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Eschatology:     The Book of Revelation   by Clarence Larkin

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THE
BOOK OF REVELATION


A Study of
The Last Prophetic Book
of Holy Scripture
by Clarence Larkin
1919


The Seven Trumpets


The Trumpet Angel

FIRST TRUMPET.
(Hail--Fire--Blood.)

Revelation 8:6-7.

"And the 'SEVEN ANGELS' which had the 'SEVEN TRUMPETS' prepared themselves to sound. The 'First Angel' sounded, and there followed HAIL and FIRE mingled with BLOOD, and they were cast upon the Earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up."

There is no need to spiritualize this. It means just what it says. These things have happened before why not again? It is the fulfilment of Joel 2:30-31, where the Lord says that in the "latter days" He will--"Shew wonders in the heavens' and in the earth, BLOOD, and FIRE, and PILLARS OF SMOKE. The sun shall be turned into DARKNESS, and the Moon into BLOOD, before the GREAT AND THE TERRIBLE DAY OF THE LORD COME." The DAY when He shall come to take VENGEANCE ON HIS ENEMIES. The Lord is going to repeat the "PLAGUES OF EGYPT." They were literal, why not the "Trumpet" and "Vial" Judgments? The literalness of these Judgments give us the "key" to the LITERALNESS of the Book of Revelation. No less than 5 of the 9 Plagues of Egypt are to be repeated during the Tribulation Period. This Plague is the same as the "SEVENTH EGYPTIAN PLAGUE." "And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be HAIL in all the Land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the Land of Egypt."

And Moses stretched forth his "rod" toward heaven: and the Lord sent THUNDER and HAIL, and the FIRE ran along upon the ground; and the Lord rained HAIL upon the Land of Egypt. So there was HAIL, and FIRE mingled with the HAIL, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the Land of Egypt since it became a nation. And the HAIL smote throughout all the Land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the HAIL smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field. ONLY IN THE LAND OF GOSHEN, WHERE THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL WERE, WAS THERE NO HAIL." Ex. 9:22-26. The difference between this Egyptian Plague, and the Plague of the First Trumpet, is, that the situation will be reversed. Then the "CHILDREN OF ISRAEL" escaped, now they will suffer. The Judgments of Egypt were directed against Pharoah, the Judgments of the Tribulation Period will be directed against Israel.

The Egyptian "Plague of Hail" was clearly a great "ELECTRICAL STORM" that did not touch the Land of Goshen where the Children of Israel dwelt. The FIRE that "ran along the ground" was lightning. The difference between the Egyptian Plague and the one John describes is, that in Egypt man and beast suffered with the vegetation, while only the trees and the green grass will suffer when the First Trumpet sounds, and the HAIL and FIRE will be MINGLED WITH BLOOD. In Egypt the "Hail" smote every herb of the field, and broke every tree, but under the First Trumpet only one-third of the trees and grass will be burnt up.


SECOND TRUMPET.
(The Burning Mountain.)

Revelation 8:8-9.

"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; 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."

As this "MOUNTAIN" is to fall on the sea, and the Judgments poured forth by the "Trumpets" and "Vials" are to fall mainly on that part of the world bordering on the Mediterranean Sea, it is highly probable that the "SEA" here mentioned is the Mediterranean Sea.

Notice that John does not say that it was a "Mountain" that he saw cast into the sea, but that it appeared like a mountain, not a burning volcano, but an immense meteoric mass ablaze with fire. That was as near as John could describe it. The effect of this "burning mass" on the sea, into which it fell, was to turn a third part of the sea into BLOOD. If any are disposed to doubt the possibility of such a thing let them turn to the "First Egyptian Plague" Ex. 7:19-21, and read the account of the turning of the waters of the River Nile into BLOOD. "And all the waters that were in the river were turned to BLOOD. And the fish that was in the river DIED; and the river STANK, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river: and there was BLOOD throughout ALL THE LAND OF EGYPT." The only difference between the "First Egyptian Plague," and the effect on the Mediterranean Sea by the falling of a "Meteor" into it at the sounding of the Second Trumpet, will be, that only 1/3 of the sea shall become BLOOD, that where the "Meteor" strikes, and thus only 1/3 of the living creatures in the sea shall DIE. One-third also of the ships shall be DESTROYED, possibly by a tidal wave, or the "Meteor" may fall on a fleet of naval vessels, like the storm that destroyed the Spanish Armada.


THIRD TRUMPET.
(The Star Wormwood.)

Revelation 8:10-11.

"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; and the name of the 'Star' is 'WORMWOOD': and the third part of the waters (rivers) became WORMWOOD; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter."

