The Muslim Question Revisited (9)
In Part 8 we learned that mainline Protestant commentators (such as John Calvin, Albert Barnes, John Wesley, and Charles Spurgeon) from the 1500s to the 1800s applied the details of the 5th trumpet of Revelation 9 to the historical conquests of Mohammed and his desert warriors. For proof, simply do an Internet search for the PDF document, Islam in the Bible , by Presbyterian scholar Dr. Francis Nigel Lee. This is the Historicist view, not Preterist or Futurist.
The book of Revelation identifies the last three trumpets as “woes” to fall upon the earth. After the first four trumpets sound in Revelation 8, John wrote,
Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitants of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels,which are yet to sound! (Revelation 8:13, emphasis added)
Immediately following this warning, the 5th trumpet sounds (Revelation 9:1-11), containing the first woe. Immediately after this, John wrote, “One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter” (Revelation 9:12). Then comes the 6th trumpet, containing the second woe. To this we will now turn our attention (in Part 10 of this series – the grand finale – we will zero in on the 3rd and final woe predicted to hit planet Earth right before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ).
Concerning the 6th trumpet, John wrote:
(9:13) And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, (9:14) Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. (9:15) 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. (9:16) And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. (9:17) 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. (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. (9:19) 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. (9:20) 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: (9:21) Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts (Revelation 9:13-21).
Here “four angels” are described as being “loosed” to slay “the third part of men.” Protestant Historicists applied this to “the third part” of the Roman Empire, that is, to its eastern portion, centered in Constantinople. The period, “an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year,” they interpreted based on the day-for-a-year principle (see Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6). In doing the math, we discover that “a day” is 1 year, “a year” is 360 years (based on 360 days in a Jewish calendar year), “a month” is 30 years (based on 30 days in a Jewish month), and “an hour” is 15 days (1/24th of a 24-hour day, and 1/24th of 360 days).
360 years + 30 years + 1 year + 15 days = 391 years and 15 days.
Can we find a fulfillment for this period? Yes, we can!
The previous “five months” (or 150-year period), predicted in the 5th trumpet (Revelation 9:10) began when Ottoman the Turk became the first “king” (see Revelation 9:11) over the disorganized Islamic countries, uniting them under one central government. That period extended from July 27, 1299, to July 27, 1449. During those 150 years, Turkish Islam sought to “slay” (or eliminate) the eastern sovereignty of a “third” of the Roman Empire, but was unable to do so. It could only “hurt” (Revelation 9:10). Four years later, on May 29, 1453, Constantinople fell to the Turks.
Prior to this, on the exact date noted – July 27, 1449 – the Greek Emperor, Constantine XIII, acknowledged that he no longer ruled by his own authority, but by consent of the Turks. In other words, his sovereignty was over. Now do the math. 391 years and 15 days starting from July 27, 1449 leads to August 11, 1840. Based on what happened July 27, 1449, historicist prophecy students in the 1830s publicly proclaimed before the event occurred that on August 11, 1840, the independence of the Ottoman sultans ruling in Constantinople would cease.
Amazingly, that’s exactly what happened. On “Aug. 11, 1840, the very day to which the time marked in the prophecy continued … the authority of the Turkish Empire passed into the hands of the Powers of Europe [Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia]” ( The Great Nations of Today, by Alonzo T. Jones, p. 77, Review and Herald Publishing Co., Battle Creek, MI. 1901).
The very power (Ottoman Islam based in Turkey), whose seemingly innumerable warriors (see Revelation 9:16) rode on “horses” (see Revelation 9:17) giving the appearance of have “mouths [that] issued fire and smoke and brimstone” (because they used rifles and firepower in their conquest of Constantinople), submitted its sovereignty to the Christian powers of Europe at the end of the exact time period predicted in Revelation 9:15.
Every detail of the prophecy of Revelation 9:13-21 can’t be explained in this short article, but as stated before, if you do your homework you will discover that Protestant Historicists discerned the conquests of Arabic Islam as a fulfillment of the 5th trumpet (“the first woe”), and those of Turkish Islam as a fulfillment of the 6th trumpet (“the second woe”). If their interpretation is correct – which I believe it is – then it’s logical to expect a resurgence of radical Islam as “the third woe” right before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Open your eyes.
It’s happening right now.