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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," November Edition 2007

Revelation Chapters Eight And Nine Explained

In the last two issues of this newsletter we began a series looking at the Christian interpretation of the Rook of Revelation. This interpretation stands in marked contrast to the “returned to Judaism” mentality that modern dispensational premillennial theorists seek to impose upon our understanding of the sacred Apocalypse.

We have seen that chapters six and seven provide us with selective overviews.

Chapter six informs us of the great forces of conflict and conquest that must shape the destiny of the age between Christ’s first and second advents. Chapter seven reveals the great concern and work of God in gathering the Christian Church throughout this present age. The earth is not to be “hurt” with the apocalyptic judgments of the end-time until that mission has been accomplished (7:3).

Now, in chapters eight and nine we come to that appointed event of the “hurting of the earth” that had, until this time, been delayed by the gospel mission. What we have here are the sounding of six trumpet blasts, each of which has to do with earth’s final end-time judgments.

Chapter eight is concerned with the first four, of six. trumpet blast. Each of these specifically have to do with the destruction by fire of “a third part” of the earth. This is the "judgment of fire” that Peter also referred to in II Peter 3:7-12. The same thing is seen, later, in Revelation chapter eighteen as the momentary destruction of the great whore Babylon.

Chapter nine indicates that there will be a process leading up to this physical destruction of the earth. It begins when a fallen minister of the gospel opens the door of the bottomless pit, and turns hell loose upon the unsaved masses (9:1-6).

That period of end-time tormenting demonic activity is said to last “five months” (9:5, 10). What Jesus is revealing here is that there will be a great satanically-inspired apostasy from sound Christian doctrine that will pave the way for the destruction of the earth by fire at the end of time.

Notice first, that it is a “falling star” (9:1), or apostate preacher(s) of the gospel (1:2), who are responsible for all of this carnage. The five months point to the one-hundred-fifty days in which the waters of Noah’s flood covered the earth (Genesis 7:24). According to the day/year theory of prophetic interpretation, these five months point, further, to a period of a hundred and fifty years.

The picture here is that of the rise of modern liberal theology (including dispensationalism and many other cults of false doctrine, such as Mormonism, Jehovah Witness, Christian Science, etc.), which all broke loose upon the world in the latter part of the nineteenth century, one-hundred and fifty years ago.

Notice that true Christians escape these scourges of religious apostasy (9:4).

During this period of great spiritual darkness the physical earth is not yet hurt (9:4).
At the appointed time the physical destruction of the earth arrives (9:15).

The four angel stationed in the Euphrates (9:14) are also the first four trumpeters of 8:7-12.

In summary, trump blast number five, with which chapter nine opens, reveals the CAUSE of end-time judgment. Trumpet blasts numbers one through four (in chapter 8), and number six (9:13ff.), give the final resulting EFFECTS.

Those effects are these. The great controlling unitary city Babylon is divided into three parts (16:19), and the “third part” is now destroyed. The agents involved are cosmic upheavals in nature--an earthquake, a great mountain burning with fire (volcano)--, and the gathering of enemy nations from the East to inflict and to feast (compare 9:15ff. with 16:12; 19:17).

NOTE: Since this article was written we have come to a better understanding of the meaning of the "third part" trumpet judgments of Revelation chapter eight. Please follow the links from "The Silence in Heaven Explained" article link below to get this better perspective.

Related Article Links

Revelation Chapter Seven Explained
Revelation Chapter Ten Explained

The Silence In Heaven Explained