Newsletter 130 Winter 2019

As I write this edition of Trumpet Sounds, I have just returned from 10 days in Jerusalem. My wife and I were visiting our daughter who teaches at the Anglican (CMJ) International School in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem today is much like it must have been when our Lord lived and went up to it for the festivals. The present city has been entirely rebuilt several times since Jesus was on earth and it is further to the north. But as in His day it is full of merchants, traders, visitors, soldiers and the very religious. How many were aware back then that the pivotal event of all human history was taking place in their midst?

There would have been much gossip about a man who the leaders of the nation had sentenced to death. Who was he? Some claimed he was a prophet or even the Messiah. Then there were reports of strange occurrences with this man’s disciples. For most people life went on and continued to go on as if nothing significant had happened.

I do not know the day or hour of Jesus’ return. I do know within a few hundred yards the place to which He will come. In Jerusalem it is possible to look across to the Mount of Olives and reflect that soon, very soon, the next great pivotal event of all history will occur. Jesus Christ will return and place his feet on that mountain which will be split by an earthquake. He will come with His angels and the armies of heaven to rescue His chosen people. From that day on, the whole earth will be ruled by our Saviour. The seat of government for all the world will be Jerusalem.

Even in January Jerusalem is overflowing with visitors. The traders are hard at work seeking to lure you into their shops. The army is ever present, vigilant in case of trouble. The Western Wall is thronged with worshippers on Shabbat. There is bustle and activity. How many are aware that world events are pointing to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ? The restoration of Israel is in itself powerful evidence that the promised summer of our Lord’s reign is drawing near.

From the time that I took over Trumpet Sounds from my father, I have felt that the word which defines the purpose of the newsletter is ‘Watch’. This word summarises Jesus’ teaching on the events leading up to his return. To watch is to be ready. My first booklet which had the title ‘Watch’, is a reflection on what it means to ‘Watch’. I believe that the Lord has used it with several thousand copies circulated. It is still available from Trumpet Sounds.

The world goes about its business. The return of Christ will take it by surprise. “But you are not in darkness so that this day should over take you like a thief.”  Thessalonians 5: 4. That day will not overtake us like a thief if we are watching and ready. The world and even much of the church is unaware of the momentous times in which we live, but those who ‘watch’ recognise the signs.

Jesus said, “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Matthew 24: 44. That statement tells me not to be dogmatic about the timing of His return. At what point in time Jesus comes is for the Father alone to decide. We are to prepare for a time of persecution and suffering while always living in the blessed hope of His appearing. Keep watching, keep serving so that when He returns we may be counted among the good and faithful servants.

In this edition

An overview of the End of the Age

Christ the Sovereign

The growing threat of war


Keywords in defining true Ekkeslia


An Overview of the End of the Age

When designing a building, it is necessary to start by thinking in the abstract. The Architect looks at the various functions the building has to house and determine how they relate to each other. He then takes this abstract diagram of functions and decide how it will have to be modified to suit the site on which the building will be constructed. Only after this process is complete can the design progress into ideas for the structure. A building design progresses from a broad abstract concept through evermore detailed stages. However for the building to fulfil its purpose the initial conceptual relationship of functions must be kept in mind and not lost in the detail.

Often when I read or listen to teaching on prophecy, it appears that the teacher has become absorbed in the detail and lost sight of the broad outline. We need to keep in mind the Biblical overview in order to understand the time in which we live.

The most straight forward overview of the events leading up to the return of Christ is found in Revelation 14: 6 – 20. This section opens with three warnings that the time of vengeance is drawing near. The first warning is the gospel preached to all who dwell on the earth. The second warning is the fall of Babylon. The final warning is the reign of the beast. The warnings are followed by two harvests.

