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The Seven Trumpets

(and the three "woes")

In this article the old-fashioned words of the KJV have been modernised, and in some instances, the man-made punctuation has been altered for greater understanding.  Some of the comments are adapted from books in my library.  No recognition is given because they are not intended as authorities, but are used because they express my understanding clearly. 

All the ideas expressed in here, right or wrong, are my own.   

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The seven trumpets

(and the three “woes”)

 

by

Ron Parsons

InterNet: http://NonConformist-MyChurch.org

 

First, a little background:

The Revelation from Jesus Christ consists of two major portions – chapters 1-11 and chapters 12-22. 

The first eleven chapters deal mainly with the physical and political things on earth which were to affect the people of God’s church in the centuries after the crucifixion.  The second eleven chapters detail the church’s experiences from the religious point of view over the period from the birth of Christ.  Of course, shades of the one come into the other, but the general purpose is adhered to.  In the section we are going to look at we first of all come across the seven major characteristics of the church on earth; then the seven seals on the book of history are opened; and finally we look at the warnings given by the seven trumpets.

There is another dimension to all this.  Like the prophecy given by Christ in Matthew chapters 24 and 25, there are three layers to the words.  First, Christ’s prophecy was for the apostles and their peers; then second, for all the followers of God to study to find their place during the 2,000 years or so which followed; lastly, it will be repeated in its entirety for those who live in the generation just before the Second Coming.  He told us that in the following words: “Verily I say to you, This generation shall not pass, till ALL these things be fulfilled”.  Matthew 24:34.

The SoP tells us of the first and last applications also:

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{Desire of Ages 628.1} 

Christ's words [regarding the destruction of the temple] had been spoken in the hearing of a large number of people; but when He was alone, Peter, John, James, and Andrew came to Him as He sat upon the Mount of Olives.  “Tell us,” they said, “when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?” [Matthew 24:3.]  JESUS DID NOT ANSWER HIS DISCIPLES BY TAKING UP SEPARATELY THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM AND THE GREAT DAY OF HIS COMING.  He mingled the description of these two events. 

Had He opened to His disciples future events as He beheld them, they would have been unable to endure the sight.  In mercy to them He blended the description of the two great crises, leaving the disciples to study out the meaning for themselves [under the guidance of the Holy Spirit]

When He referred to the destruction of Jerusalem, His prophetic words reached beyond that event to the final conflagration in that day when the Lord shall rise out of His place to punish the world for their iniquity, when the earth shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain. 

THIS ENTIRE DISCOURSE was given, not for the disciples only, but for those who should live in the last scenes of this earth's history. 

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“And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘.  .  .  you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes [and tsunamis], in divers [different] places.  All these are the beginning of sorrows”.  Matthew 24:4-8.  So we should expect them in increasing numbers as the end draws nearer.

It was the wise man who told us that if we would know the future then all we need to do is study the past.  “The thing that has been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun [on earth]”.  Ecclesiastes 1:9.  So we will start with the history as we know it, and then work on from there.  To get that account I intend to quote extensively from a well known book, Daniel and The Revelation by Uriah Smith, for this volume has been recommended to us. 

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{Review & Herald, February 16, 1905 par.10}

“Instruction has been given me that the important books containing the light that God has given regarding Satan's apostasy in heaven should be given a wide circulation just now; for through them the truth will reach many minds. 

Patriarchs and Prophets,’  ‘Daniel and the Revelation,’ and ‘Great Controversy’ are needed now as never before.  They should be widely circulated because the truths they emphasize will open many blind eyes”.

***************(End Quote)

Smith’s history is good – his future is often faulty – but that applies to all human interpretation of the Bible, including my own, but to correct that is the job of the Holy Spirit.  John 14:26.

When John was transported in a vision into heaven after his encounter with the LORD on the island of Patmos, he was shown a book which was sealed into seven parts.  (Revelation 5:1.) This book of future “history” was held in the hand of God the Father, and everyone was very disappointed that no one seemed to be available to open it.  However, soon a Lamb/Lion was found who was able to do this and He began to unroll it section by section in accordance with the principle, “Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, you may believe that I am He”.  John 13:19.

The first four parts of the Book revealed symbolic horses and horsemen who eventually brought misery and death to many of the people of their world during the Christian era.  Then the fifth section showed John (and us), a picture of people under the altar of sacrifice, which symbolised that they had been martyred for their faith, and they raised an interesting question.  “How long before You judge the world”, they asked.  (It is true that the “dead know not anything” and cannot actually speak to us or God, but this is a vision and anything goes.)  We know now that the judgment began on October 22, 1844, and the next verse tells us that those folk received “white robes” of righteousness in it.  This sets the time for us – in the unrolling of the scroll all that came before this was BEFORE 1844 and all that comes after it is AFTER 1844.

Therefore it should not surprise us that the next event was the opening of the sixth “seal” or “section” which leads us directly into the picture of the Second Advent, where another question was asked.  “Who shall be able to stand” [at that time]?”

It is answered in the seventh chapter where we are told about twelve groups of 12,000 “spiritual Jews” who come from each of the twelve spiritual tribes.  This is in accord with the principle that is in the New Testament, “He is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God”.  Romans 2:28-29.

In the vision they were being sealed in their minds while four of God’s loyal angels were holding back the winds of strife so that civilisation could not fall to pieces before they were ready.  They were to be the “firstfruits” of the great multitude who will eventually be in heaven during the 1,000 years.  In the historical version this latter group were pictured by the martyrs who were resurrected with Christ, and who went up to heaven with Him, for surrounding the throne of God in John’s vision was the human part of the heavenly church with its twenty-four elders.  See Revelation 4:4-6; and 5:8-10 where they say, “You ‘have redeemed us to God by Your blood’.”

They are the precursors of all those who will be resurrected at the Second Advent.  After that the Book will be opened up again to show us all what really happened in history from God’s point of view.  “Above the throne is revealed the cross; and like a panoramic view appear the scenes of Adam's temptation and fall, and the successive steps in the great plan of redemption”. GC 666.3.

Here’s the record of those early redeemed:

“Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the [Holy] Ghost.  And, behold, the [second] veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent [at 3pm on Friday]; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection [on Sunday morning], and went into the holy city, and appeared to many”.  Matthew 27:50-53.

“Wherefore He [the Spirit] said, ‘When He [Jesus] ascended up on high, He led captivity captive [a multitude of captives (from the earth), margin], and gave gifts to men’  [Psalm 68:18].”  Ephesians 4:8.  “And having spoiled principalities and powers [especially the power of death], He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it”.  Colossians 2:15.

“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, ‘Behold, the LORD comes [at the Second Advent] with ten thousands [10,000] of His saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him”.  Jude 1:14-15.

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{Desire of Ages 786.1 - 786.3} 

As Christ arose, He brought from the grave a multitude of captives.  The earthquake at His death had rent open their graves, and when He arose, they came forth with Him.  They were those who had been co-laborers with God, and who at the cost of their lives had borne testimony to the truth.  Now they were to be witnesses for Him who had raised them from the dead.  {DA 786.1} 

During His ministry, Jesus had raised the dead to life.  He had raised the son of the widow of Nain, and the ruler's daughter and Lazarus.  But these were not clothed with immortality.  After they were raised, they were still subject to death.  But those who came forth from the grave at Christ's resurrection were raised to everlasting life.  They ascended with Him as trophies of His victory over death and the grave.  These, said Christ, are no longer the captives of Satan; I have redeemed them.  I have brought them from the grave as the first fruits of My power, to be with Me where I am, nevermore to see death or experience sorrow.  {DA 786.2}

These went into the city, and appeared unto many [during the forty days], declaring, Christ has risen from the dead, and we be risen with Him.  Thus was immortalized the sacred truth of the resurrection.  The risen saints bore witness to the truth of the words, “Thy dead men shall live, together with My dead body shall they arise.” Their resurrection was an illustration of the fulfillment of the prophecy, “Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.” Isaiah 26:19.  {DA 786.3}

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It was when the seventh “seal” was opened that silence came to heaven.  Revelation 8:1. 

Historically, in John’s time it was when all those present at the opening of the Book were dumbfounded at how the events would work out; and futuristically, heaven will again be silent in our time when most of its inhabitants will leave and come to earth with the LORD at the second advent.   

It was then that John’s attention was directed to the seven angels with seven trumpets.  Remember the three explanations of prophecy?  We shall carry on with the historical one first because we have many details of that one – then we may interpolate from that into the future.

 

Chapter 8

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Revelation 8:

2  And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.

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John knew what the trumpets were for because they were often used during the wilderness wandering, to call the people together and give warnings of danger. 

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Numbers 10:

1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 

2 “Make you two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shall you make them: that you may use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.  3 And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to you at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

4 “And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves to you [the two made different sounds] .  .  .  7 But when the congregation is to be gathered together, you shall blow [with both], but you shall not sound an alarm. 

8 “And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance for ever throughout your generations. 

9 And if you go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresses you [when they attack you], then you shall blow an alarm with the trumpets [a certain sound]; and you shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and you shall be saved from your enemies”. 

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The “alarm” or special sound was only used when danger was near.  In these seven alarm trumpets we should see the principal political and warlike events that would occur in the next few centuries from John’s time.  In the first four of them we have a description of the Roman Empire’s fall, an empire which had stood firm for many centuries!  What a message to be given to those Christians who lived within its borders!

However, in this case, before the events of the trumpets unfolded, we are given a picture of the Son of God in His role as High Priest standing in the heavenly   sanctuary, offering incense in the portable censer which was associated with the second apartment. 

Paul wrote: “And after the second veil, [there is] the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; which had the [portable] golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; and over it the cherubims [angels] of glory shadowing the Mercy Seat; of which we cannot now speak particularly”.  Hebrews 9:3-5.

This is what John saw:

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Revelation 8:

3 And another Angel came and stood at the altar [in the first apartment], having a golden censer [in His hand]; and there was given to Him much incense, that He should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon THE GOLDEN ALTAR which was before the throne.  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 [which held THE CENSER].

[This is a double application.]

5 And the Angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast [sent] it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake [on the earth].

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At first reading Christ’s action may seem strange, but as we study the inspired explanation of it we should receive a new slant.  The altar was used to illustrate prayers during the 2,000 years, while the censer is used to cover the last days while Christ is in the second apartment of the sanctuary.  In the symbolism the two things are done at the same time to show us that they occur over the whole period from Calvary to the Close of Probation.

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{6BC 1078.1}

The religious services, the prayers, the praise, the penitent confession of sin ascend from true believers as incense to the heavenly sanctuary; but passing through the corrupt channels of humanity, they are so defiled that unless purified by blood [which represents the death of the Son of God], they can never be of value with God.  They ascend not in spotless purity, and unless the Intercessor who is at God's right hand presents and purifies all by His righteousness, it is not acceptable to God.  All incense from earthly tabernacles must be moist with the cleansing drops of the blood of Christ.  He holds before the Father the censer of His own merits, in which there is no taint of earthly corruption.  He gathers into this censer the prayers, the praise, and the confessions of His people, and with these He puts His own spotless righteousness.  Then, perfumed with the merits of Christ's propitiation, the incense comes up before God wholly and entirely acceptable.  Then gracious answers are returned.

{6BC 1078.7}

As we approach God through the virtue of Christ's merits, we are clothed with His priestly vestments [the robe of righteousness].  He places us close by His side, encircling us with His human arm, while with His divine arm He grasps the throne of the Infinite.  He puts His merits, as sweet incense, IN A CENSER IN OUR HANDS, in order to encourage our petitions.  He promises to hear and answer our supplications. (Letter 22, 1898).  

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By the giving of the censer He was sending a message of encouragement to His faithful ones for their benefit in the troublous times which lay ahead of them as their civil world fell apart.  It depicted salvation by grace through His righteousness alone, and showed them that God knew what was happening in the world and had made provision for their prayers.  It also showed them that they were to be priests (helpers) as well as kings.  1 Peter 2:9. 

The same message will be needed in the days that are before us.  Before we begin our work of warning the world of the closing of earth’s history, we are directed to look to the work of our Mediator in the second apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, and to recognise the source of our help and strength.  It is there that we will find comfort as our civilization falls to pieces around our ears.  “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and [have] the faith of Jesus”.  Revelation 14:12.

After that John was directed back to the trumpeters:

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Revelation 8:

6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

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There was a short time period as the trumpeters made ready.  It was just like when the players in an orchestra tune their instruments with short notes before the performance begins.  In the future this means that we shall hear “warming up” notes before the prophecy actually starts, which is what is happening today with the terrorist attacks.

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{7BC 982.6 - 982.7}    Note the tense

Every form of evil is to spring into intense activity.  Evil angels unite their powers with evil men, and as they have been in constant conflict and attained an experience in the best modes of deception and battle, and have been strengthening for centuries, they will not yield the last great final contest without a desperate struggle. 

All the world will be on one side or the other of the question.  The battle of Armageddon will be fought, and that day must find none of us sleeping.  Wide awake we must be, as wise virgins having oil in our vessels with our lamps.  .  .  .   {7BC 982.6} 

The power of the Holy Ghost must be upon us, and the Captain of the Lord's host will stand at the head of the angels of heaven to direct the battle. 

Solemn events before us are yet to transpire. 

Trumpet after trumpet IS TO BE sounded, vial after vial poured out one after another upon the inhabitants of the earth.  Scenes of stupendous interest are right upon us.  (Letter 112, 1890).   {7BC 982.7}

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In this letter written in 1890 Ellen White told us that the trumpet sounding and the last plague vials were firmly in the future, and that we have a part to play in the battle of Armageddon because it is to be the last “spiritual engagement” in the war which is called “The Great Controversy”.  

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Revelation 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 burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

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Thus begins a description of how some of the “ten horns” of Daniel 7:8 caused the side-lining of the “iron” beast and gave room for the “little horn” to grow.  This began towards the end of the fourth century AD when the first of the three “horns”, the Goths, invaded the country using a “burnt earth” policy.

Daniel and The Revelation by Uriah Smith, pages 478 - 479. 

“The Roman Empire, after Constantine the Great, was divided into three parts.  [He issued the first Sunday law in 321AD].  Hence the frequent remark, “a third part of men,” is an allusion to the third part of the empire which was under the scourge.  This division of the Roman kingdom was made at the death of Constantine [337AD], among his three sons, Constantius [337-361AD], Constantine II [337-340AD], and Constans [337-350AD].  Constantius possessed the East, and fixed his residence at Constantinople [in present-day Turkey], the metropolis [capital] of the empire [in place of Rome].  Constantine II held Britain, Gaul, and Spain.  Constans held Illyricum [basically Macedonia], Africa, and Italy”. [These latter sections later combined into Papal Europe.] 

Daniel and The Revelation by Uriah Smith, page 476. 

“The first sore and heavy judgment which fell on Western Rome in its downward course, was the war with the Goths [from around Poland] under Alaric, who opened the way for later inroads.  The death of Theodosius the Roman emperor, occurred in January, A.D. 395, and before the end of the winter the Goths under Alaric were in arms against the empire. 

“The first invasion under Alaric ravaged the Eastern Empire.  He captured the famous cities and enslaved many of the inhabitants.  Thrace, Macedonia, Attica, and the Peloponnesus, were conquered, but he did not reach the city of Rome.  Later, the Gothic chieftain crossed the Alps and Apennines and appeared before the walls of the Eternal City, which fell a prey to the fury of the barbarians in A.D. 410. 

“Hail and fire mingled with blood!” were cast upon the earth.  The terrible effects of this Gothic invasion are represented as “hail,” from the northern origin of the invaders; “fire,” from the destruction by flame of both city and country; and “blood,” from the terrible slaughter of the citizens of the empire by the bold and intrepid warriors”. 

Lateral thought:

John’s spiritual world (and ours today) was also divided into three parts, based on the physical world – there was the “king of the south” and the “king of the north” and “Israel”.  In the statue prophecy of the world’s progress in Daniel chapter two the brass “belly” kingdom of Greece became two brass “thighs” leading to two iron “legs”.  See Daniel 11:1-40 for more detailed background on these two kings.  (Even today we speak of “third world countries” based on their economic capabilities.) 

The spiritual world is made up of:

those who are publicly against God – the king of the south;

those who pretend that they are on His side – the king of the north;

and those who are really being obedient to Him – the pleasant land. 

Geographically, Israel is between Egypt (the original south) and Babylon (the original north), and the highway from one to the other is through its plains which often became the battlefields for north and south wars, with some of the people of God suffering during them.  The titles have had the same meaning over the centuries, but those who wore them have changed from time to time.  In the early days of The Book of History the “king of the north” was mainly Europe, and the Middle East was the “king of the south”. 

So today, but in a spiritual way, the conflicts continue.  (We’ll see why later.)

In this vision, the “third” part which felt the brunt of the first four trumpeters was European Rome, which was soon to become Roman Catholic “Babylon” (the two legs).  However, we too can expect “hail and fire mingled with blood” as some of our great nations begin to feel the effects of the first trumpet of our time.  That too, will come on a “third part” of the world, possibly the United States of America, which is fast becoming the “king of the north” for us.

Now we move on:

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Revelation 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;

9 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.

***************(End Quote)

Here we are introduced to the second of the ten “horns” – the Vandals.

 

Daniel and The Revelation by Uriah Smith, pages 479-480. 

“The sounding of the second trumpet evidently relates to the invasion and conquest of [Roman] Africa, and afterward of Italy, by Gaiseric (Genseric), king of the Vandals.  His conquests were for the most part naval, and his triumphs were “as it were a great mountain burning with fire, cast into the sea.” What figure would better, or even so well, illustrate the collision of navies, and the general havoc of war on the maritime coasts?  In explaining this trumpet, we are to look for some events which will have a particular bearing on the commercial world.  The symbol used naturally leads us to look for agitation and commotion.  Nothing but a fierce maritime warfare would fulfill the prediction. 

