The Judgment is Sure
The trumpets of history sounded to alert people of the final judgments;
their trumpet blast was to call people back into covenant relationship with their God.
They were designed to call people to repent but "they repented not of their sins." The Book of Revelation reveals Christ working out the provisions of God’s Covenant in the Last Days. It also reveals Christianity's Response to that Covenant
1st Trumpet, Judgment on Jerusalem
God's chosen nation, rejected Christ, their King.
Their destructive religious delusion was in failing to see CHRIST in all their religious ceremonies which pointed to Christ. They believed a lie and rejected truth. This is where the first judgment falls. Jesus cried in agonizing voice, "Your house is left to you desolate" Matt. 23:38 Jerusalem fell in a terrible siege and destruction in 70 A.D.
Biblical Symbolism used:
"Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city...
a third part thou shalt scatter in the wind....
sword after them...
Israel was often likened to Trees (Num. 24.5,6)
Isaiah 10.17-19 And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day; And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standard bearer fainteth. And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them.
Jer. 6.6 For thus hath the LORD of hosts said, Hew ye down trees, and cast a mount against Jerusalem: this is the city to be visited; she is wholly oppression in the midst of her.
Jer. 22:6,7,9,29 For thus saith the LORD unto the king's house of Judah... I will prepare destroyers against thee, every one with his weapons: and they shall cut down thy choice cedars, and cast them into the fire...Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God, and worshipped other gods,...O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD.
Isaiah 40.7,8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
(Ezekiel 13:10-16) "They have seduced my people saying, Peace and there was no peace...they built up a wall...hailstones shall fall and a storm wind shall rend it...great hailstones will consume it....the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem of peace for her, and there is no peace."
Haggai 2:17 "I smote you with...hail...yet you turned not to me says the Lord.
Not only were the trees and grass symbolic, but in a literal sense we find "All trees within fifteen kilometres of the city were cut down" by the Roman armies and used for crosses, attack equipment etc. The grass didn't fare much better as the Romans dug a trench all around the city and built a dirt wall all around the city as high as the actual walls of the city.
In scripture we read that Christ had brought Israel as a goodly vine out of Egypt (Ps. 80:8) He had planted it in a fruitful hill; pruning and tending it. But they did not bring forth fruit-- they had despised and rejected God's calls-- now the destroying angel with sword uplifted stood over Jerusalem.
"Unhappy Jerusalem rent by internal dissensions, the blood of her children slain by one another's hands crimsoning her streets, while alien armies beat down her fortifications and slew her men of war...."(GC 29)
"It was the sight of Jerusalem that pierced the heart of Jesus; Jerusalem that had rejected the Son of God and scorned His love. He saw...what she might have been had she accepted Him who alone could heal her wound.....How can I give thee up? How can I see thee devoted to destruction." (DA 575-578)
The destruction of Jerusalem was a type of the destruction that will befall the whole earth. We see this in Matthew 24 where Jesus mingles the two events.
Christ saw in Jerusalem a symbol of the world hardened in unbelief and rebellion and hastening on to meet the retributive judgments of God. "The visitation of judgments upon Jerusalem is to have another fulfillment, of which that terrible desolation was but a faint shadow. In the fate of the chosen city we may behold the doom of a world that has rejected God's mercy and trampled upon His law."(See GC p. 36)
The first trumpet sounded its warning.
Its history stands as evidence that judgment will come.
It also clearly shows that SALVATION is not to be found in Jerusalem.
Do not look to Jerusalem or any temple there for salvation. Look to Jesus, Who is our High Priest in the heavenly temple for salvation.
Mystic Babylon of Revelation is a harlot because she is "committing fornication with the kings of the earth". (See Rev. 17) This connection always results in the "persecution of the saints", and the corruption and fall of the church. Righteousness declines.
Once again judgment against this false spiritual establishment comes. Thus it is the Roman Empire which receives the next judgment.
Like a great burning mountain the mighty Roman empire fell as the barbaric tribes came in waves leaving blood shed and confusion in their wake.
Note that the century of disasters upon Rome (378-476) happened after Rome had professed to accept Christianity. Constantine, in 312, converted. He and his successors turned Rome into a Christian empire.
Yet, for the most part it was an illusion; the pagan worship styles being converted to Christianity as destructive religious delusions that simply brought paganism into the church. Again the judgment fell on professors who had the knowledge of Christ, but refused the life changing truths of the gospel. They were not authentic Christians. Indeed, history shows that the standards of public morality did not improve with the Christianizing of the empire.
Biblical symbolism used:
The "sea" in Biblical symbolism represents large centers of people -- nations.
The "mountain" in symbolism represents a great nation.
"I am against thee, O destroying mountain says the Lord, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out my hand upon you and roll you down from the rocks and will make you a burnt mountain."
In Jeremiah 51, the immediate reference is to the oppressive kingdom of ancient Babylon which is compared to a "destroying mountain";, and which will be thrown down. Yet, in the New Testament times the term "Babylon" was used for Rome.
Jeremiah 51:49 As Babylon has caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon shall fall the slain.
* Jeremiah 51:55 "Because the Lord spoiled Babylon and destroyed out of her the great voice; when her waves do roar like great waters, the spoiler came upon her."
* Jeremiah 51:64 "Thus shall Babylon sink."
A great mountain refering to a great empire (this time Rome)
sinking into the sea.
Imperial Rome destroyed Jerusalem.
The "fish" of the sea, are individual people, the living "schools" of fish in the sea of humanity."
*Jer. 16.16 "Behold, I will send for many fishers, says the LORD, and they shall fish them;"
The ships of the sea are a symbol of merchandize and wealth, trade and commerce.
Just like in Jeremiah 51 the one who destroyed Jerusalem is now facing her own judgment of destruction.
