Footnotes to 5th & 6th Trumpets

        Footnotes  to  article  about  the  Fifth  and  Sixth  Trumpets by Ted Robertson       


1.     Davidson, Richard M., Richard Lehman, Beatrice Neall, Jon Paulien, Georgie E. Rice, William H. Shea, and Kenneth A. Strand. "Issues in Revelation: Daniel and Revelation Committee (DARCOM) Report." In Holbrook, Frank B, ed. Symposium on Revelation - Book 1. Review & Herald. 1992, pp 175-181. Article reprinted from Adventist Review Aug. 3, 1989; Ministry, Jan., 1991

  • There is a wide-ranging consensus among Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) historicist scholars that the Seven Trumpets are warnings of judgments during the Christian Era. (2) Such judgments were warned of in the letter to the Church of Thyatira:(3)

2.    Details of fulfillment of the first four of the Seven Trumpets are not necessarily in wide agreement.  Compare the following:  Smith, Uriah.  The Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation.  Review & Herald.  1944.  pp. 474-491 (online book:; The Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Bible Commentary, Vol. VII.  R&H.  1980.  pp. 787-789; Maxwell, C. Mervyn.  God Cares, Vol. 2, The Message of Revelation for You and Your Family.  Pacific Press.  1981.  pp. 223-242.

3.    Historicists hold fast the view (pre-dating preterism and futurism – see endnote 1) that in addition to their literal message the letters to the Seven Churches of Revelation (found in chapters 2 and 3) prophesy Church trends in successive periods in the Christian era.  The Church of Thyatira is representative of Christendom during the era of papal dominion – i.e. circa 538 A.D. until the time of Protestant Reformation from the 16th Century onward.  For further reading on this concept and on the Church of Thyatira see Smith.  pp. 361-364,376-381; Maxwell.  pp. 89-94,106-109,142-144; The SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. VII.  pp.  750-754.

4.     A detailed table listing the thoughts 53 prominent theologians from the 16th through the 18th Centuries who identified the rise of Islam as the fulfillment of the Fifth and Sixth Trumpets can be found at

5.    For further reading on the Fifth Trumpet, see Smith, pp. 493-505, The SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. VII, pp 791 - 792;  Maxwell, pp 242-251, 259.  Note that Table 1 is derived from these sources.

6.    Ot is important to note that historicism relies on the method of sola scripture - i.e. letting the Bible imterpret itself -- when it comes to understanding the meaning the the Bible's symbolic language. For futher reading on how and why this is the accepted methodology see Damsteegt, P. Gerard. "Foundations of the Seventh-day Adventist Message and Mision."  Missiology: An International Review, Vol. VIII, No. 1. Jan. 1980    

7.    The Day=Year Principle is a cornerstone of historicism (see Footnote 1).  Prophetic time is interpreted as one prophetic day equals one literal year.  Biblical backing for this concept can be found in Numbers 14: 34 and Ezekiel 4: 6.

8.    The 150 year period of torment prophesied in Revelation 9: 5 has been interpreted to describe several periods by verious expositors. Maxwell assigns it to the period of 674-823 A.D. when the Arab Muslims consistently assaulted Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Christendom. Smith an The SDA Bible Commentary assign it to the period of 1299 - 1449 A.D. when the Ottoman Turks assaulted the Byzantine Empire until it capitulated.

9.    The biblical justiciation for attributing 30 days to one month in prophecy can be found in Revelation 11: 2-2 where 42 months is equated to 1,260 days, thus giving the following formula:  1,260 days divided by 42 months = 30 days/month.

10.    Smith, page 483 - 485,  The SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. VII, page 789

11.    Maxwell, page 240 - 241

12.    Revelation 1: 1 clearly points out the origin and purpose of this biblical book: "The Revelation of Jesus Christs, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he send and signified it by his angel unto his servant John."

