And now a new and much more fearful period is ushered in, a period which will differ from that of the Seven Seals in as much as light differs from darkness - for with the Seven Trumpets, the supernatural events of the Seventieth Week will commence.
One of the most fascinating discoveries that anyone who has investigated the supernatural eventually makes, is the fact that there exists today - even in well educated circles - a belief that our world is receiving communications from higher intelligences - intelligences which are readying mankind for an extraterrestrial visitation. It is absolutely incredible how the stories concerning UFOs seem to coincide on this point. The emergence of hundreds of UFO cult groups within the last few decades, all preaching a similar message, along with the appearance of such films as Close Encounters, Independence Day, The Arrival, Fire in the Sky and films of a similar nature are evidence of a growing belief, or at least interest, in the inevitability of a soon-to-come contact with beings not of this earth - of spiritual beings who are soon to descend on our world in great numbers. For how else can it be explained that so many different groups in so many different parts of the world - entirely unknown to each other - claim to have heard essentially the same message?
We are left to consider seriously the possibility that intelligences of great power beyond our earth have a selfish interest and purpose in preparing our world to accept personages they would like to install as our world rulers.*
And herein lies the awful meaning behind the Seven Trumpets! This is their terrible secret!
The unveiling of this horrible mystery, parable, or cipher actually begins with the Sixth Seal.
Once again, we are confronted with a riddle, a parable, for it cannot possibly be assumed that LITERAL stars will fall on the earth - if only because the earth would immediately cease to exist. The key to the riddle must lie in the use of the word, "stars." It is a code word. But what could it possibly mean? Again, the answer is not all that difficult and is rendered somewhat more intelligible when compared to certain other verses in Revelation chapter 12:
What does all this mean? Simply on the face of it, these verses are frightening indeed. The use of the word "stars" in Revelation 12 obviously is made in reference to angelic beings. This is substantiated by Job 38:1-7:
A better translation of the term, sons of God, is sons of Elohim, and means literally angels of God; and finally, the term "angels of God" is here equated with morning STARS. This exact same expression occurs four other times in the Old Testament, and in each instance it means "angels of God." Thus, the verses above lend a certain dreadful credibility to the assertions of the UFO cultists, for it cannot possibly be assumed that the sightings referred to above are of God's angels, but rather of Satan's.
A fuller explanation requires a brief digression into some of the darkest secrets of the Bible - and it is perhaps necessary that we make such a digression at this point.
We live today in a world dominated by science and technology. Reason and progress - these are the passwords of the Twentieth Century. Rationalism, positivism, and materialism have become the pillars of our society. Indeed, it is perhaps not too much to say that the vitality of Western Civilization itself rests in its magnificent scientific and technological advances. This progress can be seen everywhere: in our architecture; in our schools; in our vast, new, high-tech industries; in our accomplishments in space, etc. A scientific and skeptical attitude towards the supernatural seemingly predominates. What cannot be seen, touched, and scientifically verified is cast off as superstition and "old wives fables."
Man has become the center of all things in today's science: he has replaced God. The thinking of our Twentieth Century science is almost totally man-centered: it is egotistical and selfish as the titanic arrogance of men like astronomer Carl Sagan so clearly attests. However, despite all of its claims to modernity, this kind of thinking is really not new and was reflected long ago by another people equally renowned for their achievements in the Ancient World - people who today lie wasted in the ruins of their once glorious civilizations - the Greeks. The Greek Sophocles wrote in Antigone:
The thought that there might exist principalities and powers greater than man is not entertained by today's science. The mere mention of the supernatural is often received with a smile of incredulous contempt. And there are not a few professing Christians of the liberal persuasion who manifest a great anxiety to explain away the supernatural and to limit as far as possible its recurrence in the present time, though they do not totally deny its reality. But that Satan can work wonders, they will never allow, and in many cases they seek even to deny his existence.
