Go To Home Page | Go To Outlines Index Page | Go To Articles Index Page

Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Spring Edition 2014

The Use Of Months For Generations In End-time Prophecy

In the Book of Revelation we find mentioned a 42 month period and a five month period. Let’s look closely at both of these instances.

Revelation 9:1-11

First, under the symbolism of the fifth trumpet sounding of Revelation 9:1-11, we notice that demonic hordes like locusts are unleashed from the bottomless pit upon earth to torment those who have not the seal of God in their forehead five months. This is stated in verse five and repeated again in verse ten.

We believe that a “month” in apocalyptic symbolism refers to a generation, and since in biblical understanding a generation is forty years, the five months of demonic torments referred to in Revelation 9:1-11 is a period of about 200 years (5 months times 40 equals 200).

Next, we consider the two places where a further 42 month period of time is mentioned. These are Revelation 11:2 and 13:5.

Revelation 11:2

In Revelation 11:2 it is stated that the holy city of Jerusalem will trodden down of the Gentiles for a period of 42 months. Again, if these months refer to generations, and a generation is forty years, then the total length of time is 1,680 years (42 times 40 equals 1,680).

In the previous article on the front page of this newsletter we stated that the Jewish use of the wailing wall began after the final abolution of the Jewish commonwealth under the Roman Emperor Hadrian, folllowing the rebellion of 132-135 A.D. If this last date is allowed to become the beginning of the 42 months, or 42 generations of Revelation 11:2, then the end of this period would be placed in 1815 (135 plus 1,680 equals 1815).

Is there anything significant about the year 1815 in world history?

Yes. in that year Napoleon Bonepart was defeated in the Battle of Waterloo, Also, among other important European documents that were signed, the Congress of Vienna was held that settled territorial questions and established political order for what was to become the basis of modern Europe following the chaos of the French Revolution.

The significance of Napoleon’s work was that he restored franchise to the Jews----gave them equal citizenship and allowed them to participate in business and politics--- who before had been persecuted, marginalized, and ostracized in most parts of Europe for centuries. This liberation of the Jews under Napoleon, give birth to aspirations that a little later on where to create the movement known as Zionism., with the backing of major European powers, namely England.

So, from the Roman total crushing of Jewish aspirations under Hadrian in 135 A.D., until this ban was lifted at the end of Napoleon’s career by the year 1815, we submit to be the fulfillment
of Revelation 11:2---- Jerusalem (representing Jewish aspirations) trodden down of the Gentiles for 42 months, 42 generations of forty years each, or a total of 1,680 years.

Revelation 13:5

“And there was given unto a mouth speaking great things, and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.”

It was Rome that crushed and ruled over earthly Jerusalem from the first Christian century onward. But Rome itself was changed in the process. Thus, we see the form of two beasts in Revelation chapter thirteen, the first being the pagan Rome of the pre-Christian empire, and the second being papal Rome that succeeded pagan Roman in holding the European world in sway.

The French Revolution, and events leading up to 1815 succeeding in breaking the effective political power of historic papal Rome. From hereon it would be democracy that would take root in European soil and from there spread through out the world.

Not that democracy would be a panacea for any new and better world than former Roman authoritarianism, either, as the subsequent history of Europe in the twentieth century proved. Nevertheless, the period form 1789-1815 was transitional in that it ushered in a new world order that was not to be controlled henceforth by Rome alone---that beast had been given power to continue only 42 months.

The Fifth Trumpet Sounding

The year 1815 was the transition that led to the first five month, or five generation period, that we talked about earlier. With the end of Roman authoritarianism and the rise of “people rule” (so-called democracy) in Europe came many perils of a distinctively demonic origin.

First, we notice that a star falls from heaven to open the bottomless pit, from whence demonic hordes emerge. This star refers to fallen preachers, or ministers of the gospel (see Revelation 1:20). There were lots of fallen preachers that began new religious movements of a demonic nature after 1815.

Charles Darwin is one example. He is known as the father of modern evolutionary theory. Think of the tremendous influence and impact of Darwin’s evolutionary theory on the thinking of the modern world It’s staggering.

Another example that arouse right after 1815 was Edward Irving. Irving was perhaps the main leader in turning the attention of the Christian world to the wholly futuristic idea of interpreting Bible prophecy (before 1815 the preterist, or historic method of interpreting prophecy prevailed).

Edward Irving’s circle also planted the seeds that gave rise to the any moment secret “pre-trib” rapture theory, which, of course, is central to later developments in the nineteenth century that brought about our modern gospel of dispensational premillennialism, which is still everywhere the rage throughout American evangelica fundamentalism today.

Edward Irving is also credited with a role in the rise of the “tongues speaking” movement, still yet of tremendous impact on the religious scene today. And we would be amiss if we failed to mention many other cults of false doctrine that arose after 1815, in the later years of the nineteenth century----Mormanism, Jehovah Witness, Christian Science, Seventh Day Adventism, neo-orthodoxy, and so on.

All of there aberrant religious movements that arose after 1815, and that have so affected the modern world, share a common source. They have a “king” over them (see Revelation 9:11). That king over them is none other than the angel of the bottomless pit called Apollyon, or the destroyer.

How do these demonically inspired false religions that arose in the fertile soil of democracy after 1815 torment men? We believe they do it through the avenue of a searing of men’s conciseness. Nothing is more painful that a burn or sear. So that “pain” that afflicts all non-true believers by false religions during the five month period of the sounding of the fifth trumpet is a seared conscious. True, after a while they get used to it, but by that time the damage has already been done.

When does the sounding of the fifth trumpet end? (1815 plus 200 years equals 2015).

Related Article Links

Five Views Compared
The Significance Of The Jewish Wailing Wall