THE BOOK OF REVELATION
By: Bertrand L. Comparet
Lesson #6 Of A Series Of 14, Transcribed From Audio Tapes
Clifton A. Emahiser’s
1012 North Vine Street
Fostoria, OH 44830
Phone (419) 435-2836
[Unless in brackets, all of the message is by Bertrand L. Comparet.] We’ve been studying the Book of Revelation and we had gotten through the first four of the seven trumpets. The fourth trumpet, you remember, and the things that were given in symbols following the blowing of that trumpet, signified the extinguishment of the power and glory of the empire of Rome, at least the western part of it, the real Roman Empire. Then immediately after this, in Revelation 8, verse 13, it says: “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!” Hence, for the events that were prophesied under the symbolism among these first four trumpets were things which were disastrous, yet apparently something even worse was yet to come with the next three.
With Revelation chapter 9, verses 1 to 12, we come to the fifth trumpet, or the first of these three woes: “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.”
Obviously, none of this can be taken literally. Thus, the question is: What does the symbolism here represent? That star falling to earth was evidently a rebellious angel. Compare this, for example, with Revelation 12, verses 3 and 4, where John said he saw “A great red dragon in heaven, and his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven and did cast them to the earth.” In other words, Satan in his rebellion got exactly a third of the angels to follow him. And, they were driven out of heaven and cast to earth. Then with the same symbolism here, it is evident that this was one of the rebellious angels that was doing this. So he opened the pit of the abyss, and smoke pours out and darkens the sun and the air. We saw previously, when we were dealing with the seals, that when one of those seals was opened, the sun and the moon and the stars were darkened a third of the time. Of course, the sun there represented the glory and power of imperial Rome. Now the western part of the Roman Empire has already had its complete collapse and destruction under the things told in the first four trumpets. [See note #1 at end of lesson.]
Therefore, what we are coming to here is obviously the remainder of the old Roman Empire. We saw that the northwesterly third of the empire, taking in all the European parts of it west of the Balkan nations had been taken over by the tribes of Israel – the former Scythian tribes as they moved in. Thus, there was lost now a southerly third, North Africa, and then an easterly third, taking in Palestine, Syria and the Balkan countries. Hence, it’s evident that this remainder of the Roman Empire is being dealt with here. The easterly portion of the Roman Empire, with its capital at Constantinople, while it had the name “Roman” – basically there weren’t too many Romans there – it was Greek. You remember that the Greek cities had expanded in colonies into Asia Minor and had almost established an empire of their own there before Rome conquered it and took it away from them. And you remember that the influence of Greek civilization was one that was practically undisturbed by the Roman conquest. As somebody said, the so-called Roman culture was merely Greek culture told in the Latin language. Hence, the main forces of the eastern Empire were the remains of the ancient Greek power, even though they still claimed the Roman name. [See note #2 at end of lesson.]
Before the Roman conquest of them, the Greeks were a very warlike people. In fact, they were too warlike to use any common sense at all. We’ve mentioned how the Arabs were a very impractical sort of people because they would much rather cut each others’ throats than unite for their common defense against any enemy. But at least Mohammed was able to unite the Arabs by religion, and nobody ever united the Greeks. The fall of the ancient Greek civilization came about directly and exclusively from the fact that the only thing they wanted to do (these different Greek cities), because each city was a little independent nation of its own, they were constantly trying to conquer each other, partly through jealousy of any commerce that the other might be cutting in on; partly from the fact that the strongest passion known to humanity in those days was the desire to conquer and rule one’s neighbor. So they were constantly fighting, and whichever Greek city was getting the worst of it would then ask the Persians, or the Macedonians, or the Romans to come in and help them. These other nations, of course, soon saw the point. What reason was there to spend their money and their lives conquering Greeks for the benefit of another Greek city? If they conquered it, they might just as well conquer it for their own purposes. [See note #3 at end of lesson.]
The Greeks did succeed in beating off the Persians, although Persia made a number of attempts to conquer Greece, and the Greeks briefly lost their cities on the mainland of Asia Minor from time to time during those Persian invasions (“briefly lost their cities” because the Greeks would gain them back again). But the conquest of Greece under Philip of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, was brought about exclusively by the fact that these fools in their stubborn, bitter warfare with each other kept calling on Philip of Macedon to come in and help one city or the other, until he finally saw that if he was going to be busy during all the years, sending an expedition in every two or three years to rescue some Greek city, he might as well take it once and for all and impose on them the peace and order that they were incapable of thinking out for themselves.
Of course, after Alexander’s empire fell apart, after his death, the Greek, Asia Minor and Syrian portions of it fell to one of his generals. [See note #4 at end of lesson.] But of course, the Macedonian-Greek dynasty was finally overthrown by the Romans, who took it over. With the power of the western part of the Roman Empire gone, you had here in Constantinople the continued empire, and an extensive one it was, too; because they had control over Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor and the Balkan countries. But you had it actually run by Greeks, and in spite of the Roman name, the Latin peoples among them were relatively few. Now, what was this plague of locusts that came out of the pit from that stove and out of the smoke? Well, it’s worthy of note that practically all the great plagues of locusts that bothered the ancient world from time to time actually came out of Arabia. That was where these great masses of locusts bred, to the point where finally some instinct told them the scant vegetation of the desert couldn’t support them and they had to migrate, and they went sometimes into Palestine – sometimes across the Red Sea into Egypt. So here, these are locusts like scorpions, and of course the scorpion is a desert dweller and Arabia is full of them. Hence that gives you a tip – look to Arabia.
