Dee Finney's blog

start date July 20, 2011

today's date September 12, 2013

page 557


Here was my dream from today:

9-12-13 - DREAM -  I was in my New Berlin house, standing in the kitchen.  

I could hear a lot of banging going on out in the garage.  My husband and one of my sons was either building something or knocking something apart - I couldn't tell which, but every time they banged with the hammer, I could see a brown Bible book sliding towards a trench that was dug around the house.

I had to save that book from getting into the trench and the men were not stopping the banging, so I ran outside toward's the garage, yelling at the top of my lungs:  "I'm going to KILL THEM!"


NOTE:  That book looked very familiar to me, so later I went to my current bookcase to see what the brown Bible book was, and it is this one:  NAVES STUDY BIBLE.  Reference Edition, Notes, Concordance.  It has extensive notes to other Bible verses on every page.  I will need to keep this handy henceforth.

I'm going to use it to analyze the following paragraph:





The following paragraph came as part of an e-mail from a group called "The Bible Believers."

Our main article, Birth Pangs" concerns the Three Woes of Revelation 8:13, which take place in World Wars I, II, and in the 'hot stage' of World War III that will lead to Armageddon and the consummation of life seven years thence. So the picture emerging from the news is topical, and the amoral character displayed by leaders of the Western world should leave even the most skeptical observer in no doubt as to the fact II Timothy 3:2-9 and Revelation 3:17-20 are coming to pass in our sight. The Woes declare that "the whole creation is groaning and travailing to renew itself" for the millennium (Romans 8:22-23). This exposition reveals that our national histories and our mendacious trinitarian Babylonian sham monotheistic cults of Judaism, institutional Christianity and Islam are a tapestry tightly woven from the same lies contrary to the Truth.


Revelation 8:13

King James Version (KJV)

13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!


II Timothy 2

3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.

5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.

6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.

7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.

8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel,

9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained.


Revelation 3:17-20

King James Version (KJV)

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.


Romans 8:22-23

King James Version (KJV)

22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.



The Opening of the Seventh Seal

As soon as each of the first six seals was opened, John either "saw" something or "heard" something, or both. When the seventh seal was opened, however, he saw nothing and heard nothing for about half an hour (v. 1). Half an hour is not a long time, but half an hour of silence can seem like an eternity, whether it is "dead air" on radio or television or a silent dinner for two after a quarrel between a husband and a wife. To get some idea of the effect, imagine that a church youth group is doing a dramatic reading of the book of Revelation. When it comes to Revelation 8:1, it takes the verse literally so that all speech and all action stops--for thirty minutes--while the congregation fidgets and squirms and probably exits.

The silence is total. It is said to be in heaven (v. 1) only because heaven has been the scene of all that John has just heard and seen in 7:9-17. If there are sounds on the earth, they play no part in John's vision. What is the purpose of the long silent pause? Is it so that the prayers of all the saints can be heard (Beasley-Murray 1974:150)? The prayers of all the saints are not mentioned until the half hour is over (v. 3), and when they are mentioned they are not "heard" but offered up as incense. If, as some have suggested, "the seventh seal is the End" (Caird 1966:104), is the silence merely an indication of nondisclosure--as if John were saying, "Next comes the end of all things, but I am not going to reveal that to you just yet"? Or is the silence a dramatic preparation for the resumption of sound and action? Are we waiting for something more? The fact that the silence is broken by a great deal of noise, peals of thunder, rumblings . . . an earthquake (v. 5) and the blasts of seven trumpets, argues for the second of these alternatives.

At the end of the half hour comes the expected reference to something John saw (v. 2), suggesting that far from being over, the seventh seal is only beginning. What John saw is reminiscent of what he saw in the preceding chapter in connection with the sixth seal: first a group of angels (four in one instance, seven in the other) and then another angel (v. 3; compare 7:2) who in some way determines their course of action, probably because he is greater than they. This parallel confirms the notion that the half hour of silence did not bring the series of seals to an end, but that the seventh seal is still playing itself out.

