THE SEVEN TRUMPETS
"And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets, prepared themselves to sound." (Rev. 8: 6).
On the subject of the trumpets, I shall say but little: not because the events of each trumpet are not clearly defined in history, but for want of space in the book. I shall confine my remarks mainly to the sounding of the last three, and refer the reader to the writings of Dr. Adam Clark, for the historical application.
The sounding of the seven trumpets, I understand to shadow-forth the events by which the dominion of the last of the four Gentile kingdoms was to be broken, overthrown, and finally destroyed. After Constantine, the sovereignty was divided into three parts; hence, the frequent use of the terms, "a third part of men," &c., alluding to the third part of the empire which was under the scourge. And here we may notice the distinction in the language of these scourges, and those which are to come un-
der the "seven last plagues." These are confined to a third, while the plagues, which are to be universal, are to be poured out upon all the prophetic earth, instead of a third part.
Under the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th trumpets, these scourges were brought upon the two western parts of the empire. Under the 5th and 6th, the dominion of Rome at the east, at Constantinople, was subverted. While under the 7th, great Babylon will go down to rise no more, the times of the Gentiles end, and "the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of the Lord."
The first trumpet was fulfilled by the events under Alaric, the Gothic chief, who commenced these scourges on the empire, and styled himself "the scourge of God." The second was brought about by Genseric, whose attacks were mainly from the shores of Africa, and on the water. The third, under Attilla, who first attacked the empire in its eastern possessions, and then suddenly, like a falling star, invades the west. Under the fourth trumpet, "a third part of of the sun was smitten," and a third part of the empire was extinguished ; and, by these four, the empire was broken into its ten fragments.
The remaining trumpets, the 5th, 6th and 7th, are called woe trumpets; "Woe, woe, woe to the inhabiters of the earth, by reason of the other voices of the trumpets of the three angels which are yet to sound," (Rev. 8: 13). The first of these was under the Saracens; the second under the Mohammedans; and the third and last is "the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation," at which time "many that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake," The measure of the first two woe trumpets, is given in the prophecy, while the duration of the third woe trumpet, or seventh and last of the series, is to be found indirectly, but with almost equal certainty.
The fifth trumpet, and first woe, began under the Saracens when Othman first invaded the Roman empire, July 27th, A. D. 1299, and ended in July, 1449, at which date the independence of the eastern possession of the empire virtually passed away. The dale of the fall of Constantinople was two years after, or in A. D. 1451. But at the first named date, the emperor Constantine Deacozes ascended the throne at Constantinople, by asking and obtaining the permission of the Sultan; and this exactly meets the conditions of the prophecy, for the empire of the east was not to be exterminated under that, but under the following trumpet; as, "to them it was given that they should not kill," (verse 5). [This being a symbol, is political,
and not literal death]. "But that they shall be tormented five months." Five months is 5 times 30, or 150 days; and as the time given to measure symbols is itself symbolic, it measures 150 years.
During this 150 years, the Saracens murdered, robbed and taxed the people, while the government at Constantinople was too weak to give protection; and yet taxed and oppressed the people for its own maintenance, until at last, the people earnestly desired political death, that their own government might be abolished, and they be permitted to serve only one set of masters. "And in those days men shall seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die but death shall flee from them," (verse 6). "One woe is passed, and behold, two more woes come hereafter," (verse 12).
That the empire did not fall, but that the Saracen chief should grant permission to a Christian emperor to ascend the throne at Constantinople, when he had the power to prevent it, seems strange until we look at the facts. The east, had long been urging the Christian nations of Europe to come to their rescue, and save Constantinople from the Turks; and the western nations were continually making promises of assistance, but owing to home troubles deferred sending it. The Saracens, dreading such interference from the Christian nations of Europe, were thus held in check. But the time was at hand when this restraint was to be broken through, when the four angels (or winds) bound in the great river Euphrates, were to be let loose, viz: the restraint of the christian nations; the waters of the Euphrates, "the waters on which the harlot," —mystic Babylon — "sitteth," was to be let loose or taken off from the Mohammedans, so that the sixth trumpet, or downfall of Constantinople and the east, might be accomplished.
"And the sixth angel sounded; and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel which held the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the groat river Euphrates. 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," (verses 13-15).
