5th Trumpet Dual Fulfillment: First Woe, Pandora’s Box
Revelation 9:1 Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. 2 And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. 3 Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4 They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. 6 In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them. 7 The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. 8 They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9 And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. 10 They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months. 11 And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon. 12 One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things.
Constantinople was besieged, for the first time after the extinction of the Western empire, by Chosroes, the king of Persia." After a battle of Ninevah in which Rome prevailed, "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 Saracens from Arabia, like locusts from the same region, who, propagating in their course the dark and delusive Mohammedan creed, speedily overspread both the Persian and the Roman empire.
He quotes Gibbon; “These robbers were the apostles of Mohammed; their frantic valor 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." "'The spirit of fraud and enthusiasm, whose abode is not in the heavens,' was let loose on earth. The bottomless pit needed but a key to open it...the year 629 is marked by 'the conquest of Arabia,' and 'the first war of the Mohammedans against the Roman empire.'... When the strength of the Roman empire was exhausted...
The Bottomless Pit. - The meaning of this term may be learned from the Greek , which is defined "deep, bottomless, profound," and may refer to any waste, desolate, and uncultivated place. It is applied to the earth in its original state of chaos. Gen.1:2. In this instance it may appropriately refer to the unknown wastes of the Arabian desert, from the borders of which issued the hordes of Saracens like swarms of locusts. And the fall of Chosroes, the Persian king, may well be represented as the opening of the bottomless pit, inasmuch as it prepared the way for the followers of Mohammed to issue from their obscure country, and propagate their delusive doctrines with fire and sword, till they had spread their darkness over all the Eastern empire.
"Like the noxious and even deadly vapors which the winds, particularly from the southwest, diffuse in Arabia, Mohammedanism spread from thence its pestilential influence, - arose as suddenly and spread as widely as smoke arising out of the pit, the smoke of a great furnace. Such is a suitable symbol of the religion of Mohammed, of itself, or as compared with the pure light of the gospel of Jesus. It was not, like the latter, a light from heaven, but a smoke out of the bottomless pit."
"A false religion was set up, which, although the scourge of transgressions and idolatry, filled the world with darkness and delusion; and swarms of Saracens, like locusts, overspread the earth, and speedily extended their ravages over the Roman empire from east to west. The hail descended from the frozen shores of the Baltic; the burning mountain fell upon the sea from Africa; and the locusts (the fit symbol of the Arabs) issued from Arabia, their native region. They came as destroyers, propagating a new doctrine, and stirred up to rapine and violence by motives of interest and religion.
After the death of Mohammed, he was succeeded in the command by Abubekr, A.D. 632, who, as soon as he had fairly established his authority and government, dispatched a circular letter to the Arabian tribes, from which the following is an extract:- "'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 palmtrees, nor burn any fields of corn. Cut down no fruit-trees, nor do any mischief to cattle, only such as you kill to eat...
Of the fulfillment of verse six he says "Men were weary of life, when life was spared only for a renewal of woe, and when all that they accounted sacred was violated, and all that they held dear constantly endangered, and the savage Saracens domineered over them, or left them only to a momentary repose, ever liable to be suddenly or violently interrupted, as if by the sting of a scorpion."
"VERSE 7. 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." "The Arabian horse takes the lead throughout the world; and skill in horsemanship is the art and science of Arabia. And the barbed Arabs, swift as locusts and armed like scorpions, ready to dart away in a moment, were ever prepared unto battle. "'And on their heads were as it were crowns like gold.' When Mohammed entered Medina (A.D. 622), and was first received as its prince, 'a turban was unfurled before him to supply the deficiency of a standard.' The turbans of the Saracens, like unto a coronet, were their ornament and boast.. The rich booty abundantly supplied and frequently renewed them. To assume the turbans is proverbially to turn Mussulman. And the Arabs were anciently distinguished by the miters which they wore. "'And their faces were as the faces of men.' 'The gravity and firmness of the mind of the Arab is conspicuous in his outward demeanor; his only gesture is that of stroking his beard, the venerable symbol of manhood.' 'The honor of their beards is most easily wounded.'"
"VERSE 8. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.""Long hair" is esteemed an ornament by women. The Arabs, unlike other men, had their hair as the hair of women, or uncut, as their practice is recorded by Pliny and others. But there was nothing effeminate in their character; for, as denoting their ferocity and strength to devour, their teeth were as the teeth of the lions...
"VERSE 9. 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." The Breastplate. - "The cuirass (or breastplate) was in use among the Arabs in the days of Mohammed. In the battle of Ohud (the second which Mohammed fought) with the Koreish of Mecca (A.D. 624), 'seven hundred of them were armed with cuirasses.'" The Sound of Their Wings. - "The charge of the Arabs was not, like that of the Greeks and Romans, the efforts of a firm and compact infantry; their military force was chiefly formed of cavalry and archers. With a touch of the hand, the Arab horses darted away with the swiftness of the wind. "The sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle." Their conquests were marvelous both in rapidity and extent, and their attack was instantaneous. Nor was it less successful against the Romans than the Persians."