It was then out of Arabia that a tremendous movement came. Mohammed was born in 570 A.D. and lived to 632. He was born to a fairly important family, part of the aristocracy of his city, but one that didn’t have any great amount of wealth. When his father died, his uncle, who took over his guardianship, taught him to be a, well, a camel driver isn’t quite the word – it suggests merely somebody handling an individual camel. But he was really a leader of camel caravans, you might say. He went to work for a wealthy widow who owned a number of camel caravans, and finally married her. He was a thoughtful man. He saw that the Arabs, at that time, had a pagan, polytheistic religion worshipping devils whom they called “gins”, and worshipping the forces of nature and that sort of thing. He saw that the so-called “Christianity” of the region – remember, this wasn’t under control of the Roman Catholic “Church”, it was under control of the Greek Orthodox “Church”, which had all these faults of the Roman Catholic “Church” except that they didn’t worship the Pope. They had their own separate head, the patriarch of the Greek Orthodox “Church”. But as far as the faults of Catholicism were concerned, they had them all. And the Greek Catholic “churches” were simply idol temples. They were filled with statues of saints which were worshipped just as the Roman Catholic “churches’” were. Mohammed saw that this was really equal corruption, whether you openly called it paganism or a corrupted form of Christianity.
He finally had a series of visions when he was in a cave or pit, an underground cave in the mountain where he received these visions. And for some time Mohammed himself was doubtful whether these were really from the angel Gabriel, as he was told they were, or whether they were satanically inspired, from the fact he got them in this pit. But, at any rate, he got these repeated visions which gave him a new religion to propagate, and told him that his duty was to go out and convert all the unbelievers to this religion. Now, Mohammedanism has many good things about it – that much can be said for it. It did a great deal to bring a degree of civilization among the peoples who took it up, which they had never had before. They recognize the prophets of the Old Testament and say that they were all prophets inspired by “God.” They recognized also “Jesus” Christ to the extent of saying that He also was a great prophet. They do not recognize Him as we do, as the Savior and Redeemer. They recognize the apostles of the New Testament as being also prophets. But they say the last and greatest of the prophets was Mohammed. Well, that might not be too bad if it weren’t for this thing which shows the basic satanic inspiration from it that he had appropriately received in the pit. They deny that Yahshua the Christ died to pay the penalty of our [Israelite] sins and bring us [Israelites] salvation. [See note #5 at end of lesson.]
Mohammed said that “God” loved “Jesus” so much that He wouldn’t allow Him to die on the cross, that He sneaked Him away and put some other fellow in His place to die there. Well, of course, the essence of Christianity is the atonement made by Yahshua the Christ paying the penalty of our sins, yet that is completely denied by Mohammedanism. Whereas the Arabs were a very barbarous people to begin with, Mohammedanism did bring them, as I say, a pretty good degree of civilization for its day. He taught them a certain degree of kindness and mercy, which they had not been inclined to show before, and it taught them honesty and fair dealings toward each other. The principal occupation of the Arabs, up to that time, seems to have been blood feuds between the different petty tribes. There were a great multitude of these petty tribes, and like always, if four hundred years ago some member of another tribe had killed some member of your tribe, then of course in revenge, your tribe would finally kill some member of that tribe, and then in revenge for that, they killed a member of your tribe, such had gone on for several centuries and was expected to go on for the next ten thousand years, at least, before they got enough sense to break it off. Mohammed commanded them to give up these blood feuds, that as long as both tribes were Mohammedans, they had to remain at peace with one another. It was wrong to shed the blood of a fellow Mohammedan, unless of course he attacked you and you had to act in self defense. Arabs being as they are, this teaching was followed to a somewhat limited degree, but at least he was able to weld them into a united force. As long as they were able to keep on conquering cities and sharing in the plunder, they were able to keep their forces united for that purpose instead of fighting among themselves. [See note #6 at end of lesson.]
In 622 A.D., Mohammed had, for the last ten years, been openly preaching his new religion. Mohammed was driven out of his home town of Mecca and had to flee for his life. Mecca had been a pilgrimage center of pagan religion. They came there to worship a black stone, the Kaaba, a big piece of probably volcanic obsidian. The story was that it had fallen from heaven and was a sacred object. These pagans had to make their pilgrimage to it periodically, and that, of course, was a source of good income to the city of Mecca. When Mohammed began preaching that this was all paganism and should be done away with, well, you know what happens when you start interfering with a profitable business. They organized, ready to kill him, and drove him out. He had to flee for his life. So while he started his public preaching in 612 A.D., it was 622 A.D. when he fled for his life that is taken as the official beginning of Mohammedanism. That’s the year “one” of the Mohammedan calendar. The next ten years saw a tremendously rapid spread of Mohammedanism, and he acquired a definite leadership over the Arabs and united them to an amazing degree. Of course, this was done city by city.
Mohammed received periodic inspirations from which he sometimes had to amend his earlier inspirations, but they often had a pretty practical tone. Since he had gotten nowhere by preaching, his inspirations taught him that converts were to be made by the sword. You were offered a choice; you could become a Mohammedan or you could have your throat cut. Not surprisingly, a good many people became Mohammedans. Then they would all organize and go capture the next town and make Mohammedans of its population. That town would then throw in their army, their male population of military age, so you had a still bigger army to go out and capture another city, and so on. It just spread like compound interest.