“If the sounding of the first four trumpets relates to four remarkable events which contributed to the downfall of the Roman Empire, and the first trumpet refers to the ravages of the Goths under Alaric, in this we naturally look for the next succeeding act of invasion which shook the Roman power and conduced to its fall.  The next great invasion was that of Genseric, at the head of the Vandals.  His career reached its height between the years A.D.  428-468.  This great Vandal chief had his headquarters in Africa.  But as Gibbon states, “The discovery and conquest of the black nations [in Africa], that might dwell beneath the torrid zone, could not tempt the rational ambition of Genseric; but he cast his eyes towards the sea; he resolved to create a naval power, and his bold resolution was executed with steady and active perseverance.” From the port of Carthage he repeatedly made piratical sallies, preyed on the Roman commerce, and waged war with that empire.  To cope with this sea monarch, the Roman emperor, Majorian, made extensive naval preparations”.   

The loss of the grain-growing areas of North Africa meant a great shortage of food in Rome, and caused starvation among the people, most of whom were on Government “pensions”.  They didn’t have to work because slaves were the work force.

This indicates to us that in the future a spiritual “north African nation” may at some time defy the established world power and make successful war, not necessarily on the high seas, but maybe with ships of the air.

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Revelation 8:

10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of THE RIVERS, and upon the fountains of waters; 11  and the name of the star is called “Wormwood”: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. 

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The third and last “horn” to attack Western Rome was under the guidance of Attila, the king of the Huns, a nation which appears to have originated in what we would call lower Russia.

Daniel and The Revelation by Uriah Smith, pages 483-484. 

In the interpretation and application of this passage, we are brought to the third important event which resulted in the subversion of the Roman Empire.  In revealing the historical fulfillment of this third trumpet, we shall be indebted to the notes of Albert Barnes for a few extracts.  In explaining this scripture, it is necessary, as this commentator says, “that there would be some chieftain or warrior who might be compared with a blazing meteor; whose course would be singularly brilliant; who would appear suddenly like a blazing star, and then disappear like a star whose light was quenched in the waters.  That the desolating course of that meteor would be mainly on those portions of the world that abounded with springs of water and running streams.  That an effect would be produced as if those streams and fountains were made bitter; that is, that many persons would perish, and that wide desolations would be caused in the vicinity of those rivers and streams, as if a bitter and baleful star should fall into the waters, and death should spread over the lands adjacent to them, and watered by them.”

It is here premised that this trumpet has allusion to the desolating wars and furious invasions of Attila, king of the Huns [c.434AD], against the Roman power. 

Speaking of this warrior, particularly of his personal appearance, Barnes says: “In the manner of his appearance, he strongly resembled a brilliant meteor in the sky.  He came from the East gathering his Huns, and poured them down, as we shall see, with the rapidity of a flashing meteor, suddenly on the empire.  He regarded himself also as devoted to Mars, the god of war, and was accustomed to array himself in a peculiarly brilliant manner, so that his appearance, in the language of his flatterers, was such as to dazzle the eyes of beholders.”

In speaking of the locality of the events predicted by this trumpet, Barnes has this note: “It is said particularly that the effect would be on 'the rivers’  and on 'the fountains of waters.’  If this has a literal application, or if, as was supposed in the case of the second trumpet, the language used was such as had reference to the portion of the empire that would be particularly affected by the hostile invasion, then we may suppose that this refers to those portions of the empire that abounded in rivers and streams, and more particularly those in which the rivers and streams had their origin -- for the effect was permanently in the 'fountains of waters.’ 

As a matter of fact, the principal operations of Attila were in the regions of the Alps, and on the portions of the empire whence the rivers flow down into Italy.  The invasion of Attila is described by Gibbon in this general language: 'The whole breadth of Europe, as it extends above five hundred miles from the Euxine to the Adriatic, was at once invaded, and occupied, and desolated by the myriads of barbarians whom Attila led into the field.'”

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Revelation 8:

12  And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of THE SUN was smitten, 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 shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

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Daniel and The Revelation by Uriah Smith, page 485.   

We understand that this trumpet symbolizes the career of Odoacer [Oh-doh-acer], the first barbarian ruler of Italy, who was so intimately connected with the downfall of Western Rome.  The symbols sun, moon, and stars -- for they are undoubtedly here used as symbols -- evidently denote the great luminaries of the Roman government, its emperors, senators, and consuls.  The last emperor of Western Rome was Romulus, who in derision was called Augustulus, or the “diminutive Augustus.”  Western Rome fell in A.D.  476.  Still, however, though the Roman sun was extinguished, its subordinate luminaries shone faintly while the senate and consuls continued.  But after many civil reverses and changes of political fortune, at length the whole form of the ancient government was subverted, and Rome itself was reduced from being the empress of the world to a poor dukedom tributary to the Exarch of Ravenna.

Daniel and The Revelation by Uriah Smith, pages 486-487.  

                     [The additions in the square brackets are in my original.]   

Keith comments on the downfall of Rome:

“The power and glory of Rome as bearing rule over any nation, became extinct.  The name alone remained to the queen of nations.  Every token of royalty disappeared from the imperial city.  She who had ruled over the nations sat in the dust, like a second Babylon, and there was no throne where the Caesars had reigned.  The last act of obedience to a Roman prince which that once august assembly performed, was the acceptance of the resignation of the last emperor of the West, and the abolition of the imperial succession in Italy.  The sun of Rome was smitten .  .  .

“A new conqueror of Italy, Theodoric, the Ostrogoth, speedily arose, who unscrupulously assumed the purple, and reigned by the right of conquest.  'The royalty of Theodoric was proclaimed by the Goths (March 5, A.D. 493), with the tardy, reluctant, ambiguous consent of the emperor of the East.’  The imperial Roman power, of which either Rome or Constantinople had been jointly or singly the seat, whether in the West or the East, was no longer recognized in Italy, and the 'third part of the sun’ was smitten till it emitted no longer the faintest rays.  The power of the Caesars was unknown in Italy; and a Gothic king reigned over Rome.

“But though the third part of the sun was smitten, and the Roman imperial power was at an end in the city of the Caesars, yet the moon and the stars still shone, or glimmered, for a little longer in the Western hemisphere [empire], even in the midst of Gothic darkness.  The consulship and the senate [“the moon and the stars”] were not abolished by Theodoric.             'A Gothic historian applauds the consulship of Theodoric as the height of all temporal power and greatness;' -- as the moon reigns by night, after the setting of the sun.  And instead of abolishing that office, Theodoric himself 'congratulates those annual favorites of fortune, who, without the cares, enjoyed the splendor of the throne.'

Daniel and The Revelation by Uriah Smith, pages 489-490.    

E.  B.  Elliott speaks of the fulfillment of this part of the prophecy in the extinction of the Western Empire, as follows:

“Thus was the final catastrophe preparing, by which the Western emperors and empire were to become extinct.  The glory of Rome had long departed; its provinces one after another been rent from it; the territory still attached to it become like a desert; and its maritime possessions and its fleets and commerce been annihilated.  Little remained to it but the vain titles and insignia of sovereignty.  And now the time was come when these too should be withdrawn. 

Some twenty years or more from the death of Attila, and much less from that of Genseric (who, ere his death, had indeed visited and ravaged the eternal city in one of his maritime marauding expeditions, and thus yet more prepared the coming consummation), about this time, I say, Odoacer, chief of the Heruli -- a barbarian remnant of the host of Attila, left on the Alpine frontiers of Italy -- interposed with his command that the naame and the office of Roman Emperor of the West, should be abolished.  The authorities bowed in submission to him. 

The last phantom of an emperor -- one whose name, Romulus Augustus, was singularly calculated to bring in contrast before the reflective mind the past glories of Rome and its present degradation -- abdicated; and the senate sent away the imperial insignia to Constantinople, professing to the emperor of the East that one emperor was sufficient for the whole of the empire.  Thus of the Roman imperial sun, that third which appertained to the Western Empire was eclipsed, and shown no more.  I say that third of its orb which appertained to the Western empire; for the Apocalyptic fraction is literally accurate.  In the last arrangement between the two courts, the whole of the Illyrian third [Greece] had been made over to the Eastern division.  Thus in the West 'the extinction of the empire’ had taken place; the night had fallen” [and the time of the two “thighs” had arrived].

Summing up:

There were the Goths in 395AD;

the Vandals around 428AD;

the Huns from 434AD; 

and then Odoacer of the Heruli from 476AD.

 

The Goths, Vandals, and the Huns were Barbarians from the outer parts of the Empire, but the Heruli are noted as being on the frontier, for Jesus told us that,    “A man’s [worst] foes shall be they of his own household”.  Matthew 10:36.

 

Hutchinson’s History of the World, page 433.

In comparison with Byzantium [the eastern part of the empire] or the caliphate [the Moslem leadership], Europe west of the Elbe [a major river originating in the mountains of northwest Czechoslovakia and flowing to the North Sea] was for centuries after [the] Roman collapse an almost insignificant backwater. Its boundaries were soon far narrower than had been those of western Christianity.  Its inhabitants felt themselves a beleaguered remnant and in a sense so they were.  Islam (see note 1 on page 66) cut them off from Africa and the Near East and Arab raids tormented their southern coasts.  From the eighth century the seemingly inexplicable violence of the Norse peoples we call Vikings fell like a flail [whip] time and time again, on the northern coasts, river valleys and islands.  In the ninth century, the eastern front was harried by the pagan Magyars [Hungarians].   Europe was formed in a hostile, heathen world. 

Therefore that city which had been the primary power in the world for centuries was now ripe for the ascension of a new leader – the religious “father” who would take the place of the civil authorities and make of himself both priest and king of a religious/civil organisation which would incorporate all the symbols and trappings of Paganism.  It is no wonder that he and his successors waged intensive wars against the three “horns”, the heretical nations which were their physical rivals and doctrinal opposers, and that they eventually “plucked them up BY THE ROOTS” (Daniel 7:8), so that they have disappeared from active life in the world, leaving only SEVEN for the pope to control (not the ten as some teach).

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{Great Controversy 43.1} 

Most of the Christians at last consented to lower their standard, and a union was formed between [professed] Christianity and paganism.  Although the worshipers of idols professed to be converted, and united with the church, they still clung to their idolatry, only changing the objects of their worship to images of Jesus, and even of Mary and the saints.  The foul leaven of idolatry, thus brought into the church, continued its baleful work.  Unsound doctrines, superstitious rites, and idolatrous ceremonies were incorporated into her faith and worship. 

 

As the followers of Christ united with idolaters, the Christian religion became corrupted, and the [professed] church lost her purity and power.  There were some, however, who were not misled by these delusions.  They still maintained their fidelity to the Author of truth and worshiped God alone.

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Those latter, of course, soon obeyed the word of God and departed, taking the “purity and power” with them. 

“And the woman [the loyal Christians] fled into the wilderness [the areas outside of professed Christianity], where she has a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days [they were looked after for the next 1260 years outside of Europe]”.  Revelation 12:6.  Only those who had work to do for God or grew up in it stayed in Roman Catholic Europe.

In the future departure they will move with even more speed! “And to the woman were given TWO WINGS of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time [3˝ years], from the face of the serpent”.  Revelation 12:14.

From the preceding verses we can gain an appreciation of how our world will also come to its end.  Step by step, the organisation of the world’s civilisation will be eroded by outside influences until, in desperation, those who have survived all the horrors of a world, unstable both physically and politically, will look for someone who can lead them out of despair.  As the physical disasters continue and grow in volume, as the nations and terrorists battle it out, and it becomes apparent that there is no solution, so the people of the world will turn increasingly to religion and look for a saviour there.  But a second union of church and state will only make conditions worse as another angel tells us.

“And he [the originator of the second union of church and state] does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do [backed by Satan] in the sight of the [first] beast [a church/state union]; saying to them that dwell on the earth [all the world], that they should make an image [a copy] to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live [the Papacy]. And he had power to give life to the image [copy] of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak [through its laws], and cause that as many as would not worship the image [copy] of the beast should be killed”.  Revelation 13:13-15.

Therefore there came a change in the seven trumpet messages:

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Revelation 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, which are yet to sound!”

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The “woes” are to be distinguished from the other calamities because they had religion as their foundations, but were expressed through politics.  As Jesus told His people, “You shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.  All these are [only] the beginning of sorrows [being purely political and physical]”.  Matthew 24:6-8.

Then He continued: “Then shall they [the religious authorities of the nations] deliver you up [to the civil authorities] to be afflicted, and [through them] shall kill you: and you shall be hated of all nations for My name's sake.  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another [in your church].  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many [in your church] shall wax cold.  But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom [of grace, sometimes called “the mystery of God”] shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come”.  Matthew 24:9-14.

In another place it is written: “But before [the end and therefore during] all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues [churches], and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for My name's sake.  And it shall turn to you for a testimony [you’ll be My witnesses].  Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what you shall answer: for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.  And you shall be betrayed both by parents, and brothers [and sisters], and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.  And you shall be hated of all men for My name's sake.  But there shall not a hair of your head perish [in the second death].  In your patience possess you your souls”.  Luke 21:12-19.

 

Chapter 9

The first religious woe:

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Revelation 9:

1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven to THE EARTH [all of it]: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.  2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as 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 [beings that looked like] locusts upon the earth [there were so many of them]: and to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

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The “smoke” which darkened the “sun and the air” was a new union of religion and the state.  Used here by a false religion it caused a great deal of fanaticism.

One thing which it is hard for us to get our heads around is the fact that Satan does not care at all about humans except that their hurts are also God’s hurts. “And the LORD said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of My people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows . . .”  Exodus 3:7.  “Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem [thought] Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted [punished by God].  But He was wounded for our transgressions [voluntarily], He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed”.  Isaiah 53:4-5.

So what Satan does is use his two groups, the north and the south, to kill and maim one another – the more the better.  He pits his false religions against those who follow the God of true love, and then he uses them to fight each other as well!   The entire history of the world is a record of the king of the north against the king of the south and vice versa, with the Israel of God often stuck in the middle.  This first “woe” is a very obvious example of this, and even then to make sure that we don’t miss it, the LORD has used many verses to cover it, with an implantation of a time prophecy in it as well, one which could not have been understood until AFTER the events of it. 

 

But first, the history:

Daniel and The Revelation by Uriah Smith, page 493

For an exposition of this trumpet, we shall again draw from the writings of Alexander Keith.  This writer says:

“There is scarcely so uniform an agreement among interpreters concerning any other part of the Apocalypse as respecting the application of the fifth and sixth trumpets, or the first and second woes, to the Saracens [the original Moslems] and the Turks.  It is so obvious that it can scarcely be misunderstood.  Instead of a verse or two designating each, the whole of the ninth chapter of the Revelation, equal portions, is occupied with a description of both.

“The Roman Empire declined, as it arose, by conquest; but the Saracens and the Turks were the instruments by which a false religion became the scourge of an apostate church; and hence, instead of the fifth and sixth trumpets, like the former, being marked by that name alone, they are called woes”.

Daniel and The Revelation by Uriah Smith, pages 494-495

It was not on a single spot that this star fell, as did the one that designated Attila, but upon the earth.

The provinces of the empire in Asia and Africa were subdued by Chosroes II [a Persian, pronounced “Kosro”], and “the Roman Empire was reduced to the walls of Constantinople, with the remnant of Greece, Italy, and Africa, and some maritime cities, from Tyre to Trebizond, of the Asiatic coast . . . The experience of six years at length persuaded the Persian monarch to renounce the conquest of Constantinople, and to specify the annual tribute or ransom of the Roman Empire; a thousand talents of gold, a thousand talents of silver, a thousand silk robes, a thousand horses, and a thousand virgins.  Heraclius [the Roman] subscribed these ignominious terms; but the time and space which he obtained to collect such treasures from the poverty of the East, was industriously employed in the preparation of a bold and desperate attack.”

“The king of Persia despised the obscure Saracen, and derided the message of the pretended prophet of Mecca [he rejected Islam].  Even the overthrow of the Roman Empire would not have opened a door for Mahometanism, or for the progress of the Saracenic armed propagators of an imposture, though the monarch of the Persians and chagan [leader] of the Avars (the successor of Attila) had divided between them the remains of the kingdoms of the Caesars.  Chosroes [“Kosro”] himself fell. 

The Persian and Roman monarchies exhausted each other's strength.  And before a sword was put into the hands of the false prophet, it was smitten from the hands of those who would have checked his career and crushed his power.”

Daniel and The Revelation by Uriah Smith, pages 496

“ 'The spirit of fraud and enthusiasm, whose abode is not in the heavens,' was let loose on earth.  The bottomless pit needed but a key to open it, and that key was the fall of Chosroes.  He had contemptuously torn the letter of an obscure citizen of Mecca.  But when from his 'blaze of glory' he sunk into the 'tower of darkness' which no eye could penetrate, the name of Chosroes was suddenly to pass into oblivion before that of Mahomet; and the crescent seemed but to wait its rising till the falling of the star.   

Chosroes, after his entire discomfiture and loss of empire, was murdered in the year 628; and the year 629 is marked by 'the conquest of Arabia,' and 'the first war of the Mahometans against the Roman Empire.' 'And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.   And he opened the bottomless pit.'

He fell upon the earth.  When the strength of the Roman Empire was exhausted, and the great king of the East lay dead in his tower of darkness, the pillage of an obscure town on the borders of Syria was 'the prelude of a mighty revolution.' '

The robbers were the apostles of Mahomet, and their fanatic valor emerged from the desert.'”

This was the beginning of a religious system which at its height reached right across North Africa, over the Straits of Gibraltar and halfway up into France, where they became known to us as the Moors. 

At the same time the Arabs moved eastward as far as the Great Wall of China! 

