• Author: heraldingking

    I am a follower of the Lamb of YHWH (Jesus Christ or Y'shuah), and dedicate my life in pointing others to following Him.
  • Current Sabbath School Lesson Commentary

    The Lion is the Lamb

    This page is dedicated to providing assistance to both teacher and student in their study of the 1st quarter 2019 the book of revelation and presents a unique perspective, often overlooked by the Quarterly’s preparation committee.   Go to the Table of Contents (TOC) and click on the linked lesson number to land on the Lesson Number whose comments you’re interested in studying.  A new Lesson commentary will be appended to the TOC each week. Below you will find the current week’s lesson as well, whereas the attached document has the entire quarter’s commentary in a booklet form.

     

    We will strive to complete these vitally necessary comments on a timely basis and post them here by Wednesday of each week, thereby allowing adequate time for you to access and review in preparation for Sabbath morning’s discussion.  Please click on the below link for the specific quarter, and you’ll find the lesson helps in a PDF file.

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    Lesson 7 The Seven Trumpets (*February 9-15)

    Sabbath Afternoon:  The Mystery of God Finished

    Memory Text: “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” (Revelation 10:7, KJV).

    The seven trumpets are as much a part of the Judicial Proceedings (Rev. 4 & 5), as are the seven seals.  Lacking this background, the Lesson has wrongly concluded that “The trumpets follow the death of Jesus as the Lamb and run consecutively throughout history until the Second Coming,” thus they span the Christian era, the last 2,000 years of human history, to the total neglect that the seals and the trumpets were opened in the Judgment.  In the previous lessons, we demonstrated that the seals are God’s method of saving people throughout the course of human history, and now with the trumpets, we will learn that they are God’s messages of warnings and judgments upon the rejecters of His amazing grace.

    Special Note on the 7 Trumpets from former BRI Chair: “A visionary cycle of Revelation that has proven to be one of the most difficult to interpret is Revelation 8–11, the seven trumpets. The language and imagery are complex; and its application to specific historical events has resulted in a variety of views. This interpretational uncertainty could be confusing to church members and those interested in finding in this apocalyptic prophecy one clear and final interpretation. At the present time such a final interpretation is not available. Perhaps the question we should address is, What can be done to avoid transforming this diversity of opinions into an internal theological struggle?”—Ministry Magazine, Jan. 2012, Angel Rodriguez.

    This acknowledgment should cause each reader of the Sabbath School lesson to receive with great suspicion, what is not being handed down in the Quarterly as “one clear and final interpretation!”  The fact that the Lesson leapt over the first five trumpets, and opened a full discussion in the middle of the sixth, provides clear evidence as to our ignorance of the truths on these trumpets. In this commentary, we will demonstrate the weakness of the existing “confusing” positions our Church has taken on this subject, that we may uncover the simple truth of salvation that the trumpets portend.

    That these seven trumpets span the course of human history, from the very beginning, is immediately seen from the memory verse, above, for it declares that when the seventh trumpet begins to sound “the mystery of God”—the “everlasting gospel,” will be finished!  This means that probation will be closed with this pronouncement.  Further too, we should realize that this “mystery” was proclaimed by all “the prophets” of God.  The fact, also, that this “mystery of God” has a terminus, a “finishing” point, evidences that it also has a “beginning,” hence the key of understanding is preserved in knowing what constitutes this “mystery.”

    This “mystery” was preached when man first sinned, (Gen. 3: 15), and will end at the close of human probation when sinners can no longer benefit from the efficacious blood of the Lamb of God—the woman’s seed.  Therefore, the trumpets run the entire gamut, from human apostasy in sin to their complete and final redemption in the glorious kingdom of our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. And for this reason, the Scriptures declare: “In the days when the seventh angel is ready to blow his trumpet, the mystery of God will be completed, as he had made this Good News known to his servants, the prophets.” Rev. 10: 7, GWT

    The phrase, “his servants, the prophets,” comprehends all the prophets, from Moses who wrote the Law, to John who wrote the Revelation.  This divine “mystery” is the science and song of our salvation, that YHWH is so loving and gracious that he gives us a second chance to be perfect as He is perfect, (Matt. 5:48).

    The seven trumpets open with an overlap of the seventh seal, demonstrating that the seals and the trumpets overlap in their proclamations, and rather than writing them alternately as a seal followed by a trumpet, the Spirit of Prophecy through John has so interwoven the last seal with the seven trumpets to communicate this message.  Further too, when we get to appreciate that the Judgment is still in session, it further strengthens the truth that these seals and trumpets simultaneously cover the history of this earth under God’s salvation plan—the period of the everlasting gospel.

     

    Sunday ↥        February 10

    The Prayers of the Saints—The 7th Seal

    Revelation 8 opens with the seventh seal and half-hour silence of judicial recession, during which time the judgment in heaven ceased for a measure of time, after which it resumed again.  Under Lesson 5 (Feb. 1), this subject was dealt with extensively, and we now request that the reader reviews that lesson, clock on the following link, The Seventh Seal, for the details.  We will now focus the remainder of our time to understand the seven trumpets.

     

    Monday ↥        February 11

    The Meaning and Scope of the Seven Trumpets

    Trumpets have been used throughout the life of Israel to muster the people to action, be it worship, war, or festivals and national celebrations; therefore, they serve as are beacons of alarm.   These seven trumpets of hope sound their warnings of coming dangers, judgments of God, upon the rejecters of His amazing grace.

    • “1 ¶ Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;” Joel 2: 1
    • “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” Isa. 58: 1

    At the opening of the Judgment, John heard the voice “of a trumpet talking with” him, concerning the events of the coming judgment (Rev. 4: 1), from which he wrote the truths of the seven seals and the seven trumpets.