The death of Mohammed in 632 A.D. didn’t check the advance of it at all. For quite a long time his successors were mainly of considerable ability and they really spread it. Between 633 and 636 A.D., the Arabs took Bosra, 75 miles inland from the Persian Gulf, and Damascus, way up into northern Syria, showing how far and fast their power was spreading. At the battle of the river Yermuk (or Jermuk), as they were working up into Syria, a Roman (that is Greek) army of 80,000 professional soldiers plus 60,000 Christian Arabs (that’s 140,000 men) were totally routed, and most of them killed by the Arabs. Thereafter, no Roman army dared to appear on the field against them. In 637 A.D., the caliph Omar took the city of Jerusalem and gave orders that a Mosque be built on the site of Solomon’s Temple. In 638 A.D., the emperor Heraclius [of the eastern empire] simply abandoned all Syria and Palestine to the Arabs.
By 639 to 641 the Arabs had conquered Egypt. With very few exceptions, the emperors of both the western Roman Empire and the eastern Roman Empire were stupid and incompetent fools. Once in a while you had a man of considerable governing ability or considerable military ability, but they were rare. Egypt was of extreme importance to the eastern Roman Empire because it was the granary of the empire. Grain raised in Egypt was a very substantial part of the food supply of Constantinople and the regions around there. The Greek troops they had holding Egypt were beaten and driven back by the Arabs in battle after battle till they finally retreated to the city of Alexandria, where they were besieged by the Arabs. They sent, of course, repeated requests for help, additional military support, and for food to just keep them alive. The stupid emperor sent them nothing. Here was a place, which his own city depended upon for part of its food supply, being lost. Yet he hadn’t enough brains to do anything to help his garrison there.
Thus, the last resistance to the Arab ceased and Egypt was totally in the hostile hands of the Arabs. The Arabs were never much for trading – fighting was more fun, and as long as you could steal whatever your conquered enemy had, fighting was just as profitable as trading. They weren’t interested in setting up a trade in grain with the empire. Therefore, the emperor had to do something to try to recapture Egypt, having by his own stupidity let it slip out of his hands without any attempt to keep it.
In the next four years he sent two expeditions down there, and both of them were soundly defeated by the Arabs. Hence, Egypt was lost to the empire. You remember they’d already taken Palestine, Syria and Arabia. Remember now, Mohammed started spreading his religion by the sword in 622. By 640 to 655, the Arabs had reached the shores of the Black Sea east of Constantinople, having taken the easterly portion of Asia Minor. They also had gotten as far as the headwaters of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers up in Armenia. On the coast of Phoenicia, the Arabs raised a navy of 1,700 ships, and the emperor’s fleet fled to the shelter of the harbor of Constantinople and didn’t dare show their faces outside of it. In 658, and again in 717, the Arabs were at the walls of Constantinople. But they were not trained in siege warfare and they didn’t have the equipment for it. After prowling around briefly and finding these high walls were a complete barrier to them, they gave up these very brief sieges.
In 647 the first Arab expedition that crossed North Africa defeated a large Roman army of 120,000 men. Then some epidemic disease broke out among the Arabs and forced their retreat back to Egypt. But in the meantime they had levied an enormous tribute payment from the towns of North Africa. These Africans – remember now, all these cities were part of the empire, and entitled to look to the empire for protection in return for the taxes they’d paid. So these North African cities, impoverished by the heavy tribute payment extracted from them, appealed to the emperor for some help. What did he do? He levied a fine on them equal to the amount they had paid as tribute to the Arabs. As I say, you could have searched the earth in vain to find anybody as indubitably stupid as nearly any of the Roman emperors, whether of the west or of the east. [See note #7 at end of lesson.]
Of course you know what happened – that was the last straw. The people of northern Africa invited the Arabs to come in and give them some semblance of a reasonable government. Upon that, the Arabs did return; took over all north Africa and no so-called Roman army could ever set foot in it again. In 711, of course, you had the Saracen invasion of Spain, which they conquered and held until the 1400s. That isn’t as far as they reached in Europe, however, because in 732 they invaded Gaul (that is modern France) and overran more than half of it before Charles Martel finally defeated them at Tours and they fled back into Spain. After that they never tried to go north of the Pyrenees mountains. Hence, the whole southeasterly third of the Roman Empire had been lost to the Saracens. They had had all the African and Asian territories of the eastern Roman Empire.
The so-called eastern Roman Empire, at that time, had only a very small district around Constantinople – all the rest was in Arab hands. Then a new dynasty came to power among the Arabs and they moved the capital of the Arab empire, which had been at Damascus in Syria. They moved it east to Baghdad in 762, and in the 800s and 900s this Saracen empire simply fell apart – broke up into a multitude of petty kingdoms.
You’ll remember some peculiar things that were mentioned here – it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any trees. Now you’ll remember at Revelation 8, verse 7, we noted that the Germanic tribes, when they invaded Italy, caused tremendous devastation. They really broke things up – chopped down trees – burnt cities and a lot of that sort of thing. But now the Mohammedans were very definitely commanded, in the Koran, that they were not to try and make a devastated, worthless land. They were to try and conquer it, turn the inhabitants into Mohammedans, and then they wanted these Mohammedan inhabitants to be a prosperous people. Therefore, they would do nothing to destroy trees and crops. That they followed.
