The Trumpets as Image of Doctrinal Development of the Church
I have elaborated on the trumpets of Apocalypse before. Obviously, taking them literally as physical woes is absurd, as in Chernobyl, or some other craziness. And why? Well, for one, seeing as the trumpets do not harm those with the Seal of God on their foreheads, it is not God’s Will that His children are spared from physical harm. In general, it is not. Christians get cancer and die in accidents and in natural disasters all the time, just like other kinds of people. Nature simply does not discriminate between moral characters when she exercises her wrath. Hence, the Seal of God must be a SPIRITUAL Seal that protects one SPIRITUALLY. We have seen in the 144,000 article (The Church Militant, the Godless, the 144,000, and the Mark of the Beast http://www.catholic365.com/article/4106/the-church-militant-the-godless-the-144000-and-the-mark-of-the-beast.html) that the only way to be protected from spiritual harm, at least in one’s mind, is to have the Catholic Church’s infallible teaching to guide you, for if you listen to your Mother on earth, you will not be harmed by false teaching, by heresy and lies. The trumpets, then, become proclamations of Mother Church sounded throughout history, the ages of her doctrinal development, and those who listen to her are protected from harm, whereas those who heed not the great epic pronouncements of the Mother of earth are harmed spiritually by the very degree that they resist the teachings.
Now, of the seven trumpets, the first four are mainly smaller in elaboration, whereas the last three are very large elaborations on great catastrophes. That is, whereas the first four trumpets are lesser ailments, the final three are THREE GREAT WOES.
Here, one can see the trumpets as the major doctrinal development of the Church, which is to say, from Constantine to our current godless age. In that view, clearly the last 500 years have been far more catastrophic to the Church’s cause than in previous ages. It seems fitting then, to see the three great woes as that great negative movement over the last five centuries:
Enlightenment and General Age of Solo-Ratio
Secular Godlessness of Modern Times (Anti-Ratio)
For reference, the first four trumpets can be seen as follows:
- Fire and hail from Heaven: the initial Trinitarian and Christological Heresies
- Great Flaming Mountain in the Sea: Islam, a great religion that destroyed much of Christendom
- The rivers of bitterness of Wormwood: the bitterness of the East in the Great Schism
- The great darkening of luminaries in the sky: The great moral darkening of much of the Catholic clergy in the late Middle Ages, the natural prelude to the Protestant Rebellion [scandal]
The Theologically Logical Trajectory of the Trumpets
Note, this is not random and arbitrary: the attacks hereupon are ordered theologically, like my argumentation on the sources of truth in Jesus’ crucified feet (Christ’s Crucified Feet and the Sources of Truth: http://www.catholic365.com/article/4494/theology-of-the-body-extended-again-christs-crucified-feet-an-analogy.html), as follows:
The hierarchy is:
God as Triune and Incarnate
Peter, Supreme Apostolic Successor
General Bishops, or Apostolic Succession, and Tradition
The trumpets logically follow this order, as if showing that the devil “knows his time is short”, and so attacks the Church in a rational fashion: Attacking the most reliable sources, or least evident, down to the least reliable sources, or most evident.
And How? Simple. God in His Special Nature is the most reliable, even above Peter. And the first two trumpets attack this: Arianism, Monothelyte, Monophyistism, Nestoriansim, Islam.
Next is Peter: he does not know as much as God, but his office reigns most reliable on earth. The third trumpet, or schism, attacks this.
Under Peter are general bishops, which are almost as reliable as a whole as Peter, but not quite, hence why the Orthodox lag behind us a little. The devil attacked the Bishops in trumpet four by making them very immoral. The Protestants attacked this source, retaining only Scripture, in the fifth trumpet.
Scripture is still less reliable than Bishops and Tradition, since it is highly susceptible to misinterpretation without them. The Enlightenment and Solo_Ratio age, the sixth grumpet, attacked Scripture, and all Divine Revelation, and retained only REASON, the last source of truth.
