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The Seven Trumpets, The Woman And The Dragon

Alistair Huong

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Alistair Huong

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  • July 12, 2008
    9:00 AM
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A little review, we spent quite a bit of time the past few weeks going through Revelation, chapter 10. And then last week in this class, we covered Revelation, chapter 11, the two witnesses and the Word of God, the Old and New Testament; we talked about that, and we are going to wrap up chapter 11 with the seventh trumpet, seventh trumpet. So, alright, I think we’re getting settled. Let’s bow our heads for prayer, and we’ll get right into it.

 

Father in heaven, we thank You for waking us to this Sabbath day and for granting us this opportunity to study Your Word. We know that there is much light yet to be discovered, and that, the books Daniel and Revelation, if we will study them, we will have an entirely new religious experience. And today, as we look at the Great Controversy and some of the major players and major events, may You open our minds that we may understand and most importantly see our role in these last days of Earth’s history. We pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Alright, as mentioned already, we are concluding the seven trumpets today. We talked about the first six trumpets up till now. The first four trumpets, essentially to summarize, judgment on Western Rome. Or, maybe I should take a step back. Before we begin the seven trumpets, we see an angel interceding at the golden altar of incense, and we see that he casts the censer down, which, according to the Bible, it symbolizes a close of intercession. Intercession is closely related to the incense, Christ’s merits mingling with our prayers and so forth. So, the casting down of the censer means it’s a close of probation of some sort.

 

But we know that, based on the other things that we’ve studied, that the time frame could not mean the close of the world’s probation. So, what does it close of probation? It was the judgment on Rome. Western Rome, the first four trumpets, Eastern Rome, the fifth and sixth trumpets, and then the seventh trumpet is judgment on Spiritual Rome.

 

And here is something that we need to attach to this review, and that is, in between the sixth and the seventh trumpets, we have two entire chapters. Chapter 10 identified the Advent Movement, the Great Disappointment, predicted all of that. The message that is to be preached, the 2300 days, the little book that was opened, we went through that in detail.

 

Chapter 11, we see that the net result, if you will, of the final culmination of what happens when you take the principles under which the papal power operates to its logical conclusion, and the logical conclusion was? The French Revolution and also the role that the Bible played and what happens when you negate the Word, when you cast it aside, when you kill it, crucify it, in the streets of Sodom and Egypt spiritually. But what we have done essentially, the fifth and sixth trumpets were time prophecies leading from the Middle Ages all the way up to 1840, August 11, 1840.

 

And then we take a step back, and there’s almost a parenthetical statement. Revelation, chapter 10, and we see the little book opened in 1798, the 2300 days being fulfilled in 1844, and the Advent Movement that will arise. And then in Revelation, chapter 11, we see the same thing, the same period of history in a way. The 1260 years in that chapter, it was 42 months in which the Word of God was being trampled underfoot. And it was resurrected, ascended up to heaven, essentially at the end of the 1260.

 

And that also brings us up to 1798, right about the time of the early 1800s. So, you see what has happened. God has led us step by step to hone and focus our attention to bring us by these parallel paths, different stories in histories, different movements are taking place, so that we will be absolutely sure when we come to the seventh trumpet exactly where we are in history. Because, what is about to happen is extremely important and has to do with the first six trumpets, the Advent Movement in Revelation, chapter 10, and also what has happened at the final fruition of the principles of the papacy as we see in the French Revolution.

 

So, let’s go straight to it, Revelation, chapter 11, verse 15, is where we’ll begin. So, I’m going to look for a volunteer who will read for us verses 15 and 16, actually 15 through 17. So, if you will raise your hand. Okay, Darren, read loudly and clearly for us, please.

 

[AUDIENCE MEMBER] “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.’

 

Sixteen and seventeen also.

 

[AUDIENCE MEMBER] “And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, saying, ‘We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.’”

 

So, based on what we’ve looked at so far, what happens at the sounding of the seventh trumpet? Christ receives something. What does He receive? Go ahead and just say it. I’ll repeat. The kingdoms of this world. Now, some of you may be thinking, “But, isn’t Christ the King already?” Well, yes and no.

