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If I Were Told the Future - Lesson 41

The Mountain Cast into the Sea

Picture 1 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
The Mountain Cast into the Sea
Screen 1
Let’s take a moment to talk to God:
Father,

We now start on the subject of the second trumpet of Revelation.

Please guide us through the power of Your Holy Spirit, and show us the meaning of the prophetic message announced at the sound of this trumpet.

May Your Word always be our only teacher. In Jesus Christ we pray.

Amen.
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Picture 2 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
The Mountain Cast into the Sea
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Revelation 8:7 Comments
The first angel sounded.

And there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast on the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
The message of the first trumpet was intended for the first major oppressor of God’s people since the first coming of Jesus: the Roman Empire.

This empire, an ardent persecutor of the Christians, had in turn to face hard times as early as the end of the second century.

Politically destabilized, it became, for the first time, vulnerable to enemies’ attacks.
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Picture 3 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
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Revelation 8:8,9 Comments
And the second angel sounded.

And as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea.

And the third part of the sea became blood; and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
What happened next? The second trumpet reports the following events in a symbolic language full of imagery.

As we usually do, let’s examine the Word of God, so as to discover the exact meaning of each symbol.
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Picture 4 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
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Revelation 8:8 Comments
And the second angel sounded.

And as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea.
In the Bible’s prophetic language, a burning mountain cast into the sea symbolizes a kingdom condemned by God, and brought to its destruction.
Jeremiah 51:25,42
«Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain,» said the Lord, «which destroy all the earth: and I will stretch out My hand on you, and roll you down from the rocks, and will make you a burnt mountain. (...)

The sea is come up on Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof.»
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Picture 5 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
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Jeremiah 51:24,25 Comments
«And I will render to Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight,» said the Lord.

«Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain,» said the Lord, «which destroy all the earth: and I will stretch out My hand on you, and roll you down from the rocks, and will make you a burnt mountain.»
Let’s note that the punishment is falling upon the kingdom because of «all their evil that they have done in Zion».

So, just like the first trumpet, the message of the burning mountain cast into the sea affects the oppressor of God’s people.
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Picture 6 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
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A mountain, then, symbolizes a kingdom, a political power...:
«The stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. (...) The God of heaven shall set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed.» (Daniel 2:35,44)

«Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them, and say, “You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God; Thus said the Lord God to the mountains, (...) Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword on you, and I will destroy your high places.”» (Ezekiel 6:2,3)

«Son of man, set your face against mount Seir, and prophesy against it, and say to it, “Thus said the Lord God; Behold, O mount Seir, I am against you, and I will stretch out My hand against you, and I will make you most desolate. I will lay your cities waste, and you shall be desolate, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”» (Ezekiel 35:2-4)
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Picture 7 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
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... and a burning mountain is a persecuting kingdom that will be destroyed:
«Keep not You silence, O God: hold not Your peace, and be not still, O God. For, see, Your enemies make a tumult: and they that hate You have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted against Your hidden ones. They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.” (...) As the fire burns a wood, and as the flame sets the mountains on fire; so persecute them with Your tempest.» (Psalm 83:1-4,14,15)

«Bow Your heavens, O Lord, and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. Cast forth lightning, and scatter them: shoot out Your arrows, and destroy them. Send Your hand from above; rid me, and deliver me out of great waters, from the hand of strange children; whose mouth speaks vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood.» (Psalm 144:5-8)
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Picture 8 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
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Revelation 8:8 Comments
And the second angel sounded.

And as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea.

And the third part of the sea became blood.
As for the sea, it symbolizes «peoples and multitudes».