...In Hebrew, "Abaddon," the destroyer; in Greek, "Apollyon," one that exterminates, or destroys. Having two different names in two languages, it is evident that the character, rather than the name of the power, is intended to be represented. If so, as expressed in both languages, he is a destroyer. Such has always been the character of the Ottoman government...July 27, 1299. The calculation which follows, founded on this starting-point, was made and published in a work entitled, Christ's Second Coming, etc., by J. Litch, in 1838. "And their power was to hurt men five months." Thus far their commission extended, to torment by constant depredations, but not politically to kill them. "Five months," thirty days to a month, give us one hundred and fifty days; and these days, being symbolic, signify one hundred and fifty years. Commencing July 27, 1299, the one hundred and fifty years reach to 1449. During that whole period the Turks were engaged in an almost perpetual warfare with the Greek empire, but yet without conquering it. They seized upon and held several of the Greek provinces, but still Greek independence was maintained in Constantinople. But in 1449, the termination of the one hundred and fifty years, a change came, the history of which will be found under the succeeding trumpet.
The Seal of God in Their Foreheads. - In remarks upon chapter 7:1-3, we have shown that the seal of God is the Sabbath of the fourth commandment; and history is not silent upon the fact that there have been observers of the true Sabbath all through the present dispensation. But the question has here arisen with many, Who were those men who at this time had the seal of God in their foreheads, and who thereby became exempt from Mohammedan oppression? Let the reader bear in mind the fact, already alluded to, that there have been those all through this dispensation who have had the seal of God in their foreheads, or have been intelligent observers of the true Sabbath; and let them consider further that what the prophecy asserts is that the attacks of this desolating Turkish power are not directed against them, but against another class.
In the fulfillment of the fifth and sixth trumpets the parallels in the dual prophecy really stand out. Historically the fifth and sixth trumpets (which were the first and second "woes") both involved conflicts between Islam and Christianity. And, interestingly, the second fulfillment of these two trumpets in the end of time describes nearly an exact repeat of the history of the rise of Islam and establishment of the Caliphate.
Uriah Smith describes Islamic terrorism, fulfilling the fifth trumpet, as the “apostles of Mohammed” who are “robbers... with frantic valor... propagat(ing) their delusive doctrines with fire and sword.” He says “They came as destroyers, propagating a new doctrine, and stirred up to rapine and violence by motives of interest and religion.”
In the United States Islamic terrorism developed with the same spirit came into full force through the 9/11/01 New York attacks on the World Trade Center’s twin towers, launching America into the “War on Terror.”
But before we describe in detail how that event fulfilled the fifth trumpet prophecy, lets consider the spiritual implications and significance of the fact that it is said to be the first “woe.”
First of all, as previously mentioned, the language in the fifth trumpet about the “star from heaven which had fallen to earth” brings to mind Satan, the fall of Lucifer. The story of the dragon in revelation 12:7 which gives details of Lucifer’s fall from heaven, and Isaiah 14:12 speaks about him in similar language to the fifth trumpet in saying, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” (KJV) NIV translates it this way; “How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn!”
The fact that the “star” in the 5th trumpet is called “he/him” and then begins to do things that only an animated being could do also confirms that this represents a person, or possibly the “fallen” angel, Satan. In this way the description of the fifth trumpet star differs from the third trumpet nuclear star which was only described as falling and burning like a torch.
When it says “the key of the bottomless pit was given to him” and “he opened the bottomless pit” it to suggest that the event has strong apocalyptic implications – to such an extent that whatever he releases from the pit ultimately has the potential to lead to the end of all things on planet earth. It’s a proverbial “Pandora’s box,” of sorts.
Next the sky is blackened with smoke from which warring locust arise. Since these locust arise in response to the action of the fallen star, and because it says in verse 11, “they have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon,” (or “destroyer,” as listed in NIV and Strong’s Concordance) the locust seem to be identified as fallen angels under the direction of Lucifer. This picture seems to represent a symbolic unleashing of demons onto the earth which are seeking to work final destruction on the earth.
Being the first “woe,” this symbolism seems to closely match the “woe” warning given in Revelation 12:12 which says “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”
So through these connections we see that not only does the fifth trumpet mark the opening of a sort of Pandora’s box of evil on the world, but it also seems to be some kind of indicator that time is short so demons are working with greater fervor than ever to try to deceive and spread evil in the earth.
As far as what “the abyss” is or where these demons may have come from, Revelation chapter 20 further identifies the abyss as the place where Satan will be chained for 1,000 years- that is the Earth itself. As with everything, all verses on any given subject must be considered in order to have an accurate understanding of truth, and from what we know of the events described in other parts of the Bible we know that the uninhabited earth is “the abyss” to which Satan is bound for 1,000 years while the Saints are with Christ in heaven.