The one called another angel functions here as a kind of high priest, ministering on behalf of the larger priesthood comprising the people of God (compare 1:5; 5:10; 7:15). Standing at the altar in heaven, he offers up incense that has something to do with the prayers of all the saints (v. 3; compare 5:8). This is the first we have heard of the altar since John's vision of souls "under the altar" in connection with the fifth seal (6:9). There John was allowed to hear the prayers of at least one group of Christian believers--those who had been martyred for their testimony (6:10). His use of all widens the application to the living as well as the dead (Caird 1966:107). Just as the prayers of martyrs triggered the judgments of the sixth seal, so the prayers of all the saints ignite (literally) the judgments of the seventh. As soon as prayer (represented by the smoke of the incense) ascends to the altar of God in heaven, fire from the altar descends to earth as divine judgment (v. 5). The angel's role abruptly changes from that of high priest, or intercessor, to that of judge, or executioner. The anguished plea of 6:9, "How long until you judge the inhabitants of the earth?" is still being answered, no less in the seventh seal than in the sixth. Prayer is the engine driving the plan of God toward completion.

The altar, traditionally the place of God's mercy, ironically becomes here the very source of divine judgment. John's vision thus dramatizes the Jewish view that mercy and judgment are not two contrasting sides of God's character, but are the same thing. Flannery O'Connor captured this in the dramatic end of her novel, The Violent Bear It Away (1988:478), when Francis Tarwater receives his long-awaited prophetic call: "GO WARN THE CHILDREN OF GOD OF THE TERRIBLE SPEED OF MERCY." When the angel pours fire on the earth, John says, there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake (v. 5). Such details echo the scene in heaven before the Lamb appeared, when "from the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder" (4:5). Phenomena that John saw in heaven now make their appearance on the earth, framing the account of the seven-sealed scroll and the opening of its seals, and suggesting that the series is now at an end.

Alternatively, it is possible that these phenomena are intended to introduce the new sequence of seven angels blowing their trumpets, a sequence that will end in much the same way in 11:19: "And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm" (compare also the end of the sequence of seven bowls, 16:18). The great "storm" is under control in heaven because it comes from the very throne of God, but when the angel unleashes it on earth, it brings only turmoil and chaos. The terrible toll of the fire from the altar and the resulting thunder, lightning and earthquake (v. 5) are set forth sequentially the seven angels begin to blow their trumpets.




Three Woes

John wrote of seeing an eagle, flying in midair, which called out,

Woe!  Woe!  Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels! (Revelation 8:13).
As will be seen, the three “woes” are important in understanding the ongoing chronology of Revelation.  Clearly, the “other three angels” are those who will blow out the final three Trumpet Judgments:
  1. The First Woe will occur after the blowing of the Fifth Trumpet (Revelation 9:1a, 9:12a).
  2. The Second Woe will occur after the blowing of the Sixth Trumpet (9:12b,13, 11:14a).
  3. The Third Woe will occur after the blowing of the Seventh Trumpet (11:14b,15).
The First Woe (Fifth Trumpet Judgment) will result from an attack of demonic locusts, which will emerge from a supernatural pit known as the “Abyss” (Revelation 9:2,3).  This is the same Abyss into which a legion of demons once begged Jesus not to cast them (Luke 8:31), thus indicating that the Abyss is an abode of captivity for demons, and it will be literal  demonic beings which will emerge from it.  This very well may be the same demonic locust army that the ancient prophet Joel described (Joel 2:1-11).  Interestingly, the period of time that people will be tormented, 5 months (Revelation 9:10), is the same length of time that the waters of Noah’s Flood covered the earth: 150 days (Genesis 7:24), which equals 5 Jewish months of 30 days each.