Consequently, an entity sitting on waters represents a power having dominion over many people.
Revelation 17:15
The waters which you saw, where the whore sits, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
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Picture 9 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
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Many times in the Bible, people are symbolized by the sea, by waters:
«The wicked are like the troubled sea.» (Isaiah 57:20)

«Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!» (Isaiah 17:12)

«[God] stills the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people.» (Psalm 65:7)

«For as much as this people refuses the waters of Shiloah that go softly, and rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah’s son, now therefore, behold, the Lord brings up on them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks: and he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over.» (Isaiah 8:6-8)
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Picture 10 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
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Revelation 8:8,9 Comments
And the third part of the sea became blood; and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died. As we have seen in our last lesson, in Bible prophecy, a fraction («the third», «the fourth», etc.) indicates that the announced events will affect only a part of the world.
Revelation 6:8
And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.

And power was given to them over the fourth part of the earth.
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Picture 11 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
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Revelation 8:8,9 Comments
And the third part of the sea became blood; and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed. Finally, the ships, floating on the sea, symbolize dominion over the people of the earth by all those who hold power and wealth: kings, governments, political allies, aristocracy, etc.
Revelation 18:19
Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness!

For in one hour is she made desolate.
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Picture 12 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
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2 Chronicles 20:35-37 Comments
And after this did Jehoshaphat king of Judah join himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who did very wickedly.

And he joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish: and they made the ships in Eziongaber.

Then Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, «Because you have joined yourself with Ahaziah, the Lord has broken your works.»

And the ships were broken, that they were not able to go to Tarshish.
Like the burning mountain, the wrecked ships indicate that the alliances concluded with the kingdom doomed to destruction will suddenly come to an end.
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Picture 13 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
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By wrecking the ships, God reduces all alliance against Him to nothing:
«For, see, the kings were assembled, they passed by together. They saw it, and so they marveled; they were troubled, and hurried away. Fear took hold on them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail. You break the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.» (Psalm 48:4-7)

«They please themselves in the children of strangers. (...) Their land also is full of idols. (...) For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be on every one that is proud and lofty, and on every one that is lifted up, (...) on all the high mountains, (...) on all the ships of Tarshish.» (Isaiah 2:6,8,12,14,16)

«The ships of Tarshish did sing of you in your market: and you were replenished, and made very glorious in the middle of the seas. Your rowers have brought you into great waters: the east wind has broken you in the middle of the seas. (...) You did enrich the kings of the earth with the multitude of your riches and of your merchandise. In the time when you shall be broken by the seas in the depths of the waters your merchandise and all your company in the middle of you shall fall.» (Ezekiel 27:25,26,33,34)
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Picture 14 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
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Revelation 8:8,9 Comments
And as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died. Now, let’s look at the global picture of the second trumpet.

Like the first one, it confirms the second seal with its scene calling to mind war and bloodshed.
Revelation 6:4
And there went out another horse that was red.

And power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given to him a great sword.
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Picture 15 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
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Revelation 8:8,9 Comments
And the third part of the sea became blood; and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died. Similar to the first trumpet, the second trumpet refers to one of the plagues which struck Egypt, another oppressor of God’s people.
Exodus 7:20,21
[Aaron] lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants.

And all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank.
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Picture 16 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
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Exodus 7:16-18 Comments
And you shall say to [Pharaoh],

«The Lord God of the Hebrews has sent me to you, saying, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness:” and, behold, till now you would not hear.

Thus said the Lord, “In this you shall know that I am the Lord.” Behold, I will smite with the rod that is in my hand on the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood.

And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall loathe to drink of the water of the river.»
Like Pharaoh, the oppressor of God’s people didn’t repent after the first trumpet.

This is why the second trumpet had to sound.
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Picture 17 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
The Mountain Cast into the Sea
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Revelation 8:8 Comments
And the second angel sounded.

And as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea.
In our last lesson, we saw that the oppressor struck by the first trumpet was the Roman Empire, until the Edict of Milan, which made Christianity the Empire’s official religion in A.D. 313.

But, after Constantine, other Roman emperors followed. Much less favorable to Christianity, they revived the persecution of the believers.

So the second trumpet will strike again this unrepentant oppressor. Now, what does history relate about this?
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Picture 18 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
The Mountain Cast into the Sea
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Revelation 8:8,9 Comments
The second angel sounded.

And as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea.

