Friday, May 22, 2020

3 Woes of Revelation

Keep reminding God's people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. (2 Timothy 2:14 NIV)

In this scripture Paul is instructing a young leader, Timothy. The items in Revelation that we have no absolute interpretation of should not cause petty disagreements. We should be able to look at the items we can definitely identify and agree to disagree about the rest. The last three trumpets are events we should be willing to disagree about for they most definitely could be metaphorical.

Three Woes

And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the middle of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitants of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound! (Revelation 8:13 AKJV)

The next three trumpets are known as the “three woes” because of the severity of what happens when they are sounded. It is hard to believe that something could be worse than an earthquake that darkens the skies and meteorites hitting the earth, but the final trumpets will be more fierce than what has come before.

5th Trumpet

And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven to the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. (Revelation 9:1 AKJV)

From prior discussions, we know that when we see a “star fall from Heaven” it is actually an angel sent to do God’s bidding. The bottomless pit is a place where the angels who first defied God and corrupted mankind, were chained. (Genesis 6:1-4) We see what happened to them in the Book of Jude:

And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness to the judgment of the great day. (Jude 1:5 AKJV)

God sends someone to release what has been chained since the flood of Noah. To say that these beings hate mankind would be an understatement. With the horde of spiritual beings comes a leader:

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 has his name Apollyon. (Revelation 9:11 AKJV)

In God’s kingdom, names often reflect the job or ability of the being. Abaddon means destruction and Apollyon means destroyer. The ten verses in between these two verses describe what type of destruction will be released upon mankind.

And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose 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. Revelation 9:2 AKJV)

When something occurs in the spirit realm, we often only see the consequences of that action. Since the bottomless pit is deep in the earth, this very well could look like some sort of volcanic eruption which only releases smoke which darkens the skies.

And there came out of the smoke locusts on the earth: and to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. (Revelation 9:3 AKJV)

Here is where events begin to become very debatable.

    • Are these actual animals that come out of a hole in the earth?
    • Are these demons in the bottomless pit who are now released upon the earth?

The rest of the chapter may shed a bit of light on the answer.

And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. (Revelation 9:4 AKJV)

Locusts usually eat green plants, so God is making a point that what is released isn’t like the insects being named, but something different. Not only that, but God will supernaturally protect those who “have the seal of God in their foreheads.” What is this seal and how do we get it?

In Revelation 7, just after the seals upon the scroll are broken, 144,000 devout Jewish believers are sealed for God’s work. However, Christians are also sealed:

[He has also appropriated and acknowledged us as His by] putting His seal upon us and giving us His [Holy] Spirit in our hearts as the security deposit and guarantee [of the fulfillment of His promise]. (2 Corinthians 1:22 AMPC)

Will all Christians who have the Holy Spirit and the new 144,000 be spared? Or is this after the rapture, the catching away? We will save that discussion for another time. For now, let’s see what these “locusts” do.

And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he strikes a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. (Revelation 9:5-6 AKJV)

This is the one sure fact we can take from this trumpet, the consequences of what is released:

    • People will not die, but be poisoned like a scorpion sting
      • pain, tingling or burning sensation at the sting site
      • malaise, sweating, nausea and vomiting
      • salivating
      • numbness
      • muscle twitching
      • abnormal neck, eye and head movements/twitching
      • heart palpitations
      • breathing difficulties may occur
    • These symptoms will be so severe that you will wish you had died

We must remember the atmosphere of the world, what has already occured with the other trumpets and seals:

    • Small and large meteors hitting the earth (1st & 2nd trumpet)
    • ⅓ of the sea life dies & ⅓ of all ships are destroyed (2nd trumpet)
    • ⅓ of rivers and springs poisoned (3rd trumpet)
    •  ⅓ of the sky blocked out (4th trumpet)
    • Remaining sky blocked out by an eruption from the Earth (5th trumpet)

All of this has happened in less than seven years. Amid all of this chaos, demons who have been locked away for thousands of years are now released to bring pain to mankind. How will this torture be released? That is something we can only guess at because the description may or may not be metaphorical. 

And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared to battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.  (Revelation 9:7 AKJV)

Concerning this verse, please remember:

    • In biblical times a horse prepared for battle wore metal plates.
    • “were as the faces of men”  the “as the” means that they are not human, but have some semblance of humanity.

And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. (Revelation 9:8 AKJV)

    • “hair as the” makes this not what it seems. Hair represents thoughts coming from our head. Could this represent great intelligence? 
    • The teeth are not actual teeth, but whatever these things are, they have a fierce bite since the lion was the most powerful of beasts.
And they had breastplates, as they were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. (Revelation 9:9 AKJV)
    • A breastplate protects vital functions of the heart. Iron was the strongest metal of the time. These beasts will be hard to kill.
    • When these attackers fly they have a big sound like the thrum of  horses’ hooves. Have you ever heard the sound an Apache helicopter makes as the blades whirl?

We can examine all of these facts and add to it that not one detail is given about these attackers actually being flesh and blood. We know that the Antichrist will bring a metal image to life. Could these be an extension of that AI (artificial intelligence)? Like giant drones that are sent out on a mission?