 

Look with me in the book of Daniel. Daniel, chapter 7, and according to the prophecy of Daniel, chapter 7, when is it that Christ receives His kingdom? Daniel, chapter 7, we will read verses 9, 10, 13, and 14, so four verses; we’re skipping a few. Anyone. Okay up in the front. Thank you very much.

 

[AUDIENCE MEMBER] “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened… I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”

 

Thank you very much. So, when is it that Christ receives His kingdom, according to the prophecy of Daniel, chapter 7? It’s during the judgment, and this judgment, if I may throw in a colloquialism or Adventist lingo, is the Investigative Judgment, the judgment that takes place at the conclusion of the 2300 days. We can confirm this if we study Daniel, chapter 8, again, but we’ve gone through that in this class previously.

 

But, here we see that the seventh trumpet is in essence the beginning of the Investigative Judgment. Now, to make it abundantly clear, let’s go back to Revelation, chapter 11, and let’s have a volunteer read for us the last two verses, verses 18 and 19. Okay, Norman?

 

[AUDIENCE MEMBER] “And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”

 

Okay, so verse 18 is pretty clear what is about to happen. It says it’s a time of judgment, that the dead should be judged. And here pretty clearly we see that the judgment begins with those who have passed away already. It begins with those who have fallen asleep first. And, just as a reminder, I don’t want to spend too much time, but just referring you back to the seven seals, you remember, one of the seals, there was a cry for judgment. There were souls under the altar crying, “How long before you avenge our blood?” You remember that.

 

And you remember, when we studied the seven seals, I believe Norman when through that, prior to the fifth seal, the persecuting power that is slaying God’s people is the papal power. And in Daniel, chapter 7, we see that the judgment comes after the fulfillment of the little horn, which is the papal power.

 

And, in Daniel, chapter 8, judgment comes after the little horn’s second phase, after it has trampled the temple underfoot or the sanctuary underfoot, and the question is how long? “Unto two thousand, three hundred days, then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”

 

So, the pattern here is this: The papacy has been given 1260 years. We see that also in Revelation, chapter 11, for it to demonstrate what is the natural inescapable outcome if the world or a nation, in the case of France, were to be run under those guiding principles. And jumping ahead a little bit, Revelation 13, who is it that gives the papal beast, the first beast of Revelation 13, who gives it his power? It’s the dragon or Satan.

 

And so in essence, what we have seen through the study of Daniel and Revelation, after we’ve come through all of this, now is the time to bring some synthesis, synthesize some of these concepts. That is, God gave the papacy 1260 literal years, 42 months, 3-1/2 years prophetically, however you want to slice it, to say, “Satan, show us what you’ve go. What will this world be like if we were to run it like you want to run it?” And the natural outcome was the French Revelation.

 

And so, God says to the watching universe, to thousands and thousands around Him, “Have you seen enough? Have you seen enough? All right, I’ve seen enough. Let’s begin the judgment. Let’s wrap this thing up.” There’s no question left in any of the unfallen universes’ minds that God is, indeed, right. Satan’s government is going to self-destruct. And that is the example of what the papacy has demonstrated through all of these prophecies.

 

And here we see that judgment is beginning, judgment on those who have passed away first. And in verse 19, “The temple of God was opened in heaven.” And, of course, just another point we’ve mentioned before, the book of Revelation, the way that we put a stake in the time frame, where we are, we are walking ourselves through the sanctuary, or, excuse me, Jesus is walking us through the sanctuary; that’s a better way of putting it. We began out in the Holy Place, walking in here after. We see the candlesticks, God on His throne, the table of shewbread, Jesus standing at the golden altar of incense, and now we are in the Most Holy Place.

 

And just an interesting side note here. It says inside the temple of God, we see an ark, the ark of His testament. It’s not the ark of the covenant. Testament, this is just a little tidbit, it connects us back to the two witnesses in Revelation, chapter 11, who’s testifying. God is saying, “My Word is sure, and the judgment now is beginning because I have said so.” The ark of His testament.

 

And many other things we could study. There are the 24 elders here, interesting study. We’ve talked about them a little bit before. They were present when Jesus was inaugurated in the Holy Place. Now, when He goes in the Most Holy Place, they are also present when the 144,000 are announced. The 24 elders are interesting, and I believe some very important players in the book of Revelation, but not for this study.

