A Great Earthquake

In that Hour, there was a Great Earthquake

The death of Jan Rokycana, and King Prodebrady ended the “time, times and half a time” of the saints in the hands of the beast, and it began “the First Resurrection,” and the reign of the martyrs with Christ, for one thousand years.

The Judgment by the Martyrs

After three and a half days they stood on their feet

In the next phrase, John told us, “after three and a half days they stood on their feet.”

After King George Prodebrady died, he was succeeded by Vladislaus. All the imprisoned members of brethren were set free, public services began, and the new independent church prospered.

And they heard a loud voice, saying, “come up here!” They went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies saw them

John went on to say, “they heard a loud voice, saying, ‘come up here!’ They went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies saw them.”

The “first resurrection” began when the time, times and half a time ended, and the martyrs were called directly to heaven. As described in Revelation 20:6, all those who did not bow down to the beast, and gave their lives for the testimony of Jesus, were immediately resurrected to reign with Him.

The Martyrs on the Thrones

The Martyrs who resurrected, sat on thrones, and became judges of Babylon.

These were the martyrs described in Revelation 20:5.

Those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their foreheads, they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Verse 4, tells us that they sat on thrones, “and judgment was given to them.”

Their blood speaks for the truth, and judges the work of the beast.

A Tenth of the City Fell

John said, “in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the City fell, seven thousand were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.””

This hour is the second “hour” described in the Book of Revelation.

Throughout the Book of Revelation, “the earth” represents the people of the world, and a quake is a war. In Revelation 16:18, the battle of Armageddon is described as a “great earthquake” where a third of mankind died. But, here John is telling us that 1/10 of the Great City died in the Reformation wars that broke out among the Catholics and Protestants.

The “seven thousand” who were killed were saints in the wilderness, who did not worship the beast. This expression comes from 1 Kings 19:18, “I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal.”

The Judgment by the Ten Kings

The testimony of the Two Witnesses brings the judgment of Babylon by the Ten Kings, the Martyrs on thrones, and the Rider on White Horse.

The judgment by the Ten Kings is described in Revelation 17 and 18.

They will Hate the Harlot

In Chapter 17, verse 16, we read that the Ten Kings “will hate the harlot.”

They “made her desolate and naked” – that is, they took away her wealth and splendor, and exposed all of her corruption.

They “eat her flesh,” as described in Revelation 19,“the birds of the air ate the flesh of commanders, and mighty men.” They destroyed her power.

Finally, they “burn her up with fire” as required by the Law, “if a priest’s daughter defiles herself by becoming a prostitute . . . she must be burned with fire” (Leviticus 21:9).

Revelation Chapter 18 describes “the smoke of her burning.” Those who make their living by sea, by selling salvation, watch her burn from a distance.

 the kings of the earth, who committed acts of immorality and lived sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning – woe, woe, the great City Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come . . .

the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, because no one buys her cargo any more — cargos of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet . . . 

John Lothrop Motley, in his Book, The Rise of the Dutch Republic, described the Reformation scene in the Netherlands, saying,

…pictures, statues, organs, ornaments . . . of richest material glittering with pearls, rubies and other precious stones, were scattered in heaps of ruin upon the ground

Come out from her My People

His message gave the Reformers the confidence to leave the Catholic Church which claimed to hold the keys of salvation for every man.

In Revelation 18, verse 4, we hear a voice from heaven saying, “come out from her My people so that you do not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues.”

The Angel of God calls His Sheep out of Mystery Babylon, which He describes as “a dwelling place of demons, and a prison of every unclean spirit, and every hated bird” (Revelation 18:2).

The Mother of Harlots

The rejection of the authority of the Church resulted in many denominations.

These denominations still held onto many of the corrupt doctrines of the Harlot. So Revelation 17 called Mystery Babylon, “the mother of harlots and the abominations of the earth.” 

 So Hosea called them Jezreel, meaning “God scatters.”

So Hosea prophesied further, saying, “Go again, and love a lover, just like the love of the LORD for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans” (Hosea 3:1).

The pagan practices of the Roman Empire were brought into the Church by the Great Harlot of Rome. Christmas and Easter had their origin in Roman pagan festivals, and even the name of Yahweh, came from Jupiter, the chief deity of the Roman Empire. The effects of pagan religion would take centuries to correct.  But the most difficult corruptions would be the image, and mark of the Beast – the Trinity doctrine, and the changing of God’s commandment of the Sabbath Day.

The Wind carried them away

Daniel told that after the feet of iron and clay were struck by the stone, “Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth..” (Dan 2:34)

Daniel made no explanation of this part of the vision, other than to say, “and broke into pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold – the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this…”

The Great Mountain appears after no trace of them is found? This seems to be the image that is presented in his dream.

Was there a single date when the Church and State were separated such that the power of the Beast was no longer supported by the State? At what point was “no trace of them found?”

Limited Freedom in Continental Europe

In the Holy Roman Empire, Lutheranism was officially recognized in the Peace of Augsburg of 1555, (500 years from the east-west split) and Calvinism in the Peace of Westphalia of 1648. Calvinism, which emphasized the doctrine of predestination, became the creed of the Presbyterians in Britain and the Continental Reformed Churches in Continental Europe.

Greater Freedom in Britain

There was somewhat more religious freedom in the British commonwealth. England renounced papal authority when Henry VIII failed to secure an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon in 1534. The Church of England essentially continued the Catholic traditions, and as a result, a number of dissenting groups arose, including the Puritans, Quakers, Baptists and even Sabbath day keeping Baptist Churches.

The Mill Yard Seventh Day Baptist church in London, began in 1617 AD, just one hundred years after Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

Early Quakers spoke in tongues during their meetings. Edward Burrough (1634-1663), wrote, “We spoke with new tongues, as the Lord gave us utterance, and His Spirit led us” 1

But all these denominations were persecuted. The Baptists in continental Europe were held underwater until they drowned, and the seventh day Baptists in England were fined for not keeping Sunday rest. And the Quakers and Shakers were imprisoned. As a result, many went to America to find greater religious freedom.

The United States

Religious freedom in the U.S. resulted in more denominations, including the Seventh Day Adventists, and the Pentecostals, all of whom believed themselves to be the true elect of God, with their own reasons. And most had non-Trinitarian beginnings.  From 1844, Ellen White reported seeing visions in Church services. She believed that those who kept the Sabbath Day  were the end time saints in the book of Revelation, “who kept the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus.”  In her vision of June 27, 1850, she reported the words of an Angel, who said, “The little remnant who love God and keep His commandments and are faithful to the end will enjoy this glory and ever be in the presence of Jesus and sing with the holy angels.”

Besides this, was a Pentecostal kind of tongues experience in the U.S., which was common among the early Mormons, and Shakers, but also reached more “conservative” believers, like the Baptists. In 1896, over 100 people spoke in tongues, in the Shaerer schoolhouse revival. And in 1906, at Azusa Street in California, thousands reported a spiritual gift of speaking in other tongues.

  1. The Great Mystery of the Great Whore Unfolded; and Antichrist’s Kingdom Revealed, Edward Burrough, Preface