by Elder James S. White
Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,
Vol. 55 No. 2, 1880, Jan. 8
"Signs of the Times #2"
Political events are fitly symbolized by trumpets, the chosen heralds of war and revolution. The seven trumpets of Rev. 8, 9, and 11, bring to view the great political events in the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, and reach over past the destruction of all earthly kingdoms, and of sin and sinners, to the time when Christ shall be the great King, and his dominion shall embrace all the earth.
The first trumpet was fulfilled in the first invasion of the Roman Empire by the Goths under Alaric, commencing A. D. 395.
The second trumpet points to the terrible inflection of disaster upon the empire by the piratical Vandals under Genseric, 428-468.
Attila and his warlike Huns responded to the call of the third trumpet. Under the fourth trumpet, the Ostrogoths, Theodoric and Odoacer raised their thrones on the now extinguished Western Empire. A third part of the luminaries in the Roman political heavens was now darkened.
The ninth chapter of Revelation is devoted in equal portions to the fifth and sixth trumpets, fulfilled respectively by the Saracens and Turks. These trumpets bring to view the scourge of Christendom by the Mohammedans. These are woe trumpets. The prophetic periods of the fifth trumpet ended in 1449; that of the sixth, August 11, 1840. The second woe was then past, " and behold," said the prophet, " the third woe cometh quickly." Rev. 11:14.
The startling events to occur under the sounding of the seventh angel are given in these words: " 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 give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth." Verse 18. The seventh trumpet, though the last of the seven, is not the " last trump" that will rouse the dead and change the living righteous " in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye."
The seventh trumpet, like the six that precede it, covers a period of time, and under its sounding a series of events occur. Mark the difference: The work of the last trump will be accomplished " in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye;" 1 Cor. 15: 52; while that of the seventh angel covers a period of prophetic days: "But in the days [years] of the voice of the seventh angel." Rev. 10:7. The last three of the seven are woe trumpets. The seventh is the third woe covering all remaining woes, reaching to the execution of the last Judgment, when sin and sinners will cease to exist. We briefly notice the events under the sounding of the seventh angel in their order.
(1.) The anger of the nations. The spirit of war and bloodshed has existed since the days of Cain, who slew his brother. The increase of wars constitutes a sign of the end. These are to increase in violence and extent until the nations shall be angry.
(2.) The wrath of God in the seven last plagues. "And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues ; for in them is filled up the wrath of God." Rev. 15 :1. For a description of these plagues, read the sixteenth chapter.
(3.) The time of the Judgment, which embraces two resurrections, one thousand years apart. Rev. 20 :5, 6. The great day of the Lord is not less than one thousand years, and reference may be made to it by the apostle when he states that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2 Pet. 3 : 7, 8.
(4.) The reward of the saints in full will be given at the close of the seventh millennium. They will have the gift of immortality at the second corning of Christ, and will inherit the city of God during the period between the two resurrections ; but their entire reward of an immortal inheritance will not be theirs until the wicked shall be destroyed from the earth at the second death, and the new earth shall appear as their eternal in- heritance. Then shall the King say to those on his right hand, " Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Matt. 25 : 34.
(5.) In connection with the final and complete reward of the just, will the destruction of the unjust take place. Sin and sinners will be destroyed, and the righteous will be rewarded and eternally saved
James White and Seven Seals
James White and Seven Trumpets
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