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Will You Let God Set You Free!?

The Power to Break the Chain of Lies so you can be FREE“ Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” Gal. 4:16! This page belongs to Minister Clarence F. Sargent

Month

May 2011

The Little Book: The Events of the Interlude of the Trumpets.



The Little Book.

The Events of the Interlude of the Trumpets.


Chapter 7

The Rebirth of The Bible and the Political Consequences in Europe.
10:1 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven clothed with a cloud; and a rainbow was on his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire.
 
2. And he had in his hand a little book open; and he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the earth;
 
3. And cried with a loud voice, like a lion roars; and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices;
 
4. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write, and I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.
 
5. And the angel which I saw stand on the sea and the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
 
 6. And swore by him that lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are there, and the earth and the things that are there, that there should be time no longer.
 
 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 has declared to his servants the prophets.
 
 8. And the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, Go, take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth.
 
9. And I went to the angel and said to him, Give me the little book. And he said to me, Take it and eat it up; and it shall make your belly bitter, but it shall be in your mouth sweet as honey.
 
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.
 
11. And he said to me, You must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.
 
 
The Vision of the Little Book is Designed to Take Place During the Sixth Trumpet — The Second Woe Trumpet
 
 
The Turkish threat to Europe did not end with the fall of Constantinople in 1453. The threat of invasion and conquest remained in Europe almost to the beginning of the nineteenth century. Hungary fell to the Turks in the spring of 1526 and the Turks then threatened to invade Austria and Germany. * Luther wrote his essay, On War Against the Turks,** in 1529 in which he describes the continuing threat.
 
This condition existed in Europe, off and on, till the end of the eighteenth century. The threat of invasion ended just after the time of the French Revolution, when the Turkish Empire began to lose its internal control of its own possessions. From that time, the Turks were no longer occupied with expansion of territory but with the problems of keeping together their tottering imperial holdings.
 
 From the mid-nineteenth century, European nations actually fought each other to protect the Turkish Empire from a take-over by one or another of them, in order to keep the balance of power.*
* Tappert, Theodore G, editor; Selected Writings of Martin Luther in four Volumes; Pub. Fortress Press, Philadelphia, 1967. Vol. 3 pg. 476 n.
** Tappert, Theodore G.; ibid. Vol. 4, pgs. 9 – 53.
***Schevill, Ferdinand; A History of Europe from the Reformation to the Present Day; Harcourt, Brace and Co, New York, 1946.
For a discussion of British foreign policy of supporting the Turks against Russia, which led to the Crimean War, (1854-1856), see pages 528-530 and chapter 30 “The Russian and the Ottoman Empires from the Congress of Vienna (1815) to the Outbreak of World War I;” pgs. 604-631.
But the Turks were still at the peak of their power in the sixteenth century and this continued in the seventeenth. In 1611, in Vienna, “the Austrian Habsburg family council appointed [a new ruler] Matthaius to rule Hungary and Austria, in hope of saving the eastern frontier from the Turks.”*
* Hollings, Mary A.; revised by Gordon, D.K., Europe in Renaissance and Reformation, London, 1934, pg. 198
In 1629, after the peace of Lubec, at the conclusion of northern European wars over church lands and bishoprics, one of the most popular military leaders, Wallenstein, proposed leading a crusade against the Turks.*
* Ibid. pgs. 203, 204.
In the midst of another war, in the series of seemingly endless European “religious” wars,* in 1672 “the Turks had just laid siege to Vienna.”** A little later, European politicians continued the policy of intrigue and war among their emerging national groups, so the Turks continued assaulting the back door. Leopold, the Holy Roman Emperor, was involved in dismembering Spain in 1687 at the same time that he was at war with the Turks.***
*Religious wars were truly seemingly endless “Disaster for Europe began in 1610, when Henri IV of France was assassinated by a lunatic who deemed him insufficiently Catholic.
 In 1618 the Thirty Years’ War started in Germany with Bohemia’s defiance of the emperor. The rapid defeat of the Bohemian king in the Battle of the White Mountain by the emperor and the League of Catholic Princes made grimly clear to the German Protestant north that it would have to fight a long and costly conflict if it was not to be totally subdued by Emperor Ferdinand II, whose avowed goal was to eradicate the new faith.
 
 In 1621 the long truce between Spain and the Netherlands expired, and Philip III’s minister Lerma went enthusiastically back to a savage, expensive and fruitless war. The horror that settled over Europe was unequalled by anything since the fall of the Roman Empire, and the nightmare was intensified by a plague of superstition that caused the burning of a million witches.”
 
From the book Richelieu by Louis Auchincloss
** Robinson, James Harvey; History of Western Europe; Ginn, 1934, pg. 527
** Ashley, Maurice; The Glorious Revolution of 1688; First published Hodder & Stoughton, Ltd., London, 1966; Panther edition pub. 1968, pg. 120.
The continuation of Turkish power into and through the eighteenth century, although not at the strength it achieved in the sixteenth century, was marked by similar conditions of waning influence and resurgent strength.
As late as 1801 Turkey was able to rout Napoleon from Egypt and restore that country to the Turkish Empire, even though Napoleon had allied himself with the Czar. However, not long after (actually by 1810), Turkey began to permanently lose provinces from her empire. Her long decline from the position of a world power had begun.*
* For a more extensive look at the Turks, just previous to, and during the Napoleonic period see: Herold, Christopher; The Age of Napoleon; American Heritage, 1963, Dell edition, 1965, pgs. 286-292.
The Bible Became a Political Force As a Result of the Turkish Conquests
The Protestant Reformation, beginning in 1520, took place and grew in a European continent still under the Turkish threat. Ironically, the renaissance of learning and the coincident reformation were a direct result of the fifteenth century advance of the Turks, and finally the fall of Constantinople to them in 1453.
 
 The libraries of the Greeks were moved by eastern monks and the clerics of eastern churches to the safe haven of Europe as the Turks advanced across the remaining part of Byzantine Asia Minor. The trickle of old manuscripts to the West became a flood when the Turks laid siege and finally destroyed the civilization of Constantinople to replace it with their own. The access to hitherto unknown multitudes of ancient Biblical texts created first a flurry and then a storm of intellectual activity.
 
The manuscripts of the Greek philosophers, which had been preserved in the East, but were unknown to the western Europeans, were read again and the glory of the old world created a rebirth in learning in philosophy, law, science, and art, that we call the Renaissance. Protestantism and humanism were born of this activity. Schevill gives this account of these same events:
“…a number of scholars from the Greek east had been drawn to Italy as teachers; and in the first half of the fifteenth century these scattered forerunners were followed by a voluntary influx, due to the gradual conquest of the Byzantine Empire by the Ottoman Turks.

When, in 1453, Constantinople, the Greek capital, itself fell before the Asiatic onslaught, still greater numbers of scholars turned their footsteps toward Italy, taking with them as their most precious possession such books and art treasures as they succeeded in saving from the wreck of their world. In this way the treasure house of Greek literature, immeasurably richer than that of Rome, was again made accessible to the western seeker after knowledge;”*
*Schevill, Ferdinand; op. cit. pg. 35.
Almost immediately the Bible was reborn in society. Erasmus, of whom it was said. “Erasmus laid the egg and Luther hatched it,” is also called the prince of humanists. He made possible the Protestant Revolt but he did not join it. Of his major contributions to the Christian religion Schevill says:
“Erasmus’s most important contribution to Christian, as distinct from classical, scholarship was the publication of the New Testament in Greek, accompanied by a new Latin translation of his own. In this work he exposed the numerous errors of the [old] Latin version of the New Testament which the church had stamped with its approval and incorporated in the official version of the Bible called the Vulgate.”*
* Scheville, Ferdinand; ibid. pg. 97.
It was Erasmus’s Greek Text that provided the basis for the multitude of translations that followed shortly in the languages of Europe. Translations were made in French and German, in 1522 and in English in 1525, and in Italian in 1532. These were followed by a host of others in many languages which gave rise to a new era of freedom of thought. The multiplying of Bible versions has continued unabated until this day.
 
 The rebirth of learning and the renewal of the Bible as a part of daily life were the intellectual realities of the period. You could no more understand the political developments of the next three hundred years in Europe without the Bible, than you could understand the politics of the Middle Ages without the Pope!
Medieval European society was going to change as a result of the opening of the Bible, but not without a struggle.
 
The structure of medieval European society was developed as a continuous ascending pyramid of vassals and lords with an exploited, and often abused, peasantry at the base and with the emperor who was crowned by the Pope at the pinnacle. The peasantry, called serfs, were often little more than chattel, who were bought and sold with the land. This “feudalism” as it was called would change gradually and finally receive its death blow in Europe through the thinkers of “the Age of Reason,” whose democratic ideals brought on the French Revolution of 1789.
 