And reason, then, surely is the lowest source of truth, since it only leads to God and natural law in a general sense. And our modern apostate world, the final trumpet, beast and false prophet, is not even rational anymore: atheism is contrary to reason, since Vat I dictated that God can be known from what He has made, apart from Revelation. And relativism denies even reason itself, that we can rationalize between doctrines as to which ones are better than other at least potentially. Our morality is irrational: transgender, abortion, same sex, artificial birth control, promiscuity and frivolity: even the deists and rationalists, who hated Christianity, would be appalled at how irrational our world has become. Even young people do not have critical thinking skills anymore.
So the trumpets are logical. Where do we go, then, for the Enlightenment. Well, we need some backdrop.
Protestantism: Epic Christian Division Leads to Great Loss of Faith in “Enlightenment”
Returning to that so-called Enlightenment, it was clearly the natural reaction to Protestantism. More specifically, Protestantism unleashed a fury storm of self-styled "teachers" tossing innocent heretics to and fro with their hard-hearted and frightening doctrines. Indeed, as we saw in one other article (Loaves and Fishes Revisited: Honest Protestantism does not Give Spiritual Peace http://www.catholic365.com/article/4059/loaves-and-fishes-revisited-honest-protestantism-does-not-give-spiritual-peace.html) on the effects of Protestantism, she basically lost all five sacraments that require the Episcopate, and these very losses amounted to the vast majority of the confounded theological principles that scattered Protestantism all over the map. They, too, were indeed five sources of spiritual torture in sacramental time, a sacramental dimension. Five scorpions in place of the divine eggs. Hence, the First Great Woe is appropriately seen as Protestantism, and the five months of "scorpion torture" are these very five dimensions of spiritual torture from doctrinal and salvational uncertainty.
Hence, in light of the great apocalyptic division of Christians--the confounding, the hatred, the betrayal, the mass, mutual excommunication--the natural result is loss of faith in Christ. Indeed, as the Christ prayed Eucharistically, "Father, I pray that they may be One as you and I are One, in order that the world may be believe that You sent Me," this clearly implies that if they are "not one", the world will NOT be able to believe. And if the world has not believed, they will reject the SUPERNATURAL dimension of faith and repentance. Hence, the resulting condition is at best merely naturally good. ("And because iniquity will abound, the charity of the many will grow cold!", Matthew 24 [charity is supernatural goodness, or sanctifying grace])
This can be the theological meaning of the assertion in the Second Great Woe, appropriately the Enlightenment and subsequent ages of solo-Ratio, or reason alone, "And by these three plagues was slain the third part of men," That is, the death is not literal but spiritual, a supernatural death, the rejection of all Divine Revelation, or supernatural knowledge, and of all Divine Intervention, or supernatural help.
We see this, too, in the fourth letter to the seven Churches in the introductory sections of Apocalypse. Jezebel is a “self-styled prophetess”, who likens herself able to “teach” the servants of Jesus. But Jesus condemns her and says also that He will “slay her children with death!” Indeed, if the Church is the chaste bride of Christ, then the greatest unfaithful woman, an apocalyptic woman, who still nevertheless bears some relationship to the Church, would be Protestantism, which “styled herself” competent to teach the children of God independent and even contrary to the true Mother. Indeed, too, just as Enlightenment was the natural “afterbirth” to Protestantism, a supernatural DEATH, so Jesus “killed” the “children” of Protestantism by allowing the fallen nature to run its course.
The 20,000 and 10,000 as Pagan Nationalism
Now, let us concentrate on the Enlightenment in a deeper sense.
In the full horrors of the historical phase of supernatural death, "Enlightenment," or Reason alone and the rejection of all Divine Revelation, man culminated the atrocities of thinking on his own apart from God with the so called, self-proclaimed "peak" of Enlightenment, the Nazis, and the neo-pagan nationalism that arises from man in his merely natural condition (if one has an army of 10,000 going against 20,000....). Yet despite two apocalyptic wars emanating from these vile worldly ways and heresies, man did NOT repent. He only reverted from the worldly competition of the 10,000 and the 20,000 mystical armies to Babel, the unfinished tower of a perversely unified world in pursuit of materialistic grandeur blasphemously asserted in complete independence of God, or secular messianism.
