3. Middle Difficulties
1. Seven seals
2. Seven trumpets
3. Seven plagues
1. Seven Seals
1. White horse
2. Red horse
3. Black horse
4. Pale horse
5. Waiting martyrs
6. Suffering earth
7. Heavenly silence
2. Seven Trumpets
The second group of seven happenings on earth after the seven seals, are seven trumpets being sounded.
“And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.” – Revelation 8:1-2
The angels then sound these:
"And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;" - Revelation 8:8
Christ Himself is involved in the initial seven church letters (the angel stars in His hand) and the previous seven seals (the Lamb unsealing the scroll).
Both these seven trumpets and then seven plagues are issued through angels, though and more focused on the earth's judgement than addressing God's people through Christ.
Another angel then appears and describes something that helps explain the timing and purpose of these trumpets:
This additional angel has a golden censer and a mixture of incense (symbolising the merits and Salvation of Christ) and the prayers of the saints:
“And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.” – Revelation 8:3
These are presented before God’s altar. Therefore, this symbolises the beginning of Christ’s ministry in heaven after His Ascension and, logically, the start of these trumpets.
The prayers of people mixed with the incense of Christ's righteousness is the focus at this time.
“And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God out of the angel's hand” – Revelation 8:4
However, the censer focuses on God's judgement of the earth, with His fire from the alter then triggering adverse events.
“And the angel took the censer, and filled it with the fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightning, and an earthquake.” – Revelation 8:5
The trumpets, therefore, logically follow the same time period of the previous seven seals – from Christ’s first to His Second Coming.
Although these trumpets in verse two are straight after the last seal in verse one, the word 'and' can simply mean an additional aspect to this Revelation that then goes back in time rather than consequentially afterwards.
Where the previous letters and seals focussed on God’s church of believers and His Gospel message over time (from Christ Himself), these trumpets now focus on the consequential judgements and effect on earth and people who reject this message and God's people (through angels).
However, as we'll see when we come to the plagues, these trumpets are only partial rather than full judgement,
Trumpets are also a symbol in the Bible of announcing war or judgement and calling people’s attention to something special.
As we look at what each of these seven trumpets and periods means, there are three specific differences worth noting:
1. The last three trumpets are described as woes, whereas none of the other eighteen happenings between the seals, trumpets, and plagues are.
“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 because of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!” – Romans 8:3
A woe is a severe warning from God; therefore, these last three trumpet judgements must be carefully noted. They deprive people of Salvation with severe demonic attacks on the truth.
These also affect men, whereas the previous four only affect the earth.
2. Whilst the Historicist method of interpretation approximately matches these to the same seven time periods, there are differences in the exact historical detail and timing just before or after each particular time period.
There are then variations of what specific historical events are matching these periods within a Historical method.
The one I've assumed focuses more on the same time periods as the seals and letters, and other kingdoms affecting God's people and message where appropriate like Israel itself.
It refers to a third of things being affected in each trumpet as a different third of the Roman Empire - first the Western through the first four trumpets, and then Eastern and Central regions through the last three woes. I've referred to this as well where possible.
Another focuses more on the happenings of pagan and papal Rome, as the fourth overall kingdom affecting people from Christ’s Resurrection according to the Historicist interpretation of the prophecies in the book of Daniel.
Therefore, whether specifically the Roman Empire or others, these trumpets are partial judgements against systems and kingdoms against God and His people.
3. The last seventh trumpet technically ends just after Christ’s Second Coming.
So, this includes the Millenium period afterwards and the completion of judgement on non-believers at the Second Resurrection, as we'll see in a later section.
The seven plagues are therefore a further judgement that begins after the start of this seventh last trumpet and finishes at Christ's Second Coming.
The seven trumpets
Here are the details of each of the seven trumpets that are consecutively sounded:
1. A fiery hailstorm
Continuing with the scene of fire from the censer causing these trumpet judgements, we have hail mixed with fire now, and both then mingled with blood:
“The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth:” – Revelation 8:7a
The consequence is damage to the earth – grass ruined, and a third of trees burnt from this fiery hailstorm:
“and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.” – Revelation 8:7b
This act of judgement can be matched to Israel in their role of crucifying Christ, as outlined in Matthew chapter twenty-four.
