Revelation 9

The Last Three Trumpets

In Chapter 8, we read how during the sounding of the First Three Trumpets, great plagues will strike the land, the sea, and the trees in order to test the Inhabitants of the Earth. Rather than being humbled by these plagues, the Inhabitants of the Earth will respond to God’s warning by attacking Jerusalem, as described in the events of the Fourth Trumpet. The Attack on Jerusalem will be followed by an attack on the rest of God’s people in the events of the Great Tribulation when followers of Christ from every nation, tribe, people, and language will be killed. When the full number of God’s people are martyred in the Great Tribulation, it will fulfill the condition given to the Martyrs in Heaven who were told that their blood would not be avenged until the full number of their brothers and sisters were killed, just as they had been, as repeated below.

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been. Rev. 6:9-11

After the full number of brothers and sisters have been killed in the Great Tribulation, the above condition will have been met, and the Last Three Trumpets will be sounded that will avenge the blood of the Martyrs in Heaven. In Chapter 8, the judgments of the Last Three Trumpets were described as the Three Woes that will strike the Inhabitants of the Earth.

As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!” Rev. 8:13

When the Wrath of God is poured out, God’s people will not longer be on earth having been killed during the Great Tribulation, with the exception of the 144,000 from all the Tribes of Israel, who will exist withing the remnant that will escape from the Attack on Jerusalem and who will be set apart by the Seal of God on their forehead.

The Fifth Trumpet

The First Woe to strike the Inhabitants of the Earth, will be announced by the Fifth Trumpet when a cloud of locusts that have the sting of scorpions will descend upon the earth.

The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. Rev. 9:1-3

In the previous events of the Second Trumpet, Satan is described as a great star that fell to the earth.[1] When the Fifth Trumpet is sounded, he is again identified as the star that fell from the sky, who will be given the keys to the shaft of the Abyss. When Satan unlocks the Abyss, a Plague of Locusts will cover the earth that will form a giant cloud that will darken the sky. The locust will be given power like that of scorpions and the agony resulting from their sting will cause people to long to die.

They (the locusts) were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes. During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them. Rev. 9:4-6

The command given to the locust to not to harm the grass or any plant or tree is in contrast to the plagues of the First Three Trumpets, which will harm the land, the sea, and the trees, but not the Inhabitants of the Earth themselves. In this way the judgments of the First Three Trumpets will serve as a warning to the Inhabitants of the Earth, and the Woes of the Last Three Trumpets will judge the Inhabitants of the Earth.

In addition to being prevented from harming the grass or any plant or tree, The locust will also be forbidden from stinging those who have the Seal of God on their foreheads This is a reference to the 144,000 from all the Tribes of Israel, who will not be harmed by the plagues of the Last Three Trumpets.

The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer). The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come. Rev. 9:7-12

These passages end with the statement that the First Woe has past, which confirms that Fifth Trumpet contains the First Woe. Following these events, two more woes will strike the earth in the events of the Sixth and Seventh Trumpets.

The Sixth Trumpet

The sounding of the Sixth Trumpet will announce the release of Four Angels, who, in turn, will release a two-hundred-million-man army, and a third of mankind will be killed in the ensuing war.

The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God. It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.”  And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. The number of the mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand (two-hundred million). I heard their number. Rev. 9:13-16

The war that will take place when the Four Angels are released at the Euphrates River will bring about the Three Plagues of Fire, Smoke, and Sulfur that will kill a third of mankind.

The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.
Rev. 9:17-19

In the First-Century, horses were instruments of war. Accordingly, the horses with the heads of lions are a description of the modern-day weapons that will be used in this war and that will carry riders. The fire (red), smoke (blue), and sulfur (yellow), which will come out of the mouths of the horses, is a description of the fiery discharges that will come from these weapons and that will kill a third of mankind. From this, we can conclude that the Three Plagues of Fire, Smoke, and Sulfur are a First-Century description of a Twenty First-Century war.

The reference to the river Euphrates, which formed the original eastern and northern borders of Israel, implies that the two-hundred-million-man army will come from the lands east and north of Israel. Accordingly, we can conclude that this war will be between the ruler that will attack Jerusalem, and a massive army from the east and north that will challenge his rule. We have not yet been introduced to this future ruler who will lead the nations into attacking Jerusalem, but he will be explained in upcoming chapters. For now, we can say that when he conquers Jerusalem, his authority over the nations will become immense, but will be challenged by another rising power, resulting in the war when a third of mankind will be killed.

Those Who Did Not Repent

As mentioned before, the events of the Fifth and Sixth Trumpets will occur after those who hold to their testimony of Jesus are no longer on earth, having been killed in the Great Tribulation. This is confirmed in the following passages which tells us that those who suffer through the Plagues of Locusts and the Plague of Smoke, Fire, and Sulfur will refuse to repent.

The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts. Rev. 9:20-21

As with the events of the Seven Seals, after being shown the events of the First Six Trumpets, In the next chapter, John will be given more details concerning the events that he was just shown before he is shown the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet. For now, our list of the Order of Events of the Last Days remains unchanged.

Order of Events of the Last Days

1. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
2. Wars, Rumors of Wars, Earthquakes, and Famines (Seals 1-4)
3. The Martyrs Pray for Judgment and Revenge (5th. Seal)
4. The Hour of Trial when the Inhabitants of the Earth will be Tested
– A third of the earth is burned up (1st. Trumpet)
– A third of the sea turns to blood (2nd. Trumpet)
– A third of the waters turn bitter (3rd Trumpet)
5. The Attack on Jerusalem (4th. Trumpet)
6. The Great Tribulation when the Full Number of Brothers and Sisters will be Killed
7. The Wrath of God is Poured Out (6th. Seal)
– The Plague of Locusts (5th. Trumpet)
– The Plague of Fire, Smoke, and Sulfur (6th. Trumpet)
– To be announced (7th. Trumpet)
8. The Silence in Heaven (7th. Seal)

Footnotes:

[1] Rev. 8:10-11

Revelation Chapter 8
Revelation Chapter 10

Questions and comments may be sent to: RevelationStudyGuide@gmail.com
Bryan Coray is the author of Keep Watch: The Order of Events of the Last Days available on Amazon.