The Everlasting Gospel

An angel is seen flying in heaven with the everlasting gospel to be preached to all who dwell on the earth. The gospel having been preached, God is looking for a response. The hour of His judgment has come. The angel calls on people everywhere to, “Fear God and give the glory to Him” and to “worship Him who made the heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”

Jesus said, “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations and then the end will come.” Matthew 24: 14. Before judgment can come the followers of Christ must complete the commission to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

We live in an age when men have rejected the idea of a creator. According to scientific mythology existence is due to a random process guided by what is called natural selection. If we are the product of natural processes there is no God. Therefore there is no need to either fear God or give Him glory.

The first warning that we are on the brink of judgement is the gospel, having been preached in all the earth, will be rejected. The rulers of this world will be entrenched in their opposition to Christ and refuse to honour Him. In the end they will gather to fight against Him when He returns.

The fall of Babylon

The second warning of coming judgement is the fall of Babylon. The identity and fall of Babylon is dealt with in more detail in Revelation chapters 17 & 18. Here it is sufficient to say that Babylon is what men call civilisation. God calls it the kingdom of this world.

At the close of this age the kingdom of this world will experience sudden collapse. In one hour her great riches will come to nothing. She will be made desolate by those who hate her. 

The total collapse of the world’s economic strength, destroying its self-reliance, is a warning from God of the emptiness of all that man aspires to. The angel proclaims that Babylon’s fall is God’s judgment. It is also a sign that the time is drawing close when God will pour out His wrath.

Some would rightly see that the seeds of this downfall are found in the nations rejecting godly laws and values. In the western world we are witnessing a promoting of anti-God values which will inevitably lead to our destruction.

Gloria Greenfield recently released a DVD with the title ‘The Fight of our Lives’. In it she assembled a number of well know speakers, Christian and secular, who warn that civilisations can suddenly fall apart. Western civilisation is in great danger of collapse due to threats both internal and external.

The Bible foresees that collapse. It will be helped on its way by ten nations which hate the West. While outwardly pretending friendship their hearts are bent on evil. They will seek to replace Western democracy with the absolute rule of their leader and the worship of their god.

The final warning

The fall of Babylon will lead into the time of terrible destruction through war that is described in Revelation chapter 9. In desperation men will cry out for a deliverer. But instead of turning to God they will accept Satan’s man.

The kingdom of the beast is the final warning to humanity that the time of God’s favour is coming to an end. His vengeance is soon to be poured out.

If people choose the rule of Satan instead of God there is no longer any mercy. By receiving Satan’s mark they have sided with the enemy of God and will be treated as His enemies. Those who worship the beast and his image will be tormented and have no rest day or night.

The Harvest

The rejection of the gospel, the fall of the kingdom of this world and the reign of the beast provide us with a broad outline of events leading up to the return of Christ. These things will happen. Within this broad outline the Bible adds much detail. There are also many questions which the Bible doesn’t answer.

The unanswered questions provide us with opportunities for prayer. Prayer can change the detail of the fulfilment. Even the extent to which our own nation is drawn into the empire of the beast will, I believe, be influenced by prayer.   

The statement that the gospel will be preached and rejected needs to be qualified. When Jesus came to Israel the leaders of the nation rejected Him. Through that rejection they brought down the judgment which fell on the nation in 70 AD. But the ordinary people did not reject Jesus. Many thousands of Jews became members of the early church.

In the same way the rejection of the gospel by the leaders of the nations, which will lead to judgment, does not rule out a harvest in these last days. The nations will be shaken and much which we take for granted will no longer be there. As Jesus said “men’s hearts will fail them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” Luke 21: 26. But those who know their God will have one thing for which the world will cry out. It can be expressed in one word ‘hope’.

The End Time witnesses

The people Jesus will be able to use, in the days which lie ahead, are those who understand the times. Because they know and believe the Bible they will not be surprised by the things that come to pass. Their faith and confidence will be in Jesus Christ.

Regrettably most in the churches are unaware of the times in which we live. Often they have been taught false doctrine regarding the bringing in of the kingdom. Their ignorance will lay them open to deception.