Therefore, these judgements are against systems and groups that have rejected Christ.
This eventually triggered the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD via the Romans because of rejecting Christ’s message, according to the seventy-week prophecy in Daniel chapter nine, when applying the same Historicist method of interpretation.
Although the Romans governed during this period, Christ gives the comparable analogy of trees to the Jews at this time and their days of good green leaves of accepting the Gospel:
“But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in which they shall say, Blessed, are the barren, the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?” – Luke 23:28-31
In short, they were God's chosen people throughout the Old Testament who didn't accept Christ as the Messiah going forwards.
This matches the first century period until 100 AD after Christ’s life on earth and judgement upon Israel.
A more Roman emphasis identifies its downfall from the Visigoths invasion around 396-428 AD led by Alaric, after the death of Roman Emperor Theodosius providing the opportunity for the first successful attack and downfall of the Western Roman Empire and Rome.
2. A fiery mountain
The theme of fire and damage to a third of the earth continues with the second trumpet’s call, this time through a mountain being on fire and thrown into the sea, causing the sea to become blood:
“And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;” – Revelation 8:8
This causes sea creatures and ships to be destroyed in the same one-third proportion:
“And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.” – Revelation 8:9
This can be linked to judgement upon the pagan Roman Empire, with the symbolic fiery mountain then affecting the nations as symbolised by the sea.
This matches the period from the end of the first century to Constantine in the early fourth century (100 AD - 323 AD).
Jews and Christians saw Rome as the new ‘Babylon’ in this period because they caused the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple and caused great persecution.
The more specific Rome interpretation links this to the Vandal's invasion in 455 AD, under their leader Genseric. They sailed up the Tiber river to attack Rome, and although the Roman armada had more ships the Vandels lit theirs to then affect the Romans and cause a symbolic burning in the sea.
The modern word ‘vandalism’ stems from the victory of these tribes, causing destruction.
3. A star called Wormwood
Further damage to a third of the earth happens with the third trumpet, causing the waters to become ‘wormwood’ and bitter, and then people dieing:
“And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood, and many men died of the waters because they were made bitter” – Revelation 8:11
Whereas the sea in the previous trumpet symbolises a broader group of people, these sources of freshwater (like a river) indicate more individuals within a wider group being affected.
“And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;” – Revelation 8:10
This was all caused from a falling star in heaven burning like a lamp, with the same name of Wormwood. This is logically Satan, who is described elsewhere in Scripture as a fallen angel.
Wormwood is specifically a bitter herb, therefore indicating poisoning of the truth amongst people. Moses also used it as a symbol of idolatry (Deuteronomy 29:17-18).
This matches the beginning of the Middle Dark Ages and the emergence of the Papacy across Europe between 323 and 538 AD. This new form of spiritual teaching began to affect both the church and secular society, causing idolatry and apostasy.
The Roman-focused basis identifies this with the invasion of the Roman Empire by the Huns under Attila between 451-453 AD in the Alps and Italy; a short, but very intense and effective attack on the Western Roman Empire.
4. The solar system
The fourth trumpet refers to three essential features of the sky's solar system going dark – the sun, moon, and stars:
“And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise” – Revelation 8:12
The same portion of one-third is also called darkness day and night.
Scripture helps identify these as Christ being represented by the sun, and the moon being God’s Word which gets its light from the sun and Christ. Thirdly, stars then symbolise God’s people (see the Symbols Checklist).
This identifies the continued Middle Ages between 538 AD and 1,300 AD and the full implication of the Papacy system. This caused the darkening of God’s Word, During this period, Christ’s light is restricted to God’s people.
Taking the more Roman stance, this is the point of the Western Roman Empire's final fall. The sun is seen as symbolising Odoscer from the Heruli who conquered Italy in 476 AD and abolished the Empire and became the new king. The moon is the Byzantine emperor Justinian who extinguished the consulship in 541 AD. The starts are the banishment of Sanates by Totila the Goth in 553 AD.
5. The bottomless pit
The fifth trumpet identifies things appearing from a bottomless pit onto earth when opened.
