holy Spirit). These symbols indicate
a being of enormous spiritual power derived from every member of the Holy Family. The position of his
feet on both land and sea indicate dominion over the whole earth.

That there are two end time fulfillments of this prophecy is seen from the battle of Jericho. The first
fulfillment of this prophecy (a small sample of the final fulfillment) takes place during the instructions for
the battle of Jericho, the second fulfillment takes place during the actual battle. During the instructions
for the battle of Jericho, the little book in the hand of this mighty angel is the Book of Daniel.

One of my tracts, "Thou Must Prophesy Again" explains that the battle of Jericho is the template or
pattern for the establishment of God's Kingdom. Jericho symbolizes the godless world which is to be
overthrown by God's Kingdom. The angel messages of Rev. 14 (seven in all) are the instructions for each
day of the battle, these instructions come from God to Joshua. The opening of the seal on the Book of
Daniel is part of the instructions for the battle of Jericho.

The seven angels sounding their trumpets in the Revelation, chapters 8 to 11, are symbols of the actual
battle. The first six angels sounding their trumpets are like the priests blowing their ram's horn trumpets
while walking around Jericho once a day for six days. The seven thunders are like the seven trips around
Jericho on the seventh day. Remember that the thunders took place between the sixth trumpet and the
seventh trumpet. So it is in the battle of Jericho. Opening the seals on the seven thunders is part of the
actual battle of Jericho.

After the thunders, there is a loud and long blast of trumpets which is like the seventh trumpet. This is
followed by a great shout which is like the Loud Cry that gathers the world. (See Joshua 6 to study the
Battle of Jericho and Rev. 11:15, quoted above, the announcement that God's Kingdom has been
established, also see No. 32, "Ramifications Of Jericho.") Note that this means that all God's people have
to do to gather His Kingdom is carry the message of the Kingdom to the world. God will arrange the rest.

Therefore, to understand opening the seals on the seven thunders, first you must understand the
instruction of that event, the opening of the seal on the Book of Daniel. As Houteff explains, "There is but
one book in the Bible that has to be opened, and that is the book of Daniel (Dan. 12:4)." (V. T. Houteff,
Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, 1948, No 15, pg. 3). "Through the study of the book of Daniel., they (the first
Advent Movement) learned that the cleansing of the Sanctuary (Dan. 8:14) was to begin in 1844, but ...
misunderstood the cleansing to mean the end of the world and the return of Christ." (Ibid, pg. 6).

After the Great Disappointment of 1844, caused by Christ's failure to appear, the following Rev. 14 angel
messenger Ellen White explained that Christ had entered the heavenly Sanctuary to cleanse it from the
sins of mankind. Christ would blot out the names of unredeemable sinners from the books of the
Sanctuary and blot out the sins of those judged righteous. When all the dead had been judged and no
record of sin sullied the heavenly Sanctuary, the judgment of all living mankind would begin.

Ellen White gathered many of William Miller's first Adventists and began a movement which became the
Seventh Day Adventists under her prophetic guidance. We have to look to the work of the angel
messenger after her to understand the revelation of the thunders. He, V.T. Houteff, building on the work
of Miller and White, explained every prophecy in the Book of Daniel. So we see the Book of Daniel
opened (unsealed) followed by the Book of Daniel explained.

Now, we were discussing the opening (unsealing) of the Book of Daniel followed by the Book of Daniel
explained, and what that means. I said the angel messages are the instructions. That implies that another
fulfillment of the mighty angel of Rev. 10 must be expected with another little book opened in his hand,
because what happens in the battle must be like the instructions. But the Book of Daniel has already
been explained. We must look for another little book which is sealed and will be unsealed during the
actual battle.

In the days of the first angel messenger, William Miller, there was no reliable Bible commentary. Now,
after six angel messengers inspired by the Holy Spirit to explain the prophecies of the Bible, the reliable
Bible commentary stacks up several feet tall. By comparison the Bible is a little book. Its prophecies are
veiled by the poetic obscurity of the language. Is it the little book we are to see unsealed and
understood?