    “When the door was opened in the sanctuary above and the Judgment was begun, — the event which was to be ‘hereafter’ from John’s time, — then all the historical developments connected with the trumpets and the seals were unfolded one after another as each successive period came in review before the judgment tribunal.  In other words, when the door was opened in the sanctuary, the periods represented by the trumpets  and the seals came into review before the One Who sat on the throne, and Who held in His right hand the book in which were revealed the events of the trumpets and of the seals.” The Final Warning, VT Houteff, p. 33.

    Quarterly’s Note: “The seven trumpets cover the course of events from John’s time until the conclusion of this earth’s history.”

    This statement is without biblical foundation, as we will presently see:

    The interpretative Key: As with the seals, so too with the trumpets, we must identify the interpretative “key” of knowledge, as well as the time period covered by these events.  To this end, let’s look at the 5th Trumpet.

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

    The simple act of identifying the One who now has the “key” of the pit we can discover when it was “given” to Him.  Rev. 22: 1 shows that Satan’s arresting Officer—Jesus Christ, is the One “having the key of the bottomless pit,” hence it was “given” to Him at an earlier time in His existence.  With this “key” he opened the prison house of sin and set the captives free (Isa. 61: 1-2, Luke 4: 16-18).  Clearly, Christ used the Gospel key, to set at liberty them that are bound, and to proclaim the day of God’s salvation!  Since the 5th trumpet now brings us to the opening of the Christian dispensation, the first advent of Christ, and since too, that they are generally sequential, it is clear that the first four trumpets sounded during the Old Testament period, and the last three—“woe” trumpets—cover the New Testament era.  Together then, the seven trumpets span the history of the world, beginning with those who first lived upon the earth, and closing with the coming of the Son of Man in power and great glory.

    The Purpose of The Trumpets: is to reveal the “mystery of God.”  The “mystery of God” is the Love of God as revealed in the person of His Son, when He came to become our sacrifice.  This “mystery” of the gospel of salvation has been so gripping that even “the angels desire to look into” it, (1 Pet. 1: 12).  Paul called it “the mystery of godliness,” (1 Tim. 3: 16),  in which “God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”  This “mystery” has been delivered unto us, Seventh-day Adventists, under the auspices of the Three Angel’s Messages, summarized as “the everlasting gospel,” (Rev. 14:6), to be preached “unto them that dwell on the earth.”

     

    Tuesday ↥        February 12

    The First Trumpet

    “The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.” (Rev. 8: 7).

    Seven symbols appear in this trumpet: Hail, Fire, Blood, Third Part, Burnt up, Green grass, and Trees.    The fact that the hail, fire, and blood, were “cast upon the earth,” they signify that these symbolic items originated outside of the earth, and are thus of heavenly origin. 

    1. Hail: In Isa. 28: 2, 19 we learn of the “tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing.”  This provides clear evidence that the “hail” symbolized God’s destructive judgments by “a flood” of waters upon the earth!
    2. Fire: This extra-terrestrial “fire” is a symbol of God’s Holy Spirit descending as on the day of Pentecost, (Acts 2: 1-4), when it came down as “cloven tongues.”  The fire also represents the Divine presence of YHWH, as in Ex. 19: 18, when He came upon Mount Sinai “in fire.”  Further too, “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD,” (Jer. 23: 29).  In the light of these Scripture passages, the casting of fire upon the earth is seen to be symbolical of the descending of the Holy Ghost with the words of Truth, in which are the Father and the Son, even as the Father is in the Son (John 14:9).
    3. Blood: This extra-terrestrial “blood” is a representation of the life of God, eternal life, as manifested in His Son, Jesus Christ.  His blood “cleanses us from all sin,” (1 John 1: 7), it gives “life,” (John 6: 53), as “the life of the flesh is in the blood,” (Lev. 17: 11), and it is heaven’s agency for the “remission” of sins, (Heb. 9: 22).
    4. The Trees:  Trees are used to represent leaders (Dan. 4: 20-22; Judges 9: 8-15), and “the righteous,” (Ps. 1: 3), and at times people in general.
    5. The “Grass”:  Grass, on the other hand, being much smaller than trees, when combined with them in the same illustration, show the common people, in contrast to their leaders and rulers, thus, “All flesh is grass… surely the people is grass.” Isa. 40:6, 7. 
    6. Burnt Up: The symbol is indented to represent destruction of life, and not the saving thereof, hence the inspired symbol used is of burning something up.  The Bible could not use the literal expression “drowned” for then it would mean immersed in water—eternal life!  Respecting the symbolical nature of the Scriptures, and the context in which the symbol live, must also govern our understanding when competing symbols are brought to bear in a given prophecy.
    7. The Third Part; Not Always a Mathematical ⅓:  Under the Trumpets, this fraction is repeatedly used, and is indicative of the wicked or the righteous without regard to numerical quantity. Of the wicked angels who rebelled against the throne of God, we see “the third part” (Rev. 12:4, 9), and of the righteous who are to be refined, is “the third part through the fire,” (Zech. 13: 9). 

    Summary message of the 1st Trumpet: The first trumpet presents the anointed preaching of the Gospel (fire) by Noah, promising eternal life (blood) to its recipients, all who entered the ark, and the wrath of God in his destruction by a flood (hail).   In the pouring out of His judgments upon the antediluvians, all air-breathing (Gen 7:22) creatures were killed—the green grass burnt up.  Thus, to the first inhabitants of earth, the everlasting gospel was preached, first by Adam (Gen. 3: 15), and culminated with Noah (Gen 7: 1).

    The Second Trumpet

    “8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; 9  And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.” Rev. 8: 8, 9.

    As in the first trumpet, the second trumpet also has seven unique symbols to be decoded by the Scriptures: Mountain, Fire, Blood, Sea, Ships, Third part, and creatures which “Had life died.”