It says: “They should hurt only those men which have not the seal of Yahweh in their forehead.” Interestingly, Mohammed gave orders to his men and the caliphs who succeeded him to follow the same policy. They were out to destroy a corrupt “church.” Therefore, Mohammed said that those who were living in monasteries, those who felt they could best serve their “God” by retiring to a poor and humble and hard working life in monasteries were not to be disturbed, but that the priests in these wealthy city “churches” were to be simply killed without any question of converting them, and he said, “Just split their skulls.” Thus, wherever Mohammedans conquered a city, they offered the people three choices: be converted to Mohammedanism, in which case they would be received as brothers and equals; if they were not willing to give up their religion, they were allowed to continue their more or less Christian worship upon paying a heavy tribute tax and recognize the fact that they were a defeated and conquered people; if they wouldn’t do either one, they were killed.
Lacking in ethical obligation, a totally corrupt “church” inspired very few martyrs. Instead of holding out, practically all of them paid the tribute tax. Some accepted Mohammedanism. The rest paid the tribute tax. As it said, they kind of wished for strength of character to fight to the death as martyrs, but they didn’t; “death fled from them.” Thus, the great bulk of them paid the tribute tax to the Arabs and got along that way. Its said of these locusts that came out of the smoke ... (Have you ever, by the way, taken a good look at a grasshopper, or a picture of a grasshopper, and noticed that their heads do have a surprisingly horse-head look to them?) ... its said “on their heads were crowns” not of gold, but crowns like gold. A yellow turban was a very common article of clothing among these Arab warriors, so the yellow made these turbans look, at a little distance, like gold. [See note #8 at end of lesson.]
They had hair like the hair of women, and many of these Arabs did let their hair grow long. And He said “they had ... breastplates of iron.” The Greeks apparently originated the systematic use of heavy breast and back plates of iron, but the Arabs invented a new type of armor. Now a man in the Grecian armor was like a crab in his shell, and he was just about as clumsy too, weighted down with that. On horseback, it could be a considerable burden and interference. So the Arabs invented chain armor, a perfectly flexible jacket of chain links. You take it off and drop it on the ground and it would just slump like so much wet fish net. But when put on, just the same, these iron chain links prevented a sword or a spear point or an arrow point from penetrating enough to do any damage. So the Arabs were largely armored with this chain armor.
Then it said they “had power to hurt men five months.” Of course you know the Biblical prophetic scale of a year for a day, and that a prophetic month of thirty days equaled thirty years. Therefore, five months would be 150 years. Well, in 612 A.D. Mohammed first proclaimed his mission to convert all the infidels. So for the ten years, from then until 622, he was trying to make converts by preaching, and he did make some 40 converts before he was driven out of Mecca. But in 612 A.D. he started preaching Mohammedanism. Exactly 150 years later, in 762, the new capital of the Saracen Empire was established in Baghdad, and no further attempts were made to spread their power westward. But the Arabs didn’t all pack up and go home – they stayed in Egypt and North Africa, Palestine and Syria. It is important, therefore, to comprehend that the aggressive spread of their power lasted exactly the prophetic five months, or 150 years.
Remember now, this was written by John not later than 96 A.D., and you’ll note the surprising accuracy in these many points of this prophesy. The events that were pictured on the blowing of the fifth trumpet made up the first of these three woes. Then you come to the second woe which is described in Revelation 9, verses 13 to 21: “And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before Yahweh, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred million: and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone (brimstone is the old name for sulfur). By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”
This second woe was the Turkish invasion. During the 11th century, the first portion of the Turks – the Seljuk Turks appeared. They settled near the Aral Sea by the east end of the Mediterranean Sea. There they were converted to Mohammedanism. In 1062 they crossed the Euphrates River, moving into the old territory of the eastern Roman Empire. They covered Mesopotamia, Armenia, western Turkestan, Persia and parts of Asia Minor and Syria. Then about 1100 A.D. they broke up into many small kingdoms. While they were taking the outlying provinces of the empire, the Seljuk Turks did not get near enough to Constantinople to threaten them. A couple of centuries later came the other, the Osmánlí Turks. You read about them in your history books under the name “Ottoman Turks.” The dynastic founder of this nation was Osman (or Ozman). Apparently somebody who lisps began calling it Othman. There was an earlier character named Othman, and I suppose they got the name mixed-up. Then, with that satanic perversity of all ancient and medieval historians and travelers who wrote about their stuff, they weren’t satisfied calling it Othman, they called it Ottoman. No Turk would answer to that name. They have always said they were the Osmánlí people. [See note #9 at end of lesson.]
About 1250 A.D. the Ozman Turks appeared near the headwaters of the Euphrates river, migrating westward. They settled in the lands of the Seljuk Turk sultan Aladdin, became a vassal and joined his armed forces and adopted his banner, the crescent. Then in 1288 Ozman began to conquer the eastern Asia Minor lands of the empire. It was rich in wheat, and he found it easy enough to take over. By 1301 he’d taken a large area, clear to the Black Sea. Ozman died in 1326, but his successors continued their expansion. [That Comparet is correct concerning the corruption of the name “Ozman” (Osman) can be verified from The History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon, volume 6, page 335. C.A.E.]
The Turks, even more so than the Romans, were the soldiers par excellence – they really made a science of warfare. They quickly developed a strategy that worked. Like the Arabs, they were nomadic horsemen. They relied principally upon cavalry. Warfare before that time had consisted of the main bodies of the two armies rushing against each other and sticking each other with spears and chopping at each other with swords, and they got to it as directly and expeditiously as possible. Sometimes a smaller but better trained and disciplined force routed a large one. The Turks had a bright idea – they had their best trained and best equipped troops kept as a reserve, back at the rear. In the front they put their light armed irregular cavalry, people who were not primarily soldiers but simply had gotten into the army for the hope of sharing in the loot if there was victory. These were not well disciplined, not well trained, not very effective, and if they all got killed the army didn’t lose anything significant.