Once the First Woe (Fifth Trumpet Judgment) has taken place, the Second Woe (Sixth Trumpet Judgment) will be imminent (Revelation 9:12,13).  The Sixth Trumpet Judgment will involve the release of four angels, who will be in charge of killing a third of mankind, via two hundred million mounted troops (9:15,16).  I believe that these mounted troops will be supernatural in nature; there is nothing to suggest that they will be a natural human army, especially considering their grotesque appearance (9:17-19).  There is no good reason not to believe that this is a literal  description.

Up to this point in John’s heavenly vision (Chapters 4–9), the accounts of these future events have been sequential, as written.  It is clear that, chronologically, the Third Woe (Revelation 11:14) will take place after the Second Woe.  However, in John’s written transcript, there is a definite change in venue in the interesting passage between the end of the Sixth Trumpet events and the beginning of the Seventh Trumpet events.  Following the plagues of the Sixth Trumpet Judgment (Revelation 9:13-21), there is a chronological continuance through 10:1-11.  However, Revelation 11:1-13 must be taken out of the ongoing chronological sequence, as is described in the next section.


As the first woe was the 5th trumpet and the second woe the 6th trumpet, the third woe begins with the following verses, 11:15-19, or the 7th trumpet. Dispensationalists interpret this passage as the time period in which the seven vials or bowls will be "emptied out" starting in 16:1 and continuing through 20:3.

If, in following the triplet pattern of woes being the enactment of God's wrath (9:1-8 = 1st woe/5th trumpet and 9:9-15 = 2nd woe/6th trumpet the 3rd woe/7th trumpet is almost certainly the culmination of His wrath especially in light of the seven bowls following. Since we are discussing the woe and not the celebratory phrases in the passage, I would say the judging of the dead is part of the 3rd woe, but the "woe"-ful part of the passage also includes more of v18 and 19. Namely: "Your wrath has come, and the time has come for the dead to be judged...and the time has come to destroy those who destroy the earth....And there were flashes of lightning, roaring, crashes of thunder, an earthquake, and a great hailstorm."

Chapter 9 - The Three Woes Begin

Revelation Chapter 9: the three woes begin with the first two woes - the plagues of the fifth and sixth trumpet judgments of Yahuah ("God")

9:1-12 Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw (a) a star fallen from heaven to earth. To (b) him was given the key to the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. Then out of the smoke (c) locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but (d) only those men who do not have the seal of [Yahuah] on their foreheads. And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for (e) five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them. (f) The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months. And (g) they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon. One woe is past. Behold still two more woes are coming (h) after these things.

Jumping to Chapter 11

Chapter 11 - Measuring the Temple, the Two Witnesses, and Blowing the Seventh Trumpet

Revelation Chapter 11: measuring the temple; the two witnesses; blowing the seventh trumpet to announce the final plagues of the Wrath of Yahuah ("God")

11:1-2 Then (a) I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And (b) the angel stood, saying, "Rise and measure the temple of [Yahuah], the altar, and those who worship there. But (c) leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.”

11:3-13 And (a) I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." (b) These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, (c) fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire. When they finish their testimony, (d) the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the (e) great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then (f) those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. Now (g) after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from Yahuah entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard (h) a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. (i) In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and (j) the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.

11:14-19 (a) The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly. Then (b) the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His [Messiah], and He shall reign forever and ever!" And the twenty-four elders who sat before [Yahuah] on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped [Yahuah], saying: "We give You thanks, O Lord [Yahuah] Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned. The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And (c) the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth." Then the (d) temple of [Yahuah] was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were (e) lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.

Chapter 12 - The Red Dragon Persecutes Yahuah's ("God's) People Israel and Her Children

Revelation Chapter 12: the red dragon (Satan/the devil/the serpent) versus Israel and Israel’s children throughout history

Chapters 12-14 are parenthetical chapters inserted between the sounding of the seventh trumpet (11:15) and the description of the bowls of wrath events (Chapters 15-16) to give us some background information about Satan’s antagonism toward the Lord Yahuah’s People and His coming Messiah and to fill in more details of what happens during the Great Tribulation (the wrath of Satan) of the second half of the Final Seven Years.

