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Chapter Four of this Commentary
The Sixth Trumpet of Revelation 9
Also called "the second woe."
Chapters 8, 9, 10, and 11 of the Book of Revelation
The Three Plagues of Fire, Smoke, and Sulfur
NASA captured this image of a great toxic cloud over the Middle East.
The format of Scene 1-B is continued.
B. The "three plagues" of "fire, smoke, and sulfur". Revelation 9:18
1. For when? According to the interpretation we are developing, these “three plagues” that cause the death of “a third part of humankind” are programmed for the last phase of “the little while,” a period that immediately precedes the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Other Bible texts corroborate this thesis.
a) The Two Witnesses have “authority… to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire.” Revelation 11:6. We will study this affirmation in Scene 8 of the Great Drama of the Sixth Trumpet.
b) The Seven Golden Bowls of the Wrath of God are "seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is ended." Revelation 15:1, 5-8.
It is, therefore, deduced that the seven last plagues are for the last days that precede the Second Coming of Christ and the end of time, for it is precisely then that the wrath of God is ended.
c) The correlation between the last seven plagues, “every kind of plague” of the Two Witnesses, and the “three plagues” of the Sixth Trumpet is obvious. All of them are programmed for human beings who rise up angrily against the Sovereign Creator God during the last, convulsed days just before the end of the material universe and time itself.
2. "…fire, smoke, and sulfur." Of what nature are they?
a) Is it conceivable that these “three plagues” are literal "fire, smoke, and sulfur?" Of course, it is conceivable. For example, God made literal fire and sulfur to rain down from the heavens on Sodom, Gomorrah, and the other cities of the Jordan river plain. Genesis 19
(1) Certainly, God has the power to smite and punish the atheistic, purely secular, sinful world with hard-to-control voracious devastating conflagrations, for example in large cities where the scoffing incredulous, vainly sensual and materialistic, unlawful, violent, and criminal tend to agglomerate.
Toxic clouds rise from deposits of sulfur.
Even natural phenomena such as earthquakes and the eruption of
volcanos often cause real “plagues” of "fire, smoke, and sulfur," not only destroying lands and structures but also massively contaminating the atmosphere. Consequences that can, and often do, result in illnesses, including cancers, some long-term, wounds from light to life-threatening, and painful, premature death to the victims, the number of which for any particular event can number even into the millions.
My understanding is that God has power over such phenomena, with the option to use them at his discretion for the punishment of recalcitrant unrepentant people.
(2) Whatever the nature of the “three plagues” may be, the punishment they bring is for “those people who do not have the seal of God.” Revelation 9:4
Supposing that there would be true Christians alive on the earth when the three plagues are unleashed, God has the power to protect them, in the same way that he protected the Israelites from the ten plagues that he brought on the Egyptians. Exodus, chapters 11 and 12
The Lord God also protected and saved “just Lot,” together with his three daughters, when he “rained on Sodom and Gomorrah… fire… out of heaven, and he overthrew those cities, and all the Plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.” Genesis 19:24-25
b) With all, I consider it probable that the "fire, smoke, and sulfur" would be symbolical. That is, they represent plagues whose nature would not be, literally, that of material fire, smoke, and sulfur.
Maybe even some unheard-of, completely new plagues, unknown before the moment they appear.
Left, is an abstract painting that illustrates the three plagues of fire, smoke, and sulfur.
Plagues that explode over planet Earth like wild horses.
Plagues that make the physical body burn, as if “fire” were consuming it. For example, very high, persistent, burning fevers.
Plagues that choke up the nose, throat, bronchioles, and lungs, asphyxiating, like a thick, venenous “smoke.” Suffocating, causing tumors.
“Sulfuric acid is capable of causing very severe burns, especially when it is at high concentrations. In common with other corrosive
acids and alkali, it readily decomposes proteins and lipid through amide and ester hydrolysis upon contact with living tissues, such as skin and flesh. In addition, it exhibits a strong dehydrating property on carbohydrates, liberating extra heat and causing secondary thermal burns. Accordingly, it rapidly attacks the cornea and can induce permanent blindness if splashed onto eyes. If ingested, it damages internal organs irreversibly and may even be fatal. Because of such reasons, damage posed by sulfuric acid is potentially more severe than that by other comparable strong acids, such as hydrochloric acid and nitric acid.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfuric_acid#Laboratory_hazards
Plagues that burn the skin and flesh, as sulfuric acid does. Making the physical body rot and smell like sulfur.
When the Fourth Angel pours out the plague of the Fourth Bowl of the wrath of God on the sun, “it was allowed to scorch people with fire… they were scorched by the fierce heat, but they cursed the name of God, who had authority over these plagues, and they did not repent and give him glory.” Revelation 16:8-9
This Fourth Plague, together with the other six of the “last… seven plagues” (Revelation 15:1), will occur, according to the temporal parameters established in the Commentary for these prophecies, during the last stage of the “little while.”
3. Who will bring these “three plagues?” Whatever their nature may be, the one who has supreme power over them is God, and not Satan.
"God... has authority over these plagues." Revelation 16:9. Therefore, Satan does not bring these plagues. Neither does any human being on earth have absolute authority over them.
V. God’s purpose frustrated.
A. It can be confidently affirmed that God does not arbitrarily bring these “three plagues” to people living on planet Earth in “the hour, the day, the month, and the year” set for the fulfillment of this prophecy.
On the contrary, he will do it with the intention of persuading at least some people of that future time to repent and be saved from the coming wrath.
The expression: “The rest of humankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands…,” clearly reveals the benign, caring purpose of the Creator. Certainly, not an arbitrary, cruel one.
That they repent of their rebelliousness against God, his angels, and his people on earth.
That they repent of worshipping demons and images!
Unquestionably, the purpose of God in unleashing the “three plagues” at the time and in the circumstances of this prophecy is upright, sound, just, unimpeachable. He just wants to save as many souls as he can, even those who are the most obstinately opposed to him just might repent when exposed to three deadly plagues. 1 Timothy 2:3-4; John 3:16
B. However, the sad outcome of all that God does in the context of this prophecy, worldwide, in those days at the end of the “little while,” is that the survivors of the “three plagues” do not repent!
"The rest of humankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands or give up worshipping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk. And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their fornication or their thefts." Revelation 9:20-21
Thus ends Scene 3 of the Great Drama of the Sixth Trumpet. With a shocking concluding depiction on the world stage of sin on sin, superstition, false religion, idolatry, immorality, blasphemy, pure atheism, and prideful rebellion.
A depiction very similar to one made of the citizens of the world in the time of Noah during the 120 years of his preaching up to the day when it began to rain torrentially and continued for 40 days and nights. Genesis 6:1-8; Matthew 24:37-39
This lamentable state of humanity is that which will prevail generally during the final days of the “little while,” just previous to the future total destruction of planet Earth, the whole material universe, and time itself. A “normality” that will spell the doom, physical and spiritual, of the great majority. 2 Peter 3:3-10
“The day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed. Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.” 2 Pedro 3:10-13
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Scene 2. The Seven Thunders of Trumpet 6 of Revelation, the Proclamation of the fulfillment of the "mystery of God" and the end of time, and the apostle John eats the "little scroll" which is "sweet as honey" in his mouth but bitter in his stomach.
Category. Revelation: Its Ongoing Relevancy and Fulfillment. Commentary.
Revelation 10:6. Going out into the FUTURE to the LAST DAY of TIME. Looking back at planet Earth in the 20th and 21st centuries.