Thus, they were put out in front and sent out to attack the enemy. Of course, they were beaten off quickly, but they kept coming back again closing ranks with the enemy. The enemy cavalry would charge them and drive them into head long flight, and that was repeated several times. The enemy cavalry always drove them off without any particular difficulty, but they tired themselves out in doing so. Then, when the horses and men were tired, these irregular cavalry Turks would run off to the side and the main cavalry body of the Turks, rested and fresh, would make a furious charge against the enemy who were too tired now to keep up the battle. And this strategy brought the Turks victory after victory after victory. For a period of three centuries, they hardly ever lost a major battle. Another thing they developed, from about 1330 A.D., was that they kept a standing army. Up to that time, in all kingdoms when wars came, all the able bodied men of military age were subject to being drafted into the armed forces, but they were made up principally of farmers, merchants or workmen. Therefore they didn’t have very much practice at military arts and they weren’t especially skilled at it. But the Turks, from about 1330 on, raised a considerable sized army of professional soldiers. This was their whole job, they were paid regular salaries for this and they wasted no time doing anything else. Thus they were constantly in training, practicing warfare. Because they were well armed, they were, of course, tremendously effective, and it was very difficult for untrained forces to stand up to them. This was a full century before the first use of a professional standing army appeared in Europe. [See note #10 at end of lesson.]
You can’t say much for the Turkish morals, or kindness, or anything of that sort, but you do have to give them credit for being effective soldiers. Incidentally, during the Korean war the Turks sent a small contingency of soldiers over there to help us, and they were probably the most effective troops on our side. You notice how Russia shoots down our airplanes and steals our navy ships and so on? They didn’t fire a shot at the Turks, for the Turks would shoot back.
Another thing developed at this time, peculiar to the Turks. You’ve heard of these troops under the name of “Janizaries.” Of course, the name in Turkish was Yani Cheri, meaning “new troops.” But, as I say, there is that satanic disposition to always change and garble things till they’re unrecognizable. The Turks had conquered quite a number of Christian towns and they were wondering what to do. If they let them alone, they might bring rebellion against their rule. Hence, by way of both strengthening the Turkish forces and weakening the conquered, they took a thousand, at least, each year, of Christian children, the very cream of the boys of 8 to 12 years old. They were taken by force from their parents, converted to Mohammedanism, and right from the start put under military training – strict discipline – learning to undergo hardship, they became tough and hardy. While it was rough going and strict discipline, on the other hand the pay was good and promotion came quickly to one who really put his mind to it and showed the makings of a good soldier. Thus they relied upon these Janizaries as among their picked troops. Of course, they didn’t see they were doing anything wrong in that. They said, well you know how today we say “its our missionary duty to convert the heathen to Christianity.” They said “Its our duty to convert all unbelievers to Mohammedanism.” They considered they were doing the kids a favor. The time that the use of these Janizary troops were continued was some three centuries. It’s been estimated that a full half-million Christian children were thus kidnapped and made into Turkish soldiers. [See note #’s 9, & 11 at end of lesson.]
The Arabs had moved out to conquer lands primarily for the purpose of converting the conquered to Mohammedanism. They, of course, followed the custom of all armies in doing a certain amount of looting when they captured a place. And that isn’t entirely ancient – talk to anybody who was in the American army that invaded Germany and see the cameras and binoculars and such things that he stole from the inhabitants while he was there. Hence, these aren’t customs of the ancient past alone. Now the Turks, while they were Mohammedans, were not primarily interested in the spread of the Mohammedan religion. They were primarily interested in conquering and ruling these other lands. They wanted to be the masters, supporting themselves simply by fighting and on the tribute taxes that they could collect. The Arabs, by their tremendously effective armed forces, did succeed in spreading their dominion, but they did very little about organizing it into an effective kingdom.
The Turks, on the other hand, instead of trying to see how fast they could spread out, they would move on 50 to 100 miles, taking that much new territory, and then for 20 or 30 years they’d stop there while they completed the consolidation of their conquest and got it thoroughly organized, and made sure everybody knew just who was boss now in these conquered lands. They were out to rule. In 1356 the Turks gained their first foothold on the European side, landing first at Galipoli. The main portion of the city of Constantinople is on the European side. The portion on the Turkish side is called Scutari. Asia Minor was pretty largely in the hands of the Turks, and now they had moved over on to the European side. In 1361 they captured the quite important city of Adrianople, and that finally brought some alarm in Constantinople. As far as regaining their provinces from the Turks was concerned, they never gave it a thought. They knew it was hopeless. They couldn’t regain them from the Arabs, as far as that goes. They were a beaten people, contented to live within their city of Constantinople, just hoping they’d be left to peace as in their former empire.
Thus, from 1361, when the Turks captured Adrianople, the emperors at Constantinople lived in utter dread of the Turks and were always very conciliatory in trying to enter into treaties with the Turks, by which they could guarantee that the Turks wouldn’t tax Constantinople. You remember there had been a split a thousand years earlier than this, between the Roman Catholic “Church” and the Greek Orthodox “Church.” Nevertheless, Constantinople, while it was the seat of the Greek Orthodox “Church”, had lost their outlying empire. They were in danger of losing the city they had left, and they didn’t have enough military strength to defend themselves effectively. They couldn’t hope for rescue by any Asiatic power. The only hope was from the Christian nations of Europe. The period of the Crusades was past. Christian nations had spent a great deal of money and lost a great many lives in the Crusades. They were not in the mood to renew it, particularly because all these European Christian nations were in a period of general internal disorder about this time. The one factor that might help to induce the European nations to go on a new Crusade and send some forces to defend Constantinople would be if the Pope could stir them up to do it.
