Sunday, May 16, 2010

One Interpretation of the 7 Trumpets

The following is not LDS Doctrine. I just thought it was interesting. I was watching some YouTube videos and I was fascinated at an amazing interpretation of the 7 trumpets in the Book of Revelation in the Bible. While these scriptures likely also apply to the Last Days, this particular evangelical Christian was explaining how the 7 trumpets could be giving specific details about the fall of the Roman Empire.

1st Trumpet- Rev 8:6-7 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

The first trumpet or Judgment upon the Roman Empire prophecies hail or war (Job 38:22-23). Hail is used as a symbol of war earlier in the Bible. The first group to attack and overrun the Roman Empire are the Goths. The result of the Goths is that Rome withdrew their armies from Germany and Great Britain allowing the Anglo-Saxons to conquer it.

2nd Trumpet- Rev 8:8-9 And the second angel sounded, and as it were great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

The second trumpet or judgment upon the Roman Empire tells of the 2nd group to attack the Roman Empire. The Vandals came from the seas to attack the Roman Empire. The Vandals used naval power to conquer Northern Africa, many Mediterranean island nations, and even ransacked and "vandalized" Rome. Vandals were Germanic but they staged most of their successful naval attacks on Rome from Carthage after taking North Africa

3rd Trumpet- Rev 8:10-11 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

The third trumpet tells of Atilla the Hun and Barbarians coming from Mongolia to attack the Roman Empire. Atilla the Hun split up the Goths into the Visigoths in Spain and the Ostrogoths in Germany. Atilla conquest followed the rivers and while he avoided Rome and Constantinople, His empire reached as far as Gaul or modern day France. Waters refer to peoples and tribes (Isa 48:1, Rev 17:15). Atilla extorted money from the Roman Empire for peace.

4th Trumpet- Rev 8:12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

The Western portion of the Roman Empire fell when the last Emperor Romulus Augustus was removed by federated Germanic troops led by Odoacer from within the Roman army rather than by foreign troops. The Roman Empire had been increasingly populated and governed by Germanic peoples long before. The Western Roman Empire never was a cohesive whole ever again and was broken up into tribes comprised by Franks, Goths, and Huns. The Book of Mormon and others warning voices (Alex Jones and Knights of Malta) have been warning that Mexicans and/or UN troops have been allowed into the United States and may be used by FEMA to impose martial law resulting in the fracturing of America in the same way Germans were used to fracture Rome.

4th Trumpet- Rev 9:3 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. 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 striketh 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. And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. 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 hath his name Apollyon.

Locusts refers to the rise of the Arabs and Islam out of North Africa. The Arab conquest first took North Africa (1/3 part of the Empire). The Arabs had hair like women (long hair on top) but faces like men (long beards). They wore golden crowns or turbans, they used Arabian horse calvary, used iron chain mail, and were first to use gunpowder and artillery cannon decorated with a mouth of a lion and lit with by the fuse in the tail. The Arabs did not slash and burn cities in their conquest and gave Christians the choice of freedom if they converted to Islam or slavery if they remained Christian. Christian wives were sent to harems and children were raised in Islam. John makes it clear that the religion of Islam is of Satanic origin.

Rev 9:13-14 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 had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound ain the great 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.And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

The new Islamic capital or Caliphate shifted to Iraq and incorporated the Turks. Turks wore uniforms of red, blue, and yellow. Turkish armies are organized in units of 10,000. The Arabs finally destroyed Constantinople in 1453 and the last third of Eastern Roman Empire only after the Eastern Orthodox Church went back to worshiping icons after the iconoclast period. Emperor Irene called for the 2nd Ecumenical Council of Nicea and re-introduced Babylonian and pagan worship in Eastern Orthodox religion. The Turks were the first to use gun powder and artillary cannon that were decorated with lion heads and were lit with a fuse in the end or tail. Turks continued on conquering Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania and Serbia but stopped in Catholic Vienna. Islam extended in Spain until turned back by the Catholic Franks and had an agreement to not go against Rome. After the fall of Constantinople fell, learned men with their scriptures and other texts were scattered all throughout Europe triggering the Renaissances and Reformation.

Rev 11:7 But 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 hath declared to his servants the prophets. 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.

The last and 7th Trumpet involves the pouring out the 7 vials of God's wrath against Rome itself. While the trumpets involved the tribulation by Rome upon the evangelical Christians and Sephardic Jews, the 7 vials of wrath involve judgments upon those that initially inflicted the tribulation. According to the video, some of the vials had to do with the French Revolution and Reign of Terror after France persecuted and massacred the Huguenots. Comparatively, the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by Rome and Titus could be a type of the Tribulation while the volcano (Vesuvius) which destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum, fire, plague, drought and then an early death would represent the judgments and wrath of God upon Titus.


Anthony E. Larson said...

This interpretation is strained, at best. It fails to explain even a few of the metaphors employed, making it only a partial interpretation, at best. I've seen this technique employed over and over in my lifetime, with dubious results. It ignores the perspective of the prophet and his proper use of symbolic, traditional metaphors, archetypes and motifs. It is an interpretation that employs the myopic perspective of our own time, not the perspective of the ancients.

For example, it ignores the reference to Apollyon, the "angel of the bottomless pit." Apollo was the Greek name for the Roman god Mars, and was readily adapted by Romans. What most people don't know is that Apollo is a Greek pronunciation of the Canaanite god Ba'al. The Greeks added an "a" sound at the beginning of the word, softened the "b" to a "p" sound and added an "o" at the end. (a-pall-o) This is also the root of the familiar name Paul. Thus, John named the astral body all the ancient world knew as the "destroyer," Abaddon in Hebrew. This heroic and destructive cosmological figure masquerades by many names in ancient cultures. But he is ubiquitous in ancient beliefs and traditions as the "destroying angel" or destruction itself. This vital aspect of this text is ignored by the modern interpreter because he is ignorant of the ancient traditions that underpin such metaphorical allusions. He is literally blind to the intended meaning of the prophet.

As with all the other flawed interpretations of Revelation imagery, this one sees only what it cares to see from a modern perspective. None of the actual historical or cosmological context is considered. How does Mars/Apollo/Baal figure into this interpretation? What did the prophet mean by including it if his intent was as this interpretation would have us believe? It seems to have no relation to the intent.

I've seen dozens of such flawed analyses of prophetic visions. They all have one thing in common: They know nothing of the cultural and religious traditions referenced in the content. These are completely ignored in favor of some fanciful, baseless interpretation. This is pure evangelical or millenialist drivel. Joseph Smith never engaged in such flights of fantasy. He was told by God that none of the Christian sects in his day had the truth. They were all false. By implication, today's crop of sectarian ministers, from whom such tripe emanates, are wrong as well. Joseph didn't fall into their trap, neither should we.

David B said...

Thank you for your comment. I tried to be clear that this was 'one evangelical interpretation'. While this is not LDS doctrine, I currently do like it and I don't have a problem with it's evangelical source.

As far as the connection of Apollyon and Baal, that was part of the story that is very interesting and which I purposefully left out. In fact, the symbol of the cresent moon giving birth to the sun or star or the divine female giving birth to the divine male is used by both the Catholic and Muslim religions is of Babylonian origin.