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The Seven Trumpets -- 2 of 7 [message #1311] Sun, 01 May 2016 10:59
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The Second Trumpet

A.D. 428 -- 468

"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; 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." Revelation 8:8, 9.


Mountain
--1. A powerful nation.

Jeremiah 51:25 -- "Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the Lord, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain." (Speaking against Babylon.)

--2. Powerful men.

Judges 9:36 -- "And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, Behold, there come people down from the top of the mountains. And Zebul said unto him, Thou seest the shadow of the mountains as if they were men."

Fire
-- destruction

Genesis 19:24 -- "Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven." See 2 Peter 2:6.

Psalms 97:3 -- "A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about." See 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10.

Psalms 140:10 -- "Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again."

Blood
-- death

Genesis 4:9-11 -- " And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand."

Psalm 79:2, 3 -- "The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth. Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and there was none to bury them."

Isaiah 9:5 -- "For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire."

Sea
--sea is defined prophetically as "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." Revelation 17:15. However, in context here, because there are creatures in the sea that are dying, the "sea" in this passage is literal. Compare this passage with Revelation 16:3, in which "every living soul died in the sea."

Creature
-- created beings

Romans 8:20-22 -- "For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now."

Colossians 1:23 -- "If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister."

James 1:18 -- "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures."

Romans 1:23-25 -- " And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen." (An image is an object made to be worshiped; the men here made created beings their idols, figuratively and literally speaking.)

Ships
--1. fleets or navies.

1 Kings 9:26 -- "And king Solomon made a navy of ships in Eziongeber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red sea, in the land of Edom."

Numbers 24:24 -- "And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish for ever." (In the sense of military action.)

--2. strength.

Isaiah 23:14 -- "Howl, ye ships of Tarshish: for your strength is laid waste."

Daniel and the Revelation (1909), by Uriah Smith


The Roman empire, after Constantine, was divided into three parts; and hence the frequent remark, "a third part of men," etc., in allusion to the third part of the empire which was under the scourge. This division of the Roman kingdom was made at the death of Constantine, among his three sons, Constantius, Constantine II, and Constans. Constantius possessed the East, and fixed his residence at Constantinople, the metropolis of the empire. Constantine the Second held Britain, Gaul, and Spain. Constans held Illyricum, Africa, and Italy. (See Sabine's Ecclesiastical History, p. 155.) Of this well-known historical fact, Elliott, as quoted by Albert Barnes, in his notes on Revelation 12:4, says: "Twice, at least, before the Roman empire became divided permanently into the two parts, the Eastern and the Western, there was a tripartite division of the empire. The first occurred in A.D. 311, when it was divided between Constantine, Licinius, and Maximin; the other, A.D. 337, on the death of Constantine, Constans and Constantius." {DAR1909 480.4}

The history illustrative of the sounding of the second trumpet evidently relates to the invasion and conquest of Africa, and afterward of Italy, by the terrible Genseric. His conquests were for the most part NAVAL; and his triumphs were "as it were a great mountain burning with fire, cast into the sea." What figure would better, or even so well, illustrate the collision of navies, and the general havoc of war on the maritime coasts? In explaining this trumpet, we are to look for some events which will have a particular bearing on the commercial world. The symbol used naturally leads us to look for agitation and commotion. Nothing but a fierce maritime warfare would fulfil the prediction. If the sounding of the first four trumpets relates to four remarkable events which contributed to the downfall of the Roman empire, and the first trumpet refers to the ravages of the Goths under Alaric, in this we naturally look for the next succeeding act of invasion which shook the Roman power and conduced to its fall. The next great invasion was that of "the terrible Genseric," at the head of the Vandals. His career occurred during the years A.D. 428-468. This great Vandal chief had his headquarters in Africa. But as Gibbon states, "The discovery and conquest of the black nations [in Africa], that might dwell beneath the torrid zone, could not tempt the rational ambition of Genseric; but he cast his eyes TOWARD THE SEA; he resolved to create a naval power, and his bold resolution was executed with steady and active perseverance." From the port of Carthage he repeatedly made piratical sallies, and preyed on the Roman commerce, and waged war with that empire. To cope with this sea monarch, the Roman emperor, Majorian, made extensive naval preparations. Three hundred long galleys, with an adequate proportion of transports and smaller vessels, were collected in the secure and capacious harbor of Cartagena, in Spain. But Genseric was saved from impending and inevitable ruin by the treachery of some powerful subjects, envious or apprehensive of their master's success. Guided by their secret intelligence, he surprised the unguarded fleet in the bay of Cartagena; many of the ships were sunk, taken, or burned, and the preparations of three years were destroyed in a single day. {DAR1909 481.1}