And the third part of the sea became blood; and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
The Bible has given us, so far, the following keys to understand the message of the second trumpet:
  • a «burning mountain» is a kingdom doomed to destruction;
     
  • the «sea» represents people;
     
  • «ships» symbolize those who hold power and wealth.
With the help of an encyclopedia, we can easily discover what actually happened...
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Picture 19 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
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«A great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea.» (Revelation 8:8)
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Picture 20 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
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Revelation 8:8 Comments
And the second angel sounded. And as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea. Inspiring the symbolism of the second trumpet, this prophecy against Babylon also presents some interesting parallels with the fall of the Roman Empire...
Jeremiah 51:25,42
«Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain,» said the Lord, «which destroy all the earth: and I will stretch out My hand on you, and roll you down from the rocks, and will make you a burnt mountain. (...)

The sea is come up on Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof.»
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Picture 21 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
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Jeremiah 51:9,24,25 Comments
We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reaches to heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies. (...)

«And I will render to Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight,» said the Lord.

«Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain,» said the Lord, «which destroy all the earth: and I will stretch out My hand on you, and roll you down from the rocks, and will make you a burnt mountain.»
Just like the Roman Empire, Babylon was an unrepentant oppressor of God’s people.
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Picture 22 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
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Jeremiah 51:27-29 Comments
Blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against [Babylon], call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz.

Appoint a captain against her; cause the horses to come up as the rough caterpillars. Prepare against her the nations with the kings of the Medes, the captains thereof, and all the rulers thereof, and all the land of his dominion.

And the land shall tremble and sorrow: for every purpose of the Lord shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant.
Like the Roman Empire, Babylon had to face a coalition of peoples, the Medes and the Persians, who executed the divine punishment: its total destruction.
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Picture 23 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
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Jeremiah 51:42,43,55 [NIV] Comments
The sea will rise over Babylon; its roaring waves will cover her.

Her towns will be desolate, a dry and desert land, a land where no one lives, through which no man travels. (...)

Waves of enemies will rage like great waters; the roar of the voices will resound.
Finally, similar to the Roman Empire, Babylon fell, overwhelmed, not by real waves, since she is «a dry and desert land», but rather by waves of enemies.

And, just like the Roman Empire, Babylon will never be restored.
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Picture 24 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
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Revelation 8:8 Comments
A great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea. Daniel chapter 9, which we will study in a future lesson, foretells the attack of Jerusalem and its temple by the Roman Empire, in A.D. 70.

Interestingly enough, this chapter also says that the end of the Roman Empire «shall be with a flood», thus confirming the prophecy of the second trumpet.
Daniel 9:26
The people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.

And the end thereof shall be with a flood.
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Picture 25 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
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Revelation 8:8 Comments
A great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea. Finally, the symbolism of the second trumpet reminds us of Jesus’ words, teaching that everything is possible with God.

No obstacle, not even the mighty Roman Empire, will prevent His work from progressing.
Mark 11:22,23
And Jesus answering said to [His disciples],

«Have faith in God. For truly I say to you, that whoever shall say to this mountain, “Be you removed, and be you cast into the sea;” and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he said shall come to pass; he shall have whatever he said.»
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Picture 26 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 41
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Let’s pray together:
Lord,

Your Son said, «There shall be (...) on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring.» (Luke 21:25).

The Roman Empire experienced these things, at the sound of the second trumpet, and the whole world will experience it too in the last days.

But Your peace dwells in the hearts of all those who put their lives into Your hands. May this peace also dwell in our hearts. In Jesus Christ we pray.

Amen.
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Lesson 41 - Test The test of Lesson 41 is waiting for you!