Under this trumpet, not torment merely, but death —political death — just what the people of the east had been praying for, was to follow. The Mohammedans were enabled to rise above the wholesome dread the christian nations of the west had exercised over them, and thus the four angels "bound in [or by]
the great river Euphrates," were let loose. But I will again refer the reader to the commentary of Dr. Clark for the details of the application, devoting the little space here to the investigation of the duration of the trumpet. God has chosen to represent a year by twelve months, and a month by thirty days. And as in symbolic Time a day stands for a year, the measurement is as follows: "An hour," is the twenty-fourth part of a day; and the twenty-fourth part of a prophetic "day," or 360, is 15 days. A "day," is one year ; a "month," is 30 years ; a "year,"is 360 years. Therefore, the sixth trumpet sounded 39l years and 15 days; and commencing July 27th, 1449, should have ended August 11th, 1840. In other words, the Mohammedan powers which fill the sixth trumpet, were to control the east, which fell under their dominion, for the above period of time.
Those who will examine the American Encyclopedia or any history of Europe, as late as August, 1840, will find the following facts:
In August, 1840, the combined fleets of the Allies, knocked at the door of the Sultan at Constantinople, and under the penalty of a bombardment of the city demanded his signature to a paper which should transfer the control of the empire into the hands of the Christian nations of Europe. And that paper was signed; since which the "sick man" of the east, has been at the mercy of the European powers. Hence, on that very day, the independence of the Turkish empire virtually ended, and the sixth trumpet ceased to sound.
"The second woe is passed, and behold, the third woe cometh quickly; 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 forever and ever; and the nations were angry," (Rev. 11: 15).
It will he noticed the sixth trumpet ended with the 9th chapter; and the subjects of the 10th and part of the 11th chapters, are introduced before the sounding of the seventh trumpet is described. This seems to be all in order, since the 10th chapter is a prophetic history of the advent message, the proclamation with which the 7th trumpet was to open. While the slaying of the two witnesses of the 11th chapter, had its fulfilment in the terrible scenes of the French revolution of the last century, the closing part of the woe under the 6th trumpet. These statements will doubtless appear visionary to most readers; for there
is a weakness of human nature with which they come in contact, viz: So long as prophecy can be applied to men or events far remote from our own times, and the facts of history and prophecy are in harmony, it is all right and can be accepted. But as we approach our own day, the bare suggestion that prophecy can be fulfilled by living men and events now present, is scouted, and considered almost sacreligious; the idea that prophecy can be fulfilled in our day! And pray why not? If we are entering the day of the Lord, and a change of dispensation is at hand, instead of entertaining so silly a prejudice, we should rather expect the fulfilments to crowd one on the other in rapid succession.
That the two Covenants, the one graven on stone, and the other on the fleshly tablets of the heart; the one on the plane of the flesh, the other on that of the spirit, the old and the new covenant or Testament; are the "two witnesses" of Christ, is placed beyond all doubt by his own words. The Scriptures spoken of by our Lord were the Old Testament. No other was in force and the dispensation of the Spirit, or new Covenant, did not commence until the day of Pentecost. Now hear the words of the Master: "I receive not testimony from man." Is Christ the same yesterday, today and forever? Then how shall man fill the picture of "MY TWO WITNESSES"? (Rev. 11: 3). Jesus names his two witnesses; will you take his word? Or do you prefer the silly interpretations of the day, that make two men, or bodies of men, of sufficient importance to fill that prophecy? Hear his own testimony: "Search the SCRIPTURES, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and THEY are they that testify of me," (John 5: 39). Here is one, but where shall we find its mate? "John bear witness to the truth, but I have a greater witness than that of John." And yet John was the "greatest born of woman." Where are the advocates of two personal witnesses to find their men? they cannot be born of woman, and yet be the witnesses to which Christ refers. "The WORKS that I do, bear witness of me," (verse 36). Is the "New testament of his blood," confirmed by the death of the testator, having Jesus Christ the chief corner stone, and Jesus Christ the cap stone, a record of him and his works? then it is his second witness.
Rev. 11 is of course a symbol, and the time that measures it is symbolic. "And they shall prophecy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth," was fulfilled during the 1260 years of the control of this "man of sin," when
these two witnesses were by legal enactments, kept from the people, and under the vail of a dead language. These two witnesses were put to death by a legal enactment, in that great city "spiritually called Sodom and Egypt;" and for three and a-half years, during that great infidel revolution which swept over Europe at the close of the last century, they were abolished by law; immediately after which they were "exalted to heaven." The Bible societies of the present century, have made them a living reality among "all peoples, and tongues, and nations, and languages;" "And their enemies have beheld them." During that terrible revolution the tenth part of the city fell, [that is France, one of the "ten"], and in the earthquake were slain of men's names, [margin], seven thousand. All titles, both in church and state, were reduced to the one common name of citizen. "The second woe is passed, and behold, the third won cometh quickly; and the seventh angel sounded."