That revolutionary thinking developed in a direct line from Protestant reactionary thought against the autocratic power of the Papacy. At that time, in 1520, a revolution in thought had taken place in Protestant lands. That thought was derived from the rebirth of the Bible in the minds of all men, no longer just in the hands and minds of clerics. Thanks to the newly invented printing press everyone in every village and town knew what Bible principle the reformers were arguing about this month.
 
 
Protestantism Should Have Been the Harbinger of Individual Freedom But It Was Not
 
 
 
Thus, the first blow to be struck against the arbitrary rule of the clerics and aristocrats who were in the ruling class should have been the Protestant Reformation with the ideals that Luther appealed to for himself.
 
Among those are: that a man must live by the dictates of his conscience; and the doctrine of justification by faith; and the doctrine of the freedom of the will. Why this did not happen is in both the historical record and the symbol of the period in Revelation.
 
 
The Symbol of the Little Book Matches this History
 
 
The symbol in Revelation that pictures this period includes all these mixed events. The little book which is to prophesy again is obviously the Bible. It came to life again during the second woe, or Turkish woe trumpet. This symbol of the little book makes its advancement under that sixth trumpet. Historically we have shown that this is exactly what happened.
 
The other symbols which follow it indicate prophetically that historical periods, of a religious nature, would come after the rebirth of the Bible before the end of the second or Turkish woe trumpet, which is in accordance with actual history.
 
 
In the symbol of the little book, a scene that appears with the angel standing with the book in his hand shows that a long period of time has ended. The angel swears that there should be time no longer! That the end of the world is not indicated is seen in verse 7, where, lest you not understand that the vision points to some event that ends the time of a long condition, we are reminded that the end of all things is reserved for the seventh trumpet and this is only the sixth.
 
Thus it cannot be the end of the world. It is the end of the muted prophecy of the little book. It comes alive to prophesy again, not everywhere to be sure. It is at the time of this symbol (the 1500’s) still “prophesying in sackcloth” in those nations allied to the Papacy; but in Protestant lands from 1520 the book was open.
If the Bible was still prophesying in sackcloth, then the 1260 years had not yet ended.
 
The symbol that ends the 1260 years begins in Rev. 11:3. They will end at the same time as the second woe. That means that the symbol of the little book which is the Protestant Reformation did not end or even begin the end of the Papal autocratic power. That power would not receive its first blow until the first bowl is poured out in Chapter 16.
 
 
Historically this is true. In Protestant lands there would be a swifter (but not immediate) arrival of freedom and dignity being recognized as a right for all individuals regardless of economic or other class distinction than there would be in those nations allied to the Papacy.
 
 In those lands allied with the Papacy, autocratic power, and supreme unquestioned authority, over the souls and bodies of men would not begin to end until the French Revolution. One of the most merciless exhibitions of possessing and using that power by the Papacy was the infamous Inquisition.
 
The Inquisition was started in the fourteenth century and its inquisitors used torture to bring men to obedience to the Papal authority. It was revived again at the very time we are discussing and continued for centuries! It was used as a counter reformation tool. Although it would have “finished” written on it by 1800, its restoration was attempted as a political tool in Spain in 1810. The authority of the beast did not begin to end at the Protestant Reformation.
 
 
John was told to eat the little book which was sweet as honey in his mouth, but when it reached his stomach it became bitter. This is a picture of the euphoric reception of the scriptures by the masses of northern Europeans that accompanied the beginnings of the Protestant period, but that euphoria would turn to bitterness almost immediately.
 
 
Many groups formed to take advantage of the new liberty and rebelled against the overlords. Incredibly, Martin Luther opposed them and set the cause of freedom back by his opposition to changing the feudal order. He supported the Imperial system on the basis of the scriptures that say that kings, or powers that be, are ordained of God, and whoever resists the power resists God. In the Peasants’ Revolt in Germany, the peasants, through their charismatic Christian leaders, attempted to establish communities and to control their own lives and land.
 
The appeal of the peasants in The Twelve Articles* which they issued contains demands that most civilized nations now accept as ordinary rights of all men everywhere. Not so Martin Luther; he condemned their rebellion as anti-God, and since they would not follow the scripture in submitting to the powers that be, they would be damned if they died in battle. On the other hand Luther took the most incredible position that the lords would be saved by their very act of killing the rebels because they were doing their God given-duty!**
 
 In the passage that follows Luther is defending the harsh attack that he had made on the peasants before the revolt and he rebukes the people who now urged clemency to the peasants who were still being slaughtered even though they had been defeated and had surrendered.
* Tappert, Theodore G.; op. cit. pgs. 308-316.
**Tappert, Theodore G.; op. cit. pgs. 353, 354. In this essay, Against the Robbing and Murdering Hordes of Peasants; Luther makes some of the most extreme statements on war and slaughter that even the stoutest hearts must cringe.
“If they think this answer is too harsh, and that this is talking violence and only shutting men’s mouths, I reply, ‘That is right.’ A rebel is not worth rational arguments, for he does not accept them. You have to answer people like that with a fist, until the blood drips off their noses.

The peasants would not listen; they would not let anyone [he means himself] tell them anything, so their ears must now be unbuttoned with musket balls till their heads jump off their shoulders. Such pupils need such a rod. He who will not hear God’s word when it is spoken in kindness, must listen to the headsman when he comes with his axe.

If anyone thinks that I am being uncharitable or unmerciful about this, my reply is: This is not a question of mercy; we are talking about God’s word. It is God’s will that the king be honored and the rebels destroyed; and He is as merciful as we are.”*
* Tappert, Theodore G.; op. cit. Vol. 3, pgs 365, 366.
Ironically the same emperor whom Luther would support as ordained of God to put down the peasant revolt would install the inquisition to clean out by torture and murder Protestant adherents in Spain and Holland. Wells says this same emperor, Charles V, called on the grand inquisitor when Protestant teaching was discovered close to his own city.
“Tell the grand inquisitor to lay the axe at the root of the evil before it spreads any further.” [He recommended as an example his own mode of proceeding in the Netherlands,] “where all who remained obstinate in their errors were burned alive, and those who were admitted to penance were beheaded.”*
* Wells H.G.; The Outline of History; Garden City Pub. New York; 1950; pg. 764
Ironically, Luther, who should have been the champion of individual rights, set the cause of Protestant freedom back literally hundreds of years and he imposed on the German people the “iron fist” method of discipline and the unthinking obedience to government authority that has molded many a German family* as well as the German nation, including the Third Reich.
 
This is not to discount the immense good that Luther contributed to faith and morals in opposing wrong when he saw it and releasing the scriptures to the European nations. But he has to have been mistaken in his dealings with the peasants. Even the Catholic rulers used Luther’s tract, Against the Robbing and Murdering Hordes of Peasants to justify their own slaughter of the peasants whom they had defeated. God knew he would be mistaken in this area; He said, “it shall make your belly bitter.”*
*Of whom this writer is one.
Beside the Peasants’ Revolt in which over 100,000 peasants were slaughtered, the new thinking of the open Bible would be the cause of political unrest (not yet revolutionary but continuous) that would be the cause of seemingly endless wars and disputes in a mixed Protestant-Catholic feudal order until the old order that Luther thought was God-ordained passed.
You see, God had not crowned the emperor, the Pope had crowned the emperor.* The symbol in Revelation says the little book would be sweet in the mouth but when it was digested it would make the belly bitter. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
* Emperor Charles V of Spain was made emperor by the seven electors in 1519. He had himself crowned by the Pope with great pomp at Bologna, Italy, in February 1530 to validate with this final touch his claim to the medieval position of Holy Roman Emperor.

The Sixth Trumpet- The Rise and Duration of the Turkish Empire

The Sixth Trumpet
The Rise and Duration of the Turkish Empire
 
Chapter 6
 
9:13 And the sixth angel sounded and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 9:14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
 
 
 
 
Verse 12 identifies the fifth as the first and the sixth trumpet as the second woe trumpet. 9:12 The first woe is past, behold, There are two woes yet to come. This then is the second woe.
 
 
Which are bound in Euphrates: The four angels bring a “plague ,” their source is plain. They are beyond the Euphrates by which they have been bounded until the moment of loosing.
 
 
9:15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, to slay the third part of men. 9:16 And the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred thousand thousand; and I heard the number of them.
 
 
The third part of men: This completes the three thirds begun with the first four trumpets. An hour, a day, a month, and a year: Using the day year principle the time from their loosing until the final third falls is 397 years
.
Two hundred million horsemen! Only the Turkish Empire could fulfill this figure in history. If the 300 years of Crusaders could speak, they would say this accurately pictures what they faced.
 