Christ the Sovereign

The Bible is a prophetic book. Nearly one in three verses looks forward to events which were still future at the time of writing. Predictive prophecy is the seal on the Bible’s inspiration. It lifts scripture from being the words of man to the assurance that we are studying the word of God.

Biblical prophecy is not the outcome of the Lord’s greater intelligence which enables Him to make more accurate predictions of future events than us. Nor is it the result of His foreknowledge which enables Him to reveal the future. The Lord states in Isaiah, “And new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.” Isaiah 42: 9. Our God speaks the future into existence. He both determines and declares what will happen.

Our God is Sovereign and yet at times He can seem far distant. It is as if He has turned His back on the world. In our studies of twelve revelations of Jesus Christ from the book of Revelation we come to a section where we might well ask, where is Christ in all of this?

The last study looked at the scroll and its seals. As the seals are opened a conflict is revealed. It is the struggle between two kingdoms. The kingdom of this world, intent on conquest, and the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of the world brings war, famine and death. The martyrs, who represent the kingdom of God, are told to be patient during this time.

The Trumpets

This revelation of Jesus Christ looks at a large section of Revelation from chapter 8 verse 2 through to chapter 11 verse 18. The vision moves on from the conflict on earth into the spiritual realm. Looking ahead to chapter 12 we read that there is conflict in heaven. Satan is defeated and thrown down to earth. I believe that in this section the sounding of trumpets declare preceding victories in heaven. As a result demonic forces are cast down to the earth to wreak their havoc here.   

With the first four trumpets it is the environment which suffers. First trees and grasslands are destroyed. Then the seas are polluted so that the fish die and ships are sunk. Water sources become undrinkable and sunlight is reduced.

Over thirty years ago when my father started Trumpet Sounds it was in the belief that these trumpets were already sounding. The twentieth century saw destruction of trees and grass lands on a vast scale. The seas became polluted harming the fish and in two world wars a vast tonnage of shipping was lost. Water sources have become contaminated and even the amount of daylight reaching the surface of the earth reduced. In some places over thirty percent daylight reduction has been recorded.

The woes

The final trumpets announce three woes. Demons are released to torment men causing them to seek death. In the second wave of demonic attack evil angels are released to stir men up to war. John who receives this vision is staggered by the numbers involved. He emphasises that he heard the number which is two hundred million. This was in a day when the population of the entire Roman Empire was about seventy million. The result of this war is the death of one third of mankind. God allows this to happen to cause people to repent, but they refuse [Revelation 9: 21]

The mighty angel

Chapter 10 introduces us to a mighty angel. Who is he? Is this a picture of Christ or another holy angel sent to bring further revelation to John? Personally I don’t think that he is either of these. Although this angel is magnificent in appearance he is not Christ. Following His incarnation Jesus is never referred to as an angel. In the introduction to the book, John recognises one like the Son of Man. The fact that John does not recognise this angel as ‘The Son of Man’ excludes this being a vision of Jesus.

 An alternative is that this is Michael the Archangel, his name means ‘who is like God’. Therefore to have a likeness to God is not unexpected. In Daniel 12: 1, Michael stands up to defend Israel in their time of trouble. In Revelation Michael is the one who leads the fight against Satan.

The great deception

However I don’t believe that this angel is Michael. The flow of the prophecy points to another angel. This one is the great deceiver intent on making the world believe that Jesus Christ has returned. In chapter 9 the angel of the bottomless pit is released. By chapter 11 the beast is active in the world. The beast, which ascends out of the bottomless pit, makes war against the two witnesses and kills them. Between these two events the beast has arrived on earth.

Chapter 10 describes the coming of the beast. It is Satan’s great deception. “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they may be saved.” 2 Thessalonians 2: 9, 10. How powerful is Satan? I don’t know. But I believe that He will be able to put on a pretty good show. In the revealing of the man of sin every aspect of the return of Christ will, as far as Satan is able, be counterfeited. There will be signs and lying wonders designed to shake the faith of Christians. Remember the primary purpose of this deception is to fool Christians. The rest of the world has been deceived already.

