Revelation Bible Prophecy

Bible Prophecy really can be understood

Revelation 1:3
“Blessed is he who reads and
those who hear the words of this
prophecy, and keep those things
which are written in it for the
time is near.”
Revelation 1:1-3

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”

Revelation Chapter 9

The First Two Woes

The Fifth Trumpet or First Woe

Revelation 9:1-4And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. 2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. 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. 4 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.

In looking at the fifth trumpet, we need to remember that the Western Roman Empire has now already been extinguished. The Eastern part of the empire is still in existence, and it is to here that our attention is turned as we continue to look at the downfall of the Roman Empire. This places our time frame at some time after the fall of the West, or after 476 A.D.

We are given a number of identifying marks in these verses, which we will now look at and will be able to gain a satisfactory interpretation.

Star fall from heaven to earth - We have already seen that a star represents a leader, and one that falls is one that is apostate.

To him was given the key - To this apostate leader was given a key. A key is a symbol of power and authority over that which the key is for, to open and close.

Of the bottomless pit - This key, that the apostate leader has, was to the bottomless pit.

The term for “bottomless pit” comes from the Greek word abussos, which means deep, bottomless and profound. In the Greek it is also applied to the original state of the earth in Genesis 1:2, where the earth was “without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” A good description of this is found in Jeremiah 4:24-27, these texts clearly refer to the end of time after the second coming of Christ, but we are looking only at the description of the earth not the time frame. The description given is one of a desolate wasteland, thus this apostate leader had the key to open the desolate wasteland.

2. Arose a smoke out of the pit - This was as the smoke of a great furnace. If you have a great furnace you will have a great amount of smoke. This smoke came out of the pit when it was opened. To understand what this smoke is we need to look at what the smoke does.

Sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke - The sun gives light to the world -

- Jesus is the Light of the world. (John 8:12; 9:5)
- He is also known as the Sun of Righteousness. (Malachi 4:2)
- God's word is truth and light. (John 17:17, Psalms 119:105, 130)
- Jesus Christ is truth. (John 14:6)

Darkness is the opposite of light, thus if light is truth then darkness must be error/false teachings. The following texts show that darkness is associated with wickedness, error and evil, not the light of truth. (Proverbs 4:19, Luke 11:34, John 3:19-21, 1 Peter 2:9)

The smoke, (false teachings and error), which came out of the pit darkened the truth and Jesus Christ.

3. Came out of the smoke locusts - Out of, or, as a result of the false teachings, came locusts.

A beast in Bible prophecy is a symbol of a kingdom, even if it is rather small like a locust. Here we are faced with many locusts/beasts thus many small kingdoms.

This is one of the strongest clues to who this power is, but there are still a couple more identifying marks to look at so as to make no mistakes.

Given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power - The question must be asked, “where does the power of the scorpion lie?” Its power lies in its tail. What is so significant about the tail?

Isaiah 9:15 tells us that the tail represents a prophet that teachers lies. So the source of their power was in their prophet that taught lies.

4. They should not hurt the grass...neither any green thing...any tree - As we have seen in the prior trumpets there were those that followed a scorched earth policy. But when it comes to this power, they were to protect the vegetation which is understandable as they themselves come from a desolate area.

Have not the seal of God in their forehead - We have already looked at the seal of God in chapter 7 and found it to be the seventh day Sabbath. So the only ones that were to be protected by these kingdoms were the Sabbath keepers not Sunday keepers.

There are many more identifying marks in the following verses but we have enough already to see who this power is in History. We will now look at the history of the downfall of the Eastern Roman empire to see how this was fulfilled.

The apostate leader with the key

Chosroes II was the leader that had the key. He was restored to the Persian throne in 591 A.D. and ruled until 628 A.D., at which time one of his sons murdered him.

The sovereigns of Persia indulged the ambitious hope of restoring the empire of Cyrus”, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon, vol. 5, chap. 46, pg 42, and in this lust for power we will see how Chosroes “prepared the revolution of the East.Ibid. pg 43. Notice how history records the events.

Chosroes II had enlarged the Persian kingdom and decreased the Eastern Roman empire to the walls of Constantinople, “From the long-disputed banks of the Tigris and Euphrates, the reign of the grandson of Nushirvan (grandson being Chosroes II) was suddenly extended to the Hellespont and the Nile, the ancient limits of the Persian monarchy...Syria, Egypt, and the province of Asia were subdued by the Persian armies...the Roman empire was reduced to the walls of Constantinople.Decline and Fall by Gibbon, vol 5, chap. 46, pgs 77, 80.