Thus, the emperor kept intriguing, trying to gain the support of the Pope. He became very subservient to the Pope, where before there’d been no love lost at all. By this, as it became known, the emperor lost the support of the Greek portion of his population who were very much attached to their “church”, corrupt as it was, and in fact the patriarch of the Greek Orthodox “Church” at this time said, “I would rather see the Turks in Constantinople than to see the Pope’s power restored here.” So they were really in a rather bad way. The Turks, meantime, were vigorously pushing their conquest on into the Balkan countries. In 1389 they absorbed Bulgaria – they brought their frontier to the Danube – Serbia became a vassal state. They hadn’t put in Turkish governors, but the king of Serbia had to swear allegiance to them in that he would raise an army and fight with them (that is on the Turkish side) in time of war. As a matter of fact, the rest of his life he did so, and furnished them with very effective troops.
In 1394 they finally managed to get together a very minor sort of a crusade. About 12 thousand knights, some eight thousand of them from France, and the remainder from Germany and Hungary, marched down to the Danube to fight the Turks and drive them back out of Europe. Well, war was definitely a business with the Turks and they were thoroughly business like. But these knights were vain, arrogant, boastful and stupid. They said “Why, these Turks are no match for us.” One of them boasted that “if the sky fell, we’d hold it up on the points of our lances.” Thus, when they got to the point where it was probably only going to be a day or two’s march to make contact with the Turkish forces, they stopped in what seemed like a favorable place to meet the Turks, there beside the Danube. Instead of making proper preparations, fortifying the place and all that, they just spent their time in riotous drinking and carousing until suddenly they were roused by scouts coming back with the word that the Turks were just over the hill in the next valley – the whole Turkish army coming. They formed up in lines for battle. The king of Hungary was a sensible man and he wanted to do this in a reasonable and sensible way. But these French knights were so vain and boastful and arrogant, they weren’t about to be told how they were going to fight. They wanted to go out and just mop up these Turks like that. Then, these eight thousand French knights attacked the Turkish army of 40 thousand. The Turks were drawn up in their typical way. On the far side of the hill, over in the next valley, was the main body of the Turks. Out in front of that they put this light irregular cavalry. Then these French knights charged them and they had a grand time defeating and driving them into flight. They got themselves thoroughly tired and their horses tired out. They chased the retreating Turkish light cavalry up over the hill, and just beyond them lay the main body of the Turkish army. The Turkish forces had been drawn in more or less of a crescent form. Immediately, these two wings rushed out, attacking the French on the flanks and closing in back of them so they couldn’t retreat. Practically all of the French knights were either killed on the field of battle or captured. The prisoners were practically all massacred the next day by the Turks. They paid dearly for their stupidity. By that defeat, the total destruction of the eight-thousand-man contingency out of a force of only twelve thousand to begin with, sent the rest of them back in panic flight. Thus, that attempt to drive the Turks out of Europe failed miserably.
The Turks moved on and occupied Greece and southern Hungary. Remember what they had taken of the old Roman Empire – taken then and a bit later took? They had Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, and they eventually penetrated into Austria, to the point where they besieged the city of Vienna, and eventually, after some 25 years of fighting, they took Albania, on the Dalmatian coast. Of course, south from that they had Macedonia and Greece. Thus, as you can see, the Turks had taken every inch of the remaining eastern Roman Empire except the small area containing the city of Constantinople, and a few miles outside of it. Then the Turks moved up to besiege Constantinople, and they were bought off by payment of a large annual tribute. The emperor turned one “church” into a mosque. That was part of the terms the Turks required of him. After getting their first year’s tribute payment, the Turks went back and started to besiege it again, and at that time the Turks suddenly found their hands full with another thing. They had to give up any attempt to go after Constantinople.
You had the great invasion of Tamerlane. He was a Mongol, the head of a vast group of nomadic Mongol horseman. In other words, the same sort of thing you had a thousand years earlier under the Huns – Attila the Hun. His name was called Timur Lenh, “Timour” meaning iron; Lenh meaning “the lane.” Hence, “Tamer-lane” was a corruption of Timur Lenh by the Europeans who wrote about him. His capital was in Samarkand, and he was quite ambitious. He declared he was going to be ruler of the entire inhabited earth, and he set out to do it. He got a surprising amount of it too. In his 36th year of reign he conquered all the area from the great wall of China to the center of Russia, and southeast of that to the sources of the Ganges river in India, westward to the Mediterranean and the river Nile. That’s quite a large accomplishment for that brief a time. [See note #’s 12A, 12B, & 14 at Lesson #4 and #4B at Lesson #5.]
Like all the Mongols, he was extremely cruel. Historians have said that he caused more misery and killed more people than any one person that ever lived in all history. When he captured a city, he generally massacred most or all the population. He used to chop off heads and pile these heads up into a huge pyramid outside the city walls. When he began invading the Turkish kingdom, they really had trouble on their hands. I’ve mentioned how stupid the Roman emperors were, but some of these Turkish sultans were as bad. Sultan Báyezíd, who led his Turkish army of some hundred and twenty thousand men out in 1402 to meet Tamerlane, and Tamerlane had an army of – well, you can conservatively say a half million men. Some of the ancient historians called it as much as eight hundred thousand, but it’s an exaggeration because the land couldn’t have supported them. It couldn’t have furnished the food and other supplies. But probably it was a half-a-million men. [See note #12 at end of lesson.]