If this interpretation is correct, it emphasizes the enormity of the deception that Satan plans to perpetrate on this world by displaying his proxy as Christ. The angel’s arrival follows the catastrophic war. He comes as the peace maker the world longs for and will claim to be the Messiah who can solve all the problems of the world.

Although this is a series about revelations of Jesus Christ in the book of Revelation, we need to pause and ponder this. This imitation Christ will bring great confusion to many Christians. Especially to those who have a sketchy knowledge of prophecy. According to their limited understanding, prophecy will appear to be fulfilled by this man of sin. Yet, for those who know their Bibles, there will be things, which do not ring true.  One great distinction between the coming of Christ and the appearing of the Antichrist is that the Antichrist will be welcomed by the World while the coming of Jesus will fill people with terror.

Does this angel speak the truth?

The angel declares that when the seventh angel is about to sound, the mystery of God will be finished. Is that true? It is the seventh trumpet which announces the establishment of the kingdom of God [Revelation 11: 15]. Satan seeks to pre-empt this by declaring that the kingdom has come. Having been cast out of heaven, Satan knows that he has only a short time left [Revelation 12: 12]. This vision describes Satan’s strategy for blocking the completion of God’s work. With only a little time left, he offers the world his own Christ. In his blasphemy he will pretend that it is all in accordance with prophecy. The ignorant will be taken in.

In this interpretation the voice from heaven, not the angel, tells John to take the scroll? John having tasted the scroll understands the bitter outcome of Satan’s rule. He is commanded to warn the world of the consequence of accepting Satan’s reign. The prophecies which follow contain that warning.

Where is Jesus?

In the midst of all this conflict and deception we may ask, where is Christ in this? In Revelation 9: 1 the fallen star is Satan. The verse goes on, “To him was given the key to the bottomless pit.” Who holds the key to the pit? According to Revelation 1:18 Jesus has those keys. Jesus is sovereign. The demonic powers held in the pit can only be released when Jesus decides that the time has come.

I prefer an alternative translation of 2 Thessalonians 2: 6, 7 which reads as follows; “And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, only He who now restrains will do so until out of the midst he comes.” Instead of the restrainer being taken out of the way it speaks of one who is restraining until the time comes for the man of sin to be revealed. It is Jesus Christ who restrains. In all the turbulence of these time Jesus is revealed as being in control. Satan, even in his bid to rule the world, is restrained by Christ.

The growing threat of war

In the preceding article ‘An Overview of the End of the Age’ I wrote that the establishment of the beast kingdom, follows a great war. This understanding is based on Revelation 9: 13 – 21. Four angels are released to kill one third of mankind. They have been prepared for this hour, day, month and year. The war is a warning punishment, prepared by God for a specific purpose and time, already known by Him. People will be killed by the fire, fumes and sulphur which comes out of the mouths of the horses. The purpose of this warning is to call on mankind to repent.

With the creation of the Atom and Hydrogen bombs mankind had, for the first time in history, the power to destroy himself and this planet. Throughout the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s the threat of a global war was always in the background. Then came the fall of the Iron Curtain. For a time the threat receded. The Soviet Bloc military was allowed to decay to the point where it was no longer a threat.

Russia’s new confidence

In the new millennium that has changed. As reported in previous editions of Trumpet Sounds, under Putin, Russia has developed a new arsenal of sophisticated weapons. In submarine and missile technology they are ahead of the West. With this new found strength Russia has gained the confidence to challenge the West. She has annexed parts of Georgia and the Ukraine with impunity and is now an established power in the Middle East. But Russia is not the main cause for alarm. She is not a wealthy country.  President Putin’s great skill is playing a weak hand strongly. Many believe that the role he has let Russia in for in Syria will drain resources away from other attempts by Putin to extend Russian power.