But today's science - i.e., rationalism - is merely a flickering candle when compared to another reality - a reality, though obscured and half-hidden, is as true, nonetheless, as is the seen reality of science and technology. And when compared to this other reality, reason and science are but the tip of an iceberg that shows above the water, while submerged down below is the great mass of that which is true and real. Deny as we will the existence of this other reality, we are, nonetheless, reminded of it constantly. At night it comes to us when we are alone. Perhaps we are visited by its presence during the day in a solitary walk on the beach or in the forest. Sometimes it comes to us in day-dreams when at work; but, somehow, it is always there - and we know it! Hollywood knows it, too. Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas know it as well. Our young people know it. Movies such as Gremlins, Ghostbuster, The Shinning, E.T., Star Wars, Amityville Horror, The Exorcist, Independence Day, The Arrival, Fire in the Sky and The Omen openly declare the reality of this other world.
And despite all the protestations to the contrary, the so-called secular world is also deeply involved today with the supernatural. Even our institutions of higher learning acknowledge the presence of this other reality. Indeed, the psychology departments of many of our finest colleges and universities have, in recent years, become nothing more than "fronts" for the investigation of para-psychology - that is to say, clairvoyance, astrology, etc. - and scholastic credit is offered in these subjects. Our best police departments openly consult and even employ [often quite successfully] psychics in the investigation of crimes.
Moreover, the simple assertions of the Scriptures should suffice as to the reality of this other world (II Thess. 2:9). And it is indeed an evil and somber empire! Whenever the Scriptures lift the veil, and allow us a momentary glimpse into the Kingdom of Darkness, we behold a malignant and evil community, but one perfect in order and government, and one that thirsts for the subjugation of the human race. If it could, it would doubtlessly annex all of our world to its own dominion. Indeed, the heaven which surrounds our world swarms with evil spirits. And while God has forbidden these spirits to communicate with man and has placed a gulf between them and us, they, nonetheless, break through from time to time - defying God - since they are not at present restrained by force. And this is confirmed by the Scriptures, for we find countless allusions to unlawful dealings between men and these spirits in the Old Testament, while in the New Testament, witchcraft [which is the unlawful relationship between men and the kingdom of Darkness] is treated as one of the works of the flesh. (Gal. 5:20)
It is perhaps necessary at this point to describe, as succinctly as possible, the arrangement of this evil empire - for unless we are made at least somewhat aware of its organization, we cannot truly appreciate the magnitude of the events which will transpire during the second half of the Seventieth Week [The Great Tribulation] or comprehend the depths of darkness into which the world will be plunged at this time.
It is commonly believed by many Christians that the abode of Satan and his followers is in the depths of the earth. While this may indeed ultimately be the case, it most certainly is not now. The Bible refers to him as the Prince of this World. Moreover, in doing so, it indicates that this title is not one that was usurped, but one that he holds legitimately and which belongs to him by right, together with great power and dignity - for how else does one explain the fact that the Lord Jesus Himself not only spoke of our great adversary by this title, but plainly recognized his delegated authority in that He did not dispute his right to the disposal of the kingdoms of this world and their glory (Luke 4:6-8). Moreover, how else can one understand the passage in Jude wherein Michael, the Archangel of God, is seen rendering to Satan the respect due to one superior in rank, even though that authority was then held in the hands of one who had become so wicked:
Also, Satan is called the Prince of the Power of the Air (Eph. 2:2). The word here translated air would be better rendered Heavens. This would seem to be the same as the heavenly places which the NASB, the NKJV and the KJV version render "high places" (Eph. 6:12) and which, as Paul indicates, swarm with the spiritual hosts of the wicked. As Pember** has written:
But there is something more which we must see - note carefully the place where Satan accuses us "day and night!" It is not in the depths of the earth, but in the heavens - and even more, before the very throne of God Himself! (Rev. 12:10) This is substantiated in the Book of Job:
Satan is not in the depths of the earth, but rather he is continually in heaven before the throne of God "day and night" accusing us before the Father! And not only is our great antagonist in heaven, but also his hosts - one third of the angels of heaven (Rev. 12:4). If it was not for the Son, who also appears continually at the throne as our great high priest (Heb. 8:1) with His own precious blood as an offering for our sin, we would have surely perished as a race long ago. From all this, we can easily comprehend that although Satan is a rebel, he has not as yet been deprived of his titles, his power, and - this is very important - his place in heaven; and this is as true of the angels who joined him in his ancient rebellion as it is of Satan himself. He is still the great "High One on High" (Isa. 24:21) who, as Pember suggests, divides the world into provinces according to nationalities, appointing powerful angels over each kingdom [such as the Prince of Persia and the Prince of Grecia - see Daniel]. And so we at last get some idea as to what Paul meant when he said that our battle was not with "flesh and blood," but it was instead with "principalities," with "powers," with the "world rulers of this darkness," and with "spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12).
