[In light of current events in Turkey and Syria as well as the dispute between China, Japan and the USA over territorial waters, this prophetic outline by A.T. Jones in 1901 provides an informative context that I believe has relevance to current events. This is Chapter 10 (pages 85-104) from the book The Great Nations of Today by A.T. Jones]
10. THE EASTERN QUESTION -- THE SOUNDING OF THE SEVENTH TRUMPET -- THE THIRD WOE.
THE Seventh Trumpet was to sound, the Third Woe was to come "quickly" after the close of the sounding of the Sixth Trumpet; and the Sixth Trumpet closed Aug. 11, 1840.
Note especially that expression as to the coming of the Third Woe -- it "cometh quickly" after the end of the sounding of the Sixth Trumpet. It did not come immediately upon the expiration of the Sixth, as the Sixth came immediately on the expiration of the Fifth: there was a little space between the expiration of the Sixth Trumpet and the beginning of the Seventh; which space is announced, and its shortness signified, by that word "quickly." And, in this short space between the Sixth and Seventh Trumpets, that mighty angel of Revelation 10 came in with his message, which was to sound over sea and land.
That this is the place of that angel, is made certain by the fact that he refers to the beginning of the Trumpet of the Seventh Angel, as future. For that angel which stood "upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things  that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: but in the days of the voice of the Seventh Angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets." Rev. 10:5-7.
And when that Seventh Angel sounds, and the mystery of God shall be finished, the kingdoms of this world "become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ." For it is written: --
"And the Seventh Angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshiped God, saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail." Rev. 11:15-19.
Note that first of all, at the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet, the prophet's attention is turned first to heaven, and next to the earth: and note that first of all  in heaven he hears "great voices" announcing the coming kingdom and reign of the Lord in His great power; and that when his attention is turned to the earth the first of all the things mentioned is: "The nations were angry." And it is the sober truth of modern history that from a little time -- "quickly" -- after 1840 until the present hour, the temper and attitude of the nations have been such that they exactly correspond to the expression, "The nations were angry." During all the time that has passed since that date, it has been true that the rulers of the great nations have had to be constantly on the alert to avoid a general war. And the Turkish power -- that power which is the last, remains in its descent, of what was at first the Eastern Empire of Rome: that government for which, Aug. 11, 1840, the great Powers of Europe became responsible -- that is the pivot upon which, during all these years, has turned the peace of the world. In the preceding chapter we gave the authoritative statements that, except for the great Powers of Europe, the Turkish power would have vanished long ago.
But the main importance of this important truth lies not simply in the fact that Turkey has all this time been kept in existence by these great Powers; but in that this has been done for a definite purpose. As acknowledged by those Powers themselves, the Turkish government has been thus maintained by the Powers, expressly to avoid a universal war. This was stated by  the British Premier, Lord Salisbury, Nov. 5, 1895, in a speech to the world that was listening to know what would be said on the then burning Turkish-Armenian question. Speaking for the great Powers, he said: --
"Turkey is in that remarkable condition that it has now stood for half a century, mainly because the great Powers of the world have resolved that for the peace of Christendom it is necessary that the Ottoman Empire should stand. They came to that conclusion nearly half a century ago. I do not think they have altered it now. The danger, if the Ottoman Empire should fall, would not merely be the danger that would threaten the territories of which that empire consists; it would be the danger that the fire there lit should spread to other nations, and should involve all that is most powerful and civilized in Europe in a dangerous and calamitous contest. That was a danger that was present to the minds of our fathers when they resolved to make the integrity and independence of the Ottoman Empire a matter of European treaty, and that is a danger WHICH HAS NOT PASSED AWAY."
But what must be the real spirit of these great Powers, when, for more than half a century, the can thus agree in holding in existence the Turkish power, to keep themselves from fighting, when they can not agree not to fight? Why can they not agree not to fight among themselves, as easily as they can agree to keep this Power there as a preventive against their fighting among themselves? What could possibly more aptly express the true condition of things among these Powers than that sentence, "The nations were angry?"