The 7th trumpet begins with the proclamation that the time has come; that the kingdoms of this world belong to our Lord and his Christ, and that he is to reign here on the earth, forever and ever. That proclamation has been sounding for the last 38 years, and many are just beginning to hear and believe it; that the saints are to be kings and priests, and reign on the earth; and that when the kingdom is the Lord's, all the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord. And the Advent movement, notwithstanding all its mistakes, all its errors of judgment, and all its human weaknesses, has been fulfilling this part of the seventh trumpet. The reproach was because the message itself, necessarily attacks a deep-seated, and fully believed theological error. If the saints are to be kings and priests and reign on the earth forever, the doctrine of dying and going to some other world for our reward and future home, is of course, an error.
Rev. 10:, is a prophetic history of the message. The "open book" is the unsealed prophecies; "shut up the words, and seal the book even to the time of the end," (Dan. 12:4). The Advent message claimed the "time of the end" had come, and that the book was open. The eating of the book can be understood. "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart," (Jer. 15: 16). And to those who love the appearing of our Lord, the message was "sweet as honey." The bitterness which followed, needs no explanation, to such as know the bitterness of the disappoint-
ment of the 10th day of the 7th month of 1844. And the last verse of Rev. 10:, is now being fulfilled in this midnight cry and harvest message. The two movements, or messages, are also given in Matt. 25: the first one, in which the virgins are represented as going forth to meet the Bridegroom prior to the disappointment, is from verse 1 to 5; and the last, from verse 6 to 12. The one was to end in the bitterness of disappointment, the other in success.
The sixth trumpet ended in August, 1840. and the seventh began to sound. But the "woe," or time of trouble under the seventh trump, is preceded by the proclamation with which that trumpet opens. "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 forever and ever." The word here rendered "are become," is "ginomia," and in Mark 1: 17, is rendered "to become." "I will make you to become fishers of men." And in 1 Cor. 9: 27, "should be," —"Lest I myself should be a cast away." Hence, the true rendering is, "the kingdoms of this world shall be, or are to become, the kingdoms of our Lord."
The seventh trump is divided into two parts; in the first of which this closing message of the gospel was to be given, while the woe, the time of trouble and angry nations, the resurrection and rewards, belong under the latter part. "In the days [years] of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished," (Rev. 10: 7).
Mello is the word here rendered "shall begin," and this is the only instance where it is translated begin, or "shall begin." In other cases it is rendered "will," "should," or "shall," "Herod will seek the young child's life." Hence, the true rendering here is, "In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he will or shall sound, the mystery of God shall be finished." The mystery of God is evidently the gospel; the taking out of a people to become sons by the mysterious process of being begotten and born of the Spirit, so that the natural sonship of the Jew was of no advantage, and the Gentile can share equally with the Jew. And the apostles claim to be stewards of the mysteries of God, (1 Cor. 4:1; see also Eph. 3: 10).
That the advent proclamation answers to the opening message of this trumpet, is clear. The whole burden of that message has been that Christ was coming; that the kingdoms of this world were to pass into his hands. "Behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven . . . and there was
given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him," (Dan. 7: !3). What is that but the kingdoms of this world becoming the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ? And is it not at his coming "in the clouds of heaven," and not as the "man of sorrows," that these kingdoms become his? Theology must bend to Scripture or it will prove to be poor stuff "in the day that shall try every man's work so as by fire."
With this message the "the mystery of God will be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets." And from August, 1840, to the spring of 1878 or 37 and a-half years, will consummate this part of the work. Then look out for "angry nations," "and the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest reward thy servants the prophets, and the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great, and shouldest destroy them that destroy the earth." (verse 18).