Although a fifth angel sounds this trumpet, a falling star from heaven comes to unlock this pit on earth:
“And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him. And he opened the bottomless pit;” – Revelation 9:1-2b
Four things then happen.
1. There is rising smoke from the pit, which darkens the sun and air
“and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit.” – Revelation 9:2b
2. Locusts appear with power on earth against men without God’s seal on their foreheads (but not any greenery and vegetation).
“And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads” – Revelation 9:3-4
Although the final point of people receiving either the seal of God or the mark of the beast has not been reached yet, this clearly offers general protection to people (symbolising trees and greenery) and true believers of God who have the characteristics of the final seal of God.
These locusts are described as horses for battle, with gold crowns on their heads – with comparable men’s faces, women’s hair, lions teeth, iron breastplates, wings sounding like chariots, and tails with stings to hurt men:
“And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle, and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.” – Revelation 9:7-10
3. Harm to these men is timed as five months and described as like a striking scorpion man who then wants to die but cannot.
“And to them, it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.” – Revelation 9:5-6
4. They had a king who was the angel of the pit, and a name in two languages:
“And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon” – Revelation 9:11
The falling star, which, as before, is against Satan, now symbolises the release of something terrible in his kingdom and dominion, as illustrated by the bottomless pit.
Although the Protestant Reformation emerged, this outlines the increasing influence of Satan, such as the Counter-Reformation, and the end of the dark Middle Ages.
This links with the parallel fifth seal and martyrs for the faith waiting for Christ’s victory during the period of 1300 to 1517 AD.
More specifically, this can be seen as identifying the judgements against the Eastern Roman Empire, the rise of Islam, and the early days of their leader Mohammed around Arabia assembling tribes in this new religion.
Their invasion of the Eastern Roman Empire with colourful turbans and long black hair on fast horses is symbolised by the picture of locusts here.
Applying a day-year principle for the five months time frame equates to 150 days/years when using the Jewish 30-day monthly calendar.
This correlates to the Ottoman Empire and the time from 1299 AD and the Osman attack of the western Greek-Roman Empire to 1449 AD when the late Greek Emperor Constantine ascended the throne.
This then affects Christ (as symbolised by the sun) and the Holy Spirit (by the air/wind).
6. War from angels
The sixth angel’s trumpet triggers four voices in heaven from the corners of God’s alter and four angels from the river Euphrates on earth:
“And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates” – Revelation 9:13-14
Again, a third of men on earth are killed, with a new time frame of one hour, day, month and year:
“And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.” – Revelation 9:15
Applying the same day-year principle within the Historicist interpretation, this equates to 360 years (1 year), plus 30 years (1 month), plus one year (1 day), plus fifteen days (1 hour) – totalling 391 years and 15 days.
A large army is then issued (two hundred thousand) with a description of those riding horses:
“And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions” – Revelation 9:16-17a.
The focus is fire/smoke/brimstone coming from them, which kills people and with power in their heads and tails:
“and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. So by these three was the third part of men killed by the fire, smoke, and brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents and had heads, and with them, they do hurt” – Revelation 9:17b-19.
We then have a glimpse of the two-thirds of men who were not killed from this and how they are still unrepentant to God:
“And the rest of the men who were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor their thefts” – Revelation 9:20-21
In terms of how this links with history, this can be seen as increasing secularism in the Western Roman Empire and non-religious philosophies emerging at the end of the dark Middle Ages (from 1517 onwards). Also, the development of the Ottoman Empire and Turks as introduced in the earlier trumpet.
There were four sultans of Turkey converted to Islam (Aleppo, Iconium, Damascus, and Baghdad) like the four angels, who then used military might to spread this. The uniforms of the Turkish horsemen were red, blue, and yellow, as described here.
Plus, if you take the point of 1449 (which was the end of the time prophecy in the last trumpet) to 1840, when the Turkish Ottoman Empire would surrender to Western Europe, this matches the prophesied time span of 391 years (and predicted by someone called Josiah Lynch just before it happened).