Yet the experience of six years at length persuaded the Persian monarch to renounce the conquest of Constantinople and to specify the annual tribute or ransom of the Roman empire: a thousand talents of gold, a thousand talents of silver, a thousand silk robes, a thousand horses, and a thousand virgins. Heraclius subscribed these ignominious terms, but the time and space which he obtained to collect such treasures from the poverty of the East was industriously employed in the preparations of a bold and desperate attack...the Roman emperor explored his perilous way through the Black sea and the mountains of Armenia, penetrated into the heart of Persia, and recalled the armies of the Great King to the defence of their bleeding country.Ibid. pgs 82, 87.

Heraclius, the emperor of the Eastern Roman empire, engaged in a number of battles to regain that which was lost to the Persian king. But Persia were given “a peremptory mandate to risk the fate of Persia in a decisive battle”, this was on the 12th of December 627 A.D. at the battle of Nineveh.

In the battle of Nineveh, which was fiercely fought from daybreak to the eleventh hour, twenty-eight standards, besides those which might be broken or torn, were taken from the Persians; the greatest part of their army was cut in pieces, and the victors, concealing their own loss, passed the night on the field...the remnant of the Persian cavalry stood firm till the seventh hour of the night; about the eighth hour they retired to their unrifled camp, collected their baggage, and dispersed on all sides, from the want of orders rather than of resolution.Ibid. pgs 95, 96.

Many battles had been fought, by the Persians, over the past 20 years, “but the revenge and ambition of Chosroes exhausted his kingdom...Ibid. pg 91. By the time Chosroes was murdered, 628 A.D., “his unnatural son enjoyed only eight months the fruit of his crimes; and in the space of four years the regal title was assumed by nine candidates, who disputed, with sword and dagger, the fragments of an exhausted monarchy. Each province and each city of Persia was the scene of independence, of discord, and of blood, and the state of anarchy prevailed about eight years longer, till the factions were silenced and united under the common yoke of the Arabian caliphs.Ibid. pg 99.

It would seem natural to think that the victor of the conquest would be strong and fortified, but, “although a victorious army had been formed under the standard of Heraclius, the unnatural effort appears to have exhausted rather than exercised their strength. While the emperor triumphed at Constantinople or Jerusalem, an obscure town on the confines of Syria was pillaged by the Saracens, and they cut in pieces some troops who advanced to its relief; an ordinary and trifling occurrence, had it not been the prelude of a mighty revolution. These robbers were the apostles of Mahomet; their fanatic valour had emerged from the desert; and in the last eight years of his reign Heraclius lost to the Arabs the same provinces which he had rescued from the Persians.Ibid. pg 102.

Chosroes prepared the revolution of the East, which was speedily accomplished by the arms and the religion of the successors of Mahomet.Ibid. pg 43.

It can be easily seen that Chosroes, through his conquests against the Romans, exhausted his own kingdom. But at the same time, in repelling the attack, Heraclius exhausted his. Through his conquests both nations were exhausted and thus Chosroes had opened the way, (the desolate wasteland, where the Arabs live), for the Arabs to begin to take over. There was not enough strength in either of them to stand against the Saracens.

Bottomless Pit

The bottomless pit that was opened by Chosroes II, is the desolate wastelands of Arabia, as we have already seen in previous quotes.


The Bible uses the locust as a symbol of the many Arab tribes. The reasoning behind this is found in Judges 6:5; 7:12, speaking of the Midianite and Amalakite Arabs, “For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers/locusts for multitude; [for] both they and their camels were without number...And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers/locusts for multitude; and their camels [were] without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.

The Midianites and Amalekites were the Arabian tribes of the east, but notice that they are described as grasshoppers/locusts because of their numbers. The Arabs were many small tribes, but when coming together they were exceeding in number, just as locusts come in swarms.

It would be also interesting to note the following quote from Forster, “In the Bedoween Romance of Antar the locust is introduced as the national emblem of the Ishmaelites.Mohammedanism Unveiled, Vol. 1, pg 217. The Ishmaelites are one of the greatest tribes of the Arab people.

Also in the time of Moses, when God was pouring out plagues upon Egypt, God caused an east wind to blow all day and night, and in the morning the east wind brought the locusts, Exodus 10:13. East of Egypt is Arabia, thus they were brought in from the deserts of Arabia.

Smoke - Power as scorpions.

We have already seen that the smoke is a reference to false teachings and that the power of the scorpion is in its tall, which we found to be a symbol of a false prophet. So the power of the Arabs was in their prophet that teaches lies, their prophet being Mahomet.

