The Little Book of the Revelation - Ninth in a series
At a very precise moment in time, the sixth angel sounds and is told to loose the four angels that are bound in the great river Euphrates. (Rev 9:13-14)
- And the four angels were loosed, that had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, that they should kill the third part of men. (Rev 9:15)
These call forth an army of two million with immense destructive power. They kill a third of the population on the earth! Yet, the rest of those on the earth who are not killed “by these plagues” (Rev 9:20) did not repent of their murders, sorceries, fornications nor thefts. There is no woe associated with this scene.
This seems to indicate that no Christians are on the earth. Or, did John mean: ‘The rest of those on the earth’ who were not marked for safety as were the 144,000, nor the Christians, who need no mark for they are covered by the blood of Jesus and already have eternal life?
It could be that John’s focus is on the unrepentant ones, but others are still in the periphery.
One need not murder or steal to be numbered in this group; only being an unrepentant fornicator or someone who pursues palm reading or other occult practices would classify a person among the murderers and thieves.
Is this sixth trumpet sounding the call to Armageddon? Not yet. The ‘trumpet’ judgments of Chapters 8 and 9 fall short of the annihilation of the ‘bowl’ judgments of Chapter 16 that commence following the blast of the seventh trumpet.
It is instructive to compare these two series of destructions. At first reading, the seven bowl judgments seem similar to those announced by the trumpets. But on closer inspection, we see that there are differences— the bowl judgments are much worse!
||And the first sounded, and there followed hail and fire, mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of the earth was burnt up, and the third part of the trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. (Rev 8:7)
||And the first went, and poured out his bowl into the earth; and it became a noisome and grievous sore upon the men that had the mark of the beast, and that worshipped his image. (Rev 16:2)
||And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; and there died the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, even they that had life; and the third part of the ships was destroyed. (Rev 8:8-9)
||And the second poured out his bowl into the sea; and it became blood as of a dead man; and every living soul died, even the things that were in the sea. (Rev 16:3)
||And the third angel sounded, and there fell from heaven a great star, burning as a torch, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of the waters; and the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. (Rev 8:10-11)
||And the third poured out his bowl into the rivers and the fountains of the waters; and it became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters saying, Righteous art thou, who art and who wast, thou Holy One, because thou didst thus judge: for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets… (Rev 16:4-7)
||And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; that the third part of them should be darkened, and the day should not shine for the third part of it, and the night in like manner. (Rev 8:12)
||And the fourth poured out his bowl upon the sun; and it was given unto it to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat: and they blasphemed the name of God who hath the power over these plagues; and they repented not to give him glory. (Rev 16:8-9)
||COVERED IN PREVIOUS POST — And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven fallen unto the earth: and there was given to him the key of the pit of the abyss. And he opened the pit of the abyss; and there went up a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And out of the smoke came forth locusts upon the earth… (Rev 9:1-3)
||And the fifth poured out his bowl upon the throne of the beast; and his kingdom was darkened; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they repented not of their works. (Rev 16:10-11)
||COVERED ABOVE, IN THIS POST — And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the horns of the golden altar which is before God, one saying to the sixth angel that had the trumpet, Loose the four angels that are bound at the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, that had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, that they should kill the third part of men… By these three plagues was the third part of men killed, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone, which proceeded out of their mouths. (Rev 9:13-21)
||And the sixth poured out his bowl upon the great river, the river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way might be made ready for the kings that come from the sunrising. And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits, as it were frogs: for they are spirits of demons, working signs; which go forth unto the kings of the whole world, to gather them together unto the war of the great day of God, the Almighty… And they gathered them together into the place which is called in Hebrew Har-Magedon. (Rev 16:12-16)
||And the seventh angel sounded; and there followed great voices in heaven, and they said, The kingdom of the world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ: and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, who sit before God on their thrones, fell upon their faces and worshipped God, saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who art and who wast; because thou hast taken thy great power, and didst reign… And there was opened the temple of God that is in heaven; and there was seen in his temple the ark of his covenant; and there followed lightnings, and voices, and thunders, and an earthquake, and great hail. (Rev 11:15-19)
||CATACLYSM — And the seventh poured out his bowl upon the air; and there came forth a great voice out of the temple, from the throne, saying, It is done: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunders; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since there were men upon the earth, so great an earthquake, so mighty. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and Babylon the great was remembered in the sight of God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And great hail, every stone about the weight of a talent, cometh down out of heaven upon men: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof is exceeding great. (Rev 16:17-21)
|The bolded words are to show a distinction between the judgments, between one-third and all, as the text makes clear. The colored words show similarities of subject matter. One also sees, left to right, that inanimate objects are more in view during the trumpet judgments, but the bowl judgments are poured upon unrepentant people and their leaders.
The seventh bowl earthquake was greater than any other the earth had ever known, dividing the great city into three parts, and causing the fall of all other cities. Also, Babylon is punished, every island is washed out of sight, the mountains are no longer in view, and the hail storm is epic with every stone weighing about 100 lbs.
And men blasphemed God because of the plague of hail.
The numerous similarities of the seventh trumpet and seventh bowl judgments may depict that the final judgment is in view as soon as the seventh trumpet sounds. The trumpet gives a preview.
We have outlined the events leading up to the Little Book contents, reviewing the chapters preceding it. The chapters that follow it are also related to its message, and we have reviewed some content from them.
Of course, the focus of this blog series is the Little Book, and we will not review or summarize the entire book of the Revelation. In the following posts of this blog series we will explore the contents of the Little Book.