7. God’s temple
For the last trumpet, the focus is on heaven and voices declaring that earth’s kingdoms are now God & Christ’s, to last forever:
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” – Revelation 11:15
There is then a fantastic scene of worship to God by the twenty-four elders identified in chapters four and five and a declaration of His greatness:
“And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned” – Revelation 11:16-17
This leads to a scene of reconciliation and judgement, with Christians receiving rewards (therefore, they must have already been judged by this point). However, there are also others still to be judged, and causing their anger:
“And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” – Revelation 11:18
The finale is God’s temple being opened, right to the central Most Holy Place holding the Ark of Covenant, which then causes unusual happenings:
“And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightning, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.” – Revelation 11:19
This clearly describes events leading up to the Second Coming of Christ from a point of judgement and the fate of people on earth being set. This then leads to the earth's kingdoms becoming God’s – matching the prophecy in Daniel chapter two of a stone smashing the worldly kingdoms at His Second Coming.
3. Seven Plagues
The third and final group of sevens are plagues released on the earth and the most severe of all the twenty-one happenings.
Whereas the seven trumpets generally mirrored the seven seals over time (and the initial seven letters to the churches), these plagues are best understood to come immediately after all these on their own.
So while the seventh church's letter and seal runs right to the Second Coming of Christ, these plagues happen just before from the end of the seventh trumpet until this Second Coming.
The main reasons for this are:
1. They happen consecutively one after the other, as sometimes there is mention of the effects of a former one later on:
“And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.” – Revelation 16:11
2. They are clearly stated as the ‘last’ plagues right at the beginning of chapter fifteen:
“And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues” – Revelation 15:1a
3. There is a reference to people now being sealed by God or having the mark of the beast, not a status mentioned in the seven seals or trumpets (apart from the Rev 9:4 debate):
“And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.” – Revelation 15:2
This is a glorious picture before we get into the detail of each plague of God's people. They have overcome the beast and the mark/image number and could be a glimpse at the end of the time after the Second Coming as the start of believers after people have decided on the seal of God or mark of the beast on earth.
4. God’s judgement is described as already happening, something that is considered further in the later section:
“And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be because thou hast judged thus.” – Revelation 16:5
5. There are now severe consequences for the earth and people concerning the fullness of God’s wrath and everything directly affected.
The former trumpets only affected a third of the planet and, therefore, a form of preliminary and partial judgement on earth before these final plagues.
“for in them is filled up the wrath of God.” – Revelation 15:1b
There is also a description of those who have not received the mark of the beast praising God and stating that His judgements will now be manifest:
“Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.” – Revelation 15:4
6. There is a powerful scene directly in God’s temple which no one can now enter:
“And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled” – Revelation 15:8
There is a mixture of consequential plagues from the angels that are caused by vials of God’s wrath as provided by one of the four beasts:
“And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth forever and ever.” – Revelation 15:6-7
7. Later in chapter eighteen, when plagues are referred to, they state a time frame of one day.
Applying the day-year principle, this equates to one year literally, which may indicate what all these last for:
“Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.” – Revelation 18:8
8. There is no interlude amongst these seven plagues, whereas there is between numbers six and seven for the former seals and trumpets.
The third interlude is actually at the start of these seven plagues after the last seventh trumpet.
9. There is a pattern of these seven plagues progressively mirroring the trumpets rather than repeating them simultaneously (the trumpets added further detail to similar churches and seal periods).
The trumpets are a partial foreshadowing type of the total and final antitype plagues afterwards, for example:
• The trumpets affect a smaller local scale, whereas the plagues on a larger global scale.
• The plagues announce God’s judgement over everything after the trumpets focus on God’s people in the churches and seals.
• The plagues have a more moral and severe response to earth’s happenings.
10. The response of people is different. While they can still repent and turn to God in the trumpets which warn them, they cannot live in the plagues after receiving the mark of the beast as they are in greater despair.
What the seven plagues are
On the understanding that these are yet to happen in the future, no historical events can actually match these.
Subsequently, these are each described below as they are written rather than being able to suggest further what these might actually symbolise.