 

Okay, so much more in this, but we need to move on, so chapter 12. Okay, let’s move on. Chapter 12, we’re sort of putting a period and continuing. Okay, question? Microphone over here.

 

[AUDIENCE MEMBER] I thought that the testament and covenant could be synonymous, like in Hebrews.

 

Yeah, my point…This is what I mean by when it’s just a small point. The word chosen was testament instead of covenant; that’s it, and it just brings that little connection back. So, I’m not building a doctrine or anything like that, but thanks, Mike.

 

Okay, Revelation, chapter 12, let’s give a little overview. Chapter 11 brings us to the close of another major division of the book of Revelation. We’ve looked at the seven churches, seven seals, and seven trumpets. And so, now we begin another transition, and for me, I like to divide chapters 12, 13, and 14 into one subdivision, if you will.

 

Chapter 12 is the overview of the entire Great Controversy, particularly dealing with the battle between Satan and God’s church. That’s chapter 12. And then in chapter 13, we see the full fury of the dragon, or Satan putting into effect his final phase of his plan. And then in chapter 14, we see God putting into effect His final plan, the final phase of His plan.

 

So, in chapter 12, we see a woman and a dragon, God’s church and Satan. In chapter 13, we see Satan and his full plan. And then, in chapter 14, we see the church and what God’s final plan is for the church. So, you get the outline in your mind sort of how we’re going about this.

 

So, chapter 12, we’re not going to cover all of chapter 12 today, but what we are going to do, we’re going to slice this chapter into several parts based on time. This woman, which in Bible prophecy is a church. You can look in Ephesians, chapter 5, Isaiah 51, and several other places, a pure woman represents a pure church. And this church in chapter 12, we see her in three phases. Arbitrarily I’ll just name them, the apostolic time or apostolic church, the wilderness church, and the remnant church, three phases. And that’s just arbitrarily labeling by my part, descriptive, but here’s how you can identify them.

 

In chapter 12, we see the church prior to the 1260 days, we see the church during the 1260 days, and then the church after the 1260 days, so that’s the biblical division. Before the 1260, apostolic church, during the 1260, wilderness church, after the 1260 is the remnant church, so that’s how we’re going to go about looking at this. And let’s begin in verse 1, so we’ll read verses 1 and 2; let’s have a volunteer. Okay, Chris in the back.

 

[AUDIENCE MEMBER] “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.”

 

Okay, so we see a great wonder in heaven, and it’s a woman clothed with the sun, standing on the moon, and on her head a crown of 12 stars. So, let’s look at the description. One of the principles of Revelation again, it’s a visual book, very visual, so you have to use your imagination when you study the book of Revelation.

 

So, here we see a woman clothed with the sun. Now, what does the sun represent? Let’s look in Malachi, Malachi, chapter 4, verse 2, if someone could read that for us. Joelle, thank you.

 

[AUDIENCE MEMBER] “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.”

 

Thank you. So, Jesus is represented as the Sun of righteousness. And you can look in Galatians 3 and also Ephesians 4; I’ll just give you those references. When you put on Christ, or Christ in you, the hope of glory, you put on Christ, you put on His righteousness, And so, this woman is clothed with Christ’s righteousness. And the sun is white light, the white linen of Christ’s righteousness, in a way. And she’s also standing on the moon. What does that represent? Let’s go to Psalm 89, Psalm 89, we’ll read verse 34 and verse 37. Another volunteer. Okay, up here, Monja.

 

[AUDIENCE MEMBER] “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.” And 39?

 

Thirty-seven.

 

[AUDIENCE MEMBER] Thirty-seven, “It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven.”

 

Okay, so Christ’s words, what comes out of His lips, His covenants or the promises He makes with His people, are as the moon. “It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness.” And so this woman is standing on the sure Word of God. The covenant, the thing that which God has established, that has come out of His lips. So, she’s standing on the sure foundation of God’s Word.

 

Now, what about the stars? Let’s go back to Revelation, chapter 1, a crown of 12 stars. Revelation, chapter 1, and verse 20. Someone else. Okay, I’ll just read this. Okay, nevermind, we have a volunteer in the front, thank you, at the last moment, she volunteered.

 

[AUDIENCE MEMBER] “The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.

