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The "locusts" of Revelation 9

Query for the Month

of

September 2011

Next up-date: October 1st 2011 (God willing).

Previous "Queries" are available. Click here to access.

Some perpetual questions ....

Is there really an immortal soul?

 

Do you know the difference between the "love" that is of Christianity
and the "love" that is of the world?
Click here to find out!
 

Click on the link for a good book on the character of our God which you can download for free and share amongst your friends.   It's called "Light through Darkness" and is one of the best books on this subject that I have ever read! 

(when you get to the site just click "cancel" and it will let you in.  Then click "order" to obtain a copy. )

In the meantime, try this site.    And here's one where you can read it online.

 

Here's another great site on the character of God written in a way that's very easy to understand.

In this reply 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 this article, right or wrong, are my own.   


Query: 

Revelation 9:1-3

“And the fifth angel sounded [his trumpet], 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; 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. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 

This scripture is very puzzling.  Just who were these locusts and when did they appear?  And who gave them their power?

 

Answer:

We need a little background before we can hope to understand this fifth trumpeter’s message.

 

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 favoured professed Christianity and 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.)

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

The first three trumpets were descriptions of attacks which were going to be made by outside tribes against the strongholds of the Roman Empire.  They were to occur 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 western 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, and this included the Christians.

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 safety. 

(That’s why He has sent us the spiritual “censer” as a symbol for use in our prayers.  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 random attacks against Christianity during the second and third centuries, and some of its adherents had been crucified 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.

There is nothing ecumenical about that!

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!’”   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 [the religious people of the nations] 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. 

The first use of this prophecy of the “abomination” was when the Roman army surrounded the city of Jerusalem (c. 66BC ) in a siege which lasted about three years.  In Luke’s version of Christ’s words the Christians of the time were told, “And you shall be hated of all men for My name's [character] sake. But there shall not a hair of your head perish. In your patience possess you your souls.  And when you shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled”.  Luke 21:17-22.

Thus it is written:

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

{GC 30.2}

Not one Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem. 

Christ had given His disciples warning, and all who believed His words watched for the promised sign.  “When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies,” said Jesus, “then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.  Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out.” Luke 21:20, 21.  After the Romans under Cestius had surrounded the city, they unexpectedly abandoned the siege when everything seemed favorable for an immediate attack.  The besieged, despairing of successful resistance, were on the point of surrender, when the Roman general withdrew his forces without the least apparent reason. 

But God's merciful providence was directing events for the good of His own people.  The promised sign had been given to the waiting Christians, and now an opportunity was offered for all who would, to obey the Saviour's warning.  Events were so overruled that neither Jews nor Romans should hinder the flight of the Christians.  Upon the retreat of Cestius, the Jews, sallying from Jerusalem, pursued after his retiring army; and while both forces were thus fully engaged, the Christians had an opportunity to leave the city.  At this time the country also had been cleared of enemies who might have endeavored to intercept them.

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The second application came when the papacy attempted to change the “times and the laws” of God with its Sunday legislation after it was set up in 538AD.  When that “abomination which kills with the second death” was revealed it was time for His people to move out again, 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 day/years].”  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.

The third and final application of the “abomination” will be when organised religious forces take the field against Christians in the future, but that “fleeing” will be 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 [=1260 days =3˝ years], from the face of the serpent [and his people]”.   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. (See note 2.)

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 of north Africa and the Heruli of Italy!  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 over the surviving seven nations 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”.  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 following the God of Abraham.  In reality they are part of the “beast”.

Therefore in our query we are looking at a prophecy which foretold the rise of the Islamic religion with its antagonistic attitude against those who claimed to be followers of the living God, i.e. Christians. (See note 3.)

In their attacks against the professed people 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.  These attacks by the Arab states (the Saracens of the crusades and after that the Ottoman empire) against Catholic Europe continued for many centuries, virtually up till 1840, without any major conclusion either way.  Right now we live in a period of comparative peace between them both.

But in our future we can expect to see the two great “religious” powers taking the field against one another again 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 [Islam] push at him [the western world, notably the United States of America]: 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 [these 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 [the financial market], 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. 

All the world will certainly “wonder after the beast”.  Revelation 13:3.

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 authority of 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 Syria/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 bore them have changed from time to time.  Today, these three entities are scattered all over the world in every nation, but are still recognisable by their characters.

As of old, they all have a rallying point by which their adherents may also 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”.  Revelation 9:4-6. 

The “Dark Ages” (c. 500-1000AD) were exceedingly miserable, and for many individuals life was hardly worth living.  (See note 4.)  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 which stretched from July 1299 to July 1449.  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 the vicinity of 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.  However, in that 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, but were not. 

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 . . .”  Revelation 9:15.  This translates into the 391 years and 15 days which span from July 27, 1449 to August 11, 1840, 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.  It remained neutral during the time of the Third Reich, 1933-1945.)

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 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.

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

Around that time increased study of the book of Daniel (the opened book of Revelation 10:2) 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 of the prophecies of the book is to be repeated, maybe we will have greater understanding of the times of Daniel chapter twelve.

Then, also in Revelation chapter 10:6, 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 where the seventh angel sounds his trumpet.

“And they [the Christians] shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem [God’s people] shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken”.  Luke 21:24-26.

 

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{EW 41.1}

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.  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 . . . 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, 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.   

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Yet we are still discussing the events of the sixth trumpet which spill over into the eleventh chapter of The Revelation.  Then, when the seventh angel blows his instrument in Revelation 11:15 the controversy will be all over! 

“In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall BEGIN TO SOUND, the mystery of God should be finished, as He has declared to His servants the prophets”.  Revelation 10:7.  “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our LORD, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever’.”  Revelation 11:15.

 

Conclusion:

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 soon to a radical change in our Western political systems, our democracy, and then a move towards worldwide religious control as of old, an “image (copy) of the first beast! 

 

oooOooo

 


Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated,

but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.

 

Next query. To be discussed from October 1st 2011,

First we are told that no one is justified by their actions:

Romans 3:

20  Therefore by the deeds of the law [the Ten Commandments] there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. [1 John 3:4.] 21 But now the righteousness of God without the [deeds of the] law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ to all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God . . . 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

But before that we were told that anyone, Jew or Gentile, who did the deeds of the law shall be judged by those deeds!

Romans 2:

11 For there is no respect of persons with God. 12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. 14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the [outward] law, are a law to themselves: 15 which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another;) 16 in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.   

There appears to be a contradiction between these two scriptures.  How can we harmonise them?

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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:

This “abomination” of the future could be the last of the Sunday laws, for there will need to be at least five of them. 

The first will exalt Sunday as a day of rest and worship for the working man and woman, but the people will want to shop and have entertainment, so some will have to work;

The second will therefore close the shops, theatres, and other attractions on Sunday in a “buy and sell” decree;

The third will call on the people to worship on that day because of the increasingly frequent natural disasters called “acts of God”, which will be seen as punishments from Him because of lax religion;

The fourth will make attendance at a church compulsory and bring fines and imprisonment for those who do not comply;

The fifth will add desecration of the seventh day as a part of its conditions (work must be done on that day in a six-day working week), and death will be the penalty for non-observance.   BACK

 

Note 3:

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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 worldBACK

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Note 4

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

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 [city] 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.  BACK

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