“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!” – Revelation 8:13
The next three angels announce great ‘woes’ to befall men on earth. I will list the angels and their woes and then I will give an analysis.
5. “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.” – Revelation 9:1
a. A bottomless pit is opened out of which smoke and strange locusts that tormented man. “And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. “
b. They were commanded not to hurt the grass or trees, or any green thing, but only those men that were not sealed by God in their foreheads.
c. “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.”
6. “And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.” – Revelation 9:13, 14
a. As the four angels were loosed, they gathered an army of two hundred million that would slay 1/3 of men on the earth.
b. They ride strange horses that issue fire, smoke, and brimstone which killed men. Their power was in their mouth and in their tails, which were like serpents.
c. The men that were not killed by these plagues still repented not of their works, which included idolatry, devil worship, murders, drugs, sexual immorality or thievery.
Before the 7th angel sounds another angel comes – “And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.” – Revelation 10:1-3
As John was about to write down what the seven thunders uttered, a voice from heaven ordered “Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.”
Then the angel whose face shone like the Sun stood with one foot on the sea and one on the earth, lifted his hand toward heaven and sware “that there should be time no longer”. I beleave this is the Angel of the Lord revealed throughout the Old Testament (Exodus 3:2).
“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.” – Revelation 10:7
The voice from heaven then spake again to John telling him to take the little book from the hand of the angel whose face shone like the Sun and eat it. It would be sweet in his mouth but bitter in his stomach, and it was so. The angel then spoke to John saying –
“And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” – Revelation 10:11
THE TEMPLE MEASURED: John was next given a measuring rod and told to measure the Temple of God –
“And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. “ – Revelation 11:1, 2
THE TWO WITNESSES: The angel then told John about his two witnesses that would prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. They will have miraculous powers, calling fire down on their enemies.
“These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.” – Revelation 11:6
a. The beast out of the ‘bottomless pit’ overcomes and kills them.
b. They lie dead in the street of Jerusalem for 3 1/2 days, then are resurrected before the eyes of the world.
c. The whole world witnesses their ascension into heaven causing much fear.
d. A great earthquake strikes Jerusalem causing 1/10th of the city to fall and 7000 men to die.
e. This finishes the second ‘woe’ and prepares us for the seventh angel to sound.
7, “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.” – Revelation 11:15
a. When the 7th angel sounds, the work of God on earth is finished and time is no more.
b. The kingdom of the Lord is victorious. It is the final act of the vision the prophet Daniel saw as the rock which was cut from the mountain struck the great statue of man’s kingdoms in the feet, crushing them to powder. (Daniel 2:31-34).
c. The resurrection of the righteous dead occurs.
MY ANALYSIS: While there are many interpretations of Revelation and many details I have not highlighted in this presentation, remember, this series of postings is called Revelation for Beginners. My prayer is that as you read and study the Book of Revelation God will lead you into its true meaning for you.
Meanwhile, I offer the understanding I have received on it. I believe the first eleven chapters of Revelation are basically an overview of God’s work on earth since the time of Jesus and up to the end. In some places John is seeing specific details while in others, he is getting a broad outline. And in some places, events that appear to follow one another are happening all at once and are written as only possible in chronological order (such as Measuring the Temple and the Two Witnesses). I hope to show that the following chapters (12-22) fill in the outline given in chapters 4-11.
I further believe the first 5 seals have been opened and that the 6th seal is about to be opened. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are riding even now (seals 1-4) and the martyrdom of the saints is reaching epic proportions even as I write. It is not yet complete but nearly so (seal 5).
In September and October of 2017 two heavenly signs not seen before will be revealed: the sign of the Woman about to give birth and the Great Red Dragon. I think it is likely that Revelation 12 and 13, which describe the coming Antichrist and False Prophet and their war against Israel and the Christians, will begin during the 6th seal.
It appears by most calculations that 2017 is the Year of Jubilee and it appears that many aspects of society are reaching a negative climax: world-wide financial debt and monetary collapse, social collapse into immorality, military pressures which can only result in war, and geological stresses resulting in sharp increases of earthquakes and volcanoes. At the same time heavenly signs are appearing in record numbers and thousands are being reached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ in areas before closed.
As the 7th seal seal is opened the seven trumpets will begin to sound and the earth will experience great shaking, much of it due to man’s negligence, all of it due to man’s sin. One third of the earth will experience great turmoil as the first four trumpets sound. Hosea prophesied the reasons for this judgment –
“Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.” – Hosea 4:1, 2
As the 5th trumpet is sounded, hell itself will be opened unleashing demonic activity on the earth which leads man to destroy himself. They look like locusts coming out of hell led by Abaddon but, they cannot hurt those sealed by God and the woe they unleash only lasts five months.
We must realize that mankind’s rebellious actions do have consequences; for example as the abortions sweep the land, a spirit of murder has been released on our land. It is demonic but, it could not have been released if men had remained true to God! The FBI reported an overall increase of 5.3 percent in the number of violent crimes brought to their attention for the first 6 months of 2016. Some states and cities, mostly those led by Democrats, have a much higher rate. Likewise, the opening of hell in the 5th trumpet will be a result of man’s rebellion against God and His laws.
As the 6th angel sounds the four angels bound in the River Euphrates are released. These are principalities like those that fought against Michael as Daniel prayed for understanding of the visions given him (Daniel 10:13). They go forth to gather the kings of the east to war at Armageddon (Rev. 16:12-16). As we witness events happening now in the Middle East, this scenario is very easy to understand. Forces are building right now that could easily begin the war of Ezekiel 38 which, I believe will lead quickly into the battle of Armageddon.
Before the 7th angel sounds, we are told the Temple in Jerusalem will be built but the Outer court will be given to the Gentiles. Something happens to allow this. First, Muslims would normally resist any building of a Temple on the Temple Mount and Jews would resist giving any part of the Temple to Gentiles so, what has happened to change this? We are also told this condition will last for 3 1/2 years. We know that the Antichrist will make a seven year peace with Israel only to break it after 3 1/2 years. Is it possible that the first 3 1/2 years of peace allow Israel to rebuild the Temple under these conditions of peace between Israel and Muslims?
Also before the 7th angel sounds, two witnesses begin their ministry in Jerusalem with many supernatural signs against the ungodly. We are not told how long their ministry continues but, it seems likely it begins after the Antichrist breaks his treaty with Israel and sets up the Abomination in the Temple. The Antichrist wars against them and finally kills them. He leaves their bodies in the street to be seen and celebrated by the whole world for 3 1/2 days. But, to their fear and amazement after 3 1/2 days, they rise from the dead and are translated into heaven on the clouds, seen by the whole world. Satellite technology will allow this in our time.
It seems clear to me that these events take place during the 7 year period of the Antichrist’s false treaty with Israel. This reinforces my hypothesis that the first part of Revelation give us a broad outline of end-time events which are filled in by the remaining chapters.
As the 7th angel sounds the resurrection of the righteous occurs and God’s work is finished –
“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.” – Revelation 11:15
Remember, do not let fear of these events come upon you for they cannot happen until God has sealed His servants, and these evils cannot hurt those sealed by God.