Mahomet was born in 569 A.D. in Mecca and died on the 8th of June 632 A.D. His teachings brought about the fanatical zeal of the Arabs, notice Gibbon's comments, “While the state, (that is Eastern Rome), was exhausted by the Persian war, and the church was distracted by the Nestorian and Monophysite sects, Mahomet, with sword in one hand and the Koran in the other, erected his throne on the ruins of Christianity and of Rome. The genius of the Arabian prophet, the manners of his nation, and the spirit of his (Mahomet's) religion involve the causes of the decline and fall of the Eastern empire; and our eyes are curiously intent on one of the most memorable revolutions which have impressed a new and lasting character on the nations of the globe.Decline and Fall, vol. 5, chap. 50, pg 332.

All that appeals to the carnal heart was the motivation behind the teachings of Mahomet and the fanatical zeal of his followers. Notice the type of paradise that was promised to them;

Seventy-two Houris, or black-eyed girls of resplendent beauty, blooming youth, virgin purity, and exquisite sensibility, will be created for the use of the meanest believer; a moment of pleasure will be prolonged to a thousand years, and his faculties will be increased an hundred-fold, to render him worthy of his felicity...From all sides the roving Arabs were allured to the standard of religion and plunder; the apostle sanctified the license of embracing the female captives as their wives or concubines; and the enjoyment of wealth and beauty was a feeble type of the joys of paradise prepared for the valiant martyrs of the faith. “The sword,” says Mahomet, “is the key of heaven and of hell: a drop of blood shed in the cause of God, a night spent in arms, is of more avail than two months of fasting or prayer: whosoever falls in battle, his sins are forgiven; at the day of judgment his wounds shall be resplendent as vermillion, and odoriferous as musk; and the loss of his limbs shall be supplied by the wings of angels and cherubim.” The intrepid souls of the Arabs were fired with enthusiasm; the picture of the invisible world was strongly painted on their imagination; and the death which they had always despised became an object of hope and desire. The Koran inculcates, in the most absolute sense, the tenets of faith and predestination, which would extinguish both industry and virtue, if the actions of man were governed by his speculative belief. Yet their influence in every age has exulted the courage of the Saracens and Turks. The first companions of Mahomet advanced to the battle with a fearless confidence; there is no danger where there is no chance: they were ordained to perish in their beds; or they were safe and invulnerable amidst the darts of the enemy.Decline and Fall, vol. 5, chap. 50, pgs 374, 384, 385.

It can be easily seen how the teachings of Mahomet were the driving force/power behind their courage and zeal. Their power was in their prophet that teaches lies, Mahomet and his false teachings.

Some of the false teachings that darkened the light of truth are as follows;
- They deny the Deity of Christ. They claim He was a prophet only.
- They obscured the Bible with the Koran.
- Obscured the Sabbath with Friday.
- Obscured obedience with legalism and fanaticism.

Not hurt grass - any green thing - any tree

Abubeker was the successor of Mahomet. In 633 A.D. he sent out a circular letter to the Arabian tribes informing them of his intent to take over Syria. When they had gathered together Abubeker addressed them, notice what he says;

“Remember,” said the successor of the prophet, “that you are always in the presence of God, on the verge of death, in the assurance of judgment, and the hope of paradise. Avoid injustice and oppression; consult with your brethren, and study to preserve the love and confidence of your troops. 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 or 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.Decline and fall, Gibbon, vol. 5, chap. 51, pgs 442, 443.

From this record of history, we can quite clearly see how prophecy has been fulfilled with this command of Abubeker.

Have not the seal of God

Only those that were not keeping God's true seventh day Sabbath were to come under attack of the Arabs. Read the remainder of Abubeker's command and see how this too was fulfilled;

When you make any covenant or article, stand to it, and be as good as your word. As you go on, you will find some religious persons who live retired in monasteries, and propose to serve God that way: let them alone, and neither kill them nor destroy their monasteries. And you will find another sought 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 Mahometans or pay tribute.Ibid. 443.

In the footnote on the same page, Gibbon reveals to us who the men with shaven crowns are; “Even in the seventh century the monks were generally laymen; they wore their hair long and dishevelled, and shaved their heads when they were ordained priests. The circular tonsure was sacred and mysterious; it was the crown of thorns; but it was likewise a royal diadem, and every priest was a king.”

It was the priests of the synagogue of Satan, the apostate Christian church, that had pushed aside the true Sabbath of the Lord and replaced it with Sunday sacredness, that were under attack from the Arabs.