 

Alright, so in Revelation, what do angels represent? Or, I just gave it away. What do stars represent? They represent angels, sorry, sort of spoiled it for you, but messengers or ministers, that’s what angels represent. It’s not talking about a little angel standing over the church with its wings, it’s talking about the ministers to those churches.

 

In Revelation 12, this woman has a crown of 12 stars, and some say, “See, God’s church wears jewelry.” Well, you’ve got to understand that it’s not a crown with 12 stars. It’s a crown of 12 stars. She is carrying this symbol of a characteristic of which the church possess. And it’s clearly symbolic. I’ve never seen a woman literally wearing the sun; that would be disturbing, or a woman standing on the moon. It’s clearly symbolic, but at any rate, I just thought I would toss it out there, for what’s worth.

 

So here, 12 stars or 12 leaders, 12 ministers, of this church, and the dream that Joseph had in the book of Genesis, He saw 11 stars bowing down to that last remaining star representing himself. So, the 12 patriarchs have been represented by 12 stars before, and then after Christ established His church, He picked 12 apostles, 12 angels, 12 messengers. So this church is the Christian church right before Christ was born. We’ll see that in a moment. And then afterwards, it becomes Christ’s church, the Christian church after Christ was on Earth.

 

And verse 2, we see that this church is travailing in birth. Actually, excuse me, several things to notice. This woman is dressed with natural light; it’s not artificial; it’s not worldly; it’s not manmade. It’s heavenly, and the light is the light of truth. She’s clothed with divine truth.

 

And just as a reference, there’s another woman in the book of Revelation, and that woman is in Revelation, chapter 17. She’s also known as Babylon, the mother of harlots. And if you go, and you look at her description, you’ll see a striking contrast between the two women.

 

And so, although this is simply an application; it’s not an interpretation of prophecy. It’s just an application. Which woman do you suppose we as Adventists and Christians ought more to look like? The woman of Revelation 17, decked out in jewels and drinking the blood of martyrs and wearing all red and all colorful, or are we to look more like the woman in Revelation 12? Something to think about, something to think about.

 

Okay, so let’s go on here, and in the apostolic church, we see that this woman is travailing in birth and pain to be delivered. And we will see in a moment this is referring to the birth of Christ, or Christ coming into the world in the Jewish era.

 

Just a little tidbit for those of you who will go and study this some more, investigate the idea of birth pains and travailing in birth in relation to the end of time because there’s going to be another paining in birth, and that is a very significant event as well.

 

So, verse 3 here, “And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.”

 

So, the dragon here, well let me just show you quickly, verse 9, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world.” So, hopefully we just established that clearly: The dragon is Satan, the devil. Okay.

 

So, when this woman is about to give birth to this man-child, the dragon is sitting there ready to devour the child as soon as it was born. Now, what Bible story is this talking about? What happened when Jesus was born? Herod, and what did Herod do? Kill all the baby boys, right? Now, another question, then is the dragon representing Satan himself personally, or is it representative of a power that Satan was working through? The second one. You see that. And which power was it in that case? Pagan Rome, Herod was a representative of Pagan Rome.

 

And so, here’s a principle, okay? Because some other time in the book of Revelation you’re going to come across another beast that looks an awful lot like this one. It doesn’t look exactly like it, but very similar, seven heads, ten horns, and it actually possesses many of the same characteristics. And what we see in Revelation, chapter 12, is that this beast, or this dragon, actually represents whatever power that Satan is working through at the present time in history.

 

Later on, in the wilderness era, 1260 years, what power is it that persecutes the church for those 1260 years? Papal Rome. It’s no longer Pagan Rome because Pagan Rome is off the scene. But Papal Rome then becomes the dragon, or the dragon then represents Satan working through Papal Rome.

 

So, you see how that one beast, although it’s ultimately Satan at work, it also represents the political power through which Satan is working at each specific point in history. Okay? And this is very important, especially, I’ll just through this out there; I’m not going to debate about it right now – when you come to Revelation, chapter 17, okay? A principle to remember.

 

So, here we see the dragon. He’s about to devour the child. And verse 5, or actually verse 4, something else here. “His tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven.” And we use this text to prove that he drew one-third of the angels, right? But what does the tail represent? This is something we should look at, Isaiah, chapter 9, Isaiah, chapter 9, verse 15. Okay, let’s have a volunteer, so we’re ready. Isaiah 9, verse 15, let’s have…Okay, up in the front here.

