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Revelation 8:12.

VERSE 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.”

Having affected the stars, the moon, and the sun, a symbolization of an entire solar system, upon which life depends for its existence, the action disclosed in these verses shows that these heavenly objects represent something without which all earthly life would cease to exist. Without dispute, they must therefore, in this setting, depict the church of God – the light and life of the world. Thus, transparently clear is the twofold lesson that only for the sake of the church does the world today stand, and that without its light and vitalizing energy, life upon earth would become extinct as quickly as it would if the sun and the moon should withdraw their influence from the earth. –{5TR 50.3}


Seeing, however, that the interpretation herein is based not only upon logic but also upon the Scriptures Themselves, hence to Them we turn for final word in the present connection. And this we find in Joseph’s dream and its interpretation: “And, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars,” said Joseph, “made obeisance to me…and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?” Gen. 37:9, 10. –{5TR 51.1}

In Jacob’s time, his family was (1) the repository of the unwritten Word of God, (2) the holy temple, and (3) the congregation of the saints. Being all three, it was therefore the living church of God. Jacob accordingly interpreted the sun, moon, and stars as symbolical of his household – the light of the world then. –{5TR 51.2}

And the fact that the father, the mother, and the twelve sons comprised the church at that time, is conclusive evidence in the proof that the sun, the moon, and the stars are figurative of the church of God in three parts, the first of which is here symbolized by—The Smitten Sun. –{5TR 51.3}


The great illuminating and vitalizing physical force of the entire solar system, the sun obviously figures forth the Word of God in the church – the great spiritual light-giving and life-sustaining force in the world. Consequently, its being smitten shows that the church’s light for the time being was dimmed. And this leads us on sequentially in the symbolism to—The Smitten Moon and Stars. –{5TR 52.1}

Reflecting the light of the sun where the sun cannot emit it, the moon accordingly symbolizes the church sending forth the message (light) from the Word (sun) to this dark world. This symbolical interdependence between moon and sun shows that without the church, the Word Itself cannot shine upon earth. And since the light from the Word, sun, here symbolized was the ceremonial system, which could not be carried on without a special structure, the “moon” is therefore symbolical of the tabernacle and of the temple, by which the light of the message – the sacrificial service – was reflected. This being true, then the “stars” are obviously figurative of the church membership. And hence the smiting of them along with the sun and the moon symbolically reveal a punishment upon ancient Israel. –{5TR 52.2}

But only a third part of them was smitten. So it follows that the Israelite nation falls into three parts, one of which was smitten. And as the nation’s history embraces three distinct periods (first, from the exodus from Egypt to the possession of the promised land, second, from the occupation of the promised land to the captivity in Babylon; and third, from the deliverance from Babylon to the Advent of Christ), therefore during one of these periods they were “smitten.” –{5TR 53.1}

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.” –{5TR 53.2}

This great ruin was brought about by the Jewish leaders because “they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy. Therefore He brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: He gave them all into his hand…. And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: to fulfill the word of the Lord.” 2 Chron. 36:16, 17, 19, 20, 21.”And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon.” 2 Kings 25:7. –{5TR 53.3}

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. –{5TR 54.1}

Clearly, then, the symbolism reveals that when the nation was taken into captivity, and the sacred vessels were removed and then left in a state of desuetude, spiritual darkness descended everywhere. This truth is borne out by the parallel physical truth (from which the symbolism derives) that in a day and a night the earth makes a complete revolution on its axis, its every inch being darkened sometime within the twenty-four hours involved. Correspondingly, the symbolism shows that the religious system of ancient Israel was the only spiritual light in all the ancient world, and Israel itself the only church recognized by the Author of the Scriptures. –{5TR 54.2}


What a momentous truth today for a sectarian Christendom! Let it admonish all who choose to walk in the light, to—

Avoid the Mistakes of Others.

O how terrible the thought of closing the heart and thereby turning a deaf ear to the pleadings of the Spirit of God! Think what great sorrow and suffering could have been averted had men not been so hardened in pride and self-conceit! It was too humiliating for those leaders in Israel of old to acknowledge their mistakes and receive corrections from God’s humble servants, the prophets. But their ignoring the truth did not perpetuate their exaltation in the eyes of the people, as they had expected it to. Neither did their killing the prophets make right their error or cover their sins. Nor did it silence God, but rather in course of time exposed their utter ignorance and uncovered their shame before the whole world.


Should God’s people at this time repeat the mistakes of the Jews, then the punishment decreed in the words, “there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 24:51), would fail to find in intensity its parallel in any age. A full realization, moreover, simply of the disappointment of being on the very verge of stepping into Paradise but falling short and finding oneself instead plunged in hell, would be enough to stab one through and through with the most anguishing remorse! Let us therefore open wide our hearts as we read the Lord’s pitying plea: –{5TR 56.1}

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” Matt. 23:37, 38. “The Lord’s voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see Thy name: hear ye the rod, and Who hath appointed it.” Mic. 6:9. And for failure to hear His voice, remember that—

God May Smite Whereas Men Cannot. –{5TR 56.2}

Just as it is impossible for any being aside from God to injure the heavenly planets, so likewise it is impossible, the symbolism reveals, for anyone to injure the church when she is fully surrendered to God and consequently under His protection. Thus symbolically, He assures His people that He does not allow to come upon them any evil but that which they themselves invite and which, for their good, He may permit. “Behold,” says the Psalmist, “He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” Ps. 121:4. “…for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye.” Zech. 2:8. –{5TR 56.3}


By many of God’s servants were these promises realized. Notably there was the instance when the exodus movement reached the Red Sea, and later the river Jordan, and both bodies of waters “rose up upon an heap” to afford the people a safe passage, and to destroy their enemies; also when the three Hebrews were delivered from the fiery furnace; Daniel, from the lion’s den; Mordecai and his people from the execution instigated by Haman; and Elijah, from the hand of Ahab and Jezebel. –{5TR 57.1}

Indeed, “if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed,” as the Saviour declares, “ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you” (Matt. 17:20) although the wicked bring—The Woes. –{5TR 57.2}

Revelation 8:13.

VERSE 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.” –{5TR 57.3}


  The last three of the seven trumpets being woe trumpets, unlike the first four, some great change, obviously is to take place between the first four and the last three. –{5TR 58.1}

Having up to this point brought us to the destruction of the first temple and on to the building of the second, the prophetic Word of God leads us on now to the first advent of Christ and to His crucifixion, the next great events associated with the trumpets.And these events, ushering the Old Testament era out and the New one in, disclose that the last three trumpets embrace the history of the New Testament period. The woes, consequently, point first to Satan’s persecuting the faithful in his endeavor to keep them from embracing Christianity, and second to his persecuting the heathen in his endeavor to Christianize them! The first woe comes with—The Fifth Trumpet. –{5TR 58.2}