 
9:17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and of brimstone; and the heads of the horses [were] like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke, and brimstone.
 
9:18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
 
9:19 For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails, for their tails were like serpents, and had heads and with them they hurt
 
 9:20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues still repented not of the works of their hands,that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood, which can neither see, nor hear, nor walk;
 
 
Fire, smoke, and brimstone: Literal, destructive, explosive force.
 
The third part of men: The same figure is repeated to emphasize the completion of the cycle of thirds begun with the trumpets.
 
The rest of the men: The description of these sins is seen by most Protestant historical interpreters to prefigure the corrupt religious practices, adopted from the Babylonian, pagan, religions, in Western Christianity, fostered by the Papal system. In spite of the fall of the Eastern churches, they did not repent.
 
9:21 Neither did they repent of their murders, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
 
Take note that the second woe is not past here even though the description of the sixth trumpet is complete here. The announcement of the end of the second woe is in 11:14. This will be explained in the text.
 
Historical Analysis
 
The Turkish Empire, in the ninth and tenth centuries, arose first in Central Asia, then subjugated Persia, followed by Iraq, to its power. They extended their empire in all former Moslem Arab dominions as well as much of Christian Asia Minor before the end of the eleventh century.
 
By 1500 they had extended their dominions to the Austrian border to include all the Balkans — Bulgaria, Rumania, Moldavia, Greece, etc.
 
The facts of the history of the rise of the Turks are well known, having been recorded with precision by Gibbon in his Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire. The Turks, originally from central Asia, made inroads into the Persian dominions as early as the tenth century.
 
The Arab Caliph, located at Baghdad, according to Wells had become, “a mere creature of his Turkish palace Guards.”* The Turks had most of the dominions east of the Euphrates under their control by the eleventh century and seemingly were restrained there. The Euphrates was no barrier to them but they did not cross it for further conquests, until the mid eleventh century. Gibbon gives us the outline of the crossing of the Euphrates.
* Wells, H.G. The Outline of History; Pub. first 1920, Garden City Publishing Company, pg. 636. This is a popular history and has enjoyed scores of reprinted editions.
Togrul, the conqueror of the east...was invested in 1055 as the temporal lieutenant of the vicar of the prophet,- [the Caliph at Baghdad. Then proceeding to cross the Euphrates,] after the death of Basil,* his successors [the emperors at Constantinople] were assaulted by an unknown race of barbarians, who united the Scythian valor with the fanaticism of new proselytes…The myriads of Turkish horse overspread a frontier of 600 miles… and the blood of one hundred and thirty thousand Christians was a grateful sacrifice to the Arabian prophet. Yet the arms of Togrul did not make a deep or lasting impression on the Greek empire.”**
*Gibbon, Edward; The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Six Volumes; Bigelow & Co. New York, no date. The text says 25 years after. This is a mistake.
 
If Basil died in 1025 as reported earlier by Gibbon, either Gibbon is mistaken, or both he and the editor, or the latter who has placed 1050 (25 years after Basil’s death) in the margin as the date of Togrul’s crossing the Euphrates bent on conquest. Togrul did not set out on Western invasions until he was invested by the Caliph of Baghdad in 1055.
** Ibid. Vol 5, pgs. 674-675.
If Togrul was invested as the military arm of the Caliph in 1055, then it would be the following year, 1056 that he led his troops across the Euphrates for the first time into the lands of the remaining emperors of the last vestige of the Roman Empire.
 
 One third of the empire had fallen to the western barbarians, one third to the Arabian Moslems, and now one third, the last, would fall to the Turks–but it would take almost 400 years. It reaches exactly to the year that the prophecy predicted, that these “hordes of horseman” — for so both the prophecy and historians describe them, were prepared for–397 years; 397 plus 1056 is 1453, the year of the fall of Constantinople, or the Fall of the Roman Empire in the East.
 
The invasion under Togrul would be the first of many by different groups of Turks.
 
 
H.G. Wells, well known through his book Outline of History, was also a humanist philosopher. Another of his books, War of the Worlds, which was made into a motion picture, is representative of his evolutionary views on the salvation of man-kind through scientific advancement.
 
His agnostic non-christian stance is well known. He could not be accused of trying to support the Christian religion, but he does service in his description of the rise of the Turks by supplying information that matches the figures under the sixth trumpet. The four angels bound in Euphrates indicate several groups of invaders poised at the Euphrates, not one group. And so Wells describes the same invasion as above from a different perspective:
“But this direct thrust of the Turkish people against Christendom to the north of the Black sea, was in the end, not nearly so important as their indirect thrust south of it through the empire of the Caliph. We cannot deal here with the tribes and dissensions of the Turkish people of Turkestan, nor with the particular causes that brought to the fore the tribes under the rule of the Seljuk clan. In the eleventh century these Seljuk Turks broke with irresistible force, not in one army, but in a group of armies under two brothers, into the decaying fragments of the Moslem [Arab] Empire.”*
*Wells, H.G.; op. cit. pg. 636.
Wells gives us a picture of the Turks as coming in groups and at the right time. He says it was in the eleventh century. Gibbon and Wells have shown that the loosing of the Turkish hordes into the Arabian Moslem Empire and into the last remaining vestige of the Roman Empire in Asia Minor took place in 1056, or mid-eleventh century. Wells makes a statement that supports the prophetic description of their having been bound in Euphrates:
“Very early they conquered Armenia from the Greeks, and then, breaking the bounds that had restrained the power of Islam for four centuries, they swept on to the conquest of Asia minor, almost to the gates of Constantinople.”*
* Ibid.
Wells then describes their long rise to power, winning victory after victory against the western powers as well as winning the majority of battles in the Crusades launched against the Turks for over 300 years. In the end, in spite of brief possession of the Holy land, the European Crusaders would abandon the Crusades and Jerusalem to the Turks who had become the greatest Empire in the world by the mid fifteenth century. By 1453 they had conquered Constantinople and the last third of the Roman Empire disappeared! How fitting the prophecy:
9:15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, to slay the third part of men.
 
 
Not only did they conquer the third part of men in a very real sense to fulfill this prophecy but they fulfilled the time prophecy. This is an extraordinary prophecy which is fulfilled according to the usual method in the prophecies. A day in prophecy equals a year in the fulfillment. A day and an hour, and a month and a year is the time. A year, (as the time is past Julius Caesar), equals 365. The month is 30, the day is one, and the hour is part of a year. Add them and you have to progress into the 397th year of the time element in this prophecy.
 
 
From the year of the Turks’ crossing of the Euphrates, where they had been bound for more than 100 years, to the crown of their conquests at the fall of Constantinople, we know, is precisely 397 years! Is this a coincidence? It is an absolutely astounding result of fulfilled prophecy. Let the reader check the sources and then give glory to the God of history, who is concerned that those in every age know that He is the master of events!*
* For a fuller and more detailed explanation of this prophecy and how it fits the Turks, we recommend that you read Albert Barnes’ Notes on Revelation. His discussion of the first use of artillery and gun powder in modern warfare and its figure of “smoke, fire and brimstone” coming from the Euphratean horsemen, is worth the reading. So also the same author on the fifth Trumpet.
The fifth trumpet ended with the announcement:
9:12 The first woe is past, behold, There are two woes yet to come.
 
The Sixth trumpet is the second woe trumpet. The woe does not end at the fall of Constantinople. The time of the 397 years takes us to the zenith of Turkish power, but not to the end of it. There would be further attacks on the West until well into the next century.* The era of the French Revolution, almost 350 years later, marks the obvious beginning of the long decline of the Turkish Empire.
 
One of the first times if not the first,** that the Sultan actually allied himself with a western power was under Napoleon, when the latter offered the Sultan anything he asked for to support him in his war against Austria. During the Napoleonic wars, British ships were chased out of the Dardanelles by the Turks with some British losses.
“Napoleon exulted in Turkey’s successes. To the Sultan he wrote: You have asked me for officers, I send them to you. Generals, officers, soldiers, arms of every kind, even money, I place at your disposal. You have only to ask. Ask plainly, and whatever you ask shall be sent, forthwith.”***
* For a view of the constancy of the Turkish threat to Europe, read, On War Against the Turks; by Martin Luther, found in Selected Writings of Martin Luther, Vol. 4; Edited by Theodore Tappert; pub. Fortress Press, 1967. This volume contains extensive footnotes listing Turkish invasions of Europe in the sixteenth century.

** There had been mutual defence and agricultural treaties between these states as early as 1529. In fact France had just concluded a war with Turkey when a mutual assistance treaty was signed.