    1. Mountain: In prophecy mountains are principally symbolical of a Church government or movement (Isa. 2: 2, 3; Isa. 56: 7; Zech. 8: 2), and to a much lesser extent, civil governments (Jer. 51: 25).  In either case, the context and function of the mountain will determine if it is a civil or religious entity.  Under this trumpet the “mountain” was burning with fire, and as we have seen in the first trumpet, fire being symbolic of the Holy Spirit, and the mountain symbolical of a church movement, then it becomes evident that we are seeing a Holy Spirit led and directed body of believers being immersed among the nations and peoples of earth.
    2. Fire= Holy Spirit’s presence and the preaching of the gospel in power, as already discovered under the First Trumpet.
    3. Blood=mortal and immortal life, as disclosed under the First Trumpet.
    4. Sea= large masses of peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues (Rev. 17: 15; Ps. 98: 7, 8).
    5. Ships =transportation agencies for human cargo, and are representative of religious systems and churches—agencies promising salvation.  This is true of Paul’s beckoning the people of Rome, “Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved,” (Acts 27: 31).  Noah’s ark was a ship, and it was meant for the preserving of life.  God likens His church to the ship, and we sing songs of the ship of Zion.  Further too, Inspiration likens the heathen religions as ships as well, “But there the glorious LORD will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley [naval fleet of ships] with oars, neither shall gallant ship [great, famous and majestic ships] pass thereby.” Isa. 33: 21.
    6. Third part =wicked or righteous without respect to number, as previously discussed under the First Trumpet.
    7. Had life, died”=this “life” is the promise of “everlasting life”:  Only those with life can die, hence the requirement is emblematic of those who were candidates for eternal life, yet lost out, on account of their rejection of so great a salvation.

    Summary message of the 2nd Trumpet: The gospel in the Second trumpet is clear, God’s Church (Israel after the flesh) was immersed in a multitude of great nations (mountain cast into the sea) for the salvation of men (turning to blood), by accepting the efficacious blood of Christ, as illustrated in the Levitical system and rejecting the religions of the nations (ships) that could not give salvation to the voyagers therein, so that all who look to Messiah might live.  All, like Ruth, the Moabitess, Rahab, the harlot of Jericho, and Naaman the Syrian leper, who looked to Christ found salvation (life, blood), and were saved.  Those, however, who did not prize so great a salvation, were destroyed (Deut. 12: 1-4), as illustrated by the third part of the sea creatures who “had life,” yet died.  How could a creature that had not life live or die?  Not possible in the natural, which reinforces the truth of the interpretation, that the “life” being discussed is not mortal life but immortal life.  Hence, those who had access to salvation through the blood of the Lamb, as proffered through the Church in the wilderness, turned back and lost their place in God’s kingdom.

     

    Wednesday ↥        February 13

    The Third Trumpet

    “10  And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; 11  And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.” Rev. 8: 10, 11.

    In both the third and the fifth trumpets there are stars that fell from heaven.  We must guard against the temptation of considering these “fallen” stars but see them, instead, as heavenly luminaries that came down (descended) from heaven to earth.

    As in the previous two trumpets, similarly, in the third, there are seven unique identifiers, namely: a burning Star, A Lamp, a Third part, Rivers, Fountains of waters, Wormwood, Waters, and Bitter waters.

    1. Burning Star:  The flame of this star, as we have previously discussed, in emblematic of the power and presence of God’s Holy Spirit.
    2. A Lamp:  A lamp is symbolic of the Word of God, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Ps. 119: 105.  The burning star, therefore, represents the anointed word of God “sent down from heaven” (1 Pet. 1: 12), to bless the heirs of salvation on earth.  We are familiar with the ten virgins (Matt. 25: 1-12), how they each had a lamp to brighten their paths.  The “lamp” is the word of God, (Prov. 6:23),  and the oil is the anointed truths of the Bible as revealed by the Holy Spirit of Prophecy.
    3. Third part: We have already discussed this quantity, and will see it throughout these trumpets as representative of the righteous or the wicked without respect to a fixed numerical value.
    4. Rivers: These are bodies of water which eventually empty into lakes, seas, or oceans, and prophetically are symbolic of peoples and nations (Isa. 8: 7; Isa. 17: 13; Isa. 57: 20), as previously stated.
    5. Fountains of waters: Like rivers, fountains are the head flows of rivers and streams, and like rivers are symbolic of people.  Being the head, then the fountains are a symbolic representation of “the fountain of Jacob,” (Deut. 33: 28; Ps. 68:26), who were declared by God to be “the head” (Deut. 28:44), and not the tail—the “fountain” and not “the river.” 
    6. Wormwood: This is a “bitter” herb (Pr. 5: 4; Lam. 3: 15), that is cathartic—a purgative agent, and is efficacious for removing sludge and parasites from the digestive system.  This herb is illustrative of the power of God’s word, it cleanses, it heals, it purges, and restores, but to those who refuse its purifying effect, they will become “bitter” and not “better,” and turn away from so great a salvation.  The story of the rich young ruler comes to mind, as he became “bitter” when asked to part with his wealth and follow Jesus, yet we can also think of Nicodemus (John 19:39), who parted with his wealth and obtained the riches of salvation in Jesus Christ!  Hence, the Word of God will either make us “bitter” or it will make us “better!” 
    7. Bitter waters: The gospel can either save or destroy sinners, there is no middle ground: we will either surrender to the curbing of our carnal nature in obedience to the Law of God, or we rebel to the satisfying of the law of sin and death—being at “enmity” (Rom. 8: 5-8) with God.  Like wormwood, Hyssop, is proverbial for its “cleansing” properties (Ps. 51:7).  On account of their apostasy, God upbraided Israel as “Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth.”  Judgments of YHWH being “truth” (Ps. 19: 9) and righteousness, it is clear that those who turn Judgment to wormwood are in reality turning the truth of God into a lie, by giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils!  Those individuals who become “bitter” are the unsaved, those who chafe at doing the will of God, they chafe at the need to be sanctified—live a whole lifetime in obedience to God’s statutes, judgements, and commandments.

