Jesus chooses to go even deeper to expose what will happen. Again, just like in the book of Daniel, Jesus goes back in time again to tell more
about the time periods up until Christ second coming. Trumpets were used to gather God’s people but it was also used to forewarn war. In the
scenes, we are about to see it’s clear this is war and not a feast. The bitter persecution God’s people would have to endure was to be relieved as
their enemy would at times be punished and lose power. In Revelation 8 to 9 we see trumpets, a warning of judgment, directed towards the
enemy of God’s true people. Just like there were seven churches and seven seals, we now get seven trumpets. So in the Bible trumpets often forewarn wars and judgments for the benefit of the people.

“If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blows the trumpet, and warn the people; …He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman sees the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword comes, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.» (Ezek.33:3&5-6)

You don’t blow a trumpet to warn the enemy, then the enemy will be prepared. And so the trumpets are for the benefit of God’s people.
So when the trumpets sounded to forewarn armies in the Bible, if the people were faithful to God they need not fear. Those who had corrupted their worship and didn’t follow Gods law, however, were the ones in the greatest danger when the trumpets sounded. The true believers who were faithful were to live in the hope that the persecuting powers would fall bit by bit. In the beginning of chapter 8 see how the prayers of God’s people are coming up in the temple before the trumpet sounds. The altar of incense was in the sanctuary and this shows how God will take especially care of His people and receive their prayers in these times of turmoil. Although the wars aren’t directed towards them it will affect them greatly. But they were to have their hope in knowing that their prayers are accepted into the sanctuary and that the High Priest was watching over them. The first four trumpets tell us how Rome fell. Remember how God thoroughly explained how Babylon, Medo Persia, and Greece would fall bit by bit in the book of Daniel?

Now we get to see the last beast, that had imprisoned John on the island of Patmos, the Roman empire and its remnants, fall bit by bit. This power that not only had crucified Jesus but also many of His followers had been a burden to the true church. Now it would lose it’s power bit by bit as prophesied to Daniel. Only in Revelation do we get a more fuller explanation. Again, the visions are given symbolic so they would be understood by God’s people and not the enemy. The first part of the Roman Empire to be struck was the western empire.

First Trumpet.

The first stroke of death was lead by Alaric and the Visigothic nation. “Thrace, Macedonia, Attica, and the Peloponnesus, but did not reach
the city of Rome. On his second invasion, however, the Gothic chieftain crossed the Alps and the Apennines and appeared before the walls of the
“eternal city,” which soon fell a prey to the fury of the barbarians.”
The terms hail and fire mingled with blood is symbolic of their warfare. They left a bloodbath on their way. And just like no one can control hail, no one could control this army and their destruction. It’s said that the city of Rome was full of dead bodies. One third refers to one-third of the kingdom.

Constantine actually divided the Roman Empire into three parts and gave it to his three sons. Later it was divided into two parts, the western Roman empire, and the East Roman Empire.

Second trumpet

The second trumpet tells of a great mountain burning with fire cast into the sea. The second deadly stroke made towards the Roman Empire was by the Vandals and it’s leader Genseric. Here two part of the kingdom is effected. Earlier in Bible prophecy, a mountain is a symbol of
a kingdom. The mountain hitting the sea show us that it’s talking about a kingdom that will attack from the sea. The Vandal leader had his headquarter in Northern Africa and most of his warfare was naval. In order for Rome to cope with his attacks, they strengthen their naval with

three hundred long galleys and smaller vessels. But the vandal leader manages
to sink most of their ships in a surprise attack. Rome had prepared their
counter-attack for three years and they lost in one day. Some years later the Eastern Roman empire strengthens their naval and sent a great number of ships to defeat them, but they lost once again and the Vandals continued taking past Roman territories.

Third trumpet

In the third trumpet, we see a star falling into the rivers and fountains of water. It tells us that many of the men died in the water because it was made bitter. If we continue with the symbolism we find another army led by a strong leader. This time not a navy army but an inland army. The third deadly attack on Rom came from the Huns with the great leader Attila in front. Interestingly enough some of the major operations took place in the regions of the Alps which is the district where the rivers flow into Italy. The foundation of water. Their warfare weakened Western Rome overwhelmingly. Interestingly enough, in the Bible bitter water was given to a woman suspected of infidelity. If she drank it and her belly got swollen

it was a sign that she was guilty of the crime. (Num.5:11-31) At this time the Christians had become corrupt and infidel, and the power they were whoring with was pagan Rome.