This situation clearly reveals that these Powers are  subject to a spirit which, when once loosed, will carry them utterly beyond themselves; and that they themselves recognize that this is so. And recognizing that this is the truth of the situation, all that they pretend to be able to do, is, by maintaining the Turkish power as long as possible, to restrain as long as possible this unruly spirit, which, when once let loose, must sweep them all away from themselves, into that dreaded and terrible vortex, involving "all that is most powerful and civilized in Europe in a dangerous and calamitous contest."
And who are these "great Powers of the world" that are thus inextricably involved, and that have thus "resolved?" -- They are the great Powers of Europe, the principal ones of which were brought upon the scene by the expiration of the sounding of the Sixth Trumpet, Aug. 11, 1840: the Powers that then became responsible for Turkey, and thus became vitally connected with the original Eastern Question. They were at first Russia, Prussia, Austria, and Britain.
Before that time, Russia had more than once appeared in the history of the Eastern Empire of Rome. Beginning in A. D. 865, "In a period of one hundred and ninety years, the Russians made four attempts to plunder the treasures of Constantinople." These expeditions were all naval: A. D. 865, A. D. 904, A.D. 941, and A. D. 1043. "The memory of these Arctic fleets that seemed to descend from the polar circle, left a deep  impression of terror on the Imperial city. By the vulgar of every rank it was asserted and believed that an equestrian statue in the square of Taurus was secretly inscribed with a prophecy how the Russians, in the last days, should become masters of Constantinople.1 Perhaps the present generation may yet behold the accomplishment of the prediction, of a rare prediction, of which the style is unambiguous and the date unquestionable." -- "Decline and Fall," Chap. LV, par. 12, 13.
But it is not only in that prophecy that Russia has a place respecting the last days: she has a place also in the prophecies of the Word of God. In Ezekiel, chapters thirty-eight and thirty-nine, there is described a great power which "in the latter days" would be predominant in "the north quarters" of Asia. The first verses of each chapter speak of "Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal." For instance, "Son of man, set thy face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophecy against him" Eze. 38:2. R. V.
Meshech was one of the grandsons of Noah, who passed from the country of the Euphrates up through Mesopotamia into what is now Russia, and became the progenitor of the people who settled in the place and built the city which is now called Moscow -- the Muscovites -- "and who still give name to Russia throughout the East."  Magog was another of the grandsons of Noah who peopled all of the north of Asia -- the land anciently called Scythia, but now Siberia.
Tubal is another of the grandsons of Noah, who settled in that region of northern Asia which still bears from him the name Tobolsk.
Now, by the word in Ezekiel, the chief of all these is the "prince of Rosh;" and the word "Rosh" is the root-word of the word Russians -- Roshians -- and thus of Russia, the country of the Russians. The further account of this power, in Ezekiel, speaks definitely of it and of its place "in the latter years," and in "the latter days." Eze. 38:8, 16. In the same connection there is mentioned (Eze. 39:17, 18) the great feast of the fowls of heaven described in Rev. 19:17, 18, which occurs at the coming of the Lord and the end of the world. The Six Plagues of Revelation 16 are referred to in Eze. 39:2, margin; and the Seventh Plague of Rev. 16:18-21 is referred to in connection with the prince of Rosh, in Eze. 38:19, 22.
Throughout Ezekiel 38 and 39 this power of Rosh, Magog, Meshech, and Tubal, is spoken of as dwelling in "the north parts," and this prince of Rosh is spoken of as coming from his "place out of the north parts." And, merely by looking at a map, it is easy for anyone to see that Russia does occupy the north parts of the greater portion of the whole Eastern world. Thus, whether or not there were any inscription upon that  equestrian statue in Constantinople, suggesting that in the last days the Russians should become masters of Constantinople, it was perfectly easy for all to know by these scriptures the place that would be occupied in the world by Russia in the last days; and, from that, to gather even then the suggestion of that which is now expected by the whole world -- that "the Russians in the last days should becomemasters of Constantinople."
Since 1840 Austria has fallen to the grade of a second-or third-rate power; but France stands fully in her place as one of the great Powers controlling in the affairs of Turkey, though Austria is still involved in the question. France indeed became connected with that Eastern Question in 1798, when Napoleon made his ambitious expedition to Egypt and the East, to take Constantinople, and "change the face of the world;" so that she must be counted with the others.