    Summary message of the 3rd Trumpet: From what has been said above, we can see the gospel of salvation in the third trumpet, for the word of God (burning star) fell upon two classes of people (rivers and fountains), and whereas it fell only on a third of the rivers it fell upon all the fountains.  This demonstrates that the Word of God fell in the hands of two classes of peoples, the Hebrews, and the non-Hebrews (Gentiles), and this is why the “wise men from the east” (Matt. 2: 1) were able to read of the prophecies of Messiah’s birth, and came to Jerusalem to “worship” (v. 2) the new-born King. Said Isaiah, “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light [lamp, or star]: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” Isa. 9: 2, [added].  So, this Holy Covenant—the Torah, fell upon Israel, “to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises,” (Rom. 9: 4), and from them it streamed to the rest of the world.  Did the almighty bequeath His Word only to Israel?  NO, the Gentiles too, had access to His word, such that the people who dwelt in darkness also saw the great light (lamp) burning with heavenly intensity.  Those who “died” are the ones rejected the transforming Word of God, and were thus made “bitter,” and those who lived were made “better” unto the saving of their souls.

     

    The Fourth Trumpet

    “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!” Rev. 8: 12, 13.

    Under the fourth trumpet, the entire solar system was under attack, and each member of the starry heavens was outed for a third part, and as with the previous three, this fourth Trumpet also has seven unique identifiers: the Sun, Moon, Stars, Day, Night, Third Part, and Three Woes. Since the Sun, Moon, and Stars are an integral part of the “solar system”—which support the existence of life on earth, we must understand these symbols to be of a life-sustaining nature.  When we say life here, we are not speaking merely  of mortal life, but immortal life.  This symbolic solar system is the sustainer of immortal life on earth.

    1. Sun: The sun is the powerhouse of our solar system, as it provides all the life-giving energy to sustain life on earth.  Let’s first understand the physical importance of the planetary system to appreciate their symbolic, prophetic interpretations: “Our sun gives us light, heat and energy. It may seem that energy comes from other sources such as gasoline and electricity but the ultimate source of energy for the Earth is nothing else but the sun. Without the sun life on Earth would not exist. It would be so cold that no living thing would be able to survive and our planet would be completely frozen.”—www.NASA.gov

    Having affected the sun, moon, and stars, symbolizing the entire solar system, upon which life depends for its existence, the action disclosed under this trumpet show that these heavenly objects represent something without which all earthly life would cease to exist. Unmistakably, therefore, they depict the church of God — the light and life of the world. This brings into focus two important truths: (a) that only for the sake of the church does the world today stand, and (b) that without the Church’s light and vitalizing energy, life upon earth would become extinct as quickly as it would if the physical sun were to withdraw its light from gracing our planet.  Said Jesus,  “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” Matt 5:13; see also Matt. 5: 14.  “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:” Prov. 6:23.

    1. Moon:  The moon receives its light from the sun, and merely reflects to earth, and is a fitting symbol of the reflected word of God through the ceremonial worship services of Israel, thus they were required to “Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.” (Ps. 81: 3).
    2. Stars: These are symbolical of the leaders among God’s people.  This is evident from the little horn’s destructive work against the Church of God, as “it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.” (Dan. 8: 10).  The “stars” are also seen in the 12-starred crown of the woman (Church) who gave birth to the Messiah (Rev. 12:1), symbolic of the 12 tribes of Israel, the 12 apostles, and the 12 tribes that make up the 144,000 (Rev. 7: 5-8).   To this truth Joseph was given a dream of the solar system bowing down to worship him, and Jacob interpreted it accordingly, “Shall I [Sun, Jacob] and your mother [moon] and your brothers [stars] indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?” (Gen. 37: 10); [added].

    Together then, the solar system is a symbol of the Church of God, which Jacob’s household was, at that time, thus showing Father Israel as the sun with his wife[1] being the moon, both making up the ministry or leadership of that family church, while Jacob’s brothers symbolize the laity, or the church membership.  To this, the Spirit of Truth in our days declare, “Clad in the armor of Christ’s righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final conflict. ‘Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners’ (Song of Solomon 6:10), she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.”  {PK 725.1} 

    1. Day: the measure of time over which the sun rules, (Gen. 1: 14-18) hence
    2. Night: The measure of time over which the moon and stars rule, (Gen. 1: 14-18).
    3. Third Part: The righteous or wicked without regard to specific numeric values.
    4. Three Woes: Woes are periods of distress and trouble that are facing the Church of God. The first of these woes, was declared when the Dragon saw that he lost the battle at Calvary, “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Rev. 12; 12).

    Summary message of the 4th Trumpet: Since the solar system herein impacted, is a symbol of the Church in the Old Testament, then there must be three divisions to that band of believers, a third of which they were not shining as a light to the world, but were instead in abject darkness!  Throughout the history of Israel there are three such periods: (1) from the Exodus from Egypt to the possession of the Promised Land, (2) From their possession of the Promised land to Israel’s eventual dispersal into Assyria and Judah’s captivity into Babylon, then, (3) their (Judah’s[2]) return from Babylonian captivity to the first Advent of Christ.  These are the three broad periods of Israel’s history, and during one of these times, their worship system was smitten, such that it shone not for a third part.

    “From the interpretation of these solar symbols (‘sun,’ ‘moon,’ and ‘stars’), not to be gainsaid, the fourth trumpet is seen to reveal the punishment which came upon the Jewish nation in the period of the kings. For it was in these days that the temple, its service, and its people were ‘smitten’; that is, the nation (stars) was taken into Babylonian captivity, the temple (moon) destroyed, and the service (sun) abolished for a period of time. Thus resulted spiritual darkness in the earth, as is depicted by the ‘darkness’ of the ‘third part’ of the ‘day’ and of the ‘night.’ … So, because the religious services, the temple building, and the nation were smitten, the light which once shone through them was extinguished for more than seventy years, until the temple was rebuilt and the sacrificial services reestablished. Manifestly, therefore, the ‘day’ (that portion of the earth where the light of the sun directly shines) stands for the ‘promised land’ and the ‘night’ (that portion of the earth where the light of the sun is reflected by the moon and the stars) stands for the heathen lands.” VT Houteff, The Final Warning, p. 53, 54.

