The fourth trumpet is a repeat of the fourth angel message, the beginning of the fourth plague and is
heard at the end time opening of the fourth seal. Here is the scripture of the fourth trumpet.
"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." (Rev. 8:12).
As before, I will start with Houteff's comments on the historical meaning of this trumpet.""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..."
""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."
""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
""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."
""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."
""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."
""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."
""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."
""... 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."
""... When the nation was taken into captivity... spiritual darkness descended everywhere... 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."" (V. T. Houteff, "Final
Warning," 1942, p. 50-54).
To summarize Houteff, the sun is the Word of God, the moon is the tabernacle and the temple, which
reflected the Word of God, and the stars were the congregation, the church membership. The smiting of a
third part of the sun, moon and stars represents the part of Israel's history when the temple (moon) was
destroyed, and the people of Israel (stars) taken into captivity, and the Word of God (sun) was abolished
for a time. This was the 70 year Babylonian captivity. The day (where the light of the Word shined directly)
was the Promised Land, the night represented those surrounding lands where the light of the Word was
reflected by the temple (moon) and the congregation (stars).
This situation is paralleled as the fourth trumpet blows in the end time. The captivity is spiritual, however,
rather than physical. This is in keeping with the pattern of both seals and trumpets, during the end time
the message of each seal or trumpet becomes more spiritual than physical.
The major change, of course, is that we have the message of Christ in the end time. The smiting of the
sun, the Word of God, takes place in the Christian church. The message of the prophets (oil) and the
message of Christ (wine) have been under God's special protection since the inception of the Bible.
During the historic opening of the third seal, all men were admonished "see thou hurt not the oil and the
wine." (Rev. 6:6). These messages can not be smitten.
On the other hand, the message which forms a third part with these, the message which was smitten
during the historic opening of the fourth trumpet, has been smitten during most of the Christian era. I
refer of course to the Ceremonial Law, the light given to the nation Israel, God's church in its day, before
the Babylonian captivity. (The prophetic light never was smitten or dimmed, for example, the prophet
Daniel convinced King Cyrus to end the Babylonian captivity by showing him the prophecies of Isaiah and
Jeremiah. Dan. 9:1,2; Is. 45:1-4,17; Ezra 1).
The Ceremonial Law (sun), with its memorial aspects and prefiguring of Christ' ministry, was smitten
during the Babylonian captivity, as the temple (moon) was destroyed, and the congregation (stars) taken
into captivity. Both history and prophecy show that this smiting of the Ceremonial Law has recurred in the
Christian era. V. T. Houteff wrote a book explaining Dan. 7 and the Revelation beasts, "The Shepherd's
Rod." It is a book length subject. I will try to reduce it to a few paragraphs.
The fourth beast of Dan. 7 is the focus of the smiting of the Ceremonial Law. Of one of this fourth beast's
horns it is said, "he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the
most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times
and the dividing of time." (Dan. 7:25).
In order to orient you to this prophecy, here is a quick explanation of all the beasts of Daniel 7. "Daniel
spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the
great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. The first (representing
Babylon) was like a lion, and had (two) eagle’s wings (second empire from creation, the first was Adam's -
see Gen. 1:28): I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked (Babylon overthrown), and it was lifted up
from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it (Babylon given
to a God fearing king, Cyrus). And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear (Medo-Persian Empire),
and it raised up itself on one side (Persian King Cyrus raised himself up to free the Jews), and it had
three ribs (third empire from creation) in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it,
Arise, devour much flesh (wage many bloody wars). After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard
(Grecian Empire), which had upon the back of it four wings (fourth empire from creation) of a fowl; the
beast had also four heads (four generals who divided Alexander the Great's empire); and dominion was
given to it (it overthrew Medo-Persia). After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast
(Roman Empire), dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured
and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts
that were before it (this beast is not described as an animal since its government was used as a tool by
Pagan, Jewish and Christian factions); and it had ten horns (full control of the nations, ten denotes
universal, horns are kings - Rev. 17:12, also see below). I considered the horns, and, behold, there came
up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the
roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things." (Dan.