History also gives us an account of the protection of the true Sabbath keepers. Notice the following record from Truth Triumphant;

In the early centuries of the Christian era, the Church of the East sometimes called the Assyrian church, sometimes the Nestorian church (who were observers of the true Sabbath) very effectively spread throughout Asia and the East, but remained separate from the church in the West, especially the apostasy.

These true Christians became the teachers of the Saracens, and were responsible for establishing an educational system in Syria, Mesopotamia, Turkistan, Tibet, China, India, Ceylon and others.

The Arabs, like the Persians, were very partial to the Assyrian Christians, because they found it necessary in the early days of their power, to lean upon the splendid schools which the church had developed. Medicine made great progress in the hands of the Church of the East. The Arabian court and its extended administrations employed its members as secretaries and imperial representatives...Assyrian Christians suffered comparatively little at the hands of the Moslems, but later much more at the hands of the Jesuits. The leader of the Church of the East sensing that the conquest of the Persian Empire was imminent, succeeded in obtaining a pledge of protection and freedom of worship on condition that the Christians paid tribute...These immunities extended by Abubeker were not only confirmed by Omar his successor, but even the taxes were remitted...

When the Arabian empire was fully established, it built up Bagdad, its magnificent new capital. The Church of the East...removed its spiritual capital from Seleucia to Bagdad, where it remained for approximately the next 500 years.Truth Triumphant, B. G. Wilkinson, pgs 268 - 291.

Revelation 9:5And 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 to them - That is, to the Arabs or Saracens.

Should not kill them - It would be ludicrous to think that not a soul was killed during the conquests of the Saracens, for many thousands were killed. We need to remember that we are dealing with the downfall of the Eastern Roman empire, thus we would be referring to the government and not the people. They were to hurt the East greatly but not totally destroy and overthrow it.

By the time 100 years had passed since Mahomet's flight from Mecca, 622 A.D., his successors had extended the reign from India to the Atlantic Ocean as follows; Persia, Syria, Egypt, Africa, and Spain. (See Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire vol. 5, chap. 51, pgs 427 - 524 for information on this point).

Twice they laid siege to Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern empire. The 1st lasted for 7 years, 668 - 675 A.D., under the hand of caliph Moawiyah who entrusted the standard to Sophian. But the “mischances of shipwreck and disease, of the sword and of fire, compelled them to relinquish the fruitless enterprise.” Thirty thousand Moslems were killed in the siege.

The 2nd lasted for 2 years, 716 - 718 A.D., when the “caliph Waled sat idle on the throne of Damascus.” His brother caliph Soliman prepared for battle by sea and land but his navel fleet was destroyed by the Greeks and his army was unable to conquer by land. Decline and Fall, vol. 6, chap. 52, pg 4 - 8.

They tormented the Eastern empire but could not kill it.

Tormented five months - See notes on verse 10 and 11.

As the torment of a scorpion - The torment of a scorpion is one of a considerable amount of pain, but does not bring death.

Revelation 9:6And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

Seek death - Compare the attitude of men here with that portrayed in Revelation 6:16. See Job 3:21; cf. Jeremiah 8:3.

Revelation 9:7And 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.

Like unto horses - The Arabs took great care in their horses. They were used primarily for battle. The Arabian breed of horse is still famous today.

Arabia, in the opinion of the naturalist, is the genuine and original country of the horse; the climate most propitious, not indeed to the size, but to the spirit and swiftness, of that generous animal...the Bedoweens preserve, with superstitious care, the honours and the memory of the purest race; the males are sold at a high price, but the females are seldom alienated...These horses are educated in the tents among the children of the Arabs, with a tender familiarity, which trains them in the habits of gentleness and attachment. They are accustomed only to walk and to gallop; their sensations are not blunted by the incessant abuse of the spur and the whip; their powers are reserved for the moments of flight and pursuit; but no sooner do they feel the touch of the hand or the stirrup than they dart away with the swiftness of the wind; and, if their friend be dismounted in the rapid career, they instantly stop till he has recovered his seat.Gibbon, Decline and Fall, vol. 5, chap. 50, pgs 336, 337.

On their heads were as it were crowns like gold - The Arabs are noted for the wearing of turbans upon their heads. When Mahomet fled to Medina and was first received as its prince, a turban was unfurled before him to supply the deficiency of standard. Ibid. pg 381. Mahomet also says to wear a turban, “because it is the way of angels.Alwood, Key to Revelation, vol. 1, pg 340.

The turban was their ornament and boast, and with the wealthier they were richly embroidered with gold. It is their crown. This is greatly a Muslim trait and to thus assume the turban would be to show one as a Mussulman.