    In the expression, “the three angels, which are yet to sound,” is evidence that the trumpets are consecutive, and the last three sound after, the fourth, sometime in the future from the 4th.  Since the fourth trumpet has brought us to the first Advent of Christ, as already noted above, then the remaining three “woe” trumpets span the entire Christian dispensation, the last 2,000 years of human history, under the “wrath of the dragon.”

    Thursday ↥        February 14

    The Fifth Trumpet

    Thursday ↥        February 14

    The Fifth Trumpet

    The fifth trumpet spans Rev. 9: 1-12, please read it and note all the symbols brought forth in these verses.

    As the Bible alone was sufficient to survey the first four trumpets with pin-pointed accuracy, we shall use the same searchlight of truth to investigate the “woe” trumpets and decipher their present-truth messages.  We began this subject by noting that the 5th trumpet opens with the star that fell from heaven and was “given” the key of the bottomless pit, whom we have identified to be Jesus Christ alone, and will build on that knowledge here.  It is significant that there are several additional symbols introduced under this trumpet, and the volume of information exponentially increased.  This is in the nature of prophecy, as the items which concern us more directly get additional details, whereas those events of the past are scantly reviewed.

    There are at least 18 unique identifiers in this trumpet, all of which when combined tell the truth of the message contained in this blast.

    1. The Star:  This star is also called a “King” and “the angel of the bottomless pit”—the one who was “given” the key of the pit.  Since, as we have already disclosed, Christ is the only one who has that key, and as He used it to imprison Satan at the commencement of the millennium, it is impossible that it was wrested from His grip.  Christ has also identified Himself as “the bright and morning star” (Rev. 22: 16), and promises it to His overcomers (Rev. 2: 28).  In the prophecies, Christ is called the septre-wielding “star out of Jacob” (Num. 24:17), the coming King of the kingdom of glory. (v. 19).  Under the third trumpet we saw a star, then known as the Written Word of God, and under the fifth trumpet, there is another star—the Living Word of God, for “he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.” Rev. 19: 13.
    2. Key of the Bottomless pit:  We have previously discussed that the “key” of knowledge, and thus the key of understanding this prophecy is in the “key” itself, no pun intended!  This “key” is the gospel of salvation—the good tidings of great joy, that Michael has prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals (Rev 5: 7), and unlock the seven trumpets as well.  This key—the gospel, can either save or condemn sinners, and as such Christ alone has “the keys of hell and of death,”—the bottomless pit, (Rev. 1: 18).
    3. Smoke from the pit:  An integral part of the sanctuary service was the smoke of acceptance, (Rev. 8: 4; Ps. 141:2; Rev. 15: 8) when the sacrifice or prayers of the High Priest and Israel were offered up, and the atonement was completed. 
    4. Sun and air darkened: When Christ hung on the cross, the earth became a gigantic altar, and He the sacrifice, and as such the father expressed His acceptance of the Sacrifice, by casting darkness over the earth for three hours: “and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened.” Luke 23:44, 45.  “The smoke of a furnace” (Ex. 19: 18) is a figure of the Father’s presence, “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.” (2 Cor. 5: 21).
    5. Locusts: That these locusts are not literal is seen from the fact that “they have a king over them,” whereas the Bible declares, “The locusts have no king,” (Prov. 30: 27).  The unique identifier among these creatures is that they have as their Commander, Ally, and King, “the angel of the bottomless pit”—Jesus Christ.  Hence, these fabulous locusts are symbols of the Christians under the 5th trumpet.  Locusts are swarming creatures that cannot be stopped through fear tactics.  Tertullian, an early Christian writer said: “We multiply whenever we are mown down by you; the blood of Christians is seed.” {GC 41.3}
    6. The seal of God: Further too, these locusts are discerning enough to know those who have and have not the seal of God, hence they are Holy Spirit directed, for we are told that “it is not any seal or mark that can be seen, but a settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually.” {FLB 287.7}.  Therefore, “the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.” (2 Tim. 2: 19). 

    Since the Lord knows His own, and the Locusts know them too, it is clear that they can read or at least are in tune with, the Mind of the Spirit of God.  Further, too, since Satan does not fight against his own kingdom (Matt. 12: 25), it is evident that these locusts are symbolical of righteous beings, given their close attachment to Christ—the one who released them from their prison house of captivity to sin, and their “tormenting” effects upon those who obey not the Gospel of Christ—those who are not sealed.  The gospel is a source of constant torment to the unconsecrated mind for the carnal nature is at “enmity” to the law of God.

    7. Five months: Some have mistakenly interpreted this time as 150 years, allowing 30-days to a month, and ended up with strange dates that have no resemblance to the truths of the trumpets.  While there are times when this type of computation is relevant, as in the 1260 years, the “five months” herein are applicable to, and extends over the period of time when “death shall flee from” those who seek it  (Rev. 9: 6); and since we are still subject to the “death and the grave” it is clear that we are still living under these “five months.”  Since the 144,000 are a special company of “sealed” “servants of God” (Rev. 7:4), and they are also identified as “the first fruits unto God” (Rev. 14: 4), a term that harkens back to the ceremonial harvest in Israel, to the law of harvest we must turn to decode this meaning.