And not only this, but man has another class of evil agents with which to contend, and while this second class of Satan's ministers have not the dominion and authority of the "high ones on high," they are, nonetheless, countless in number and their potential for harm almost as great - we speak here, of course, of the demons or "devils" of the New Testament. Their home is not the heavens on high, but the earth here below; and they do not share the attributes and power of the angels, but are instead the disembodied spirits of those who trod the earth in the flesh before the ruin described in the second verse of Genesis, and who, at the time of that great destruction, were DISEMBODIED by God, and left still under the power of their great leader in whose sin they shared. [Please see Pember's classic work, Earth's Earliest Ages for further study in these matters.]
As a result, these demons suffer a wearisome lack of ease, a wandering unrest, arising from a sense of incompleteness because of their disembodied state. They long to be clothed with flesh again, and so great is their craving that if they can satisfy it in no other way, they will even enter into the filthy bodies of swine (Matt. 8:31). Indeed, it is they, and not the evil angels, who - in their uncontrollable and insatiable desire to be clothed with flesh again - are responsible for the "possessions" described by the Scriptures. They long to "feel" again, if only pain, and this is the reason that many possessed persons inflict pain on themselves, for it is not they, but the demons which have entered them, who are responsible.
That the human race has not been totally subjected and submerged by these evil dignities on high and by the demons here below is only because of the gulf, perhaps the better word is the secular term "dimension," which God has fixed between them and us. For who could know the viciousness of their sin, the depths of their immorality, the vile power of their hateful lusts. And though they can appear as angles of light, they inhabit the halls of darkness, and their home is the blackness of night forever.
However, as we intimated above, this dimension has, from time to time, been pierced and broken through. And when this has occurred, the result to man has been one of unparalleled disaster and moral collapse; indeed, it was precisely this that brought on the monstrous magnification of wickedness and sexual depravity in the days of Noah which eventually led to God's judgment in the Flood. This is detailed in some of the darkest, most enigmatic passages of Scripture contained in the Bible - and we do well to note them carefully. Genesis, chapter 6 says:
Pember writes concerning this:
Pember goes on to say:
So heinous was their crime in the sight of God [that is, the unlawful sexual union between men and angels], that He destroyed man in the Flood and dashed the angels responsible to the lowest pit - for Peter tells us that after they [the angels] had sinned, God spared them not -
Pember writes concerning this passage:
The foundations of human society before the Flood were destroyed by the appearance of the fallen angels. The eruption of these beings upon the earth led to the total corruption of the human race - so much so that it was beyond remedy. The fallen angels had burst the bands that had separated them from humanity. The gulf or dimension that God had placed between men and angels had been bridged, and now these malignant beings poured into the earth like a torrent into an empty lake bed. Violence and bloodshed filled the earth. Slaughter and rampage were everywhere. And if man had been sullied before by the taint of sin, he descended now into a state of abject disgust and abhorrence a thousand times worse than his condition before the poisonous infestation of his world by these malicious beings.
There appears to be but one other occurrence of this sin after the Flood: the assertion is made in Numbers 13:33 in reference to the sons of Anak, who are said to have been Nephilim (the word translated "giants" in the KJV in these verses is Nephilim). These were the Canaanites who so frightened ten of the twelve spies that Moses sent into Canaan after the Exodus to spy out the land; it seems to account for God's command that the whole race of the Canaanites should be extirpated or annihilated. The thought here is that the Canaanites should be removed much like a doctor would excise or amputate a cancerous leg from a man to preserve the rest of the body from the spread of the malignancy.