These periods of cooperation existed while the Papal States and other states in Europe were in a perpetual state of enmity against the Turks. In Germany the epithet most scurrilous was, “You are worse than a Turk!”

*** Emerson, Edwin Jr.; A History of the Nineteenth Century Year By Year; in three volumes, P.F. Collier, N.Y. 1902. Vol. 1, pg. 195
At the beginning of this cooperation between France and Turkey, as Russia advanced, Austria showed concern; not concern for Turkish success, but lest the Turks collapse, and the French occupy their place. The same book says: “Austria had reason to feel concerned, for the Ottoman Empire then, as so often after this, seemed on the verge of dissolution.”*
The Turkish Empire had not dissolved when these words were written in 1900, but the fears of her decline began at the time of the French Revolution–which therefore marks the end of the second woe.
* Ibid. Vol. 1, pg. 176.
Thus the time of the 397 years ends at the point in time for which they had been prepared, the Fall of Rome in the East. But the sixth trumpet, the Turkish period, lasts longer. Thus the four symbols of the interlude of the sixth trumpet overlap the Turkish period. Note that the second woe is not past until the end of the symbol of the death and resurrection of the two witnesses and the earthquake of chapter eleven:
11:14 The second woe is past; behold, the third woe comes quickly.

The Fifth Trumpet – The Rise of Islam



The Fifth Trumpet – The Rise of Islam
Chapter 5.
 

When Baghdad Ruled the Muslim World: The Rise and Fall of Islam’s Greatest Dynasty

Icon of Evil: Hitler’s Mufti and the Rise of Radical Islam

Inside Islam (History Channel)

Crescent and Cross : Rise of Islam and Age of CrusadesThe Rise of Islam (Greenwood Guides to Historic Events of the Medieval World)

9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven to the earth; and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
A Star: as in other places (6:13; 8:10) a star represents spiritual powers, usually false spiritual powers.
 
 
9:2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. 3. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth; and to them was given power as the scorpions of the earth have power.
 
 
Smoke out of the pit: Smoke out of the pit is a figure of confusion and the source of it is the underworld. Smoke in the air is a figure of confusion in the real of thought. The light is dimmed by the smoke and it is difficult to see clearly. This happens in the implied second one third of the world.
 
 
9:4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass, neither any green thing, neither any tree, but only those men who have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
 
 
Not hurt: a different scheme than the “four winds” whose intent was destruction.
 
 
Men who have not the seal of God in their foreheads: The commission was to hurt the “unbelievers.”
 
 
9:5 And it was given to them that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months; and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. 6. And in those days men shall seek death and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. 7. And the shape of the locusts [were] like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads, as it were crowns like gold and their faces were like the faces of men. 8. And they had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like [the teeth] of lions. 9. And they had breast plates as it were breast plates of iron;and the sound of their wings [was] like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. 10. And they had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails; and their power was to hurt men five months.
 
 
Five Months: The ninth chapter of Daniel is the key to the principle that one day in prophecy is equal to one year in the fulfillment. The duration of the “hurting” portion of this prophecy therefore should be 150 years. The cloud of smoke has no such limitation.
 
 
9:11 And they had a king over them, [who is] the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek he has the name Apollyon. 12. The first woe is past, behold, There are two woes yet to come.
 
 
Two woes yet to come: This continues the clues as to design. Trumpets six and seven are woe trumpets.
 
 
Historical Analysis
 
 
We have seen that one third of the old Mediterranean world or Roman Empire was lost to barbarian invasions. The two thirds of the Roman Empire left were to fall in two separate periods of time. One third of the Empire did actually fall to the Arab conquests following the death of Mohammed in 632. By 732 the Arabs reached their most distant penetration in Europe.
 
It would be another 50 years, or 150 in total when they would reach their zenith and turn from conquest and then hold the territories they had gained, with only little loss until the rise of the Turks.
 
 
In the next section, under the sixth trumpet, we will notice the last part of the Roman Empire symbolized as the “third part of men” completing the fall of the Roman world.
 
 
Thus the first four trumpets are designed to picture a third of the Roman world’s fall to the barbarian nations, where the symbols state that they are to affect one third part; the sixth trumpet also affects a third part of men; which means the fifth trumpet ought to also be a blow against the third part, to complete the series.
 
 
A look at the historical maps in the appendix outlining the period will quickly support the second third-part of the Empire falling to the Arabs. The historical facts of the rise of Islam are well known. The symbol here is seemingly obscure, but has some clues to mark the Arab conquests as that pictured here.
 
 
(1) The time is right. After the fall of Rome to the barbarians, the next significant event in history is the rise of Islam under the Arabs. The second third of the Roman world did indeed fall to them. See map number 3 in the appendix.
 
 
(2) The symbol of a star from heaven matches the claim of the prophet to have received his message from heaven, though the source is pictured as the bottomless pit.
 
 This is not to suggest that the Islamic false prophecy is more demonic than any other false doctrine, but to indicate the source of all false teaching. This false teaching has been more far reaching than any other and is very extensive, however.
 
 
It is pictured as smoke that darkens the implied one third part of the world, and of the air, and of the sun, marking the locations of land boundaries, and of ideas, and the source of enlightenment, respectively. This could not be a better picture of this difficult and disturbingly tenacious doctrine. It is a false doctrine, and those under it have great difficulty seeing the light.
 
 
(3) Locusts are a symbol that as a result of Bible study, would lead one to Arabia. The locusts of the ten plagues indicate the locusts came from the direction of Arabia, as in Ex. 10:13, “in the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day, … and the east wind brought the locusts.” The source would be Arabia which is east of Egypt.
 
 
(4) In verse four the command is given to them not to hurt vegetation, but only those not sealed of God. This agrees with their purpose. Before being conquered, nations were given the choice of accepting the new religion of Islam and becoming part of the Islamic commonwealth and enjoying the fruits of the new community being formed, or keeping their traditional religion and paying a heavy tax to the conquerors; or, if the nation would accept neither, the Arabs would wage war and give what terms they desired upon conquest.
 
 
This cry of “Islam, the tribute, or the sword,” and their behavior agrees with the command not to destroy the grass or green thing or tree if they did not have to.
 
 
(5) The enemy of those who came out of the smoke is said to be those not sealed of God. And so those who arose as proponents of the new religion of Islam, that is, those who came out of the smoke, or the Mohammedans, went forth to slay the infidel and idolater, agreeing with the figure in verse four. From their standpoint any person not accepting the message of Allah was an unbeliever. Also from the point of view of many, Roman Christianity was idolatrous, with its superstitions, statues that moved, and other artifices.
 
 
(6) The duration of their torment is given as five months or five times thirty days or one hundred and fifty prophetic day-years. It is noted by many that from the rise of Islam in Arabia in 622 until the founding of Baghdad when the Islamic commonwealth settled down from its life of conquest is 150 years.
 
 
 From that time when they began to develop science and arts, the Mohammedan Arabs would occupy their third of the world until a new invader would come in the eleventh century and adopt their religion and spread it with the fanaticism of new converts and blot out the remaining one third of the Roman Empire.
 
 
(7) Their leader carries a symbolic name in both Hebrew and Greek, which is said to mean destroyer. What is more significant is that the leader is the messenger of the bottomless pit. He sends a fog or smoke that darkens the light of knowledge and true religion. Islamic nations have been so held in the bondage of this false doctrine for over 1300 years. One cannot preach the gospel in those lands. If one could preach the gospel, there is still the confusion of Islam in the minds of its adherents that darkens the understanding.
 
 
* One would pray that this will soon change; that in those lands, freedom from religious coercion could soon be a fact of life and political freedom might follow. You could barely find another period which would have these same correspondences between these figures and the historical subject.
* The Koran says that Jesus was a true prophet but the teaching of Islam is that Jesus’ disciples did not tell the truth about what Jesus said about himself. The Koran says, He was born of a virgin, but He did not rise from the dead; in fact, He was not dead on the cross. His disciples are said to have made up the rest and that the Gospels are corrupt versions of an earlier “true injil.”
 
Thus the Muslim is offended when he treats “our prophet” with respect and we do not reciprocate the same level of respect, i.e., that Mohammed is a true prophet on the same level with Jesus. For a fuller understanding of the confusion in Islam, its teachings which intersect with Christianity, and how to prepare yourself to understand and teach a Muslim, we recommend you read, Compendium on Islam; Pub. Alan Ashurst, 60 Kenwood Road, Stretford, Manchester, U.K. 1988.
The nature of Islam has not changed. Its adherents still believe that the faith of Islam can be spread by “jihad” or Holy War.
Coercion has been and still is very much a part of keeping the faithful in line. I am acquainted with several converts to Christianity who have suffered physically from their former co-religionists and relatives for these matters of conscience.
 I personally baptized a convert from Islam in London, who is a university graduate who teaches in a Muslim country in a college of law. If I mentioned his name openly with all certainty his position would be jeopardized, and his life could well be in danger. Islamic groups are currently “evangelizing” among Christian nations.
This same freedom could hardly be reciprocated in the nation which houses Mecca, where freedom of religion is not a civil right.

