Having now we hope gain an idea somewhat of the arrangement of the seven stages of the church and their subsequent seals and trumpets we are now prepared to examine in more detail the Scriptural account of the rise of the Beast “THAT WAS” its subsequent disappearance, (its “IS NOT” condition), and its rise once again before going into destruction.
It is the sixth church, seal and trumpet which we are especially concerned with as it was during this stage of the church near its end that the French Revolution took place which brought rise to the Beast “THAT WAS”, however it is important to understand that many events which had their beginnings in this stage of the church don’t reach their fruition or completion until the seventh stage, therefore in some instances we will need to look at both.
The Sixth stage of the church was of course the Philadelphian stage it was here that the prophetic 1260 days of Daniel met their end, ushering in the Time of the End. (From the time the Abomination of Desolation was set up in 539 A.D. to Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign in 1799 A.D. 1260 years elapsed.) The Time of the End is of course a period of time not simply a specific day; it has a beginning as well as an ending. It began at the end of the 1260 days (years) of Daniel 1799 A.D. and last all the way through the Laodicean stage, the last stage of the church reaching to the end of the Age (the Gospel Age).
During the sixth stage the Lord warns, “Behold I am coming quickly!” (Rev 3:11) I will be arriving shortly, be prepared. And in the seventh stage, “Behold I stand at the door and knock…” (Rev 3:20), that is to say, ‘Behold I have arrived, I am present, howbeit unseen to all save those who possess spiritual insight, those who are awake and who have been looking for my return. Not vainly looking toward the sky mind you, but rather to the more sure word of prophecy in which you would do well to take heed as a light that shines in a dark place (2 Pet 1:19), thus examining those prophecies which reveal BOTH the time and the manner of my parousia (presence)’.
Here too during the sixth stage mentioned is made of the Hour of Temptation (the Great Time of Trouble) which is coming upon the whole world to test those who dwell upon the earth. This Great Time of Trouble will reach its fulfillment near the end of the seventh stage of the church, specifically IN OUR DAY.
THE SIXTH SEAL OPENED
Revelation Chapter 6
VERSE 12 “I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake (revolution, the French Revolution); and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.”
“It may seem strange that this seal begins by describing events which occur late in the Philadelphia period, near its end. One reason may be that the French Revolution and the Time of the End are the focal point of the Sixth stage of the church. Perhaps, however, more important is that the seals appear all to focus on events late in their period. It is as if the Lord allows the period to unfold on events in their period (UN-sealed) until after much of the period is history. This seems only natural. We rarely understand an experience while we are going through it. Our understanding and appreciation generally comes later.”
It was during this time that “the sun became black as sackcloth…”
The Sun a symbol of the Gospel light was challenged by Voltaire and the Enlightenment. The denominations at that time had too little Truth to give the needed answers to the challengers. Thus the prophetic symbolic Sun was unable to enlighten the masses and in sackcloth, mourning. During the Philadelphia period which had begun with such doctrinal excitement, the eventual challenges of the Enlightenment, Higher Criticism, Evolution, Marxism, etc., destroyed the faith of many. And so too “the moon became like blood,” the moon a reflection of the Gospel light, representative of the Jewish Law, and the Old Testament types were viewed by the Enlightenment as barbaric and bloody.”
VERSE 13 “And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.”
“The stars which fell could well have represented those in the ecclesiastical realm (the heaven) whom the people had previously looked upon, but who now during the revolution fell from esteem, the religious leaders and etc. Another view of this is that the “stars” which fell represented the Apostles (Rev 12:1) the teachings of the Apostles were reduced to a code of morals and ethics used for social and political applications only. Their spiritual applications were ignored; thus they fell to earthly levels and uses.
In several instances in the scriptures the Lord uses the “fig tree” to prefigure or type of Israel; here too the fig tree represents Israel.
There was something happening during this time that would affect the Jewish people in an important way, what was it?
“Napoleon while in the Holy Land after his Egyptian Campaign in 1799 wanted to proclaim the region as a new homeland for the Jews. The idea was a good one which God intended to accomplish. But the timing was off — untimely, unripe, God had prophesied by the Jewish Double prophecies that 1878 A.D. would be the time for the re-establishment of Israel.’ Napoleon’s defeat by Lord Nelson put an end to his designs for conquering the Middle-East and establishing an empire, and thus, the Jewish hope was aborted – cast off by a great wind.”
The “stars of heaven” falling AS or like a fig tree might imply that, Just as the idea for a Jewish homeland was premature, so is the darkening of Sun, Moon, and Stars and the accompanying troubles. This (the French Revolution) is only the preliminary 1/10th of what will fall the other 9/10ths must wait till another time, i.e. in the next or last stage of the church.
We will continue with Verse 14 in our next post.
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