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A Key To The Apocalypse by Joseph Mede


Of the Seventh Seal, which relates to the first Six Trumpets; with the Ten-horned and Two-horned Beast, and other contemporary matters.

And first, the beginning of the beast is contemporary with the beginning of the seventh seal, which is that of the trumpets.

Since the assembly of those who were scaled, as the antithesis or opposite of the reign of the beast, synchronizes rightly and exactly with the beast; and since the same assembly begins with the opening of the seventh seal, or that of the trumpets, it follows clearly that the beast also must begin with the same seventh seal, or that of the trumpets.

Now, it has been already shown by Synch. IV. Part I. that the assembly of the sealed must be altogether and exactly contemporary with the beast. That the same assembly begins with the seventh seal, is plain from the seventh chapter, where the act of sealing immediately follows the sixth seal; since, as soon as the vision of the sixth seal is finished, and when the seventh, which is that of the trumpets, is just about to open, attention is paid to the elect servants of God by the impression of a seal, that they might not be destroyed by the storm of calamities which was brooding over the earthly globe.

Now, the four angels who presided over the four quarters of the world, were just ready to let loose the winds (which they had hitherto restrained), at the sound of the trumpets. Attention must likewise be paid to the sound of the fifth trumpet, c. ix. v.4. that you may understand, even from that indication, that the sealing belongs to the times of the trumpets. It is beyond all doubt that the conclusion and termination of the sixth seal is the beginning of the seventh, since the series of the seals with respect to each other, cannot and ought not to be interrupted. Therefore, it is necessary that the assembly of the 144,000 who are sealed, which follows the close of the sixth seal, should begin with the seventh, which succeeds not less immediately to the sixth. And so, with wonderful judgment (as I conceive), the Holy Spirit has pointed out to us beforehand, by this act of sealing, the connexion between the beginning of the beast, and the commencement of the seventh seal, since no other reason can be given why the series of the seals, which is not otherwise to be interrupted, should be disturbed by this vision of the sealed ones interposed in chap. vii. Secondly, the end of the beast is contemporary with the close of the sixth trumpet. For since the 1260 days of the witnesses' mourning in sackcloth finish at the end of the sixth trumpet, or the beginning of the seventh, there also must the forty-two months of the beast finish, and by consequence, the tyranny of the beast is comprised within the compass of the six first trumpets. Q. E. D.

Now it has just been demonstrated, Part I. Synch. I. s.3. that the forty-two months of the beast, in the same manner as the 1260 days of the mourning of the witnesses, contemporary with them, must finish at the close of the sixth trumpet, as it is shown from the 11th chapter, when the witnesses, after three days' death, being again restored to life, and carried up into heaven, had completed the days of their sorrowful prophecy, |a great convulsion of the earth having taken place at the same hour or time,| the great city suffered destruction, and the beast, the cruel enemy of the witnesses, in consequence of the defeat which he then underwent, breathed his last. That we might know at what period of the seals and trumpets this happened, the Spirit has immediately subjoined, |The second woe (that is, the sixth trumpet) is now past, and the third woe (the seventh trumpet) cometh quickly.| Which character I believe to be inserted here as another index of this great synchronism, or principally for this purpose, that it might be another of the hinges on which that great and universal frame of the prophecy of the little book and the seals might turn. Since otherwise, both this notice and the sound of the seventh trumpet, which immediately follows, would have been placed in right and natural order, at the end of the prophecy of the seals, chap. x. But the Holy Spirit, by the mystery of the seventh trumpet in that place presignified, in the manner of a proclamation briefly only, and as much as appeared sufficient at that time, (namely, that it would come to pass while that was sounding, |that the mystery of God should be finished as he had declared by the prophets,|) wishes to suspend and postpone the uttering of that sound, and the full disclosure of the mystery for a little while, (and without doubt for some important purpose,) until, having made a transition to the new prophecy of the little book, he might bring the first vision, when it had run its apocalyptic course, to the same conclusion of events. For I would wish the reader very attentively to remark, that in this one vision of the 11th chapter, as the first of the renewed prophecy, the all-wise Spirit runs through the whole period of the sealed prophecy, as a warp through a woof, and connects the same with the seventh trumpet as with a sort of clasp, for the sake of directing the time to the series of the seals. But for what purpose, except that to the first vision thus fixed and compared with the seals, the remaining prophecies of the little book which succeed, being connected also by their own characters, the whole system of the renewed prophecy with the seals might be dexterously accommodated?

Moreover, lest a scruple should occur to any one, that those things which are related in the text, of the consternation of the beast, of the ruin of the city, and of the slaughter of men occasioned by the earthquake, by no means appear as if they ought to be understood of the total abolition of the beast; I say that this is not requisite for that synchronism of which we have been treating; but that they should be taken at least of the concluding time of his power and kingdom, which is determined in forty-two months, and which, the synchronism of the beast and witnesses being acknowledged, must end at the same time with the days of the witnesses. But whatever shall survive of the beast for a little while, will therefore, as may here be collected, be under an appearance dissimilar from the former, so that it cannot be reckoned under the same description; but is likewise not long after to be wholly destroyed and abolished under the seventh trumpet, when |the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of the Lord, and of his Christ.|

And so it will be manifest, that by this cardinal synchronism well established, the rest may be easily deduced from it and connected with the seals.

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