The interpretations above are mainly from "The Shepherd's Rod," p. 30-56). Here are Houteff's comments
on the beast not described as an animal (non-descript)."The non-descript beast of Daniel 7, representing
Rome in his first stage, shows prophetically by his ten horns that there were ten kings to arise out of
Rome. In his second stage it is shown that the papacy was to arise, subdue three kings, and wear out the
saints of the most High for the space of 1260 years." (V. T. Houteff, "The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, 1932, p.
Daniel was troubled and curious about the non-descript beast. "Then I would know the truth of the fourth
beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails
of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; and of the ten horns
that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that
had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld,
and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them... Thus he (Daniel's informant)
said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms,
and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of
this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them (the Papacy); and he shall be
diverse from the first (a religious rather than a secular leader), and he shall subdue three kings. And he
shall speak great words against the most High (claim infallibility, which is solely an attribute of God), and
shall wear out (martyr and persecute) the saints of the most High, and think to change times (Saturday
Sabbath to Sunday Sabbath) and laws (do away with Passover and Tabernacles week, which are a "statute
for ever" - Lev. 23, and remove the commandment against idolatry from the Ten Commandments - Ex. 20:
4): and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment
shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end." (Dan. 7:19-
This changing of times and of laws is also prophesied in Hosea. In Hosea 2, the church is judged as an
adulterous woman who has strayed from her husband, God. In punishing her, God says, "I will also cause
all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her Sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts. And I
will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with
her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgot Me ... " (Hos. 2:11,13).
This punishment came to pass as the feasts ordained by God as "a statute for ever" (see Lev. 23) ceased
to be observed in the Christian church between 300 and 600 AD and as great wealth and power and
intrigues with kings by church leaders replaced Christ-like meekness and humility in the Middle Ages.
So it was that the sun (God's Word) was smitten in a third part, because the Ceremonial Law (a figurative
third of God's enlightenment for us) was perverted or lost. The temple could no longer reflect a third part
of the message, because that third part had been lost, so a third part of the moon (temple) was also
smitten. Finally, a third part of the stars (congregation) was smitten, as the Jews were estranged from the
Christian church for more than a millennium.
No honest Jew could join himself or herself to a church which contained idols. "Thou shalt not make unto
thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth
beneath, or that is in the water under the earth..." (Ex. 20:4). Nor could an honest Jew join a church that
did not keep the seventh day Sabbath. "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou
labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God... For in six days the
Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the
Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." (Ex. 20:8-11).
Finally, God-fearing Jews must keep Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles, and can not attend a church
that does not properly keep these feasts, which are "a statute (an ordinance) for ever." (Ex. 12:14; Lev. 23:
21,41). "Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto Me in the year. Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened
bread (Passover): (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time
appointed of the month Abib...) and the feast of (the grain) harvest (Pentecost), the firstfruits of thy
labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering (Tabernacles), which is in the end
of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field. Three times in the year all thy males
shall appear before the Lord God." (Ex. 23:14-17).
Because the Christian church wandered so far from God's Law, a figurative third of the congregation
(stars) was estranged (smitten). Remember, all Jews are the chosen people. This third was the same
group who went to Babylon in the captivity as the fourth trumpet opened in history. At that time they were
in physical bondage, now they are in spiritual bondage, locked away from the message of Christ. This was
also prophesied, see No. 44,"Zechariah 11, Estranging Israel" for prophecies of both the estrangement of
Judah, the known Jews and Israel, the lost tribes, and its end.
The end time sounding of the fourth trumpet will be one of the most exciting and dangerous times in the
history of the world. The fourth angel message is repeated, which means that Christ returns to earth, in
the person of His King, to judge the living.
This is the fourth angel message and the fifth which is entwined with it. "Here is the patience of the
saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice
from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea,
saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. And I looked, and
behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden
crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice
to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the
harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth
was reaped." (Rev. 14:12-16).
Already on earth, there are people who "keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." These
are Christians and Messianic Jews who are walking in God's Law (including the Ceremonial Law as
amended by Christ), and also preaching the message of Christ. This has been the case since 1960, when
Ben Roden, founder and prophet of the Branch Davidian church began keeping the Ceremonial Law in his
church. Ben Roden also taught the Judgment of the Living. Once this judgment commenced, the living
would have been judged before they died. That means that the wicked would have their names
immediately removed from the Book of Life. More important, the righteous would have their sins blotted
from the heavenly records when they die, but the record of their good deeds would remain. Of the
righteous it is said, "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit,
that they may rest from their labours; and their (good) works do follow them."