Faces were as the faces of men - What distinguishes a face of a man from a woman's face? It is his beard. The beard was a venerable symbol of manhood for the Arabs.

The gravity and firmness of the mind is conspicuous in his outward demeanour; his speech is slow, weighty, and concise; he is seldom provoked to laughter; his only gesture is that of stroking his beard, the venerable symbol of manhood...Gibbon, Decline and Fall, vol. 5, chap. 50, pgs 343, 344.

Revelation 9:8And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.

Had hair as the hair of women - The thing that distinguishes a woman's hair from a man's is the length. The Arabs had their hair like the hair of women, that is, long in length.

Teeth were as the teeth of lions - The teeth of a lion are large and are used with ferocity and fearlessness against their prey. With the great strength of their teeth they can tear and devour their prey.

This is a fitting symbol of the Arabs ferocity, fearlessness, and strength in devouring their enemies. They had the hair of a woman but with the character of a lion.

Revelation 9:9And 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.

Breastplates of iron - The breastplate was known as a cuirass, made from iron. About the only protection worn by the Arabs was this breastplate. In Mahomet's second battle, the battle of Ohud 624 A.D., 700 were “armed with cuirasses.” And after the defeat of the Jews, “their sheep and camels were inherited by the Musulmans; three hundred cuirasses, five hundred pikes, a thousand lances, composed the most useful portion of the spoil.Gibbon, Decline and Fall, vol. 5, chap. 50, pgs 386, 389.

Sound of their wings...many horses running to battle - The sound of a plague of locusts coming is like the sound of many chariots going to battle, it can be heard from a distance. This is a fitting symbol to describe the Arabs army of cavalry rushing into battle. The Arabs are famous and noted for this type of army.

Revelation 9:10And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

Tails like unto scorpions - Remember that the tail is a symbol of the prophet that teaches lies. (Isaiah 9:15) So their sting was in the false religion of Mahomet which tormented men.

Power to hurt men five months - Remember that the reference to men is a reference to the Eastern Roman empire; thus they were to hurt the empire for five months.

Since we are dealing with prophecy this must be taken as prophetic time. We have already seen from earlier studies that a day equals a year in Bible prophecy. Thus we need to brake this period of five months into days. There are 30 days in a Biblical month, thus we would have 150 days for five months. Applying the day for a year principle we would have 150 years. They were to hurt men for 150 years.

The key to understanding the staring date of the 150 years of torment is found in the following verse.

Revelation 9:11And 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 has his name Apollyon.

And they had a king over them - For 150 years they were to torment and hurt, but not kill, the empire. But when is this to start?

Notice how the verse starts with the word 'and'. This word is a connecting word and thus connects it with the prior statement of the five months. So the 150 years is connected to the time of when the Arabs had a king over them. The starting date of the 150 years of torment would be when this king began to hurt the empire of Eastern Rome.

From the time of Mahomet until the closing years of the 13th century, the uniting factor was their religion. There was no general civil government that extended over them all, and they were divided into various factions, under a number of leaders.

There were four principle sultanies of which the Ottoman empire was composed...these sultanies were situated at Aleppo, Iconium, Damascus, and Bagdad.Daniel and the Revelation, Uriah Smith, pg 480.

But when did he first start to hurt the empire? “It was on the twenty-seventh of July, in the year twelve hundred and ninety-nine of the Christian era, that Othman first invaded the territory of Nicomedia.Gibbon, Decline and Fall, vol. 7, chap. 64, pg 25.

Our starting date is 27th of July 1299 and thus our 150 years would end in 1449. The natural question is, what happened in 1449?

During the 150 years the Turks were in almost perpetual warfare but Constantinople stood firm, they could not conquer it. John Palaeologus died in 1449 and left no children to inherit the throne, so Constantine Deacozes (Constantine the 11th), Palaeologus' brother, ascended the throne of the Byzantine empire (Byzantine, Greece, Asia Minor). “But he would not venture to ascend the throne without the consent of Amurath, the Turkish sultan. He therefore sent ambassadors to ask his consent, and obtained it before he presumed to call himself sovereign.Daniel and the Revelation, Uriah Smith, pg 480.

In doing what Constantine did, he surrendered all authority and supremacy to the Turks. He said he could not rule unless the Turks permit it. He who asks is he who has the least amount of control. Constantinople became a vassal state.

The takeover of Constantinople was in the year 1449. (the exact date unavailable) The calculation of the ending of the 150 years is from 27th of July 1299, thus the ending date will be 27th of July 1449. This is exactly 150 years. In the following trumpet we will see the significance of this exact date.