The First Four Trumpets – Barbarian Storms



The First Four Trumpets – Barbarian Storms
Chapter Four

8:1 And when he had opened the seventh seal there was silence in heaven for about the space of half an hour.
Silence: probably then onlookers were struck with awe because of the content of the seventh seal.
 
 
8:2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.
 
 
The seven angels with the seven trumpets constitute the seventh seal, making plain the sequential design of the unfolding of the symbols.
 
 
8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer, and there was given to him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
 
 
Another angel: to distinguish and to mark him as being no part of the seven. Since they stand by until this angel performs his acts, before they begin to sound, it is indicated that what is prefigured is related to the beginning of the sounding, but not a part of the trumpets.
 
 
8:4 And the smoke of the incense [which came] with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. 8:5 And the angel took the censer and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast [it] into the earth; and there were voices. and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
 
 
These verses indicate that a great deal of prayer is offered concerning imminent events as the time approaches toward the beginning of the sounding of the trumpets. The cause of the prayers may be the secular commotions indicated by voices, thunder, and earthquake.
 
The latter indicates that at the end of the last period of the unprecedented growth of the number of the saved, there would be violent secular upheavals which will alter the world. We call attention to the preface of chapter seven.
 
 
7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
 
7:2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east having the seal of the living God; and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 7:3 Saying, Hurt not the earth nor the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
 
 
Since the sealing is now over, it must mean that the winds are now going to blow and the earth, sea and trees are now going to be hurt by the winds or angels who have been held back until now. The first four trumpets seem to be loosed here, as though one would say, Loose the four winds.
 
 
8:6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
 
 
Thus showing the events that prepare these trumpets, the prayers, commotion and earthquake, precede the sounding of the trumpets.
 
 
8:7 The first angel sounded and there followed hail, and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth; and the third part of trees was burned up and all the green grass was burned up.
 
 
This and each of the first four trumpets deliver blows that fall on one third of the world. This will set the stage; the first four affect the first one third of the world, the fifth trumpet will affect one third and the sixth trumpet will complete this part of the scheme, affecting the final third.
 
This is understood for the fifth trumpet but clearly stated under the sixth trumpet, as in: Rev. 9:15; And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, to slay the third part of men.
 
 
Historical interpreters, with whom I concur, ascribe the first four trumpets to the successive barbarian invasions beginning with the Goths under Alaric, followed by the Vandals, the Huns and finally the Ostrogoth, Odoacer, from whom all historians date the beginning of the dark ages and at which the first third of the Roman Empire fell. This is explained further below.
 
 
8:8 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; 8:9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and the third part of ships were destroyed. 8:10 And the third angel sounded and there fell a great star from heaven, burning like a lamp, and it fell on the third part of the rivers, and on the fountains of waters; 8:11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood; and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many died of the waters because they were made bitter.
 
 
Star from heaven: as in other places this figure refers to a person to whom is ascribed divine powers, or to one of the pagan gods.
 
 
8:12 And the fourth angel sounded and the third part of the sun was struck, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so, as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shined not for a third part of it and the night likewise.
 
 
Land, Sea, Rivers, Light: These figures will be repeated under the vials in chapter 16 where earth, sea, rivers, and source of light are plagued in the same order under the first four vials. Not that the same locations are necessarily depicted, but that there is design in the book. One of those things designed is that the first four events in each of the predicted series, seals, trumpets, and vials, are interrelated.
 
 The first four horses are all related in some way as has been shown. These first four trumpets are related to events that affect one third of the earth, and that is the progressive attacks which brought about the fall of the Roman Empire in the West.
 
 
The first four vials also are poured on earth, sea, rivers, and sun. They too, therefore, should be related to some series of four, related to one historic event in the fulfillment, as these former are.
The fourth trumpet, which darkens one third of the sun, moon and stars, could not be a better picture of the beginning of the dark ages.
 
 
8:13 And I beheld and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, Woe, Woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels that are yet to sound!
 
 
Woe, Woe, Woe: This is a very plain clue to the design of the book. Trumpets five, six, and seven are “Woe” trumpets. Rev. 9:12 says, “The first woe is past, behold, There are two woes yet to come.” Thus making plain that the sixth and the seventh trumpets are woe trumpets.
 
Then in Rev. 11:14, just before the sounding of the seventh trumpet it says: “The second woe is past; behold, the third woe comes quickly,” which plainly shows the seventh trumpet is after the sixth trumpet. The woes of the seventh trumpet can not therefore be concurrent with any of the events of the first six trumpets.
As stated in that place, too, the “Woe” of the seventh trumpet is not outlined in chapter eleven, but is comprised in the seven vials, or bowls, which are all woes.
 
 
These are clues as to the design of the book. As the seven trumpets are contained in the seventh seal, so the seven vials, or bowls, are contained in the seventh trumpet. The design of this book is so intricate as to be difficult to discover, but once discovered its precision is so perfect that it is evidence that divine inspiration has produced the design.
 
 
The First Four Trumpets
 
 
We have arrived at the end of the fifth century in our paralleling history with the symbols. The triumph of Christianity and its unprecedented growth in the Empire is pictured under the sixth seal and the interlude of the seventh chapter.
 
The eighth chapter opens with the church offering much prayer just before the sounding of the trumpets and an event that causes much commotion in the earth. It must be these events for which the prayers are offered.
 
 
Then the trumpets begin to sound and successive blows hit the earth, sea, rivers, and then the lights go out. All of this affects one third of the locations. The events in history that begin just after the great growth of believers in Christ of course lead to the fall of the Roman Empire in the West and the beginning of the dark ages.
There could hardly be a more fitting set of symbols to show these events.
 
 
The earthquake, as no part of the seven trumpets but related to them, no doubt marks the battle of Hadrianople in 378 A. D. which itself is like a trumpet. At least it gave a clarion call to those awake that the world was changing. Rome had existed many centuries and many wars had been fought; mostly but not always victoriously.
 
 
However the Battle of Hadrianople in 378 A.D. marks the first time that a Roman Army was decisively and completely defeated by an invader inside the boundaries of the Roman Empire! Compounding this, the Roman Emperor Valens was killed in the battle.
 
 
Consequently the Battle of Hadrianople is one of those pivotal battles that altered the course of the history for all of us on this planet. Besides the death of the Roman emperor, Valens, killed in the battle, the nations comprising present Hungary, Rumania and much of Yugoslavia fell to the Goths and the Arian heresy of Christianity.
 
 
Gratian succeeded Valens who died at Hadrianople. He gathered an army and was traveling to meet the Goths and rescue what was left of Valens’ army. A long treatise on the Christian faith was written by Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, at the invitation of Gratian. Gratian wanted a clear statement and proofs of the trinitarian doctrine so that he could convince the Goths and people dwelling in the areas they now controlled of the truth of the orthodox faith!
 
 
The tumult in the Empire and the church caused by these developments is clearly seen in Ambrose’s writings which are contemporary with Hadrianople.*
* Ambrose: Christian Faith; Book III, 2.
There was much commotion that preceded and followed Hadrianople.* The movement of the Barbarian nations had already begun. The Huns had left their home north of China and had migrated with no small stir across central Asia into the former home of the Scythians — at that time occupied by the Goths.
 
 
These semi-civilized Gothic barbarians were forced from their homeland north of the Black Sea through Dacia into the Roman Empire. The disturbances symbolized by the voices, thunder, lightning, and earthquake would coincide with these events brought on by the defeat at Hadrianople, and the consequent roaming at will of the nation of the Goths within the confines of the Empire with no one to stop them.
 
