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Chapter Four of this Commentary
The Sixth Trumpet of Revelation 9
Also called "the second woe."
Part 6 is composed of the “Introduction” for the Sixth Trumpet and the “Ten Scenes” of the grandiose drama.
I. The 34 verses that reveal the content of the Sixth Trumpet begin in Revelation 9:13-14 with the following words:
“Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God, saying to the sixth
angel who had the trumpet, ‘Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.’”
They conclude with Revelation 11:14, which says: “The second Woe has passed. The third Woe is coming very soon.”
II. The Commentary on the great drama of the Sixth Trumpet is presented by means of ten principal “Scenes” and three “Scenarios.”
Scene 1 is composed of three “Scenarios.” Revelation 9:13-21
Scenario 1-A. The four angels bound at the great river Euphrates are released.
Scenario 1-B. Two hundred million riders with breastplates of fire, sapphire, and sulfur.
Scenario 1-C. Three plagues of fire, smoke, and sulfur. To be added.
Scene 3. “Come and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there.” Revelation 11:1-2. To be added.
The Two Witnesses of Revelation
Scene 4. The identity of the Two Witnesses of Revelation. Also called the Two Prophets. To be added.
Scene 5. The Two Witnesses prophesy for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. To be added.
Scene 6. The Two Witnesses prophesy and give testimony. To be added.
Scene 7. The extraordinary Powers of the Two Witnesses. To be added.
Scene 8. The Two Witnesses finish their testimony, the war against them, and their death. To be added.
Scene 9. The Two Witnesses are dead for three and a half days. To be added.
Scene 10. The Two Witnesses are resurrected and caught up to heaven, their terrified enemies seeing them. To be added.
III. For the following reasons, the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Sixth Trumpet is projected for the last stage of the "little while" that comes after the “thousand years” (Millennium).
A. First reason. It is observed that the revelations of the Sixth Trumpet (the Second Woe) end with the lifting up of the “two witnesses… to heaven in a cloud while their enemies watched them,” and “At that moment there was a great earthquake.” Having taken place thus these events, we are informed that: “The second woe has passed. The third woe is coming very soon.” Revelation 11:11-14
Now then, this “third woe,” synonymous with the Seventh Trumpet, marks the end of time, and, concomitantly, the end of the material universe. “…in the days when the seventh angel is to blow his trumpet, the mystery of God will be fulfilled, as he announced to his servants the prophets.” Revelation 10:7
When the “seventh angel” blows “his trumpet, the mystery of God will be fulfilled.” That is, it comes to its culmination and is finalized. Fulfilled thus the plan God laid out for the human race and the material universe, “There will be no more delay,” the translation of most versions. The King James Version translates: “…there should be time no longer,” and a few others with that or a similar translation. Revelation 10:6.
Since this is precisely what happens when the Seventh Trumpet is blown, we must necessarily anticipate the fulfillment of the Sixth Trumpet prophecies in the particular time period that immediately precedes the fulminating event of the total destruction of planet Earth that occurs almost immediately. Revelation 11:13; 16:17-21. That time period is identified specifically in Revelation 20:1-3 as the "little while." Or, “short time” in many translations. Therefore it appears completely reasonable to project the fulfillment of the Sixth Trumpet prophecies for the “little while.”
B. Second reason. Some parallel elements are apparent in the Sixth Trumpet and the Sixth Bowl of Wrath.
With reference to the “seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God,” we are informed they contain “seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is ended.” Revelation 15:1, 7. That is, it reaches its climax, exploding in the final destruction of his enemies and the ensuing destruction of the material universe.
Guided by such clear information, doubtless, we do not err by projecting for the last stage of the “little while” these “seven bowls” filled with the seven last plagues, for it is precisely then, during those last agonizing days of that somber “little while,” that the wrath of God is consummated.
Given, then, that the Sixth Bowl belongs, unquestionably, to the “little while,” if it is also true that some events proclaimed by the Sixth Trumpet are the same as those that transpire when the Sixth Bowl is poured out, impacting the very same place, logically it is to be deduced that the prophecies of the Sixth Trumpet are fulfilled during the “little while.”
Let us take a close look at the similarities between the Sixth Bowl and the Sixth Trumpet.
1. Parallelism of events.
a) A “battle” is prophesied in the revelations of the Sixth Trumpet and also in those of the Sixth Bowl.
When the Sixth Trumpet is blown, the scene we behold, according to Revelation 9:13-21, is, effectively, of a great battle between, on the one hand, the divine forces of God, and on the other, human beings so deceived and depraved that they will not repent though sorely punished by God, whose motive is not to kill them but to motivate them to drastically change their mindset, recognizing him as the Creator and obeying his good and perfect will for them.
Parallelly, when the Sixth Angel pours out the Sixth Bowl of the wrath of God, Satan’s “three foul spirits,” who are “demonic spirits, performing signs… go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.” “And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Harmagedon.” In between these statements, in verse 15, are words that offer an alternative to becoming victims of the “three foul spirits.” They say: “See, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and is clothed, not going about naked and exposed to shame.”
b) Plagues in both prophecies.
In the first fearful scene that takes place when the Sixth Trumpet is blown, “three plagues” result in the death of “a third of humankind.” Revelation 9:13-19
Parallelly, all the evil things that happen when the Sixth Bowl is poured out on the earth are agglomerated in the category of “plague,” for the Sixth Bowl contains the sixth plague of the seven last plagues. Revelation 16:12-16
2. Parallelism of place.
When the Sixth Trumpet is blown, "the great river Euphrates" appears in the first scene. Revelation 9:14
Parallelly, “the sixth angel poured his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up in order to prepare the way for the kings from the east.” Revelation 16:12
Fully established, then, the parallelism between the Sixth Trumpet and the Sixth Bowl, and considering irrefutable the affirmation that the prophecies of the Sixth Bowl are for the “little while,” it is surely correct to deduce that the prophecies of the Sixth Trumpet should be assigned to the last phase of the “little while.”
Therefore, that is exactly where I would anticipate their fulfillment, and believe the analysis and applications developed in this Commentary support this conclusion.
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Category. Revelation: Its Ongoing Relevancy and Fulfillment. Commentary.