Angel of the bottomless pit - Notice that the king is the angel of the bottomless pit. We have seen that an angel can be symbolic of a leader (see comments on Revelation 1:20), and that the bottomless pit is the desolate wastelands where Mohammedanism arose from. Thus the king was to be also leader of the religion, “The Sultan, or grand Seignior, as he is indifferently called, is also Supreme Caliph, or high priest, uniting in his person the highest spiritual dignity with the supreme secular authority.World as It Is, pg 361.

Abaddon...Apollyon - Both names, in English, mean destroyer. Having the two names that are identical emphasises the character rather than the name of the power itself. This was the character of the Ottoman government.

Revelation 9:12One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

From the wording of this verse we see that one woe is past or finished, and there are two yet to come hereafter. The word hereafter is from two words, “here” and “after,” or in other words, from now on. So from the rise of Mohammedanism to the end of the five months was the timing of the first woe. Thus the second woe will start hereafter or, from the ending of the five months/150 years, on the 27th of July 1449, onwards.

The Sixth Trumpet or Second Woe

Revelation 9:13And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,

The sixth angel sounded - The sixth trumpet, or second woe, now commences.

Golden altar which is before God - Once again we are introduced to the altar that the angel, (who we found to be none other than Christ), of chapter 8 was ministering before with incense. This altar is in the holy place of the Heavenly Sanctuary, thus ministration is still in the holy place with the events of the first six trumpets. That the voice came from the altar also shows that priestly ministration is still there. We also know that Christ did not move to the most holy place until 1844, and so the timing of the sixth trumpet is before 1844.

Revelation 9:14Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.

Loose the four angels - The sixth angel is told to loose the four angels. This implies that the four angels were being held back from doing something.

In Revelation chapter 7 we find four angels holding back the four winds, that they would not blow on the earth until God's servants were sealed. This we saw to be an end time prophecy showing heavenly agencies holding back the judgments of God until His people are sealed.

Here we have a similar situation. Four angels are holding back and controlling the powers that would bring the judgments of God upon the Eastern Roman empire. They have now been commanded to let loose.

River Euphrates - The word “Euphrates” means, to break forth or rushing. This type of symbolism has been used in the Old Testament to represent an overflowing, invading power. For when the snows of Mt. Ararat melted, the Euphrates would become a raging torrent and often overflow its banks. In the following verses we see the enemies of Israel, especially Assyria, likened unto a mighty rushing river that overflows its banks. Also that Assyria is likened unto the River Euphrates when flooded;

Woe to the multitude of many people, [which] make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, [that] make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but [God] shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.” Isaiah 17:12-13.

Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, [even] the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks: And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach [even] to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.” Isaiah 8:7-8.

Thus we can conclude that the River Euphrates represents a rushing destroying invading power.

Revelation 9:15And 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 four angels were loosed - The rushing destroying invading power, that is to come upon the Eastern empire, is let loose to perform its work of destruction. This is a good description of the Turks, under the Ottoman government, that came from the Euphrates region. This will become more apparent as we continue.

To slay the third part of men - In the fifth trumpet they were to only hurt the Eastern Empire, now they are to slay or destroy the empire.

An hour, a day, a month, a year - Here we have another prophetic time prophecy that needs to be worked out. We will come back to this later.

Revelation 9:16-17And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. 17 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.

Army of the horsemen...two hundred thousand thousand - We continue on with how the Turks were to slay the Eastern empire. Here we see that they had a vast army of cavalry. Is this the case with the Turks?

The myriads of Turkish horse overspread a frontier of six hundred miles from Taurus to Arzeroum, and the blood of one hundred and thirty thousand Christians was a grateful sacrifice to the Arabian prophet.Decline and Fall, Gibbon, vol. 6, chap. 42, pg 245.

The numbering in the original Greek is 'myriads of myriads'. This shows the vast numbers of the Turks.

17. Breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone - Those that sat on the horses wore breastplates (also their uniforms) with certain colours on them.

Fire is red, jacinth is deep blue, and brimstone/sulphur is yellow. Did the Turkish army wear these colours?

From their first appearance the Ottomans have affected to wear warlike apparel of scarlet, blue and yellow: a descriptive trait the more marked from its contrast to the military appearance of Greeks, Franks or Saracens (Arabs) who were contemporary.Daubuz, quoted by Elliott “Horae Apocalypticae” chap. 7, pg 508.