Italy continued to be long afflicted by the incessant depredations of the Vandal pirates. In the spring of each year they equipped a formidable navy in the port of Carthage, and Genseric himself, though at a very advanced age, still commanded in person the most important expeditions. {DAR1909 482.1}

The Vandals repeatedly visited the coasts of Spain, Liguria, Tuscany, Campania, Lucania, Bruttium, Apulia, Calabria, Venetia, Damlatia, Epirus, Greece, and Sicily. {DAR1909 482.2}

The celerity of their motion enabled them, almost at the same time, to threaten and to attack the most distant objects which attracted their desires; and as they always embarked a sufficient number of horses, they had no sooner landed then they swept the dismayed country with a body of light cavalry. {DAR1909 482.3}

A last and desperate attempt to dispossess Genseric of the sovereignty of the seas, was made in the year 468 by Leo, the emperor of the East. Gibbon bears witness to this as follows:- {DAR1909 482.4}

"The whole expense of the African campaign amounted to the sum of one hundred and thirty thousand pounds of gold, - about five million two hundred thousand pounds sterling.... The fleet that sailed from Constantinople to Carthage consisted of eleven hundred and thirteen ships, and the number of soldiers and mariners exceeded one hundred thousand men.... The army of Heraclius and the fleet of Marcellinus either joined or seconded the imperial lieutenant.... The wind became favorable to the designs of Genseric. He manned his largest ships of war with the bravest of the Moors and Vandals, and they towed after them many large barks filled with combustible materials. In the obscurity of the night, these destructive vessels were impelled against the unguarded and unsuspecting fleet of the Romans, who were awakened by a sense of their instant danger. Their close and crowded order assisted the progress of the fire, which was communicated with rapid and irresistible violence; and the noise of the wind, the crackling of the flames, the dissonant cries of the soldiers and mariners, who could neither command nor obey, increased the horror of the nocturnal tumult. While they labored to extricate themselves from the fire-ships, and to save at least a part of the navy, the galleys of Genseric assaulted them with temperate and disciplined valor; and many of the Romans who escaped the fury of the flames, were destroyed or taken by the victorious Vandals.... After the failure of this great expedition, Genseric again became the tyrant of the sea; the coasts of Italy, Greece, and Asia were again exposed to his revenge and avarice; Tripoli and Sardinia returned to his obedience; he added Sicily to the number of his provinces; and before he died, in the fulness of years and of glory, he beheld the FINAL EXTINCTION of the empire of the West." - Gibbon, Vol. III, pp. 495-498. {DAR1909 482.5}

Concerning the important part which this bold corsair acted in the downfall of Rome, Mr. Gibbon uses this significant language: "Genseric, a name which, in the destruction of the Roman empire, has deserved an equal rank with the names of Alaric and Attila." {DAR1909 484.1}

Another Pertinent Quote


"In AD429, Gaiseric [Generic], the Vandal king, led his 80,000 people across the Straits of Gibraltar into Africa. By AD431 he controlled the western African provinces. The recall of Boniface to Italy to fight Aetius allowed the Vandals to consolidate their conquests and they were accepted as foederati by Aetius. However, they soon resumed their attacks. By AD439, Gaiseric had captured Carthage, the second city in the western empire, giving him a fleet and control of the vital grain supply to Rome. The loss of Carthage was disastrous to the empire, but Ravenna agreed by a treaty of AD442 to accept the Vandals. Valentinian even promised to let his 5-year-old daughter marry Gaiseric's son, Huneric. Soon Gaiseric began extending his realm, capturing Sardinia, Corsica and Sicily, while his pirates raided as far as Greece." Nigel Rodgers, The Rise and Fall of Ancient Rome: An illustrated military and political history of the world's mightiest power: from the rise of the Republic and the dominance of the Empire to the fall of the West. Ch. XII, "Decline and Fall." "The Fall of Rome: Huns, Vandals, and Aetius," par. 3, pg. 244.


"Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God." Isaiah 50:10.

[Updated on: Mon, 07 November 2016 17:15]

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