13.   The SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. VII, page 741.  It is pointed out that the Greek word  άγγελος,  the term for "angel" or "messenger" is applied to human beings in Matthew 11: 10; Mark 1: 2 and Luke 7:24, 27; Luke 9: 52

14.    A listing of Ottoman Sultans and their years of rule can be found at Wikipedia under the entry "Ottoman Dynasty."

15.    Smith,  page 501-505;  The SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. VII, page 792.

16.    The SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. VII page 792.  See also Webster's on-line Dictionary for the entry "destruction" at

17.    Wikipedia, entry for "Caliph"

18.    Kinross, Lord.  The Ottoman Centuries, William Morrow. 1977. Harper Collins, 2002 page 16, 27

19.    For further reading on the Islanic theology of beheading and how it is currently being taught in Muslim schools see Bostom, Andrew G.  "Textbook Jihad in Egypt"  Front Page Magazine. June 30, 2004.  For newspaper clippings reporting beheadings in the past several years by Muslim Jihadists, enter a search for the word "behead" on the website

20.    Bayezid I let his intentions toward Christiandom be known early in his career as Sultan when he "declared to envoys from Italy . . . that after conquering Hungary he would ride to Rome and would feed his horse with oats on the altar of St. Peter's.   Kinross. page 66

            The 150 year Prophecy       

21.   Gibbon, Edward.  The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire  Vol. VI  Chapter 64.  page 226  (online book:

22.   Josiah Litch, Prophetic Expositions, Vol. II. 1842. page 180.  Brackets and italics inserted as quoted in Smith page 505.  Smith points out that "The calculation [in the quoted text], founded on this starting point, was made and first published in a work entitled, Christ's Second Coming, by Lsoiah Litch, in 1838"  This is important in the xontext of the 391-year and 15 day prophecy of Revelation 9: 15 fulfilled on August 15, 1840. Smith's claim establishes that Litch was on to solving the calculations of Revelation 9 prior to the fulfillment of verse 15.

23.    As pointed out by Roy Walter on Sept. 18, 2006, perhaps both periods are fulfilling the 150-year twice-mentioned prophecy of Revelation 9:5,10.  Indeed, such a prospect would be supported by The SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. VII, p. 726:  “That a single prophetic passage may embrace more than one fulfillment is evident.  Some such prophecies have both an immediate and a more remote fulfillment, and in addition contain principles that are generally applicable at all times.”  Such prophecies embracing more than one fulfillment may and do include the application of Daniel 11:23-30 to both the Roman Empire and the Crusades; the application by Jesus Christ of His Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 to the Fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and to the Second Coming at the End of the World; and the application of the letters to the Seven Churches of Revelation 2 and 3 to the literal churches of the First Century A.D., successive eras in the Christian epoch, and to all Christians at all times (see endnote 6 for more on this topic).  As Dr. A. Josef Greig, retired theology and philosophy professor at Andrews University, said in an April 11, 2005, email response on this very question of the 150-year prophecy in Revelation 9:5,10:  “I wish I could be of help to you on this, but the assigning of dates and events to ancient prophecies is a process of working backwards from a textual understanding that does not necessarily have any right application.  One generally tries to find something that happened at the right time or place.  Then that becomes the fulfillment of the prophecy:  like the pope being taken captive, etc.”

24.     For further reading on the Sixth Trumpet, see Smith, page 505-517. The SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. VII, pp 796; Maxwell, pp 251-257, 259, 262-265.  Note that Table 2 is derived from these citations.