By combining images from the past, present, and future, Chapter 12 provides more details about what is happening behind the scenes with Satan vis-à-vis the Messiah and Yahuah’s people Israel. The imagery in this chapter does not appear to be strictly sequential or time-specific: The events manifest a pattern of conflict between the devil and Israel, including her spiritual Children the Followers of Yahushua ("Jesus") the Messiah, throughout history, culminating during the Final Seven Years.

12:1-2 Now (a) a great sign appeared in heaven: (b) a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being (c) with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.

12:3-4 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, (a) a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew (b) a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And (c) the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.

12:5-6 (a) She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to [Yahuah] and His throne. (b) Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by [Yahuah], that (c) they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

12:7-17 And war broke out in heaven: (a) Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard (b) a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His [Messiah] have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to (c) the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time." Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, (d) he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. So (e) the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and (f) the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. And (g) the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of [Yahuah] and have the testimony of [Yahushua the Messiah]. (h)



The Seventh Trumpet, or Third Woe

We all know the feeling summed up by the expression "the future is now." It may be graduation, marriage, the birth of a first child or a long-awaited trip to some faraway place. Someday it will be retirement, and one day it will be the hour of death. It is something we knew was coming, something anticipated and imagined for years, with excitement and joy or with dread. Sooner or later a time comes when it is upon us, and we experience either realization or disappointment or relief, depending on what our expectations were and how closely their fulfillment matched them.

John's expectations about the seventh trumpet must have been a strange mixture of excitement and dread, not unlike those of any Christian facing simultaneously the mystery of death and the hope of heaven. On the one hand John had been warned of three terrible "woes" to come on the earth, but had only witnessed two of them (8:13; 9:12). One remained, possibly the worst of all, and it was to come "soon" (11:14). Yet he had also been told that "when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets" (10:7). Now that he hears the trumpet, it sounds more like the fulfillment of a promise than an oracle of woe. Loud voices in heaven announce that the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever (v. 15).

Clearly the announcement introduces a major division in the book. At once the twenty-four elders in heaven, who have not been heard from as a group since the opening throne-room scene in chapters 4-5, fall on their faces in worship, just as they did twice in that opening scene (4:10; 5:8), offering thanks to God for what he has done and what he is about to do (vv. 16-18). It appears that these verses form a kind of inclusion with chapters 4-5, framing the seven seals and seven trumpets and preparing the way for still more visions to follow.

At the same time, the singular expression, the kingdom of the world, echoes the prophecy just completed about "the great city" of this world, "which is figuratively Sodom and Egypt" (v. 8). The world has many cities and "many peoples, nations, languages and kings" (10:11), but John knows, just as Augustine knew in his City of God, and Bunyan knew in The Pilgrim's Progress, that these are all one city, all one kingdom, whether we call it the City of Man or the City of Destruction or Vanity Fair. Only when that city's citizens "were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven" (v. 13) was it possible to say, The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ. The seventh trumpet is significant, therefore, both in relation to chapters 4-11 generally and to the end of the sixth trumpet in particular.

The dual phrase, of our Lord and of his Christ, recalls previous references to "the one sitting on the throne" together with "the Lamb" (5:13; 6:16; 7:10), but echoes more closely the language of Psalm 2: "Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One" (or "his Christ," Ps 2:1-2). Although G. B. Caird may have exaggerated in stating that John here "begins an exposition of Psalm ii" extending through several chapters (Caird 1966:141), much of the latter half of the book of Revelation will be given over to answering the psalmist's question. With the end of the Cold War, and in the face of many "small" crises all over the world (at this writing Russia, Bosnia, Haiti, Rwanda and Zaire), the ancient question reasserts itself with as much urgency as ever. Why indeed is there so much turmoil among the nations?