 
How the Christians must have prayed as they saw these events disturb the tranquility of the Roman world! These events preceded and led up to the four blows against Rome that would end the Empire in the West in 476. Wells says as much:
*Gibbon, Edward, Barbarism and the Fall of Rome Vol. II Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, abridged and edited by Jacob Sloan, Pub. Collier 1962 pgs 19 – 57 Gibbon describes this period from the year 365 to 395, which he styles: First barbarian invasions, progress of the Huns from China, flight of the Goths, their crossing the Danube, the war, death of Valens to the peace settlement with the Goths, which latter, of course, was immediately breached.
“Before we go on to tell of the blows that now began to fall on the Roman Empire… we may say a few words about… these westward drifting barbaric Mongolian peoples… who were spreading toward the Black and Baltic Seas… and fell at last like an avalanche upon the weak-backed Roman Empire.”*
* Wells, H.G. The Outline of History; Pub. first 1920, Garden City Publishing Company. pg. 636 This is a popular history and has enjoyed scores of reprinted editions.
In the following pages Wells does as good a job as any historian giving the facts which coincided marvelously with the prophecy. There were four groups of barbarians who in the years following 400 A.D. made assaults on Rome attacking land, sea, rivers, and “lights out” in that order, all of them entering the city of Rome itself.
 
 
The first blow on the earth and vegetation is fulfilled in the invasion and sack of Rome in 410 by the Goths led by Alaric. It was his policy to burn the orchards and vineyards, fill cultivated fields with stones and generally destroy agriculture.
 
 
The second blow was made by the Vandals who had crossed the Mediterranean, reached and rebuilt Carthage by 429 and attacked Roman commerce from the sea, first the islands and the coast of Spain and finally sacked Rome in 455, loading their pillaged goods into their boats and carrying them off.
 
 
Attila rose as leader of the Huns and began his depredations of the Empire after the Vandals.* According to Gibbon’s lengthy account all his major battles were ought on rivers. His strategy was to lure the Roman armies into crossing the rivers after he has feigned a retreat. While the armies were crossing the rivers he ordered his troops to attack. Attila claimed to be the son of Mars. Gibbon describes the time when Attila’s horse bloodied his foot and upon retracing his steps he found the point of a sword sticking out of the ground.
 
 
Digging the sword out he declared it the sword of Mars having been cast down from heaven. He then claimed to be the son of Mars. This incredibly fits the symbol of a star falling from heaven and bloodying and making the rivers bitter, with many dying in the rivers! Attila also made a direct assault on Rome and not only entered the city, but also came away with the princess and took her to his mountain palace where he hoped to wed her.
 
 
But Oh! The ironies of history! He died on his wedding night — before the consummation of the marriage! The Huns disappeared from history after the death of Attila.
* Ibid. pg. 484.
Conditions Described by a Contemporary
 
 
The conditions which disrupted all of Italy and daily life are adequately described by Rufinus who lived through the Barbarian experiences. Rufinus translated most of the important portions of the Greek Ante Nicean Fathers into Latin. He had been assigned these labors by various Christian leaders.
 
 
His task was assigned during the first of the Barbarian invasions. In his introduction to his translation of Eusebius Church History he eloquently shows the irony of the timing of the invitation to make this translation. He likens it to a doctor who prescribes medicine as a defense when a disease is endemic. He wrote to Chromatis, whom he calls a venerable father,
“At the moment when the gates of Italy were broken through (400 A.D.) by Alaric, the commander of the Goths, and thus a disease and a plague poured in upon us, which made havoc of the fields and cattle and men throughout the land. You then sought a remedy [for the minds of the afflicted nation by translating from Greek to Latin the Eccleastical History of Eusebius.]”*
* Rufinus; Vol iii pg. 565
In his preface to the translation of Origen’s commentary on the book of Numbers in the year 410 when Rome fell to the Goths and Italy was torn up completely from north to south, Rufinus who had fled Italy complained that the times were not conducive to translating. To Donatas he wrote,
“How can the pen move freely when a man is in fear of the missiles of the enemy, when he has before his eyes the devastation of cities and country, when he has to fly from dangers of the sea, and there is no safety even in exile? As you yourself saw, the Barbarian was in sight of us; he had set fire to the city of Rhegium, and our only protection against him was the very narrow sea that separates the soil of Italy from Sicily. In such a position what leisure could there be for writing, and especially for translating.”*
* Ibid pg. 568
What amazing coincidence this has been so far. Blows on earth, sea, and rivers. The fourth trumpet was then marvelously paralleled and fulfilled when Odoacer the Ostrogoth entered Rome and in 476 sat on the Imperial throne. An unlettered barbarian was now king of Rome. From that event in history most historians date the beginning of the dark ages.
It was the end of civilization in the West, and the amenities accompanying it. There would no longer be an education system — no schools, no roads, no centralized commerce. The light of culture had surely gone out and the progress of systematic learning would not be rediscovered again in the West until the Renaissance of the 1500’s.

The Opening of the Seven Seals

The Opening of the Seven Seals
Chapter 3

John is not writing in some sort of code about things which would be understood by his contemporaries. He clearly writes that the events predicted by the visions are to begin soon and are a picture of the future, unfolded sequentially.
It is not that there are not “symbolic” words in the book of Revelation. There are, but they would be undecipherable, for a large part, until they are compared with the fulfillments of other prophecies or of these themselves. Some of these “symbol” words are defined in Daniel and Ezekiel. There are many which the book opens with and defines for you. For instance:
 
The one sitting on the Throne is obviously the Father.
The Lamb is Jesus.

Seven candlesticks are seven churches.
Many “sign” words are defined for us by the book itself. Other words are defined in usage in other places in the Bible or in the fulfillment of the prophecies themselves. In such places it may be suggested in context whether they are symbolic or to be taken literally. For instance:
Mountains are governments or principalities;

Islands are nations;

Earthquakes are revolutions;

Those that dwell in the earth are the unsaved.

Those who dwell in heaven are the saved no matter their address.

Beasts are human authorities, kingdoms or empires.

Fire and brimstone are usually literal explosive destruction.
Fire is sometimes good as zeal or at times purgative punishment.

Horns are divisions of a kingdom or world power.

Stars are symbols of spiritual powers.

The sun are moon symbols of more important earthly authorities.

The dragon is Satan in human government.

Earth refers to the inhabited, civilized, world.

Earth may mean the worldly scheme in contrast to the way of Christ.
Revelation and Symbols of Future Events
1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave to him, to show to his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified [it] by his angel to his servant John:
 
There are two possibilities in understanding the words “shortly come to pass.” It can either mean the symbols will be fulfilled within a short span of time, which is the position of the Futurists who believe that all of the symbols predict events in the last seven years of the world’s history; or it may mean that the symbols will begin to be fulfilled soon.
 
That is, that shortly after 96 A.D. the first symbol will epitomize an epoch of world history and each of the following symbols will follow sequentially paralleling the historical periods through history, until such time as the mystery that God wishes to reveal is complete.
 
We believe the historical parallel approach is the correct one as will be shown in the body of this book. The Futurist view has too many obscurities in it, not the least being that the most popular way of seeing the events of the last seven years is that they are supposed to happen in the world after the church has been “raptured.” If that view were correct it makes little sense to tell us, the church, about it, since we will not be here to see it!
 
The words “sent and signified” indicates the method of revelation. The symbols are just that — symbols; they signify. They do not describe the events literally but they depict events with signs or symbols.
 
The Outline of Revelation
 
1:19 Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.
 
This verse above is the outline of the book: (1) The things which you have seen: refer to the visions of the first chapter. That is, Jesus among the candlesticks and related items. (2) The things which are: are the descriptions of the seven churches currently in John’s times. They describe conditions in which churches find themselves, in every age, including John’s. (3) The things which shall be hereafter: The rest of the book is preparation for, or descriptions of, prophecies that are future from John’s time.
 
4:1 After this, I looked, and behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice that I heard was like a trumpet talking to me; which said; Come up here and I will show you things which must be hereafter.
 
The above verse begins the future material or actually the introduction to it. In chapter four we see the source of the revelation, i.e. the throne room of God. And in chapter five there is a description of the book of prophetic things, “that which must be hereafter,” contained in the book of seven seals. Jesus is introduced as the only one able to open the book. He then proceeds to open the book. Those things predicting the future from John’s time start in chapter six with the opening of the seven seals.
 
Revelation 6: The First 6 Seals
 
6:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as the noise of thunder, and one of the four creatures saying, Come and see. 6:2 And I saw and behold, a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given to him; and he went forth conquering and to conquer. 6:3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second creature say, Come and see. 6:4 And there went out another horse, [that was] red; and power was given to him that sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given to him a great sword. 6:5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third creature saying, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. 6:6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four creatures say, A measure of wheat for a penny and three measures of barley for a penny; and [see] that you hurt not the oil and the wine. 6:7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth creature say, Come and see. 6:8 And I looked and behold, a pale horse; and the name of him who sat on him was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with pestilence, and with wild beasts of the earth. 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held. 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long O Lord, holy and true, do you not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth. 6:11 And white robes were given to every one of them, and it was said to them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brothers, who should be killed as they were should be fulfilled. 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood. 6:13 And the stars fell to the earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 6:15 And the kings of the earth and the great men and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come and who shall be able to stand?
 
