The Seven Vials
The Book of Revelation is a book of symbols. It is about
the Rise, Reign, Decline and Fall of the Man of Sin or the Papal System, called in
Revelation Mystery Babylon, the mother of harlots and abomination of the earth.
Most of the symbols are taken from the Old Testament, and clearly explained there, or in
the book itself. Babylon's decline and fall began with the 7 vials and closely
parallel the 10 plaques on Egypt that finally persuaded Pharaoh to let the people go to
the promised land. A vial is a cup and everywhere in Scripture it is used to
represent judgment or vengeance:
Almost all commentators agree that this is a description of the French Revolution. The year was 1789, and France was in a terrible predicament. After the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, and the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, most of the best and brightest people were killed or driven into exile. The salt of the earth was gone . . . corruption was the inevitable result. . . . The government was bankrupt, taxation was exorbitant and the common people were starving. Instead of the true Gospel, a tirade of infidelity and atheistic propaganda came from the pens of men like Montesquieu, Voltaire and Rousseau: "From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores" (Isaiah 1:6).
France now became a sea. . . a sea of blood! The Guillotine was set up, and the Reign of Terror commenced. The Guillotine was kept busy day and night in all parts of France. Churches were destroyed, atheism was proclaimed the State religion. 24.000 priests were murdered. It was the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre in reverse. The persecutors were now the persecuted. . . . In Paris, the Guillotine was set up on the exact spot where Huguenots were once burned alive for the amusement of the king! The King and his Austrian wife Queen Marie Antoinette ended their lives on the Guillotine.
The Rise of Napoleon. The newly proclaimed French Republic was threatened on all sides by enemies. Napoleon proclaimed himself Emperor and went on a career of conquest the like of which the world had never seen. All the countries of Europe were affected by the Napoleonic wars. On the invasion of Italy by the French Revolutionists, the government of the Pope was overthrown. General Berthier marched on Rome, set up a Roman Republic, and laid hands on the Pope. The Sovereign Pontiff was borne away to the camp of the infidels . . . from prison to prison, and finally carried captive into France. In 1809, Napoleon declared the Pope's temporal dominions at an end. The Papal States were annexed to the French Empire. Napoleon's career of conquest was finally ended at Waterloo. 2 million people perished during this Revolution stage. The literal sea did become blood at this time with several great naval battles: The Nile in 1798, Copenhagen in 1801, and Trafalgar in 1805!
The Fourth Vial
The next great cataclysm was the Revolution of 1848. After the defeat of Napoleon, reaction set in. The deposed kings returned to their thrones and the Pope returned to Rome. Austrian Prince Metternich was the most reactionary leader at this time - he ruled Europe with an iron fist. He set up the Council of Vienna, which restored the Papal States to the Pope, and made plans for the partition of the United States. . . . Suddenly - and without warning - Revolution broke out throughout most of the countries of Europe. It began in Paris on Feb. 23, and soon calls for Constitutional Government were heard everywhere. This request for basic human rights was violently suppressed however, and a host of the Liberals had to flee to safety in America!
The Fifth Vial
Fall of the Papal States. The year was 1870 . . . a milestone in world history. The Pope had just declared himself infallible when war broke out between France and Prussia. With the rapid Prussian victories, the French bayonets protecting the Pope's temporal dominions were withdrawn, and Italy was finally united and free. This ushered in the prophetic 120 year period. With the Papacy preoccupied with recovering the lost States, and fighting Communism, the world began an unprecedented era of liberty.
We believe that this Vial begins with the fall of Communism. The River Euphrates was always the traditional barrier between East and West. For the past 50 years the slogan was: The East is Red - few expected any changes in their lifetime. The collapse came as suddenly as the Revolution of 1848.
This is the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The resurrection of all the dead. The Day of Judgment etc., etc.
The Seven Vials in summary.
We are greatly indebted to the 19th century historian Dr. J. A. Wylie, LL.D., for the information on history and fulfilled prophecy. Dr. Wylie's book on the 7 vials was entitled: The Seventh Vial and was published in the year 1840.