The continuing rise of China

In the past Trumpet Sounds has commented on the rapid expansion of the Chinese navy. China now has nearly twice as many surface ships as the USA with a similar number of submarines. They now have the capability to launch missiles with nuclear warheads from their submarines. Recently photos were released of a Chinese warship equipped with an electromagnetic rail gun. This places her well ahead of the US and Russia in developing this technology. A conventional gun uses explosive or propellant to launch the shell. A rail gun uses electromagnetism to propel the shell at hypersonic speed. It gives the gun a claimed range of 125 miles. Comments from the Chinese military hierarchy indicate that they believe that they are more than ready to take on the US navy. 


A recent article, published by the Gatestone Institute, described how China does not see the world as we do. Since the Treaty of Westphalia 1648 we have viewed the world as divided into sovereign states. One state is not supposed to interfere with the internal affairs of another.

For the Chinese emperors, China was not a state defined by borders. They believed that they had ‘The Mandate of Heaven’ over tianxia or all under heaven. China believed in a borderless world centred in Beijing. From comments made by Chairman Xi, since coming to power, it is clear that his view of the world is more in line with the former emperors, than Western theories of international relations. In his New Year message 2017 he said that, “The Chinese have always held that the world is united and that all under heaven are one family”. 

It is said that Xi Jinping does not want to live under the Westphalia system. He wants to replace the present global chaos with tianxia orderliness. Chinese power and influence is now worldwide. She is a driving force behind development in the Third World. Even in Britain we have looked for Chinese investment and expertise to construct the next series of nuclear power stations. This fits within the Chinese strategic aim to become the world leader in nuclear power. Chairman Xi plans to displace the US and make China the dominant global economic and military power. 

Chinese Expansion

In recent months, senior Chinese military officers and diplomats have been making bellicose remarks with regard to Taiwan. They have seen that despite firm commitments to defend the nations in South East Asia the US has done nothing to halt Chinese expansion. In 2012 nothing was done when the Chinese took over the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. When no action was taken the Chinese took over other Philippine reefs and islands. They then turned their attention to Japanese Islands in the East China Sea. Now they are reclaiming and militarising the Spratly Islands chain. Every time the US fails to act, China is emboldened in its actions.

China now has advanced Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles capable of reaching most of the United States. They believe with this capability, the US will be deterred from interfering with its activities in the China Sea.

General Li Zuocheng, a member of the Communist Party’s Central Military Commission, warned the US that the People’s Liberation Army would bear any cost to prevent foreign interference in Taiwan matters. Under Tianxia, Taiwan is seen as part of mainland China and needs to be brought back into the fold. Is Taiwan going to be the flashpoint which brings about the next global war? By careful diplomacy and a show of strength by the USA it can hopefully be avoided.

Demonic Angels

The Bible reveals that it is demonic forces which will stir the world to war. The demons are released at God’s command from the river Euphrates. They have been prepared by God for a specific time determined by Him. The angels being released from the Euphrates points to the Middle East being the place where the war will be triggered. China and the US have conflicting interests in the Middle East. After President Trump re-imposed Sanctions on Iran, China has stepped in with investment and the purchase of Iranian oil. In September 2018 Iran’s PressTV reported on a meeting of the Chinese and Iranian Defence Ministers. They spoke of their common interests and cordial relations leading to closer defence partnership. Once again the world has become a very dangerous place.


Is war between Iran and Israel inevitable? It has been said of Iran that it is run by a bunch of Islamic fundamentalists who believe that it is their religious duty to wipe Israel off the map. This is the first thing they think about when they wake and are still thinking about it when they go to sleep. They have a passionate hatred for Israel.

Senior Iranian Military personnel have repeatedly confirmed that it is their intention to wipe Israel off the map and that their forces are ready and impatient to confront the Zionist regime and eliminate it from the earth. 