When the "Third Trumpet" sounded a "GREAT STAR" fell from heaven burning like a lamp (R. V. Torch). This will doubt-less be another "Meteor," that will assume the form of a "Torch" in its blazing path through the heavens, and when its gaseous vapors are scattered as it explodes, they will be absorbed by the third part of the rivers and fountains of waters, and they will be poisoned by the noxious gases, and made bitter, and many men shall die from drinking of those waters. "Wormwood" is a perennial herb, very bitter, and is used in the manufacture of "Absinthe." It is much used in France as a beverage, and is more intoxicating and destructive than ordinary liquors. This time is foretold by the Prophet Jeremiah. "Therefore thus saith the Lord of Hosts, because they have forsaken my law, Behold, I will feed them, even this people (Israel), with WORMWOOD, and give them WATER OF GALL to drink." Jer. 9:13-15.


FOURTH TRUMPET.
(SUN, Moon and Stars Smitten.)

Revelation 8:12.

"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."

What happens under the sounding of this "Trumpet" is so similar to what happened under the "Sixth Seal" that it is not necessary to further dwell on it here. These are some of the "Signs" spoken of by Christ, in Luke's Gospel, that shall precede His Second Coming. There shall be signs in the SUN, and in the MOON, and in the STARS, and upon the earth distress of nations, with PERPLEXITY." Luke 21:25-28.


THE ANGEL WARNING.
("Three Woes" Announced.)

Revelation 8:13.

"And I beheld, and heard an ANGEL (R. V. Eagle) 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."

The Revised Version, and many Manuscripts substitute "Eagle" for ANGEL, but that does not affect the meaning, for if God could make Balaam's "ass" to speak, He can use an "Eagle" to announce a message.


FIFTH TRUMPET.
FIRST WOE.
(The Plague Of Locusts.)


Scorpion Locusts

Revelation 9:1-12.

"And the FIFTH ANGEL sounded, and I saw a 'STAR' fall from Heaven unto the earth: and to HIM was given the 'Key' of the 'BOTTOMLESS PIT.' And he opened the 'BOTTOMLESS PIT,' and there arose a smoke out of the 'Pit,' as the smoke of a furnace; and the Sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the 'Pit.' 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. 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. And the shape of the LOCUSTS were like unto HORSES PREPARED UNTO BATTLE: and on their heads were as it were crowns of 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 Breast-plates 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. 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. One 'WOE' is past; and, behold, there come 'TWO WOES' more hereafter."

At the sounding of the Fifth Trumpet John saw a "STAR" fall, or as the Revised Version has it, "fallen from Heaven." That it was not a literal star is clear, for in the next verse the "STAR" is spoken of as a PERSON (He), and in the Old Testament angels were called "Stars." Job 38:7. Because the "STAR" was "fallen from Heaven" does not imply that the "ANGEL," for that is what it was, was a "FALLEN ANGEL," or SATAN himself, as some have supposed. John simply meant that he saw the descent of the "STAR," or Angel, and so rapidly did it descend that it appeared to be falling. This is the same "STAR ANGEL" that in Rev. 20:1-3 comes down from Heaven, having the "Key" of the "BOTTOMLESS PIT," and a great chain in his hand, and binds SATAN, and casts him into the "PIT." This makes it clear that the "STAR ANGEL" is not SATAN. The work of both Angels is the same, to unlock and lock the "Bottomless Pit." It does not look reasonable that God would entrust the "Key" of the "Prison House" of the "Demons" to a "Fallen Angel," or even Satan himself.


THE BOTTOMLESS PIT.

The "BOTTOMLESS PIT" is not Hell, or Hades, the place of abode of the "Spirits" of wicked men and women until the resurrection of the "Wicked Dead." See the Chart of "The Underworld." Neither is it "Tartarus" the "Prison House" of the "Fallen Angels" (Jude 6-7), nor the "Lake of Fire," the "Final Hell" (Gehenna), Matt. 25:41, but it is the place of confinement of the DEMONS, who are not Satan's Angels but a class of "disembodied Spirits," supposed by many to be the "disembodied spirits" of the inhabitants of the Pre-Adamite Earth, who, as they have liberty and opportunity, as in the days of Christ, try to re-embody themselves again in human bodies. They are wicked, unclean, vicious, and have power to derange both mind and body. Matt. 12:22; 15:22. Luke 4:35; 8:26-36; 9:42. They are the "Familiar Spirits" of the Old Testament and the "Seducing Spirits" of which Paul warned Timothy. I. Tim. 4:1. They wander about in desolate places. Christ used them to illustrate the condition of the Jewish people in the "last days" when "Demoniacal Power" shall be increased over them SEVENFOLD. He said, "When the 'UNCLEAN SPIRIT' (or Demon) is gone out of a man, he (the Demon) walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out: and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself SEVEN OTHER SPIRITS more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this WICKED GENERATION." Matt. 12:43-45. The word "Generation," means not simply the life-time of an individual, but it means a "race," and by this "WICKED GENERATION," Christ meant those He was addressing, and they were the Jews. So we see that the Jews, as a "race," when Jesus comes back, will be SEVENFOLD DEMONIACALLY POSSESSED. This will account for their making a "Covenant" with Antichrist which the Prophet Isaiah calls a "Covenant with DEATH and HELL." Isa. 28:18. When Christ cast the "Legion" of devils (Demons) out of the Gadarene Demoniac, they besought Him to not cast them into the "deep," that is, not into the "ABYSS," the "BOTTOMLESS PIT." Luke 8:26-36.