    In Matt. 13: 24-30, the harvest of souls is brought forth, and in this Parable Christ illustrates important truths in the agricultural process, that from the sowing of the seed to the harvest time is the expanse of a whole year, stretching from the planting season in the autumn to the close of “time of harvest,” (v. 30), the next autumn.  Since the period from Christ’s first Advent to the close of human probation is the period of the Gospel’s sowing to harvesting, twelve parabolic months, and “the Son of Man” (Matt. 13: 37), being the One who “soweth the Word,” (Mark. 4:14), then the seed sowing season stretched from His baptism to His death on the Cross, and the “wheat” growing, ripening, and harvest time, is from the Cross to the commencement of the seven last plagues—the general close of human probation.  Clearly then, the missing “seven months” out of this 12-month agricultural cycle covered the time of Christ’s ministry to His death, leaving the “five months” to extend from His death on the Cross God’s Judgment upon the living, which begins in the church and ends in the world, (1 Pet. 4: 17-18).

    8. Death-defying men: “And in those days [the five symbolical months] shall men seek death, and shall not find it.” Rev. 9: 6.  These “men” are the same ones identified as the “locusts,” and their actively seeking death ought not to be confused with the wicked who sought to hide (not killed) from the iridescent brightness of Christ’s glory and from the wrath of the Lamb (Rev. 6: 14-17). Their appealing to the rocks and the mountains to “fall” upon, and “hide” them from the face of the Lamb, was not to be kill them, but simply to “hide” them, for this was their prayer!  They did not say “fall on us, and kill us,” but instead “fall on us and hide us,” from Him who is Holy and true!  Their guilt magnified their shame, and they sought to hide from holy Lamb of God, who now appears in wrath as their judge and executioner.  What a solemn and sorrowful day that will be!  The long history of the guilt and shame caused by sin, stretches from the garden of Eden to the Second Coming of Christ. There were no mountains with ragged rocks and caverns for them to take cover, and they made the best with what they had, “Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.” (Gen. 3: 8).  The hide and seek will be over at the Second Coming of Christ!

    The locusts’ death-defying living will be most vivid under the mark of the beast (MOB) for then there will be a death decree, “that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed,” (Rev. 13: 15), and since YHWH’s true worshippers will never bow to this Devil-inspired “worship,” then like the Hebrew worthies in Babylon, the fires of death will be kindled against them, but death shall flee from them—they will be protected by “the seal of God,” and of them the Bible confidently declares, “when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.” Joel 2: 8.  Hence, by defying the beast’s death-decree God’s true worshippers will be actively “seeking death,” but as they are the “sealed” ones, they shall not find it, and “death shall flee from them.”

    “Though God’s people today shall go through a ‘time of trouble such as never was’ (Dan. 12:1), when earthly tribunals shall cause to come to pass ‘that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed’ (Rev. 13:15), yet the Word declares: ‘…at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.’ Dan. 12:1.  O what a promise and what assurance! Who can comprehend God’s mighty power, and the glory of this long awaited deliverance? Those who at all do, and who fully trust in the Lord will, for the good of His people, ‘go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach.’ Heb. 13:13.”—V.T. Houteff, The Final Warning, p. 77.

    9.  Battle Horses: Battle horses are armored for warfare in their “bragandines” (Jer. 46: 4), and so are Christians urged to put on “the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day.” (Eph. 6: 11-17; Zech. 10: 3).  Battle horses are fearless before the foe (Job. 39: 19-25), as they take their riders “conquering and to conquer,” for their “safety is of the LORD.” (Pr. 21: 31).

    10.  Crowns of gold: This description harkens back to the vestments of the 24 elders in the judgment procession, “and they had on their heads crowns of gold,” (Rev. 4:4), illustrating that they were redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, and shall obtain “a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give… unto all them also that love his appearing.” 1 Tim. 2:8.

    11.  Faces of men: Men are naturally gifted with facial hair—their beards, and nothing more easily distinguishes a man from a woman, when seen from a distance, than their faces. So while the locusts have human faces symbolizing intelligence, it is especially remarkable that they are masculine, because it shows their warrior cut and battle-ready features, (Joel 2: 6-7), whereas the face of a woman does not naturally characterize that of a warrior soldier! Though she can fight when brought to the test,  women are not naturally equipped for fighting and warfare, and so the Bible nowhere describes “women of war” but instead “men of war”—fierce and fearless—men of valor and courage, men who will stand for principle and die for a cause! (See EG. White, Education, p. 57).

    12.  Hair of women: The Bible teaches that a woman’s hair is her glory, (1 Cor 11: 15), as it enhances her beauty, and being symbolical of the church (Jer. 6: 2), their feminine hair illustrates that they are the “glory” of the church, (2 Thess. 1:4).

    13.  Teeth of lions: Without his teeth and brute strength, the lion would be not as fearsome, and even a dead lion gives reason for pause, as opposed to a dead dog!  The lion’s weapons therefore are his teeth, making him the indomitable “king of the jungle.”  Hence, the locust’s lion-like teeth, symbolize “the weapons of our warfare” which are “mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor. 10: 4-5).

    14.  Breastplates of iron: For the Christian in “battle array” the “breastplate” represents “righteousness” (Isa. 59: 17; Eph. 6: 14, 16), as well as “faith and love,” (1 Tehss. 5: 8)—the Christian’s only defense.  Christ said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (Joh 13:35). Love, therefore, is the Christian’s weapon of choice, his first line of defense, and his badge of honor. Every overcomer will have earned this badge!

    15.  Chariots & Battle horses: As battle horses are prepared, trained, and armored for the conflict, so are Christians arrayed for theirs (Eph. 6:10-13), complete with “the shield of [God’s] salvation” (Ps. 18: 35).  Just as fearless as battle horses, Job. 39:19-25, so are God’s faithful witnesses, “they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Rev. 12: 11).

    16.  Sting-laden tails like unto scorpions: As the tail of an animal follows behind it, these sting-laden tails, are the followers of Christ who accept so great a salvation, as preached in the promises of the everlasting gospel, for they too, become agents of “torment” so to speak, as they swell the ranks of the believers, declaring the “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor. 4: 6), being known as “These that have turned the world upside down.” (Acts 17: 6).  Now that’s a real body of tormenters, wouldn’t you say!