The Bible does mention in several places that demons are being kept “bound” or in “chains,” including in Jude 6, saying they are kept in eternal “bonds” of darkness, as well as in the sixth trumpet where it speaks of angels of destruction being released. That the fifth trumpet describes the “locust” in association with Satan as their leader coming out of the abyss seems to suggest that they have been under some kind of bonds of restraint while on earth up until that point, but then they are allowed greater freedom to work havoc on earth after a certain point in time (at the sounding of the fifth trumpet).
The fact that the angel in Revelation 8:13 had proclaimed “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!” shows that the 3 woes are severe judgments on the whole earth.
It is often the case throughout Bible history that a form of God’s judgment, or judgment day, is simply that His protecting hedge is removed due to the people’s rejection of Him as their leader. This allows Satan more freedom to work by stirring up enemies to attack. This may be what is happening with the fifth trumpet as well, as described by the releasing of demons which have up to that point been under restraint.
It’s important to understand that hell is not a place in the center of the earth where demons are being kept or souls are being tortured. The Bible clearly describes the destructive fires of hell as occurring on earth at a certain time called “the judgment day” in which the earth and works will be burned up.
Second Peter 3:10 clearly says “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat , the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up . 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved , what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved , and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” Further, Revelation 20 shows us that hell doesn’t occur until after the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven and the second resurrection (the resurrection of the wicked) occurs. (for further information about this study see the following link; http://www.triadelphiachurch.org/article/40/bible-study-helps-and-lessons/millennium)
After the destruction of the Earth a new Heaven and Earth will be created, the Bible tells us. The only way to understand doctrines accurately is to consider all texts that are given all throughout the Bible for any one topic. Otherwise, we are in danger of error by building a whole doctrine on just one or two verses. (see this link for a study of what the Bible teaches about hell; http://www.amazingfacts.org/media-library/study-guide/e/4988/t/is-the-devil-in-charge-of-hell.aspx)
There’s little doubt that terrorism is directly inspired by Satan and fallen angels. So, radical Islamic extremism would seem to fit to both the literal and spiritual implications of the satanic associations described in the fifth trumpet prophecy.
Regarding the 9/11 New York terrorist attacks having fulfilled the fifth trumpet, we can see that there are several factors which help us identify that the 9/11 event fulfilled the fifth trumpet prophecy in the US. First, the fact that it was a major attack on the eastern United States matches exactly the flow of the first fulfillment of the 7 trumpets on the Roman Empire (first 4 fell on Western Rome, 5th and 6th trumpets on Eastern Rome). Also because the 9/11 event was one of the most significant attacks that has ever occurred on US soil – and, as we saw with Pearl Harbor and Mt St Helens, these kind of major events in US history have proven to be significant in the eyes of Heaven. Additionally the fact that it was said to be the work of Islamic terrorism closely matches the historical fulfillment of the fifth trumpet as described by Uriah Smith.
Another key evidence is strangely written into the geography of Manhattan Island, New York itself – which looks exactly like a locust! You can see pictures at the following link which show that it requires no stretching of the imagination to see the shape of a locust so clearly that it even contains fine detail; (http://www.godsgeography.com/america/newyork/longisland.html).
I don’t believe that such a detailed and clear geographical picture of a locust in the very place which turns out to fulfill a prophecy which speaks of locusts could possibly be the work of chance. It must be the master Artist, our Creator God, who orchestrated this design in order to direct students of the Bible to understand it’s fulfillment.
The mention of smoke is consistent with the judgment theme, as several places in the Bible it speaks of smoke rising as a testimony of a land having been judged, such as Isaiah 34:10 which says “the smoke there of shall go up for ever” and Revelation 18:9 "When the kings of the earth...see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her."
Locust also represent judgment, as in the book of Joel where it describes invading armies as locusts coming to for judgment on the land. In chapter 1 they are described as having “teeth of a lion,” very similar to what is described in the fifth trumpet;
Joel 1:4 What the gnawing locust has left, the swarming locust has eaten; And what the swarming locust has left, the creeping locust has eaten; And what the creeping locust has left, the stripping locust has eaten. 5 Awake, drunkards, and weep; And wail, all you wine drinkers, on account of the sweet wine That is cut off from your mouth. 6 For a nation has invaded my land, mighty and without number; Its teeth are the teeth of a lion, And it has the fangs of a lioness.
Still more solid evidence that 9/11/01 NY (or “9/11” for short) fulfilled the fifth trumpet prophecy comes out when we look into the name meaning of Osama bin Ladin. Wikipedia says “Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden... was the founder of al-Qaeda, the militant organization that claimed responsibility for the September 11 attacks on the United States, along with numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...From 2001 to 2011, bin Laden was a major target of the War on Terror, as the FBI placed a $25 million bounty on him in their search for him. On May 2, 2011, bin Laden was shot and killed” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osama_bin_Laden
So clearly he was the physical or human “king” said to be responsible for the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Is there any biblical connection between Osama and the “destroyer?” Yes, as the name “Osama” actually means “Lion” in Arabic.