The first plague is a sore on people and those that specifically have the mark of the beast (and worship its image):
“And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth, and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.” – Revelation 16:2
2. Blood sea
The sea then becomes like blood, with everything in there dying:
“And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea, and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.” – Revelation 16:3
3. Blood rivers
The third plague is along the same lines as the last one, but this time affacting both rivers and fountains of water that turning to blood:
“And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea, and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.” – Revelation 16:4
We also have details about the reasoning for this bloody water. Considering that living people need to drink water in order to survive on the earth, this is stopped by the one thing they have caused to be shed from others historically – blood.
“For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.” – Revelation 16:6
4. Sun and heat
We then have the sun affected by the plagues, and therefore able to affect men with heat:
“And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun, and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.” – Revelation 16:8
We then glimpse men's reaction to this great heat – blasphemy and unrepentance.
“And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.” – Revelation 16:9
These plagues are now affecting people more personally and causing a hostile reaction.
The fifth plague then affects the beast, the central system and kingdom on earth used by Satan against God.
This was outlined more in the prophecies in Daniel and is developed more in the interludes between these twenty-one punishments in the next section.
“And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast;” – Revelation 16:10a.
It describes the seat of this beast, clearly symbolising the central and focal part of this system.
The following verses explain the consequences of this, the main one being darkness within, or more darkness, because such a beast against God will be dark anyway.
This causes pain to ‘them’ within this kingdom, which turns to blasphemy against God and still no repentance.
“and his kingdom was full of darkness, and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.” – Revelation 16:10b-11
6. Euphrates & Armageddon
The sixth plague is on the river Euphrates which causes waters to dry up in it:
“And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates, and the water thereof was dried up,” – Revelation 16:12a
It’s important to note that this river fed the original city of Babylon, something developed further in the next section.
This triggers something else – the preparation of Eastern Kings, presumably from the problem of no water supply.
“and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.” – Revelation 16:12b
John then sees something else that, although separate, must also be linked to this sixth plague.
Three unclean spirits appear in the form of frogs, and worth noting how they come out of the mouths of different entities:
“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.” – Revelation 16:13
This appears to represent a false form of the trinity of three ‘persons’ – Satan Himself (as the Father), the beast (as the Antichrist), and the false prophet (as the Holy Spirit).
The purpose of these unclean spirits is to do miracles (false and demonic ones), are also referred to in an interlude section.
“For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles,” – Revelation 16:14a
This enables them to gather kings and the whole world to a finale against God, referred to firstly as that great day of the almighty, and then secondly a place called Armageddon:
“which go forth unto the kings of the earth and the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty...And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” – Revelation 16:14b & 16
As events worsen on earth during these plagues, its as if the previous, more subtle ways of Satan behind the scenes are being exposed, and people are trying to escape from these.
Hence, reference here to other miracles and evil spirits working amongst people across the earth who are increasingly helpless.
There is then a warning to people, presumably referring to God’s people as a general reminder to not be affected by this worldwide influence (at this point in the plagues everyone will have made their unchangeable decision for God or Satan anyway):
“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walks naked, and they see his shame” – Revelation 16:15
The final seventh plague is poured into the air generally rather than a specific part of the earth:
“And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air;” – Revelation 16:17a
This triggers an awesome scene in heaven with consequences then on earth; these match the happenings of Christ’s Second Coming to earth for the final victory and commencement of His new Kingdom.
A heavenly voice straight from God’s temple says it is completed:
“and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.” – Revelation 16:17b
There is then the most significant earthquake on earth ever, along with voices, thunder, and lightening:
“And there were voices, and thunders, and lightning; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great” – Revelation 16:18
Two other things are then described.
Firstly, the effect on the earth in the form of both cities generally and a particular ‘great’ city, and then islands and mountains:
“And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell:...And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.” – Revelation 16:19a & 20
This also includes a place or system called Babylon, detailed in the following chapters and later sections.
“and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.” – Revelation 16:19b
Although these seven plagues are giving an overview of what will happen at the very end of time just before Christ returns, the following chapters then provide further detail of this fallen Babylon system in the world ultimately controlled by Satan.
Secondly, the effect upon people on earth, which links back to this particular plague and focuses on hail causing harm:
“And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.” – Revelation 16:21