This strikingly resembled the Second Great Woe of Apocalypse, and its epilogue warning:
And the sixth angel sounded the trumpet: … And the four angels were loosed, who were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year: for to kill the third part of men.  And the number of the army of horsemen was 20,000 times 10,000. And I heard the number of them.   And by these … was slain the third part of men, …And the rest of the men, who were not slain by these plagues, did not do penance from the works of their hands, that they should not adore devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and wood, which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:  Neither did they penance from their murders, nor from their sorceries, nor from their fornication, nor from their thefts.
Again, the connotation fits our history well: After the full wrath of a man- and reason-only- centric view of reality, two world wars and other horrors, rather than come back to God, man only accelerates towards the beast and false prophet, veritably secular godlessness, the conditions of Europe and her children in the latter half of the twentieth century till now.
Now, to continue, it would befit us to look deeper into the theology here, of 20,000 and 10,000.
Here, a wondrous parable of the Christ uses the very numbers: the parable of the Christ on the futility of an army of 10,000 going against 20,000 and the unfinished tower seems to mirror the reality of mere natural man, or pagan man, man unenlightened by Divine Revelation and unaided by Divine Intervention and Assistance. More specifically, in light of the repeated psychological history of the rise and fall of empires and kingdoms, even in the secular sciences, we see a great evidence for the following: man is persistently moved by a sinful force in history to aggregate superficially in perverse unity and selfish ambition toward mere worldly, materialistic utopia asserted blasphemously in total independence from God, as if they could maintain the fullness of peace and prosperity without God and His love and truth. This is the tower of Jesus’ parable.
Inevitably, however, such ends cannot be maintained without God, and so the "tower is never completed," that is, moral corruption brings it down. This leaves man, at the collapse of the tower, back in the fragmented division of nations and kingdoms. Yet, the force simply comes back and compels fallen man to regain the futile Babel again. Hence, 10,000 goes against 20,000, but the 20,000 is inevitably victorious, whether through the surrender of the lesser army or the hard way, and the kingdoms accumulate power and dominion like a snowball, once again leading to the tower that will never be finished.
This, then, is the only apocalyptic history that matters for sinful man unenlightened by God--this condition that we have just seen--a condition of man in neo-pagan nationalism: ever seeking after babel-like utopia, larger nations asserting themselves over lesser ones. Indeed the latter phase of this age of reason-only saw the return of pagan nationalism: Russians are better than Poles, who are better than Brits, who are better than the Japs, simply because of their race or national origin. Gone is the Christian ideal of the universal equality of all men as priceless creatures of love regardless of race, nation, or tongue.
20,000 and 10,000 as Images of Worldly Heresy and Purely Worldly Thought
Secondly, the two numbers [20,000 and 10,000] can be a symbol of the two great sub-epochs of solo-Ratio.
To elaborate, in the first phase of so-called “Enlightenment”, Reason alone is directed toward religion, mainly, the deists and rationalists. Deists and rationalists believe in God and some sense of natural law, because such are evident from Reason, even without Scripture, but deists don’t believe in miracles, and rationalists don’t believe in Revelation. It is written in TAN Books church of history, that just as there seemed to be as many forms of Protestantism as there were Protestants, so there seemed to be as many forms of deism as there deists and rationalism as rationalists. Here, then, is the 20,000. How?
Well, just as 144,000 can be factored as 12 tribes of Israel x 12 Apostles, x an uncountable multitude, 1,000, imaging the Church, an uncountable multitude of the fullness of Old and New, so we can surmise a way to factor 20,000 and 10,000.
We saw in the False Prophet article, (The False Prophet has Two Horns, Like Lamb http://www.catholic365.com/article/4044/baptism-and-marriage-ultimate-signs-of-goodness-twisted-ultimate-signs-of-evil.html), that 2 is a symbol first of heresy (heretics retain only two sacraments, Baptism and Marriage) and also basic religion (Baptism and Marriage, in their ultimate signs, shew forth all overarching principles of existence.) Also, 10 is already established in Biblical theology as a symbol of the world. We have 1000 as simply a countless number or such.
