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The Revelation chapters 8 & 9
In the year 1840 a remarkable fulfilment of prophecy excited widespread interest in the United States. Two years before, in 1838, Josiah Litch had published an article on these chapters, predicting the fall of the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire which at that time was one of the largest in the world. According to his calculations, this (Islamic) power was to be overthrown in 1840, sometime in the month of August.
Only a few days previous to its accomplishment he wrote,
"Allowing the first period, 150 years, to have been exactly fulfilled before Deacozes [a Christian emperor] ascended the throne [of Constantinople] by permission of the Turks, and that the 391 years, 15 days, commenced at the close of the first period, it will end on 11th of August 1840, when the Ottoman power in Constantinople may be expected to be broken." " Signs of the Times and Expositor of Prophecy", 1st August, 1840.
At the very time specified, Moslem Turkey, through her ambassadors, accepted the protection of the allied powers of Europe, and thus placed herself under the control of the Christian nations. This event exactly fulfilled the prediction by reversing the previous action. When it became known, multitudes were convinced of the correctness of the principles of prophetic interpretation as shown in "A Guide to Understanding Prophecy".
It was at a time when the Western European, Persian, Indian, and Chinese cultures had lived independently and practically ignoring each other for many centuries that the Arab hordes began their holy wars. From 622AD they spread through the Middle East and Egypt, then across the northern coast of Africa, eventually crossing the Mediterranean into Catholic Spain in 711 where they later became known as the Moors, remaining in control until about 1492. (The last of them were expelled in 1609). From Spain they made excursions as far as Poitiers in the heart of France. In the east they proceeded from Arabia to the Great Wall of China which was built to contain them, and their last great battle against the Chinese was in 751AD.
Jerusalem was conquered by the Moslems in 638AD and during that period of occupation the Arabs built the Dome of the Rock on the site of the old Jewish temple, and ever since it has been a central point for their religion. The city was not freed until a Christian crusade in 1099AD. However, after a short time in Crusader hands, Jerusalem was recaptured, and although set free again for two short periods by Christians, was taken again by the Saracens in 1244AD and kept out of Christian hands until 1917.
The Ottoman Empire attacked Europe through the battle of Bapheum on the 27th July 1299. For 150 years after that they battered at the gates of Eastern Europe but without success until at last they conquered the city of Constantinople in 1453. (However, the Christian emperor, Deacozes, had been given permission to rule by them in 1449.) After the conquest they made advances into Europe as far as the city of Venice and were a formidable threat to the professed Christian nations of Europe. However, calculating from 27 July 1449, the 391 years and 15 day prophecy brings us to the 11th August 1840, when the allied Christian powers of Europe intervened in a dispute between Turkey and Egypt and caused the downfall of the Ottoman Empire.
About 75 years later the Anzacs were fighting against the remnants of that Empire and after the Great War (1914-1918) Israel came under British control until 1948.
But, as the word of God records, none of these events changed the thinking or the allegiance of people of western Europe to papal Rome. They "repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols..."
Therefore the "Dark Ages", (with western Europe an almost insignificant backwater in world history), continued throughout this time until the reformation begun by the German monk Martin Luther in 1517. His "light" caused a revival of true religion for a while, but since 1844 the world has followed an altogether different system. Ever since the introduction of the industrial age, the worship of money and material things has become the main interest of the people of the nations. This is more fully described in The Revelation chapter 17 where the "beast" is shown with seven heads.
It is sufficient for us to know at this point that this "6th king/head" of materialism is destined to be replaced by a "7th king/head" which will come about by a revival of "religion", the worship of the "image of the beast".
Then, after existing for "a short space", it will hand over to the final manifestation of the beast, the "8th king/head", which will unite all the world in one last, desperate effort to annihilate Gods people.
Then it is that the God of heaven will set up His kingdom "which shall never be destroyed". Will you be in it?
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