The Underworld
The Underworld
Enlarged view

When the "Star Angel" opened the "Bottomless Pit," smoke, like the smoke of a great furnace, issued forth and darkened the sun, and there came out of the smoke LOCUSTS upon the earth. These were not ordinary locusts. Neither were the locusts of the "Eighth Egyptian Plague." Ex. 10:3-20. For we read of them that "there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such," that is, just like them. Nevertheless they were locusts, not some "composite creature" such as John saw, for they acted like locusts and ate up every green thing. The difference must have been in their size and voraciousness.

The LOCUSTS that John saw come out of the "Bottomless Pit" were a kind of "INFERNAL CHERUBIM." That is, they were a combination of the HORSE, the MAN, the WOMAN, the LION, and the SCORPION, and the sound of their wings in flying was as the "sound of chariots of many horses running to battle." Their size is not given, but they were doubtless much larger than ordinary locusts, but they were not like them, for ordinary locusts feed on vegetation, but these locusts were forbidden to hurt the grass, or the trees, or any green thing, but were to afflict ONLY MEN, and they had human intelligence, for they afflicted only those men who had not the "SEAL OF GOD" in their foreheads. These men they were not permitted to kill, but only torment, and that for only a limited period--FIVE MONTHS, the time limit of ordinary locusts, which is from May to September. The length of time is mentioned twice, and the character of the torment was like that which follows the STING OF A SCORPION, which causes excruciating pain that often causes the afflicted person to desire to die. So fearfully excruciating will be the anguish of those who shall be tormented by these "SCORPION LOCUSTS" that they will "seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, but death shall flee from them," the inference being that the LOCUST or DEMON controlling them shall have power to prevent their death.

There is a remarkable description in the prophecy of Joel, of what is spoken of as an army of HORSEMEN, but which seems to refer to John's "SCORPION LOCUSTS." "The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses, and as horsemen, so shall they run. Like the noise of CHARIOTS on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. Before their face the PEOPLE SHALL BE MUCH PAINED: all faces shall gather blackness. They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one his ways, and they shall not break ranks; neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path; and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble; the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining." Joel 2:4-10. There are a number of things in this prophecy of Joel that makes us doubt that an invasion of literal horsemen is meant. Horses do not climb walls, or climb up upon roofs, or enter windows like a thief. They do not fly in the heavens and in such numbers as to darken the sun, moon, and stars, nor do they fall upon the sword and escape wounding. This could only be said of "spirit beings" as DEMONS. This prophecy looks more like a scourge of locusts; not literal locusts, but such "SCORPION LOCUSTS" as John describes, for they attack men, and cause them such great pain that their faces turn BLACK. This view is confirmed when we note the time of this "horsemen" invasion. Joel tells us that it will be in the "Day of the Lord" (Joel 2:1, 11), that it will be accompanied with the "sound of a trumpet," that it will precede the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on all flesh, and that it will be at a time when the Lord will "shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, BLOOD, and FIRE, and PILLARS OF SMOKE."

Now we know that the "Gift of the Holy Spirit" on the Day of Pentecost was only the "first fruits" and partial fulfilment of this prophecy of Joel, for none of these terrible things occurred at that time, and there was no invasion of enemy "horsemen," or a "scourge of locusts," on, or before, or after, the Day of Pentecost such as here described. As we have no historical record of such an invasion of "locust horsemen" as the Prophet Joel describes, the event must still be future, and the description in many respects corresponds with what John tells us will happen when the Fifth Trumpet sounds.

These "SCORPION LOCUSTS" have a King, which ordinary locusts have not. Prov. 30:27. This King's name in the Hebrew is "ABADDON," but in the Greek is "APOLLYON." Now Satan is no where in the Scriptures called by either of these names, so Satan cannot be the King of the Demons, for their King is the King of the "Bottomless Pit," to which he is confined, while Satan and his angels are at liberty and roam the Heavenlies. The meaning then of this scourge of "SCORPION LOCUSTS" seems to be, that an Angel, the custodian of the "Pit," will open the "Bottomless Pit," and liberate a vast multitude of Demons who shall enter into and take possession of the bodies of men, and so torment them that they shall desire to die and shall not be able.