 
THE INTERLUDE ASSOCIATED WITH THE SEVEN SEALS
 
 
7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 7:2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east having the seal of the living God; and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the se 7:3 Saying, Hurt not the earth nor the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed, [and there were] sealed one hundred and forty four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. 7:5 Of the tribe of Judah [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad [were] sealed twelve thousand. 7:6 Of the tribe of Aser [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Napthalim [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses [were] sealed twelve thousand. 7:7 Of the tribe of Simeon [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi [were[ sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar [were] sealed twelve thousand. 7:8 Of the tribe of Zabulon [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin [were] sealed twelve thousand. 7:9 After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 7:10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb. 7:11 And all the angels stood round about the throne and the elders and the four creatures, and fell before the throne on their faces and worshipped God, 7:12 Saying, Amen: Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, [be] to our God for ever and ever. Amen. 7:13 And one of the elders spoke, saying to me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and where did they come from? 7:14 And I said to him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are they who came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 7:15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he that sits on the throne shall dwell among them. 7:16 They shall hunger no more neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 7:17 For the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and lead them to living fountains of water; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
 
 
THE FULFILLMENT OF THE SIX SEALS
 
 
Horsemen: The first four symbols are connected by using the same symbol. In the total scheme of all the symbols, this style — making the first four in each group of seven to be connected — continues in the trumpets and bowls. In the first of the four trumpets, blows strike,
 
(1) one third of the land and vegetation;
 
(2) one third of the sea and shipping;
 
(3) one third of rivers and fountains;
 
(4) one third of sources of light, sun, moon and stars.
 
Under the figures of plagues, the first four vials or bowls are likewise blows against land, sea, rivers, and the sun. In the fulfillment of these figures there would naturally be a relation of the first four symbols historically, with the possibility of some overlapping in the fulfillment. Remember then, the design of the book is that the first four symbols in each group are interrelated.
 
What to look for:
 
1. White: is a symbol of something good, the bow and crown of armored authority, and expansion of territory in conquest. So the first period of time after Domitian should be characterized historically as an unusually “good” (righteous) period associated with conquest and expansion. When we look in a secular history book the period just following Domitian should say, “something good.”
 
 
2. Red: is a symbol of blood, war, fire, not of “good.” Take peace from the earth indicates a total disorder. Kill one another indicates internal war, not killing the enemy, it is a figure of civil war. A great sword indicates a lot of dying in battle. So the second period of time should be characterized historically by breakdown of society, a great deal of armed conflict with many killed in civil disorders and not because of invasion of outsiders. This must follow a period of peace and “good” and expansion.
 
 
3. Black: is a symbol of darkness and despair. The scales and high prices and instructions not to waste suggest need for care because of shortages. The third period following hard on the civil disorder should be a period of famine and associated hardships. “Hard times” is the key note.
 
4. Pale: is a symbol of sickliness. The symbols associate closely with death, the abode of the dead (hades) as epitomizing history in the period. Twenty five percent, or the fourth part of the earth, are to die from
 
(1) sword;
(2) famine;
(3) disease;
(4) wild animals.
 
So the fourth period following the previous (and probably overlapping, as death and famine are part of both) should be a period characterized by depopulation of the earth due to war, famine, disease, and wild animals.
 
5. Saints under the altar: refers to the dead in Christ awaiting judgment day. These have been killed because of their faith and testimony. They want to know how long before God takes vengeance indicating the day of vengeance on the persecutors. “Rest a little season until,” should indicate a short interval following the last horse’s period. “The time that your brothers should be killed;” when this is fulfilled it will be a period of further persecution for a short but intense period when history is epitomized by that persecution.
 
 
So, following the four horsemen
 
(1) peace and good,
(2) civil war,
(3) famine,
(4) depopulation,
 
there should follow a period that is characterized by persecution. In the vision, the persecution has been going on previously, persecution in which Christians have been dying, but this last will be a climax and completion of the persecution. Many Christians will die but after a little season the persecution stops. History is to look like this in the future from John’s view.
 
 
6. A great earthquake: equals complete shakeup of those things counted secure: government, religion, social order, ethics, economy; all shaken. The sun and moon are symbols of authority in human governments, the emperor, etc. The stars represent spiritual powers just as astrological charts indicate. The gods of paganism were associated with planets and stars. Heaven departing indicates the removal of spiritual powers or ethical inhibitors.
 
No guidance from above! Mountains and islands are symbols of nations and governments. These being moved out of their places is a symbol of turnover of government, continuing the symbol of a great earthquake, that characterizes this period. The following verses (15-17) make it plain that the whole upheaval is identified with Jesus Christ and it is a day of reckoning for the enemies of the cross of Christ. It is a day that will cause his enemies to hide, disappear, flee away, and he will take vengeance.
 
 
So following the period of persecution, world history should be characterized by the world being turned upside down, the disappearance of pagan powers, while Christian ethics take their place. Government will be likewise reorganized and shaken violently at the end of which Christianity will be in a good position, as the next symbol makes clear.
 
 
The Interval of Chapter Seven.
 
 
All of chapter seven speaks of conversion. 144,000 of the nation of the Jews and then a great multitude out of every nation and language, beyond number, are brought to worship God and Christ. (Vs. 9) Verses 14 and 15 contain a description of conversion that is symbolic of the changes that most born again believers associate with their own experience. What is characterized in the whole of chapter seven is a great ingathering or gospel harvest that follows the revolutionary period just previous to it.
 
 
So the interval is a period of evangelism and expansion of the Christian gospel that should epitomize that historical period. Any one knowing the history of the world from the time of Domitian through the next few centuries will be struck with the incredible coincidence of the outline of the seer of Patmos with what actually happened.
 
 
7: Opening the Seventh Seal
 
 
Let the Winds blow: At the commencement of the Interlude of sealing the servants of God an angel is instructed to “Hold back the four winds until the sealing is over. Thus after the ingathering of souls, the Seventh seal will be associated with events that will look like the destructive action of blowing winds associated with the first of the Trumpets. A map of the next 100 yearas after The triumph of the Christian Cburch should look like blowing winds.
Also as noted in the fist chapter of this book The seventh seal IS the Seven Trumpets.
 
Confirming that the trumpets can not be concurrent with the Seals. They are designed to be in sequence. Let us note the following Maps. The first shows the Roman Empire in 395 at the end of the 60 or so years described as the Triumph of Christianity. Notice how the Empire is still in a very neat condition.
 
 
Please click to see the map and click the back button to return to this page map
 
This next map shows the the next 100 year beginning in 410, Beginning fifteen years after the last map.
Please click to see the map and click the back button to return to this page. map
Review
 
Let us review one more time. The historical periods following the time of Domitian should follow:
1. Something good.
2. Civil disorder, many die.
3. Hard times.
4. Depopulation by twenty five percent.
5. Persecution.
6. Revolution of religious as well as political life.
7. Interval of ingathering or expansion of Christian gospel.
8. Let the Winds Blow
Historical Fulfillment
1. The period immediately following Domitian introduces a century of peace called the Pax Romana or translated the Peace of Rome. The emperors of the period are known in history books as the “Five Good Emperors.” Marcus Aurelius was a philosopher whose doctrines approached the ethics of Christianity. The name of emperor Antoninus Pius indicates his inclinations. This period, from 98 to 180 is also characterized by the additions of large border regions to the empire and expansion to the greatest limits ever. If God wanted to picture the period he could not have chosen a better symbol than a white horse and conquest.
 
 
2. History texts call the period from 180 to 280 the period of disorder. Eighty emperors ruled in a space of ninety years and most of them met death by violence. The post of emperor was actually bought and sold at public auction. The empire was ravaged by civil war for most of the period. Every few months a new soldier of fortune would make a claim on the title and march on Rome from distant as well as more local locations, fighting, pillaging, and burning as they approached a war weary city. The depletion of stocks, burning of countryside, disruption of markets, and farms denuded of crops took their toll and the next two figures overlap the end of this period.
 
 
3. The devastation of the wars of the previous period brought the empire the worst of famines and shortages. This period overlaps the end of the last.
 
 
4. The consequences of the preceding wars and famines created a climate for the depopulation of the earth that historians tell us characterized this period. Due to the depopulation, wild animals increased in formerly civilized areas and death from them was common enough to be placed in the histories. An outbreak of the black plague (bubonic plague) is recorded at this time. The figures of death due to sword, famine, disease, and wild animals is a perfect description of the period, which, with the last, overlaps and extends as a result of the wars to the early 300s when they were cause for what followed. The Christians were blamed!
 