Now, it has not been without cause that we have taken the time to delve into these Biblical references with regard to the supernatural - for as interesting as all of this is in and of itself, there is here a very somber and earnest reason indeed. And that is this: the gulf that has so long separated man form the fallen angels [and has preserved him from the depths of sin to which his fathers fell before the Flood] will be bridged once again, the bands broken, and the fallen angels - like a flood that has burst its boundaries - will inundate the earth once again as in the days of Noah. This then is the reason for the awful declaration:
The cause, then, of the unfathomable evil, wickedness, violence, and depraved sexual sin which will so devastatingly characterize the Great Tribulation of the second half of the Seventieth Week will be the shattering of the barrier which God has erected between man and the Kingdom of Darkness. Pember writes:
With all this in mind, let us now return to the mystery of the Seven Trumpets. Note carefully the salient feature of the first four trumpets. All the plagues have their origin in the heavens! Like a flood, these beings - extraterrestrials, if you wish - pour onto the earth after their expulsion from the heavens. And the result? The plagues of the first four trumpets. The Bible compares their entrance into our atmosphere as follows:
Can anyone reasonably assume that literal stars will be cast onto the earth? No, of course not. The stars are the fallen angels and relate directly to Revelation 12:4, 12:8-9, and 12:12:
There can be no doubt that the celestial bodies which are here seen crashing onto the earth are fallen angels. This is not only substantiated in the verse itself, but also by the prominence of the fraction: ONE-THIRD. THIS FRACTION RELATES DIRECTLY TO THE FALLEN ANGELS - one-third of whom rebelled against God and joined Satan in his insurrection (Rev. 12:4). [It should be noted here that God evidently set limits to the insurrection, those limits being a third of His dominions and no more.]
And woe unto those who in their ignorance and stupidity had looked to welcome these celestial beings, for " ... the name of the star is called WORMWOOD ... " (Rev. 8:11) What does this mean? Wormwood is hemlock, and is an extremely poisonous root. It is bitter and evil tasting, and is used throughout the Scriptures as a curse - especially in reference to SEXUAL SIN (Proverbs 5:4) and SPIRITUAL FORNICATION (Deut. 29:18, Jer. 9:15, 23:15, Lam. 3:15, 19). Spiritual fornication and sexual sin - these are the sins in which the fallen angels involved themselves and which brought on the Flood (Genesis 6). And the judgment and curse of God against them was great indeed:
And once again, as in the days before the Flood, they will involve themselves in these same ancient sins - sexual intercourse with the daughters of men [producing Nephilim]; and, again as before, they will demand to be worshipped as gods [as they so demanded prior to the Flood and as depicted in the stories of mythology of the Ancient World].
All this, of course, has special reference to the character of the second half of the Seventieth Week wherein Satan in the guise of Antichrist will enter the Temple of God, and demand to be worshipped as God:
What is the result to man in all of this? It will be the same as before the flood, the sudden and violent increase of immorality, wickedness and human depravity beyond all previous bounds [surpassing evidently even the bounds set by the sin which produced the Flood], producing bloodshed, rampage, savagery and tumult on an unheard of scale! - so much so that:
But wait, there is more, much more:
These verses are rendered more intelligible in the Concordant Literal Translation of the New Testament:
Apollyon (Apollos - Rev. 9:11) in Greek mythology was the god of the heavens [the sun]. This is precisely the same personage referred to in verse 9:1:
It is also that great personage referred to in Revelation 12:9 as "... the great dragon ... that serpent of old called the Devil and Satan ..."
They are told not to hurt the grass or the earth in any way. THIS JUDGMENT IS ON THE SPIRIT OF MAN AND IS THE DIRECT RESULT OF THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION; only those who have been sealed by God are to be spared. Revelation 9:5 says that they are not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment man for five months; and their torment is to be like the sting of a scorpion. In those days men will seek death and not find it - for the torment is spiritual and not physical! The prohibition [or protection] of God has been lifted from man's spirit.
This is no "common" possession [such as occurs today in instances of demon possession], THIS IS SPIRITUAL POSSESSION - TOTAL POSSESSION! Man is possessed totally by the demons - body, soul, AND SPIRIT!! They [men] are driven no longer by their own desires, but by the irresistible force of Satan's denizens. There is no longer any choice for them. The hater of humanity is now in total control - body, soul, and spirit. The possession is complete. The domination of man by the hosts of hell is now total.
These citizens of hell are described as horses prepared for battle - their strength cannot be contended. They are bent on the destruction of mankind. On their heads are crowns of gold [a counterfeit of the Holy Spirit], and their faces are like the faces of men [i.e. the men they possess]. They have hair like the hair of women [i.e., their hair is long and unkempt - they have been whipped into a frenzy]. Their breastplates are like iron and the sound of their wings is as the sound of countless war chariots - they are invincible.
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