These Turks, remember now, for three centuries had been winning substantially every battle they fought. They were conceited and arrogant. Sultan Báyezíd was very much of a hunter. The way he liked to hunt was to take some of his troops out and have them form a great circle around an area containing game. He would go into the middle of it and his troops would march through this area toward the center, driving the game before him, until finally, as the animals were driven up to where he was, the sultan could shoot them with bow and arrow. So he brought his forces out to where he was on one side of the valley and the Mongol forces were on the other side, a few miles apart. There was a small stream that ran into the valley from the side where the Turks were. With that, to furnish them water he set up his camp there, deposited all his supplies of food and whatever other supplies they had. Then to show his contempt for the Mongols across the way, he led his army out into the hills beyond the valley and spent the better part of the day hunting. Tiring out his men, of course, the way they had to go beat the bushes to drive out the game. When he came back to his camp with his tired out thirsty army, the Mongols had taken his camp and all his food supply. They held the only water supply for his thirsty troops. Worn out, thirsty, hungry, his Turkish army had to give battle to the Mongols, and of course they were practically exterminated by the Mongols.
Well, Tamerlane decided this didn’t offer enough prospects of worthwhile conquest for him. As I say, he’d already carried his forces clear through to the Mediterranean coast, and the sultan down in Egypt having insulted him, he sent forces down there to defeat the Egyptians. When Tamerlane came back to the East, he was going to conquer China. He already had everything north of the great wall and he was going to take the rest of it. Instead, he died in 1405. If it hadn’t been for that, not only all western Asia, but quite possibly Europe as well would have been under the Mongol rule.
In 1442 to 1444 the Serbians, Hungarians, Albanians and Poles got together a considerable army and almost drove the Turks out of Europe, but were finally defeated. The Turkish grip on Europe was complete; that is the Balkan part of Europe. In 1453 the Turks besieged Constantinople. And this was the first large-scale and effective use of heavy artillery to batter down city walls in all history. Constantinople had been practically impregnable with those great high stone walls. Of course, the Greeks and Romans had the ballista, a sort of catapult with which to throw big stones, but those were useless against heavy stone walls like that. You could throw them over the wall, hoping to hit somebody inside the city, but you couldn’t batter down walls. But the Turks had big cannon and they fired these heavy cannon balls which smashed the stone of the walls, till finally they could crumble a wall clear down to the ground.
I brought with me here a little book, Marvels of Prophesy, by Howard Rand, because I want you to see the illustration on the front of it. It is one of these old Turkish cannon. It’s in the form of an animal. It sits on its haunches, head up, four legs on the ground and the mouth of the thing is, of course, the muzzle of the cannon. Now, as you see it here, a tampon, a plug, is inserted in the mouth of it so that rain water won’t collect in the thing and rust it out. But I want you to look at this and see what this thing looks like, and then you’re going to understand some of these things that John was talking about here. “The heads of the horses were as the heads of lions.” You notice that this cannon thing is in the form of what’s recognizably intended to be a lion.
“And out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.” That is sulfur. Well now, black powder was the only explosive they had in those days – common black gun powder. And black gun powder is a mixture of potassium nitrate, powdered charcoal and sulfur. Hence, smoke and brimstone, or sulfur, was spouted out of the mouths of these cannon when they were fired. “By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire and by the smoke and by the brimstone which issued out of their mouths.” The Turks were the first ones, as I say, who learned to make effective use of artillery, and they went in for it in a big scale. They not only had these great heavy siege guns with which to batter down the walls, but they also developed a use of smaller, easily moved field guns which were used in warfare on the battle field.
You see, if you stuff a few pounds of pebbles and cobblestones, and so on, in one of those cannon, and fire it, you get what is in effect a gigantic shotgun. It just sweeps a terrific swath through enemy troops out in front. And the Turks, as I say, being the professional soldiers par excellence, they had learned to do this, and with their cannon, they inflicted quite a number of terrible defeats on the opposing Christian armies. By battering the walls of Constantinople, the siege lasted some seven weeks.
They opened a great breach in the walls through which the Turkish army was able to drive into the city. They tremendously out-numbered the defending forces. The emperor had probably 10 to 12 thousand good, well-trained, professional soldiers. And of course, for the rest, everybody who could handle a sword or a spear was there trying to defend his life, but they were not trained as effective forces. The Turks lost heavily, but they were able to force their way through the breach in the wall and take Constantinople. Hence the last trace of the Roman Empire disappeared with the fall of Constantinople in 1453 A.D. Now, note something about the time: You remember these angels who were bound in the river Euphrates, and we pick up the movement of both of the Turkish forces around the headwaters of the Euphrates. They were prepared for an hour and a day and a month and a year. Well, on the prophetic scale, a year, 360 days, that would be 360 years. A month, 30 days, that would be 30 years. 360 and 30, that’s 390. A day makes it 391. And the hour would be a fraction of a year. Therefore, 391 years was the time that John gave for the duration of the aggressive phase of this Turkish woe. All right. In the year 1062 the Seljuk Turks, the first wave of the Turkish invasion, crossed the Euphrates river, moving westwardly into Syria and Asia Minor. Add 391 years to that and you get 1453, which is the date of the fall of Constantinople and the final extinguishment of the last trace of the Roman Empire. Thus, not only the nature of what was to happen, but the exact duration of it had been prophesied by John, writing somewhere between 94 and 96 A.D.