And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.  (Revelation 9:10 AKJV)

The fact they can “hurt men five months” could refer to the effects of their sting or the length of time they will be hunting mankind. Taking into account all of these facts and recent events a couple of THEORIES spring to mind (these are not a prophecy or facts, only a possibility): 

    • As the Antichrist begins hunting Christians, could a vaccine be released which he forces all mankind to take? The “sting” could be a shot with horrible side effects.
    • Food and resources are going to be scarce. Could drones with a connection to an AI be sent out to subdue a rioting populous to enforce the rule of the Antichrist.

However this trumpet plays out, it will not be pleasant for those not close to God.

One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter. (Revelation 9:12 AKJV)

6th Trumpet

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. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. (Revelation 9:13-15 AKJV)
The Euphrates river at one time extended Armenia to the Persian Gulf. There will be something that comes from this area for “an hour, a day, month, and a year.” Because there is one of each representation of an increment of time mentioned, this  shows that a particular time was chosen for this calamity to come upon mankind. When angels are released, they affect mankind. One-third of mankind will be killed as these spiritual beings influence mankind. We know that these spirits will be a driving force behind actions of man because of what is written next:

The number of their troops of cavalry was twice ten thousand times ten thousand (200,000,000); I heard what their number was. (Revelation 9:16 AKJV)

We have an actual number so this could be an army coming from the area of Armenia. What else do we know about these troops?

And in [my] vision the horses and their riders appeared to me like this: the riders wore breastplates the color of fiery red and sapphire blue and sulphur (brimstone) yellow. The heads of the horses looked like lions’ heads, and from their mouths there poured fire and smoke and sulphur (brimstone). (Revelation 9:17 AMPC)

The “riders” are not referred to “as the” which means they are actual men. Armenia’s flag is red, blue and yellow. What the men are riding will release “fire, smoke, and sulphur.” When modern ammo is fired, it smells of sulphur and at night you can see the fire streaming from the barrel along with smoke. 

By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like to serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. (Revelation 9:18-19)

We are not reminded that one-third of the population will die from what is released with this trumpet.

    • Their “tails” may refer to the fact that what is released has some chemical effect which will poison like a snake does.
    • This may be nuclear or merely chemical warfare.

And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts. (Revelation 9:20-21 AKJV)

These trumpets are not God’s wrath, they are a warning. These verses clearly show the sin that God is trying to get mankind to turn from:

    • Works that are sinful
    • Worshiping other gods (devils)
    • Seeking riches (idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood) more than God
    • Turning from killing others, sorceries (pharmakeia or drugs), sex ouside marriage, and robbing others

We should check our lives and ask the Holy Spirit if there are any of these sins in our life so that we can turn from them now.

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 has declared to his servants the prophets. (Revelation 10:7 AKJV)

By the time that the seventh trumpet sounds, the hidden things (mysteries) of God prophesied about will be complete. The next chapter describes Jesus coming to stand both on the land and sea, roaring like a lion and being answered by seven thunders. John was not permitted to write down what was said.

After John is given a book to eat, He is told:

And he said to me, You must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. (Revelation 10:11 NIV)

It is interesting that right after we find out that people are not willing to turn from sin, despite God’s strong warnings (trumpets), that Jesus directs John to bring another prophecy. Could it be that what he is prophesying about is to help God’s people get ready?

The next three chapters, as we have discussed, reveal Daniel’s final week, what many call the Tribulation. This “woe” is a key factor in determining not only when the two witnesses will come back to life and rise to Heaven with all the world watching but also when the trumpets will come to pass. After the two witness lay dead 3.5 days they are brought back to life and ascend to Heaven with a great earthquake and:

The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe comes quickly. (Revelation 11:14 AKJV)

We know that Daniel’s Week is actually seven years. Since each of the last three trumpets are a woe and the two witnesses rise after the second woe, we can see that the 3.5 days are indeed years and place this event in the second half of Daniel’s Week. We can likewise firmly place the second woe and sixth trumpet at the end of the Tribulation.

7th Trumpet

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 on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give you thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which are, and were, and are to come; because you have taken to you your great power, and have reigned. (Revelation 11:15-17)

After Daniel’s week is complete, then the seventh trumpet is blown. All of Heaven rejoices, for it is finally time for our Lord to take possession of the Earth!

And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward to your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth. (Revelation 11:18 AKJV)

The time for God’s wrath has come, as well as the time of the reward for those who have been following Jesus. We are the bride, it is finally time for the wedding which is our reward!

And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightning, and voices, and thunder, and an earthquake, and great hail. (Revelation 11:19 AKJV)

Besides the thunder, lightning and voices, we have an earthquake released along with great hail. Now God’s wrath will be poured out which we will discuss next!

We will look at the wrath of God, knowing that Jesus has provided a way for those who love Him to escape the wrath… there is no need to fear if we will prepare by learning more about Him!

We can firmly place the third woe and 7th trumpet after the end of the Tribulation. 

This is part of a series of articles based on the Book of Revelation. We suggest looking at these in the order they were given because one message builds upon the others:

1. Microsoft Patent 060606 and the Mark of the Beast, and the Tribulation Timeline

2. Seals of Revelation: The Antichrist 

3. Wormwood and the 1st 4 Trumpets of Revelation: 

4. Three Woes of Revelation

5. The Fate of the World: Vials of Wrath in Revelation

6. The Future of God's Church

7. The Future of Your Church

SignsWondersMiraclesDreamsAngelic Encounters, and Heavenly Visits 
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