Since 1840 Prussia has formed a combination that includes all Germany, with herself as the head, and her king as the German Emperor; and so still stands as one of the first Powers of the world.
Thus, with the exception of Austria, the Powers involved in the original Eastern Question are the chief of the great nations of today -- Russia, Britain, Germany, France. And, three of these -- Britain, Germany, France -- involved in the Eastern Question which is the resultant of the fall of Eastern Rome, are the three strongest Powers of the nations of the West, that  were the resultant of the fall of Western Rome . Stated in another way, these three great Powers -- Britain, Germany, France -- involved in the Eastern Question which is the resultant of the Fifth and Sixth of the Seven Trumpets, are the three greatest Powers among those that were planted in the territory of Western Rome, which was ruined by the events of the first four of the Seven Trumpets.
Here there comes in another important thought: Why is it that these Powers are so certain that, if the Turkish Power should be left fall, they will fight amongst themselves? why is it that they will spend all their united time day and night, for more than half a century, to keep that Power from falling? -- Here is the answer: When the Turkish Power shall fall, there will be most valuable territory to be possessed by some Power. The London Economist has lately said that that territory "might and ought to be one of the most flourishing regions on the face of the earth." And since each one of these Powers is determined to have all that it can grasp of these territories, it is simply impossible for them to agree upon a division. And, therefore, they know that there must inevitably be a war among them all, as surely as the Turkish Power shall be allowed to fall.
This is the universally recognized condition of things. And these Powers dread the inevitable war that must come, over the division of the territory involved.  Therefore, they hold the Turkish government in life, to ward off this time of division, which must bring war; and, at the same time, each power works every possible scheme, to the very verge of war, to increase its power and its holdings in the East, so that, when the inevitable moment, which must come, shall have come, itself shall have the largest possible basis upon which to urge its claims, in the actual
and final division of the spoil.
This, in its turn, has caused each of these great Powers to spread its power over as much as possible of the whole East, until now, in this present hour of our own day, these Powers, in their grasping of power and influence in the East, have so far absorbed the whole that they all meet face to fact in the extreme East, at the capital of China. Thus it is strictly true that the China tangle, as it is to-day, is the direct resultant of the original Eastern Question that began Aug. 11, 1840. And this greater Eastern Question as it is to-day, is but the enlarged outcome of the original Eastern Question as it has centered in Constantinople since Aug. 11, 1840. And, in the nature of the case, there can be no solution of the greater Eastern Question as it centers in China, which shall not involve the original Eastern Question as it centers in Turkey. This, because the greater Eastern Question as it centers in Peking, is the direct resultant of the original Eastern Question as it centers in Constantinople; and also because all the Powers now concerned in the greater Eastern  Question as it centers in Peking (except only the United States and Japan) are the identical Powers of the original Eastern Question as it centers in Constantinople.
And though these Powers, with the exception of Russia and Austria, were originally, and are still, the chief Powers of the West; yet, as the Eastern Question, with which they become connected in 1840, has continued to grow until it has absorbed the whole East, these Powers of the West have, in the natural course of things, become also the Powers of the East.
There must now be considered two Powers which are reckoned among the principal ones of the greater Eastern Question, which were not connected with that question originally, but have become parties to it only lately. These are Japan and the United States.
In 1895 war broke out between China and Japan. Japan was everywhere and speedily victorious. When peace was established, considerable Chinese territory was ceded to Japan; and also an immense cash indemnity was agreed upon. But Russia, France, and Germany united in a protest against the cession of the agreed territory. Since the threatening protest of these three Powers was supported by the "advice" of Great Britain to the Japanese government to yield to it, Japan, to avoid a new war, did yield to the demand of the three Powers -- and the territory in question fell immediately under Russian "influence." 
Further: to enable the Chinese government to pay the first installment of the cash indemnity, bankers of Paris and St. Petersburg loaned about eighty million dollars to China, upon the guaranty of the Russian government. Later, China secured another loan, from English and German bankers, secured by the customs revenue of China; and, through this, Britain secured a hold upon the fortress and naval station of Wei-Hai-Wei.