There are seven thunders, not one. So we would expect the seven thunders to be sealed by seven seals
rather than just one seal. That must lead us to an examination of the seven seals of Rev. 6 through 8.
Where there is Biblical prophecy, there is type, a Biblical event which shows us exactly how a prophecy
will be fulfilled. “Now all these things happened unto them (our forefathers) for ensamples (examples),
and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” (1 Cor. 10:11).

The type for the opening of the seven seals can only be the opening of the seal on the Book of Daniel.
The Book of Daniel was sealed "even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro (rapid travel), and
knowledge shall be increased." (Dan. 12:4). By the early thirties, the automobile era, V.T. Houteff had
completely opened the seal of the Book of Daniel and all of the prophecies of Daniel were understood. It
is clear as can be that when a seal is opened, prophecy, which we already had but did not understand,
will be understood.

Let's look at the prophecy of the seven seals. First, we see "in the right hand of Him that sat on the
throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals." (Rev. 5:1). John the
Revelator is heart-broken (Rev. 5:2,3) “because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book,
neither to look thereon.” (Rev. 5:4). Then one of the elders tells him, "Weep not: behold, the Lion of the
tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof."
(Rev. 5:5). This can only be Christ, since He is the Lion of Judah, and the Root of David. We must ask what
book He opened. The scripture says: ”And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that
sat upon the throne.” (Rev. 5:7).

V. T. Houteff spoke of this book only once in his voluminous literature. “The book sealed with seven
seals, in the right hand of the Great Judge, must contain the names of those whose sins are to be blotted
out. Inasmuch as this is the only book that “no man in heaven nor in earth... was able to open, neither to
look thereon,” save the Lamb which was before the throne (See chapter 5:1-9.), it is unquestionably clear
that the book with the seven seals is the one called “The Lamb's book of Life.” (Ibid, The Shepherd's Rod,
Vol. 2, 1932, pg. 192). I'm sure Houteff is right. Given the Bible Code, the name of every Saint of the Most
High will be found in the Bible. But why is it “written within and on the backside?” Is there more we
should know about this book that was untimely in Houteff's day?

Since Christ Himself, in the guise of “a Lamb as it had been slain,” opened the first seal, it is clear that
opening the seals is part of His heavenly ministry. Christ told His flock, “I am with you always, even unto
the end of the world.” (Matt. 28:20). He is still planning to help us even from heaven. Christ opening the
seals must therefore be a benefit to us.

There was a change in Christ's ministry after He ascended to heaven following His resurrection. His first
ascension to heaven took place after he spoke to Mary Magdalene very early on the morning of His
resurrection. “Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto Him, Rabboni; which is to
say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch Me not, for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My
brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your God.”
(John 20:16,17).

This change in Christ's post-resurrection ministry became evident later that same day. Christ met two
men on the road to Emmaus and “beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in
all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:27). Next He appeared to His disciples, “And
He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things
must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms,
concerning Me. Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.” (Luke
24:44,45).

So Christ's heavenly ministry (which He began on earth AFTER His return to heaven) will be explaining
the scriptures to us. This means that all that prophecy in the Old Testament (which most Christians do not
value) is to be the means that Christ uses to guide us into the Kingdom of God. As Paul said of those who
rejected Christ, “But their minds were blinded (the Jews could not understand the scriptures): for until
this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament, which veil is done
away in Christ.” (2 Cor. 3:14). The veil on the Old Testament is to be removed by Christ, and when He
takes the veil away, we will understand ALL the prophecy of the Old Testament.

In examining His ministry on earth and noting His parables which foretold the gathering of the Kingdom
of Heaven (God's Kingdom) and His revelations to His disciples of the prophecies He fulfilled we must
conclude that the Book Christ takes from the hand of God (Rev. 5:7) is the Bible. In His earthly ministry to
His brethren, Christ only partially opened (loosened) the seals, in other words, He only explained a part
of the scriptures. In His heavenly ministry as He opens the seals, He will explain them all. Because Christ
will explain all of the prophecies of the scriptures to save His people from God's destruction of Satan's
kingdom (Amos 9:8); the book Christ takes from the hand of God, the Bible, is justly called “The Lamb's
book of Life.” That is what V. T. Houteff called it. He said nothing else about the book, because no
prophecy is revealed before its time.