Source of the Pictures of this Lesson
Screen 1: Photo in: «Master Clips 500,000» by IMSI, CD #16, JJ000032.JPG. Screen 2: Photo by ROSS, John G. «Auguste». Vatican Museum, Rome. In: «Chronique des Empereurs Romains» (SCARRE, Chris), Casterman, 1995, p.2. Screen 3: In: «La Révélation - le grand dénouement est proche», New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1988, p.135. Screen 4: MEMLING, Hans. «Saint John the Evangelist on Patmos» (1474-79), Memling Museum, Belgium. In: «Revelation - Art of the Apocalypse» (GRUBB, Nancy), Abeville Press Publishers, 1997, p.9. Screen 5: In: «The Bible for Children - Retold by Bridget Hadaway & Jean Atcheson», London, Octopus Books Limited, 1973, p.170,171. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 6: Photo in: «Master Clips 500,000» by IMSI, CD #16, SSGP3154.JPG. Screen 7: MANISCALCO, Joe. In: «Images from the Bible and Sacred History CD», Chosen Works, MLI Software, JM252.BMP. Screen 8: MANISCALCO, Joe. In: «Images from the Bible and Sacred History CD», Chosen Works, MLI Software, JM246.BMP. Screen 9: Photo in: «Master Clips 500,000» by IMSI, CD #16, SSGP5445.JPG. Screen 10: Photo in: «Master Clips 500,000» by IMSI, CD #16, C0000901.JPG. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 11: In: «Histoire du Monde: Volume 8 - Réformes et Explorations» (STEFFENSEN, J.-L.), Les Éditions Maisonneuve, 1967, p.740,741. Screen 12: DUNLAP, S. In: «The Bible Story, volume 10» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.120. Used by permission. Copyright ©1957, 1985 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 13: BARALDI, Severo. In: «The Bible for Children», New York, Barnes & Noble Books, 1994, p.297. Screen 14: MANISCALCO, Joe. In: «Images from the Bible and Sacred History CD», Chosen Works, MLI Software, JM248.BMP. Screen 15: RUDEEN, Herbert. In: «The Bible Story, volume 2» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.107. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Used by permission. Copyright ©1954, 1982 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 16: MOLAN, Chris. In: «Forever Stories, volume 3» (BYERS, Carolyn), p.11. Used by permission. Copyright ©1989 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 17: BAZZI, Giovanni Antonio (1477-1549). «Saint Sébastien», Palazzo Pitti, Florence. In: «The Art of Angels» (LOXTON, Howard), Regency House Publishing Limited, 1995, p.70. Screen 18: BONDOL, Jean, and Nicolas de Bataille. «The Second Trumpet: The Shipwreck» (c.1373-81), Tapestry, Musée des Tapisseries, Angers, France. In: «Revelation - Art of the Apocalypse» (GRUBB, Nancy), Abeville Press Publishers, 1997, p.24. Screen 19: In: «Histoire du Monde: Volume 6 - L’Occident au Moyen-Âge» (A. Bailey et S. Reit), Les Éditions Maisonneuve, 1967, p.497. Table of Screen 19: «The Hun ruler Attila». In: «Deluxe Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia CD - 1998 Edition», Compton’s Home Library, 1997. Screen 20: STEEL, John. In: «God Cares, volume 1» (MAXWELL, C. Mervyn), Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1981, p.76. Screen 21: STEEL, John. In: «The Triumph of God’s Love, volume 1» (WHITE, Ellen G.), Pacific Press Publishing Association and Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1950, p.20. Screen 22: In: «The Bible Story, volume 6» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.54. Used by permission. Copyright ©1955, 1983 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 23: In: «Histoire du Monde: Volume 6 - L’Occident au Moyen Age» (BAILEY, A. et REIT, S.), Les Éditions Maisonneuve, 1967, p.493. Screen 24: In: «Histoire du Monde: Volume 6 - L’Occident au Moyen Age» (BAILEY, A. et REIT, S.), Les Éditions Maisonneuve, 1967, p.489. Screen 25: LEASON, Percy. In: «Votre Bible et Vous» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.95. Used by permission. Copyright ©1959, 1987 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 26: Photo in: «Master Clips 500,000» by IMSI, CD #16, JJ000290.JPG.
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Lesson 41 - Test The test of Lesson 41 is waiting for you!