The song of the twenty-four elders recalls God's self-revelation just before John's first vision (1:8), but with one significant difference. God is described not as the one "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty," but now as Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was (v. 17). God is no longer "to come" because God has come in power. The elders' song is a thanksgiving because you have taken your power and have begun to reign (v. 17). The occasion for God's great assertion of power is stated very briefly, in the spirit of Psalm 2: The nations were angry (v. 18). God's anger is in direct response to the anger of the nations. As one recent translation aptly puts it, "The nations rose in wrath, but your day of wrath has come" (REB; compare 6:17). In a similar vein, the song concludes that the time has now come for destroying those who destroy the earth (v. 18).

The first four trumpets might easily have left the impression that God was destroying the creation with fire from heaven, but by now the trumpet series has been transformed. Responsibility for the damage rests not with God, but with those who provoked God's anger. We have met them briefly, as the beast from the Abyss (11:7) or as "the great city . . . called Sodom and Egypt" (11:8). We will meet them again in varied forms in later chapters. The concluding reference to destroying those who destroy the earth (v. 18) is strangely similar to Paul's solemn warning to the Corinthians: "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple" (1 Cor 3:16-17). Here in Revelation, it is as if the whole earth is God's temple, the "outer court" of his sanctuary in heaven (compare 11:2), given over to the Gentiles--or nations--for a limited time, but now holy once again and ready to be reclaimed.

Between the stern words of retribution that frame verse 18 are corresponding words of justice and reward. It is likely that the rewarding of your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great, as well as the destruction of the earth's destroyers, takes place at the final resurrection in connection with judging the dead. This final judgment will eventually turn out to be a complex process in two stages (compare 20:5, 11-15), but in keeping with traditional Jewish expectations, the elders' song announces it as a single event involving reward for the righteous and punishment for the wicked (compare Mt 25:46; Jn 5:28; Acts 24:15). The righteous are here divided into three groups: Christian prophets (compare 10:7), ordinary believers, or "saints," whose prayers triggered the series of seven trumpets (5:8; 8:3-4), and unbelievers who learned to fear and worship God at the end of the trumpet series (11:11, 13). As subsequent chapters will show, the judgment of those who destroy the earth is not limited to the final resurrection (20:11-15), but begins already with the fall of the city called "Babylon" (14:8 11; chaps. 16-18) and the defeat of the armies of "the kings of the earth" (19:17-21).

The divine response to the elders' song is the sudden opening of God's temple in heaven (v. 19), protected by John's prophetic act of measuring at the beginning of the chapter (11:1). Within God's temple the ark of His covenant appeared (v. 19 NASB), followed shortly by two more "appearances" (all with the same Greek word for "appeared," wphthh: first, "a great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven" (12:1) and then "another sign appeared in heaven" (12:3). The appearance of the ark of the covenant is God's acknowledgment of the thanksgiving just offered by the twenty-four elders. John's glimpse of the ark is the nearest he comes in all his visions to a glimpse of God. The repetition of the words "appear" and "in heaven" accent the continuity between God's self-disclosure in the temple and the disclosure of conflict and victory in the next four or five chapters (compare also 15:5). In this sense the seventh trumpet is open-ended, encompassing all the rest of the book of Revelation and announcing in advance the end of the story.

At the same time the trumpet series, like that of the seven seals, is terminated by a "storm" in heaven reminiscent of Mount Sinai: flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm (v. 19; compare 8:5).There will be more visions and more judgments, but no more trumpets. The double series that began with the seven-sealed scroll in chapters 4-5 is now at an end. Although there is definite continuity between chapters 11-12, there is at least a momentary pause in the action. Many readers have found this as good a place as any to divide the book of Revelation into two approximately equal parts: chapters 1-11 and chapters 12-22.

About this commentary:
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