Letting the Bible interpret itself, we see that a “lion” is compared to “destroyer” in several places, and one who “devours” in many places. For example, in Jeremiah 4:7 it says “The lion has come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of nations is on his way. He has gone forth from his place to make your land desolate. Your cities will be laid waste, without inhabitant.”
Interestingly, a few verses later it speaks of a destruction that closely matches what could only be accomplished through something like an aircraft, such as with the 9/11/01 attacks; 13 “Behold, he shall come up like clouds, and his chariots like a whirlwind. His horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us, for we are plundered!”
Jeremiah 2 also makes the connection between destroying/devouring and the lion in verses 29-30; “Why will you plead with Me? You all have transgressed against Me,” says the Lord. “In vain I have chastened your children; they received no correction. Your sword has devoured your prophets like a destroying lion.
As mentioned above, the fifth trumpet prophecy compares this destroyer as being someone who represents Satan himself, – through the imagery which connects to the “star” Lucifer who is fallen from heaven. The biblical comparison of the “destroyer” as being a “lion” fits this image perfectly as well, since the Bible also compares Satan to a devouring lion in 1 Peter 5:8 where it says “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
If all that is not convincing enough evidence to see that the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01 in New York fulfilled the fifth trumpet, take a look at this tidbit...
The verse where the destroyer
(Lion = Osama) is identified...
...is Revelation 9:11
Certainly all of these connections show us that God is marking human events on earth and saw them long in advance. It also shows us that he sees terrorists as being under the direct leadership of Satan and as representing Satan himself.
But when a nation stubbornly rejects His protecting spirit, He is not able to protect them from the attacks of the enemy, and He allows the judgment to come in order to help people to turn away from sin and evil.
The 9/11/01 NY attacks were significant enough in God’s eyes that they were actually foretold around 100 years before they took place. Ellen White described the scenes of destruction in New York which she saw in vision and spoke of the reasons why it would happen. (Who was Ellen White? ;Ellen White named by Smithsonian among the 100 most significant Americans of all time ,EGW Link 2) Her discussion leading into the topic of the end times and those visions of the destruction in New York starts on page 11 of Volume 9 of the “Testimonies for the Church” (once again – 9/11!). Here is her description;
“On one occasion, when in New York City, I was in the night season called upon to behold buildings rising story after story toward heaven. These buildings were warranted to be fireproof, and they were erected to glorify the owners and builders. Higher and still higher these buildings rose, and in them the most costly material was used. Those to whom these buildings belonged were not asking themselves: 'How can we best glorify God?' The Lord was not in their thoughts.
"I thought: 'Oh, that those who are thus investing their means could see their course as God sees it! They are piling up magnificent buildings, but how foolish in the sight of the Ruler of the universe is their planning and devising. They are not studying with all the powers of heart and mind how they may glorify God. They have lost sight of this, the first duty of man.'
"As these lofty buildings went up, the owners rejoiced with ambitious pride that they had money to use in gratifying self and provoking the envy of their neighbors. Much of the money that they thus invested had been obtained through exaction, through grinding down the poor. They forgot that in heaven an account of every business transaction is kept; every unjust deal, every fraudulent act, is there recorded. The time is coming when in their fraud and insolence men will reach a point that the Lord will not permit them to pass, and they will learn that there is a limit to the forbearance of Jehovah.
"The scene that next passed before me was an alarm of fire. Men looked at the lofty and supposedly fire-proof buildings and said: "They are perfectly safe." But these buildings were consumed as if made of pitch. The fire engines could do nothing to stay the destruction. The firemen were unable to operate the engines.
"I am instructed that when the Lord's time comes, should no change have taken place in the hearts of proud, ambitious human beings, men will find that the hand that had been strong to save will be strong to destroy. No earthly power can stay the hand of God. No material can be used in the erection of buildings that will preserve them from destruction when God's appointed time comes to send retribution on men for their disregard of His law and for their selfish ambition.
"There are not many, even among educators and statesmen, who comprehend the causes that underlie the present state of society. Those who hold the reins of government are not able to solve the problem of moral corruption, poverty, pauperism, and increasing crime. They are struggling in vain to place business operations on a more secure basis. If men would give more heed to the teaching of God's word, they would find a solution of the problems that perplex them.
Next Ellen White also echoes the “woe” theme we mentioned above, which indicates that the fulfillment of the fifth trumpet/first “woe” indicates time is short. Continuing her prediction of the 9/11/01 New York disaster from above, she says;
"The Scriptures describe the condition of the world just before Christ's second coming. Of the men who by robbery and extortion are amassing great riches, it is written:
"'Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.' James 5:3-6.