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moors

The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of Berber, Black African and Arab descent from Northern Africa, some of whom came to conquer and occupy the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed other religions. They called the territory Al Andalus, comprising most of what is now Spain and Portugal.

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We now find an interesting comment which shows us one way in which the LORD keeps His hand over the armies of Satan.

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Revelation 9:

4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have NOT the seal of God in their foreheads.

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Daniel and The Revelation by Uriah Smith, pages 498-499

After the death of Mohammed, he was succeeded in the command by Abu-bekr in A.D.  632, who as soon as he had fairly established his authority and government gathered the Arabian tribes for conquest.  When the army was assembled, he instructed his chiefs on methods of conquest:

“When you fight the battles of the Lord [Allah], acquit yourselves like men, without turning your backs; but let not your victory be stained with the blood of women and children.  Destroy no palm-trees, nor burn any fields of corn.  Cut down no fruit-trees, nor do any mischief to cattle, only such as you kill to eat.  When you make any covenant, or article, stand to it, and be as good as your word.  As you go on, you will find some religious persons who live retired in monasteries, and propose to themselves to serve God that way; let them alone, and neither kill them nor destroy their monasteries: and you will find another sort of people that belong to the synagogue of Satan, who have shaven crowns; be sure you cleave their skulls, and give them no quarter till they either turn Mahometans or pay 'tribute.'

“It is not said in prophecy or in history that the more humane injunctions were as scrupulously obeyed as the ferocious mandate; but it so commanded them.  And the preceding are the only instructions recorded by Gibbon, and given by Abubeker to the chiefs whose duty it was to issue the commands to all the Saracen hosts.  The commands are alike discriminating [agreeing] with the prediction, as if the caliph himself had been acting in known as well as direct obedience to a higher mandate than that of mortal man; and in the very act of going forth to fight against the [professed] religion of Jesus, and to propagate Mahometanism in its stead, he repeated the words which it was foretold in the Revelation of Jesus Christ that he would say.”

Daniel and The Revelation by Uriah Smith, pages 499-500

In remarks upon Revelation 7: 1-3, we have shown that the seal of God is the Sabbath of the fourth commandment.  History is not silent upon the fact that there have been observers of the true seventh-day Sabbath all through the gospel age.  But the question has here arisen with many, Who were those men who at this time had the seal of God in their foreheads, and who thereby became exempt from Mohammedan oppression?  Let the reader bear in mind the fact already alluded to, that there have been those all through the Christian Era who have had the seal of God in their foreheads, that is, have been intelligent observers of the true Sabbath. 

Let him consider further that what the prophecy asserts is that the attacks of this desolating Turkish power are not directed against them, but against another class.  The subject is thus freed from all difficulty, for this is all that the prophecy really asserts.  One class of person is directly brought to view in the text, namely, those who have not the seal of God in their foreheads.  The preservation of those who have the seal of God is brought in only by implication. Accordingly, we do not learn from history that any of these were involved in any of the calamities inflicted by the Saracens upon the objects of their hate.  They were commissioned against another class of men.  The destruction to come upon this class is not put in contrast with the preservation of other men, but only with that of the fruits and verdure of the earth; thus, Hurt not the grass, trees, nor any green thing, but only a certain class of men.  In fulfillment, we have the strange spectacle of an army of invaders sparing those things which such armies usually destroy, the face and productions of nature.  In pursuance of their permission to hurt those men who had not the seal of God in their foreheads, they cleaved the skulls of a class of religionists with shaven crowns, who belonged to the synagogue of Satan.  It would seem that these were monks, or some other order of the Roman Catholic Church.

Thus we can see that the living God said, “Thus far and no more” in that He limits the power of Satan by protecting His own, as in the case of Job.  “And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your power; only upon himself put not forth your hand’.  So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD [with that limitation]”. Job 1:12.

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Revelation 9:

5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months [with the “a day for a year” principle operating]: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he strikes a man. 

6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them [they lived miserable lives in the Dark Ages].

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Daniel and The Revelation by Uriah Smith, page 497

“Like the noxious and even deadly vapors which the winds, particularly from the southwest, diffuse in Arabia, Mahometanism spread from hence its pestilential influence -- arose as suddenly and spread as widely as smoke arising out of the pit, the smoke of a great furnace.  Such is a suitable symbol of the religion of Mahomet, of itself, or as compared with the pure light of the gospel of Jesus.  It was not, like the latter, a light from heaven, but a smoke out of the bottomless pit.”

I need hardly comment on the sudden rise of terrorist Muslims of today.  Maybe they are the precursors of a mighty horde yet to come?

Daniel and The Revelation by Uriah Smith, pages 497-498

“A false religion was set up, which, although the scourge of transgressions and idolatry, filled the world with darkness and delusion; and swarms of Saracens, like locusts, overspread the earth, and speedily extended their ravages over the Roman Empire from east to west.  The hail descended from the frozen shores of the Baltic; the burning mountain fell upon the sea from Africa; and the locusts (the fit symbol of the Arabs) issued from Arabia, their native region.  They came as destroyers, propagating a new doctrine, and stirred up to rapine and violence by motives of interest and religion.”

“A still more specific illustration may be given of the power like unto that of scorpions, which was given them.  Not only was their attack speedy and vigorous, but 'the nice sensibility of honor, which weighs the insult rather than the injury, sheds its deadly venom on the quarrels of the Arabs; an indecent action, a contemptuous word, can be expiated only by the blood of the offender; and such is their patient inveteracy, that they expect [wait] whole months and years [for] the opportunity of revenge.'”

Daniel and The Revelation by Uriah Smith, page 500

“Their constant incursions into the Roman territory, and frequent assaults on Constantinople itself, were an unceasing torment throughout the empire, which yet they were not able effectually to subdue, notwithstanding the long period, afterward more directly alluded to, during which they continued, by unremitting attacks, grievously to afflict an idolatrous church, of which the pope was the head  . . . Their charge was to torment, and then to hurt, but not to kill, or utterly destroy.  The marvel was that they did not.”  (In reference to the five months, see comments on verse 10.)

“Men were weary of life, when life was spared only for a renewal of woe, and when all that they accounted sacred was violated, and all they held dear constantly endangered; and when the savage Saracens domineered over them, or left them only to a momentary repose, ever liable to be suddenly or violently interrupted, as if by the sting of a scorpion.”

The Dark Ages of Europe commenced when the professed Christian religion flourished.  God says of it, “And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a [spiritual] bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am He which searches the reins and hearts [the motives]: and I will give to every one of you according to your works. But to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.  But that which you have already hold fast till I come”.  Revelation 2:21-25. 

Thus we see that those Christians who remained as workers for Him in the false church were given special leeway in regards to doctrine.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_War_against_the_Turk

 

On War against the Turk (German: Vom Kriege wider die Türken) was a book written by Martin Luther in 1528 and published in 1529.  It was one of several pamphlets and sermons by Martin Luther about Islam and resistance to the Ottoman Empire, during the critical period of territorial expansion of the Ottoman Empire in Europe, marked by the capture of Buda[pest] in 1526 and the Siege of Vienna in 1529.

Initially, in his 1518 Explanation of the Ninety-five Theses, Luther had argued against resisting the Turks, whom he presented as a scourge intentionally sent by God to sinning Christians, and that resisting it would have been equivalent to resisting the will of God. This position had been initially shared by Erasmus as well, but was strongly criticized by authors such as Thomas More:

“It is a gentle holiness to abstain for devotion from resisting the Turk, and in the meanwhile to rise up in routs and fight against Christian men, and destroy as that sect has done, many a good religious house, spoiled, maimed and slain many a good virtuous man, robbed, polluted, and pulled down many a goodly church of Christ.”  —Thomas More.    [See note 2a, page 67.]

With the Turkish advance becoming ever more threatening however, in 1528 Luther modified his stance and wrote On War against the Turk and in 1529 Sermon against the Turk, encouraging the German people and Emperor Charles V to resist the invasion.

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It is hard for us moderns to comprehend the seriousness of the Turkish attacks during those years, but even up till the First World War it was a nation not to be taken lightly as evidenced by the attempt to conquer it at Gallipoli in 1915 by the Anzacs of Australia and New Zealand as part of the British forces.  Turkey was allied with Germany at that time.

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Revelation 9:

7 And the shapes of the locusts were like to horses prepared to battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns [turbans] like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men [with beards]8 And [yet, John noted,] they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. 

9 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings [their motive power] was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.  10   And they had tails like to scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. [It was around this time that guns were used in warfare and these were often fired over the back of the horses.  Something similar to the Indians of North America in their conflicts with the settlers.]

11  And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit [Satan], whose name in the Hebrew tongue is “Abaddon”, but in the Greek tongue has his name “Apollyon” [the destroyer].

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Thus we are shown that this system is NOT of God in any way!

Daniel and The Revelation by Uriah Smith, pages 501-503

“The Arabian horse takes the lead throughout the world; and skill in horsemanship is the art and science of Arabia.  And the barbed Arabs, swift as locusts and armed like scorpions, ready to dart away in a moment, were ever prepared unto battle.

“ 'And on their heads were as it were crowns like gold.' When Mahomet entered Medina (A.D. 622), and was first received as its prince, 'a turban was unfurled before him to supply the deficiency of a standard.'  The turbans of the Saracens, like unto a coronet, were their ornament and their boast.  The rich booty abundantly supplied and frequently renewed them.  To assume the turban is proverbially to turn Mussulman.  And the Arabs were anciently distinguished by the miters which they wore.”

.  .  . “ 'The charge of the Arabs was not, like that of the Greeks and Romans, the efforts of a firm and compact infantry; their military force was chiefly formed of cavalry and archers.' . . . With a touch of the hand, the Arab horses dart away with the swiftness of the wind.  'The sound of their wings was as the sound of many horses running to battle.' Their conquests were marvelous both in rapidity and extent, and their attack was instantaneous.  Nor was it less successful against the Romans than the Persians.”

 . . . The question arises, What men were they to hurt five months?  --  Undoubtedly the same they were afterward to slay (see verse 15), “the third part of men,” or third of the Roman Empire -- the Greek division of it.

When were they to begin their work of torment?  The eleventh verse answers the question.

“They had a king over them.” From the death of Mohammed until near the close of the thirteenth century, the Mohammedans were divided into various factions under several leaders, with no general civil government extending over them all.  Near the close of the thirteenth century, Othman founded a government which has since been known as the Ottoman government, or empire, which grew until it extended over all the principal Mohammedan tribes, consolidating them into one grand monarchy.

Their king is called “the angel of the bottomless pit.”  An angel signifies a messenger, a minister, either good or bad, and not always a spiritual being.  “The angel of the bottomless pit” would be the chief minister of the religion which came from thence when it was opened. 

That religion is Mohammedanism, and the sultan was its chief minister.  His name in the Hebrew tongue is “Abaddon,” the destroyer; in Greek, “Apollyon,” one that exterminates, or destroys.  Having two different names in two languages, it is evident that the character rather than the name of the power is intended to be represented.  If so, as expressed in both languages, he is a destroyer.  Such has always been the character of the Ottoman government.

But when did Othman make his first assault on the Greek empire?  --  According to Gibbon “it was on the twenty-seventh of July, in the year twelve hundred and ninety-nine of the Christian Era, that Othman first invaded the territory of Nicomaedia; and the singular accuracy of the date seems to disclose some foresight of the rapid and destructive growth of the monster.”

From 1299 one hundred and fifty years (the five months) stretches to 1449, which period came just after the times of the crusades.

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http://www.jerusalemites.org/history_of_palestine/4.htm

The Mamluks (AD 1260 - 1516)

History of Palestine

The agreement between Richard the Lionhearted and Saladin had left the Crusaders confined to the Palestinian coastline, but they yearned to regain Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

In the Far East, the Mongols were moving westwards, leaving behind them a ghastly trail of death and destruction.  The Crusaders [professed Christians] struck an agreement with the Mongols [the heathen] against the Muslims [a false religion] and, in 1258, Haulage, the grandson of Mongol leader Genhgis Khan, swept through Iraq and thoroughly destroyed Baghdad.  The Mongols burnt down Baghdad's splendid palaces, and its renowned libraries. 

They also deliberately set out to destroy the irrigation systems, which had kept Iraq prosperous and populous since its ancient times.  These blood-crazed horsemen then hacked their way through Syria and Palestine, leaving behind the only work of which they were capable; decapitated heads stacked in the shape of pyramids.  Delighted with their victories, the Pope in Rome sent these pagan hordes his blessings. 

In response, a large Mamluki cavalry in Cairo headed for Palestine and, in 1260, at Ain Jalut, near Nazareth, they routed and defeated the Mongols.  Baybars, the Mamluki leader, then took his revenge on the Crusaders for their alliance with the Mongols.  He mercilessly destroyed the Crusade strongholds along Palestine's coastline, leaving them clinging to Acre, Tyre and Tripoli.  In 1291, the Mamluks overran Acre, the last Crusade stronghold, to become the undisputed leaders of Egypt and Palestine.

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An explanation of the Crusades follows:

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http://www.ucalgary.ca/applied_history/tutor/endmiddle/bluedot/crusades.html

The Crusades were military or quasi-military expeditions launched by [professed] Christian secular and religious rulers against Moslems in the Middle East from 1096 to 1291.  Religious fervour was an extremely important factor in arousing the Christians to organize military expeditions, as was the hope of gaining immense riches and increased power. 

Although the eastern Mediterranean area was conquered by the Aravs [successors to Attila] in the seventh century, Christians had been permitted to visit the sacred places in the Holy Land until 1071 when the Seljuk Turks swept in from Asia and defeated the Byzantines [the professed Christians of the Roman Empire] at the Battle of Manzikert.  Seizing all of Asia Minor as well as the Holy Land the Seljuk Turks soon impeded Christian pilgrimages to Jerusalem, forcing the Byzantine emperor, Alexius Comnenus, to ask Pope Urban II (1088-1099) for help against the Turks in the early 1090s.  The Pope viewed this request as a great opportunity.  Not only could it restore Christian control over the Holy Land, but it also provided a means of domestic pacification that focused the aggression of the European nobility towards the Moslems instead of each other.  In addition, coming to the aid of Byzantium held the possibility of a reunion between the eastern [Greek Orthodox church] and western [Roman Catholic] Churches after almost four decades of schism, thereby strengthening the western Church in general and the papacy in particular.  [Both of these churches were (and are still) considered as Christian by many.]

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Daniel and The Revelation by Uriah Smith, page 505

“The calculations of some writers have gone upon the supposition that the period should begin with the foundation of the Ottoman Empire; but this is evidently an error; for they not only were to have a king over them, but were to torment men five months.  But the period of torment could not begin before the first attack of the tormentors, which was, as above [stated], July 27, 1299.”

The calculation which follows, founded on this starting point, was made and first published in a work entitled, Christ's Second Coming, by Josiah Litch, in 1838.

“ 'And their power was to hurt men five months.' Thus far their commission extended, to torment by constant depredations, but not politically to kill them.  'Five months' [thirty days to a month, one hundred and fifty days], that is, one hundred and fifty years.  Commencing July 27, 1299, the one hundred and fifty years reach to 1449.  During that whole period the Turks were engaged in an almost perpetual war with the Greek Empire, but yet without conquering it.  They seized upon and held several of the Greek provinces, but still Greek independence was maintained in Constantinople.  But in 1449, the termination of the one hundred and fifty years, a change came,” the history of which will be found under the succeeding trumpet.

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Revelation 9:

12 One [religious] woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

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There is now a major shift in emphasis in the constant conflict.  We too, may expect a sudden and terrifying change in our future, but we need not be afraid of it for the LORD knows and has told us that He has control over our lives.

He says, “And you shall be hated of all men for My name's sake. But there shall not a hair of your head perish.  In your patience possess you your souls [trust Me]”.  Luke 21:17-19.

 

We now come to the second [religious] woe:

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Revelation 9:

13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a Voice from the four horns of the golden [incense] altar which is before God, 14 saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, “Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates”.  [These are the Babylonian destroyers.]

            15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for

an hour,

and a day,

and a month,

and a year,

for to slay the third part of men. 

 

16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand [200,000,000]: and I heard the number of them. 

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(The total number of professed Christian adherents is quoted today (2011) as 2.5 BILLION, with Islam numbered as 1.5 BILLION.)

That this time prophecy could be understood from history is explained in the next quote.  What it means for us in the future is not as clear, but since the “day for a year” principle no longer applies we can be sure that something serious will happen over a period of little more than a year and will finish abruptly.  This knowledge that this will last only a short of time may give us some consolation when it begins.

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{Great Controversy 334.4 - 335.1} 

In the year 1840 another remarkable fulfillment of prophecy excited widespread interest.  Two years before [in 1838], Josiah Litch, one of the leading ministers preaching the second advent, published an exposition of Revelation 9, predicting the fall of the Ottoman Empire. 

According to his calculations, this power was to be overthrown “in A.D. 1840, sometime in the month of August;” and only a few days previous to its accomplishment he wrote: “Allowing the first period, 150 years, to have been exactly fulfilled before Deacozes ascended the throne by permission of the Turks, and that the 391 years, fifteen days, commenced at the close of the first period, it will end on the 11th of August, 1840, when the Ottoman power in Constantinople may be expected to be broken.  And this, I believe, will be found to be the case.” --  Josiah Litch, in Signs of the Times, and Expositor of Prophecy, Aug.  1, 1840.   {GC 334.4} 

At the very time specified, Turkey, through her ambassadors, accepted the protection of the allied powers of Europe, and thus placed herself under the control of [professed] Christian nations. 

THE EVENT EXACTLY FULFILLED THE PREDICTION.  