Another stroke of death for the Western Roman Empire was the Ostrogoths. Here it says the sun, moon, and stars are smitten. This is symbolic of the Roman government, the emperor, the senators, and the consuls. Western Rome fell between 476 and 566. Odoacer was made the first king of Italy but was defeated by the Ostrogoths who also took the city of Rome. The western Roman empire would never again be what it once was,

and their rule was only over small
areas compared to what it had been. Although the sun, the emperor, was gone the consulship and Senate (moon and stars) lasted for a little bit longer. Ironically the end of also them was done by the emperor of the Eastern Roman empire named Justinian in 541. Justinian was also the emperor who gave the Papal power to sit in Rome and be judge over the Christian Church. As the Western Roman Empire was finished and the territory was split, the Pope continued in Rome with the emperor’s titles but with completely a different power and purpose.

Fifth trumpet

The only part that remained of the Iron Kingdom, the feet on the statue shown Daniel, was the Eastern RomanEmpiree. The next two trumpets will finish off also this part of the empire. The eastern Roman empire was known as the Byzantine kingdom and their capital had been Constantinople (Istanbul) ever since Emperor Constantine. The Byzantine kingdom was large in the Middle East. In the fifth trumpet, we learn who will bring them down. It explains that a star has fallen from heaven unto the earth and that a swarm comes out of the bottomless pit. The star represents a leader. First it was the Persian monarch that started to eat its way towards Constantinople. However, when asked to convert to the new religion Islam coming from a prophet in Mecca, he refused. While the Persian and Roman monarchs were busy fighting each other, the new Arabic movement was growing in the south. The chapter compares them to locusts, a term used previously in the bible for the Arabic people when they were about to go to war. Mohammad started this movement firstly as an objection to the partly pagan Byzantine kingdom dominating the middle east. Claiming to have a more pure teaching and a calling from God, the Arab hordes started taking over territories. “Bottomless Pit” comes from a Greek word that can mean desolate or an isolated place. It can point to the deserts of Arabia where Islam had it’s beginnings and first followers. However just as the true gospel was once called the ‘light’ we see in this verse ‘smoke’ coming out of the pit and spreading. They are also compared to scorpions, having a deadly sting. Next, we learn that they are told not to hurt those of God’s people who are sealed, meaning God allowed these people to gain this power to punish Rome and take down the East Roman Empire and corrupt Christianity, but God didn’t permit them to hurt His faithful.

God’s people were already suffering severe persecution by the pope’s men, and this strife was not to hurt them. An
interesting letter was sent out in 632 by Abubekr:

“When you fight the battles of the Lord, 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. And as you go, 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 Mohammedans or pay tribute.

At this time God’s people had gone to hiding and gone to live in secluded areas to escape the persecution. They were not monasteries but were regarded as such as they were isolated Christians. He then talks of the others with shaven crowns that we know were common in the Catholic monasteries among the Roman priests. They had monasteries all over the territories that the Arabs now was taking over. There were several different Islamic caliphates, each one establishing its grounds in the former Byzantine areas and becoming unbeatable. They also took Jerusalem and built their mosque there. Losing Jerusalem was forever to be a thorn in the eye of the Roman papacy and the East Roman empire.

“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.” (Rev.9:7-8)

The description of this army matches the Arabs. They were famous for their strong horses, and they had turbans with miters. It also says they
had hair like women, and the Arab men did not cut their hair and often had very long hair.
In verse 5 we are told that they would torment them for five months. Five prophetic months is 150 years. Just like in the message to the churches where they were said to be under great tribulation for 10 days or years it did not mean they would only be persecuted in this time period. The 150 years here described speaks of the time period where they would do the most damage to the East Roman empire. It also tells us that these 150 years began when they had a king or a strong leader over them. The Mohammedans were divided under different leaders for many years and had no government that was extending over them all.

East Roman Empire at its peak in 555 A.D. Map to the right show how Islamic caliphates took piece by piece of their territories.

Othman then established the Ottoman empire and gathered all the Mohammedan tribes under one leader. But the prophecy not only talks of a common leader but of them tormenting their enemies. When they started to attack the Greek empire the west was shaking. Some count from when he first entered the territory of Nicomedia in July 1299 and it ending in 1449. The prophecy told that they would torment but not given the power to kill. Although they kept fighting their way west attacking the Greek, they didn’t manage to take Constantinople or conquer. The East Roman empire survived still. But at the end of the 150 years where they were “not given to kill but only torment” a change takes place. The restraint that had been on them, are taken away and the sixth trumpet is sounded.