As the heads of lions - The horses heads are said to be like that of a lion. Thus denoting their strength, courage, and fierceness. (Isaiah 31:4; 5:29)

Out of their, smoke and brimstone - Note the following comment from Gibbon; “The chemists of China or Europe had found, by casual or elaborate experiments, that a mixture of saltpetre, sulphur, and charcoal produces, with a spark of fire, a tremendous explosion. It was soon observed that, if the expansive force were compressed in a strong tube, a ball of stone or iron might be expelled with irresistible and destructive velocity.Decline and Fall, vol. 7, chap. 65. pg 85.

Small firearms had just been invented. As the horseman, leaning forward on the horse, would discharge his weapon, it would appear as if the flame and smoke, from the gunpowder, was coming from the horses mouth. More of this will be commented on in the following verse.

Revelation 9:18 “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.

By these three - The fire, smoke, and brimstone. Or by the use of gunpowder with firearms.

Was the third part of men killed - By this Eastern Rome would be destroyed. (Remember we are speaking of the government not the people, so the government was to be destroyed) Let us now look at some history to verify this point.

When Amurath II died in 1451 A.D., Mahomet II, Amurath II son, took his place. “Peace was on his lips, while war was in his heart: he (Mahomet II) incessantly sighed for the possession of Constantinople.Ibid. chap. 68, pg 170. His passion to take Constantinople agitated him so much that one night sleep departed from him, “Lala” (or preceptor), continued the sultan, “do you see this pillow? All the night, in my agitation, I have pulled it on one side and the other; I have risen from my bed, again I have lain down; yet sleep has not visited these weary eyes. Beware of the gold and silver of the Romans; in arms we are superior; and with the aid of God, and the prayers of the prophet, we shall speedily become masters of Constantinople.Ibid. pg 176.

Mahomet II “planted before the gate of St. Romanus the Imperial standard; and, on the sixth day of April (1453 A.D.), formed the memorable siege of Constantinople.

There were many mechanical weapons used by Mahomet II, that were pointed at the walls of Constantinople, “fourteen batteries thundered at once on the most accessible places; and of one of these it is ambiguously expressed that it was mounted with one hundred and thirty guns, or that it discharged one hundred and thirty bullets...mechanical engines for casting stones and darts; the bullet and the battering-ram were directed against the same walls.

But this was not the most powerful of his weapons. “A founder of canon (Urban by name), a Dane or Hungarian, who had been almost starved in the Greek service, deserted to the Moslems, and was liberally entertained by the Turkish sultan, Mahomet was satisfied with the answer to his first question, which he eagerly pressed on the artist. Am I able to cast a canon capable of throwing a stone or ball of sufficient size to batter the walls of Constantinople?...a foundry was established at Hadrianople: the metal was prepared; and, at the end of three months, Urban produced a piece of brass ordnance of stupendous and almost incredible magnitude; a measure of twelve palms is assigned to the bore; and the stone bullet weighed about six hundred pounds (approx. 273 kgs).

They fired the canon the next day, and the explosion was felt or heard for 100 furlongs. By the force of the gunpowder, the ball was driven for over a mile. On impact, it drove itself into the ground the depth of a fathom. It took them nearly 2 months to transport it to Constantinople.

The great canon could be loaded and fired no more than seven times in one day. The heated metal unfortunately burst; several workmen were destroyed; and the skill of an artist was admired who bethought himself of preventing the danger and the accident, by pouring oil, after each explosion, into the mouth of the canon.

Finally a breach was made in the wall, “It was thus, after a siege of fifty-three days (this would bring the date to May 29 of 1453), that Constantinople, which had defied the power of Chosroes, the Chagan, and the caliphs, was irretrievably subdued by the arms of Mahomet the Second.Decline and Fall, Gibbon, vol. 7, chap. 68, pgs 176 - 202.

Thus it can be seen how fire, smoke, and brimstone finally destroyed Eastern Rome.

Issued out of their mouths - Out of the mouths of the small firearms.

Revelation 9:19For 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.

Power is in their mouth - Fire, smoke and brimstone is what issued from their mouths. This was referring to their military strength of firearms and canon.

And in their unto serpents - The tail is a reference to the prophet that teaches lies. And with it being like a serpent; we find that the serpent was used by Satan to deceive Eve in the garden of Eden, Genesis 3.

Their power was also in the deceptive lies and teachings of the Koran and prophet. (the prophet being Mahomet)

Now we come back to the time prophecy of verse 15. This power of the Ottoman government was to rule for an hour, a day, a month, and a year. Once again we will apply a day for a year principle.