Those will be awful days in which to live, and especially so for those who have the "MARK OF THE BEAST," who will be the special mark of those "SCORPION LOCUSTS." They will be invisible to the natural eye, being "SPIRIT BEINGS," but their presence will be known by the suffering they inflict, which will be unavoidable because of their invisibility, and the inability to provide any material means as screens, to protect one's person from their attack. This invasion of "Scorpion Locusts" will last for 5 months and may well be called a "WOE," but it will be comparatively trifling in comparison with the two "WOES" that are to follow, that of the "Plague of Infernal Cavalry," and the "Vial Judgments," which are included under the "Third Woe."


THE SIXTH TRUMPET.
SECOND WOE
(The Plague Of Horsemen.)

Revelation 9:13-21.


Infernal Horsemen

"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, 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. 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 of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions: and out of their mouth issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them do hurt. And the rest of the men which were not killed by these Plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils (demons), and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood; which neither can see, or hear, nor walk: neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts."

That these "Four Angels," who were bound at the river Euphrates, were bad angels is seen from the fact that they were bound, and that they are the leaders or commanders of an army of 200,000,000 "INFERNAL CAVALRY." This army of 200,000,000 horse-men is a supernatural army. It is not composed of ordinary men and horses. The fact that these "Four Angels" were bound at the Euphrates, where Satan's seat was in ancient times, and where it is to be again in the City of Babylon restored, and from whence he sallied forth to do his diabolical work, makes it clear that this army is a part of Satan's forces. Supernatural armies are not unknown to the Scriptures. Horses and a chariot of fire separated Elijah from Elisha in the day when Elijah was taken up by a whirlwind into Heaven, 2. Kings 2:11. When Dothan was besieged by the army of Syria, God opened the eyes of Elisha's servant, and he saw the mountains around the city full of horses and chariots of fire. 2. Kings 6:13-17. When the Lord Jesus Christ shall come to take "The Kingdom," He will be attended by the "Armies of Heaven" riding on "White Horses," and it stands to reason, if there is to be "War in Heaven" between Michael and his angels, and Satan and his angels (Rev. 12:7), that Satan has his armies, and among them horsemen, and that the 200,000,000 Horsemen mentioned here are Satan's Horse-men, for no such army of ordinary horsemen ever was, or ever could be, assembled on this earth.

Again the horses were not ordinary horses, for while their bodies were like the body of a HORSE, their heads were as the head of a LION, and their tails were like unto a SERPENT, the end of which had the HEAD OF A SERPENT, and it was the SULPHUROUS SMOKE AND FIRE that issued from their mouths, and the SERPENT STING of their tails, that killed all that crossed their path, that reveals the Satanic character of the horses and their riders. The "Riders" upon these horses had "Breastplates of FIRE, JACINTH, and BRIMSTONE," to match the breath of the horses upon which they rode.

The wonderful thing about this invasion of "INFERNAL CAVALRY" was the awful destruction they wrought. They slew the THIRD PART OF MEN. If that means of the whole world, and the present population of the earth is 1,700,000,000, then this army will destroy 566,666,666 persons. It probably however refers to one-third of the men of the old Roman world. Another remarkable thing is, that the "Four Angels" were prepared for THE (R. V.) HOUR, MONTH, and YEAR, that is, they were waiting for the EXACT year, month, day, and even hour, known only to God, on which to make the invasion, and not, as some think, to slay for a year, month and day, or 391 days. "Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world." Acts 15:18. This Plague of "INFERNAL CAVALRY" was for a twofold purpose, retribution and reformation. To punish the idolatry and demon worship of men, and their sins of murder, sorcery, fornication, and theft, and to keep others from following in their footsteps. But it appears from verses 20 and 21, that the residue of men who were not killed, did not repent and turn from their sins, and so were left for later judgments.

This army of "INFERNAL CAVALRY," being composed of "SPIRIT BEINGS" like the "SCORPION LOCUSTS," will like them be invisible to the natural eye, and therefore cannot be resisted, or warred against, by carnal weapons. Those attacked will therefore be without any means of protection, and this will account for the awful destruction of human life, for the "third part" of man will be killed. The awful destructive judgments of the "Trumpets" and "Vials" that are to come upon the earth are doubtless for the purpose of weeding out the worst of the human race, so that only the better class of men shall be saved for the millennium.

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