When it became known, multitudes were convinced of the correctness of the principles of prophetic interpretation adopted by Miller and his associates, and a wonderful impetus was given to the advent movement.  Men of learning and position united with Miller, both in preaching and in publishing his views, and from 1840 to 1844 the work rapidly extended.   {GC 335.1}

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Is it possible that this prophecy also foretells a time when the nations of the Islamic community will place themselves under the protection of the Sunday-keeping professed Christians who have established, or are establishing, a universal Sunday law in response to what they see as acts of an angry God ?  Will the fear of geographical disasters and the possible wrath of God push them into it?  If so, they will soon be followed by all the other religions, for “all the world will wonder (worship) the beast”.  

Then John saw more detail of the Islamic forces.

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Revelation 9:

17  And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth [a reddish blue colour], and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone [from their guns]

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, 19  for their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like to serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. [They could fire guns over the backs of the horses.]

20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet 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 neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: 21 neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.  [This is before the close of probation.]

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Chapter 10

So what could the Son of God do?

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Revelation 10:

1 And I saw another mighty Angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon His head, and His face was as it were the sun, and His feet as pillars of fire.

 2  And He had in His hand a little book open: and He set His right foot upon the sea, and His left foot on the earth, 3  and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars: and when He had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices [ominous sounds].

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”.

***************(End Quote)

However, we have not been left in darkness as to what the seven thunders spoke about for the first time, because we live after their fulfilment and can now be told, although we may not know much about our own coming “thunders”. 

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{7BC 971.3 - 971.8}   

The mighty angel who instructed John was no less a personage than Jesus Christ. 

Setting His right foot on the sea, and His left upon the dry land, shows the part which He is acting in the closing scenes of the great controversy with Satan.  This position denotes His supreme power and authority over the whole earth. 

The controversy had waxed stronger and more determined from age to age,[1] AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO, to the concluding scenes when the masterly working of the powers of darkness shall reach their height. 

Satan, united with evil men [the leaders in the religions], will deceive the whole world and the churches who receive not the love of the truth.  But the mighty angel demands attention.  He cries with a loud voice.  He is to show the power and authority of His voice to those who have united with Satan to oppose the truth. 

After these seven thunders uttered their voices, the injunction comes to John as to Daniel in regard to the little book: “Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered.”  THESE RELATE TO FUTURE EVENTS WHICH WILL BE DISCLOSED IN THEIR ORDER.  Daniel shall stand in his lot at the end of the days.  John sees the little book unsealed.  Then Daniel's prophecies have their proper place in the first, second, and third angels’ messages to be given to the world before the Close of Probation. 

The unsealing of the little book was the message IN RELATION TO TIME. 

The books of Daniel and the Revelation are one.  One is a prophecy, the other a revelation; one a book sealed, the other a book opened.  John heard the mysteries which the thunders uttered, but he was commanded not to write them. 

The special light given to John which was expressed in the seven thunders was a delineation [a time line] of events which would transpire under the first and second angels’ messages [1842-43].  It was not best for the people to know these things, for their faith must necessarily be tested.  In the order of God most wonderful and advanced truths would be proclaimed.  The first and second angels’ messages [which advised us that God was the creator and that the Babylonian churches are NOT Christian] were to be proclaimed, but no further light was to be revealed before these messages had done their specific work [of separation.  See Appendix C, page 75.]  This is represented by the angel standing with one foot on the sea, proclaiming with a most solemn oath that time should be no longer.

This time, which the angel declares with a solemn oath, is not the end of this world's history, neither of probationary time, but of PROPHETIC TIME, which should precede the advent of our Lord.  That is, the people will not have another message upon definite time.  After this period of time, reaching from 1842 to 1844, there can be no definite tracing of the prophetic time [it is the end of the ‘day for a year’ principle].  The longest reckoning reaches to the autumn of 1844 [October 22]

The angel's position, with one foot on the sea, the other on the land, signifies the wide extent of the proclamation of the message.  It will cross the broad waters and be proclaimed in other countries, even to all the world.  The comprehension of truth, the glad reception of the message, is represented in the eating of the little book.  The truth in regard to the time of the advent of our Lord was a precious message to our souls.  (MS 59, 1900)

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In His discourse on the events of the last days in Matthew 24, we know that Christ gave a two-sided explanation.  So as we read this next quote we should also look to the future for the events to be repeated.

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{Desire of Ages 631.2 - 632.1}

The Saviour gives signs of His coming, and more than this, He fixes the time when the first of these signs shall appear: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light [in history May 19, 1780], and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” {DA 631.2} 

At the close of the great papal persecution, Christ declared, the sun should be darkened, and the moon should not give her light.  Next, the stars should fall from heaven.  And He says, “Learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that He is near, even at the doors.” Matthew 24:32, 33, margin.  {DA 632.1} 

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The three great historical signs, the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 (which was the greatest ever of its kind recorded up to that time), the most unusual dark day of 1780, and the meteoric shower of 1833 (the first appearance of the Leonids), all helped to establish the faith of the Advent people in the certainty of prophecy. 

However, in the future these signs must appear again for the last generation to see, “after the tribulation” “such as never was”.  Matthew 24:29; Daniel 12:1.  

***************(Begin Quote)

{Early Writings 41.1-2}  (Writings from 1851 onwards.)

December 16, 1848, the Lord gave me a view of the shaking of the powers of the heavens.  I saw that when the Lord said “heaven,” in giving the signs recorded by Matthew, Mark, and Luke, He meant heaven, and when He said “earth” He meant earth.  The powers of heaven are the sun, moon, and stars.  They rule in the heavens.  The powers of earth are those that rule on the earth.  The powers of heaven will be shaken at the voice of God [just before the second coming].  Then the sun, moon, and stars will be moved out of their places.  They will not pass away, but be shaken by the voice of God.   

Dark, heavy clouds came up and clashed against each other.  The atmosphere parted and rolled back; then we could look up through the open space in Orion, whence came the voice of God.  The Holy City will come down through that open space. 

I saw that the powers of earth are now being shaken and that events come in order.  War, and rumors of war, sword, famine, and pestilence are first to shake the powers of earth [in the future], then the voice of God will shake the sun, moon, and stars, and this earth also.  I saw that the shaking of the powers in Europe is not, as some teach, the shaking of the powers of heaven, but it is the shaking of the angry nations.

***************(End Quote)

Then the Son of God added more!

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 10:

5  And the Angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up His hand to heaven, 6  and swore by Him that lives for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: 7  but IN THE DAYS OF THE VOICE OF THE SEVENTH ANGEL [the third woe], when he shall BEGIN to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He has declared to His servants the prophets. 

***************(End Quote)

What is this “mystery”?  Nothing less than the full gospel!  “Even the mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; WHICH IS CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory: whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus”.  Colossians 1:26-28. 

(A “mystery” in the Bible is something that men have refused to learn from God.  See Mark 4:11-12; Romans 11:25; 1 Corinthians 2:7-8.)

So here we are told that when the seventh angel BEGINS probation CLOSES, for the gospel ceases to be taught.  This trumpet starts AFTER all the world has been warned and has rejected the call.

But first John had an experience:

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 10:

8    And the Voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again, and said, “Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the Angel which stands upon the sea and upon 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 [with a great disappointment].

***************(End Quote)

The greatest disappointment in history must have been when the disciples saw their beloved Leader hanging on the cross after making no effort to escape it. However, there was another disappointment for the disciples after they had alerted the whole world to God’s saving grace invitation and not many accepted (Consider Acts 17:6 and Romans 1:8). 

There was also a great disappointment for the Adventists of 1844 after they had told the world of the new truths received from the book of Daniel. 

And there will, no doubt, be a great disappointment for those who preach the gospel in the very last days.  These disappointments all came because of a misunderstanding of the Scriptures, not at the hand of God, so they were preventable!

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{Great Controversy 614.3 - 622.4}  

Those who honor the law of God have been accused of bringing judgments upon the world, and they will be regarded as the cause of the fearful convulsions of nature and the strife and bloodshed among men that are filling the earth with woe.  The power attending the last warning has enraged the wicked; their anger is kindled against all who have received the message, and Satan will excite to still greater intensity the spirit of hatred and persecution. {GC 614.3}

.  .  .  So when the irrevocable decision of the sanctuary has been pronounced and the destiny of the world has been forever fixed, the inhabitants of the earth will know it not.  THE FORMS OF RELIGION WILL BE CONTINUED BY A PEOPLE FROM WHOM THE SPIRIT OF GOD HAS BEEN FINALLY WITHDRAWN; and the satanic zeal with which the prince of evil will inspire them for the accomplishment of his malignant designs, will bear the semblance of zeal for God. {GC 615.1}

.  .  .  The people of God will then be plunged into those scenes of affliction and distress described by the prophet as the time of Jacob's trouble.  “Thus saith the Lord: We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace . . . All faces are turned into paleness.  Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:5-7. {GC 616.1}

.  .  .  As Satan accuses the people of God on account of their sins, the Lord permits him to try them to the uttermost.  Their confidence in God, their faith and firmness, will be severely tested.  As they review the past, their hopes sink; for in their whole lives they can see little good.  They are fully conscious of their weakness and unworthiness.  Satan endeavors to terrify them with the thought that their cases are hopeless, that the stain of their defilement will never be washed away.  He hopes so to destroy their faith that they will yield to his temptations and turn from their allegiance to God.   {GC 618.3} 

Though God's people will be surrounded by enemies who are bent upon their destruction, yet the anguish which they suffer is not a dread of persecution for the truth's sake; they fear that every sin has not been repented of, and that through some fault in themselves they will fail to realize the fulfillment of the Saviour's promise: I “will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world.” Revelation 3:10.  If they could have the assurance of pardon they would not shrink from torture or death; but should they prove unworthy, and lose their lives because of their own defects of character, then God's holy name would be reproached. {GC 619.1}

 . . . They afflict their souls before God, pointing to their past repentance of their many sins, and pleading the Saviour's promise: “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.” Isaiah 27:5.  Their faith does not fail because their prayers are not immediately answered.  Though suffering the keenest anxiety, terror, and distress, they do not cease their intercessions.  They lay hold of the strength of God as Jacob laid hold of the Angel; and the language of their souls is: “I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me.” {GC 619.3} 

 .  .  .   The season of distress and anguish before us will require a faith that can endure weariness, delay, and hunger -- a faith that will not faint though severely tried.  The period of probation is granted to all to prepare for that time.  Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined.  His victory is an evidence of the power of importunate [persistent] prayer.  All who will lay hold of God's promises, as he did, and be as earnest and persevering as he was, will succeed as he succeeded.  Those who are unwilling to deny self, to agonize before God, to pray long and earnestly for His blessing, will not obtain it.  Wrestling with God -- how few know what it is! How few have ever had their souls drawn out after God with intensity of desire until every power is on the stretch.  When waves of despair which no language can express sweep over the suppliant, how few cling with unyielding faith to the promises of God.  {GC 621.2}

 .  .  .  The “time of trouble, such as never was,” is soon to open upon us; and we shall need an experience which we do not now possess and which many are too indolent to obtain.  IT IS OFTEN THE CASE THAT TROUBLE IS GREATER IN ANTICIPATION THAN IN REALITY; BUT THIS IS NOT TRUE OF THE CRISIS BEFORE US.  The most vivid presentation cannot reach the magnitude of the ordeal.  In that time of trial, every soul must stand for himself before God.  “Though Noah, Daniel, and Job” were in the land, “as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.” Ezekiel 14:20. {GC 622.4} 

***************(End Quote)

Because this experience was not found in the 1844 movement, the Son of God has told us that the three angels’ messages must be repeated.

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Revelation 10:

11 And He said to me, “You must prophesy AGAIN [in a loud cry] before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings” [worldwide, in our time].

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The extent of that warning is explained in this quote:

***************(Begin Quote)

{Great Controversy 603.1- 603.2}

“I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.  And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon THE GREAT [the combination] is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.”

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:1, 2, 4. {GC 603.1} 

This scripture points forward to a time when the announcement of the fall of Babylon, as made by the second angel of Revelation 14 (verse 8), is to be repeated, with the additional mention of the corruptions which have been entering THE VARIOUS ORGANIZATIONS THAT CONSTITUTE BABYLON, since that message was first given, in the summer of 1844. 

A terrible condition of the religious world is here described.  With every rejection of truth the minds of the people will become darker, their hearts more stubborn, until they are entrenched in an infidel hardihood.  In defiance of the warnings which God has given, they will continue to trample upon one of the precepts of the Decalogue, until they are led to persecute those who hold it sacred.  Christ is set at nought in the contempt placed upon His word and His people. 

As the teachings of spiritualism are accepted by the churches, the restraint imposed upon the carnal heart is removed, and the profession of religion will become a cloak to conceal the basest iniquity.  A belief in spiritual manifestations opens the door to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, and thus the influence of evil angels will be felt in the churches.  {GC 603.2}

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We should be aware that “Babylon” has not suddenly “fallen” from the truth of the gospel – it has never had that because it has ALWAYS rejected it in favour of its own ideas.  Spiritual Babylon and spiritual Jerusalem are east and west, and as the saying goes, “never the twain shall meet”!  

When we are told that GREAT Babylon has fallen (Babylon the mother church, and her daughters the professed Protestant churches), Revelation 17:5) we are being told that at last the system which is in direct opposition to God, but which claims to be Christian, has been accepted by true Christians as God describes it.  

They have turned from the sentimental “fellow brethren” idea to seeing it as it really is, a persecuting and deadly enemy.

This does not mean all the common people in them of course, for there are still some (but not many) true Christians among them, just as there are some true Christians in Islam and all the other religions.  But THE SYSTEMS are run by the clergy, who are supported by many.  “And ALL that dwell upon the earth shall worship him [the beast from the bottomless pit], whose names are NOT written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”. Revelation 13:8.

It is this which must be loudly and definitely preached so that the faithful ones may come out.  Oh yes, they can be saved while they are in ignorance and darkness, but that is not the issue in the days that lie ahead.  God wants more than saved Christians, He NEEDS victorious ones who can put the lie to those who claim that the law of God cannot be kept on earth, and also He wants to shield them from the troubles which are coming on the earth.

 “And I heard another Voice from heaven, saying, ‘Come out of her, My people, that you be not partakers of her sins, AND THAT YOU RECEIVE NOT OF HER PLAGUES.  For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities’.”  Revelation 18:4-5. 

 

Chapter 11

The effect of the loud cry:

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Revelation 11:

1 And there was given me a reed like to a rod: and the Angel stood, saying, “Rise, and measure [rightfully discern]

the temple of God [which is Sabbath-keeping],

and the altar [which shows us the nature Christ took while on earth],

and them that worship therein [their actions show their faith]

2  But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given to the Gentiles [the rejecters]: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty-two months [1260 days]

3 “And I will give power to My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore [1260] days, clothed in sackcloth [in mourning].

***************(End Quote)

It is not often that the followers of God are called to measure other people, but here we are asked to spiritually stand “worshippers” in the temple of God against the standard of the Ten Commandments, for that is what the “rod” is.  We are being asked to clearly see who is on God’s side and act accordingly – not to condemn, but to see who needs help, and who is on the LORD’s side, and who we should leave alone, for there are many we cannot help.  God says, “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.  Their drink is sour: they have committed whoredom continually: her rulers with shame do love [saying], ‘Give you’ [Give money to me]”. Hosea 4:17-18.

From our history we can know that spiritual “Babylon” controlled the professed Christian world through its civil governments for 1260 years (on the ‘day for a year’ principle), from 538AD to 1798AD (some of which was known as the “Dark Ages”.)  But by this newer word the “Gentiles”, not just “Babylon”, are in the future to be given control of the outer court (the earth) for a literal 42 months or 3˝ years, through a church/state union, the image (copy) of the “first beast”.  Remember that Christ said that prophetic time no longer applies after 1844, so all the time periods since then should be rendered as literal times. 

During both of those periods the “witnesses” would not be happy.

You may have noticed that as we get closer to the end of the trumpets, the events of the 2,000 years (history) become one with the future (aka the present)!

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 11:

4 These [witnesses] are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth [Zechariah 4:1-14]. 5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouth, and devours their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

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There has been much speculation regarding these witnesses, but here is a definitive explanation.

***************(Begin Quote)

{Great Controversy 267.1 - 267.2}

Concerning the two witnesses the prophet declares further: “These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.” “Thy word,” said the psalmist, “is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Revelation 11:4; Psalm 119:105. 

The two witnesses represent the Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament. 

Both are important testimonies to the origin and perpetuity of the law of God.  Both are witnesses also to the plan of salvation.  The types, sacrifices, and prophecies of the Old Testament point forward to a Saviour to come.  The Gospels and Epistles of the New Testament tell of a Saviour who has come in the exact manner foretold by type and prophecy. {GC 267.1}

“They shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three-score days [the 1260 years], clothed in sackcloth.”  During the greater part of this period, God's witnesses remained in a state of obscurity.  The papal power sought to hide from the people the word of truth, and set before them false witnesses to contradict its testimony.

When the Bible was proscribed by religious and secular authority; when its testimony was perverted, and every effort made that men and demons could invent to turn the minds of the people from it; when those who dared proclaim its sacred truths were hunted, betrayed, tortured, buried in dungeon cells, martyred for their faith, or compelled to flee to mountain fastnesses, and to dens and caves of the earth -- then the faithful witnesses prophesied in sackcloth [and so they will again]

Yet they continued their testimony throughout the entire period of 1260 years.  In the darkest times there were faithful men who loved God's word and were jealous for His honor.  To these loyal servants were given wisdom, power, and authority to declare His truth during the whole of this time. 

{GC 267.2}

{Great Controversy 268.1}   

“And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.” Revelation 11:5.  Men cannot with impunity trample upon the word of God. 

The meaning of this fearful denunciation is set forth in the closing chapter of the Revelation: “I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Revelation 22:18, 19.  {GC 268.1} 

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Would you like to know more of what our time will be like? 