Like a great burning mountain the mighty Roman Empire fell as the barbaric tribes came in waves, like the waves of the sea, leaving bloodshed and confusion in their wake.
Remember that the century of disasters (378-476) happened after Rome had professed to accept Christianity. Again the judgment fell on professors who had the knowledge of Christ, but refused the life changing truths of the gospel. They were not authentic Christians. Indeed, history shows that the standards of public morality did not improve with the Christianizing of the empire.
Do not look to any great nation for your salvation.
Interesting parallels of Jeremiah 51's symbolic connections to the second
trumpet now draw ones attention to Rev. 18-- for the similarities are rather
Rome too foreshadows a time when government will pass religious laws and "those who honor God's law are accused of bringing judgments upon the world, ...and Satan will excite to still greater intensity the spirit of hatred and persecution." (GC 614) But God will pour out judgment upon those who oppress His people.
The vast empire of Rome crumbled to pieces, and from its ruins rose that mighty power, the Roman Catholic Church. This church boasts of her infallibility and her hereditary religion, yet she received her seat from Rome and changed the living waters of the gospel into wormwood.
We are faced with another destructive religious delusion.
A great star fell The fallen star is the power behind all these destructive religious delusions. There came a time when paganism in the Roman Empire fell before the advancing form of Christianity. As more and more power was transferred upon the pope we see that "the dragon had given to the beast 'his power, and his seat, and great authority.'" that is, Satan elevated to power and then began to work through the papal system, just as he had formerly worked through the Roman Empire.
Fulfillment: The rise of Papal Rome.
The rivers and fountains of water are symbolic of the "waters" of life which Christ offers to all who come to Him, if they partake of this "living water" they will never thirst, they will have eternal life. But the Papal system filled those waters with "wormwood" and made them bitter. Polluting the sweet waters of the gospel of truth and life, with wormwood doctrines that lead only to death. And many died of the poisoned doctrines. It is the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
The warning here is not so much for immediate physical destruction, but a warning against spiritual and eternal destruction. It's a warning that people need to seek out truth as for a priceless treasure and not simply follow the "accepted" modes of Christianity. For Satan, clothed in garments of Christianity and working through a Christian system, is offering poisoned water.
Biblical symbolism used:
The name of the star is WORMWOOD:
"Why has the LORD done thus unto this land? what is the meaning of the heat of this great anger?
Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt:
For they went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods whom they knew not, and whom he had not given unto them:"
And the LORD said, Because they have forsaken my which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein;
I have also seen in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.
Amos 5.7 “Ye who turn judgment to wormwood and leave off righteousness in the earth, “
Compare with 2 Thess. 2:3-12 “ comes a falling away…mystery of iniquity…exalts himself above all that is called God…because they receive not the love of truth God sends delusion, that they should believe a lie, damned who believe not the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
The star from heaven burning as it were a lamp.
This is the false “religious system” of the false prophets and teachers we saw in the above verses, teaching the false doctrines; a religious leaders representing a Christian system, acting as “lamps” to guide the people.
Daniel shows the true stars.
Ps. 119.105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
The star falling from heaven pretends to be THE LAMP, but it is a counterfeit religious system teaching false doctrines containing counterfeit commandments and counterfeit “light”.
Fallen FROM HEAVEN
The third trumpet— revealed Christianity’s poisoned truth during the rise of the Papal system.
What a warning this message contains— the papal system poisoned the truth of the covenants, the streams of living water. God calls us to “worship HIM that made heaven and earth and the sea and the fountains of waters.” The Sabbath has a large part to play in this — the truths were brought forth, but most chose to continue to drink the wormwood water of bitter poison. “Babylon made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”(Rev. 14:8) And she and her followers will end up “drinking the wine of the wrath of God, poured out without mixture. (Rev. 14:8)
We must study the warnings of the trumpets past if we would know what the issues of the future are. If we do not understand the trumpet warnings of the past, we will BE SWEPT AWAY by the delusions that will sweep the religious world.
This foreshadows the woman of Revelation 17 with her cup of wine, drunk with the blood of saints; she too, will receive her judgment.
Do not look for SALVATION in the Papal System.
The obscuring of truth.
The third trumpet warned that the Christian church is taken over by the "fallen star". The living waters of salvation's truths were being turned into bitter, poisonous "wormwood".
Christ's heavenly ministry is obscured from the sight of the inhabitants of a large secection of the earth. This parallels Daniel 8 where the little horn reaches up to heaven and casts down stars and exalts himself as high as the Prince of the host and casts down the place of His sanctuary.
The light of truth, the light of heaven, was darkened -- causing great darkness in a large area of the world. This is a graphic depiction of the "dark ages".
This time period is fully entered into with the establishment of the Holy Roman Empire in which the Pope fully disconnected with the eastern Emperor and crowned Charlemagne, Pepin's son, as the head of the whole Roman Empire. It meant the union of church and state; the union of the papacy with the empire for more than a thousand years. It meant that Charlemagne (and his successors) would wield his military might throughout Europe to spread the papal church.
Europe was being brought more firmly under fist of the Catholic Union.
What is the symbolic meaning of LIGHT in scripture?
2 Cor. 4.6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Matt. 4.16 "The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great light, and to those who were sitting in the land and in the shadow of death, upon them a light dawned".
John 12:46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
It is through Christ that people are rescued from the realms of darkness and brought into God's marvelous light. (Col.1:13-14, 1 Peter 2:9)
It's also interesting to note that the end of this period was marked with signs in the sun, moon and stars. (Matt. 24.29)
This too, foreshadows the day when people will search for truth, but will not find it. The plague of darkness. The next two trumpets I believe are judgments on the "apostate church".