 
5. From 300 to 313, “a little season,” the history of the Roman empire is characterized by persecution. It is the last and most severe of the ten great persecutions against the Christian religion which were authorized by the emperors of Rome. Many thousands died, many church buildings and Bibles went to the flames. Every elder, (bishop) was arrested and killed and all other Christian leaders went into hiding or suffered death in the arenas publicly, as sport for the spectators. Diocletian resigned midway and his successor and son-in-law carried on the extremities. He it was who issued the edict of persecution. He would later admit defeat and would issue the edict of toleration which ended the OFFICIAL persecution on a world scale forever. Christians have never faced death on such a scale since. Historians all epitomize this historical period as an epoch of persecution.
 
 
6. Following the end of the persecution, Constantine the Great left York in Britain and marched against Galerius and his successors. His conquests and subsequent emperorship are characterized by turning the imperial system of Rome upside down. Rather than merely tolerating Christianity, he issued in 325 the Edict of Milan, which made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. The pagan temples were closed and they were given to Christian churches; the pagan gods were swept away, not only from their pedestals but from peoples’ hearts.
 
 
The figures of the stars falling and heaven being rolled up could not better describe the disappearance of the old religious and ethical order and the taking of its place by the Christian religion. Imagine being paid to become a Christian when only four or five years ago your family was being torn by lions for the same faith!
 
New government took the place of the old order; the church would play a large part in the affairs of state; and the capitol would be moved from Rome to Constantinople. There could not possibly be a better set of figures to epitomize this great, eventful period than mountains and islands moving, a great earthquake and the day of Jesus Christ’s vengeance, and the shaking and disappearance of secure heavenly powers in favor of Jesus! There is much more to say about the fulfillment of these figures and while this is necessarily an outline it is extraordinary in its completeness and simplicity.
 
 
7. The period of history that follows this sequence in any history book is always characterized by the expansion of the Christian religion. The interlude of chapter seven predicts that the history of the period would be characterized in this way. The chapter headings in text books on world history that one finds after the discussions of Constantine, and the consequences to the sweeping changes wrought by him are: The Triumph of Christianity, or The Rise of the Church, or The Expansion of Christianity, or The Rise of the Christian Church. With the end of persecution and the support of the empire, Christianity became the most popular life style world wide and grew to undreamed of proportions. The difficulties that resulted from that triumphal expansion is not what is noticed here but rather that the association of the figure, of ingathering of souls, with what historians say actually happened in the world, is too accurate to be mere coincidence.
 
 
The History in a Secular Outline
 
 
It may be valuable to go over this outline one more time using Barnes and Noble’s College Outline.* This is a book that was written for review for College students who want a quick review of the course of study. We begin at the year 96. I will supply the scriptural symbols and let the book outline the periods.
 
* Rickard, J.A., and Hyma, Albert; Ancient, Medieval, and Modern History; Published by Barnes & Noble, Inc. 1962. The material here is quoted in gleanings from pgs. 62 to 66
1. The White Horse is the good period. College Outline follows:
“Nerva (96-98). Nerva was the first of the so called “five good emperors.”
 
As a member of the senate he increased the importance of that body. (5) Trajan (98-117). This war-like ruler subdued Dacia and established a Roman colony there. He also conquered Arabia, Armenia, and Parthia, and made these regions into Roman provinces. (6) Hadrian (117-138). This emperor gave up some of Trajan’s conquests, built a wall across Britain, and established a federal civil service system. He also reorganized the army by introducing morals and discipline, extended citizenship to many provincials, and encouraged learning. (7) Antoninus Pius (138-161). He improved the lot of the slave and adopted the principle that a man is innocent until proved guilty. He neglected the defence of the frontier. (8) Marcus Aurelius (161-180). He was a stoic philosopher and writer.
 
While his Meditations approach Christianity in spirit, yet he persecuted Christians. He died while defending the frontier against barbarians.”
 
Could this period be better epitomized than by the symbol of something good, and conquering and to conquer?
 
2. The Red Horse, when they kill each other with a great sword.
 
“So low had Rome sunk that Julianus bought the throne at public auction… Eighty emperors occupied the throne within a period of ninety years, and most of them met death by violence.”
 
Thus the period of the next ninety years from 180-270 was a period of civil war, disorders and disruption, just as the symbol states.
 
 
3. The Black Horse or hard times.
 
It would be difficult not to predict hard times following ninety years of civil war. This and the next symbol actually overlaps the time of the Red Horse and continues on.
 
Thus in Barnes and Noble for this overlapping
period: “Lacking money the government paid soldiers in land, and received taxes in grain… the army through force put incompetent rulers in power… Wasteful methods of villa farming led to decreased productiveness.”
 
 
4. The Pale Horse with Death
 
 as the rider and the symbols of a twenty five per cent loss of population due to war, disease, wild animals and famine. This period overlaps the last as would be obvious. Barnes and Noble say:
 
“The Decline of Population. Increased luxury produced a lower birth rate, while higher cost of living made for smaller families. The Asiatic Plague also caused the death of many.” and on the next page: “War, slavery, plague, and unprofitable living conditions also caused a decline in population.”
 
This absolutely incredible coincidence between the history and the symbols continues in Barnes and Noble to about 300 A.D.
 
5. Saints Under the Altar.
 
This can hardly be missed as predicting a final persecution after a series of the same. This persecution started right on time from about 300 to 313. Barnes and Nobel describe Diocletian:
 
“The Work of Diocletian. Diocletian made Rome into an undisguised Oriental monarchy. He… assumed the role of a god-king… Finally, he engaged in the last and bitterest persecution of the Christians in Roman history.”
 
 
The coincidence continues
 
. 6. The Earthquake, Islands, Mountains Moving and Day of Jesus’ Wrath.
 
This symbol of disruption and revolution follows the last of Persecution. Barnes and Noble describe this next period:
 
“Diocletian’s…period…was ended by the triumph of Constantine. This Emperor (323-337) is chiefly important for two acts: the recognition of Christianity as the state religion, and the removal of the capital to Constantinople… the period as a whole is a sad story of anarchy and confusion.”
 
Thus the six seals are paralleled in Barnes and Noble as they simply tell the story of the historical periods. The next period of the interlude of the seventh chapter indicates that what follows hard on this should be a multitude of people becoming Christians. They dip their garments in the blood of the Lamb!
 
 
The next chapter in Barnes and Noble that covers the period after Constantine from 325 to 460 is called:
 
“THE RISE OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH”
 
And it should be, because that is what the book of Revelation says should be next! This is quite an astounding review and should impress the most skeptical.
 
7th Seal
 
 Then after the interlude of ingatering We are to see “Let the Winds Blow. see the map 2 above as a reminder Click the back button to return to this page.
 
 
It might be possible to create one symbolic figure of an historical period and pick it out in history by mere accident. But if one says, as John did, that there will be periods of history, the first one to begin soon, the pattern of which will be identical to symbols that outline and epitomize briefly the events in the epochs to come, what would be the odds of getting eight out of eight right on the money?
 
 
The rest of the book of Revelation’s symbols can be paralleled right up to the present, and an attempt can even be made of predicting the near future based on what has been gleaned. It would at least be more meaningful than a mere guess, to base your predictions on what has gone before, and then use the similar symbols to project the future.
 
In the light of these prophecies, anyone who would believe in some other God appears ignorant in the presence of the God of history who pre-wrote the outline in the book of Revelation.
 
 
Also in this light, if men would put aside this remarkable historical coincidence so they could follow some remote theory or obscure method of interpreting Revelation, we would look in wonder at what has to be unbelief in the proper intentions of the God who wrote the book of prewritten history.
 
Perhaps they are ignorant through neglect, which is excusable if study would banish the ignorance. We cannot accuse the Futurists, who make great efforts to project their position, of neglect nor indecision, but we speak of others of who cloud the air with their uncertainty.
 
To write a book and have nothing to say is not excusable, although it may mask a poor claim to scholarship, because little effort is needed to take a position of no posture, or give an indefinite application to these wonderful symbols.
 
 It takes significantly more time, thought, study, and application, to arrive at definite conclusions of what is the Truth; while it takes little or none to be a skeptic, or simply to be indefinite.
 
 
In other words, while any one can read the book, and anyone can print the book, and anyone can make unmeaningful comments on the book in the name of caution, it takes a bit more effort to show its design and tell what it means.
 
 
If you are moved to faith in this God and his book, I recommend that you obey him. You begin that obedience by placing faith, or trust, in Jesus Christ; the first act of faith is your submission to baptism, an immersion in water, into his life-giving death to effect your resurrection. This first act of obedience as the start of a life of obedience is a part of every truly repentant believer’s Christian experience.


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