Read all of chapter 15 of The Great Controversy.  All that happened in Jerusalem (one city) in 70AD will be repeated; all that happened in that “Reign of Terror” in 1793 (one country) will also  be repeated; but this time in the entire world. 

However, even after reading all that, we can have no real conception of what it will be like, because in the past every part of world history has been tempered with mercy, but in the future that will have to be gradually withdrawn as the truth is rejected until, “If any man [choose to] worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture [of mercy] into the cup of His indignation . . .”  Revelation 14:9-10.

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 11:

7 “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.  8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called “Sodom” and “Egypt”, where also our LORD was crucified [Jerusalem]

9  “And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.  10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth”.

***************(End Quote)

Because we cannot really imagine what the last days will be like, the LORD’s messenger has used the same principle which we are using – she has taken an event from the history of the nations to show what it will be like.

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{Great Controversy 265.1 - 266.2}

In the sixteenth century the Reformation, presenting an open Bible to the people, had sought admission to all the countries of Europe.  Some nations welcomed it with gladness, as a messenger of Heaven.  In other lands the papacy succeeded to a great extent in preventing its entrance; and the light of Bible knowledge, with its elevating influences, was almost wholly excluded. 

In one country, though the light found entrance, it was not comprehended by the darkness.  For centuries, truth and error struggled for the mastery. 

At last the evil triumphed, and the truth of Heaven was thrust out.  “This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light.” John 3:19.  THE NATION WAS LEFT TO REAP THE RESULTS OF THE COURSE WHICH SHE HAD CHOSEN.  The restraint of God's Spirit was removed from a people that had despised the gift of His grace.  EVIL WAS PERMITTED TO COME TO MATURITY.  And all the world saw the fruit of willful rejection of the light.  {GC 265.1} 

The war against the Bible, carried forward for so many centuries in France, culminated in the scenes of the Revolution.  That terrible outbreaking was but the legitimate result of Rome's suppression of the Scriptures. It presented the most striking illustration which the world has ever witnessed of the working out of the papal policy  --  an illustration of the results to which for more than a thousand years the teaching of the Roman Church had been tending. {GC 265.2} 

The suppression of the Scriptures during the period of papal supremacy was foretold by the prophets; and the Revelator points also to the terrible results that were to accrue especially to France from the domination of the “man of sin.” {GC 266.1} 

Said the angel of the Lord: “The holy city shall they tread underfoot forty and two months.  And I will give power unto My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth . . . And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.  And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified . . . And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.  And after three days and a half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.” Revelation 11:2-11. {GC 266.2}

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Scenes like this will be repeated in our future.  The people of the time will think they have destroyed God’s word when they have effectively silenced God’s people, for on earth the two are one.  God’s people used to be known as “The people of the Book” because of their adherence to the scriptures and their rejection of the books of men as a basis for forming their doctrine.  “From the Bible and the Bible only” was their cry, but that soon changed in Europe as “tradition” took superiority, and it will do so again in all the world in the near future!

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{Great Controversy 266.4}

The persecution of the church did not continue throughout the entire period of the 1260 years.  God in mercy to His people cut short the time of their fiery trial.  In foretelling the “great tribulation” to befall the church, the Saviour said: “Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.” Matthew 24:22.  Through the influence of the Reformation the persecution was brought to an end prior to 1798. {GC 266.4}

{Great Controversy 269.3 - 269.4} 

According to the words of the prophet, then, a little before the year 1798 some power of satanic origin and character would rise to make war upon the Bible.  And in the land where the testimony of God's two witnesses should thus be silenced, there would be manifest the atheism of the Pharaoh and the licentiousness of Sodom. {GC 269.3} 

THIS PROPHECY HAS RECEIVED A MOST EXACT

AND STRIKING FULFILLMENT IN THE HISTORY OF FRANCE.

During the Revolution, in 1793, “the world for the first time heard an ASSEMBLY OF MEN, born and educated in civilization, and assuming the right to govern one of the finest of the European nations, uplift their united voice to deny the most solemn truth which man's soul receives, and renounce unanimously the belief and worship of a Deity.” -- Sir Walter Scott, Life of Napoleon, vol.1, ch.17.

“France is the ONLY nation in the world concerning which the authentic record survives, that as a nation she lifted her hand in open rebellion against the Author of the universe.  Plenty of blasphemers, plenty of infidels, there have been, and still continue to be, in England, Germany, Spain, and elsewhere; but France stands apart in the world's history as the single state which, by the decree of her Legislative Assembly, pronounced that there was no God, and of which the entire population of the capital, and a vast majority elsewhere, women as well as men, danced and sang with joy in accepting the announcement.” -- Blackwood's Magazine, November, 1870. {GC 269.4}

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God has promised that He will be able to cut short (in righteousness) the terrible events of the future, for unless He does so, there would be no Christians left alive.  “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened” [but the demonstration must still be given].  Matthew 24:21-22.

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 11:

11 And after three days and a half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet [and by this witnessed again]; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.  12 And they heard a great Voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up hither”.  And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them [going]

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What does this mean?

***************(Begin Quote)

{Great Controversy 274.2}

Infidel France had silenced the reproving voice of God's two witnesses.  The word of truth lay dead in her streets, and those who hated the restrictions and requirements of God's law were jubilant.  Men publicly defied the King of heaven.  Like the sinners of old, they cried: “How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the Most High?” Psalm 73:11.  

With blasphemous boldness almost beyond belief, one of the priests of the new order said: “God, if You exist, avenge Your injured name.  I bid You defiance! You remain silent; You dare not launch Your thunders.  Who after this will believe in Your existence?” -- Lacretelle, History, vol.11, p.309; in Sir Archibald Alison, History of Europe, vol.1, ch.10.

{Great Controversy 287.1}

God's faithful witnesses, slain by the blasphemous power that “ascendeth out of the bottomless pit,” were not long to remain silent.  “After three days and a half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.” Revelation 11:11. 

It was in 1793 that the decrees which abolished the Christian religion and set aside the Bible passed the French Assembly. Three years and a half later a resolution rescinding these decrees, thus granting toleration to the Scriptures, was adopted by the same body.  The world stood aghast at the enormity of guilt which had resulted from a rejection of the Sacred Oracles, and men recognized the necessity of faith in God and His word as the foundation of virtue and morality.  Saith the Lord: “Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel,” Isaiah 37:23.  “Therefore, behold, I will cause them to know, this once will I cause them to know My hand and My might; and they shall know that My name is Jehovah.” [2]   Jeremiah 16:21, A.R.V.

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The next time will be even shorter.  The total suppression of the Bible teachings in all the world will only last for three and a half days, but no doubt, it will seem an eternity to those Christians who must live through it.  After that, in the historical record, the Bible came to be published beyond all recognition – in the eternal record the surety of the Word of God will stand for ever.  “And I heard another out of the altar say, ‘Even so, LORD God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments’.” Revelation 16:7.

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{Great Controversy 287.2}

Since France made war upon God's two witnesses, they have been honored as never before. In 1804 the British and Foreign Bible Society was organized. This was followed by similar organizations, with numerous branches, upon the continent of Europe. In 1816 the American Bible Society was founded. When the British Society was formed, the Bible had been printed and circulated in fifty tongues.

It has since been translated into many hundreds of languages and dialects.  

{Great Controversy 288.3}

“The word of our God shall stand forever.” “All His commandments are sure.  They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.” Isaiah 40:8; Psalm 111:7, 8.  Whatever is built upon the authority of man will be overthrown; but that which is founded upon the rock of God's immutable word shall stand forever.

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One last event is needed as probation closes for the world.  I’m not sure what is represented here, but there are ten “horns” on the head of the last beast of Revelation 17.  They represent the ten religions which give their power and authority to the mob (which makes up the beast), just as the priests joined with the mob who went to capture Christ.  Matthew 26:47; Revelation 17:12-14.  We are told about one of the horns, “What is it that gives its kingdom to this power?  Protestantism, a power which, while professing to have the temper and spirit of a lamb and to be allied to Heaven, speaks with the voice of a dragon.  It is moved by a power from beneath. (Letter 232, 1899).”   {7BC 983.5}  

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Revelation 11:

13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake [a shaking], and the tenth part of the city [of Babylon] fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were frightened, and gave glory to the God of heaven [too late and with a wrong motive].

14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe comes quickly.

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Things will be catastrophic in the world at the second coming, and yet still much the same at the Close of Probation.  Jesus told us “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark [Close of Probation], and knew not until the flood came [a few days later], and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be”.  Matthew 24:37-39.

Therefore the last movements will be rapid ones as the Son of God brings the controversy to a close, and hurries to the earth to resurrect His waiting “bride”.

 

The third and final woe:

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Revelation 11:

15 And the seventh angel sounded;

and there were great voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world ARE [now] become the kingdoms of our LORD, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever”.

***************(End Quote)

This is the close of probation for the world, for the “mystery of God” is over.

In the fifth, sixth and seventh “last” plagues of Revelation chapter sixteen we are told of the fate of Babylon.  It is also written, “How much she has glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she said in her heart, ‘I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow’.  Therefore shall her [particular] plagues come in one day [24 hours], death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the LORD God who judges her”.   Revelation 18:7-8.

During the fifth of the last seven plagues the sun ceases to shine for a period which causes some of the water in the atmosphere to freeze and fall as gigantic hailstones (the 7th plague) upon those who have survived the “drying up” of the “Euphrates”, as the laity turn upon their former leaders (the 6th plague). 

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{Great Controversy 655.2 - 655.4} 

“Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!    .  .  .  Behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings.” “Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock: for your days for slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished;  .  .  .  and the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape.” Jeremiah 23:1, 2;  25:34, 35, margin. {GC 655.2} 

Ministers and people see that they have not sustained the right relation to God.  They see that they have rebelled against the Author of all just and righteous law.  The setting aside of the divine precepts gave rise to thousands of springs of evil, discord, hatred, iniquity, until the earth became one vast field of strife, one sink of corruption.  This is the view that now appears to those who rejected truth and chose to cherish error.  No language can express the longing which the disobedient and disloyal feel for that which they have lost forever  --  eternal life.  Men whom the world has worshiped for their talents and eloquence now see these things in their true light.  They realize what they have forfeited by transgression, and they fall at the feet of those whose fidelity they have despised and derided, and confess that God has loved them. {GC 655.3} 

The people see that they have been deluded.  They accuse one another of having led them to destruction; but all unite in heaping their bitterest condemnation upon the ministers.  Unfaithful pastors have prophesied smooth things; they have led their hearers to make void the law of God and to persecute those who would keep it holy.  Now, in their despair, these teachers confess before the world their work of deception.  The multitudes are filled with fury.  “We are lost!” they cry, “and you are the cause of our ruin;” and they turn upon the false shepherds.  The very ones that once admired them most will pronounce the most dreadful curses upon them. 

The very hands that once crowned them with laurels will be raised for their destruction.  The swords which were to slay God's people are now employed to destroy their enemies.  Everywhere there is strife and bloodshed. {GC 655.4}

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John was now brought back to the heavenly scene in his vision.

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Revelation 11:

16  And the twenty-four elders which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17  saying, “We give You thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which are, and were, and are to come; because You have taken to You Your great power, and have reigned.

18 “And the nations WERE angry,

and Your wrath [the seven last plagues] IS come,

and the time of the dead, that they should be judged [Revelation 20:4],

and that You should give reward to Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth [the Lake of Fire]”.

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They were saying, “We can go with You and collect our brethren”.  It is the time for the Second Advent.

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Revelation 11:

19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament [the Ten Commandments]: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

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With this scene God vindicates those who have kept the Ten Commandments when all the world had rejected the fourth one.

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{Great Controversy 639.1 – 640.2} 

Then there appears against the sky a hand holding two tables of stone folded together.  Says the prophet: “The heavens shall declare His righteousness: for God is judge Himself.” Psalm 50:6.  That holy law, God's righteousness, that amid thunder and flame was proclaimed from Sinai as the guide of life, is now revealed to men as the rule of judgment.  The hand opens the tables, and there are seen the precepts of the Decalogue, traced as with a pen of fire.  The words are so plain that all can read them.  Memory is aroused, the darkness of superstition and heresy is swept from every mind, and God's ten words, brief, comprehensive, and authoritative, are presented to the view of all the inhabitants of the earth . . .

The voice of God is heard from heaven, declaring the day and hour of Jesus' coming, and delivering the everlasting covenant [the Ten Commandments] to His people.  Like peals of loudest thunder His words roll through the earth.  The Israel of God stand listening, with their eyes fixed upward.  Their countenances are lighted up with His glory, and shine as did the face of Moses when he came down from Sinai.  The wicked cannot look upon them.  And when the blessing is pronounced on those who have honored God by keeping His Sabbath holy, there is a mighty shout of victory.   

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Let’s finish with a thought on that day from another place. 

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Hebrews 12:

18 For you are not come to the [earthly] mount that might be touched [Mt.  Sinai], and that burned with fire, nor to blackness, and darkness, and tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which Voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: 20 (for they could not endure that which was commanded, “And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart” [to save from a worst fate]21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, “I exceedingly fear and quake”.)

22 But you are [going to] come to mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just [justified] men [and women] made perfect,

24 and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling [the red heifer], that speaks better things than that of Abel. 

25 See that you refuse not Him that speaks [today].  For if they escaped not who refused Him that spoke on earth [at Mt.  Sinai], much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaks from heaven: 26  whose voice then shook the earth: but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven” [when I speak publicly again].

27 And this word, “Yet once more [only once more]”, signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made [of this earth], that those things which cannot be shaken [God’s things] may remain.  [The trial of God’s behaviour will be over.]

28 Wherefore [because] we [are] receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

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Conclusion:

God in His infinite mercy has revealed to us what is going to happen in the near future.  None of it is fore-ordained or engineered by God, but is simply the result of men’s behaviours.  As I see it, it appears that there will be three attacks on the modern way of life in various parts of the world, none of which will come to anything much, except for those unfortunate enough to participate in them. 

Then will come one who will unify the political systems of professed Christianity by a religious coalition.

After that, wide-reaching physical force will come and there will be a short conflict (five months) between professed Christian and other worldwide religions, the foremost of whom will be Islam, whose worship day is Friday. 

However, after much internal strife as well as the cost of the external fighting, and as a consequence of the natural disasters in their countries, the other religions will be brought to their knees after a year or so, and will seek help from the professed Christian nations (their enemies) which are suggesting a Sunday law observance as the remedy for the problems in the world, both geographical and spiritual. 

That uneasy peace will last a while until the nonconformists (Sabbath-keepers) are identified as the main enemy of this plan, and the Sunday law will eventually be modified by a series of amendments into a Sabbath desecration programme.  (See appendix B, page 74.)  This will bring to the fore those who have the seal of God in their foreheads, and a universal coalition of Sunday-keeping religions will then attempt to eliminate them physically.  At that point the seventh trumpet (the last trump) will sound and the controversy will be all over as far as the dead Christians are concerned, for the first resurrection will see them all redeemed.  

How should the living Christians behave while all this is going on?  Let’s see what was written for the historical time, and interpolate it into our period.

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Romans 13:

1 Let every soul be subject to the higher [civil] powers.  For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resists the [civil] power, resists the ordinance [law] of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation [trouble].

3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.  Will you then not be afraid of the power?   Do that which is good, and you shall have praise of the same: 4 for he is the minister of God to you for good [in this world]

But if you do that which is evil [i.e. criminal, such as breaking any laws], be afraid; for he bears not the sword [of civil authority] in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath [punishment] upon him that does evil [breaks the law of the land]

5 Wherefore you must needs be subject, not only for wrath [fear of punishment], but also for conscience sake [because God says to]

6 For this cause pay you tribute [taxes] also: for they are God's [civil] ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.  7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. 8          Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loves another has fulfilled the law [of God].   

9 For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, You shall not covet”; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself”.  10 Love works no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. 

11  And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

14 But put you on the LORD Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

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Paul was not trying to say that every king or authority in the world was, or is, personally appointed by God, but that He has organised a system whereby if He cannot be the king, then one from among them should be in charge.  See Deuteronomy 17:15. 

Of course, that leaves open the way for corruption and dictatorship, but even this is better than the anarchy which exists when every man does as he feels.  (Law had to come even to the wild west of the United States, after a period of six-gun rule!)  No, it is the principle that those who are elected by men should be obeyed by men.  Fortunately, in a democratic state it is possible to get rid of “bad eggs” fairly quickly by an election, but otherwise we must wait until natural events can do it by the death of the incumbent, or a revolution.    

In the scripture we are being told that Christians must obey whoever happens to be in charge (Paul had Nero), so long as their commands do not contradict the law of God.  (See appendix A, page 69, for comments on the Sunday laws.)

 

Finally, to sum up again;

As it was:  (in history)

There were three plus one bands of men who attacked the civilisation of Rome in various places and in various ways.  The “plus one” became king in place of the old order, but was afterward replaced by the religious leader.  This whole experience lasted a relatively short time  – 77 years in the historical version. 

(The 7th head of the beast in Revelation 17:10-11 will “continue a short space” before the 8th head takes over.)

Then there were two periods of religiously motivated wars which got progressively worse.  During those times the “day for a year” principle applied to prophetic time. 

At the end of the last period, the attacking power suddenly gave in and voluntarily surrendered to the powers it had been trying to conquer.

Then came news from the Son of God in 1840 that the book of Daniel was now open, and a certain great new understanding of God’s work became apparent.

This led to the 1844 warning of the three angels being given, but its result was unexpected.

 

As it will be: (in the future)

Do I need to spell it out?   If the principle we have followed is correct, then after the “orchestra” instruments do their “tuning” (the sporadic attacks by the terrorists of today), there will be 3 + 1 inconclusive attacks on civilisation by some nations from the “king of the south” persuasion.