Hence, 20,000 = 2 x 10 x 1,000 = 2 [heresies, or basic religious ideas] x 10 [worldly such heresies] x 1,000 [confounded innumerably]
Hence, 20,000 images worldly heresy and religion confounded ad infinitum. Truly, it was worldly since it divorced itself from a supernatural conception of reality, and it was rampantly confounded like Protestantism.
The latter number, 10,000, then, can shew forth the subsequent sub-epoch of Enlightenment, where, disillusioned by confounded solo-ration religion, reason is scrapped even from religion and used in a PURELY worldly context, without regard to God, as in the first phase, which did consider religion.
Hence, 10,000 = 10 [purely worldly thought] x 1,000 [confounded innumerably]
Hence, in the so-called Enlightenment, and age of solo-Ratio (truth and hope by Reason alone), by first 20,000, or worldly heresies and religion confounded innumerably, and then 10,000, purely worldly ideologies and thought, a third of man was “killed” supernaturally, a supernatural death, the rejection of a supernatural conception of the human existence.
“Lord, even with 200 days wages…”
The parable of the five loaves and two fish fits here as well, at least possibly. St Phillip says to Our Lord, “Lord, even with 200 days wages, we could not afford to feed all these persons even a little.” This is the futility of the natural order! Indeed, if it is true that the Disciples had no reasonable way naturally to feed all these people LITERALLY, how much more impossible is it to be SAVED NATURALLY. And what are the dimensions of salvation: TWO! One, to have what you NEED to be saved (know truth, do what is right). Two, to be FULFILLED: (only knowing supernaturally revealed truth and having Divine Love in your soul can truly fill up in you the ultimate longings in your heart.) Hence, St Phillip’s cause is EPIC for the lies of the ENLIGHTENMENT: no man be saved without supernatural goodness and truth, and no man can be FULFILLED without supernatural truth, life, and love.
NOW! Let us consider what Jesus might have said related to this:
“Amen, amen I say to you Phillip, do you remember what My Father said about a day in His eyes?”
“Yes, Lord, He said that a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day.”
“Very good, Phillip, and so I say unto thee: not only can one labor here for 200 days and not be able to feed the crowd even a little, but even if you should try with all thy soul and strength, without My Father, to do what is right and good works, and even if you should ponder the Mysteries of My Father for not 200 days, but 200 thousand years OF a thousand years, you would never please My Father nor find even some small crumbs of mystery to satiate your heart!”
The futility of the Enlightenment!: For let the deists and rationalists labor endlessly into eternity to keep the natural law and let them ponder forever the questions of what is true in religion; they will never find peace with God, nor power to truly keep natural goodness, nor ever be fulfilled.
And what is 200 thousands OF a thousand years except: 200 x 1,000 x 1,000 = 2 x 10 x 10 x 1,000 x 1,000 = (2 x 10 x 1,000) x (10 x 1,000) = 20,000 x 10,000!
Now, to move on to the final issue of Enlightenment, we have seen that the culmination of supernatural death was neo-pagan nationalism, and this peaked in consequences in the two great world wars. Imagine, the Holy Father weeping in destitution because his children are killing one another, nation against nation, all of whom contain countless faithful. His little ones slaying one another!
And in the wake of the horrors of two culminating world wars, humanity not only DIDN’T turn back to God, but only fell FURTHER, into total darkness: secular messianism, or the ancient tower of Babel: a world unified under the perversely ambitious pursuit of mere materialistic glory independent of any question of religion: communism in the East, relativistic, hedonistic materialism in the West.
As it is written, took, in the conclusion of the second great woe:
And the rest of the men, who were not slain by these plagues, did not do penance from the works of their hands, that they should not adore devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and wood, which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:  Neither did they penance from their murders, nor from their sorceries, nor from their fornication, nor from their thefts.
And I saw one of his heads as it were slain to death: and his death' s wound was healed. And all the earth was in admiration after the beast.  And they adored the dragon, which gave power to the beast: and they adored the beast, saying: Who is like to the beast? and who shall be able to fight with him?