    17.  A king over them: Since the natural locusts do not have a king over them (Prov. 30: 27), and these locusts do, and since we’ve also discovered that the locusts are symbolical of God’s true worshippers—the Christians, then it goes without saying that the King of Christians (Rev. 19: 15-18) is the Son of God, Jesus Christ.  We should guard against the erroneous temptation of seeing this King as “the angel IN the bottomless pit,” rather than the angel OF the pit, for this has been a trap for many Adventist expositors before!

    18.  Abaddon & Apollyon: This King “whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon,” (Rev. 9: 11), is Jesus Christ, and not the Greek gods who also bore these titles.  The Bible was written in two principal Testaments, each in two principal languages, the Hebrew and the Greek.  In the OT Christ, Himself being God, was a destroyer, (Ex. 12: 23; 1 Cor. 10: 10), in that he slew (destroyed) many of His enemies, but that did not stop the battle from being waged on.  In the NT, on the other hand, he will not only destroy, but exterminate sin and sinners, for we are told that “He will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.” (Nah 1: 9).

    “To those, therefore, who accept Christ as their King, He is a Saviour, while to those who refuse to have Him rule over them (Luke 19:14), He is a destroyer. Hence, accordingly, the curses, or judgments, fall (as the trumpets reveal) upon those who reject the teachings and the authority of the Bible, and who as a result do not have the seal.”  VT Houteff, Final Warning, p. 72

    The Sixth Trumpet

    The longest of the seven trumpets, this sixth trump extends from Rev 9: 13 thru Rev. 11: 14.  As with the sixth seal overlapping in time with the seventh, similarly, we will discover with the sixth and seventh trumpets, and plagues, respectively.  We have also observed that as we get closer to the end of time, a lot more information is given to the present generation than that given before.  In this trumpet there are at least 46 distinct areas of interest to decode, in order to rightly appreciate the truths of this trumpet. 

    1. the four horns of the golden altar:  As much as there was a sanctuary on earth, there is also a sanctuary in heaven (Heb. 8: 1-5), and the earthly was a replica, or a shadow, of the great original in heaven.  Therefore, an accurate knowledge of the layout and “shadow” services in the earthly is prerequisite in laying the foundation for correctly understanding the realities in heavenly.

    These “four horns” of the altar gives evidence that we are dealing with the first compartment of the Sanctuary, (Ezek. 40: 3-5, 20-26, hence it is an event occurring before the opening of the inner vail to the Most Holy Place, before the Investigative judgment in 1844!  The golden altar being the location from whence ascends the prayers of the saints (Rev. 8: 4), indicates that it is probationary time.

    1. The great river Euphrates: The city of ancient Babylon was built on the banks of the Great River Euphrates, and the country extends its name to this River, as does the Nile is to Egypt. “Herodotus explains that to accomplish this feat[1], the Persians diverted the Euphrates river into a canal … which allowed the invading forces to march directly through the river bed to enter at night.  On October 29, Cyrus himself entered the city of Babylon and arrested Nabonidus.”—New World Encyclopedia, Cyrus The Great  Thus, the symbolical name for the river Euphrates is Babylon, which demands the existence of a modern Babylon in the Christian era, (Rev. 14: 8; 17: 1-5).  Further, in order for there to be a modern Babylon, there must necessarily be a repetition today of the conditions and events characterizing ancient Babylon in its connection with Israel (OT Church). Consequently, their captivity in Babylon, the type (Jer. 29:10), must find its parallel in modern Babylon, the antitype.

    Judah’s captivity into ancient Babylon for 70 years, is typified by the Christian Church’s captivity into modern Babylon—Roman Catholicism—for 1260 years.  As anciently the Jews heaped unto themselves the false worship of Babylon and brought it back to Jerusalem, similarly the Christian church emerging from Roman Catholicism has brought over many of her teachings, even today pawning them off as the gospel truth!  Teachings such as Sunday sacredness, the immortality of the soul, the worship of saints, Christmas, Valentines, Easter, etc., and the utter rejection of God’s Holy Days, (Lev. 23), are all a compact of Catholic dogma which continues to plague Protestant Christianity even till today!

    1. Loose the four angels:  For these angels to be “loosed” is indicative that they were bound or restricted, and since “angels” are “ministering spirits” (Heb. 1:14; Ps 103:20-21), and are prophetically symbolic of church leaders (Rev. 1:20), except when they are announcing a message (Rev. 14: 6-9), then these “four angels” are symbolical of the ministry of the Church during the dark ages, when she was bound in antitypical Babylon (Euphrates), preparing to announce a four-fold message concerning events that were to transpire at an hour, a month, a day, and a year.  The binding of these divine agencies, is indicative of the enemy’s (Satan’s) effort in seeking to frustrate, hinder, and otherwise thwart the proclamation of the everlasting Gospel on earth.  Whenever and wherever the truth of Christ is being proclaimed, Satan stands by to resist it.   See Dan. 10: 12-13; 20-21; Eph. 6: 11-13; 1 Thess 2: 17-18; Zech. 3: 1-2; Matt. 16: 22-23.

    From the passage it is clear that when the “voice” spoke, the church (the 4 angels) was already in captivity (bound) and was to be loosed (released) to do its appointed work—teaching the truths of salvation to a lost and dying world.  Therefore, the loosing of these four angels, portends the freedom granted the church to proclaim the everlasting Gospel after 1798, because the shackles of darkness which were restricting them was now broken, and that “that which is noted in the scripture of truth,” (Dan. 10: 21), would then be made plain to lost mankind.