- A year    =   360 days = 360 years.
- A month  =  30 days   = 30 years.
- A day      =  1 year.
- An hour   =  1/24 of a day = 1/24 of a year = 1/24 of 360 days = 15 days.
Total = 391 years 15 days.

Remember that our starting date comes from verse 12, where it states that 'there come two woes hereafter'. The finishing date of the first woe, or fifth trumpet, is the 27th of July 1449. If we are going to follow the time prophecy correctly, the hereafter, or from now onwards, would mean that the sixth trumpet starts on the 27th of July 1449. Adding 391 years and 15 days to this date brings us through to the 11th of August 1840. Does history bear the record of the Ottoman Empire ceasing to rule of its own accord, that is, loosing its independence, upon this date?

Mehemet Ali, Pasha of Egypt, which was a vassal of the Sultan, decided to revolt and claim himself to be independent sovereign of Egypt, Arabia and Syria. He no longer was going to pay tribute to the Porte. This was in 1838.

In 1839 hostilities again commenced, and were prosecuted, until, in a general battle between the armies of the Sultan and Mehemet, the Sultan's army was entirely cut up and destroyed, that, when hostilities commenced in August, he had only two first-rates and three frigates, as the sad remains of the once powerful Turkish fleet. This fleet Mehemet positively refused to give up and return to the Sultan, and declared, if the powers attempted to take it from him he would burn it.

In this posture affairs stood, when, in 1840, England, Russia, Austria and Prussia (Germany) interposed, and determined on settlement of the difficulty, for it was evident, if left alone, Mehemet would soon become master of the Sultan's throne.

The sultan accepted this intervention of the great powers, and thus made a voluntary surrender of the question into their hands. A conference of these powers was held in London, the Sheik Effendi Bey Likgis being present as Ottoman plenipotentiary. An ultimatum was drawn up to be presented to the pasha of Egypt, whereby the sultan was to offer him the hereditary government of Egypt, and all that part of Syria extending from the Gulf of Suez to the Lake of Tiberias together with the province of Acre, for life; he on his part to evacuate all other parts of the sultan's dominions then occupied by him, and to return the Ottoman fleet. In case he refused this offer from the sultan, the four powers were to take the matter into their own hands, and use such other means to bring him to terms as they should see fit.

It is apparent that just as soon as this ultimatum should be put by the sultan into the hands of Mehemet Ali, the matter would be forever beyond the control of the former, and the disposal of his affairs would, from that moment, be in the hands of foreign powers. The sultan despatched Rifat Bey on a government steamer to Alexandria, to communicate the ultimatum to the pasha. It was put into his hands, and by him taken in charge, on the eleventh day of August, 1840! (A letter of a correspondent of the London Morning Chronicle, of September 18, 1840, dated, Constantinople, August 27th, 1840 and also Constantinople August 12th, 1840, confirms this date) On the same day, a note was addressed by the sultan to the ambassadors of the four powers, inquiring what plan was to be adopted in case the pasha should refuse to comply with the terms of the ultimatum, to which they made answer that provision had been made, and there was no necessity of his alarming himself about any contingency that might arise...where was the sultan's independence? — GONE !Daniel and the Revelation, Uriah Smith, pgs 486, 487.

The Ottoman Empire lost its independence on the 11th of August 1840, with a bloodless take over by the four powers, England, Russia, Prussia, and Austria. This exactly fulfils the prophecy.

Revelation 9:20-21And 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: 21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

The rest of the men which were not killed - Remember that the word “men” is a reference to the empire not people individually. But what part of the empire is left? The only part left that has not been destroyed is Catholicism/the Catholic Church. (As Rome had given the Papacy its seat, power and great authority to rule in the East, see comments on Revelation 13:2, the last vestiges of Rome were thus kept alive through the Papacy)

21. Murders - The sin of idolatry against God often leads to crimes such as those here listed. (see Revelation 21:8; 22:15; cf. Galatians 5:20)

Sorceries - See notes on Revelation 18:23.

Fornication - Greek porneia, “prostitution,” “unchastity,” a general term denoting every imaginable kind of unlawful sexual intercourse.

Thefts - See 1 Corinthians 6:10.

We need to understand that the trumpets are judgements from God upon the Roman Empire and apostate Christendom.

These events did not turn them away from their evil deeds and the worship of idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood (idol worship of Christ, Mary and the saints) that do not hear nor see them. Their pretended miracles through the agency of departed saints, fornication and theft, murders which have been rampant throughout the history of the Catholic Church. Men had suffered much punishment but they repented not.

This brings us to the close of the sixth trumpet.

Revelation Bible Prophecy Chapter 10...