The Book of Revelation is not easy to understand. It’s all in symbols. If you won’t study the Bible enough to learn what the symbols mean, you can’t make heads nor tails of it. The average bartender knows pretty nearly as much about the Bible as the average preacher. The preacher can spot him about fifty verses, that is all. That’s why you find very few preachers venturing to talk about the Book of Revelation. They say, “Oh, its a sealed book.” But you remember John was told, “Seal not the words of the prophesy of this book for the time is at hand.” But when you dig into this enough to know what its talking about, the inspiration of it becomes unmistakable. This sort of thing simply could not have been written from any source except divine inspiration. [End of Comparet’s Lesson #6.]
CRITICAL NOTES ON LESSON #6
Comments by William Finck initialed W.R.F.
Comments by Clifton A. Emahiser in brackets in lesson text as “your transcriber”
or initialed C.A.E. in critical notes.
Note #1: The stars falling from heaven at Revelation 8:10 and 9:1 do not necessarily represent an immediateW.R.F. “rebellious” or fallen “angel”, but perhaps descendants of one. Jude calls these “wandering stars.”
Note #2: Romans actually had made colonies throughout the empire, and the inhabitants of most Greek cities included a good many Romans. W.R.F.
Note #3: Although they were all considered “Greek”, the many Hellenic wars were, under the surface, simply due to the fact that the different Greek tribes, whose customs and dialects set them apart from the others, constantly contended for hegemony. While by appearance the Greek wars were Sparta vs. Athens, or the oligarchists vs. the democrats, they were truly only Dorians vs. Ionians. Greece was never a “nation”, and the Danaans – although severely reduced in earlier wars – also had a part in such struggles. While each Greek city was sort of an independent nation, usually those cities remained aligned with others of the same tribe, such as Sparta, Corinth and Syracuse. W.R.F.
Note #4: A more correct version of this statement may read: ... after his death, the Greek and Asia Minor, the Syrian, and the Egyptian portions of it each fell to one of his generals. W.R.F.
Note #5: Comparet fails here to recognize Mohammedanism’s hypocrisy. Islam “recognizes” most of the Bible while ignoring the greater parts of what it claims to recognize. Yet the even greater matter is this: who should care about the “religion” which non-Adamites profess? I’d rather it NOT be Christian. I’d rather they didn’t claim to “recognize” the Bible! And it’s no great sin that Mohammedans deny Yahshua Christ – they’re expected to do so! For most Arabs, too, carry the genes of Cain. W.R.F.
Note #6: Although “blood feuds” have existed often even within our own race, any “degree of civilization” brought to the dark races by Mohammedanism is only by compulsion, for they are forced to do certain things at certain times and are under a threat of punishment unless they act in a certain way. The rule of any law would do this, yet Islam offers the Arabs the fulfillment of every lustful desire not in this life, but in the next! W.R.F.
Note #7: Comparet left North Africa in the hands of the Vandals with the fall of Rome. In between that sermon and this, he took no occasion to mention that North Africa, Italy and Spain in part, were recovered by the eastern empire (523-529) during the time of Justinian I, and so back under the auspices of Rome – actually Byzantium – at this time, thus, fulfilling Daniel 7:24-25. Mohammed lived shortly later, 570-632. W.R.F.
Note #8: Comparet’s aside here concerning grasshopper heads seems questionable, at best. John never said that the heads of the locusts were like horse’s heads. John wrote “And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle.” The use of the “locust” metaphor only likens the Arab battle-hordes to a swarm. John is seeing symbols, not realities, although the symbols represent real things! W.R.F.
Note #9: All through the ages writers of various cultures, from the Hebrews to the Greek to our own, have named things or changed names to accommodate their native language and tongue. While I’m not saying that such is right, I would hardly consider it a “satanic perversity”, and I would chide Comparet for calling it such!
“And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar. And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made an heap: and they did eat there upon the heap. And Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed.” (Gen. 31:45-47). Was Jacob wrong for renaming the pillar? Was that a satanically perverse act?
Were the English colonists “satanically perverse” for calling the Deutsche colonists “Dutch”? How many people would recognize Svensk for Sweden, or Helvetii for Swiss? Having heard Turks talk, I can understand how “Ozman” could become “Ottoman” quite easily. Yet Comparet unwittingly makes himself part of the same satanic conspiracy – for he calls Makedonia “Macedon”, Alexandros “Alexander” and Hellenê “Greece”, a Roman word that the Greeks never used. Who should care what the Turks call themselves? W.R.F.
Note #10: The Saxon Kings maintained thegns (or thanes), who served as a “professional” soldiery, many centuries before the Turks were heard of in Europe. The Romans always maintained core legions of professional soldiers who were granted lands and pensions at the ends of their careers. The Greeks also maintained a professional soldiery, and like Rome and the Saxon states, conscription from the general population in times of war. None of this is different from our own history, and even with us, a large professional army as we have now was not a part of the original design of our own government. Comparet is far off the mark here in claiming that the Turks had a standing army “a full century before the first use of a professional standing army appeared in Europe.” W.R.F.
Note #11: Comparet again shows a tendency to support the ideas of organized religions, in making favorable comparisons to “missionary duty.” W.R.F.
Note #12: I do not see the basis for Comparet’s logic that “the land couldn’t have supported” an army of 800,000 men “but it was probably a half a million men.” Why, without other evidence, should we question the historian’s records? The Persian army of Xerxes which invaded Greece was purported to be over 2 million men. including support personal. It is logistics and discipline which support an army in the field, not simply just “the land.” And the land in question – Mesopotamia and Anatolia – supported populations of several millions of people throughout ancient history. W.R.F.