Friday Morning Manna     

The Last Three of the Seven are Woe Trumpets; the Fifth & Sixth Trumpets: Islam’s Role in Prophecy


“The Roman Empire declined, as it arose, by conquest; but the Saracens and Turks were the instruments by which a false religion became the scourge of an apostate church.”

– Alexander Keith

In my King James Bible, “woe” is mentioned 104 times; 66 times in the Old and 38 in the New. Its plural form “woes,” appears only once, Rev.9: 12. In the New Testament the Greek ouai, meaning “exclamation of grief: woe, alas” is used in the following verses:  Rev. 8: 13; 9: 12; 11: 14; 12: 12.  The same is repeated in Matt. 11: 21; 18: 7: 23: 13, 14, 15, 16, 23, 25, 27, 29; 24: 19; 26: 24.

Webster defines woe as “grief, sorrow; a miserable or sorrowful state; also, an affliction.”  As presaging the three woe trumpets of Revelation, consider Christ’s words recorded in Matthew 23: 11-36. This passage stands out for its severity of denunciation. The gentle Shepherd and meek Lamb of God is quoted saying scathing words as He unmasked the scribes and Pharisees—the religious leaders of His time. Against them He uses “woe” eight times, “fools and blind” twice, “blind guides” and “serpents, brood of vipers.” Woes were also pronounced upon the Roman Empire for its breakup.

There are three views in mainstream Christianity as to the interpretation of the successive scenes following the blowing of these “trumpets.” The third view, favored by Adventists, is that “these trumpets retrace, to a large extent, the period of Christian history already covered by the seven churches (ch. 2 and 3) and the seven seals (chs. 6 and 8:1), and that they emphasize outstanding political and military events during this period.”

Persia, the Rise of Islam, and the Fall of Eastern Rome  

Woes were divinely-pronounced upon the Roman Empire causing its breakup. The instrument God used for this purpose was the “locust-like scourge” of Islam as signified by the fifth and sixth trumpets. Prophecy is history in advance; history ascertains its fulfillment. Now consider the work of the following historians and Bible scholars, based on the specific prophecies:

    “ And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhibiters of the earth by reason of the over voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!” Rev. 8: 13.

    ”I beheld.’  See on ch. 1: 1. ‘This temporary break in the sequence of the trumpets calls special attention to the last three, which are specially designated as “woes.’” The woe is repeated three times because of the three judgments yet to come at the blowing of the three remaining trumpets.

     “An angel.’  Textual evidence favors the reading ‘an eagle.’ The eagle may be thought of as an omen of doom (see Matt. 24: 28; cf. Deut. 28: 49; Hosea 8: 1; Hab.1: 8).

     “Under the fifth trumpet a restraint had been place on the Ottoman power. For a period of 150 years they were not to ‘kill’ but only to ‘torment.’ Now at the beginning of the 391 years the previous restraint was removed and they were to go forth to ‘kill.’ History reveals a striking fulfillment to this prophecy. Within a few years at the time when the restraint was removed the Ottomans had put an end to the Roman Empire.”- Edwin Thiele, Outline of Studies in Revelation, p. 180.

And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key to the bottomless pit.” Rev. 9: 1.

      “The fifth trumpet presents the rise of Mohammedanism with its cloud of errors, but especially the period of five months, or a hundred and fifty literal years from they had a king over them. July 27, 1299, Othman, the founder of the Ottoman Empire, invaded the territory of Nicomedia. From that time the Ottomans harassed and tormented the Eastern empire of Rome till 1449, the one hundred fifty years of the sounding of the fifth trumpet.”-  John N. Loughborough, The Great Advent, p. 128.

     The Fifth Trumpet. “The Moslem World in Prophecy,’ Chap. IX— “For an exposition of this trumpet, we shall [again] draw from the writings of Alexander Keith. This writer says:

       ‘There is scarcely so uniform an agreement among interpreters concerning any other part of the Apocalypse (Revelation) as respecting the application of the fifth and sixth trumpets, or the first and second woes, to the Saracens and Turks. It is so obvious that it can scarcely be misunderstood.  Instead of a verse or two designating each, the whole of the ninth chapter of the Revelationin equal portions, is occupied with a description of both.

       ‘The Roman Empire declined, as it arose, by conquest; but the Saracens and the Turks were the instruments by which a false religion became the scourge of an apostate church; and hence, instead of the fifth and six trumpets, like the former, being marked by that name alone, they are called woes. . . . ‘Constantinople was besieged for the first time after the extinction of the Western Empire by Chosroes II, king of Persia.’ – Signs of the Times, Vol. I,  pp. 289, 291. The prophet John said, ‘I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth; and to him was given the key to the bottomless pit.’ The historian writes of this particular prophecy:

      ‘While the Persian monarch [Chosroes II] contemplated the wonders of his art and power, he received an epistle from an obscure citizen of Mecca, inviting him to acknowledge Mahomet [Mohammed] as the apostle of God. He rejected the invitation, and tore the epistle. ‘It is thus,’ exclaimed the Arabian prophet, ‘that God will tear the kingdom, and reject the supplications of Chosroes.’ – Edward Gibbon, The Decline of the Roman Empire, Vol. IV ch. 6, pp. 463-4.