The kingdoms of this world become our Lord's, only by conquest. If it was by the conversion of the nations to Christianity, how is it they are angry? "These [ten kings] shall make war with the Lamb," (Rev. 17: 14), is not conversion by gospel preaching. "I saw the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together, to make war upon him that sat upon the horse, and against his army," is not a revival of religion, but the battle of the "great day of God Almighty." Why will a drousy church sleep on the edge of a volcano, and dream of smoothly gliding into a millennium, that is only to be brought about by the judgment of the great day? Whatever the character of this war and conquest, one thing is certain, the nations will be angry, and God's wrath will have come. "God came from Teman; the Holy One from Mount Paren; He stood and measured the earth; He beheld, and drove asunder the nations." "Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the heathen; I will be exalted in the earth," (Ps. 46: 8-10). The seventh trumpet sounds from Aug. 1840, until "the time of trouble," or day of wrath is ended. Hence, it doubtless ends with the times of the Gentiles, and this forty years of conquest; and therefore, sounds until A. D. 1914: at the end of which, Babylon the great will have fallen, and the "dragon" be bound; that is, the nations will be subdued, and "the prince of this world cast out."
"WITH A SHOUT."
"With a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God." —1 Thes. 4: 16.
Here is the seventh trumpet and all we have just been speaking of, brought out in a sentence. "The trump of God," is the seventh trump, as we shall show. The "shout," is the same as "the great voices," (Rev. 11: 15), with which this trumpet opens; and the voice of the archangel," is the "angry nations," and "time of trouble."
Because this is from Paul, the idea obtains that it must be a simple statement of literal facts, easy to understand, and many have come to expect a terrible vibration of the atmosphere from immortal lungs, an actual blast from a silver or perhaps golden trumpet, accompanied with a voice from the throat of Michael the archangel, that will waken the dead. But it is the "spirit of Christ that dwells in you, which shall quicken your mortal bodies," and not the blast of a trumpet.
In 2 Peter 3: 16, the apostle, after devoting the whole chapter to the events concerning "the day of the Lord," observes: "Even as our beloved brother Paul, also, according to the wisdom given unto him, hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which they that are unlearned, and unstable, wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction," Then Paul, when speaking of the things concerning the day of the Lord, says things "hard to be understood." And in Peter's day, and in fact until the seventh trump began to sound, these things could not be understood. But now "the little book is open," and "he may run that reads."
That the "trump of God," the "seventh trump," and the "last trump," are one and the same, can be proven thus; [The word soluo, rendered trump and trumpet, is the same in each case]. "Behold, I show you a mystery, we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead in Christ shall be raised incorruptable," &c. Here we learn that the resurrection, and the change occurs "at the last trump," The word "at" is here the same as in Matt. 13: 30, and 40, where it is rendered in — "and in the time of harvest, I will say to the reapers;" "So shall it be in the end of this world;" hence, "we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, in the last trump," is the proper rendering. "In the days of the
voice of the seventh angel," these things are to transpire, "We have now learned that the resurrection of the dead in Christ occurs "at," or in the "last trump," and also that it occurs "at the trump of God;" hence, they are one and the same. "For thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just," (Luke 14: 14). Then we are to be "recompensed," or rewarded, "at the last trump," when the "resurrection of the just takes place." "And the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices, and the nations were angry, and the time of the dead that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest reward thy servants the prophets, and the saints, and them that fear thy name small and great." Then the seventh trump of John, and the last trump of Paul, are one and the same; one begins with "great voices," and the other with a "shout:" the one is called "the trump of God," and the other the trump which introduces the events of the day of the Lord. All the trumpets are called the voices of angels. "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;" Michael is the archangel, (Jude 7:). Hence it is the archangel who attends on the events connected with the trump of God, or seventh trumpet. "And at that time shall Michael stand up, that great prince that standeth for the children of my people, and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, and at that time thy people [Daniel's people] shall be delivered, and many that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake," (Dan, 12: 1), Then the archangel is connected with the trump of God, and the "voice of the archangel" is of the same character, as the voices of the other, viz: the events that belong to that trumpet; and Paul's "hard to be understood" words are explaining themselves.
The blood of Christ "speaketh better things than that of Abel." And the blood of Abel "cried unto the Lord;" "The heavens declare the glory of God; day unto day uttereth speech; and there is no speech or language where their voice is not heard," (Ps. 19: 3) "If they will not believe thee, neither harken to the voice of the first sign, they will believe the voice of the latter sign," (Exo. 4: 8). Indeed, almost everything is said to have a voice, and the voice of these trumpets are events. And the voice of the archangel is the loudest of any, for it is those of the great day of God Almighty over which Michael has the supervision. And so Christ comes in the midst of these things which are already transpiring; the proclamation; and the time of trouble; which together constitute the trump of God.