    1. At an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year:  These four-fold messages must therefore be preached after the loosening of the angels, after the liberation of the Church from Babylonian control, sometime after 1798 after the papal power had waned and lost its effective control over the papal states, and thus over the church of God.
      1. “At an hour”: The only revelation of truth pertaining to and coming “at an hour” is the proclamation of the Three Angel’s Messages in the announcement, “the hour of his judgment is come, (Rev. 14: 7).
      2. “At a day”: The only revelation of truth pertaining to and coming “at a day” is the Elijah message proclaiming the Judgment of the Living, “the great and dreadful day of the Lord,” (Mal. 4: 4, 5; Joel 2: 1, 2),—“ the day of vengeance,” (Isa. 63: 1-4).  “For it is the day of the LORD’S vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion.” Isa. 34: 8.  Closely connected to the “day” of vengeance, the “Great and dreadful day of the LORD,” is the “year” of Zion’s redemption, the year of Zion’s liberation, when she breaks forth as in the day of her youth. 
      3. “At a month”: The only revelation of truth pertaining to and coming “at a month” is the proclamation of the “rains” of truth and power, for “He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.” (Joel 2: 23).  This is the Fourth Angel’s Message—the light of the angel who is to add power and force to the Third, and lighten the earth with his glory, (Rev. 18:1; Early Writings, pp. 277, 278).
      4. “At a year”: The only revelation of truth pertaining to and coming “at a year” is the proclamation of “the year of my redeemed,” (Isa. 63: 4-6), the year of Jubilee.  This “year” at which His people are redeemed represents the time of the sealing, and the deliverance of the 144,000, — those who are “redeemed” (Rev. 14: 4), who escape the slaughter decreed in Ezekiel 9. 

    This “year” of the redeemed marks the beginning of the kingdom of glory on this earth, for the mystery of the kingdom of heaven will then have been fully unveiled to the inhabitants of earth. Further, we are told that in the days of the seventh trumpet, when he shall “begin to sound,” the mystery of God—the proclamation of the everlasting gospel, shall be accomplished in all the world for a witness, before the end comes.  “Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.” Isa 40:10.  At this coming, there is still a work before (ahead of) him.  What work is that? His work of gathering the second fruits—the “great multitude” (Rev. 7: 9).

    1. The third part of men: The wicked without number, as previously stated in other trumpets.
    2. The army of the horsemen—two hundred Million:
    3. The horses and Horsemen:
    4. Breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone:
    5. Heads of lions:
    6. Power in their mouths, and in their tails:
    7. Tails like unto serpents:
    8. Plagues of fire, jacinth, and brimstone:
    9. A mighty angel With a lion’s roar:
    10. a little book open:
    11. the seven thunders… write them not:
    12. be time no longer:
    13. eat it up the little opened book:
    14. honey-sweet mouth:
    15. thy belly bitter
    16. prophesy again:
    17. a reed like unto a rod:
    18. measure the temple of God
    19. measure The Altar
    20. Measure the Worshippers:
    21. Measure not the Court:
    22. the holy city:
    23. forty and two months:
    24. my two witnesses (these two prophets):
    25. Prophesy Again for a thousand two hundred and threescore days:
    26. clothed in sackcloth:
    27. the two olive trees:
    28. the two candlesticks:
    29. fire devoureth their enemies:
    30. finished their testimony
    31. the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit:
    32. make war against them:
    33. Sodom and Egypt:
    34. three days and an half,
    35. make merry, and shall send gifts one to another;
    36. the Spirit of life entered into them,
    37. a great voice from heaven Come up hither.
    38. they ascended up to heaven in a cloud;
    39. same hour
    40. a great earthquake,
    41. the tenth part of the city fell,
    42. the affrighted remnant glorified God:

     

    To Be Continued

    [1] Conquering the kingdom of Babylon

    Be Continued

     

    Friday ↥        February 15

    Further Study: The seventh trumpet (Rev. 11:15-18) signals the conclusion of this earth’s history.

    Read this book, Satan’s Counterfeit Prophecy by Heidi Heiks, as he very clearly and unequivocally exposed the errors in the traditional Adventist interpretation.  Here is a snippet from this book:

    “This study is more about what the fifth and sixth trumpets of Revelation are not, rather than what they are. After all, it is premature to speak of what they are, when the generally-accepted view is built upon a platform of error. It is this fog of error that must first be lifted before we, as a church, can move forward, united in our message to the world as we rightly present the warning messages of the trumpets of Revelation to a dying world. This study comes at a critical time, as the sixth trumpet of Revelation has its application in force in this present period of earth’s history, and will continue so until the close of probation, as we will prove. The seventh trumpet of Revelation, as will be shown, is when Jesus receives His kingdom. The administration of the seven last plagues will follow, climaxing with the second coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven.”– “Satan’s Counterfeit Prophecy” By Heidi Heiks, Introduction, p. xi

    The Foreword of this book [“Satan’s Counterfeit Prophecy” By Heidi Heiks], was penned by one of the brightest scholars in Adventism today, Dr. Gerhard Pfandl, former Associate Director of the Biblical Research Institute at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Here is Dr. Pfandl in his own words:

    • “Not surprisingly, Uriah Smith in 1867 introduced this interpretation of the trumpets into the Seventh-day Adventist Church in his book Thoughts, Critical and Practical, on the Book of Revelation. It became the standard interpretation of the trumpets of Revelation in the church until recent times. Many members around the world still hold this view and believe that any deviation from it constitutes an apostasy from the faith.
    • “Smith developed the idea that the demise of the Ottoman /Turkish Empire would herald the Second Coming. During the First World War, therefore, when turkey, which supported Germany and Austria, came to an end, many Adventists expected the Second Advent at that time.”

     

    The Seventh Trumpet

    [1] This is not a discussion about women’s ordination, and any who chose to make such, must also agree that since the membership was Jacob’s 12 sons, then it would mean that the church ought only be comprised of “men.”  Absurd!

    [2] The 10-Tribes who went to Assyria, have never returned to the holy land, and have lost their national identity as a people, but are still known to the great Genealogist of the ages, this is why he was able to number all 12 tribes in Rev. 7: 3-5!