Israel as a defensive measure continues to strike at Iranian positions in Syria. The primary objective is to prevent advanced weapons being transferred to Hezbollah. On Sunday 20th January in response to an Israeli raid the Iranians launched a missile into Israel. Yisrael Katz, Israel’s Minister of Intelligence, said after the attack that Israel is now in “an open confrontation with Iran. When we need to step it up, we’ll step it up.” He added that Israel could not allow Iran’s continuing entrenchment in Syria.

However there is no likelihood of the Iranians withdrawing. Therefore Israel will continue to strike Iranian positions. Syria and Iran look ready to make a military response to every Israeli attack.

The United States is committed to defend Israel. As noted above, China has formed a close alliance with Iran. A war between these two nations could quickly draw in the Worlds two super powers.

We continue to pray, remembering that it is the Lord who watches over Israel.

Key words in defining a true Ekklesia

In the last edition of Trumpet Sounds I gave four words against which to test whether our gathering was a true ekklesia. The words were love, discipleship, body and witness. The first and most important of these is Love

Love is not an option it is a command.

We are very familiar, perhaps too familiar, with Jesus’ words, “A new commandment I give to you that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you love one another.” John 13: 34. The old commandment was to love our neighbour as our self. Jesus lifts this on to a higher plane of expectation for His disciples. He commands us to love one another as He loves us. The depth of His love is expressed in the words, “that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5: 8.

To the Ephesian congregation Jesus sent this message, “I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” Revelation 2: 4. It was coupled with a warning that if they did not repent He would remove their lampstand from its place. In other words He would replace them with another congregation. We immediately think that they had lost their love for Christ. But could it also be that they had lost their love for one another.

Who are we to love?

The next verse in John’s gospel answers this question, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” John 13: 35. In the world we are to love our neighbour as our self. In the congregation of believers, we are to love as Christ loves us. This, when perfected, is a powerful witness to the truth of the gospel. It explains why, having lost this love, the Ephesian church would have its candlestick removed. Without love it was no longer a witness to the truth.

Did Jesus ask of us something which could never be achieved?

Paul wrote to the Colossians encouraging them to put on love. Before that he defined what that love entailed. “Therefore as elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing one another and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so must you do.” Colossians 3: 12 – 13.   

We are not to expect the congregation to be a slice of heaven’s perfection transported to earth. We are at present imperfect human beings. Each of us is a work in progress. Love is expressed in the way in which we deal with difficulties and tensions between members. We have all said foolish things at times or unwittingly acted in a way which has upset another. Do we have the grace to forgive and show love toward one another? 


At the time of writing it is impossible to ignore Brexit. I believe that it is the Lord’s will for the UK to break its ties with the European Union. I believe that the Lord will in some way use this country to be a light in the darkness once we have been set free. I do not believe that leaving the European Union will be the gateway to greater prosperity, probably the reverse. Nor will it solve the many ills which beset our nation. When Babylon falls it will affect the United Kingdom as well as all the other developed Western nations. Our wealth will evaporate overnight. Much of it is false prosperity built on unsustainable debt.

It is an act of undeserved mercy by our God that He is taking our nation out, before the EU implodes and descends into chaos and conflict. Being set free from the trauma which will soon engulf the continent will not protect us from the consequences of our national sins. To solve our problems politicians will propose more of the disastrous laws which have reduced us to this state. In time the money needed to maintain the transport and service infrastructure, which we take for granted, will run out. There will be shortages of commodities, including food.  There will be increased poverty both inside and outside the church. There will be civil unrest in our streets.

For many years I have believed that this shaking when it comes will be an opportunity, if the body of Christ is prepared. I will stress again that as Christians, who believe in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we know that He is sovereign. In the chaos we, who know our God, will have hope. Three essential elements of our faith, are faith, hope and love. Our faith in Christ is the foundation of our hope. Our hope is the message which the world needs to hear. May we have that love which moves us to compassion for those who are suffering in the days ahead.