Christ went into heaven in the same manner He is to return from heaven. "And when He had spoken
these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while
they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken
up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:9-11).
Here is Christ's return. "And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the
Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle." (Rev. 14:14). The obvious
questions are: is this literal or figurative? Is it Christ in person, or Christ's King. And why does Christ
leave hidden in a cloud, "a cloud received Him out of their sight," and return sitting on top of a cloud,
"upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man?" The answer to all these questions is, Christ leaves
literally, taken to heaven inside a real cloud, and returns figuratively, in the person of His King, raised up
by a group of supporters, who are characterized as a white cloud.
Jude characterizes satanists as clouds. "These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with
you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose
fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots." (Jude 12). That is the satanic version of
The godly version of clouds are full of living water. Many are found in Hebrews 11, which refers to the
saints from Abel to those of the early Christian church. Referring to these saints, Paul says, "Wherefore
seeing we also are compassed about with so great a CLOUD of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight,
and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured
the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Heb. 12:1,2). This
cloud of witnesses is similar to the cloud upon which one "like unto the Son of man," Christ's King, sat.
The fourth trumpet is heard at the end time opening of the fourth seal. Here is the scripture of the fourth
seal. "And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with
him. And power was given unto them (Death and Hell) over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword
(war), and with hunger (famine), and with death (disease, natural causes), and with the beasts of the
earth." (Rev. 6:7,8). Please see No. 49, "Opening The Fourth Seal" for a full discussion of this seal.
The opening of this seal in history encompassed the time of the Black Death, sweeping epidemics which
killed about a quarter of the population of the earth. This seal will be at least as deadly in the end time.
Needless to say, the end time opening of the fourth seal will be one of the worst times in the history of
Each of the preceding trumpets has a judgment associated with it. The first angel with a trumpet sounded,
and the Holocaust and WWII took place fulfilling Ezekiel 7 and Revelation 14:9-11. The second angel with a
trumpet sounded, and David Koresh's flock was destroyed, this was a warning of the beginning of Ezekiel
9, 1 Peter 4:17, Rev. 14:16 and Zechariah 5. The third angel with a trumpet sounds and WWIII takes place,
fulfilling Revelation 14:18-20, repeating Revelation 14:9-11, and continuing Ezekiel 9, 1 Peter 4:17 and
The judgment that takes place while the fourth angel is sounding his trumpet is the aftermath of WWIII,
the judgment associated with the third trumpet. Both human and natural systems have failed. War, famine
and disease stalk the people of earth. "And power was given unto them (Death and Hell) over the fourth
part of the earth, to kill with sword (war), and with hunger (famine), and with death (disease, natural
causes), and with the beasts of the earth." (Rev. 6:8). Part of the breakdown of the ecosystem is
illuminated in the fourth plague. Before this comes to pass, however, there is a spiritual message that
begins the fourth plague.
As you recall, the sounding of the fourth trumpet is also the beginning of the fourth plague. Here is the
scripture. "And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to
scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which
hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give Him glory." (Rev. 16:8,9).
Houteff's comments on the sun apply. "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." (V. T. Houteff, "Final Warning," 1942, p. 50,51). At the time of
the fourth trumpet, four of the seals on the seven thunders have been opened. Through the heavenly
ministry of Christ and the Holy Spirit (two tongues of fire - see Acts 2:1-4), and through the earthly ministry
of Christ's King, the sun, the Word of God shines brighter than ever before as many more of the
prophecies of the Old Testament have been unveiled.
The wicked are scorched by this revelation of Bible Truth. First they hate it because it causes a great
revival and reformation among God's people. Then, after WWIII, the wicked hate it as a time of great heat.
The heat and force of the nuclear weapons used in WWIII destroys part of the atmosphere that protects
the earth from the sun, literally blowing it into space. Cities are destroyed, electrical power plants are
disrupted, food and clean water are difficult to obtain. In addition to these difficulties, the days and even
the nights are hot. The wicked curse God. The saints bless God, who led them away from the cities and
caused them to set up their own water and electrical systems and store food. They bless Him because He
sends His hosts to protect and preserve them. They bless Him for the survival of their children.
Amo Paul Bishop Roden