"But who reads the warnings given by the fast-fulfilling signs of the times? What impression is made upon worldlings? What change is seen in their attitude? No more than was seen in the attitude of the inhabitants of the Noachian world. Absorbed in worldly business and pleasure, the antediluvians "knew not until the Flood came, and took them all away." Matthew 24:39.
"They had heaven-sent warnings, but they refused to listen. And today the world, utterly regardless of the warning voice of God, is hurrying on to eternal ruin.”
The events of 9/11/01 in New York happened just as Ellen White had described them in great detail, a century earlier.
It’s uncanny when you realize that Jesus Himself also made the connection between the throwing down of buildings which would ultimately be part of the first “woe” fulfillment and the shortness of time/ ushering in of world-wide end time events, as we mentioned above. In Matthew 24, immediately prior to His descriptions of the signs of the end of the age and the great tribulation, Jesus predicts the destruction of the temple in great detail.
It says in Mt 24:1-2; “Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
Since Jesus could foresee the future that He described to His disciples in the rest of chapter 24, it seems no strange coincidence that His description of an event of buildings being thrown down such that there is “not one stone...left upon another” immediately precedes his description final events, suggesting that when this sign occurs it will be evident that end time events are about to fulfill in rapid succession.
In the fourteen years since the 2001 fulfillment of the fifth trumpet, Americans have seen increased economic insecurity, increased terrorism, climate change, drought, massive natural disasters (hurricane Katrina, etc.), mass animal deaths, declining societal values, promiscuity, hatred through racist violence, worldliness and sexual perversion. Certainly the final signs which Jesus indicated were to come after an event of buildings being thrown down has come to pass.
Another passage which clearly connects 9/11/01 as being a marker that the end of time is near is Zephaniah Chapter 1. This entire chapter seems to be about the 9/11 disaster, and gives specific insights about it. In verse 7 it says “the day of the Lord is at hand,” and verse 14 says “The great day of the Lord is near; it is near and hastens quickly.” This phrase “the day of the Lord” is a phrase used in other Bible verses to speak of the return of Jesus. Here is the passage with inserted interpretations in parentheses;
Zephaniah 1 (NKJV) 1 The word of the Lord which came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. 2 “I will utterly consume everything from the face of the land,” says the Lord; 3 “I will consume man and beast; I will consume the birds of the heavens, the fish of the sea, and the stumbling blocks along with the wicked. I will cut off man from the face of the land,” Says the Lord. 4 “I will stretch out My hand against Judah, and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. I will cut off every trace of Baal from this place, the names of the idolatrous priests with the pagan priests—5 Those who worship the host of heaven on the housetops; those who worship and swear oaths by the Lord, but who also swear by Milcom (modern day idolatry takes many different forms); 6 Those who have turned back from following the Lord, and have not sought the Lord, nor inquired of Him.” 7 Be silent in the presence of the Lord God; for the day of the Lord (Jesus’ second coming) is at hand, for the Lord has prepared a sacrifice; he has invited His guests. 8 “And it shall be, in the day of the Lord’s sacrifice, that I will punish the princes and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with foreign apparel. 9 In the same day I will punish all those who leap over the threshold (this seems like a reference to sexual promiscuity), who fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit. 10 “And there shall be on that day,” says the Lord, “The sound of a mournful cry from the Fish Gate, a wailing from the Second Quarter, and a loud crashing from the hills. 11 Wail, you inhabitants of Maktesh (a market district)! for all the merchant people are cut down; all those who handle money are cut off. (obvious reference to trading money, which is reflected in the very name “World Trade Center”) 12 “And it shall come to pass at that time that I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men who are settled in complacency, who say in their heart, “The Lord will not do good, nor will He do evil.’’ (many Americans are satisfied with their lives and suggest this sentiment through behavior, if not words) 13 Therefore their goods shall become booty, and their houses a desolation; they shall build houses, but not inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards, but not drink their wine.” 14 The great day of the Lord is near; it is near and hastens quickly. the noise of the day of the Lord is bitter; there the mighty men shall cry out. 15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of devastation and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, (speaking of the clouds and darkness of 9/11 as a representative glimpse of what the second coming of Christ will be like) 16 A day of trumpet and alarm against the fortified cities and against the high towers (here it actually mentions “trumpet” which matches the fact that the 9/11 event fulfilled one of the 7 trumpets). 17 “I will bring distress upon men, And they shall walk like blind men, Because they have sinned against the Lord; Their blood shall be poured out like dust, And their flesh like refuse” (there is no more fitting description written by anyone about what happened the day of 9/11/01 in New York than these very words. That is exactly what happened).18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath; But the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy, for He will make speedy riddance of all those who dwell in the land.
This passage also shows us that 9/11/01 NY was meant by God to serve as a warning that God will “utterly consume everything from the face of the land” if mankind does not repent of evil. It is just a small glimpse of what is coming to the Earth on a much greater scale.