After that there will be a concerted and unified action for five months against the “king of the north” which will appear to achieve some success, but that will be followed by a period of just over a year of retaliation which will culminate in the “king of the south” accepting the protection of the Sunday-keeping group.  Why?  Internal disagreements, external physical problems, and a general attitude of helplessness against the natural disasters which will have killed millions, will bring it about (with Satan’s help).

At the end of this time the Sunday-keeping nations will appear as saviours to the world, and it will look as though an era of peace and safety is about to occur.  They will be greatly loved and lauded, especially as Satan now plays his trump card. 

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{Great Controversy 624.2 – 625.3}  

As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ.  The church has long professed to look to the Saviour's advent as the consummation of her hopes.  Now the great deceiver will make it appear that Christ has come.  IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE EARTH, Satan will manifest himself among men as a majestic being of dazzling brightness, resembling the description of the Son of God given by John in the Revelation.  Revelation 1:13-15. 

The glory that surrounds him is unsurpassed by anything that mortal eyes have yet beheld.  The shout of triumph rings out upon the air: “Christ has come! Christ has come!” The people prostrate themselves in adoration before him, while he lifts up his hands and pronounces a blessing upon them, as Christ blessed His disciples when He was upon the earth.  His voice is soft and subdued, yet full of melody.  In gentle, compassionate tones he presents some of the same gracious, heavenly truths which the Saviour uttered; he heals the diseases of the people, and then, in his assumed character of Christ, he claims to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday, and commands all to hallow the day which he has blessed. 

He declares that those who persist in keeping holy the seventh day are blaspheming his name by refusing to listen to his angels sent to them with light and truth.  This is the strong, almost overmastering delusion.  Like the Samaritans who were deceived by Simon Magus, the multitudes, from the least to the greatest, give heed to these sorceries, saying: This is “the great power of God.” Acts 8:10.   

But the people of God will not be misled.  The teachings of this false christ are not in accordance with the Scriptures.  His blessing is pronounced upon the worshipers of the beast and his image, the very class upon whom the Bible declares that God's unmingled wrath shall be poured out.   {GC 625.1} 

And, furthermore, Satan is not permitted to counterfeit the manner of Christ's advent.  The Saviour has warned His people against deception upon this point, and has clearly foretold the manner of His second coming.  “There shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect . . . Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth; behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not.  For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:24-27, 31;  25:31; Revelation 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. 

This coming there is no possibility of counterfeiting.  It will be universally known -- witnessed by the whole world.   {GC 625.2} 

[However], Only those who have been diligent students of the Scriptures and who have received the love of the truth will be shielded from the powerful delusion that takes the world captive.  By the Bible testimony these will detect the deceiver in his disguise.  To all the testing time will come.

***************(End Quote)

Therefore there will be an irritating (loud) cry coming from the dissenters which the king of the north will try to eliminate with a death decree on Sabbath-keepers.

An important point:

We should note that Daniel had been shown that in the last days the “king of the south” would be the FIRST TO ATTACK his old enemy the “king of the north”, and this is what will happen again.  

 

***************(Begin Quote)

Daniel 11:

40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him [by starting a religious based conflict]:

and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over [take religious control].   

41 He shall enter also into the glorious land [spiritual Israel], and many . . . [“countries” is a word supplied by the translators] shall be overthrown [by his specious doctrines]: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon [all of whom were closely related to the Hebrews in blood and language – maybe they will be other Sabbath-keeping people who have stayed close to God.]

42 He [north] shall stretch forth his hand also upon [all] the countries [of the world]: and the land of Egypt [non-believers] shall not escape. [They will join the Sunday-keepers because they have the mark of the beast in their hand.]  43 But he [north] shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of [spiritual] Egypt [he wants money and power]: and the [spiritual] Libyans and the [spiritual] Ethiopians shall be at his steps [following him]. 44 But tidings out of the east and out of the north [the loud cry] shall trouble him [geographically that would be back in Israel, but this is spiritual]: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many [Sabbath-keepers].

45 And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain [he will appear to have defeated God’s people];

yet he shall come to his end [when the 7th trumpet sounds], and none shall help him [when that happens].

***************(End Quote)

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Note 1a:

 

***************(Begin Quote)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Islam

Islam (Arabic: الإسلام al-’islām, pronounced [ʔɪsˈlćːm] is the monotheistic religion articulated by the Qur’an, a text considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God (Arabic: الله‎, Allah), and the teachings and normative example (called the Sunnah and Hadith) of Muhammad, often considered as the last Prophet of Islam.   In addition to referring to the religion itself, the word Islam means 'submission to God', 'peace', and 'way to peace'.  An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim.

Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable.  Muslims also believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed at many times and places before, including through the prophets Abraham, Moses and Jesus

Muslims maintain that previous messages and revelations have been partially changed or corrupted over time, but consider the Qur'an to be both unaltered and the final revelation from God.   Religious concepts and practices include the five pillars of Islam, which are basic concepts and obligatory acts of worship, and following Islamic law, which touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, encompassing everything from banking and welfare, to warfare and the environment

Most Muslims belong to one of two denominations; with 80-90% being Sunni and 10-20% being Shia

About 13% of Muslims live in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country,     25% in South Asia, 20% in the Middle East, 2% in Central Asia, 4% in the remaining South East Asian countries, and 15% in Sub-saharan Africa.  Sizable communities are also found in China and Russia, and parts of the Caribbean.   Converts and immigrant communities are found in almost every part of the world.   

With about 1.41-1.57 billion Muslims, comprising about 21-23% of the world's population (see Islam by country), Islam is the second-largest religion and one of the fastest-growing religions in the world.    BACK

***************(End Quote)

 

 

Note 2a

This is Thomas Moore’s statement as I understand it.

“It is a peculiar religion that for mercy’s sake spares the Turk, the open enemy of God, but meanwhile persecutes heavily those accused of Roman heresy, destroying monasteries and churches and killing many professed Christians.” 

 

There was obviously a problem in seeing that BOTH sides were NOT of God – that a false religion was attacking a professed Christianity.   BACK

 

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Appendix A:

How should Christians behave while all this is going on?

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 13:15-17.

And he [Protestant America] had power to give life to the image [a new copy] of the [first] beast [the Roman Catholic system of a church controlling the state, the woman sitting on the beast of Revelation 17:3], that the image [the American copy] of the beast should both speak [through Federal laws], and cause that as many as would not worship the image [copy] of the beast should be killed.  And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand [because it pays to obey], or in their foreheads [because they believe its right]: and that no man might BUY OR SELL, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 

***************(End Quote)

If we are aware that very few laws are ever passed with a death penalty attached as the first and only punishment for transgression, then we may be able to trace the probable path of the Sunday law in the Federal United States. (See appendix B, page 74.)

 

1.  The first law will simply give a weekly rest day for working people, not one in

           seven, but particularly first-day, Sunday.  When most of the people just sit

           around, go shopping, or play on that day, the religious leaders will feel that

           they need a bit more bite to the law.

2.  It will be declared that shopping or playing sports defeats the purpose of the

           rest day, and God is still sending destructive plagues, so those pursuits will

           be banned on penalty of a fine.

3.  Then voluntary attendance at a church (any church) will be required to give the

           day the sanctity that the religious leaders desire.

 4.  When most of the people decide not to go to church but stay at home instead,

            compulsory attendance will be introduced on pain of fine, or a jail term.

 5.  Longer and longer jail terms will be imposed until the incorrigible ones (some

            of whom will be Sabbath-keepers) will be threatened with a death decree.

 6.  Finally, those who persist in keeping the seven-day Sabbath, even if observing

            all the other prohibitions, will be proscribed as enemies of the state and

            declared to be traitors and need to be executed to appease the wrath of God.

Note: It is only when seventh-day Sabbath-keeping is not allowed that the Sabbath-keepers will need to disobey any of the laws.

 

Counsels on meeting the Sunday law issue

Testimonies, vol.  5, pp.  450, 451. 

To secure popularity and patronage, legislators will yield to the demand for a Sunday law . . . On this battlefield comes the last great conflict of the controversy between truth and error. 

Testimonies, vol.  5, p.  712.

When our nation shall so abjure THE PRINCIPLES of its government [freedom of speech and religion] as to enact a Sunday law, Protestantism will in this act join hands with popery; it will be nothing else THAN GIVING LIFE [Revelation 13:15] to the tyranny which has long been eagerly watching its opportunity to spring again into active despotism. 

Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 451.

By the decree of enforcing the institution of the Papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. 

When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with Spiritualism, when, UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF THIS THREEFOLD UNION, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and Republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan, and that the end is near.

{GC 610.3}  

But so long as Jesus remains man's intercessor in the sanctuary above, the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit is felt by rulers and people.  It still controls to some extent the laws of the land.  Were it not for these laws, the condition of the world would be much worse than it now is.  WHILE MANY OF OUR RULERS ARE ACTIVE AGENTS OF SATAN, GOD ALSO HAS HIS AGENTS AMONG THE LEADING MEN OF THE NATION. 

The enemy moves upon his servants to propose measures that would greatly impede the work of God [and has been doing so for about 200 years in American Federal politics]; but statesmen who fear the Lord are influenced by holy angels to oppose such propositions with unanswerable arguments.  Thus a few men will hold in check a powerful current of evil.  THE OPPOSITION OF THE ENEMIES OF TRUTH WILL BE RESTRAINED THAT THE THIRD ANGEL'S MESSAGE MAY DO ITS WORK.  When the final warning shall be given, it will arrest the attention of these leading men through whom the Lord is now working, and some of them will accept it, and will stand with the people of God through the time of trouble.    

Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 713-714.

Let none sit in calm expectation of the evil, comforting themselves with the belief that this work must go on because prophecy has foretold it, and that the Lord will shelter his people.  WE ARE NOT DOING THE WILL OF GOD IF WE SIT IN QUIETUDE, DOING NOTHING TO PRESERVE LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE [FOR OTHERS].  Fervent, effectual prayer should be ascending to heaven that this calamity may be deferred until we can accomplish the work which has so long been neglected [warning the world].  Let there be more earnest prayer; and then let us work in harmony with our prayers.

{RH, April 6, 1911 par.  11}

 “If they [SDA’s] do this [labour on Sunday], there is danger that as soon as the opposing element can get the slightest opportunity, they will stir up one another to persecute those whom they hate.  At present Sunday-keeping is not the test.  THE TIME WILL COME WHEN MEN WILL NOT ONLY FORBID SUNDAY WORK, BUT THEY WILL TRY TO FORCE MEN TO LABOR ON THE SABBATH, and to subscribe to Sunday observance or forfeit their freedom and their lives.  But the time for this has not yet come, for the truth must be presented more fully before the people as a witness.  What I have said about this should not be understood as referring to the action of old Sabbath-keepers who understand the truth.  They must move as the Lord shall direct them, but let them consider that they can do the best missionary work on Sunday. 

{3SM 395.1 - 395.3} 

. . . encourage no defying of the law powers in words or actions unless called to do this for the honor of God to vindicate His downtrodden law.  Let there be no unnecessary act of arousing the combative spirit or passions of opponents . . .

There should be no just occasion to our enemies to charge us with being lawless and defying the laws through any imprudence of our own.  [SEE TESTIMONIES, VOL. 9, pp. 232-238, “SUNDAY LABOR.”]  We should not feel it enjoined upon us to irritate our neighbors who idolize Sunday by making determined efforts to bring labor on that day before them purposely to exhibit an independence . . .

There should be no noisy demonstration.  LET US CONSIDER HOW FEARFUL AND TERRIBLY SAD IS THE DELUSION THAT HAS TAKEN THE WORLD CAPTIVE AND BY EVERY MEANS IN OUR POWER SEEK TO ENLIGHTEN THOSE WHO ARE OUR BITTEREST ENEMIES.  If there is the acceptance of the principles of the inworking of the Holy Ghost which he (the Christian) must have to fit him for heaven, he will do nothing rashly or presumptuously to create wrath and blasphemy against God . . .

{RH, April 6, 1911 par. 9} 

When the practises of the people do not come in conflict with the law of God, you may conform to them.  If the workers fail to do this, they will not only hinder their own work, but they will place stumbling-blocks in the way of those for whom they labor, and hinder them from accepting the truth.  On Sunday there is the very best opportunity for those who are missionaries to hold Sunday-schools, and come to the people in the simplest manner possible, telling them of the love of Jesus for sinners, and educating them in the Scriptures.” 

RH Extra, Dec. 11, 1888. 

The Sunday movement is now making its way in darkness.  The leaders are concealing the true issue, and many who unite in the movement do not themselves see whither the undercurrent is tending . . . They are working in blindness.  They do not see that if a Protestant government sacrifices the principles that have made them a free, independent nation, and through legislation brings into the Constitution principles that will propagate papal falsehood and papal delusion, they are plunging into the Roman horrors of the Dark Ages.

5T 711, 753 (1889).

There are many, even of those engaged in this movement for Sunday enforcement, who are blinded to the results which will follow this action.  They do not see that they are striking directly against religious liberty.  There are many who have never understood the claims of the Bible Sabbath and the false foundation upon which the Sunday institution rests . . . Those who are making an effort to change the Constitution and secure a law enforcing Sunday observance little realize what will be the result.  A crisis is just upon us.

{2SM 80.4 (1890).}

The Lord has shown me clearly that the image of the beast will be formed before probation closes, for it is to be the great test for the people of God, by which their eternal destiny will be decided.

{GC 607.1}

As the movement for Sunday enforcement becomes more bold and decided, the law will be invoked against commandment keepers.  They will be threatened with fines and imprisonment, and some will be offered positions of influence, and other rewards and advantages, as inducements to renounce their faith.  But their steadfast answer is: “Show us from the word of God our error.” . . . Those who are arraigned before the courts make a strong vindication of the truth, and some who hear them are led to take their stand to keep all the commandments of God.  Thus light will be brought before thousands who otherwise would know nothing of these truths.    

The Review and Herald, Feb. 11, 1904 para 8.

If ever we needed to manifest kindness and true courtesy, it is now.  We may have to plead most earnestly before legislative councils for the right to worship God according to the dictates of conscience.  Thus in His providence God has designed that the claims of His law shall be brought before men in positions of highest authority.  But as we stand before these men, we are to show no bitterness of feeling.  Constantly we are to pray for divine aid.  It is God alone who can hold the four winds until His servants shall be sealed in their foreheads.    BACK

 

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Appendix B:                           Some thoughts from

“The Great Empires

of Prophecy”

by

A T Jones (1905)

 A chronological layout of the various edicts and laws

that were used to make Sunday holy in the past.

1.  314AD  Closure of civil offices on Friday and Sunday.  Page 475, para 13

2.  321AD  Sunday law with many exemptions.  Page 486, para 38

3   323AD  Edict against heretics, page 493-4, para 3

4.  364AD?   Law against Sabbath  Page 486, Canon 29 

5.  380-386AD  Sunday sacredness enforced, page 487, para39 

             Idleness and entertainment was the result.  Page 488, para 43

6.  401-425AD  Law prohibiting entertainment, page 488, para 48

7.  This eventually led to the Inquisition!!  Page 419, para 53

A direct quote from the book:

***************(Begin Quote)

[490]  para 52. In the logic of this theory, there was one more step to be taken.

To see how logically it came about, let us glance at the steps taken from the first one up to this point:

First, the church had all work on Sunday forbidden, in order that the people might attend to things divine; work was forbidden, that the people might worship. But the people would not worship; they went to the circus and the theater instead of to church.  Then the church had laws enacted closing the circuses and the theaters, in order that the people might attend church.  But even then the people would not be devoted, nor attend church; for they had no real religion.

The next step to be taken, therefore, in the logic of the situation, was to compel them to be devoted - to compel them to attend to things divine.      BACK

***************(End Quote)

 

 

Appendix C:

 

The Seven Thunders Testing Time

 

***************(Begin Quote)

{Early Writings 232.2 - 233.2} 

.  .  .  God was in the proclamation of the time in 1843.  It was His design to arouse the people and bring them to a testing point, where they should decide for or against the truth.  Ministers were convinced of the correctness of the positions taken on the prophetic periods, and some renounced their pride, and left their salaries and their churches to go forth from place to place to give the message.  But as the message from heaven could find a place in the hearts of but few of the professed ministers of Christ, the work was laid upon many who were not preachers.  Some left their fields to sound the message, while others were called from their shops and their merchandise.  And even some professional men were compelled to leave their professions to engage in the unpopular work of giving the first angel's message.   {EW 232.2}

Ministers laid aside their sectarian views and feelings and united in proclaiming the coming of Jesus.  Wherever the message was given, it moved the people.  Sinners repented, wept, and prayed for forgiveness, and those whose lives had been marked with dishonesty were anxious to make restitution.  {EW 232.3} 

 .  .  .  Thousands were led to embrace the truth preached by William Miller, and servants of God were raised up in the spirit and power of Elijah to proclaim the message.  Like John, the forerunner of Jesus, those who preached this solemn message felt compelled to lay the ax at the root of the tree, and call upon men to bring forth fruits meet for repentance.  Their testimony was calculated to arouse and powerfully affect the churches and manifest their real character.  And as the solemn warning to flee from the wrath to come was sounded, many who were united with the churches received the healing message; they saw their backslidings, and with bitter tears of repentance and deep agony of soul, humbled themselves before God.  And as the Spirit of God rested upon them, they helped to sound the cry, "Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come."  {EW 233.1} 

 .  .  .  Many shepherds of the flock, who professed to love Jesus, said that they had no opposition to the preaching of Christ's coming, but they objected to the definite time.  God's all-seeing eye read their hearts.  They did not love Jesus near.  They knew that their unchristian lives would not stand the test, for they were not walking in the humble path marked out by Him.  These false shepherds stood in the way of the work of God.  The truth spoken in its convincing power aroused the people, and like the jailer, they began to inquire, "What must I do to be saved?" But these shepherds stepped in between the truth and the people, and preached smooth things to lead them from the truth.  They united with Satan and his angels, crying, "Peace, peace," when there was no peace.  Those who loved their ease and were content with their distance from God would not be aroused from their carnal security. 