 

[AUDIENCE MEMBER] “Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts the land is burned up, and the people shall be as fuel for the fire; no man shall spare his brother.”

 

Alright, 9, verse 15, Isaiah 9, verse…yeah.

 

[AUDIENCE MEMBER] Okay, “The elder and honorable, he is the head; the prophet who teaches lies, he is the tail.”

 

So, what does a tail represent? A prophet that teaches lies. And, isn’t that exactly what happened in heaven? Satan told lies about God, and as a result, his deception drew a third of the angels. But something else that, I’ll just be honest, I don’t have the historical proof; this is something that I’ll throw out there for you to investigate for yourself. Coming off of the first verse in chapter 12, the 12 stars represents the 12 leaders, and is it possible perhaps that there were false prophets leading up to the time of Christ that deceived the Jewish leaders so they were not prepared for Jesus to come as well. And it’s hard to prove that there were one-third of them that fell, but I believe that is an interesting thought.

 

Okay, verse 5, chapter 12, verse 5, “And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.” The rod of iron, it brings us back to the idea of, in the seven churches, Jesus represents Himself as ruling with a rod of iron, and He gives that promise to overcomers as well. And also in Psalms, He is resurrected whenever you see ruling with a rod of iron; it has to do with He’s resurrected now, so He can rule with a rod of iron. I don’t want to spend too much time on that. He was “caught up to God and to his throne.”

 

Alright, and then verse 6, and then we’ll take a pause, “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” So, now we transition into the wilderness period of the church, and what I’m going to do is I’m going to skip verse 7 through verse 13. Verse 7 through verse 13 is another parenthetical reference, it seems.

 

We go all the way back in time. We see that we go back to heaven. Clearly we’re talking about the earth, the church here on earth, Jesus was caught up into heaven, so we’re looking at the earth. But then we shift gears, and we look at heaven. But looking at heaven, it’s a flashback, taking a step back into where we have come from. But the 1260 days, the wilderness church, is where we are actually going to focus for the remainder of this time.

 

Okay, a quick comment here in the corner. Hang on, you need to wait for the mic. Wait for the mic.

 

[AUDIENCE MEMBER] [Inaudible]

 

Okay. And the church here in the wilderness, we’re not going to get quite as far as I would have liked, but it’s okay. I’ll just end on a few notes regarding the wilderness period. Verse 6 and then verse 13 and verse 14 are a repetition; they say the same things. So, we read verse 6 already. Let’s look in verses 13 and 14, “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”

 

So, what is going on during this 1260-year period? Or, maybe I should put it this way: The description of this 1260, or the three-and-a-half-year period for this wilderness church, is a very similar story to what other Bible character? Okay, someone who went to hiding in the wilderness, hid for three-and-a-half years, was nourished by God. Exactly. Elijah. And at the conclusion of the three-and-a-half years, Elijah came out of his hiding, and he gave the Elijah message.

 

And in Malachi, chapter 4, verses 5 and 6, there’s a prophecy that says Elijah will come again, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And so, here we see that during the 1260 days, God is preparing Elijah for his final mission. And, how does God prepare him? He prepares Elijah, or in this case is the woman, by nourishing him. And what kind of food is wilderness food? It’s manna, and how do we know that?

 

In the seven churches, Pergamos is the church right before Thyatira, which happens to also talk about a space in which Jezebel is given to repent? That’s three-and-a-half years. Right before the three-and-a-half years of Bible prophecy, God promises to Pergamos, His faithful, “I will feed you with hidden manna.” So, for those 1260 years in the wilderness, God is preparing His church with the manna message, and the manna was given in Exodus, chapter 16, I believe, to teach obedience to the Sabbath. The Sabbath was the nourishment for the preparation, the final Elijah mission.

 

And we need to close, so I better wrap up, but next week we’ll finish chapter 12, and we’ll close with a prayer. I think I have enough time to have a prayer. Let’s bow our heads.

 

Father, we are thankful that You have given us such a clear delineation of events throughout history so we can have no question where we are. I pray that as we continue to study this period, may You be with us in the next hour now. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.


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