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Volume 11 - Page 139 of 161 Index | Zoom | |
Studies in the Book of the Revelation.
The Third Woe and its consummation. (11: 14-19).
pp. 11 - 15
The first woe was occasioned by the opening of the abyss (9: 1-11); the second by the
loosing of the four angels bound at the river Euphrates (9: 12-21).
The first woe synchronizes with the fifth trumpet (9: 1), the second with the sixth
trumpet (9: 13). We now approach the third woe and the seventh trumpet.
"The second Woe is past; and behold, the third Woe cometh quickly, and the seventh
So far the parallelism is preserved, but when we read on we become conscious of a
change in the order of narration. Instead of some more dreadful judgments falling,
heaven rings with the joyful news that at long last:--
"the kingdoms (or sovereignty) of this world are become the kingdom of our Lord,
and of His Christ, and He shall reign for the ages of the ages."
Such blessed news cannot constitute the third woe; we must search for further
information. It may be remembered that when we reached the sixth seal "the heavens
departed as a scroll.......the great day of his wrath is come......." The opening of the
seventh seal did not lead further into the future that lies beyond the day of wrath. After
the solemn silence in heaven for about half an hour, the seven trumpet angels come
forward, and again we follow the narrative step by step until the sixth trumpet and its
second woe is past, and then again at the seventh the sequence is broken with the same
purpose--the supplying of fuller detail concerning the end. Readers familiar with
Daniel's visions will remember the same phenomenon there. The seventh trumpet is
evidently pregnant with meaning, for in 10: 7 we are told:--
"But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the
mystery of God shall be consummated."
We observe here "in the days", not merely the day, as though this seventh trumpet is
protracted: and "when he shall begin, or be about to sound", again indicating a period of
time covered by the sounding of the trumpet. The question arises, if this sounding of the
seventh trumpet brings the mystery of God to a conclusion, and places Christ upon the
throne of the world, what place in the Divine programme do chapters 12:-20: occupy?
The answer is supplied from several considerations:--
We must find a place in this seventh trumpet for unprecedented judgment, for
with it is associated the third woe; this would therefore reach forward and include
the seven vials of wrath of chapter 15: 7.