I saw that angels of God marked it all; the garments of those unconsecrated shepherds were covered with the blood of souls.   {EW 233.2} 

{Early Writings 235.3 - 261.1}

 .  .  .  The passing of the time was well calculated to reveal such hearts .  .  .  Those who had neglected to receive the heavenly message were left in darkness, and God's anger was kindled against them, because they would not receive the light which He had sent them from heaven .  .  .  In every part of the land, light was given upon the second angel's message, and the cry melted the hearts of thousands.  It went from city to city, and from village to village, until the waiting people of God were fully aroused.  In many churches the message was not permitted to be given, and a large company who had the living testimony left these fallen churches.  A mighty work was accomplished by the midnight cry.  The message was heart-searching, leading the believers to seek a living experience for themselves.  They knew that they could not lean upon one another.   {EW 238.3} 

Many look with horror at the course of the Jews in rejecting and crucifying Christ; and as they read the history of His shameful abuse, they think they love Him, and would not have denied Him as did Peter, or crucified Him as did the Jews.  But God who reads the hearts of all, has brought to the test that love for Jesus which they professed to feel.  All heaven watched with the deepest interest the reception of the first angel's message. 

But many who professed to love Jesus, and who shed tears as they read the story of the cross, derided the good news of His coming.  Instead of receiving the message with gladness, they declared it to be a delusion.  They hated those who loved His appearing and shut them out of the churches.  Those who rejected the first message could not be benefited by the second; neither were they benefited by the midnight cry, which was to prepare them to enter with Jesus by faith into the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary. 

And by rejecting the two former messages, they have so darkened their understanding that they can see no light in the third angel's message, which shows the way into the most holy place.  I saw that as the Jews crucified Jesus, so the nominal churches had crucified these messages, and therefore they have no knowledge of the way into the most holy, and they cannot be benefited by the intercession of Jesus there.  Like the Jews, who offered their useless sacrifices, they offer up their useless prayers to the apartment which Jesus has left; and Satan, pleased with the deception, assumes a religious character, and leads the minds of these professed Christians to himself, working with his power, his signs and lying wonders, to fasten them in his snare.  Some he deceives in one way, and some in another.  He has different delusions prepared to affect different minds.  Some look with horror upon one deception, while they readily receive another.  Satan deceives some with Spiritualism.  He also comes as an angel of light and spreads his influence over the land by means of false reformations.  The churches are elated, and consider that God is working marvelously for them, when it is the work of another spirit.  The excitement will die away and leave the world and the church in a worse condition than before.   {EW 260.1} 

I saw that God has honest children among the nominal Adventists and the fallen churches, and before the plagues shall be poured out, ministers and people will be called out from these churches and will gladly receive the truth.  Satan knows this; and before the loud cry of the third angel is given, he raises an excitement in these religious bodies, that those who have rejected the truth may think that God is with them.  He hopes to deceive the honest and lead them to think that God is still working for the churches.  But the light will shine, and all who are honest will leave the fallen churches, and take their stand with the remnant.  {EW 261.1}    BACK

 oooOooo

 

 

Of necessity, there is some repetition in these summaries of each other, and the main book.

 

The Shorter

summing up of the seven trumpets.

 

As I see it, it appears that there will be three attacks on the modern way of life in various parts of the world, none of which will come to anything much, except for those unfortunate enough to participate in them.  But they will so disorganise the established authorities that there will be an opportunity for a special man.

Then will come one who will unify the political systems of professed Christianity by a religious coalition.

After that, wide-reaching physical force will come and there will be a short literal conflict of five months between two groups.  This will be started by some worldwide religions, the foremost of whom will be Islam, whose worship day is Friday, against the professed Christians whose worship day is Sunday. 

However, after much internal strife as well as the cost of the external fighting, and as a consequence of the natural disasters in their countries, these other religions will be brought to their knees in another period of a year or so, and will seek help from the professed Christian nations (their former enemies) which are suggesting a Sunday law observance as the remedy for the problems in the world, both geographical and spiritual.  It is in this way that a series of world-wide Sunday laws will gain acceptance, for the people will be told that God is angry with them and is punishing them and that they must come back to church.

That uneasy peace (the clay and iron of the statue’s feet and toes) will last a while until the nonconformists (Sabbath-keepers) are identified as the main enemy of this plan, and the Sunday laws will eventually be modified by a series of amendments into a Sabbath desecration programme.  This will bring to the fore those who have the seal of God in their foreheads, and a world-wide coalition of Sunday-keeping religions will then attempt to eliminate them physically. 

At that point the seventh trumpet (the last trump) will sound and the controversy will be all over as far as the dead Christians are concerned, for the first resurrection will see them all redeemed.  

 

As it was:  (in history)

There were three plus one bands of men who attacked the civilisation of Rome in various places and in various ways.  The “plus one” became king in place of the old order, but was afterward replaced by the religious leader.  This whole physical experience lasted a relatively short time – approximately 77 years in the historical version.  (The 7th head of the beast in The Revelation 17:10-11 will “continue a short space” before the 8th head takes over.)

After that there were two periods of religiously motivated wars which got progressively worse.  During those times the “day for a year” principle applied to prophetic time.  At the end of the last period, the attacking power suddenly gave in and voluntarily surrendered to the powers it had been trying to conquer.

Then came news from the Son of God that the book of Daniel was now open, and a certain great new understanding of God’s work became apparent.  This led to the 1844 warning of the three angels of The Revelation chapter 14 being given, but its result was unexpected (it made their stomachs “bitter”).

 

As it will be: (in the future)

Do I need to spell it out?   If the principle we have followed is correct, then after the “orchestra” instruments do their “tuning” (the sporadic attacks by the terrorists of today), there will be 3 + 1 inconclusive attacks on the western civilisation by some nations from the “king of the south” persuasion.  This will prepare the way for a change in attitude in politics.

After that there will be a concerted and unified action for five months against the “king of the north” which will appear to achieve some success, but that will be followed by a period of just over a year of retaliation which will culminate in the “king of the south” accepting the protection of the Sunday-keeping group.  Why?  Internal disagreements, external physical problems in the natural world, and a general attitude of helplessness against these disasters which will have killed millions, will bring it about (with Satan’s help), for he is pinning his hope on his Sunday-keeping branch of religion. 

Just previous to all this, a message from the Son of God will bring new light from the prophecies of Daniel, particularly the twelfth chapter.

At the end of this time the Sunday-keeping nations will appear as saviours to the world, and it will look as though an era of peace and safety is about to occur if they get rid of the Sabbath-keepers.  Those false religions will be greatly loved and lauded, especially as Satan now plays his trump card by appearing as the returned Christ on earth and behaving as the people expect of Him.  

 

Finally,

The Revelation 13:1-10.

And I [John] stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea [from among many people], having seven heads [civil authorities] and ten horns [religious powers], and upon his horns ten crowns [they were in charge], and upon his heads the name [character] of blasphemy.

And the beast which I saw was like to a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion [first, representing the nations of old, and now also the new]: and the dragon [the devil] gave him [this new beast] his power, and his seat, and great authority . . . and all the world wondered [worshipped] after the beast.  And [in this] they worshipped the dragon which gave power to the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, “Who is like to the beast?  Who is able to make war with him?”

And there was given to him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given to him to continue forty-two months [3 ˝ years]. And [during that time] he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name [character], and his tabernacle [His way of worship], and them that dwell in heaven [the angels].

And it was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them [they had to give up witnessing]: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations [the whole world].  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 

If any man have an ear, let him hear.

He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity: he that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword.  Here [in understanding this] is the patience and the faith of the saints.

The next verses go on to tell us that the main player in all these events will be the Sunday-keeping United States of America!

 

oooOooo

 

 Of necessity, there is some repetition in these summaries of each other, and the main book.

 

 

The Complete

summing up of the seven trumpets.

 

What is the purpose of the trumpet warnings? 

First, to let the early Christians know that their apparently secure civilised world was going to fall apart bit by bit, but that God knew about it, and would be able to look after them so that they could continue to give their warning to those who would listen.  In the same way, God in His infinite mercy has revealed to us what is going to happen in our near future.  None of it is fore-ordained or engineered by Him, but is simply the result of men’s behaviours, for it is CIVIL actions we are being warned about. 

In the event, after the Roman Empire was divided into three sections in 337AD, each under one of Constantine’s sons (Constantine was the emperor who issued the first Sunday law in 321AD), only one part received major disruptions, that area being the one which we know of today as Europe.  This physical locality was a picture for us as a type of the economical area we call The Western World, for the same thing is going to happen in our time, but in a world-wide context.  That’s the major difference between the long term understanding and the last generation – the first is localised, while the last is international; the first is spread over centuries, while the last will all happen in one lifetime.

(We think in terms of the affluent Western World and the impoverished Third World, with an indefinite Second World somewhere in between.)

Disclaimer: 

No attempt is being made here to set dates for the suggested events of the future, nor are the actions described necessarily exactly those that will happen.  All that this article can be sure of is that as the Roman civilisation fell apart in the centuries after the event of Calvary, so our civilisation is coming under the same sort of pressure, but within a much shorter timescale. 

 

As a result, we can look forward to a radical change in our Western political systems, and then a move towards religious control! 

 

Trumpets #1-3:    The Revelation 8:7-11

The first three trumpets were descriptions of attacks by outside tribes against the strongholds of the Roman Empire.  They occurred in different areas of the one third of the Empire which was being specifically targeted, as evidenced by the first being against THE EARTH, the second against THE SEA, and the third against THE FRESH WATER sources.  They began in history in the fourth century (about 395AD) and continued through to the fifth (about 434AD).  These dates are, of course, only representative, for there had always been sporadic attacks against the Roman frontiers by these people, but during this period their efforts began to have more effect, and the stability of the Empire began to crumble.  For instance, when the Roman armies were recalled from England around that time to help defend the continent, the Scots who had been safely secured behind Hadrian’s wall began to make excursions into the north of England.  Likewise, some time later, the Danes and the Vikings began their attacks and eventually nearly half of England was settled by the Danes and came under Danish law.  (See note 1.)  Similar things happened all over Europe for several centuries.

The effect of this was to make day-to-day life “bitter” for the ordinary people in many places.

These warnings tell us that we can expect in the last days that there will be three relatively small excursions against the established western world systems under which we live and have our protection.  I envisage that this could mean less trust in the politicians, the police, and even the military forces which are the present barriers against anarchy.  But who by, and when, is not important, it is the lack of protection by the state that the Son of God is warning about, so that we may start now to establish more definitely the habit of looking to Him for our continued protection. 

(That’s why He has sent us the spiritual “censer” as a symbol for use in our prayers.  The Revelation 8:3-5.  When mixed with the “incense” of His righteousness they are a “sweet odour” to our God and an assurance from Him that He is listening. See Daniel 2:46.)

 

Trumpet #4:  The Revelation 8:12-13.

 

This fourth event, which came about 476AD, produced a man from within the system who was able to abolish the ruling political organization.  “A man’s [worst] foes shall be they of his own household”, Jesus told us.  Matthew 10:36.

In history a man named Odoacer, of the Heruli people located near the northern border of Italy, took over the running of Rome when that city’s emperor abdicated.  This left the Empire with only one emperor who reigned in the east from the city of Constantinople (Istanbul in present day Turkey).  It was the geographical centre of the Empire.

(The other one of three emperors had died within a very short period leaving only two “parts” as the effective world powers – east and west.)

But when the emperor of the west gave up his throne, The Revelation records that “the third part of the sun was smitten”, while the “moon” (the senate of Rome) and the “stars” (the annually elected consuls) continued in their roles for a time, and persecution came to the followers of the LORD.  But all this was merely the forerunner of much more serious problems for the Christians.

When asked by His disciples what it would be like at the end of “their” world, Jesus had answered and said to them, “Take heed that no man deceive you.  For many shall come in My name, saying, ‘I am Christ[ian]’; and shall deceive many.  And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers [different] places”. Matthew 24:4-7.

Then He continued, “All these are the beginning of sorrows”.  Verse 8.

Even before all these physical and political problems had started to escalate, there had been sporadic attacks against Christianity during the second and third centuries, and some of its adherents had been burnt at the stake or exposed to the wild beasts because they refused to renounce their faith, and publicly acknowledge the official gods of Rome.  As a result, they were classed as traitors to the state and judged worthy of such deaths.  There was no real religious bigotry against them, for Romans were normally very tolerant of other religions, so long as the official gods were not spoken against.  (Just as the Western World is today!)

And that was the basic problem,

for real Christianity maintains that there is only one God and only one church.

“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; one LORD, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all”.  Ephesians 4:4-6.

Then, as the sixth century began, so the words of a flying angel who had been watching the trumpeters, and which were recorded by John, began to have great meaning.  “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, which are yet to sound!’”  The Revelation 8:13.

By this the angel meant that a new perspective was to be introduced into the trumpet symbols and the experiences of the Christians would take a turn for the worse.  “Woes” are very sad times, and there were to be three of them.

That’s what Jesus was talking about when He said, “Then shall they [those religious people] deliver you up [to the civil authorities] to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated of ALL nations for My name's sake [because some of you will have My character].  And then shall many [among you] be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.  And many false prophets shall rise [from within and without], and shall deceive many.  And because iniquity shall abound [in the church], the love of many shall wax cold.  But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved.

“And [by these circumstances] this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and THEN SHALL THE END COME. 

“When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso reads, let him understand:) then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains [it will be time to go, time to cease witnessing] . . .” Matthew 24:9-16.  (This could be the last of the Sunday laws for there will need to be at least five of them.)

When that “abomination which kills with the second death” was revealed it was time for His people to move out, and that’s what they did.  “And the woman [the church people] fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days [1260 years].”  The Revelation 12:6.  Under the influence of the Holy Spirit the loyal followers of the LORD left the European area because the people would no longer listen to them, and went to other less biased parts of the world.

So it will be in the future when organised religious forces take the field against us, but quicker and for much less time.  “And to the woman were given TWO WINGS OF A GREAT EAGLE, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time [= 3˝ years = 1260 days], from the face of the serpent [and his people]”.   The Revelation 12:14.  The difference this time is that will not be any safe “place” for them to flee to, for “all the world” will be on Satan’s side, so it really means that they will “hide in the LORD” wherever He physically leads them.

However, before that time a false religion must strike against the professed Christian religion, for the effect of the first four trumpets had been to create a vacuum in the leadership of the western world, and no strong man could be found to lead the people.  Eventually, about 508AD, the then professed Christian bishop of Rome volunteered to take a place in politics, and became the leader of what was to become The Holy Roman Empire.  Being now both religious and secular (and not Christian), he could enforce his views with the power of the State (in this case the city and army of Rome), and he and his successors used it to eliminate dissenting views.  Three nations with differing religious ideas were publicly classed as heretics and “plucked up by the roots” and disposed of in a massive genocide.  Daniel 7:8.   Who were they?  The Ostrogoths (the eastern Goths), the Vandals and the Heruli!  This took about 30 years and by 538AD the Papacy (the bishop was now called the “Father” or “Pope”) was firmly established upon its throne.

It is at this time that the following words apply. “Then I [Daniel] would know the truth of the fourth beast [the Roman Empire], which was diverse [different] from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; and of the ten horns [nations within the Empire] that were in his head, and of the other which came up [the bishop of Rome], and before whom three fell [the Ostrogoths, the Vandals, and the Heruli]; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke very great things [against the true God], whose look was more stout [stronger] than his fellows.  I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them . . .”  Daniel 7:19-21.

In this way, a persecuting religion became the leading power in Europe for the next 1260 years!  But let’s go on to see what happened.

 

Trumpet #5:    The Revelation 9:1-12

As the fifth angel blew on his trumpet, (round about 622AD) John saw a “star fall from heaven to the earth”.  Not just on one portion of the Empire now, for this “star” had the key to “the bottomless pit” of sin and death, which, when he opened it, belched forth a column of dark smoke – the very opposite of the great “light” of the gospel.  Then out of that darkness came such a multitude of people that they were described as “locusts” and “scorpions”, as much for their destructive powers as for their numbers.

Later, their “star” leader is described, “And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is “Abaddon”, but in the Greek tongue has his name “Apollyon”.  The Revelation 9:11.   Both of these titles mean “The Destroyer”.  It does not require rocket science to realise that this fallen angel is none other than the former Lucifer, who is now known as Satan, the adversary.  Thus we can see that this group of people are NOT followers of the LORD, although they also claim to be.  In reality they are part of the “beast”.

In their attacks against the professed followers of God we have the classic example of Satan’s strategy.  With both groups claiming to be on God’s side there is nothing but confusion in the mind of the neutral beholders.  Satan doesn’t care how many humans are killed in such actions, for we are always increasing in numbers, but he knows that each death is a loss to the heart of God, and confusion regarding  the truth is what he is after.

Thus in our future we can expect to see two great “religious” powers taking the field against one another and causing great destruction, but we can be sure that NEITHER OF THEM ARE CHRISTIAN or following the God of Abraham.  Each will have great persuasive powers on its followers for they will promise them great rewards for their obedience.  Not all will follow them entirely in their minds, for many will be in it for what they can gain personally.  And there will be a few on either side who will respond to the call of God and leave their old religions.