As you read through these verses and the above description by Ellen White a reoccurring theme comes out – that it was a judgment on rich people who have heaped up treasures of gold and silver for themselves. The last verse of Zephaniah 1 says that “neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath.” That is actually another verse which directly connects to 9/11/01, because, as it was reported in the New York Times, there were huge vaults containing nearly a thousand tons of gold and silver underneath the World Trade Centers when they collapsed. But all that gold and silver was powerless to save them from the disaster, just as the verse says!
Further evidence that the disaster was a judgment on the complacent wealthy class is the fact that “one of the wealthiest towns in the east and in the nation” is a suburb of New York City named “Locust Valley.” Almost certainly many people who lived there at the time of 9/11/01 would have had significant investments effected by the disastrous events, and maybe even silver and gold in those infamous vaults under the trade centers.
The tower of Babel symbolism that comes out through this disaster. A country that publishes a picture of the unfinished tower of Babel on it’s $1 bill seems to be making a presumptuous statement against Heaven. The people of ancient Babylon had a similar presumptuous daring against heaven, as recorded in Genesis 11:3 “Then they said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.’ They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. 4And they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.’” But verse 8 says “the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. 9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.”
Interestingly, when you consider the changes following 9/11/01 and how the American military became “scattered abroad over the face of the earth” chasing the “war on terror,” the tower of Babel symbolism seems to closely fit the events of 9/11/01 New York.
And what verse was it that said that again?
Well, um... it was Genesis chapter 11 verse 9.
Yes.... that’s 9/11 backwards.
9/11 was a turning point for America. It really launched us into an age of terror and fear and increasing losses of liberties in the name of preventing terrorism. While Osama bin Ladin was alive and beyond, the US continued to deploy troops abroad to fight Al Qaeda throughout the next decade with a significant and continuing battle going on in Iraq and Afganistan for most of that time. Nevertheless, terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda continued to proliferate and gain strength.
Many of even secular commentators have made the association between the United States and the overextended military involvement of the Roman Empire as having been a partial source of what lead to its downfall, because its resources were spread too thin. This is certainly a danger that the US faces in trying to combat the growing threat of terrorism worldwide.
The fifth trumpet goes on to describe the terrorist warriors and their activities. One thing the verses make clear through the description of “torment” is that they practice torture. Torture is clearly associated with Islamic terrorism. Al Qaeda was well known for practicing horrific forms of torture, as has been discovered by some of their underground torture bunkers. “Their method is propaganda, instilling fear, terrorizing." Said one source. http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/08/21/iraq.bunkers/
But aside from that, terrorists, including Al Qaeda, are known for using such methods as chemical warfare, since it is illegal for civil governments to use them. Some forms of chemical warfare are known to cause sevre stinging pain, which would also connect with the mention that they inflicted stinging pain like a scorpion. Both torture and chemical or biological warfare can cause serious pain that could be described as being like a scorpion’s sting. The pain of torture can leave severe “stinging” emotional scars as well.
But in Revelation 9 it mentions a specific five month time period in regard to the torment of the locust. The verses say; 5 And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. 6 In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.”
As we mentioned in the beginning of this article, whenever we run across a time period in the second fulfillment it must be calculated with literal time instead of prophetic time, according to the angel’s proclamation in Revelation 10.
As we mentioned, torture is associated with acts of terrorism. So, do we find a 5 month time period in the years following 9/11/01 in which torture by Islamic terrorists took place? Well........ not exactly.
Here’s where a really different twist starts to come out of this prophecy...
The only 5 month period of time in which severe torture was taking place following 9/11/01 was actually perpetrated by the American soldiers!
Hmm... so how could that fit?
Well, strangely, it seems that somewhere along the way in the smoke that came out of 9/11... Americans actually started to become transformed into the likeness of the terrorists that they were hunting – and God seems to have clearly taken note of that fact in the 7 trumpets prophecy.
Even though at the beginning of the prophecy it was talking about an attack on US soil by terrorists depicted as followers of a satanic leader, by the time you get to the topic of the 5 month period the prophecy actually includes a record of terrorist atrocities committed by Americans, not just our enemies! There several clues that make the interpretation clear, as we will explore.
It is a well known fact that George Bush defended human rights abuses and the use of torture for interrogating potential terrorists, as well as saying that anyone they captured had no right to due process and could be indefinitely detained in prison. The United States military also failed to condemn or prevent horrific examples of torture in the treatment of imprisoned suspects. Famously illustrating these factors was the “torture report” about abuses during the bush administration which declared the CIA to be virtually a rogue organization because of the interrogation methods that were used.
One of the most startling and horrifying examples of these abuses is what happened at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. In order to prevent emotional trauma to sensitive readers I have omitted any description of what took place, but suffice it to say that it was torture in the worst and fullest sense of the term, cruel inhumane and degrading in the manner which one might imagine that only terrorists could do. To make matters worse, in many cases they had no real evidence that their prisoners were suspected terrorists. In one case a local taxi driver just happened to drive by and was imprisoned and tortured in Abu Ghraib. He actually died of the torture as did some other cases.