To continue our study, John then sees "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." (Rev. 5:6). These seven Spirits are
Christ's (Rev. 3:1) harvest angels; "the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that
offend, and them that do iniquity." (Matt. 13:39,41). The seven Spirits of God are attached to Christ, bone
to His bone and flesh to His flesh (horns and eyes), as He opens the seals. (Rev. 5:7-14; Rev. 6:1).
However the seals are opened, they must have their part in the opening (if only writing the message
down) and they are the means that Christ uses to transmit the message of each seal to earth, they are
“sent forth into all the earth.” (Rev. 5:6).

The first seal opened reveals "a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given
unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer." (Rev. 6:2). V.T. Houteff, interpreting the seals
historically, identifies the man as Adam, the bow as Eve, both given dominion by God over the earth
(Gen. 1:28). This, of course, leads us in the right direction. In the end time, this is to be fulfilled by a
second Adam, "Faithful and True", given dominion by God over His Kingdom to establish it on the earth.
(Rev. 19:11-16; Rev. 11:15).

Has this first seal been opened? Yes! V.T. Houteff illuminated over 90 chapters of the Bible. Besides the
prophecies of the Book of Daniel, he also illuminated all the Kingdom of God prophecies; not only all
those in the Old Testament, but also Christ's parables. He renamed his church the Davidian Seventh Day
Adventists to acknowledge the literal descendant of Biblical king David who will fulfill the prophecy of
"Faithful and True". Remember, the angel messages are only the instructions; the actual "Faithful and
True" will not be present until the third trumpet. Still, there can be no doubt that at least one of the
seven Spirits of God has come and taken his part in the opening of the seals on the seven thunders. As
Christ, V.T. Houteff opened the first seal.

At this point we have looked at the thunders and the seven seals and tied them together and shown
them to be the explanation of the prophecies of the Bible. We have shown opening the seals to be the
means that the unveiled Bible comes to God's people through Christ's seven Spirits of God.

I have not yet explained why the book Christ the Lamb takes from God's hand is “written within and on
the backside.” (Rev. 5:1). This book is of the antitype of the “roll of a book” of Ezekiel 2 and 3.
“And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me, and, lo, a roll of a book was therein: and he
spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations,
and mourning, and woe. Moreover He said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go
speak unto the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that roll. And He said
unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat
it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness. And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the
house of Israel, and speak My words unto them.” (Ez. 2:9,10; 3:1-4).

Speaking of this roll of a book, Houteff says: ““This “book” which Ezekiel ate being “written within and
without” (Ezekiel 2:10), the writing “within,” therefore, can only be the prophetic Word of God,
proclaiming the curses and the blessings that are written in the Bible, while the writing “without,” can be
nothing else but the sure record of the fulfillment of that within—the record, in short, of the prophecies
becoming history; showing thereby that God has spoken it and will perform it.

"“The writing “within and without,” moreover, signifies also that the message will be in type and
antitype.”” (Ibid, Pre-”Eleventh-Hour” Extra, 1941, p. 31).

Because Houteff says, the message is in type and antitype, it is reasonable to conclude that the book in
God's hand (Rev. 5:1) is the antitype of this scroll that Ezekiel ate. Therefore, it also has the prophetic
Word of God within. Since Ezekiel's scroll has the record of prophecy being fulfilled on the outside, the
book in God's hand also has the record of prophecy being fulfilled on the outside. The message sent by
Christ and brought to the church by the seven Spirits of God will be of prophecy fulfilled and yet to be
fulfilled. This is yet another proof that the book Christ takes from God's hand is the Bible, but it is a Bible
that has been augmented by other writings showing God's judgments made manifest.

Amo Paul Bishop Roden
UNSEALING THE THUNDERS