Another line of prophecy is applicable here too:

“And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he [north] shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.  He shall enter also into the glorious land [spiritual Israel], and many [of its inhabitants – “countries” is a supplied word] shall be overthrown [by his specious arguments, his reasonably sounding, but unBiblical interpretations]: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon [who are spiritually related to Israel].  He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries [of the world]: and the land of Egypt [the king of the south] shall not escape.  But he [north] shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians [the ends of the earth] shall be at his steps [shall also be his followers]”.  Daniel 11:40-43. 

This “war” will be fought as much with words (ideologies) as it will be with physical weapons.

In the Bible the religious world is made up of:

1. The king of the south – those who are publicly against God –– called so because originally that group was represented by Egypt, and it has many gods, but did not recognise the God of the Hebrews (Exodus 5:2);

2.  The king of the north – those who claim that they are on His side although they do their own thing in His name – they are sometimes called “Babylon”, which was a counterfeit of Christianity and often came down from the north into Israel to fight against Egypt (Isaiah 14:13-14);

3.  And spiritual Israel – those who are really being obedient to Him and His commandments – also known as the pleasant land.  

Geographically, Israel is between Egypt (the original south) and Babylon (the original north), and the highway from one to the other is through its plains which often became the battlefields for north and south wars, with some of the people of God suffering during them because they chose to live in the cities of the plains. (The “mountains” are safer places for God’s people.)  The “king” titles have had the same meaning over the centuries, but those who wore them have changed from time to time.  Today, these three entities are scattered all over the world in every nation, but are still recognisable.

As of old, they all have a rallying point by which their adherents may be made manifest, for they encompass many states.  As a sort of a “flag” each has a special “day of worship” unique to their religion.  Christianity has the Sabbath of the fourth of the Ten Commandments.  Satan has carefully planned the others’ days to be on each side of the LORD’s day and therefore we have Sunday in honour of the LORD’s resurrection for the professed Christians (yet they claim to be following the Bible and the Bible only), and Friday for the false religion in honour of the creation of Adam and Eve, for it also has its roots in the Jewish scriptures. 

This latter group is obviously Islam, the second largest religion in the world.

The “locusts” swarmed all over the then known world with their new religion from about 622AD, but with special conditions. “And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have NOT the seal of God in their foreheads.  And to them it was given 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 he strikes a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them”.  The Revelation 9:4-6. 

The “Dark Ages” (c. 500-1000AD) were exceedingly miserable, and for many individuals life was hardly worth living.  (See Note 2.)

During that period the “day for a year” principle was operating (more on this later) therefore the “five months” became 150 years at the rate of 30 days to the month.

The rise of the Muslim religion began with the Arabs of the Middle East and they were soon attacking and harassing the area which led up to the walls of the Empire’s capital, Constantinople.  However, despite their best efforts they were never able to conquer that place over the period of the one hundred and fifty years.  They did manage to go west over the top of Africa into Portugal and Spain, and even a little into France.  To the east they eventually reached to the wall of China.

There is also mention made of those who had the seal of God, which is of course, a settling into the truth so that they cannot be moved from it.  As it is written, “Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, ‘The LORD knows them that are His”.  2 Timothy 2:19.  In this time, it was those who did not have the seal which were in trouble – the professed Christians who were claiming to be on the LORD’s side.  Regarding this, it is written in a history book,

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Daniel and The Revelation by Uriah Smith, pages 498-499

After the death of Mohammed, he was succeeded in the command by Abu-bekr in A.D. 632, who as soon as he had fairly established his authority and government gathered the Arabian tribes for conquest.  When the army was assembled, he instructed his chiefs on methods of conquest:

“When you fight the battles of the Lord [Allah], acquit yourselves like men, without turning your backs; but let not your victory be stained with the blood of women and children.  Destroy no palm-trees, nor burn any fields of corn.  Cut down no fruit-trees, nor do any mischief to cattle, only such as you kill to eat.  When you make any covenant, or article, stand to it, and be as good as your word.  As you go on, you will find some religious persons who live retired in monasteries, and propose to themselves to serve God that way; let them alone, and neither kill them nor destroy their monasteries: and you will find another sort of people that belong to the synagogue of Satan, who have shaven crowns; be sure you cleave their skulls, and give them no quarter till they either turn Mahometans or pay 'tribute.'

“It is not said in prophecy or in history that the more humane injunctions were as scrupulously obeyed as the ferocious mandate; but it so commanded them.  And the preceding are the only instructions recorded by Gibbon, and given by Abubeker to the chiefs whose duty it was to issue the commands to all the Saracen hosts.  The commands are alike discriminating [agreeing] with the prediction, as if the caliph himself had been acting in known as well as direct obedience to a higher mandate than that of mortal man; and in the very act of going forth to fight against the [professed] religion of Jesus, and to propagate Mahometanism in its stead, he repeated the words which it was foretold in the The Revelation of Jesus Christ that he would say.”

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Trumpet #6:    The Revelation 9:13-21

After that initial period, the “king of the north” retaliated for “an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year . . .”  The Revelation 9:15.  This translates into 391 years and 15 days, during which time the western powers fought against the eastern ones without much success, until in a surprise move Turkey (the main nation of Islam, and a great force in the Muslim world during that time), surrendered its sovereignty and became subservient to the allies of the west.  (It was still a force to be reckoned with even until the First World War of 1914-18 when it joined Germany in that country’s effort to re-establish the Holy Roman Empire – the 2nd Reich.)

The Great Controversy, pages 334-335.

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In the year 1840 another remarkable fulfillment of prophecy excited widespread interest.  Two years before, Josiah Litch, one of the leading ministers preaching the second advent, published an exposition of The Revelation 9, predicting the fall of the Ottoman [Turkish] Empire.  According to his calculations, this power was to be overthrown “in A.D. 1840, sometime in the month of August;” and only a few days previous to its accomplishment he wrote:

“Allowing the first period, 150 years, to have been exactly fulfilled before Deacozes ascended the throne by permission of the Turks, and that the 391 years, fifteen days, commenced at the close of the first period, it will end on the 11th of August, 1840, when the Ottoman power in Constantinople may be expected to be broken.  And this, I believe, will be found to be the case.”

--Josiah Litch, in Signs of the Times, and Expositor of Prophecy, Aug. 1, 1840.   

At the very time specified, Turkey, through her ambassadors, accepted the protection of the allied powers of Europe, and thus placed herself under the control of Christian nations.  The event exactly fulfilled the prediction.

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Around that time increased study of the book of Daniel (the opened book) brought to light the picture of the Son of God as the High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary, and this attracted attention to the services of the earthly building which represented it.  We also found that the 2300 day prophecy regarding the cleansing of the sanctuary finished in 1844.  In the future when this opening is repeated, maybe we will have greater understanding of the time prophecies of chapter twelve.

Then, in The Revelation chapter 10, the LORD Himself told us that the day-for-a-year principle of interpreting prophecy would no longer apply – from that time on (1844) such time prophecies were to be seen as literal time.      

Therefore, in our understanding today, the five months means just that, and the “hour, and a day, and a month, and a year” is a little over a year.  It is to these time periods we are to look, but we have no information on when they will start.  In like manner, the “time, times and half a time” becomes three and a half years of literal time.  Therefore the days in which we live are solemn and important.  The Spirit of God is gradually but surely being withdrawn from the earth.  Plagues and judgments are already falling upon the despisers of the grace of God.  The calamities by land and sea, the unsettled state of society, the alarms of war, are ominous.  They forecast approaching events of the greatest magnitude.  The agencies of evil are combining their forces, and consolidating.  They are strengthening for the last great crisis.  Great changes are soon to take place in our world, and the final movements will be rapid ones, and will lead into the events described in the eleventh chapter of The Revelation.

Yet we are still discussing the events of the sixth trumpet!

Using the technique of showing the past to illustrate the future, Christ has shown us the events of the French Revolution as they occurred from 1793 to 1797, (known as The Reign of Terror).  Because the future is too horrible to describe, we are shown the horrors of the past.  (See note 3.)  Not until part-way through that eleventh chapter are we shown the seventh trumpeter blowing his horn, for his message is that the end of the world has come. 

 

Trumpet #7:    The Revelation11:15-18

 “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world are become [right now] the kingdoms of our LORD, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever . . . And the nations were angry [past tense], and Your wrath [the seven LAST plagues] is come [present], and the time of the [rebellious] dead, that they should be judged [the 1,000 years], and that You should give reward to Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth’.”   

Conclusion:

As I see it, it appears that there will be three attacks on the modern way of life in various parts of the world, none of which will come to anything much, except for those unfortunate enough to participate in them.  But they will so upset the established authorities that there will be a searching for a special man.

Then will come one who will unify the political systems of professed Christianity by a religious coalition.

After that, wide-reaching physical force will come and there will be a short literal conflict of five months between two groups.  This will be started by some worldwide religions, the foremost of whom will be Islam, whose worship day is Friday, against the professed Christians whose worship day is Sunday. 

However, after much internal strife as well as the cost of the external fighting, and as a consequence of the natural disasters in their countries, these other religions will be brought to their knees in another period of a year or so, and will seek help from the professed Christian nations (their former enemies) which are suggesting a Sunday law observance as the remedy for the problems in the world, both geographical and spiritual.  It is in this way that a series of world-wide Sunday laws will gain acceptance, for the people will be told that God is angry with them and is punishing them.

That uneasy peace (the clay and iron of the statue’s feet and toes) will last a while until the nonconformists (Sabbath-keepers) are identified as the main enemy of this plan, and the Sunday laws will eventually be modified by a series of amendments into a Sabbath desecration programme.  This will bring to the fore those who have the seal of God in their foreheads, and a world-wide coalition of Sunday-keeping religions will then attempt to eliminate them physically.  At that point the seventh trumpet (the last trump) will sound and the controversy will be all over as far as the dead Christians are concerned, for the first resurrection will see them all redeemed.  

As it was:  (in history)

There were three plus one bands of men who attacked the civilisation of Rome in various places and in various ways.  The “plus one” became king in place of the old order, but was afterward replaced by the religious leader.  This whole physical experience lasted a relatively short time – approximately 77 years in the historical version.  (The 7th head of the beast in The Revelation 17:10-11 will “continue a short space” before the 8th head takes over.)

That means that in the past there were two periods of religiously motivated wars which got progressively worse.  During those times the “day for a year” principle applied to prophetic time.  At the end of the last period, the attacking power suddenly gave in and voluntarily surrendered to the powers it had been trying to conquer.

Then came news from the Son of God that the book of Daniel was now open, and a certain great new understanding of God’s work became apparent.  This led to the 1844 warning of the three angels of The Revelation chapter 14 being given, but its result was unexpected (it made their stomachs “bitter”).

As it will be: (in the future)

Do I need to spell it out?   If the principle we have followed is correct, then after the “orchestra” instruments do their “tuning” (the sporadic attacks by the terrorists of today), there will be 3 + 1 inconclusive attacks on the western civilisation by some nations from the “king of the south” persuasion.  This will prepare the way for a change in attitude in politics.

After that there will be a concerted and unified action for five months against the “king of the north” which will appear to achieve some success, but that will be followed by a period of just over a year of retaliation which will culminate in the “king of the south” accepting the protection of the Sunday-keeping group.  Why?  Internal disagreements, external physical problems in the natural world, and a general attitude of helplessness against these disasters which will have killed millions, will bring it about (with Satan’s help), for he is pinning his hope on his Sunday-keeping branch of religion. 

Just previous to all this, a message from the Son of God will bring new light from the sanctuary and its services.

At the end of this time the Sunday-keeping nations will appear as saviours to the world, and it will look as though an era of peace and safety is about to occur if they get rid of the Sabbath-keepers.  Those false religions will be greatly loved and lauded, especially as Satan now plays his trump card by appearing as the returned Christ on earth and behaving as the people expect of Him.  

Finally,

The Revelation 13:1-10.

And I [John] stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea [from among many people], having seven heads [civil authorities] and ten horns [religious powers], and upon his horns ten crowns [they were in charge], and upon his heads the name [character] of blasphemy.

And the beast which I saw was like to a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion [first, representing the nations of old, and now also the new]: and the dragon [the devil] gave him [this new beast] his power, and his seat, and great authority . . . and all the world wondered [worshipped] after the beast.  And [in this] they worshipped the dragon which gave power to the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, “Who is like to the beast?  Who is able to make war with him?”

And there was given to him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given to him to continue forty-two months [3 ˝ years]. And [during that time] he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name [character], and his tabernacle [His way of worship], and them that dwell in heaven [the angels].

And it was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them [they had to give up witnessing]: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations [the whole world].          And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 

If any man have an ear, let him hear.

He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity: he that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword.  Here [in understanding this] is the patience and the faith of the saints.

The next verses go on to tell us that the main player in all these events will be the Sunday-keeping United States of America!

 

oooOooo

 

Note 1:

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danelaw

The Danelaw, as recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (also known as the Danelagh; Old English: Dena lagu; Danish: Danelagen), is a historical name given to the part of England in which the laws of the "Danes" held sway[1] and dominated those of the Anglo-Saxons. It is contrasted with "West Saxon law" and "Mercian law". The term has been extended by modern historians to be geographical. The areas that comprised the Danelaw are in northern and eastern England. The origins of the Danelaw arose from the Viking expansion of the 9th century, although the term was not used to describe a geographic area until the 11th century. With the increase in population and productivity in Scandinavia, Viking warriors, having sought treasure and glory in the nearby British Isles, "proceeded to plough and support themselves", in the words of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, for the year 876.[2]

Danelaw is also used to describe the set of legal terms and definitions created in the treaties between the English king, Alfred the Great, and the Danish warlord, Guthrum, written following Guthrum's defeat at the Battle of Ethandun in 878. In 886, the Treaty of Alfred and Guthrum was formalised, defining the boundaries of their kingdoms, with provisions for peaceful relations between the English and the Vikings.

The Danish laws held sway in the Kingdom of Northumbria and Kingdom of East Anglia, and the lands of the Five Boroughs of Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Stamford and Lincoln.

The prosperity of the Danelaw, especially Eoforwic (Danish Jórvík, modern York), led to its becoming a target for later Viking raiders. Conflict with Wessex and Mercia sapped the strength of the Danelaw. The waning of its military power together with the Viking onslaughts led to its submission to Edward the Elder in return for protection. It was to be part of his Kingdom of England, and no longer a province of Denmark, as the English laid final claim to it; the Norsemen gradually became Anglo-Scandinavians.   BACK

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 Note 2.

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/151663/Dark-Ages

 

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Dark Ages, the early medieval period of western European history.  Specifically, the term refers to the time (476–800) when there was no Roman (or Holy Roman) emperor in the West; or, more generally, to the period between about 500 and 1000, which was marked by frequent warfare and a virtual disappearance of urban life.  It is now rarely used by historians because of the value judgment it implies.  Though sometimes taken to derive its meaning from the fact that little was then known about the period, the term’s more usual and pejorative sense is of a period of intellectual darkness and barbarity. See Middle Ages.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_Ages

The Middle Ages (adjectival form: medieval or medićval) is a historical period following the Iron Age, beginning in the 5th century and lasting to the 15th century, and preceded the Early Modern Era.  In Europe, the period saw the large-scale European Migration and fall of the Western Roman Empire. . .

The Early Middle Ages saw the continuation of trends set in ancient history (such as late Antiquity for Europe), depopulation, deurbanization, and increased barbarian invasion.  North Africa and the Middle East, once part of the Eastern Roman Empire, became Islamic.  Later in European history, the establishment of the feudal system allowed a return to systemic agriculture.  There was sustained urbanization in northern and western Europe.  During the High Middle Ages in Europe, Christian-oriented art and architecture flourished and Crusades were mounted to recapture the Holy Land from Muslim control.  The influence of the emerging nation-state in Europe was tempered by the ideal of an international Christendom.  The codes of chivalry and courtly love set rules for proper behavior, while the European Scholastic philosophers attempted to reconcile faith and reason.    BACK

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Note 3.

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{Great Controversy 283.1 - 284.1}

King, clergy, and nobles were compelled to submit to the atrocities of an excited and maddened people.  Their thirst for vengeance was only stimulated by the execution of the king; and those who had decreed his death soon followed him to the scaffold.  A general slaughter of all suspected of hostility to the Revolution was determined.  The prisons were crowded, at one time containing more than two hundred thousand captives.  The cities of the kingdom were filled with scenes of horror.  One party of revolutionists was against another party, and France became a vast field for contending masses, swayed by the fury of their passions.  “In Paris one tumult succeeded another, and the citizens were divided into a medley of factions, that seemed intent on nothing but mutual extermination.” And to add to the general misery, the nation became involved in a prolonged and devastating war with the great powers of Europe.  “The country was nearly bankrupt, the armies were clamoring for arrears of pay, the Parisians were starving, the provinces were laid waste by brigands, and civilization was almost extinguished in anarchy and license.”  . . .

“Then came those days when the most barbarous of all codes was administered by the most barbarous of all tribunals; when no man could greet his neighbors or say his prayers . . . without danger of committing a capital crime; when spies lurked in every corner; when the guillotine was long and hard at work every morning; when the jails were filled as close as the holds of a slave ship; when the gutters ran foaming with blood into the Seine . . .While the daily wagonloads of victims were carried to their doom through the streets of Paris, the proconsuls, whom the sovereign committee had sent forth to the departments, reveled in an extravagance of cruelty unknown even in the capital.  The knife of the deadly machine rose and fell too slow for their work of slaughter.    BACK

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[1] Here is the principle:   

“I am often referred to the parable of the ten virgins, five of whom were wise, and five foolish.  This parable has been and will be fulfilled to the very letter, for it has a special application to this time, and, like the third angel's message, has been fulfilled and will continue to be present truth till the close of time”.  {RH, August 19, 1890 par. 3}   BACK

 

[2] The meaning of the word appears from Exodus 3:14 to be “the unchanging, eternal, self-existent God,” the “I am that I am,” a covenant-keeping God.—Easton's Illustrated Dictionary  BACK

 

 

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