They were not authorized to kill detainees, however – which fits what the prophecy says that they could only torment but not kill.
Wikipedia says of the Abu Ghraib abuses; “The administration of George W. Bush attempted to portray the abuses as isolated incidents, not indicative of general U.S. policy. This was contradicted by humanitarian organizations such as the Red Cross, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch. After multiple investigations, they stated that the abuses at Abu Ghraib were not isolated but were part of a wider pattern of torture and brutal treatment at American overseas detention centers, including those in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay. There was evidence that authorization for the torture had come from high up in the military hierarchy, with allegations being made that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had authorized some of the actions.”
The difference with the Abu Ghraib abuses is that they were photographically documented and so gained attention. Because of that, some of the soldiers involved were disciplined.
The 5 month period of time started in August 4 of 2003 when the Abu Ghraib prison was reopened by coalition forces. Abuses continued throughout that time until January 13 of 2004 when prisoner abuse was reported and an Army investigation launched. A few days later, suspensions of some of the commanders began. So basically from early August 2003 to early January 2004 – which was 5 months.
Convincing evidence that this was indeed the event referred to by the fifth trumpet prophecy was the fact that this occurred in the very prison where Saddam Hussein tortured and executed prisoners under what Americans had once called his “rogue” regime! Wikipedia describes the unbelievable continuity between what American forces did in the prison and what Saddam Hussein had done there;
“the...Abu Ghraib prison... was one of the sites where political dissidents were incarcerated under former ruler Saddam Hussein. Thousands of these dissidents were tortured and executed. After Saddam Hussein's fall, the Abu Ghraib prison was used by American forces in Iraq. In 2003, Abu Ghraib prison earned international notoriety for the torture and abuses by members of the United States Army during the post-invasion period.
Wikipedia says that the name “Saddam” means "One who confronts," "One who frequently causes collisions", "Powerful collider", "Powerful confronter." Another source refers to “Professor of the Practice of Persian and Other Near Eastern Languages Wheeler M. Thackston, Jr. of Harvard University” says that Saddam is a title and Hussein is the name, explaining that; “’Saddam’ ... is derived from the Persian word meaning ‘crush.’ ‘Saddam Hussein’ is best translated as Hussein-Who-Crushes-Obstacles or Hussein-the-Destroyer.’”
So, it is clear that Saddam is also called “destroyer.” In keeping with the fifth trumpet prophecy, for the American soldiers to have carried out gross human rights violations in this manner of treating prisoners with the same rogue torture methods used by terrorists, and even in the exact same prison where Saddam Hussein in his rogue regime had once done the same – in God’s eyes it was as if they were “under” the command leadership of terrorists “destroyer” leaders such as Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Ladin, who are depicted as representatives of Satan in the prophecy.
Another factor that makes it clear that all of these events were indeed part of the fulfillment of the fifth trumpet is the fact that the Bill of Rights was originally introduced in the First Congress only a few miles away from the World Trade Centers that were destroyed on 9/11. Torture or any “cruel and unusual punishment” clearly violates human rights that were established by the Bill of Rights. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eighth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution
As we mentioned in the fulfillment of the third trumpet with indiscriminate destruction of innocent civilian lives through the dropping of the atomic bombs, the United States was already guilty of great human rights abuses, and proved through the activities which followed 9/11/01 that the judgment against the US for human rights abuses was indeed justified.
The description of the locusts that rose out of the smoke of 9/11 easily matches the picture of the US Apache helicopters. This factor once again highlights a connection between the US forces and the king of the bottomless pit (Satan), further strengthening the picture that through this prophecy God is rebuking America for human rights abuses and use of torture which was condoned from President Bush down.
The prophecy says 7 “The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. 8 They had hair like women’s hair , and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9 And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle.”
Apache hospitals are shaped like locust and have a crown on their heads where the wings come out. At the time the prophecy was written the “radiant crown,” which looks something like helicopter wings coming out in sun-rays style was popular. The statue of Liberty is an example of this, (which is again an unfortunate connection in a prophecy that is rebuking human rights abuses, especially in light of the Lady Liberty poem we reviewed in the third trumpet prophecy). Helicopters have men’s faces in the cockpit. The mention of having hair like women seems a direct reference to “Apache” Indian men who had long hair like women, further identifying the exact type of helicopter. Having “lion’s teeth” identifies their fierce character, and once again associates them with “the destroyer.” Further, some Apache helicopters actually had lion’s teeth painted on them. The next verse needs no further explanation, as it unquestionably describes helicopters; “they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle.”