These transactions took from Japan all the territory that had been ceded to her by China, except the Island of Formosa, and the Pescadores group, and planted in the hearts of the Japanese a determination to be revenged upon Russia at the earliest possible moment. And thus Japan became, and stands, an integral part of the Eastern Question as it is to-day.
In 1898, the United States became involved in a war with Spain. The American fleet, in far Eastern waters, found and destroyed, at Manila, the Spanish fleet; and, through this transaction, the United States became possessed of the Philippine Islands, and so became an Eastern Power. Being thus an Eastern Power, the United States demanded and secured in China the "open door" for herself and all the nations, to Chinese trade.
In the month of June, 1900, the legations of the powers in China were attacked -- that of the United States equally with the others. To rescue their ministers, each of these Powers was obliged to send an army --  the United States equally with the others. This brought the United States as a Power into China, and associated her there in alliance with the other great Powers, who, from the beginning, have been the material part of the Eastern Question. And in a circular note to all the Powers concerned, July 3, 1900, the United States announced to the world that "the policy of the government of the United States is to seek a solution which may bring about permanent safety and peace in China, preserve Chinese territorial and administrative ENTITY, protect all rights guaranteed to friendly Powers by treaty and international law, and safeguard for the world the principle of equal and impartial trade with all parts of the Chinese Empire." This shows that the United States has not only become, but that she intends to remain, one of the Powers of the East, and one of the very chiefest of those concerned in the Eastern Question. And up to the hour that this pamphlet went to press, the influence of the United States has proved to be predominant in whatever progress has been made toward a real agreement among the Powers in China.
It has been made plain that this Eastern Question as it centers in Peking, is but the extension and enlargement of the original Eastern Question as it centers in Constantinople. And the crisis of 1900, which brought all these Powers fact to face in china, is but the logical outcome of the steps that were taken in 1840, in the  crisis which brought the originals of these Powers into the position of supporters of the government of Turkey. Thus the question as it relates to Turkey, is the key of the same question in its enlarged form, as just now it relates to China. Consequently, the prophecies that relate to the Turkish Power in this time, are the key to the understanding of the question that involves China and the world-powers: the Great Nations of to-day.
What, then, are the scriptures that relate to Turkey in this time? -- The last verses of Daniel 11 relate to Turkey, which, as "the king of the north," with its center at Constantinople, occupies, in direct decent, the place of the original "king of the north" in the division of the empire of Alexander the Great, as in verses 4-15 of Daniel 11. And of this Power it is written: "He shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him." Dan. 11:45.
In this study we have seen that a number of times in the last sixty years the Turkish government would have come to an end had it not been distinctly "helped." Indeed, we have seen that for these more than sixty years, the Turkish government could not have existed at all, if it had not been distinctly "helped" by the Powers whose relations are the sum and substance of the whole Eastern Question. By all it is expected that the Turkish government must finally leave Constantinople.  Many a time in these years it has been expected that the Turkish government must certainly leave Constantinople Immediately. By all it is expected that when the Turkish government does leave Constantinople, it must speedily fall. Yet it is expected that after that government shall leave Constantinople, and before it falls, the tabernacles of his palace will be planted in Jerusalem, "between the seas in the glorious holy mountain." And when that time comes, which must inevitably come soon, it stands written: "At that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to
that same time." Dan. 12:1.
This final event in the Eastern Question, with its accompaniments, is further described in Rev. 16:12: "The sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates, and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the East might be prepared."
As to the literal river Euphrates, from the beginning of history it has been crossed and recrossed, even at the flood, without any particular difficulty, by kings and their armies. It can not be, then, the literal river that is here spoken of. But since waters signify "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues" (Rev. 17:15), the "water" here signifies the Power which dominates the peoples that inhabit the territory of the  Euphrates; and that is the Turkish power, which is to come to his end when none helps him.