Sixth trumpet

This trumpet starts with the Angels losing a restrain that has been at the river Euphrates. The River Euphrates begins in today’s Turkey and goes down into Syria and ends in Iraq. It speaks of four angels at the river that are loosened. The Ottoman empire had at this time four sultans situated at Aleppo,

Armor for the horses head. All pictures from the Ottoman museum in Istanbul.
Pictures are by the author.

Iconium, Damascus, and Bagdad. Another time prophecy is given, “an hour, and a day and a month, and a year” which translates to 391 prophetic days, if the day for a year principle is used also here. One year is 360 years, a month is 30 years, one prophetic day is one literal year and one prophetic hour is the twenty-fourth part of a literal year which is fifteen days. This gives us 391 years and 15 days. Notice last time prophecy said they would not be permitted to kill (making an end to something), now they are given that permission in the next time prophecy. From torment to kill. Now they were permitted to slay a third of the men. This is the third part of the Roman empire that had yet to fall. The last successor of the Roman emperor Constantine was removed from his throne and Constantinople captured. The East Roman Empire and the eastern city of the Caesars were now finally taken from them. We get an even better description of this army so that no mistake can be made as to their identity.

“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.” (v. 17)

(See photo above)

Fire is red, jacinth is blue and brimstone is yellow. These were the colors the Ottoman army used. The Turkish uniform was scarlet, blue and yellow. It was the newfound invention of gunpowder that secured the Ottoman the upper hand against their enemies and helped them bring the last part of the Eastern empire to an end. They used them when conquering Constantinople as well as cannons. Such firearms were not even used in the west at this time. Riding on horses with a firearm is very well illustrated in the verse when it says that fire and smoke come out of the horses’ heads. John who was writing down what he saw had never seen anyone use a firearm before.
So in the fifth trumpet, we learn that they are under constraint for 150 years but then the constraint is loosened for 391 years and 15 days. If one time-prophecy begins where the other ends, which here is natural as the constraint was lifted, the 391 years and 15 days begin at the end of July 1449 and ends in August 1840.

Women’s hair, or really horses tails on military helmets and Ottoman weapon.
All from The Ottoman museum.

Notice that this doesn’t say the Ottoman empire would stop existing, only that they would lose their power completely. Many sincere Christians studied Revelation around this time and were able to predict the fall of the Ottoman empire in August 1840 based on these time prophecies, and they preached it widely a couple of years before it happened. In August 1840 a deal was made between the leader of the Ottoman and the western kingdoms. Unable to keep his strength he made a deal that his continuation was based on him subduing to the will of the western world. The Ottoman Empire no longer had the power to do anything and lived with the consequence that any rebellion would be the end of them.
They no longer were a strong power who could do as they pleased, they were now in the hands of Christian powers. The Ottoman Empire was no longer independent.
The Ottoman empire was permitted as a punishment to Roman Christianity. This becomes clear when we look at history but also the last verses
in Chapter 8: “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 Byzantine church, as well as the west Roman church, was the Christian movement that continued the practice of silver and gold icons in their churches, a religious practice from Roman times. They were killing the Christians who would not obey papal authority and they were selling what wasn’t theirs to sell. They took money from the poor “to help” their family members out purgatory, a deceptive doctrine that made the church richer. But no soul was released by money paid to the church in reality. It was a deception.
They also let people buy their forgiveness from God by giving the church money. Their sorceries can easily describe how they claimed supernatural divine intervention to get people’s obedience and attention, only the powers that were at work were not of God.

Six Trumpets – summary

The first four trumpets show how the western Roman empire is broken and looses vitally power. The two next ones show the end of the East-Roman empire and then how the Bishop in Rome struggles with the Islamic caliphate and later the Ottoman empire. The fifth and sixth trumpet show a plague of a nation to the papal influenced kingdoms. To them, they were a pest. But for Gods severally tried people the Muslims became important. The papal battle against those with a different belief became minor as Islam became the new great enemy. The Ottoman Empire also helped the reform movement get a much-needed break to outlive the persecutions and get the strength needed to break free. The Ottoman empire even offered them help so they could succeed. Even though Islam was a pest to the Roman church, it also became a hiding place for many persecuted groups who were permitted to practice their faith in peace in their areas. God used Muslims to punish the East Roman Empire and the Roman church.

Gods people got to follow along with what happened and by it know where they were in history and not fear in the same way as those who had rejected the truth. It was reformed Christians, studying the time prophecy in Revelation 9, that foresaw when the Ottoman empire would lose its independence and greatness. And they preached it before it happened.

See the next chapter to learn what happens before and during the seventh trumpet.

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