I don’t believe that God would see it as sinful or “destroying” for a country to simply defend itself against enemy attacks. But when a country like the United States of America uses and openly condones methods which reflect racism and abuse of the rights of other human beings, it is highly significant as a crime against heaven. That’s why I believe this has been chronicled in the fifth trumpet prophecy.
A glaring example of war crimes that were perpetrated through the use of Apache helicopters is a video entitled “Collateral murder” which was obtained by Wikileaks which shows an apache murdering some unarmed journalists, van drivers and other sin a public square in Eastern Baghdad in 2007. It says “After the initial shooting, an unarmed group of adults and children in a minivan arrives on the scene and attempts to transport the wounded. They are fired upon as well.”
Even with the bloody murderous video as evidence of the war crimes that were committed, the official statement by the US military listed the murdered civilian adults as “insurgents” and claimed they “did not know” how the deaths occurred. This shows that the military failed to stop or punish war crimes, probably on numerous occasions, and this fact has not escaped the attention of the God of Heaven who documented the criminal behavior through prophecy written centuries before it occurred.
The success of the 2014 movie “American Sniper” also indicates that God didn’t “get it wrong” about American war attitudes being generally very similar to terrorists.
The film was fittingly directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, who glorified violence and killing through his famously celebrated phrase “Go ahead, make my day” while pointing a gun at someone – suggesting to them that he would greatly relish it if the person were to give him a chance to kill because it would “make” his day.
Being the highest-grossing film of 2014 in the United States, the highest-grossing war film of all time, and Clint Eastwood's highest-grossing film to date, it’s astonishing that the life of a brutal, sadistic and racist soldier could be so highly celebrated. In his own words, Chris Kyle described killing as “fun”, saying he “loved”it; that he believed everyone he shot was a “bad guy,” and made strongly racist statements such as “I hate the *** savages,” and “I couldn’t give a *** about the Iraqis.”
The fact that a movie portraying someone with these attitudes as a hero can be so highly successful in America demonstrates that it is generally accepted to be representative of military attitudes and is condoned by many of the American people as well.
The events fulfilling the fifth trumpet/ first woe prophecy chronicle the unleashing of a proverbial Pandora’s box of evil on the world just as Satan hastens with great fervor, knowing that his time is short. Aside from increasing terrorism, disasters, climate change, mass animal deaths, declining societal values, promiscuity, hatred, worldliness and homosexuality, out of the smoke of 9/11 came all forms of violence and racism. Those who were inspired with hatred toward all Arabic people just because some Muslim extremists attacked our country are shown through the fifth trumpet prophecy to be just as guilty of terrorism as those they consider their enemies.
All such abuses only served to increase general hatred toward America and to cause even more Muslim extremists to feel their terrorism was justified. Osama bin Ladin was probably seen as some sort of folk hero who came out of nowhere to take on the most powerful country in the world and continue to elude their grasp. So, through all the years of the war on terror Islamic extremism only continued to grow, as Satan prepared to bring in the Caliphate through ISIS in a way most people in modern times would never have dreamed could happen. This will be the subject of the 6th trumpet prophecy, which parallels exactly the historical establishment Caliphate in the sixth trumpet prophecy during the time of the Roman Empire.
7 Trumpets Dual Fulfillment Summary Chart
Visigoths attack of Rome under Alaric (Western Rome), scorched earth policy, Roman deforestation
WWI (Bombs), US midwestern drought of the 1930’s, global deforestation and desertification
Vandals attack of Rome through naval pirate attacks led by Genseric. They surprised the unguarded roman fleet in the bay of Cartagena.
Japanese surprise attack of US unguarded naval fleet in Pearl Harbor which got the US into World War II. German U-boat naval attacks, and huge WWII naval losses worldwide.
Attack of Huns on Rome - Uriah Smith described the events in words that would dually apply to a nuclear bomb; “compared to a blazing meteor” ...“many persons would perish... wide desolations would be caused in the vicinity of those rivers and streams, as if a bitter and baleful star should fall into the waters, and death should spread over lands adjacent to them, and watered by them.’” He said the third trumpet would involve ‘Total extirpation and erasure,' ... ‘The Scourge of God.’”
End of WWII, Nuclear Bomb at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Nuclear testing on US soil.
Fall of Western Rome - Uriah Smith chooses a poem to describe the events of the fourth trumpet which draws the visual picture of a volcanic eruption
Mt St Helens eruption in western United States
Rise of Islam, Islamic terrorism
Rise of Islam, Islamic terrorism/ 9/11
Rise of Ottoman Caliphate
Rise of ISIS Caliphate
Mystery of God Finished
Mystery of the ages is complete (Paul calls the Gospel a mystery), Possible final nuclear war (“great hail”)
8/06/15 Post has been updated to reflect growing understanding.
For very excellent topical Bible study resources, including end-time events and prophecy, see the following resources (Amazing Facts- btw, I am in no way connected with them in business) :http://www.amazingfacts.org/Bible-study/Bible-study-guides.aspx See also;