And this occurs "that the way of the kings of THE EAST might be prepared." But, with the exception of the United States and Japan, these "kings of the East" are the identical kings that have been the principal cause and substance of the Eastern Question, from its origin, Aug. 11. 1840, unto the present hour.
How, then, can the Turkish government come to its end? How can thus this "water" of "the great river Euphrates" be "dried up," Except by the action of these very Powers? These "kings of the East," whose "way" is to be "prepared" by the fall of Turkey, are the very Powers who are altogether responsible for Turkey.
How, then, can Turkey possibly come to her end, except by the direct action of these Powers which now are "the kings of the East"? -- Plainly, this is the only way in which Turkey can come to her end -- the only way in which the water of the river Euphrates can be dried up.
It is plain, therefore, that these Powers which are now "the kings of the East," and which are in a vortex, whose immediate swirl is China, but whose original and ultimate center is Turkey, will reach the point where they will remove the Turkish government from Constantinople, and allow it to be planted in Jerusalem. And shortly after that, they will let the Turkish power "come to his end."
 And when that is done, whatever the Powers may intend in it, the end of it all is that they shall be gathered at Armageddon, to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. For it is written: "And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, wording miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. . . . And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon." Rev. 16:13-16.
Notice here the striking statement in the association of the two expressions in these verses of Revelation 16: The Turkish power comes to its end, -- the water of the Euphrates is dried up, -- "that the way of the kings of of the East might be prepared;" and these "kings of the East" are said to be "the kings of the earth and of the world."
Now, it is the truth that three of these Powers that created the Eastern Question in 1840, with Germany and the United States, do actually control practically the whole world. And with these five Powers -- Britain, Russia, Germany, France, and the United States -- all the lesser Powers are, in some way, allied or closely associated. So it is altogether true that the kings of the West are "the kings of the East," and that the kings of the East are indeed "the kings of the earth and of the whole world."
 And these Powers, in centering their interests in the East, and planting their armies in the East, are but arraying themselves and marshaling their forces, in readiness to march to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. And that will be when, in their distress with perplexity, the Turkish government shall by these Powers be let fall, and so "the way" be prepared for them as "the kings of the East" to be "gathered" into that place "called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon."
Thus we have found the origin, the place, the present situation, the work, and the destiny of the great nations of to-day, which indeed include all the nations of to-day, for the great nations of to-day are "the kings of the earth and the whole world." Their origin is found through the knowledge of the first five of the Seven Trumpets; their place is the whole world; their present situation is the interminable entanglement of the Eastern Question, as it now embraces China; and, with China as their immediate center, and with Turkey as their original and ultimate center, their work is the arraying of themselves, and the mustering of their forces, in preparation for "the battle of that great day of God Almighty;" and their destiny is ARMAGEDDON.
The first Four Trumpets mark the downfall of the Western Empire of Rome; the Fifth and Sixth Trumpets mark the destruction of the Eastern Empire of  Rome; and the Seventh Trumpet marks the downfall of all empires, all kingdoms, and all nations; for when the God of heaven sets up His kingdom, "it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms." Dan. 2:44.
The Woe of the Fifth Trumpet was called by Gibbon the "shipwreck of nations;" but the Woe of the Seventh Trumpet will be not only the shipwreck of nations, but of the great globe itself. For, in Rev. 11:19, among the events of the Seventh Trumpet -- the Third Woe -- are that earthquake such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great, by which every mountain and island are moved out of their places; and that great hail: both of which come in the time of the seventh plague, when God "ariseth to shake terribly the earth;" when the great voice is heard out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done;" and when the heavens depart as a scroll when it is rolled together, "and the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bond man and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" Rev. 16:17-21; 6: 14-17.
And since such is the situation, the work, and the  destiny, of the great nations of to-day; and since the complications in which they are involved culminate only in that time of trouble "such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time," when there shall be delivered only those "that shall be found written in the book;" this urges upon every mind, that anxious question which before at the crisis of a nation was asked: "Men and brethren, what shall we do?"
And to this question on the answer is full and complete: and from the same source -- the Word of God, the Bible -- from which comes the true knowledge of the great nations of to-day.
1 [Page 90] The statue was melted by the Latins of Crusading times.