       ‘Placed on the verge of two great empires of the East [Persia and Rome], Mahomet observed with secret joy the progress of their mutual destruction; and in the midst of the Persian triumphs, he ventured to foretell, that before many years should elapse, victory should again turn to the banners of the Romans.  At the time this prediction is said to have been delivered, no prophecy could be more distant from its accomplishment, since the first 12 years of Heraclius announced the approaching dissolution of the empire.’ – Ibid, p. 26.

      ‘It was not on a single spot that this star fell, as did the one that designated Attila, butupon the earth.

      ‘The provinces of the empire in Asia and Africa were subdued by Chosroes II, and ‘the Roman Empire was reduced to the walls of Constantinople, with the remnant of Greece, Italy, and Africa, and some maritime cities, from Tyre to Trebizond, of the Asiatic coast. . . . 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 this ignominious terms; but the time and space which he obtained to collect such treasures from the poverty of the East, was industriously employed in preparation of a bold and desperate attack.’- Ibid, p. 406.

      ‘The king of Persia [today’s Iran] despised the obscure Saracen, and derided the message of the pretended prophet of Mecca. Even the overthrow of the Roman Empire would not have opened a door of Mahometanism, or for the progress of the Saracenic armed propagators of an imposture, though the monarch of the Persians and chagan of the Avars (the successor of Attila) had divided between them the remains of the kingdoms of the [Roman] Caesars. Chrosroes  himself fell. The Persian and Roman monarchies exhausted each other’s strength. And before a sword was put into the hands of the false prophet, it was smitten from the hands of those who would have checked his careers and crushed his apostasy.’- Alexander Keith, Signs of the Times, Vol. I ch. 46, pp. 470-480.  NOTE:  Even today, Saudi Arabia (currently in the global news headlines) views Iran as its main rival in the Middle East region!

       ‘Since the days of Scipio and Hannibal, no bolder enterprise has been attempted than that which Heraclius achieved for the deliverance of the empire. He 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 defense of their bleeding country.

      ‘In the battle of Nineveh, which was fiercely fought from daybreak to the eleventh hour, 28 standards, besides those which might be broken or torn, were taken from the Persians; the greater part of their army was cut in pieces, and the victors, concealing their own loss, passed the night on the field . . . The cities and palaces of Assyria were opened for the first time to the Romans.’ – E. Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. IV, ch. 46, pp. 470-80.

      ‘The Roman emperor was not strengthened by the conquests which he achieved; and a way was prepared at the same time, and by the same means, for the multitudes of the Saracens from Arabia, like locusts from the same region, who, propagating in their course the dark and delusive Mahometan creed, speedily overspread both the Persian and Roman empires. More complete illustration of this fact could not be desired [from Gibbon], from which the preceding extracts are taken.’- Alexander Keith, Signs of the Times, Vol. I, p. 295.

     ‘Although a victorious army had been formed under the [Roman] standard of Heraclius, theunnatural effort appears to have exhausted rather than exercise itself.  While the emperor triumphed at Constantinople  or Jerusalem, an obscure town on the confines of Syria was pillaged by the [Arab] 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 revolutionThese robbers were the apostles of Mahomet; their fanatic valor had emerged from the desert; and in the last 8 years of his reignHeraclius lost to the Arabs the same provinces which he had rescued from the Persians.’ – E. Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. IV, ch. 46, p. 86.

      ‘The spirit of fraud and enthusiasm, whose abode is not in the heavens,’ was let loose on the earth. The bottomless pit needed but a key to open it, and the key was the fall of Chosroes II. He had contemptuously torn the letter from an obscure citizen of Mecca. But when from his ‘blaze of glory’ he sank into the ‘tower of darkness’ which no eye could penetrate, the name of Chosroes was suddenly to pass into oblivion before that of Mahomet; and the crescent seemed but to wait its rising till the falling of the star.

      ‘Chosroes, after his entire discomfiture and loss empire, was murdered in the year 628; andthe year 629 is marked by the ‘conquest of the Arabs,’ and the first war of the Mahometans against the Roman Empire.’ “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heavens unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. He fell unto the earth.’ Rev. 9: 1.

      “’When the strength of the Roman Empire was exhausted, and the great king of the East lay dead in his tower of darkness, the pillage of an obscure town on the border of Syria was ‘the prelude of a mighty revolution. ‘The robbers were the apostles of Mahomet, and their fanatic valor emerged from the desert.’ – Alexander Keith, Signs of the Times, Vol. I, p. 298.

 When earth’s probation silently and finally closes, it will be seven last plagues, not just three woes that our just and righteous God and Savior will pour out upon all who persist in worshipping the beast and his image.  (Continued next week)