Trumpet #4: The Gospel Is Suppressed
Revelation Time Period #4:
752 AD - 1299 AD
Revelation 8:12-13 "12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. 13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!"
Clothed = Character. The Bible often uses clothing as a symbol for character (Zech. 3:3-4, Is. 61:10, Job 29:14), whether filthy or clean. What you are wearing matters (Matt. 22:1-14). Earlier in Revelation, God counsels His people to buy white clothing from Him (Rev. 3:18). He that overcomes "shall be clothed in white raiment" (Rev. 3:5). Later in Revelation, a woman is married to the Lamb and arrayed in clean, white linen, which is explained within the verse as representing the righteousness of the saints (Rev. 19:7-8). Of course, the garments can only be made white by being washed in the blood of the lamb (Rev. 12:11, 7:14). Righteousness is from Christ, and His people are clothed with it, not simply as a covering, but as an empowerment to act accordingly. That the woman is clothed with the sun means that Christ's righteousness takes the place of her own filthy clothes. In other words, God's true people rely on Christ's righteousness to forgive their sins and enable them to overcome sin. Applying the same meaning to the symbol of the sun in the 4th Trumpet indicates that Christ's righteousness and work to minister for our sins is struck (smitten) to obscure it (darkened).
Standing on the Moon = Word of God. The woman in Revelation 12 is also standing on the moon.
- The moon is a faithful witness (testimony) in the heavens (Psalm 89:37). Earlier in Revelation, God's two witnesses (olive trees/candle sticks) are suppressed, killed and then resurrected, representing the Word of God (Zech. 4:3-6), the Old and New Testaments, being suppresed during the middle ages, outlawed during the French Revolution and then rising to great heights of distribution in the 1800s (Rev. 11).
- The moon is also a symbol of endurence (Psalms 72:7, 136:9). Of course, God endures forever as do the things associated with His character (such as His mercy in Psalms 136). But also, God's word endures forever (1 Peter 1:23-25, Isaiah 40:8, Psalms 119:89, 119:160).
- The moon is also a lesser light (Gen. 1:16) that reflects the light of the greater light, the sun (Ps. 119:105, 2 Tim. 3:16). The Bible reflects and points us to the great light, Jesus (John 5:39).
- Standing: The woman is standing on the moon, which not only gives her stability, but illuminates her path. The Bible is a sure foundation and described as a light for our path and lamp for our feet (Psalm 119:105).
Stars = Messengers. As previously mentioned, in Revelation 1:20, stars are said to symbolize messengers or angels (the word translated to angel means messenger). In Revelation 14, three angels symbolize God's people giving important messages to the world. Daniel 12:3 says that those who turn others to righteousness shine as the stars. Stars represent those who give God's messages, such as angels, a church, a ministry, apostles, pastors and evangelists. Thus, the true gospel ministers and the gospel message are also obscurred (darkened) during this 4th Trumpet time period.
SummaryDuring this Trumpet time period while the papacy was politically dominant (see Head #4), a long period of spiritual darkness afflicted the Roman realm. Christ's righteousness (sun), the Scriptures (moon) and true messengers (stars) were obscured (darkened). The papacy not only caused much persecution of God's true followers, but kept the truth about God, His Word and His sanctuary suppressed for many centuries. The system that had been set up to remove the daily sacrifice, succeeded in instructing people to look to earthly priests and the church for salvation instead of to Christ. The Bible was withheld from the people and those with the true message were not allowed to preach.
"The power of the clergy and the authority of the church rested securely on the sacramental system. For, with the exception of a baptism which in an emergency could be administered by any Christian, only a priest, who had himself received the sacrament of ordination from a bishop, could administer the sacraments. The clergy, in other words, held a monopoly that guaranteed their position. They alone could purvey to the people the precious gift of salvation."1The darkness would finally begin to lift after 1299 AD. The 14th century has been called the dawn of the protestant reformation. Glimmers of light began to be seen as the voice of John Wycliffe (1331 - 1384), Jan Hus (1369 - 1415) and others started to sound. Wycliffe and his associates translated the Bible into the native tongue of the people and spoke out about the truth found therein. Many of Wycliffes theories, of which he relied on the authority of the Bible, were ahead of the times, but they laid a foundation for future reformers. It became more and more apparent in the 1500s and 1600s, that the "Catholic Church had rightly regarded the translation of the Bible into English, and the reading of the English Bible by the people, as the greatest threat to its authority."2 The darkness of the 4th Trumpet was to be broken and eventually completely illuminated.
Linking the 4th Trumpet and 4th HeadWhen the king of France and the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire entered into agreement against the papacy in 1299, it not only served to take away the Papal power over the crown (see Head #4), but it broke the heavy spiritual darkness that held sway to suppress the gospel message (4th Trumpet). Learn more about "Linking the 7 Trumpets to the 7 Heads".
SummaryTrumpet #4 = The gospel is obscured (752 to 1299). As the papacy became politically dominant (in addition to already being ecclesiastically dominant), a long period of spiritual darkness afflicted the realm. Christ's righteousness ("sun"), the Scriptures ("moon") and true messengers ("stars") were obscured ("darkened"). The Bible was not made available and true messengers were persecuted. The truth about God, His Word and His sanctuary were suppressed as the papal system pointed people to earthly priests/church for salvation instead of to Jesus. This coincides with the spiritual darkness of the 4th Church, Thyatira, and the spiritual death of the 4th Seal.
Continue to: Trumpet #5
- 1. A Survey of European Civilization, page 296.
- 2. Jasper Ridley, The Freemasons, page 18.