          391 Years and 15 Day Prophecy       

25.    William Miller was a Baptist minister who interpreted the 2300-day prophecy of Daniel 8:14 as pointing to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.  It is estimated that 50,000 Americans adhered to the Millerite Movement.  The Seventh-day Adventist movement formed from Millerites who continued to adhere to the study of the Scriptures after the Great Disappointment in 1844 when Jesus Christ did not return to Earth as Miller had advocated.  Of the Great Disappointment, Miller said, “That I have been mistaken in the time, I freely confess; and I have no desire to defend my course any further than I have been actuated by pure motives, and it has resulted to God’s glory.  My mistakes and errors God, I trust, will forgive.  I cannot, however, reproach myself for having preached definite time; for, as I believe that whatsoever was written aforetime was written for our learning, the prophetic periods are as much a subject of investigation as any other portion of the word.  I, therefore, still feel that it was my duty to present all the evidence that was apparent to my mind; and were I now in the same circumstances, I should be compelled to act as I have done.  I should not, however, have so done, had I seen that the time would pass by; but not knowing that it would, I feel even now more satisfaction in having warned my fellow-men than I should feel, were I conscious that I had believed them in danger and had not raised my voice.  How keen would have been my regret, had I refrained to present what in my soul I believed to be truth, and the result had proved that souls must perish through my neglect!  I cannot, therefore, censure myself for having conscientiously performed what I believed to be my duty.”  – Miller quote from White, James.  Sketches of the Christian Life and Public Labors of William Miller.  Steam Press.  Battle Creek, Mich.  1875.  Chap. 18.  (online book:

26.    Uriah Smith.  p. 513.  Quoted text in Smith from Litch, Josiah.  The Probability of the Second Coming of Christ About A.D. 1843.  pp. 192-193.

27.    The details surrounding the Ottoman capitulation of August 11, 1840 are expanded on in Smith.  pp. 513-517.

28.    Uriah Smith.  p. 512.  Quoted text in Smith from Litch, Josiah.  Prophetic Expositions, Vol. II, p. 189.

29.    Ye’or, Bat.  “Myths and Politics:  Origin of the Myth of a Tolerant Pluralistic Islamic Society.”  Address to the International Strategic Studies Association.  Aug. 31, 1995.

30.    The bracketed word(s) replace(s) the original word “infidel” which has taken on hostile connotations in our contemporary world.

31.    The execution of those who leave Islam is supported by the Hadith, quotes attributed to Muhammed and considered authoritative in Islam.  Two such texts follow:  “If anyone changes his religion, kill him” (Bukhari, vol. 9, bk. 84, no. 57); “The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am His Apostle, cannot be shed except in three cases:  In Qisas for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims” (Bukhari, vol. 9, bk. 83, no. 17).

32.    White, Ellen.  The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan.  1888.  pp. 334-335.  (online book:

33.    The SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. VII.  p. 796.

34.     Maxwell.  pp. 255-256, 259, 263-265.

35.    In addition to its historical significance for SDAs due to it being the year of the Great Disappointment (see endnote 57), 1844 is considered to be the year of the end of the 2,300-year prophecy of Daniel 8:14, and thus, the beginning of the Investigative Judgment as elaborated in the Sanctuary Doctrine, a doctrine unique to SDAs among Christian denominations.  For further reading on the history of the Sanctuary Doctrine see Damsteegt, P. Gerard.  “How Our Pioneers Discovered the Sanctuary Doctrine.”  Adventists Affirm.  Fall 1992.  For further reading on the theology of the Sanctuary Doctrine see White.  The Great Controversy.  pp. 479-491.

36.    There is some advocacy of the idea that later in life Litch abandoned his position on the 391-year prophecy.  This nuance is still being researched by the author.  However, it might be said that Galileo’s recanting of his scientific views did not suddenly cause the Sun to revolve around the Earth.  Likewise, the disputed Lady Hope story about the conversion of Charles Darwin at the end of his life does not cause evolutionists to abandon their belief that we are descended from apes.  And how can we use the deathbed calls for alcohol by Bill W., the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, as adequate proof that sobriety is an inferior state to drunkenness?  Do not the millions of alcoholics who have been helped by the program attest to its validity?  As George Washington said in the quote at the beginning of this article, “There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily.”  In that spirit, the author discounts an abandonment by Litch as evidence that his interpretation is wrong.  Such evidence should take the form of addressing the issues at hand and not be dependent on Litch’s disposition.

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Related Information

Prophecies in 5th and 6th Trumpet 150 Year Prophecy - Revelation 9: 12-21 Article on Fifth Trumpet - Revelation 9: 1 - 12 Revelation 9 - The 391 Year Prophecy